July 27, 2007

A Block Too Far

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:24 pm by Ian

Last night, I noticed that a small package was with my mail on the table. It was not addressed to me. In fact, it was not even addressed to our address. It was meant for someone who lives at our number, but one street over on Olive. This morning, I put it back in the outgoing mailbox so it could be properly delivered.

At noon, Jess came to the office and chastized me for doing so.

I should explain. Jess and I have very different ideas about how to handle misdelivered mail. My idea is to put it back out into the system on the theory that, in all likelihood, given a second chance the postal system will deliver it to the right place. Or at least not to me again, which is really all I care about. Jess’s idea is that she should devote tremendous resources toward personally righting the injustice of waylaid post. I’m the guy who confidently defers to the professionals’ ability to make it no longer my problem. She’s the guy who talks to volleyballs and sets sail in a port-a-potty to return a single misplaced box.

I don’t mean to apply a value judgment. They’re just different philosophies; I have my way, and she has her crazy way.

We often get mail for previous inhabitants of the house we rent. Like, daily. For the first year or so, we got mountains of mail for the couple who had recently moved out. We’d collect it in a pile by the door, and every few months I’d be forced to call them up (because I’d made the mistake of getting his number before he moved out) and they’d come get it. Each time I called, I put just a little bit more edge in my voice when I suggested that they might want to file a change of address with the post office. Finally, I was informed that they’d done so twice, but that, in addition to not being able to read properly addressed packages, the post office doesn’t always forward mail correctly, either. True story: several months ago, the house next door was sold, and the previous occupants moved. We received their change of address confirmation notice, which makes me wonder about two things. First, how much of our mail is now making its way to them at their new location? And, second, what possible good could come of sending a change of address confirmation letter to the old address?

About six months ago, we received an envelope addressed to our landlord. While he owns the house, he hasn’t lived her for at least five or six years. I wanted to put it back out with “return to sender”, but Jess was adamant that we could just mail it with our rent payment. The envelope was kind of large, so we’d need to buy an even bigger one to include both it and the rent check, which might put the envelope over one ounce. I told Jess that if she wanted to do all that, she was welcome to. It’s not that I’m really that lazy, it’s just that there’s a perfectly good system already in place. Whoever sent the letter should be notified that their address is out of date, and, if it’s important, they’ll find some other way to contact him and we won’t have to deal with it anymore. But Jess decided to forward it herself (and may have addressed it wrong, since it never reached our landlord. Not that he seemed to mind or even notice until several months later when I called to see why that check hadn’t been cashed) But the important thing (I think) is that we made an effort to be neighborly.

So, back to today:

“Why did you put that package out in the mailbox. It wasn’t addressed wrong.”
“Yes it was. It wasn’t addressed to any of us.”
“It was just off by a block!”
“Making it the wrong address.”
“Yeah, but it’s not like it was another person’s name at our address. You just have to walk it over a block.”
“Why do I have to walk it over? There already exists a perfectly good system of government employees whose sole purpose is walking packages around to the people to whom they are addressed.”

She left in exasperation at my failure to get it.


OMG Firefox Hovertext Bugfix!

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:42 am by Ian

Fans of Firefox and xkcd will now be happy to hear that they can read the whole damned hover text without having to view the source of the page.

It’s been a long time coming, folks.

All others, go about your business.

July 23, 2007

Taste the Rainbow

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:48 pm by Ian

“I think they got the cotton candy and bubble gum flavors mixed.”
“What are you guys doing?”
“Here, what do you think?”
eats one.
“Euugh, this tastes like ass. What flavor is the red one supposed to be.”
“Yeah, it’s ass.”
“Red ass.”
“Like a baboon’s?”

July 19, 2007

Interpret This Comic

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:04 pm by Ian

I have gotten the opinions of 8 people (including me) about this comic, and so far, we’re evenly divided on our interpretations. As much as it pains me to admit it: four of my friends are wrong.

Is he finding the Fibonacci Sequence in her touch…

A: because he searches for meanings and patterns in a detached way. The last line means that he’s lucky to have her in spite of his disconnectedness.
B: because she is purpsosefully tapping it out to reach out to him. The last line means that he’s lucky to have her because she reaches out to him in this way.
C: Some other interpretation (please explain).

The order of the first two options was chosen randomly, and I’m not posting my answer just yet to avoid contaminating your weak little minds (but, it should be easy to figure out. Just choose the right interpretation).

We’re Not Rude, Just Prudent

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:42 am by Ian

“Cool by me if they come over. They’re not vampires or anything, are they?”
“Good point. I think we should take all reasonable precautions.
“They will be will be admitted, but no one must specifically invite them in. If they hang out for a while on the doorstep and act incensed, we’ll know what’s up. Dinner will be cruicified bat, roasted in a garlic and mustard seed sauce, washed down with a refreshing goblet of holy water, and served under a UV lamp.”
“Mmm. My favorite!”

July 17, 2007

He Who Shall Not Be Outsold

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:58 pm by Ian

“I almost want to go to the midnight thing, buy the book, skim through it for where a major character dies, and make up Tshirts like they did for the last one.”
“They did that?”
“Yeah, someone made shirts that say ‘Snape kills Dumbledore on page whatever. There, I just saved you $25 and six hours.'”
“I don’t know if I’d wear that around. You might get beat up.”
“By Harry Potter fans?”
“Good point.”
“They could throw their books at you…”
“They are pretty hefty.”
“This one is supposed to be the longest yet.”
“They’re all the longest yet. Each book is as long as the two that came before it combined.”
“Harry Potter and the Fibonacci Sequence.”

Pretty Pretty Telephone

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:16 pm by Ian

My new cellphone wants to be a Princess.

It twinkles when it does things. And I mean anything. Press a key, and it emits a satisfyingly sparkly tone. Change an option, and it chimes in delight. When it is so lucky to actually receive a call from someone… well, its little electronic heart is positively overwhelmed with glee. The tinny delight of the speaker can’t be masked by mere clothing, causing me to tear at my pocket frantically to silence what sounds like a kidnapped bunch of My Little Pony minstrels.

The default text display is RAINBOW script. There’s another font option, called “Feather”, which is even more fruity. The normal, black text option is in a non-obvious place.

It comes in the color I got, and in hot pink.

I almost feel bad going in and messing with its settings. I am a firm supporter of the self-determination of all beings, including mobile telecommunications devices, but I just don’t think we can live together in harmony this way.

What if this is all just a mixup, a casualty of fate? The first Indian fellow I spoke to on the phone (I spoke to at least three) told me that I could not activate my phone because it was already in use. (He recommended that I take it to the store I purchased it from and they could fix it for me. I replied that I had tried knocking on the webpage, but nobody appeared to be in. Sarcasm is not a strong suit of the average Indian call-center employee, in case you were curious.) I imagine that somewhere there’s a distraught 12-year-old girl missing her cellphone, which was stolen in the middle of the night, brutally repackaged and mailed into slavery by the Sprint corporation.

July 16, 2007

Why UPS Doesn’t Make Calendars

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:42 am by Ian

I’m looking at my computer screen right now, at the tracking page for a package on UPS’s website.

Type: Package
Status: In Transit – On Time
Scheduled Delivery: 07/17/2007
Shipped/Billed On: 07/14/2007

That’s sort of a curious interpretation of what “Next Day” means.

It’s currently in Ontario, CA. It got all the way from Kentucky to California this weekend, but it’s apparently going to take two days to go the last 150 miles.

July 11, 2007

Culmus Ultimus!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:05 am by Ian

The Pope declares that Protestants can’t have churches, just “ecclesiastical communities”.

How disappointing. To think: all those times in my childhood when I thought I was taking communion, I was really just having a mid-service snack. The guy up at the front reading from the bible was just a dude in a dress! Man, for all I know, the Protestant churches will have to start paying taxes.

I, for one, say that it’s high time that Protestants stopped accepting the Pope’s authority on religious matters. Just, you know, break off and do your own thing.

Who’s with me?

July 9, 2007

Sprint SERO – A Cellphone for $30/mo

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:05 pm by Ian

I found a post on the Sprint SERO plan on MyMoneyBlog.com, which describes how to get a really nice plan from Sprint for $30/mo.


  • 500 Anytime minutes
  • Unlimited Nights (starting at 7pm) and Weekends
  • Unlimited Web/Data
  • No activation fee. Free shipping.


  • 2 year contract. It’s harder and harder to get a plan at all without this
  • The free phone sucks. But there are several decent ones for $30.

If you search MyMoneyBlog.com, there are several other posts about the SERO plan, including a way (maybe) to get free unlimited text messages. I haven’t got my phone yet, but as long as they don’t suck much more than cell phone companies always do, this should save me about $100 a year.

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