Thursday, June 13, 2024

Practical Life Lesson: Genuine Offer versus Conversational Device

 Over at the defunct ChicagoNow, I did a post about Life Lessons.  It was a gallery so when I exported that blog to my personal (unused) WordPress site, they didn't come over.  I had to use Wayback Machine to get them.  I figured putting the more pertinent ones here might be beneficial.

Practical Life Lesson: Genuine Offer versus Conversational Device

It’s really hard to distinguish 'Conversational Device’ from ‘Genuine Offer’ until you’ve been around the block a few times because Conversational Devices are often gift-wrapped as Genuine Offers.



Simply put, this is someone offering to do something for you with no intention of actually doing anything for you. Usually, it's an unintentional thing. At the time they sincerely believe they will deliver on their promise. But the reality is they just won't be there when you think they will. Other times it is totally intentional and premeditated. It is how this person gets their ya-yas which is Swedish for get's off.



Have you ever run into a friend who says something along the line of "We have to get together sometime." Maybe you take the bait and say sure and you reach out to them. In a healthy relationship on Planet Normal, you get together reasonably soon after that chance encounter. Other times you volley back and forth on dates that could work. You find that the person is either busy or non-committal on any date thrown out. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that the other party just doesn't want to get together.

You want to believe the best in people and it takes a few burns until the naive goes away. What's worse is that for some strange reason, our society seems to look down on the person who fell for it, not the person who dished it out.


Practical Life Lesson: Don't give someone a fork when they ask for a spoon

 Over at the defunct ChicagoNow, I did a post about Life Lessons.  It was a gallery so when I exported that blog to my personal (unused) WordPress site, they didn't come over.  I had to use Wayback Machine to get them.  I figured putting the more pertinent ones here might be beneficial.


Practical Life Lesson: Don't give someone a fork when they ask for a spoon

This one has a lot of subtle nuances. If someone literally hasn't eaten in a week you give them whatever is on your plate. However, if they just skipped lunch, giving them your cheeseburger doesn't do them any good if they are vegan, or lactose intolerant.



Give people what they say they want or need or get out of the way. People generally want to help one another, however, some people just aren't good at it for one reason or another. I like to say people mean well but execute poorly. Sometimes it's because they chose the one type of help that doesn't require them to get off the sofa.



Other times it is because some people want to get the credit for helping out without doing any of the actual work. Even when the level of effort to help out is far less than the effort of looking like you're helping out.

Practical Life Lesson : Don't Try to Control The Weather

  Over at the defunct ChicagoNow, I did a post about Life Lessons.  It was a gallery so when I exported that blog to my personal (unused) WordPress site, they didn't come over.  I had to use Wayback Machine to get them.  I figured putting the more pertinent ones here might be beneficial.


Practical Life Lesson: Don't Try to Control The Weather

There are things in this world that you can control, like what you eat for breakfast, what you wear to the office, and even how many books you read or shoes you buy. On the other hand, there are many things you just cannot control, like traffic or other people's actions, or as indicated: the weather.



So stop trying to control it anyway. Yes, it would be awesome if the person you gave your number to at a great party yesterday called you today. It may or may not happen but more importantly, it’s outside your powers.



Sure, it would be best if the lady standing to the left on the escalator moved to the right like everyone else, but it’s too late, she is.

Dwelling on things that you cannot control in this world will make you crazy like a bag of unpetted kittens and it will do you no good. it's wasted energy. …focus on those things that you have direct control over and indirect influence on.

Let. It. Go!

Practical Life Lesson: Cats and Dogs and Social Maintenance

 Over at the defunct ChicagoNow, I did a post about Life Lessons.  It was a gallery so when I exported that blog to my personal (unused) WordPress site, they didn't come over.  I had to use Wayback Machine to get them.  I figured putting the more pertinent ones here might be beneficial.

Practical Life Lesson: Cats and Dogs and Social Maintenance

There's a famous pet meme out there. I'm including the picture but the text is "I cannot come to your cat's birthday party. My dog is getting married that day." There are various incantations and the one I've pictured goes the extra step of pet owner A insulting pet owner B.


There are at least two life lessons here. The first is that if you want people to care about your "cat's wedding" you have to care about their "dog's birthday party."



The second is that people will treat your "cat's wedding" like it is the most unimportant thing in the world and make you feel bad for even suggesting they be part of it, but will expect you to drop everything for their "dog's birthday party."

Practical Life Lesson: 11th Hour Cancellations

Over at the defunct ChicagoNow, I did a post about Life Lessons.  It was a gallery so when I exported that blog to my personal (unused) WordPress site, they didn't come over.  I had to use Wayback Machine to get them.  I figured putting the more pertinent ones here might be beneficial.


Practical Life Lesson: 11th Hour Cancellations

When someone cancels plans with you at the last minute, the reason falls into one of two buckets.

 Bucket#1: something came up last minute that prevented the person from participating. The boss implemented an arbitrary but firm deadline. A child got sick.



Bucket #2: the person never wanted to do it in the first place and the pressure finally was too much that they hit the panic button and canceled, often through some backdoor method like a text or voice mail.



The way you know which bucket it was is whether or not they follow up to reschedule if/when things calm down. If they reach out and say something along the lines of hey things were crazy last week but everything seems back to normal, how about we try again?

Friday, June 7, 2024

Gaming the System at McDonalds

 I wrote about Gaming the System Gaming the System  Simply put, Gaming the System is taking advantage of the rules of a system in a way that provides you an advantage that others do not receive. Rather than break the rules, there are often ways to take advantage of unintended consequences of the rule design. 

And honestly, the McDonald's app deserves to be gamed for all it can.  You cannot use your reward points for more than one item, even if you have enough.  You cannot use your rewards points in conjunction with a deal.  When the app isn't working correctly, you can only upload one receipt per month, even if you go to McDonald's multiple times -- and those of us with kids will visit McDonald's more times than we should.




Last Friday I wanted to buy my kids some McDonald's French Fries as a supplement to their lunch.  On Friday McDonald's give you a free medium order of fries if you purchase anything else for a dollar.  

Once again the app was acting up.  It wouldn't honor it for the McDonald's closest to us, so I punched in the coordinates for the Mickey Ds at the other end of town.  By the time I got in the car and was heading there, it rerouted to the close McDonalds.  That's fine.

After picking up my purchase, I drove around in the parking lot and tried to cash in my reward points for a free quarterpounder.  I didn't realize but it sent the order to the Mc Ds at the other end of town, so I canceled the order.

The app took my rewards points but didn't refund them when I canceled the order.  So I contacted support, which in itself was a difficult process; a feature, not a bug.

Long story, short, they wouldn't refund me my points but they enabled the app to reward me with a free quarterpounder.  

So today being Friday I went through the drive-thru and ordered my sandwich.  After getting it, I then used the app to order a lemonade and a free order of fries.   The people inside were a little confused that I went through the drive-thru twice but there was nothing they could do.

Ravioli with Tomatoes, Asparagus, Garlic, and Herbs

I came across this recipe on Facebook and decided to give it a try since we usually have all of the ingredients in stock.   We used X instead of Ravioli but it worked out fine.  Next time I will skip the asparagus and substitute mushrooms.  Also, parsley or basil is fine, no need to use both.





Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 package (20 ounces) refrigerated cheese ravioli




Directions:
Cook the ravioli according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender-crisp.
Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.
Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the cooked ravioli to the skillet and gently toss to combine with the vegetables and sauce.
Stir in the fresh basil, parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through.
Serve the ravioli hot, topped with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes
Kcal: 350 kcal | Servings: 4 servings