starting-blast landlocked

Category: amusement

Never let it be said that Britney spears doesn’t have some talent.

She may be virtually incapable of actually carrying a tune, and she may not be able to write her way out of a paper bag if she was handed an instruction manual on exactly what not to do when trying to be lyrical. Hell, she may or may not even be a borderline mental basket case who really aughta be in an institution rather than a tour bus. But clearly one thing people who can’t stand her existence don’t get to say is there’s not some degree of talent there. After all, her music was chosen as Samali Pirate Defense.

The tactic is used when suspected pirates ignore initial instructions to move away from cargo ships, and the pop princess’ songs were chosen as research showed she is the marine bandits’ least favourite singer.

British Merchant Navy officer Rachel Owens, who guides ships through the dangerous seas, tells The Sun newspaper, “As soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can. Her songs were chosen by security accompanying tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most.”

Other than potentially being a human rights violation, and other than the crazy chick still gets air time–but for a good cause, of course–I’m not seeing much in the way of problems, here. No one dies, Britney’s presumedly being well paid for her services, and someone who isn’t me gets to put up with the junk on repeat. everybody wins. Well, except maybe the Samali pirates who’d have probably just preferred they were shot and done with, but eh. Nothing’s perfect.

Here’s your sign, the sequel.

Remember me? You know, the guy that says he’s done with this whole radio silence thing and then falls off the blogging cliff for half of forever? Yeah. Hi.

Remember her? If not, I’ll remind you. She thought it might be fun to take the sidewalk in order to bypass a school bus. The judge she ended up in front of, well, didn’t. And for her efforts, she was handed an idiot sign.

Fast forward a good while. That self same judge is still doing his thing over there in Cleveland. And along comes Richard Dameron to take his turn at it. This particularly pleasant fellow called 911 with threatening the cops in mind. So as a repayment, Judge Awesome ordered him to park himself outside a police station carrying his own idiot sign.

“Actually, I didn’t want to do it,” Dameron told Fox. “But the judge said to do it, so I am going to be the man and stand up.”

Dameron was convicted of threatening officers in 911 calls.

“I was being an idiot and it will never happen again,” says the sign.

I’m long past having any hope this’ll set an example for the next one–I think I sort of thought that about little miss sidewalk, too. But I’m willing to take bets on whether Lugnut over there picked anything up on it. Although, reading that someone’s managed to put together a collection of these might be moderately more entertaining…

Finally. A solid test case for the ‘Stupid Tax’.

When I actually had a job what paid me, part of that job involved charging people who didn’t have the support plan they needed for me to actually, you know, support them. My manager at the time, in some of those cases, called it a stupid tax. Not necessarily because folks were stupid to pay it, but because 9 times in 10, the reason they were calling in was a direct result of their own stupidity–like, say, let’s click on this random Facebook link from a guy who never talks to me, because viruses are pretty. I thought the only people who employed such logic were the folks I worked with. Nope, apparently not. It’s also a thing if you happen to be a debt collector of the drug variety.

While the outcome of the confrontation was one man dying in a parking lot and two suffering bullet wounds as bystanders ran for cover, a notebook found at the scene reveals the collector’s odd street code of conduct.

He kept a handwritten tally of debts, grievances and fines like a principal tracking schoolyard discipline: One cohort was charged $1,000 as a “stupid tax” and fined $1,000 “for having that chick stop by.” A debt was increased for “pissing me off” and fines were “double when you don’t pay or couldn’t do your job,” the notes said, as detailed in a court ruling this week.

And in reading half of that, at least one person will ask. Did this guy happen to know a one-time roommate of mine? So now we’ve got probably the first ever solidified test case for the implementation of the stupid tax. I wonder if he ever actually had it paid…

In which Star Trek becomes a little less like science fiction. You saw it coming.

With the exception of the origional series–well, and the damage they started doing to the franchise with the last couple movies they turned out, you might say I’m a bit of a Star Trek fan. Well, okay, probably more than a bit–days like today would be mighty fine use cases for transporter technology, if we’re being completely honest. So I keep an eye on things that look like they might have been slightly inspired by the land of full-fledged civilizations dotting the final frontier. Which means my interest is a little bit increased when I read about a researcher that has developed the capability of 3D-printing a nearly completely plastic handgun, or the ones who’ve improved on that to put together, again using a 3D-printer, an honest to god pistol.

Okay, so maybe vaguely inspired projects that involve replicating new and interesting ways to kill each other isn’t the healthiest way to start off a Star trek inspired post. I mean hey, I’m screwed up, but not quite that screwed up–well, most of the time. So maybe let’s skip right to the “directly inspired from Star Trek” pile, then, yeah? For that, we skip across the border and land us in Canada, where a software engineering company has put together its very own attempt at a universal translator. At the moment, the goal is only to make the accents of those folks in call centers overseas seem just a little less like about half to three quarters of the problem in any customer service conversation since the dawn of customer service conversations. Having bin on the serving end of some of the conversations that have resulted from a few of those overseas accents, if I had the money handy right here right now, I’d be looking wicked hard at where to sign up. And hey, if it ever gets beyond the experimental stage, perhaps the folks behind it will be cellebrating by cracking open a bottle of an equally experimental and equally interesting present-day version of synthehol–complete with the ability for you to sober up quickly should you need to. You know, in the event your designated driver’s off in the corner drowning himself in the real thing, the fool, and you’ve just blown what should have been your cab money. Of course if this ever stops being experimental and goes mainstream, I wonder if designated drivers will still actually need to be a thing.

From the directly inspired by Star trek, we fly right on over to the directly pulled straight out of star Trek. And we land in North Carolina, where a city councillor there named David Waddell has submitted his resignation–in Klingon. “Today,” he says, “is a good day to resign.”. Not exactly a direct translation, but I mean what are you expecting from a 21st century non-Klingon? It beats the hell out of another politician deciding he wants to spend more time with his family, anyway. so, now, who’s gonna get cracking on this transporter thing? Anyone? I’ll wait…

Don’t Say Gif.

This only maybe matters to 1.25 of you, but I found it vaguely amusing. Since the day of its creation, no one could decide whether the .gif file format should actually be pronounced as it’s spelled, or as JIF instead. For whatever reason, the guy what invented it was remarkably silent on the topic–until recently. And he’s apparently quite offended that so many have so willingly mispronounced the word–apparently, the J way’s the right way, and he’d like for people to start using it right the hell now thank you please. Personally, I’ll stick with saying GIF. Sorry, dude. But because somebody thought quickly enough to mock the hell out of it, and because I can’t hope to be that good, have a Youtube video. If someone could steal a screenshot of this and send it to me in JIF–er I mean GIF–format, that’d be awesome. Readers of the RSS or email variety, jump on over to the site and have a watch. I’d make it available to you in your reader of choice, but flash says no. Blame Adobe. It’s good for you.

Here’s your sign.

I would very much absolutely love to shake this judge’s hand. A judge in Cleveland, in sentencing a woman for driving rather stupidly on the sidewalk to avoid a bus, decided it would be fun to have her advertise her full-blown stupidity. This on top of her having her license suspended for 30 days. So what does he do? For a couple days the next week, he mandates that she spend an hour standing at an intersection holding a stupid sign.

Court records show a Cleveland Municipal Court judge on Monday ordered 32-year-old Shena Hardin to stand at an intersection for two days next week. She will have to wear a sign saying: “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

And all the way to my next amusement I’ll have this in my head. All because of a judge with a sense of humour. Who says there’s never any justice?

Happy April fools day. Please bring coffee.

It’s amazing how involved folks get with the whole april fools day idea, even right down to doing things that honestly wouldn’t be surprising–hey, Google killed their Reader platform, so it’s not completely beyond the realm of possibility for them to off Youtube. And with the day being 3 hours old, I’m already highly amused. Why? Well, let’s see.

  • Youtube dies a death today. All along it’s been a contest for the awesomest video, and it goes see ya later while the judges pick a winner. I knew I should have downloaded that Jeff Dunham video.
  • In Youtube’s place, Google’s beta testing a new product, called Google Nose. Finally, I can make the office here smell like the outdoors without the risk of opening the window and freezing my everloving ass off (hi, still nearly 5 degrees out, nice to see ya). Also comes in handy if it happens to be -40 and you still want that freshly cut grass smell.
  • Apparently Google’s the only one taking an early start at this whole gag product thing, but hey it’s worth it. Kind of. especially if you happen to like the colour blue–and maybe want your entire email system to reflect it. Personally I’ll stick with my self-hosted email, but hey–somebody might just sign up for this one.
  • Because everyone pretty much has been dumbed down to LOLSpeak anyway, Twitter’s offering the LOLSpeak edition of its service, TWTTR, for free. Meanwhile, the grown-ups who actually want to continue forming proper sentences, complete with non-missing letters, will be paying $5/month. They’re also offering the ability to extend your tweet limit by an additional character, for a price depending on the popularity of the character you need (*). A mighty fine way for me to actually put some missing punctuation back on the end of some of my damned tweets. Hey Twitter, let’s talk.

And it’s Google 4, the rest of the world 1. Not bad for a thing that only just started. You should probably disconnect your internets if you don’t have a reasonably good bullshit filter, at least until 12:01 Tuesday morning. Things should return to normal around then. Normal, and baseball. Mmmmm…. baseball.

(*): I’d actually not mind seeing a feature like this. And paying for it. Though, I’d be interested in maybe a discount for all the Tweets who’s ending pounctuation I had to lop off just to make the damn thing fit. On the other hand, perhaps that’s why it’s on the April Fools list–Twitter’d be paying *me* money.

The first honest cable company. Or, hey–this sounds familiar.

I’m a bit of a sucker for snark. Okay, more than a bit. I’m especially a sucker for snark in the form of a Youtube video that just comes right out and, well, says what the folks I deal with on a somewhat regular basis don’t say (I’m looking at you, Rogers–and, to an extent, Bell). Hell, it’d probably be vaguely easier to stomach if these folks’d just come up and be honest with it. But, well, since there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening in about half a forever, I’ll content myself with replaying this video. If you’re going to do the same, you might want to make sure you’re at home and out of earshot of the little ones–there’s a bit of language. Readers of the RSS or email variety, you’ll have to flip on over to the site unfortunately. It’s Youtube, which means flash, which hates email/RSS. Sorry.

Now tell me. Doesn’t this just wanna make you pick up the phone and have a friendly chat with your local internet/TV tech support? Yeah, me either.

In which every bad tech support call I’ve ever taken comes back to haunt me. Twice.

Because I still don’t feel like substance, even if it would appear the things what I was figuring on getting done today aren’t actually going to get done, have a one of these. You can take some comfort in the fact most of the things on that list I can safely say even in my unpaid work as the family geek I’ve never heard. However, my favourite–where favourite equals if I hear it one more time I’m going to break a nearly half finished bottle of vodka over somebody’s head–is one I can safely say I hear way, way too much. It’s also the last one on the list–go figure.

Tech Support: “All right. Now click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “Yes, click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “That’s right. Click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “So I click ‘OK’, right?”

Tech Support: “Right. Click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “YOU CLICKED ‘CANCEL’?!”

Customer: “That’s what I was supposed to do, right?”

Tech Support: “No, you were supposed to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I thought you said to click ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “NO. I said to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Oh.”

Tech Support: “Now we have to start over.”

Customer: “Why?”

Tech Support: “Because you clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Customer: “Wasn’t I supposed to click ‘Cancel’?”

Tech Support: “No. Forget that. Let’s start from the top.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(15 minutes later)

Tech Support: “All right. Now, are you ready to click ‘OK’?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Great. Now click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

And this, right here, is pretty much every tech support call gone wrong in my entire professional and unproffessional career. Except with a few dozen choice explitives under the relative protection of the mute button, copious amounts of coffee, and rather liberal consumption of the afore mentioned vodka upon a return to the apartment and relative safety from, uh, other people. It still got me paid, and in still getting me paid I had a hell of a time finding the ability to care, but reading this now, I find myself amazed I didn’t actually do something regretable–like be completely honest while the offending annoyance was still on the phone. I do have *some* class, on occasion. It’s just not all that frequent an occasion.

That type of call is only topped by a thing I can safely say I’ve only ever, as in ever, received a grand total of once. I was working nights, which is what I spent most of my time working at Dell doing, and I get a call from a customer in Texas. Sweetest person you’re ever gonna talk to, and I can tell she meant well. She just… Well. There’s no polite way to describe it–she could really have used an education in basic common sense before being allowed within 50 feet of a computer. Or at least a basic education in how technology worked. Things like no, ma’am, your computer is not linked to the hive mind.

Tech Support: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just wanted to know. Uh, are your computers down?”

Tech Support: “Uh. N.n.n.no. Why would we be down?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. But my system hasn’t come on all day and I was wondering if yall were having problems.”

Tech Support: “Sounds like you might have a pretty major one. You’ve tried turning it on?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah–tried every so often. It just doesn’t do anything but sit there. I hit the button you’re supposed to hit and nothing.”

Tech Support: *about to become an all too well documented statistic* “Do me a favour, alright? Let’s just make sure no one’s walked by and unplugged you here. Make sure the cable from your tower–the thing you need to turn on before your computer will actually do anything–to the wall is secure at both ends. Just in case. It could be that minor.”

Customer. “Oh. Now why didn’t I think to check before calling?” *puts down the phone, rummages for a few minutes, comes back* “Everything’s connected. The chord goes from the computer in behind the desk and to the wall. I even unplugged it and plugged it back in just to be sure, but it still won’t turn on. Was that supposed to reset things?”

Tech Support: *internal, dramatic sigh of relief* “No. But, you did confirm what I suspected. You’ve got a thing here.”

Because the internet of things can come crashing down and take the world of innocent bystander systems with it. Or something. I never quite got my head around exactly how A fit into B, as in at all. I probably should have had her explain that to me a little better, but I was sort of occupied with replacing her power supply and motherboard–and trying to find creative ways to tell her what I was doing without opening myself up to the inevitable questions about that being how Dell monitors things to make sure all the appropriate updates are installed and to make sure no one goes and does nasty things with the internets–or something. I honestly have no idea. I kind of stopped listening to that side of the conversation after she figured I was the guy that fixed all the things so she could get her email, or something. No, ma’am, I promise–I’m just the Dell guy. The Dell guy that happens to be holding your motherboard and power supply hostage until you stop playing 50 questions long enough for me to get info from you, and hand you same, but still just the Dell guy. At least she didn’t make me glad for vodka. Just coffee. Lots, and lots, of coffee. And I’m pretty sure I took my lunch break early that day…

Best. Google. Search. Ever.

I wasn’t originally supposed to be home right now, so planned a relatively fluff day. Sorry if you were hoping for part 3 of the Paramount disaster–but it’ll show up. And probably so will part 4. But as for right now, the fluff. It’s everywhere. And drowning in awesome. Especially if you’re at all into the whole science fiction thing. Why for? Well. Uh. Ahem.

Nov 5 8:23pm: Technology: You promised me Mars Colonies. Instead, I got Facebook. W.T.F.

If that isn’t at least close to the best ever google, as in ever, then I have no bloody idea what is. I mean, come on. Has no one seen the Jetsons? We’re late. It’s all that time spent on Facebook, I tells ya. And they say social media doesn’t hold society back. By the way–if anyone needs me, I’ll be somewhere in the vicinity of Twitter.

In which there is a god. And he plays for the wrong damn team.

I take it all back. Every, single, goddamn word. I accept what the 80 million Christians who’ve been trying to convert me have been saying since the first time I asked one of them what the hell he was smoking. God does exist. There is physical proof. But does it seriously have to wear Senators colours? Hey–it came direct from Siri. How wrong can it be?

Readers of the RSS or email variety will unfortunately need to click over to the website to have a listen–Youtube has yet to invent a technology that lets you play it from your client of choice. Blame Youtube. Or flash. Or both.

There is a god. And if there is a god, it plays for the Ottawa Senators. And if worshipping God means worshipping the Senators, Christianity has just lost me forever. As in, I can’t even hear you now. That kind of following just is not physically possible if you’re me. Or any proper fan of anything that isn’t the Ottawa Senators. Divine intervension or not, just no. But hey, I’ll watch him and his team get stomped out of the playoffs any day.

Semi-related: I have just answered why it is the Leafs haven’t seen playoff action since 2004. Damn you to hell, God. Just damn you to hell.

Edited to add: So apparently the email utility I use strips flash content. Nifty. things to note for next time. Take 2, this time with flashy goodness.

And now, a Canadian conspiracy theory.

Have I mentioned that I do love a halfway decent conspiracy, if the theorist behind it puts just a teeny tiny little bit of thought into it? No? Well I have now. The problem with most theories, a la the type you’ve seen in the last few years from south of the border, is they’re pretty grounded in somebody’s imagination. They don’t even really claim any starting ground in reality, beyond whichever news story they’ve picked up on to remind folks their theory still exists. It’s how you end up with things like Sandy Hook was all about banning guns, or your various incarnations of the 9/11 inside job theory and whatever other crapola folks decided to attach to it–complete with the theory that 9/11 wasn’t actually a terrorist attack.

Not to be outdone, somebody’s decided to give “Conspiracy Theory Canada” a shot–because, you know, everything’s original up here if we just slap “Canada” on the end. And they’ve sent me my very own not so personalised copy. Up side: at least this one starts off somewhat grounded in reality. Wanna see how long it takes for the train to jump that track, though? Keep reading. Oh, and “Leon”, if this wasn’t the result you were hoping for, please feel free to try harder. A little sanity might go a long way.

Here’s the reason the supreme court found in favor of alcoholics and drug addicts as being disabled. 1. In 1995 when Mike Harris made a public statement that all ODSP recipients were lazy drug addicts and alcoholics he had to retract his statement. Now they found a way to make it real!

Hey, not bad. Relevant case law, plus the statement of the guy what provoked it. Decent starting point. Just one problem. It doesn’t exactly exist–or, at least, it doesn’t exist in any medium that can actually be referenced. Probably why you didn’t provide a reference, would that be about right, Leon? That’s okay. It happens.

2.Once the supreme court decision was made Community and Social Services Madelene Meuller what ever the F her name is was able to work with other policy makers to determine a way to help with the NWO agenda of a cashless society…they always work from the standpoint of getting the most vulnerable first. They were able to merge OW/ODSP recops and then classify all of us as being incapable of handling our own cash.

I must have missed getting that letter. Since, you know, I’ve delt with ODSP on more than half a million occasions. Still do, in fact. Yeah, they’ve got their issues–and I’ve called the now former minister of social services out a time or two for those issues (You can read everything I’ve put up here on this page). Oh, the two programs share an office in some cities, sure–for the record, that doesn’t include Ottawa based on my few visits there, but if that’s the new definition of merging I think somebody needs to call up Oxford right quick. Again, good try, but it kind of falls a little bit short.

If you noticed they brought out in 2012 the new food card to OW recips! They can only spend it at certain stores and only on food…talk about removing dignity? wtf! Then in the new year 2013 Tim Hudak piece of discriminatory scum…announces that he wants to implement the food card to ODSP recips too!

Um, waitasec. What? No. Yes, the conservatives proposed a food only debit card in 2013. But 1: it was for welfare recipients, not for ODSP. And 2: it was a trial baloon. One not too dissimilar to the foodstamps program in the US, if my reading of it’s correct–oh wait, now we’re getting into the motherland of conspiracies. I should probably point out that trial baloon’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of floating–but for much more, how you say, sane reasons. I have a few of them, but they’re for an entry where Leon doesn’t get my full attention. Sorry. Okay, next.

We will live in slums, eat GMO foods, where second or third hand clothing and basically dissolve into the Canadian governments planned and insidious genocide on disabled people.

… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND on your left, reality’s exit sign. That didn’t take long at all. New World Order, government going all exterminator on its population for sport, the type of class warfare only really seen in the movies–all in one not very well constructed sentence. And no supporting evidence. Awesome. Also: if you’re on ODSP and can aford to buy entirely natural/organic/green/whatever the hell you call it food, you’re either getting way more than you’re supposed to be from ODSP or lying. Sorry, but that shit’s bloody expensive.

What amazes me is that; no one stops to think that many disabled people and their families paid into this system of support for decades and this is what we get when we need to collect? All I can say is; people working in government are fucked! and if we don’t look out for each other we’re fucked so there needs to be a group of ODSP recips that will get together in each area and begin to plan heavily for the time the sheep are brought to the slaughter.

That exceedingly loud sucking sound you hear is the last vestages of sanity leaving the argument entirely on its own, drifting somewhere between nonsensical and fiction–and having the door to both slammed on its nuts. Yes, yes, the government is the enemy. We hear it every 6 months or so–again, from the other side of the 49th. Thing is, they at least try to prove their point–complete with actually, you know, including some variation of verification, even if that verification comes from a fellow crackpot who’s got none of his own. All that’s missing from this mess is the class favourite–the media’s got everybody so bloody brainwashed that none of this shit’s allowed to see print, lest somebody up and get arrested, killed, or both at once. Oh, yeah, and quick everybody get your guns. But I guess some nutter stateside has a copyright on that. But copyright is government, and down with government–so come on, Leon. Where’s the blame for the media? Oh–I get it. They paid you off, right?

Yeah that must be it. Tell ya what. I’m no publisher, but I’ll see if I’ve got a contact for one. This could be a best seller. Spruce it up a little, add a bit more depth, throw in a plot twist or three, you could make millions. Then you could get off ODSP and no longer be on the government’s hit list. Or, in the alternative, you could just call the institution you ran away from and let them know you’re ready to come back home. A smart man would do that second one. I’ll see you in Chapters.

The conspiracy theorists have found me. And ya know what? They’re kind of adoreable.

There’s whacky, messed up spam, there’s loopy conspiracies, and then there’s whacky, messed up spam dressed up to look like loopy conspiracies. I’m used to hearing all about them on TV, or the radio, or reading about them in $newspaper–see: Alex Jones, meltdown of. But this is the first time I’ve ever had one sent specificly to my email address. I mean hell, they didn’t even bother to do me the courtesy of slapping it into the contact page. It must be wicked major important then, right? I mean, only hugely important things get flung directly at my email address–and without any real delay at that. Nope, sorry, try again. It’s just a random American nutbar stalking me. How boring. Bright side: in so stalking me as this particular nutbar chose to, he/she/it more than happily self-mocks. But here–let me help out where I can.

The ISP who stole Christmas?

This would have probably been better timed last week, but I was in the middle of 80 million things last week. So, have it this morning instead.

I haven’t been a TekSavvy customer for several years. But, because I can, I still keep up with the community of folks who still use them–and those who’d love to. It was while trolling that community that I tripped and fell over this. In case you don’t feel like going clicky, have a paste.

ruined xmas.. ty tek sav soo,.. as a single parent to three kids, all they wanted and i could afford for xmas was internet service. I checked out tek sav. as seems like a good thing ? i checked the website to confirm service was available in my large centre (whitby ontario). i called the number and again they confirmed the install and availablilty. they sent me an invoice, and welcomed me to the tek sav. family in emails. i paid the invoice and modem costs, and was promised install for dec 28 2012. xmas morning all that was under the tree was a posterboard with Internet written on it by the kids. tek savey was delivering the connection dec 28, so they told me repeatedly. on dec 26 i get a phone call, saying, opps.. service you ordered, paid for, and we confirmed several times is not available in your area. then i recieved an email confirming me cancelling the service that i never did get. i had to break the news to three teens that this company, that claims to be different, better, dependable, and no nonsense, let us down with false promises. so after let down i say, do i get my money back ? they say maybe, after i send back the modem i did not recieve yet. dec 29 i go to post office and refuse delivery of modem as per their instructions. so now i sit and wait for some promised refund so i can actualy try to get serive elsewhere, and deliver the xmas gift that never was yet. thank you tek sevvey for wrecking a large part of our xmas. thank you for the let down due to your incompentance. i understand if service is not available in our area of 180,00 people, what i dont understand is why your website said sure, you took my money, made promises, made commitments, and then said oppss.. not our fault. i sent emails and i just get,.. opps not our fault. well the fake comitment that service was available in my area was not the fault of the grinch, but rather a compant that seems not to know their ass froma hole in the ground. i am not bitter, i am hurt that a company that promotes itself as caring, and you will be looked after seems to not give a rats ass

So, in summary: You broke Christmas! You bastards! No biscuit! Okay, that was much easier than I thought. Oh and, just so we’re clear, activation and the like with TekSavvy can easily come to a couple hundred bucks on an easy day. That’s a couple Christmas gifts in my family. Ah, but then again, we already have internet.

In which I do absolutely nothing profound for 12/12/12 12:12.

So If you’re a nerd, kinda like me, you find today’s date somewhat amusing. I suppose the same thing goes for if you follow any one of the 80 million people who officially declared today “international sound check day”. So here’s the thing. In honour of today, and to celebrate the fact you’re not gonna see very many more dates like this, I did… absolutely freakin’ nothing. Okay, not entirely true. At 12:12 on 12/12/12, I was somewhere between asleep and awake. Probably more towards the asleep end of the spectrum. That’s how I celebrate most geeky dates like that, you see. Entertaining, yeah? I suppose I could make up for it by doing 12 shots of vodka tonight in 12 minutes, but I’m not allowed to operate heavy machinery after I’ve been drinking. Or the blog, for that matter. Or, uh, just about anything potentially breakable–lest it become slightly more breakable in my otherwise, er, somewhat steady hands. So instead, I’ll spend 5 seconds on google, and link you to a list of 12 songs with 12 in the title. And that, right there, would be my 12/12 contribution. sorry it’s not right at 12:12. Guess I’m just not that profound. Sue me.

Why I should probably give up on Simply Hired.

Shortly after I lost my job at Dell, I jumped on to every job advertising bandwagon going. Canada’s Job Bank. Indeed. Eluta. Hell, even Kijiji. They used to land me quite a few halfway decent interviews. In recent months, though, at least some of them have gone quite down-hill. Which leads to ads not unlike, well, this one, from Simply Hired.

Asdf at Gimpy (Ottawa, ON)

I’m thinking it may be time for me to toss Simply Hired off to one side. In other, related news, does anyone need a geek?

Rob Ford is an idiot, the left half of Toronto’s got a hate on, and other asorded goodness.

What we have here is a random thinggy. Because random thinggies are good. Even if done at half past odd while coming off a weekend spent in Pembroke with a machine that could use a couple replacement components. And even if done by a guy who apparently wouldn’t know what spelling was if it walked up and shook his hand. Thank christ this will see some editing before it sees the light of day. Maybe. And since I should be sleeping before we have to leave in an hour and a half, have a list.

  • If you live in Ontario, you’ve probably heard about the Rob Ford kerfuffle. He’s been ordered–well, pending appeal, anyway–removed from office as toronto’s mayor after participating in and voting on an issue that, well, kind of involved him. There are two really good entries on the subject by Toronto Mike, with some pretty nifty comments on both, from both the folks in favour of and against what happened and how it happened. The short version: Rob ford is an idiot for voting on a resolution in council as to whether or not he should pay back what amounts to pocket change if your name is Rob Ford–even if he voted with the majority, and would have ended up not having to pay it back anyway. But that there’s one person in Toronto, namely the voter that took him to court over it, that has the power to remove someone the majority voted in from office is a little tiny bit concerning. Not quite as concerning as the fact the judge interpreted the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to mean removal was his only option. Or as concerning as the fact that mayors of several other cities (I’m looking at you, Quebec) have either resigned or not for far worse. And let’s not talk about Dalton McGuinty. Both sides kind of flopped this one. And now toronto gets to more than likely go through another election–in which Ford wasn’t even banned from running, meaning he could very likely end up right back where they tried to kick him from. Not bad for a broke city.
  • The NHL has killed off pretty much half the season at this point. Is anyone even still paying attention? How many more times are talks going to end up going nowhere before they just come out and tell us what we’re already expecting? Bright side: the Leafs have their first .500 season going into Christmas since… uh… anyone remember when? Now about baseball.
  • We were staring at -13 degrees C coming on the end of last week. That’s freaking cold degrees, if you’re in the US. It was a fair bit above freezing in spots yesterday–note: not *this* spot, as evidenced by our driveway. Mother nature, please to be making up your mind. Thankya.
  • May and I came to Pembroke this weekend for a Christmas party. Well, it’s what the natives call a Christmas party–they serve passable dinner, we get to hear a couple speeches, then a couple somewhere in the neighbourhood of tolerable old guys from around here get up on stage and try not to kill what would otherwise be okay songs. But the conversations were good, anyway.
    • Related: I learned more about my cousin’s girlfriend in a couple hours during that party than I think I ever wanted to know about someone I’m not dating. Small towns’ll do that to ya, I guess. Is it too late for a refund?
  • This. So much this. It was on my mockery list. Then I read this post. I can do no better. Well, okay, I *probably* could. But both caffeine and alcohol are required and I only have easy access to one.
  • The one year I don’t get a lot of folks asking what I’d like for Christmas is the one year I’m exceedingly easy to buy for. I’ve had an iPhone for a bit over a year and a half. This means iTunes. This means gift cards. So if you’re looking…
  • There is a Twitter. It is awesome. And I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But, should you find yourself watching the afore mentioned twitter and then developing a liking for Big Bang Theory, you can gladly hand the credit this way.
  • And lastly, because there can never be enough promotion, click, then hit play. You’ll love it. Yes, I’m a part-time fortune teller now. And also the awesome factor. I’m right. You’ll see.

Did Lacey really do it?

So everyone by now should be aware of the fact that there’s a cute adorable puppy named Lacey here right? Wrong.

That horrible person over here named James does not know how to write about the important people in his life you see. So lets take care of that now. Stop, change the page and go right over here and read about what James fails to tell you about.

Not to mention I’m just so much better.

Ok, back to business.

So a couple of days ago James discovers a wet spot on the floor and you know what that means?

Yep, that Lacey struck again, *growls*

But wait, was it really Lacey? Some people say James really did it and blamed the poor dog that was currently sleeping in her crate.

Then to make matters worse he tried to kill me. That horrible beast! He sprayed loads of air freshener to try and cover the smell and me me have to close the room door and bury my head under my pillow and blanket. *sighs*. I mean he knows I have chemical sensitivities. What was he thinking?

Wait, never mind don’t answer that. James thinking, hell would freeze over!

So, what is your vote? Did Lacey pee on the floor or was it James?

May, James better half

If my family had a theme song…

things have been relatively quiet on the home front lately, which actually somewhat surprises and disturbs me. Usually, somebody’s drinking something, breaking something, screaming at someone, throwing way too huge a party and not inviting me, or spending money they don’t have at a casino I wasn’t invited to. Hey, if spending money you don’t have’s the in thing, I should be the first one to get an invite. So I got to thinking. Parts of my family could really use their very own theme song. And around the same time that idea popped into my head, so too did this song. And because random songs don’t live in my head too long before they wind up here, I’d be somewhat negligent by not posting this one. Hey, I know two people this fits with no effort whatsoever. People who know my family and are still brave enough to read this probably know exactly who I’m talking about. But, hey, asking never killed anyone. Readers of the RSS or email variety will, unfortunately, need to click over to the site to listen. Sorry. For everyone else, here it is. Don’t be afraid to play it more than once. I already have.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Old folks say the darnedest things.

So I’m sitting at Macdonalds having supper with May last week–of course, this would be before I start doing this regularly again, and this nice enough couple of old folks come in and grab the table next to us. Now, ordinarily I don’t really take much notice when old folks drop in–they usually just do what they do and either ignore your existence or, in rare circumstances, go absolutely bonkers over the fact that OMG you’re blind and you got here by yourself! The former’s perfectly fine with me, the latter’s somewhat amusing. What these two did, though? If I’d borrowed Shane’s recorder that day, I could have had interesting fun with that. From a couple of old people in a fast food joint, we learned:

  • Turtles don’t actually die of natural causes. Sure, they’re vulnerable to disease and whatnot and would make for easy prey, but if it wasn’t for that, they’d be immortal.
  • Water will become the new oil. Before too long, we’ll be facing the possibility of being invaded for our water. Which, of course, will drive the price up and all hell will break loose.
  • Everything’s being run by technology nowadays. Machines and the like are everywhere, doing just about everything. If we’re not careful, it’ll cause the US’s already high unemployment rate to smack into 28%, as opposed to the current 8%. They didn’t say a thing about Canada, but the inner geek just went all “Skynet exists” for about 15 seconds.
  • Dogs can apparently understand complex sentence structures. Or at least, they have a vocabulary of around a thousand words and can understand phrases such as, we’ll say, “would you like”. Gee. I wonder if May’s pup would like to demonstrate for us. I’d ask mine, but sadly she’s only motivated by food.
  • Related: cats only understand about 500 words. So much for that theory about cats being smarter?
  • There was something in there about life either being or having been or possibly could be present on Mars. We may or may not have actually landed there. We may or may not be wanting to start a colony up there. Uh. Maybe. depending on which 5-minute period of the conversation you’re listening to. But we know Mars exists, anyway.
  • And we somehow went from those toy lasers your kid brother probably habitually pointed in the general direction of the eyeballs of a passing pilot, to those same lasers being used for corrective eye surgery, to those exact same lasers being used as aircraft defense. Or, at least, to bring down an aircraft–they never actually mentioned defense or anything. Bright side: at least one of them was sane enough, ish, to point out that maybe his buddy was getting just a tiny bit whacky with his predictions. Okay, okay, so the word he used was “futuristic”. “Science fiction” could also apply. I’ll stick with “whacky”.

And I didn’t even have to stir anything up with this conversation. Of course, May had to point out as they were leaving that it could have been rather amusing if they’d taken notice of the fact the two people seated at the table next to him were pretty much totally blind, and huge fans of the very technology they say will be the downfall of the US’s job market. I, personally, still cringe at that very thought. Although, to be fair, I don’t think they’d of paid much attention had we chosen on that trip to bring the guide pup. Their own little reality seemed much more comfortable to them. Thank christ, because it was a hell of a lot more amusing for us. Forget about kids. Old folks say the darnedest things.

What’s in a name, anyway?

Tyler Gold didn’t just want to be known as Tyler Gold. It doesn’t do much for name recognission, you know. And being a business man involved in a not really disclosed line of business (Kinda makes you wonder, eh?), name recognission is key. Right? Sure. We’ll run with that. A judge in York, Nebraska sure did. And he ran all the way to changing Tyler’s name, legally, to “Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold. Okay, so you’ve got the name recognission thing down pat. Awesome. congrats and whatnot. Now here’s a question. How in the 7 levels of hell are you gonna fit a name like that on your creditcard? You do sign those, don’t you? Yeah, inquiring minds and all that. Do explain, if ya please–Google’s got nothin’.

This has “In Death” series written all over it.

Everything’s cool in science fiction. Cars can drive themselves, a phone without video is considered what the Nokia 6682 is in today’s cell phone market, everything electronic is also voice activated, and if you read the “In Death” series by J.D. Rob, handguns are banned except in cases where they’re collectors’ items. Whether we want to admit it or not, more and more of science fiction’s staples are showing up in today’s world–so much for us not having an informed culture. This idea looks like it came straight out of the “In Death” series.

Tobacco kills people. Everyone knows this. So to try and combat that, a company has come up with an electronic cigarette idea (disclosure: I support this article’s political position, even though I 1: don’t smoke and 2: didn’t link it for its political viewpoints). In the series in question, tobacco is either banned or very hard to come by–the author doesn’t actually specify which one it is, but unless you’re among the rich crowds, you probably don’t have access to it in any case. Instead, people are doing, well, exactly what this article describes.

To the uninitiated, walking into this suburban Toronto bar must look like a throwback to the 1980s. A cloud of what appears to be smoke can be seen hovering over a group at the far end of the establishment. But a quick check of the sense confirms that looks can be deceiving.

The air is fresh, lacking the pungent aroma of burning tobacco; the eyes aren’t watering with the sting of fresh smoke seeping into the sockets; and instead of ash trays and cigarette packs, the tables are full of small bottles of liquid and other pieces of equipment. On this night, a group of Toronto-area electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, enthusiasts are getting together for their monthly meet-up.

Wouldn’t you know, science fiction does serve a purpose. How many more steps now before smokers get to freely comply with another of my political viewpoints–smoke all you want, but keep it to yourself. Oh well, the idea’s still interesting. And that it looks like it came right out of the only actual series I’ve managed to read through and not completely lose my mind makes it both interesting and amusing. Hell, why not? Let’s see where this thing goes.

JAWS for Windows gets a career change.

For those of you who don’t know, JAWS for Windows is the screenreader that some of us in the blind community use to be able to do things like, well, post random pointlessly amusing things like this to our respective blogs at half past late in the morning. You can find more information on the screenreader, and grab yourself a 40-minute demo, over here. When it’s not being a screenreader, though, it’s taken up singing as a secondary passtime. It’s still only a beginner, but there’s potential. Just have a listen for yourself. Folks reading along via RSS or LiveJournal may need to click on over to the actual site to listen. Sorry.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Consider this when planning your next family function. It could be a huge success. Or it could flop. We here at WTN take no responsibility for either–but we *will* take your barely entertaining recordings.

The things that make a happy.

Random walks that result in much picture taking. And the accompanying road trip. Life is good. Cheering up Trish? Much better.

Hey look, a professionally done fake security warning.

I used to get these once per week. Some of them were just amusing enough to be posted here. Mostly because someone actually bought them. This one, though, actually looks–dare I say–professional. The way it does when you know they’re at least trying, but still don’t stand a chance in hell.

From: Quigley, Jim [Jim.Quigley@canadorec.on.ca]
Sent: Sun 12/06/2011 8:01 PM
To: info@webmail.com
Subject: System Administration?

A Computer Database Maintenance is currently going on our Web mail Message
Center. Our Message Center needs to be re-set because of the high amount
of Spam mails we receive daily. A Quarantine Maintenance will help us
prevent this everyday dilemma.
To re-validate your mailbox please Click below: CLICK HERE

Failure to re-validate your mailbox will render your e-mail in-active from
our database.
Thanks
System Administrator

Uh oh. I’d better go fix my official-looking email account. Yeah, that one. The one I don’t actually have. Nice try, though, kids. It was 30 seconds of amusement.

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