Two by Two

imageI love most “there are two types of people” jokes. You can search the web for list after list of these. I would give you some links but joke lists have a tendency to go south. They either add annoying ads or they collect a bunch of raunchy or otherwise offensive jokes. So I’d rather not be associated with any of them forever. My favorite two-types-of-people joke is:

There are 10 types of people;
those who understand the binary system and those who don’t.

I was led to this topic by an observation during my daily commute. I leave my house at 6:00 am. It’s a 20 minute drive, and I have to be at work by 7:30. I know; the math doesn’t work. The primary reason I leave so early is to avoid sitting in traffic. If I tried to arrive at 7:30, I’d have to leave at 6:50 and drive in heavy traffic. My daily ride tells me that:image

There are two types of people on the road at 6:00 am;
those who want to be early and those who are already late.

I don’t like being late…for anything.

That’s a hereditary thing. My father was never late for anything. Ever. I worked a few summers at the same Post Office that he worked in. I usually worked some weird split-shift scenario and he worked 6:30 am – 3:30 pm. Once in a while, I would be scheduled to carry the route for a regular mailman who was going to be on vacation and I’d get that 6:30-3:30 shift. So, I could ride with my dad. The first time this happened, he woke me up at 5:30 complaining that “we have to leave soon!” He started work at 6:30, but he arrived at the Post Office at 6:00. He considered himself late at 6:01.

Being early for work isn’t bad. Like my dad, I enjoy starting the day in a leisurely fashion and I can get a lot of things done before most of my coworkers arrive. Being early for things today is easier than it was 40 years ago. If you’re early, you can catch up on email, read the news, read a blog post or two, or Dilbert, or whatever. That leads me to another observation:

There are two kinds of smart phone users; image
those who use smart phones and those who really use them.

I know lot of people with smart phone, primarily iPhones, who use it as a phone, texting and email platform with a camera. I want to ask “have you heard about these things called apps?” but I figure if it works for them, who am I to be concerned? I, on the other hand, love my apps. If have tons of apps, some of which I don’t use very often, but some I use every day. Since Top-10 lists are all the rage, here are my Top-10 iPhone apps:

  • Evernote – Taking and organizing notes just can get any easier. I have hundreds of ideas for this blog in Evernote (sorry if that depresses you). If I see something interesting, I can quickly pull up the note and add to it. When I get enough stuff to scribble 800-1,000 words, we’re off to press.
  • WordPress – If you have a blog on WP, and a smart phone, get this app.
  • Jot – Without this app, you would never see the classy little illustrations that often accompany this blog. I also use it for work, drawing flowcharts, screen designs and such.
  • ESPN Sportscenter / MLB At Bat – The best thing about these apps is that the let me be an engaged fan of Pittsburgh sports teams while living in New England.
  • Travel apps (Marriott, Delta, Southwest & AMTRAK) – These are all good, but I do think Marriott’s are the best. On my last trip, I forgot to ask for an extra blanket before leaving for a long day of meetings. I opened the app – went to ‘Linens’ – Clicked to add one blanket and I returned to a room with the bed made up with an extra blanket.
  • Google Maps – I have a Garmin GPS in my car that I love, but I really like Google Maps when I am walking.
  • Vine – It’s amazing how much information you can convey in a 6-second video.
  • Pool – Oh my goodness, this free simple little pool game, is, Ah-dictive. Seriously, get this game. This just in – they just added a 9-Ball version. Free never felt so good.
  • 1Password – The best part of this app is that I also have a version on my laptop, my iPad and my MacBook (yes, I am a geek) so I’m never without my passwords.
  • (Our) 411 – I’m including this app on the list because I wrote it. Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to buy a copy, in fact, it’s an ‘enterprise app’ so you can’t have a copy unless you and I work together. I like this app because it holds all that stuff I never remember like the code to the file room and my boss’s cell phone number.

I’ll leave you with a slight variation on a two-types-of-people joke:

Women have two types of clothing;
clean and dirty.

Men have three types;
clean, dirty and the things you have to smell before wearing.

I put that in last because I think my editor just threw up.

41 thoughts on “Two by Two

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  1. Pictures – 10 (that’s ‘one zero’) Base 2 is equal to 2 in Base 10. That jet-powered school bus isn’t part of my daily commute; it was performing at an air show. The last image is from an earlier past about how my iPhone reconnected me to my past.


  2. I wonder where my natural preference for being late came from. Of course, our definitions of “late” differ slightly :)


    1. Yes, our late vs. early discussions will be the subject of one of our blogs at some point. But, for the record, ‘early for a train’ doesn’t mean slipping in just as the doors close.


  3. This was a great post, Dan. I too detest being late. Just irks me to no end! I’ve gotten being on time down to a fine art and I’m very often early for things. It bothers me when I have to wait because someone is late, so I’m sure as heck not going to make anyone else wait for me! It’s not just a preference anymore, now it’s a matter of pride.

    As for apps… I just bought a tablet last week and am discovering apps for the first time. Still getting used to the different format of apps, but I’m trying to learn! I did download the WP app, but have yet to try it out.

    P.S. I definitely chuckled at that last joke!


  4. There are two kinds of people – you, who use apps and me who says “what’s an app?”

    Just kidding. But it’s a good thing I went to see the movie Chef this afternoon or I wouldn’t have had any idea what a vine is :-)

    Great movie, and speaking of movies, I like it best when I’m SO early that we’re the first ones in the theater – that really eases my anxiety about crowded theaters. My indulgent hubby always pauses upon entering and says, “Oh look, no seats left.”


    1. Do you choose seats with anticipation of the theater filling? I sometimes consider which seats are less likely to end up with a person kicking the back or which will be more comfortable after an hour (maximum leg room). Thanks for the comment.


      1. All of the above. Plus if I sit too close my vision makes me dizzy.

        Truthfully I never go when theater will be packed, which makes my anxiety completely unnecessary. I guess that’s why they call it anxiety! There are two kinds of people …


  5. These days I usually read your posts while I am traveling. I must say you do a fabulous job. My father taught me the same thing, to be never late. I am always on time because I know the value of it. In the smartphone category, I am not that “app friendly” sort of guy, but yes I have few apps that are sufficient enough for my daily life schedule. I am not that “64GB of Apps” kinda guy with 100 icons on the home screen like I usually see around me. I like the way you describe things. :)


    1. Thanks! I don’t have hundreds of apps, and I routinely delete the ones that “I thought would be good” but aren’t. I like that most are of a try-before-you-buy model so you can really tell if they will work. Evernote has a “premium” version, but I haven’t opted for that yet. I feel like I should because I get so much value from the app that I feel like I should have paid something for it.


  6. That last bit had me chuckle to myself. Especially “the things you have to smell before wearing.” That’s a good one. I had a roommate in 2006 who’d never wash his socks. He would air on the balcony, and each morning he’d smell them before deciding on the one to wear. I can see him smelling them. A curious fellow.
    I like that part where you say you never get late to work. I leave my house at 6.30am but the reporting time at work is 8.00am. I reach the office at around 7.20am. Punctuality is a curse on me. If I have to go somewhere, I begin to prepare at least an hour earlier, otherwise I panic. I panic so bad I forget important files. When I go to any meeting I am usually the first guy. But you don’t know Kenyans! The second person arrives at the time the meeting is to begin. The rest will take forever. If they say, the meeting is at 9.00am, they mean “start arriving at 9.00am; we’ll meet at 11am.” I know this but I still keep the time. I get annoyed most of the time but I do walk with a book or two. Saves me.
    I think I should get some of those apps. Especially the Evernote and Jot. I like what you say about them. I have WordPress.
    And lastly, if you study Electrical Engineering in Kenya, you are introduced to binary numbers in 3rd year. Shocking, isn’t it? I told the lecturer to go get the syllabus fixed because Binary Numbers can be taught in elementary school and kids will know them and pass. He reported me to the Chairman of the Dept, who called to threaten me with expulsion for “disturbance impeding learning at the institution”. Shame on him.


    1. I always find it interesting to learn bits about other cultures. We get pretty agitated if people are actually late for meetings. As for not teaching binary numbers in elementary school, shame on that Chairman indeed. I learned Binary Numbers in 5th grade and I had way less trouble with them than I did English grammar. Right now, I am trying to wonder what is wrong with me, because I can picture your roommate’s daily sock routine. thanks for the comment Peter.


  7. “There are two kinds of people in this world: those who divide people into two kinds, and those who do not.” — Robert Benchley


  8. I must admit you made me laugh. I am cross eyed at this point with my new android cell phone. I don’t use the apps much, at least not yet. I bought it mainly for the camera. And your comment about men and clothes …. um, I take plead the fifth. LOL Love, Amy


  9. @”I don’t like being late…for anything.” – same here, Dan… :) la ponctualité est la politesse des rois… – Punctuality is the royal politeness… :)


  10. I hate being late too and I totally agree on leaving early to beat the commute. In French we say that La journée appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt or the day belongs to early risers. And I think it’s true. I love to wake up early and going to bed late. This would add a new category to two types of people. As for the clothes, um, I’ve seen and known a few women who also smell their clothes!
    Funny post, Dan.


    1. Thanks Evelyn. I’m early to rise but not usually up very late. You’re the second person to mention women also having that third category of clothing. I’m going to leave that alone. Also, this is the second French quote I got today.


  11. Laughs and handy tips. Perfect. I have Google Maps, don’t go far without it. Although when I first got it we had some hilarious moments with the voice setting travelling around New Zealand – Google just could not cope with Maori place names. I think they’ve improved that part of the app recently. I use Evernote for recipes, knitting patterns, story ideas, travel plans – everything. WordPress is good too. As for Jot, so that’s how you do your natty jottings! As for iPassword I guess I’m still a luddite because, don’t laugh, What if I any of my devices were stolen, then where would I be?


    1. Ha, good point about all devices. I confess, I have the passwords stored somewhere else too. We’ve had some funny and some frustrating moments with my GPS. Ironically, in my car I’ve chosen a ‘female New Zealand’ voice. Do you really call on-ramps “slip roads?”

      Thanks for reading and commenting and thanks so much for reposting this!


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