Yes, my 3 years old daughter is a good client, with quite a lot or Miles compared to your regular 3 years old. That being said, she's not quite a jetsetter just yet, and as you are well aware, since you ask me to enter her detailed information over and over again at each flight (not trip, flight), she's well... 3 years old.
SO NO BREAK FOR HER, but thanks anyway, her parents will gladely accept a world tour anytime as a compensation though ;-)
I'm lucky: One of my grandfather is a self taught, tech savvy person. So, he owns a MacBook Pro, an Android Phone (He's going to wait July to consider the next upgrade).
My other grandparents are just a bit older and are not confortable at all with this kind of technology. They are simultaneously at the generational limit where the technology was just not there or was too cutting edge when they would have been interested, and at the technology limit where it's still not simple and ubiquitous enough for them to jump in the bandwagon now.
In one hand, I can email, skype and share photos instantaneously despite the 9000 kms separation... And on the other I'm stuck with handwritten mails (And the guilty feeling for not to writing often enough). I do not count phone calls: They do not hear so well anymore, so when it's not short, it's comical :)
I so wish iPad 4 was already here. All they would need is a 3G internet connection, one screen with two apps button (mail and video calls).
So this is decision time, aka open enrolment, aka big loss of time in the office.
This year, the insurance broker was pushing so hard on the new feature: HSA (Health Saving Account) that it was almost ridiculous. "FREE MONEY people!!!" (</blink>)
They brought a Geek in the meeting that demonstrated -- thanks to a spreadsheet -- that HSA is always better than other the other options. I've asked for the spreadsheet, but he responded, "I'm still working on it", which doesn't sound good. Too bad, because this is probably what would save me lot of time, and also could convince me that HSA is the new dope in Health-city.
But so far, I'm doubtful. I think spreadsheet-guy forgot to do the comparison with HMO in its demonstration. The total cost of Health this year for my entire family is around $2000 (*): ($1200 employee cost + $600 copays&dentals + margin of error), and in all honnesty, I don't think it's beatable by HSA, even after free money and tax benefits, because when you start paying a baby visit something like:
$115 for the visit + (3 shots = $90)
$15 copay (except first year of life which is free)
then free money runs out very fast and you start tapping in the other type of money, aka the one I'd rather spend on vacations or this awesome Canon L lense.
I miss the french system, not to say it's cheap and awesome, because it is really not (Remember "sicko" the movie? Well... Moore was really inflating quite a few "facts") but at least I don't need to fire up a calculator, or a spreadsheet -- god forbid -- to make a simple decision.
(*) which is low by all figures given during the presentation. Even with pregnancy, the costs didn't go up that much. We paid $250 for the birth: the cost for one hospital admission (And I think we tricked them, because technically only Caroline was admitted, but then we had a bed for Maelys too - $250 FREE MONEY)
Samedi dernier, alors qu'un temps magnifique rayonnait sur San Francisco, j'ai passé ma journée à la lueur des néons a Six Apart avec d'autres collègues... Cela aurait pu être agréable, étant donné que c'était pour la bonne cause... malheureusement l'instructrice n'aimait vraiment pas son boulot. Enfin bref, j'ai quand même appris beaucoup de choses, accessoirement: comment sauver mon prochain (dans une une certaine mesure tout au moins).
Une partie du cours portait sur la responsabilité juridique du secouriste volontaire, et c'est la que j'ai pris connaissance de la ˝loi du bon samaritain˝. Cette loi, qui est présente apparemment dans tous les états dans des formes plus ou moins équivalentes, est faite pour protéger juridiquement la bonne âme qui voudrait secourir quelqu'un.
Le premier point de cette loi tel que présenté par notre instructrice est que cette loi protège quiconque déciderait de ne pas porter assistance à autrui. A ce moment là, le doute m'a envahi et je me suis demandé pendant une seconde si mon anglais approximatif n'avait pas fait un malencontreux amalgame... Mais non! J'avais bien compris, dans l'hypothétique situation ou j'assiste a la chute d'un enfant dans une rivière, je peux me contenter de profiter de cet (horrible) spectacle et personne ne pourra m'en tenir (légalement) rigueur. Ce que je trouve totalement choquant et contre mes principes. Mon éducation m'a depuis longtemps inculqué que je suis censé faire le maximum raisonnable pour porter assistance a la personne en danger. Dans l'exemple ci dessus, rien ne m'oblige a me jeter à l'eau, car je pourrais y rester aussi, mais alerter les secours en plus d'une glorieuse idée est juste l'absolu minimum qui m'empêcherai d'aller en prison...
A partir de là, selon wikipedia  il y aurait entre deux et huit états qui auraient intégré le ˝duty to rescue˝ dans leur loi du bon samaritain. Cela étant dit, cette loi ne dit pas grand chose sur la moralité du plus grand nombre, si l'on devait comparer les chiffres de français et d'américains portant effectivement secours à autrui, je ne serai pas étonné que les américains en fassent plus que leurs amis français. En fait mon impression générale est que les américains sont plus charitables que les français . Mais je trouve cela symptomatique d'une société individualiste et sur-règlementée (les avocats y ont généralement la belle vie), je me reconnais beaucoup plus dans une société qui insiste sur l'obligation d'aider son prochain.
Des amis américains m'ont opposé que c'était une question de moralité individuelle et que le ˝gouvernement˝n'avait pas a s'en mêler... aie aie aie. La déclaration universelle des droits de l'Homme stipule (Art 29) :
1. L'individu a des devoirs envers la communauté dans laquelle seule le
libre et plein développement de sa personnalité est possible.
2. Dans l'exercice de ses droits et dans la jouissance de ses libertés, chacun n'est soumis qu'aux limitations établies par la loi exclusivement en vue d'assurer la reconnaissance et le respect des droits et libertés d'autrui et afin de satisfaire aux justes exigences de la morale, de l'ordre public et du bien-être général dans une société démocratique.
Si l'on prend cela comme base, cela me semble d'aller de soi que ˝la non-assistance à personne en danger˝ soit réprimée par la loi, étant donné qu'elle bafoue le droit d'autrui de jouir de sa propre sécurité.
Samedi on a essayé de se conforter comme on pouvait en se disant que dimanche serait aussi certainement très ensoleillé, mais non, il a fait froid et brumeux. Mais au moins, on sait pratiquer le bouche à bouche et le massage cardiaque.
 Je ne suis pas sûr que l'on puisse comparer tel quel, mais en 2007 les français auraient donné 4.9% de 60 milliards d'euros en dons et mécénat (soit environ 3 milliards d'euros) alors que les américains auraient contribué a 22% de 1.4 trillions de dollars (soit 308 milliards) sources: fr us
I live not far from the 280 highway on Potrero Hill. The closest park is 3 blocks away, and the nice streets with trees, flowers and commerces are one block away.
But all we get in my street is the highway, and a small neglected space where people walk their dogs without pickup behind. Well, until now. Some neighbors apparently decided to reclaim this space from poop machines and cars. I found a note in my building asking for help in the adventure. There is even a blog.
I'm not a garden-type of guy, so maybe I missed it, but I've never seen such a thing in France, and I find it awesome. I really like the fact that people here are owning their neighborhood, helping cleaning and planting it among other things.
In France, as far as I remember you have your garden and you take care of it (or you pay some company to do it for large properties), or it's a public space and you don't touch it, the city manages that using your taxes.
That way I learned about Guerilla Gardening apparently going as far as taking action during the night. Well, no such thing in the preseng case, the dedicated neighbor that took the lead of this "subversive" operation contacted cityhall about the issue and got some kind of "permission".
I'm amazed to see how other countries (and european countries) are dealing with languages). I'm back from ski holidays where most of the people were swedish (in the resort and in my group). It was the first time I met and talked with so many swedish people (not in swedish : “Jag mötte en grupp svenskar i Frankrike” <- only swedish words I know ;).
So, they were *all* (~100) speaking very good english, and most of them were speaking german too.
And the dialog was difficult with french people, because most of us weren't speaking good english.
The reason for that ? From my understanding and investigation, it appears that in Sweden :
Several time I asked the questions : “Why are you learning other languages”, “why are you so good at it ?”
Universally they replied“You know, swedish is a very small language, you cannot expect people in the world to speak it - you can go nowhere with swedish”
When I went to Tel Aviv, it noticed the same (lot of English at tv, English is something important to learn).
IMHO, we - french people - should learn humility too. French is a small language, something we have to protect and talk *in addition* to other languages. I was amazed by Mr. Chirac reaction (basically, he left a meeting because it was in english and not in french), and by french comments on Loic's blog
I wish I were able to speak better english (and without by terrible accent)! I want more not-dubbed movies and shows. Being able to communicate and exchange with a lot of different cultures is a wonderful experience!
I'm still quite jetlag (I'm just back from San Francisco), but I feel courageous enough to write about my bad experience with United Airlines.
So I heard a lot about how luggages are not carefully handled by carriers... But this time my luggage has been smashed like an old tomato on the ground.
When I claimed my bagage, I didn't notice it at first (too jetlag, too happy to hit the ground after a very long flight). Anyway I just noticed that my bag was wet... I wondered why, and I explained it to myself by the fact that we had a big snow storm in the Chicago airport (I stopped there) and also I thought it could be the fluid they put on the plane to defreeze them.
Back at home I noticed that the fluid was also, in my luggage... On my clothes ! I started to be angry... and then I noticed the smell. I thought it was a nice smell actually: “At least their fluid thing smells good”... And at this precise moment I recognized the smell, the smell of the good wine I bought in Napa Valley...
Check out the pictures of my broken lugguage and bottles :
Vegas really impressed me.
Everything is huge: the desert, the town, the hotels, hotels' lobbies, shows, casinos, amount of money exchanged.
I think everyone knows that (I knew that before I went there too) but I really realized it when I was there. I was amazed and a bit afraid in the same time.
In the last picture you can a small part of one of the many casinos, and you can also notice the security cameras. You can be sure than everything is under control. Really.
Ok. So, did I play ? I did. Did I win ? I did. Oh not much, because I lost too. I was cool enough to control myself and stop the game after a very interesting serie of lucky deals (I played blackjack).
Funnily enough, the guy who controlled many blackjack tables came, and told me :
Easy, heh ? You wonder how we stay in business, don't you ?
He knew that it was my first time at a table. I don't know if he was cynical or if he really considered me like a fool : Everything is so big, there's so many people employed here, the casinos spent a such amount of money... this is because most players loose. I thought about the famous (in France at least) quote (well it's a bit more than that since it's a fondamental chemical principle) of A. Lavoisier :
Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme
(Nothing is lost, nothing is created, all is transformed)
All this money to attract people, is money lost by people! That should prevent people to play ;)
Even if you win, the first thing you do is to spend the money (better hotels services, drinks and more) or play it again. You can put that differently : Players are buying fun anyhow. (If they stay in moderated bounds).
One more thing... Don't trust machines. Personnaly, I don't (I'm a software enginneer), and I don't like them (It's not even fun).