Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Peeves (Page 3 of 4)

Things that annoy me in general and in specific.

For the Want of a 9V

Beep. Wait. Beep. Wait. Beep. Wait. Beep.

This is the pattern of sound in my home right this minute. I’m not there now, but I know that the beeping continues because, it turns out, we don’t have any 9V batteries in stock. I’ll be hitting the store during lunch, indeed, so that when I eventually get home I can do something about the smoke alarm at the top of the upper stairway.

The one that woke me up at about one-thirty and interrupted my sleep many times until my alarm finally went off, that is. (I’d also like to thank the waste management service for the nearby apartment complex for emptying their dumpster at quarter ’til six in the A.M. Rock on with your bad, noisy selves.)

Am I tired? Oh yes, yes I am tired. It’s going to be a long, long day. The only “arrr“s you’ll be hearing from me will be growls of frustration…

Spelling FAIL

I submitted these pics to the English Fail Blog, but given how lousy of a camera my phone turned out to be, I’m not surprised that they weren’t accepted. In the interests of sharing, however, I put the pics into my own gallery.

First up: If you’re going to make a cheap knock-off (**) of a cheap and silly bumper sticker, you should at least get the spelling right…

And then: Over the years, TriMet went from a “rear doors are opened by the driver” to a “rear doors are pushed open by the riders when the light turns green” system. Some of the older buses, however, don’t support the push-to-open trick. Thus we have new signage for old buses. Too bad nobody at TriMet knows how to proofread…

This little exercise has taught me something, though. I clearly need to own a real camera again.

(** – According to this eBay posting, what we’re seeing is “the original printing…from the 80’s.” Uh huh. Sure it is.)

Five days later, only one has listened.

I’m not even certain that the only download of the Genesis mix from Friday actually involved a live human being, given that the hostname in the logs doesn’t look particularly legitimate. My only problem with this theory is that I’m not sure how a robot would click on the audio player widget. I could be wrong, of course, and the sole listener is certainly welcome to chime in.

So. Do I bother cranking out the other thirteen if nobody at all gives a damn?

No! It will remain static, forever!

Here’s why I don’t watch the television news, kids.

“Blah blah blah polls indicate yadda yadda is the whatever hoo-ha, but that may change.”

Oh, no. Do go on.

Are you saying that poll results, or indeed any given state of affairs at this precise moment, aren’t completely static? Is it remotely possible, perhaps, that everything may change, sooner or later? People, unless you’re telling me about the speed of light or the fact that two apples added to two apples gives you four apples, I’m going to operate under the perhaps-misguided belief that the state of the world as relayed by talking heads on a glowing rectangle might, perhaps, be undergoing change nearly all of the time.

Okay, so they’re not really trying to insult my intelligence. (Not this way, anyway.) It’s almost as bad, though: They’re just filling airtime. With X minutes to blabber through and Y amount of data, the average newscaster is going to run out of Y long, long before X comes to a close. Thus we end up with inane drivel such as, “But that may change.”

These, as George Carlin once joked, are the thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools.

Quick Vista Tech Tip

If you’re trying to install Windows Vista’s service pack number one, you absolutely positively must have the prerequisite little patches installed first.

Mind you, it’s impossible to tell from the Windows Update display which of the little patches are the prerequisites. They all talk about “performance improvement” and “stability enhancement” and blah blah blee, but none of them say, “Oh by the way, if you don’t install this update then your Vista SP1 installer will simply fail. Silently. Leaving you wondering what the hell you did wrong.”

Cute, Microsoft. Very cute.

Of course, once the 16 little updates are installed and you reboot… then SP1 actually appears in the updater display. Gee. I’m sure glad that I downloaded the standalone installer, all 450 megabytes of it.

The kicker? “Service Pack 1 includes all previously released Windows Vista updates.” So… I had to install all of those updates even though I’m getting all of those updates all over again? Stellar.

I’d better be able to get my games working once this is all over or else I’m going to be a cranky little grey duck.

No, in fact, I am NOT a girl.

I spent most of five minutes this morning convincing one of our clients that we do not, in fact, have an engineer on staff named “Karen.”

We can’t all be 100% detail-oriented all of the time. I know this. The process of reading comprehension involves a lot of mental streamlining, the eye pulling in patterns and the brain supplying meaning of some sort as the reader goes along. Thus, when people read my name in print their brains often fill in the meaning for what looks like a familiar pattern. And so, the myth of “Karen” perpetuates.

I shrug this off most of the time, but this particular client isn’t brand new and has dealt with me several times in recent weeks. And yet:

“Yeah, some gal there set up this new account…”

“Actually, that was me.”

“Huh? Sez here it was this Karen person.”

“Check again.”


“Look at the email again. Are you certain it says ‘Karen’ at the bottom?”


Eventually he saw the light of day.

I’ve noted before that we moved quite often when I was a youngster. Every few months it was a new set of teachers, new people at the church on Sunday (during Mom’s religious-leaning stretches) and so forth. Every few months I suffered a barrage of “Karen” and “Carol” and “Kara” miscues. Lots of teeth grinding on my part, as you can imagine. Add this to my scrawny physique and unstable home life and it’s a wonder I grew up reasonably sane at all given what a natural bully-magnet I was.

I still have to grit my teeth on occasion. Today was one of them. Normally, though, I can just laugh it off and forget about it, so it’s not like I’m constantly hung up about this.

Even so, I’m probably going to punch my father in the arm the next time I see him. Just on general principle.

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