Aug 01

Papering over it

I’ve noticed that a deli where we routinely get sandwiches has switched to using cheaper, flimsier paper to wrap them.

To compensate for the flimsy paper, the sandwich makers have started using two sheets of it.

I am sure an executive somewhere got a bonus for that. Saving money, donthca know.

And yet no money is being saved and customers aren’t any happier. Instead, time is wasted, processes are less efficient and everyone is unhappy.

That sums up the imperatives and manias of modern American business in one example.

Aug 01


My Exchange-based webmail accidentally got arranged in conversation view somehow.

I couldn’t find a goddamn thing. Couldn’t even tell when I got new mail. I mean, I saw the pop-up, but I had to do an actual search to find the email.

I know some people prefer that, but if I had to use it I’d spend two hours searching for each email. I’m sure I’d get better at it eventually and cut it down to one hour, but still even that is ridiculous.

Aug 01

Who cares about the other side?

When you keep three people imprisoned in your home against their will for a decade, you don’t get to have an “other side.”

There are crimes so terrible and grave that it invalidates everything else about you. Concentration camp executioner who pets puppies and helps old ladies cross streets? Who cares. That “concentration camp executioner” role is not some minor quibble. It defines you forever.

Life isn’t fair even to the despicable. And life doesn’t have any do-overs, take-backs and resets. It’s not a video game. Castro is worthless scum and the world would be better off without him, no matter how many puppies he pets or how much litter he picks up.

Jul 31


It’s amazing how often in my life that people have told me that I am doing something “wrong” even when I end up doing it faster, better and more efficiently than they do, and more reliably to boot, yet I am still “wrong” in the way that I do it.

Funny how that works.

One of the reasons I generally learned to ignore adults from a very young age is that very reason.

Sometimes, they were right. Most often they were wrong. Life experience matters, but dumb is still dumb no matter how old you are.

Jul 28

WGET outta here

The common Unix-y utility “wget” used as evidence of guilt in the Manning trail.

This sort of thing follows from my post below. I’ve used wget probably 500 times in my life. It’s not a hacking tool. I can’t even see how it could be used as a hacking tool.

Criminalizing general purpose computing has long been a wish of the entertainment industry and others.

Amazing how the simplest tools that I use every day are seen as remarkable and inexplicable wizardry by the moron contingent.

Jul 28


In the abstract, I support the egalitarian ideal of allowing everyone access to technology and making that tech easier for them to use.

In the concrete when it makes my life worse, I wish we’d not ever let stupid people use computers – because it really harms me. All of this push to take away browser features, to make some atrocity like Windows 8, to even have a browser like Google Chrome –- all of this can be blamed on attempting to make things simple enough that complete morons can use them.

Which removes most of the features that I actually use and depend on, both for work and for leisure.

Using a “stupid people” OS or browser slows me down so incredibly much it makes me even slower than them, as I have to try to come up  with ridiculous workarounds to get even basic work done.

Jul 26


I am not surprised to read that Florida cities took 3 of the 4 top slots for the worst drivers, including the area where we live.

Listen, everyone thinks “their” drivers are the worst. You’re wrong. I’ve driven in a lot of places, including some car-fire3most Americans have no experience with – such as Egypt. (You don’t know driving until you’re screaming down a four-lane highway seven cars abreast with pedestrians weaving between the non-existent lanes.)

But anyway, I’ve driven in a lot of places. Never have I seen the heinous and insane shit that I’ve seen here in Florida. Never – not in Egypt. Not in Uzbekistan. Not in any US city. It’s not that those things never happen elsewhere. Of course they do. Here, you see it every moment. In other places, you see it rarely. And that’s the crucial difference.

When I lived in Seattle, I got into one near-accident or close call maybe once even couple of months.

Here, some days I get in 2-3 near-accidents when I go to work and 2-3 when I drive home. No exaggeration at all, not in the least.

Nearly every person I know at work has been in a car accident in the last few months. Just last week, a woman I work with got in a car accident less than 50 feet from the building. We all saw it right outside the window. (And car-accidentnot the first one we’ve seen from the window, either.) Another woman I work with has been in three car accidents in the last year, none of them her fault (rear-ended each time).

Thank FSM I have quick reactions and am hyper-vigilant, or I’d’ve almost certainly suffered the same fate already.

On the way home today for instance, someone decided they were going to do a U-turn and get into my lane with me less than 80 feet away and traveling 50MPH. I swerved by them, missing their car by 2-3 feet. If I’d been just the tiniest bit slower, that would’ve been an accident.

I am quite sure they never even saw me, nor did they care that a car could’ve been there.

This happens all the time. That was absolutely normal. Sometimes things like that happen every few hundred feet in Florida. Sometimes you avoid one accident here and then literally two seconds later you avoid another one. You can never rest.

Why is it like this here?

A few guesses. A large percentage of the population here is elderly. Probably 80% of them really shouldn’t be driving. They are completely oblivious and often drive absurdly slowly. Second, this area still has bleedover from the South and all the aggressive masculinity that entails. Third, there is a mix of people here (many Northerners and Canadians) who all bring very different and contradictory driving styles.

Throw all this together, and you have urban fucking chaos.

When I drive to work tomorrow, I can nearly guarantee I’ll almost get into at least one car accident. And most likely one on the way home, too.

It’s part of living here. And it is truly no fun.

Jul 26

Board up

Because people see what they want to see, and are trained to their own reactions, it’s amazing how many times in my life that people have mistaken disinterestedness and boredom for fear and nervousness.

Jul 25


Was feeling like punk tonight.

Not the “real” performance. Lip-synched (they are playing the song, but you aren’t hearing that, but the studio-recorded version), and I really like how they are riffing on that in the video, and how they keep trading clothes.

Also those two women have about the coolest haircuts ever, especially the one who is actually singing the song.