Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blinding the Chicken

Today, I had to build a model for how much in sales and profit a company selling contact lenses to blind chickens might achieve launching said contact lenses, their only product. Apparently, chickens held in captivity for egg-laying tend to attack and even cannibalize their penmates based on a sophisticated hierarchy (hence 'pecking order'), and the common method for dealing with this is beak removal. However, this method of peck-minimizing leads to traumatized chickens who produce fewer eggs, require more food, and sometimes die. A farmer observed his flock of chickens developed cataracts and produced more eggs, never fought, and ate less. He asked a local vet if he could blind his other flocks, and a business idea was born.

I may be being optimistic with the numbers here, but this looks like a great business. So I'm dropping out and going pro on chicken-blinding. You knew me when.

A Tale of Two Meals

I recently returned from San Francisco, where I caught up with many friends and ate good things. My Saturday consisted of two fantastic meals. The first was Chilaquiles from my favorite stand at the Ferry Building farmers' market. It was supplemented by extra avocado from a non-avocado eater's plate, and therefore may have been the best plate of chilaquiles I ever ate.

The second was lovingly prepared by Suds and Glotz at a dinner party where much eating ensued. They were both delicious to eat, but you'll have to enjoy the photos.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What's on Julie's Hand?

Here's the info:

It's been there for almost four weeks
It first appeared in Costa Rica
It does not nor has it ever hurt
It does not nor has it ever itched
It had a couple of dark red bumps in the middle which then peeled off, leaving the pink area that remains
It has not responded to a variety of topical treatments

Thoughts? Comments?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Juliedelphia in Other Outlets

Instead of writing about Spring Break, I can just force y'all to read my Wharton Journal article about it!

OK, fine, you shouldn't have to register to read this. They asked me to recap spring break in Costa Rica for them. I used it as my opportunity to tease people. The journal used it as an opportunity to put a photo of me on nearly every page of this week's issue-- no joke. Here's the text of the article:

At the beginning of the year when the topic of Spring Break first arose, it was in the context of which leadership venture would be the most exciting. My friends celebrated as they won the auction to spend that precious week between quarters scaling an Ecuadorian volcano or having adventures in Patagonia. And I have to admit feeling no regret as I bid these friends bon voyage during a layover in Houston. They were strapped down with giant backpacks containing altitude-sickness medication and garments made of fabric which would 'wick' away moisture. I carried a beach bag with an assortment of sunscreen, bathing suits, and bad magazines.

About fifty Whartonites opted for the challenges of sunbathing, swimmingand of course drinking on the gorgeous Playa Tamarindo. Located on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Tamarindo has become legendary as a surfing destinationand an overall great place to spend a vacation. But there was more to our vacation than just napping and warm cups of gin. Some of our more adventurous outings included canopy tours which had us zipping through the trees 500 feet above the ground, deep sea fishing which provided sashimi and grilled tuna steaks for days of eating goodness, and our twice daily visits to the local smoothie hut for Mango smoothies (con leche, Raj insists).

We also experienced other aspects of leadership. We learned about other cultures, which are important in a global economy. For instance, "cerveza" means "beer," and the Burger King in Tamarindo is a truck wherein you order your Whopper "con queso." The lovely lady who cooked for us most nights made the best flan on the planet, was truly not to be missed. Shots taste better in Costa Rica, probably because it's on the metric system. Also, hugs can be traded for surfboard rentals.If you really want to learn how to surf, pay for a group lesson and then flirt your way to a private lesson. Your classmates may be swept away by a riptide, but you'll plenty of hands on instruction.

We expanded our horizons within the Wharton community. In a grand social experiment, first and second years mixed freely as they only can in the wild. We learned that we're not so different: mosquitos don't discriminate, bad pickup lines are universal, and everyone forgets to put sunscreen on the tops of their feet. One second year house was so luxurious, we are fairly certain a rap video is being filmed there this week. Ironically, this was the one house that failed to host a party. There was a rumor that there was another house of first years in Tamarindo, but we have no proof that it existed.

I also got to know my housemates so much better, as we broke down barriers and threw out old assumptions.I now know Allen's mysterious SPF alchemy method, that Dan has the best vodka watermelon recipe, and that Blair can get to the ATM the fastest. I learned that the way to out the worst-kept-secret-couple-at-Wharton is to force the issue via sleeping arrangements. And I learned that BC's Wharton Journal reputation is totally baseless. Sure he disappears most nights in the company of a lovely lady, but he's just being a gentlemen and staggering, er, I mean walking her home. The only way to sum it up is to go to my good friend and housemate Raj Amin. "I had a ball. I'd give my left nut to go back to Costa Rica." Pura Vida!

Happy St Patricks Day! More photos from my SF visit soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Writers' Block

I've been asked to write a recap of Costa Rica for the Wharton Journal. It's supposed to be 600 words and I'm allowed to mock people and fill it with inside jokes. What should I do? I give you guys all my good stuff. People got drunk a lot. Second years (experiencing senioritis) were outlandish and inappropriate with us. Our guys caught four giant tuna, which we ate raw and grilled. There was a Burger King in town which was literally a truck. The one night we didn't go to a Wharton house party, we ended up with a bar which was crawling with Wharton people. I tried to surf and am covered in bruises as a result. On the second day, we ate a vodka watermelon outside and then a bird ate the leftovers. It behaved oddly for the rest of the day and then wouldn't leave our backyard for the rest of the trip. Is this an article yet?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fear Factor: Costa Rica Style

I'm just back from a week in Costa Rica. We rented a beautiful house on the beach at Tamarindo, where 13 of us were waited on, lounged by the pool, got massages, attended an Oscar Party, and did more shots than I care to count. We also surfed (well, learned to in my case-- and I did stand up a few times!), hosted our fellow Whartonites (I'd estimate 60 of us in all were in Costa Rica for spring break) for a pool party, consumed roughly 65 mango smoothies from the local stand, spotted marine life in tidepools, and visited Monteverde to do 'the king of canopy tours'.

Monteverde is one of the most beautiful cloud forests in Costa Rica. It's also one of about a million places where you can do a canopy tour. You are strapped into a harness, clipped to a metal cable, and you literally zip up to 1400 feet between platforms 400 feet in the air so you get to see the 'canopy' of the forest. Those of you who know me well know that heights and snakes are the two things which scare me most in the world (Donald Trump's hair is the third). I went to Costa Rica a few years back and literally could not do the canopy tour. I was all set to go, and then I just started freaking out and couldn't (or wouldn't) do it. This time, I sucked it up and I did it. It was actually a lot of fun.

After our 9th zipline, they took us back to the ground and told us they had a 'surprise' for us. The surprise turned out to be a platform about 50 feet in the air, and a rope they called 'The Tarzan'. This was not part of the tour, as in you could skip this and you would not miss anything. This was a recreational diversion. The shocking thing is that I actually did it. It was literally the most frightening thing I've ever done in my life. Standing on that platform, I can honestly tell you that every ounce of my being said that taking the step off was the stupidest thing I could do for my own survival. Once I did step off, there's this unbelievable free fall before the rope goes taut and you begin swinging. I believe that free fall lasted about 20 minutes, though I'm told it's more like 5 seconds. And then you swing. I wish I could say that as I swang amongst the trees I felt freer than I ever had, and like this was the most fun I'd ever had. In fact, I maintained the sensation that this was the scariest thing I had ever done. However, I was very proud of myself for doing something I would never even have considered a few years ago. And I will admit the zipline part was incredibly fun.

Enjoy the pictures above, one is me zipping, the other is the moment of truth. I'll have more stories and pictures soon I hope!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

De Ja Vu

Here I am again, sitting in the fine arts library, studying for Accounting.  This time, it’s cost accounting rather than financial accounting, which means that my lack of a grasp on last semester’s accounting materials has no bearing on my lack of a grasp on this quarter’s material.  At least this one is just a quarter class; of course, this means that I’m studying for a final rather than just a midterm. 


I have one final final tomorrow, and then it’s off to sunny Costa Rica for a week.