Monday, November 28, 2016

Air Force One

When you see the President of the United States in an airplane, it's Air Force One.  This name was first coined by Dwight Eisenhower, but the planes presidents have flown in have gotten much more sophisticated as air travel has advanced.
The aircraft is actually two Boeing 747-200B models, each equipped similarly. One's tail number is 28000 and one is 29000.
Did you know these things about Air Force One?
  • It has 4000 square feet of space
  • There are three levels to the aircraft, as there are in any Boeing 747. Passengers, including members of the press, generally travel in the middle section, which looks like a typical airplane seating section.
  • The President has his own room, bathroom, and workout room
  • There is a large conference room that also serves as the dining room
  • It holds 70 passengers and 26 crew
                                 An early Air Force 1 not in use any longer
  • The President always has a doctor that travels with him. The plane has a medical office ready for almost any medical crisis, including the ability to convert to a surgery suite if necessary
  • Air Force One has its own exclusive baggage handlers
  • Food purchased for Air Force one is purchased at out of the way grocers and different places every time, by Secret Service agents; this avoids tampering with the President's food
  • The plane is clad in heavy shielding that preserves it from a nuclear blast

  • This plane can be re-fueled in mid-air, and so can stay airborne for an indefinite time.
  • Before Air Force One travels anywhere, the Air Force sends one or more C141 Starlifter cargo planes ahead which carry the motorcade: cars, limos, vans, that will be used in the President's trip.
  • The President's helicopter is named Marine One. It is usually used to transport the President to Air Force One (the helicopter can land on the White House grounds, while the jet cannot.) If he is leaving from Washington, D.C., the plane typically takes off from Andrews Air Force Base.

 Here is a pretty thorough tour of Air Force One. It was made during President Bush's administration and shows everything from the galley (kitchen) to the pilot's seat.

Try a quiz to see what you remember:
Current Air Force One

Monday, November 21, 2016

Careers With Minnesota Companies:Target

Target is one of the largest employers in Minnesota: there are currently 347,000 people who work for Target. There are 1,934 Target stores. Revenue for Target in 2014 was more than $72 billion.

It began, technically, in 1902, when George Dayton founded a "dry goods" store (not food but other items people need in their daily lives) on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Dayton's Department Store, which transitioned to Marshall Fields and branched out into Target, has endured for over 114 years, and has experienced a number of innovations along the way:
1920     Due to a labor strike, goods were not coming into the store. To keep his customers happy, George Dayton had supplies sent to the store by airplane.
1956   Daytons adds branch stores in the suburbs of the Twin Cities
1962   The first Target store opens in Roseville, Minnesota
1966   Target opens in Denver
1967   Daytons acquires B Dalton, Bookseller
1968   Target Stores open in St Louis, Dallas, Houston, and California
1983   California now has a Target store
1988   Target is the first to use bar codes on all items, and a scanner, instead of individually tagged items
1989   Target opens in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina
1990   The first Target Greatland opens with 50% more store space
1993   Target opens in Chicago
1995   The first Supertarget opens, which offers groceries as well as "dry goods."

By 2001, there are Target stores in 47 of the United States.
Did you know?
  • Governor Mark Dayton is the great-grandson of George Dayton, founder of the Daytons and Target stores.
  • CVS Pharmacy has purchased Target Pharmacies and Minute Clinics as of January 2015.
  • The big red cement balls in front of the stores are called bollards, and they're there to prevent cars driving into the store.
  • The original Dayton's building was built on a lot where a church burned down. The property cost $165,000
  • If you bought stock in Target in 1987 for $1,000, it would now be worth $96,148.
  • A Target employee suggested a shopping cart that would work for disabled people. Target worked with the company that built these carts.

  • If you look at an orange-stickered reduced item, it shows the percentage of markdown in the upper right corner. If the price ends in 4, there will be no more markdowns of that item. If it ends in 6 or 8, it will be marked down further.

If you are interested in employment with Target, here are some positions they may be hiring:
  • Administration
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Loss prevention (store security)
  • Distribution Centers (where items are processed and price tags put on)
  • Accounting
  • Target Food Brand product development
  • Human Resources
  • Law
  • Technology
  • Store management
  • Property management
You can pursue some of these careers with a degree in:
  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Sociology/Crime Prevention
  • Accounting
  • Food Science
  • Human Resources
  • Computer technician
  • Statistical analysis
  • Management
Here is their hiring website:

Careers with Target could be anywhere in the world. Their corporate website is here:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Which Fork Do I Use Again??

What do you know about basic etiquette? How do you respond to an invitation? What are all these forks and spoons on the table for? Here are some basics:

  • If you receive an invitation that says, "RSVP" -- you need to RESPOND. The host needs to know how many people to plan for. Courtesy means you let him or her know just as soon as you know whether you will attend the event.
  • Notice how your invitation was addressed: If it does not say "and guest", then you shouldn't bring a guest. It will be addressed to the specific people who are invited.
  • Putting the host on the spot by asking to bring a guest, or perhaps your children, makes things awkward.
   Mr. Grinberg and Ms. Berniker are invited. Their children, room mates, best friends, accountants, gurus, and dogs are not.

  • Gentlemen: remove your hat when you are in a building.
  • Anyone should open a door for an elder as a sign of respect.
  • It's never wrong to say 'please' and 'thank you' when appropriate.
  • Gentlemen, open the door to a building for the ladies. Ladies, say 'Thank You.'
  • Also open and shut the car door for a lady when getting in or out of the car. If it is a dressy event and especially if she's wearing high heels, offer your hand to help her exit the car.
  • As a courtesy, gentlemen should walk on the 'outside' of a sidewalk and women on the 'inside'.
  • Ladies and gents, conservative dress is always the best choice.
  • Be on time!
  • Be patient and do not interrupt someone who is speaking.
  • When you finish a dance, thank your partner if you are then parting ways.
  • It is always wise not to bring up topics of controversy such as religion or politics.
  • Turn your cell phone ringer off, and put the phone away when you are in a group of people.

  • Respect the personal space of others: don't stand too close, or stand behind someone looking over someone's shoulder unless asked to.
  • Wait your turn.
  • Say 'excuse me' if you sneeze, and cover your sneeze. And use hand sanitizer.
  • If you are ill, call and cancel your attendance rather than expose others to your germs.
  • When in doubt, just smile and nod.

And then....there's the matter of table manners: Does this strike fear into your heart?

                                   Why are there so many of everything, and which is mine??

The basic rule is, when you sit down at the table, you will eat to your left and drink to your right. That is, your plates are to your left, and your drinkware is to your right. Keep this in mind when the place settings are so close together that you can't tell. Start with the fork or spoon the farthest out and work your way towards the plate (for example, salad is served first, then dinner; or, soup and then dinner).

Here's a diagram of what it's all for:

When you set a table:

How to behave yourself at a formal dinner:

Basics at the table...
Even if it's not 'formal,' Don't reach! Ask to have it passed.
  • Don't chew with your mouth open. Eat as quietly as possible.
  • If you get something in your mouth you don't like, discreetly deposit it in your napkin--without a remark about how gross it was.
  • No elbows on the table.
  • Don't hunch over the table.
  • Put your napkin in your lap.
  • Grooming is done in a restroom or at home, not in public.
  • When unsure, subtly look around you to see what others do.

Have you noticed the way people use their forks and knives in England? Check this out:

In some countries, eating with your hands is perfectly acceptable. In Asian countries, people use both chopsticks and forks, knives, and spoons as we do.

And what of the history of eating utensils?

Just for fun, Triogenius checked out  some etiquette rules in other was rather enlightening:

In England:
Wear a solid tie, rather than a pattern; tie shoes rather than slip-ons; and a shirt without pockets if possible.
Tap your nose if you are talking about something that should be confidential.
                                  Mr. Colbert missed the memo about the patterned tie.
Don't touch others in public, such as a touch on the arm or a pat on the shoulder, or to remove a piece of lint from someone's coat.
Discussing the cost of things, such as how much you paid for your trip or for an item of clothing, is considered in very bad taste.
If you find yourself in a waiting line, or a 'queue' as they call it, just wait---trying to get ahead in the line is very offensive in England.

In Japan:
Do slurp your noodles and soup to show you enjoy the food.

Don't tip your servers.
When you stay in someone's home, when taking a bath, don't drain the bathwater as others will use it. As the guest, though, you are likely to get the first bath. And, ...ew.
Do not stare into the eyes of someone who is speaking to you.
It may be considered impolite to introduce yourself; wait for someone to introduce you to the others.

In Australia:
Dress casually at almost any occasion.
Bring your own beer to a restaurant.

Sorry....couldn't resist...

In Argentina:
Don't wear a soccer jersey, and especially if it's not for an Argentine team. They take their football very seriously, and there are deep rivalries.  
Dress well; Argentina is considered a high-fashion country. Ragged clothes and flip-flops are not recommended.
When you eat at a restaurant, cross your fork and knife on the table to indicate you're finished.

In Greece:
Don't start eating until your host starts.
Finish everything on your plate.
Join in when they dance.
Take your shoes off when you enter someone's home.

In Russia:
Don't leave the dinner table until you are invited.
Don't give a baby gift before the baby is born: it's considered bad luck.
Give only an odd number of flowers, an even number is only done for funerals.
Don't point with your finger, use your whole hand.
                                    Count these before you give them

In China:
Do not wear brightly colored clothing for a business meeting.
Don't give a clock as a gift.
Don't give a set of four of anything as a gift.
Do not wrap a gift in white paper, white indicates mourning.
Do not finish everything on your plate; otherwise, it looks like your host should have given you more.
Do not whistle.


For a list of other countries and their etiquette custom-including how to say thank you:

Remember: Sit up straight, be polite, and no gift clocks. Now you're all set.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Letter to A Vet

Dear Veteran,

'Thank you' hardly seems adequate for everything you gave up

For time away from your family
For putting yourself in harm's way
Without question, without complaint, when your country asked.
For your triumphs
For your losses
For showing the rest of the world the best of the world
For being there
Whether it was yesterday
Or 75 years ago

We appreciate everything you did, everything you do.

We haven't forgotten.
Thank you isn't enough.
But, thank you.
Your Country
Superheroes don't wear capes.
They wear dog tags.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Heroin Addiction: What Is It?

There've been a rash of heroin-related deaths in our area lately. Here is some information about the drug and how it affects your body.
                                       Pretty flower, deadly poison

Heroin is a form of Morphine, which is made using the Poppy flower. Morphine can be a helpful pain killer when used in a hospital setting, but it can get addictive in any form. When Heroin is sold 'on the street' (illegally), it is typically a white or brown powder or may be a black sticky substance. It is also frequently mixed with unknown 'fillers' that can be very harmful when taken into your body.

Heroin is usually injected, snorted, or smoked. Users typically put some in a spoon, then use a lighter to 'melt' it and then draw it into a syringe, and inject it into a vein. Alternately, they put it in a 'pipe' made of glass, heat it, and inhale (smoke) the fumes. It goes to your brain quickly and gives these symptoms:

  • Feeling as though you are floating, 'out of it,' between sleep and awake
  • Being lethargic, which means being slow to react and unable to get motivated to do anything
  • Gives you an itchy feeling all over
  • You may feel nauseous or have diarrhea

Here is what it can do to your body:
  • Alters your brain and makes you crave more to get 'high'
  • It puts you at a higher risk of HIV infection through dirty needles
  • Heart infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Gastrointestinal problems (Stomach and gut)
  • Kidney failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Can cause miscarriage and birth defects
  • Suppresses your breathing
  • Can lead to death

A heroin addict often:
  • Has no interest in eating or sleeping
  • Stops caring about his/her personal grooming: Doesn't brush teeth or wash, or change clothes
  • Becomes forgetful, can't even remember what happened the day before
  • Has no interest in activities he/she used to have an interest in
  • Starts making new 'friends' who are also into the drug scene, abandons old friends
  • Becomes moody: Gets very angry, takes things much too personally
  • Suffers headaches, nosebleeds, seizures
  • Steals money and things to sell in order to get money for the drugs
                                Where the poppies used to make drugs are grown

An addict may look like this:
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Eyes have pinpoint pupils
  • Unable to walk steadily
  • Seems almost unconscious, doesn't respond to conversation
  • May become unconscious
  • Causes unusual odors on breath, you may notice on their clothes as well
  • Hair and teeth may be dirty, person doesn't seem to care

Here are more facts from the Mayo Clinic about addiction:

What do you do if you think you're in trouble with drugs?
You can go to any local emergency room and tell them. They'll want to know what you took, and they'll try to make you stable for the moment. You can then be referred for treatment.
If you're not sure, you can make an appointment with your doctor.
You can also call the toll-free number for Narconon, which is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, here is the number for Narconon: 1-866-214-0120 and their website: