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A few days ago, just after the fireworks for the final day of the Fêtes de Genève, there was a headline the local free daily: “Summer heat 2010 is over.” I was hoping that it wouldn’t be true and it seems that, at least for the next few days, it’s not. Today was sunny most of the day and actually warm when in the sun. And supposedly it should be like that in the coming days as well. Here’s hoping.


Last night around 23:00, I visited a friend/client who’s computer was royally phuqued. I told her I’d take the computer with me and fix it at home and bring it back today. No problem-o. In the morning, I took the hard disk out, attached it to my obligatory Windows XP machine and scanned it with AVG, as per usual. Found about 30 infections and cleaned them out. Awesome.

I put the disk back in the laptop, booted it up and …. they’re back! Whups! Back to safe mode, ran rkill and then the Malwarebytes software. It found another 30 or so problems. Cleaned them up. Ran CCleaner for good measure. And….. voilà! Finally. Whew. I was a bit worried for a minute.

At the same time, I took a look at a computer that a client had given me because the hard disk was dying and she didn’t want to spend the money to buy a new hard disk and then to have it re-built. So, I got a hard disk and put it in and…. no dice. So, today I cloned the dying disk to the new disk in order to use the restore function (Acer, Alt-F10). It worked!? Awesome. The only thing is that it’s all in French. I still want to try installing Windows XP fresh. But in the meantime, it works. Can’t complain. Now I can return to the church and trouble shoot there.

I met a friend around lunchtime to give her her external disk with her data and to collect some money. On the way home, I stopped at McDonald’s. Luckily, their menu sucks so bad that I only go there once every month or two, but every once in a while, I just want some fries. Like today. But, each time I go there, I’m reminded of the OTHER reason I don’t go to McD’s in Switzerland: their menu sucks.

My mom always told me “If you’re going to go to McDonald’s, at least get a burger that has lettuce and tomato, something healthy.” And that stuck. But, McDonald’s/Switzerland has only one burger on the regular menu with lettuce and tomato: the Big Mac. Well, I don’t always want a Big Mac. Everywhere else I’ve been, they’ve had several burger options that had lettuce and tomato. Not here.

Next, their so-called milk-shakes. When I arrived here in Sept 2008, they had good, normal McDonald’s milkshakes. They were too small, but at least they tasted good. Not any more. About a year ago, they ditched the normal shakes and introduced “frappés”. What a disgusting concoction! The only saving grace is that the portions are even smaller. But, the taste is so awful, the 2-3 times that I bought one (first time: oh, new item! let’s try it out. Yuck! Second time: it must have been a bad batch that first time. Yuck! Third time, several months later: yup, i forgot. Yuck!), that I didn’t finish it, which is unusual for me.

The prices are WAY too much. Yes, it’s Switzerland. Yes, it’s Geneva. But, come on. McDonald’s is all about fast food and cheap prices. You can get healthier food for the same price or cheaper, so what’s the draw?

Breakfast. If they introduced the Egg McMuffin here, I know I’d be there 2-3 times a week. Sad, but true.

Stupid ‘rules’ just for the sake of rules: today, I ordered a NY Crispy. Basically, a basic burger with fried onions, lettuce, tomato (see!), some bacon and other stuff. I ordered without bacon. To their credit, *both* the cashier *and* the burger preparer made sure I understood that the bun came with bacon bits baked in. I appreciate them telling me that. Really. And I was fine with it. But, for someone who couldn’t or didn’t want to eat even the bacon bits, I know the answer would have been: “we can’t substitute a different bun.” I’ve had so many times where that happened. It just flabbergasts me. Such a simple change, doesn’t cost them any more, but they refuse to budge. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Customer service in general: the cashiers can’t multi-task and they’re slow, the people preparing the food can’t manage a special order, servers don’t understand that I don’t want my order in 2 or 3 separate pieces. I want it all together, at one time, all fresh and piping hot. What’s the point in getting the fries first and then the burger 10 minutes later? And don’t put the fries on my tray while waiting for my burger. They’re getting cold and there’s nothing worse than cold fries.

There’s more, but I’m tired, so I’ll stop now.

In the evening, I went for a run. I decided last week to start running again. Yay, me. I set some goals (distance, speed, number of times) and a week later, I’m already behind my pace. 😉 But, it was a cool evening, so I decided to head on out. Got myself all ready. My “coach” on the Nike site said I should run a mile today. First day on a 12-week plan to get to 5K. But, since I’m already pretty comfortable running 2.5-3K, I thought I’d take it a bit faster, even. In the elevator, I set up the new workout for a mile, chose the music and fastened the armband. When I was ready to run, the iPod had gone to sleep, so I pressed the Home button and I saw the Nike application with a big green “Start Workout” button, which I pressed. 6:44 later, I pressed the button to monitor my progress.

The timer was running, but the odometer was on 0.00 km! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! I HATE THAT!

So, already tired and so on, I re-started my workout. And finished it. Which is good. But I still ran more than is on record. I ran slower, of course, than the first 7 minutes. It’s just so aggravating since it’s a PROGRAMMING BUG! I can’t stand such bugs, especially since I mentioned the same bug to them a year ago.


Well, it’s after midnight. I’m actually going to go to bed now.

Tomorrow: my first Paleo experience.

Every once in a while, I buy a lottery ticket. I don’t have favorite numbers. I don’t have a favorite day or a threshold for the jackpot. Sometimes I play when it’s a HUGE jackpot. Sometimes not. I’ve played maybe three times in the last several months. Costs less than a beer and doesn’t give me a beer gut. 😉

So, Thursday I bought two tickets. One for the Euro millions and one for the Swiss lottery. Two sets of numbers each.

Last night was Euro millions. Sadly, I didn’t win the big jackpot, the millions, the jump-up-and-down-and-think-about-what-I’m-gonna-spend-it-on amount. I matched two numbers and one of two extra numbers.

I know what I’m gonna spend it on.

A pizza.

And hope for more tonight.

So, here I am in a new apartment and I needed a can opener. Found it pretty quickly, but it doesn’t look ‘normal’ to me. But, I can figure it out, right? Right.

Ok, the handle is in two pieces, which rotate around one end. I ‘open’ it up and then try to attach it to the can. Somehow, it’s not holding very well. And the blade seems to be on the wrong side, or at least not angling in the best direction. Take a step back and try something else that seems to make more sense in terms of looking at the can and the tool. Suddenly, it snaps together and I twist and I can see….it’s working! Horizontally!

After a full rotation, the head of the can snaps off completely. This makes so much sense. The ones I’m used to always seem to get the top caught in the can and then you have to get a fork or something to pry it open and try not to splatter anything.

I really like this. Very cool.

Dinner time!

It was time for a hair cut. It’s been time for a haircut for a while. So, while my son was doing sports, I walked around the neighborhood looking for a place to get “my ears lowered” (thank you, Mr. Tenney!). Now, recently, I’ve been getting a simple cut – just 9 mm all the way around. Short, short.

I passed several places but they were busy or closed or didn’t look like the place I wanted to go, so I kept looking. Then, I came across a place which looked promising. They could fit me in after a short wait. Did a great job using scissors instead of the electric shears. And charged me 35 CHF.

Now, I needed a haircut and needed it now, so I’m willing to pay extra for that convenience. But, immediately after leaving, I whipped out my iPhone and entered “cheap haircuts Geneva”. I thought I had done that before with no success, but this time, at least, I found someone with a similar story. And he found a place: École Superieure de Coiffure. Apparently, they have 15 CHF cuts. Much better. I’ll try them next time.

Last weekend, we had guests over. I looked on glocals for an outdoors event we could attend. It didn’t take long. One of the glocalers was hosting an afternoon get-together at Parc La Grange. I had never heard of the park nor did I know where it was, right off. But, a quick look on Google Maps told me where it was and I saw that it was downtown central Geneva. Amazing! In fact, I had driven past it numerous times but due to the fence and trees around it, I never even realized it was there.

We went there and it was really great. Lots of grass. Lots of paths. Rolling hills. We met many people from glocals and played lots of games: Frisbee, badminton, Hoity Toity board game, baseball, and so on. The weather was really nice. The company was excellent. And the best part was the discovery of a great park in Geneva!