Rise of Autumn

Since the trip to Oregon, I've been struggling for something to blog about. I think the problem is that I've had too many legitimate topics and not enough new kinds of sandwiches (with one notable exception). For example:

We had a wind storm (evidently, 93 mph winds) which I walked around in -- leading to my having to spend about 10 minutes rinsing crud out of my eyeballs. Roads were becoming impassible, branches were flying, windows were breaking, people with poor judgement were walking around... It was pretty sweet.

KSU's Fall semester begins on Monday and the students are back in town. Usually I'm a bit grumpy at this time of year because I suddenly can't eat out on the weekend and traffic is much less fun. This year is seems to be different though. This year I feel a tiny bit, affectionate (???) toward the students. I think it's a sign I'm getting old.

I've been getting back in to indoor rowing. That's good times. Though I do wish the rowing machines were still with the other cardio machines. I feel like a jerk making all this noise right in the middle of the circuit training area.

I've also started training in earnest for a marathon in December. Today I got up at 5:30 and ran 10 miles. Good stuff. I still haven't been able to figure out why I can't run both Sacramento CIM and Dallas White Rock. Looks like we're going to CIM, but Dallas was super fun last year.

Sadly, none of that stuff seems particularly blog worthy lately. Instead, what you get is door to door salesman spam. Really?

Door-to-Door Spam

Last week, Julie and I were happily munching away at our lunch. We and our lunch were in a seated posture at the dining room table. The dining room table happens to afford an excellent tactical overlook of our cul-de-sac. As we sat, munching and gobbling, we noticed a 30-something man in a tie going door to door.

This was puzzling. We get several common categories of door to door snake oil salespeople. The most common are college students that are in a contest. An exciting personality contest! A contest that, if they find enough people who like their winning personality, will send them on an awesome vacation so some random equatorial island. How can you show your support? Well, by buying magazines, that's how! Exiting! I'd like to say the magazine thing was cute the first few times, but it never was.

We also get our fair share of religion peddlers. I think these are pretty common, the format is, "Do you believe what we do? Because if you don't, well, oh my! I'll pray for your soul..." I hold Mormons and eastern monks separate from that bunch though, they've always seemed pretty friendly.

Add to that the political trolls, carpet cleaners, window installers, water purifier salesmen and at some point, it just starts to get old.

Anyway, we were munching and puzzled. This guy didn't fit an obvious mold. He was too old to be selling magazines, too well dressed to be selling any services we could think of, and too male and alone to be selling religion. Nonetheless, I suggested to Julie that as the next step in my evolution to callous jerk,I should just stare at him through the window when he knocked. She was impressed, but didn't think I'd do it. She was right.

It turned out, this dude had just opened a financial planning office in our area and was going door to door in the 100 degree weather to meet the locals. He seemed excited. He was trying to start his own business. It was cute. We talked a little about investing, then I told him I didn't have a lot of extra time during lunch and he was happy to just leave.

It struck me that this was the exact same problem as email spam. You either have to read all the messages about "enhancements" and banking transactions, or you have to except that you're going to occasionally ignore something well-intentioned. I thought that was cool. I like it when I realize that what seems like a computer problem is really just a human problem. Things seem more legitimate that way.


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