50 entries categorized "WTF"

Casually overwrought

Without comment, I present in its umodified entirety the severe-weather alert I saw for Seattle just now:

... SNOW POTENTIAL THIS WEEKEND AND IN THE WEEK TO COME... A COLD AND SHOWERY AIR MASS WILL SPREAD ACROSS WESTERN WASHINGTON THIS WEEKEND. SNOW LEVELS WILL FALL TO 1000 FEET ON SATURDAY AND THEN TO NEAR SEA LEVEL OR JUST A COUPLE HUNDRED FEET ON SUNDAY MORNING. IN SHOWERY PATTERNS... SNOW ACCUMULATIONS CAN BE HIGHLY LOCALIZED... DEPENDING ON ELEVATION AND HOW CONVERGENCE ZONES DECIDE TO FORM. LOCATIONS FROM SEATTLE NORTH TO THE ISLANDS AND SKAGIT COUNTY WOULD BE THE MOST LIKELY PLACES TO SEE ACCUMULATING SNOW... BUT ANYWHERE STANDS A CHANCE. LOCATIONS THAT GET SNOW COULD GET A FEW INCHES... WHILE MANY OTHER LOCATIONS WILL JUST GET FLURRIES OR LEFT OUT ALTOGETHER. THE CHARACTER OF THE EVENT WILL BE SIMILAR TO THE ONE THAT HAPPENED ON DECEMBER 29TH... THOUGH THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE HEAVIER SNOWS COULD VERY WELL BE DIFFERENT. MONDAY AND TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK WILL BE COLD AND DRY. STARTING WEDNESDAY THROUGH THE END OF NEXT WEEK... THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A WIDESPREAD HEAVY SNOW EVENT SOMEWHERE IN WESTERN WASHINGTON. GREAT UNCERTAINTY INHERENTLY EXISTS IN A FORECAST WITH THIS MUCH LEAD TIME... AND IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A HEAVY SNOW SITUATION WILL NOT HAPPEN. CHECK BACK LATE THIS WEEKEND OR BY MONDAY FOR THE LATEST ON THIS POTENTIAL HIGH-IMPACT EVENT. IF THE POTENTIAL STILL EXISTS AT THAT TIME... THEN THE DRY WEATHER ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY WOULD AFFORD AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE.

What kind of day has it been

An indicator of how this Monday will likely go:

I required five attempts to leave the house successfully. I believe this is a personal best.

First try: Realized I had forgotten my work badge (and, by extension, my transit card since they’re in the same badge holder).

Second try: Forgot Netflix DVDs for return mail.

Third try: Turned to lock door, determined this would be difficult since keys were still on the shelf inside my apartment.

Fourth try: Halfway down the stairs, remembered my wallet was still on my desk in the living room.

Fifth try: Half a block away, noticed my phone’s charge level was only 63%. Considered returning for the wall charger, remembered I have a USB charge cable on my desk at work.

So then. How’s your Monday?


Rather an unproductive first day

I walked into my bedroom just now with the sole intent of taking my shoes off.

When I walked out of my bedroom, I had opened the blinds and bedroom window, and turned on a fan. I still had my shoes on, which did not register on me until I walked into the kitchen and did not feel Purina Cat Chow gouging my toes.

This little vignette rather well describes my day at work, wherein I accomplished nothing beyond rebuilding a single Dell XPS M1530 laptop four times despite its repeated need to shut down without warning, I believe due to overheating. I would just get to a point where I could do useful work BAM shutdown, leaving the OS installation in a state of chaos it charmingly deems “improper shutdown”—really this is their code phrase for “gaslight the hapless user by making him run the recovery and diagnostics tools repeatedly”—off I’d go again, restore point in place and just get things set up BAM shutdown.

Somewhere in the middle of all that I managed to contribute peripherally to a couple of problem solutions, entirely by overhearing the conversations in our group work area. Though one of those solutions was really just a few ideas toward a solution—no idea if that one panned out, I gave up and left at 14:45 because I needed to call Dell technical support and my cell-phone battery was nearly dead, its charger lying 7 miles away (as the crow flies) on my desk at home.

The actually helpful (!) Dell technical support representative, who gave her name as Rachel in an attempt to induce in me a belief that she was from the upper midwest (most likely somewhere near Indianapolis) despite her obviously exotic accent, took over control my laptop from God knows how many thousands of miles away and rapidly determined that the problem was an old BIOS, along with two general drivers. But then she noticed I was using Windows 7, and the machine I have is supported only for Windows Vista, because her scripts don’t cover Windows 7. She could offer me further fee-based support, she’d be most pleased to do so!, but I opted to end the call and muddle through various BIOS and driver updates myself.

So far it seems maybe it worked. Laptop has been running for three hours now without a single heat-related sudden shutdown. No sudden shutdowns at all, in fact, only the 12 separate restarts required to install all of the OS and driver updates I found. And they don’t count because the installers warned me about ’em each time.

So yeah. Here’s hoping the remainder of the week is a bit more productive and a bit less technical-support-requiring.

Also I plan to wear no shoes.


I hate this type of bullshit marketing

Got home today, retrieved the mail.

Found this vaguely alarming-looking item:

Official-looking notice from Consumer Reports
I am a Consumer Reports subscriber, but online only. I prefer to keep the paper out of my house, and it’s easier to search for ratings and product info online than by rooting through old magazines.

One of those rip-off-the-edges types of things. So rip off I did, and I found this:

Damnable marketers!
It doesn’t say what the benefits on my account are, so I went to the site and found....

It’s an offer to subscribe to the print magazine for a year, a buck an issue.

Seems skeezy for a consumer organization like Consumer Reports to resort to this type of marketing in an attempt to maintain or increase their print subscriber base.

But it’s nice they admonish me to recycle the notice, even as they’re asking me to contribute to paper waste by subscribing to their print magazine when I’m already an electronic subscriber.


Blue for colon?

Saw this just now in my Twitter stream:

Remember, tomorrow is national wear blue day for colon cancer awareness. http://bit.ly/aVVzA2 /via @Swedish

And I thought, blue. For colon cancer, really, BLUE?

At least with breast cancer there’s a (possibly tenuous, and definitely 12-year-old-humour) link with its color. Pink = areola, so obvious.

But blue? For colon-cancer awareness?

Though we all know why they couldn’t choose the most obvious color, brown:

Everyone would spend the day being mistaken for UPS deliverypersons.


Proving wrong the old adage about stuff not growing on trees*

Via a BBC News article:

A novel—and natural—way of creating new bones for humans could be just a few years away.

Scientists in Italy have developed a way of turning rattan wood into bone that is almost identical to the human tissue.

* Yes, I know rattans are not, strictly speaking, trees, but are more like vines. But the metaphor/lame joke doesn’t work if the facts are paid strict attention.


The problem of Zooey Deschanel

I’m watching (500) Days of Summer and liking it, a lot.

I put it in my Netflix queue because it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I first saw in “3rd Rock from the Sun” (and good Lord, that show ended NINE YEARS AGO?), and a bit later in 10 Things I Hate About You, which I loved. Still do—it was one of the first DVDs I owned, in fact.

“(500) Days of Summer” movie poster (click for larger) Recently I heard about this little indie film, (500) Days of Summer, about a guy who falls in love with a girl who doesn’t. And oh by the way it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I like. Into the Netflix queue it goes.

Only then do I realize: It also stars Zooey Deschanel, whom I dislike.

Now if you ask my family about times in the past when I’ve expressed disdain for actors or actresses, it’s very likely they’ll tell you about the time I declared my utter undying HATRED for Steve Martin. How I went on for a good while about how he’d never been in any good movies, never would be. A useless pile of flesh who somehow managed to be cast in movies and by his very presence contaminated them.

The problem with this declaration of utter undying HATRED was, however, that I actually like Steve Martin. I like several movies he’s been in, among them Parenthood and Roxanne and All of Me, and I’ve enjoyed his comedy bits and his TV appearances and his banjo-playing and many of his essays and other writings, even. It's the damnedest thing, then, that at some point in my life I spent a minimum of 20 minutes describing in vivid detail my absolute contempt for Steve Martin, until Katharine reminded me about Parenthood and All of Me and what about Roxanne and oh, yeah, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and L.A. Story? And I said, hey, the first two times I saw L.A. Story, I did hate it, well at least didn’t like it much, but now it’s grown on me a bit, and really it turns out I don’t hate Steve Martin at all. I just don’t like a couple movies he was in.

Ever since then, when I’ve said I didn’t like an actor, I’ve been reminded of my Steve Martin declaration and its utter insanity.

“Tin Man” poster (click for larger)My dislike of Zooey Deschanel is based mainly on one astoundingly lame turn, her appearance in a SciFi (I can’t bring myself to type that channel’s lame new spelling of its name and since the show I’m going to talk about was before the branding change anyway, puh hah) miniseries called “Tin Man”, a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz for the video-game and text-message era. Zooey Deschanel played DG, the updated Dorothy, with perfect vapidity and a strange detachment that made it seem like she was rotoscoped into the scenes after the fact.

And she was in Eulogy, where multiple generations of a family get together for the patriarch’s funeral and all the secrets come out of the woodwork, and it was like she was channeling her DG self several years in the future.

But now she’s playing Summer in this movie (500) Days of Summer and I find myself thinking, goddammit. She’s good in this. I’m liking her in spite of myself, and it annoys me, because I’m not just liking the character, I’m specifically liking her portrayal of the character.

So.

Who can recommend me a Zooey Deschanel flick that will re-validate my hostility?


Percussive fashion?

Walked into the restroom just now.

Greeted by loud metal-on-metal crashing sounds from one of the stalls. Sound stopped, I think when the person realized there was someone else in the restroom, then resumed a few seconds later, accompanied by grunts.

“Are... you all right in there?” I asked.

Crashing stopped. “Yeah,” he answered. “I’m having trouble with my belt.” And the crashing resumed, continued until I left the restroom a couple minutes later.

Hell of a belt, I guess.


A bit warm

Inside temperature
Click image for full size 600x800
Did NOT expect to find this temperature reading in my living room on the supposed first day of autumn!


Sign of apocalypse No. 319

IHOP NFL-themed stuffed French toast, oh dear God
IHOP NFL-themed stuffed French toast, oh dear God
(Click image for full-size 1280x1024)
IHOP’s newest thing: Football-shaped stuffed French toast for the new NFL season. Strawberries for AFC, blueberries for NFC.


BBC - Earth News - Giant ‘meat-eating’ plant found

A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.

The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap.

via news.bbc.co.uk

Fascinating. Also: I can never go anywhere near the central Philippine highlands—in fact, I’m a bit leery of their existence with us ON THE SAME PLANET.