Saturday, May 31, 2008


Is there a river in Waltham?

Because it's been revealed that we will be having our first OSSM (Off-site Strategy Meeting) on June 10th! (And you GSI expats know what that means!) An OSSM day at the River!

Now we just need to find the river, or its moral equivalent, nearby.

Perhaps the UNO's parking lot, just off of 128?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today's the day!

NT and WP are taking delivery of their new addition, Wilson.

WP fell in love with him while they had him over for a sleepover recently - so he's coming to stay.

(And rumor has it, he'll be coming to the office for a visit, too!)

Good news for Hormel!

SPAM sales are up!

Sales of Spam rise as consumers trim spending
Much-maligned canned meat benefits from ad campaign, weak economy

MILWAUKEE - Love it, hate it or laugh at it — at least it's inexpensive.

Sales of Spam — that much maligned meat — are rising as consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets.

What was once cheeky, silly and the subject of a Monty Python musical, Spam is now back on the table as people turn to the once-snubbed canned meat as costs rise, analysts say.


The price of Spam is up too, with the average 12-ounce can costing about $2.62. That's an increase of 17 cents, or nearly 7 percent, from the same time last year. But it's not stopping sales, as the pork meat in a can seems like a good alternative to consumers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Company Outing

The Company Outing has been scheduled. August 16th! During the actual Summer!

Looks like another few years, the Winter and Summer outings will be held at the same time...

Stumped for a gift?

Onion Goggles Make the Perfect Gift

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's RV's Birthday today

He and AZ are going for Ethiopian food tonight.

We expect a full report.

Does this mean that we can have cake?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What is Postini?

Does the Postini always ring twice?

Does Postini taste good with tomato sauce?

Was Postini a fascist ruler of Italy?


Postini is a spam fighter! Hurray for Postini!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Was RD in today?

Or was he felled by a ball not quite dodged?

What day is it?

WHEREAS RS would like to meet TR, and
WHEREAS RS works the first four days of the week, and
WHEREAS RA starts vacation on the last workday of this week,
It has been unanimously resolved by the committee that the fourth workday of this week shall be known as Friday, and the fifth day as Thursday, at least as regards the holding of the weekly Tea.

Who is the 12th Imam?

Who is the 12th Imam?

All about popular issues has this to say:

Within the Shiite, (which is predominate [sic} in Iran), it is prophesied that there is a coming 12th Imam who is the great spiritual savior. This Imam is named Abu al-Qasim Muhammad or also called Muhammad al Mahdi. He is said to have been born the son of the 11th Imam, Hasan Al-Askari and his wife, the granddaughter of an Emperor. There are conflicting statements of her name being either Fatima or Nargis Khatoon.

Most accounts of the story say that al Mahdi went into hiding as a child around the age of 5 years (about 13th Century). It said he has been ‘in hiding’ in caves ever since but will supernaturally return just before the Day of Judgment. According to the Hadith the criteria for the Hidden Imam are:

* He will be a descendant of Muhammad and the son of Fatima
* Will have a broad forehead and pointed nose
* Will return just before the end of the world
* His appearance will be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos, tyranny and oppression
* Will escape from Madina to Mekkah, thousands will pledge allegiance to him
* Will rule over the Arabs and the world for 7 years
* Will eradicate all tyranny and oppression bringing harmony and total peace
* Will lead a prayer in Mekkah which Jesus will be at his side and follow in

Hmmm... Was it a coincidence that the Myanmar cyclone was named "Nargis"?

Searching for a college?

Why not Swarthmore?

Located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Swarthmore's idyllic, 357-acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with rolling lawns, creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails. From its state-of-the-art science complex to its new, environmentally friendly residence hall, Swarthmore's buildings and architecture stand as national models of curricular and co-curricular undergraduate facilities.

Swarthmore's endowment is the 14th-largest per student among U.S. colleges and universities. This enables the College to admit U.S. citizens and permanent residents without regard to their ability to pay for a Swarthmore education and to fully meet the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students.

Founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) as one of the nation's first co-educational colleges, Swarthmore today is non-sectarian, but still reflects many Quaker traditions and values. Foremost among them is a commitment to the common good and to the preparation of future leaders who will influence favorably a changing and complex world.

More succinctly (as seen locally on a sweatshirt):
Swarthmore - Guilt Without Sex.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Tea

In addition to a guest-of-honor, NR has brought something else (another surprise from Russia!) for Tea today.

Foodstuffs will include some onion dip (sorry, no domes for the occasion), chips, pretzels, and the return of (!) pepperoni!

See you sometime this afternoon.

We won't be playing any dodge-ball in solidarity with RD, who's about to lose big time.

Two Russian Scientists!

NR has brought a treat from Russia - her sister is with her for a tour of the States, and a taste of the Russian village in Miami.

Rumor has it that she's going to be here today.

Try to get some work done anyway.

Another Financing Avenue?

Maybe we could do as Angel Gutierrez does:

``You buy the mortgage for pennies on the dollar, carry the big stick, tell the homeowner how it's going to be, then double your money very easily,'' Gutierrez said.


``I like the fast nickel,'' he said. ``You buy them cheap, you sell them fast and you get paid.''


Gutierrez said he'll probably offer the homeowner enough cash to pay for a mover and a couple of months in a rented apartment because, he said, many of them want to get out but don't have the money.

``I'm considered a bottom feeder,'' Gutierrez said. ``That's the way bankers see me. They only want the best loans, the loans that are paying. That's nice, but there's no money in it.''

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Super Salesperson

As a public service, to encourage our beloved sales force, we present this inspiring story of Sales Success!

Teen sells 17,328 boxes of Girl Scout cookies

AP, May 14

DETROIT - A Girl Scout has financed her trip to Europe with Thin Mints, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos, possibly breaking a national record in the process.

Jennifer Sharpe, a 15-year-old from Dearborn, sold 17,328 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year, which shatters her troop's old record and is believed to be a national record, though Girl Scouts of the USA doesn't track individual sales.

"It's always been one of those goals I wanted to accomplish," Sharpe said Wednesday.

Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for New York-based Girl Scouts of the USA, called the feat "amazing" but said there's no national record on the books.

"We're thrilled for the girls who take it to such a great level, but so far, we don't track it at the national level," she said.


It isn't the first time the troop has traveled using cookie money. A couple of years ago, the Scouts decided they wanted to take a Caribbean cruise.

"They sold enough to be able to swim with the dolphins," Thomas said. "So after that, what do you do? Well, they said, 'Let's go to Europe.'"

So, do you want to swim with the dolphins? Do you want to go to Europe? Push those boxes!

Scouting Trip - Taqueria Mexico

CC, NR and RA ventured out to Taqueria Mexico on Charles St.

The atmosphere is just about perfect for an EP venue. Crummy blonde paneling, substandard lighting on the inside, cheesy decorations, etc. It's probably too good to replace the El Phoenix directly, but it's not far off.

The chips (which were thick and oily) came with two varieties of salsa, hot and runny, and cooler, brown and chunky.

A variety of beers was available - though you should expect to pay above market ($ 3.95 for a Negra Modelo!) for them.

The food was perhaps too good for an EP replacement. The Pork-Chili soft taco was pretty good, the chili releno is probably the best we've ever had, and the chicken burrito we'd also give a "pretty good" rating to - it was spicier than expected.

The rice was typical - orangeish and slightly over-cooked. The refritos, however, were a great surprise. No tin can imprints on these ex-beans - no, these were silky smooth.

As a possible venue for EP day, we award 1 1/2 thumbs up!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two interviewees at one time?

Two interviewees at one time? We may be outdoing ourselves.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Fantasy Geezer Aunt"

Did you know that if you google "Fantasy Geezer Aunt", only one hit comes back?

It's an article by Natalie Angier, "A Gene Map for the Cute Side of the Family", a breathless recap (mostly) of the news of the sequencing of the platypus genome we covered here last week.

Read it if you've got a hankering for more platypus news.

Blogroll addition

HSI is pleased to announce the addition of "Things younger than John McCain" to it's blogroll.

Note that we are not responsible for the content of external sites.

However - here's a selection of things younger than John McCain:

Bugs Bunny.
SPAM (The Spiced Ham variety and the junk email variety).

More at the site.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Did you smell eggs this morning? Something like this might have been why...

Another nice thing not to do? Do NOT microwave potatoes in aluminum foil in a microwave - you could burn down your house...

Excellent Seagull food

SJ has dramatically improved her standing with the proletariat. She brought in a whole box of visually disordered, but really yummy peanut butter brownies.

Much better than anything GB has favored us with lately...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Russia is back!

Tanks rejoin Moscow V-Day parade

Russian tanks and intercontinental missile launchers have been paraded through Moscow for the first time since the collapse of the USSR.

The Russian leadership has decided to revive the Communist-era custom of featuring military hardware in the annual Victory Day parade.

New President Dmitry Medvedev said the army and navy were getting stronger.

Observers say the point of the parade was to demonstrate that Russia is a serious military force.

The Kremlin insists the event, which marks the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, is not meant to threaten anyone.

NR should be in a very good mood when she returns.


And, remember, tomorrow sees the return of The Rewind Band to Marlborough.

Come on and check out Jim Jazzy and the rest of the band!


Sorry about the late notice - but today's Tea will be at 4:00, and will feature a fresh cheese plate, brown pretzels, and many types of brown drink.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Platypus Update

RD notes that today it's been announced that the Platypus genome has been sequenced. In keeping with our tradition of Platypus coverage, we thought we'd pass the news along.

Read all about it here: Platypus Genes Hold Keys to Animal Evolution

Some snippets:

One of the more surprising elements was the animal's system for sex determination. Most mammals have two sex chromosomes, either two "X" chromosomes (to make a female) or an "X" and a "Y" (to make a male). Not only do platypuses have ten instead of two, but some of those resemble the "Z" and "W" chromosomes of birds more than standard-issue "Xs" and "Ys."

Moreover, the key gene on the Y chromosome that confers maleness in most mammals is not present on any of the platypus's sex chromosomes. It is on another chromosome, where it seems to have nothing to do with sex. In its place, another gene seems to be central to sex determination in platypuses -- evidence of a shakeout of various evolutionary efforts to settle on a system of sex determination in early mammals.


Platypus milk appears to be a modified version of a moisturizing fluid that ancestral platypuses once used to keep their leathery, lizard-like eggs from drying out during incubation. It is secreted from "milk patches" on the mother's abdomen.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


By now, we've heard about LL's travel fiasco this past week. Who knew that a US passport effectively expires for some countries as many as six (6) months earlier than it does for the US?

MSNBC has an article ("When your valid passport isn't really valid")with a partial list of countries that do this sort of thing.

It’s true: Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid not only for the duration of your visit, but also for three to six months after your entry or return from their country. This means you have to check your passport expiration date carefully. For example, if your passport expires on March 1, 2007, and you want to travel this coming November, you may need to renew your passport before you go.

Here is a list of some countries that have special passport expiration rules.

*Brazil, Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands), Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Paraguay, Romania, Singapore: six months.

*Cambodia, Denmark (including Greenland), Fiji, Switzerland: three months (Denmark applies its three-month rule to your stay in any of 15 European countries).

There are many others. Some countries count their expiration windows from date of entry into their country, others from scheduled departure, so be sure to ask. For further information about special passport expiration rules, check the U. S. Department of State’s listing of foreign entry requirements. Other good sources of information are your airline, your travel agent, and the host country’s embassy or consulate.

The link that the article provided to a listing of "foreign entry requirements" was no longer operative, but it linked to the Country Specific Information over at State.

The Assimilation

The assimilation has gotten off to a great start. BC and SJ look to be well engaged in their new positions.

A bit of a rough patch may be encountered tomorrow, when WL gives them a tour of the software.

Also, thanks for the seagull food, guys, but brown rice and fried tofu? You have a long way to go before you're fully one of us. Please don't resist too hard - you'll only hurt yourself.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Training starts tomorrow

Training starts tomorrow - and with a full complement of trainees!

SJ is still with us, and BC has decided to join the adventure.

We wish them luck in their studies!

Company Meeting, 10:30 AM Friday

And that's all we know at this point - that the CEO wants a meeting...

Why are these announcements so deliberately lacking in detail?

It makes the jittery among us reach for the tums.

Friday, May 02, 2008

They're dropping like goldfish!


We were so looking forward to twisting our new friend PT - but alas, like a certain goldfish we know, she's declined to be with us next week.

Well, perhaps Norah's sister will be enough.

OT, NR is off to points east - let's hope she finds her way home safely.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tea Notes

As many of you know, NR will be traveling to St. Petersburg next week, so tomorrow's Friday Tea will be her big send off. Come by and wish her bon voyage!

Also, JT has promised to bring margaritas on Friday - to complement the cervezas...

Sales Training

In case you haven't heard, our two new salespeople are going to be around next week. PT and SJ will spend most of next week being trained on the software, in the various laboratories, and generally being schooled in how to be one of us.

Welcome them, and learn 'em right!