2020-09-09

David Mitchell FACLC on texting vs calling

David Mitchell asks when phone calls became so intrusive:


When and why did the very idea of making a phone call turn into something so intrusive?

When texting appeared, I suppose, but why?
Speak for yourself Mitchell. Years and years ago when I started being old enough to stay at home without supervision, one of the things I did when home by myself (besides think to myself "wouldn't it be wonderful if there was some sort of international network of computers I could look stuff up on") was enjoy not answering the phone when it rang because it was never for me.

Did we have call display and an answering machine? Nope, at least not at first. It didn't matter though because the call was never for me: unless it was my parents calling in which case anything they had to tell me could wait until they got home. Even if they were calling to say they'd be late, they'd be eventually so I just didn't pick up.

This was long before text messaging was a thing.
The point is, replying to an email is a massive chore. Replying to a text can be a small chore. Answering the phone, and having a quick chat is no chore at all, and nor is listening to an answer phone message, so let's not be afraid to do it.

After all, we managed it in the presumably more formal old days. People say that before mobiles we were less in thrall to our phones, but they're misremembering. If the house phone rang, it didn't matter what you were doing, you ran to answer it. And you answered it in its own special room of the house, whilst standing up
So much for the "no matter what you were doing" myth. It wasn't true for me and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. In fact I delighted in training myself to not go running to the phone like Pavlov's dogs.

Bonus David Mitchell on the telephone: I really wish I could get some idiots who think I want to talk with them on the phone more than once a year to stop calling more than once a week and then sounding mad that I don't want to talk on the phone. Ever.
I'm no good at all at getting people off the phone I'm terrible at doing that transition thing where you subtly indicate that although of course my true pleasure would be if this call could simply go on all day and long into the night to be ended only when one of us falls asleep or dies of starvation nonetheless in this imperfect world of ours...

2020-08-19

David Hasselhoff Seth Macfarlane Roast Comedy Central

Editors Note: this post was written in August 2010 but for some reason ended up stuck in draft status. As a result, 10 years to the day after it was supposed to go online we have reposted it as-is.

Saturday night I watched the Roast of David Hasselhoff on Comedy Network. As I mentioned on Twitter, Canada's comedy network was able to include all the fucks they wanted, yet censored out an AIDS joke at Pam Anderson's expense.

Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane was the host, and other than a way-too-long Simpsons related joke from Gilbert Gottfried and a few South Park gags, people left Macfarlane alone.

Because of this, I just while putting away dishes came up with a few gags that while not particularly red-band material, tear that liberal piece of trash up a little.

Seth Macfarlane, ladies and gentlemen, the luckiest man in Hollwood. You know, a lot of people don't know this, but Seth was supposed to be on one of the planes involved in 9/11, but missed it. So really, really, the luckiest man in Hollywood. He survived 9/11 and has no less than three hit shows on FOX -- well, two plus The Cleveland Show -- but that isn't what makes him the luckiest man in Hollywood. No, its because he's the only creative talent in Tinseltown who doesn't have to worry about having his work stolen by Seth Macfarlane
As I mentioned, The Cleveland Show is pretty bad. In fact, that show is so terrible that after its first airing Jesse Jackson called Mark Fuhrman to apologize.
Seth Macfarlane is a pretty liberal guy, we all know he loves to burn prominent conservatives. It's a little unfair though: if Sarah Palin was as simple as she was portrayed on Family Guy she'd be one of its writers.

2020-08-16

I don't know why everybody's up in arms at me, I'm not the sodomist here

A classic...

Now that we can identify faggots in the US Army, is there some way we can help the Iraqis and Afghanis identify them too? #tcot

2020-08-09

This day in (blog) history

Eleven years ago Tim Horton's came to New York City. Having seen Tim Hortons in NYC, it's...unimpressive. The lineup at MSG after a hockey game are all people in Leafs sweaters though.

Anyways, the joke I made was it was the 27,922,361st to do in New York City and #27,922,362 was "TBA"...

Who knew it would be 15000 people get together for a rally for niggers who think they are chicks (who probably total under 15 people in the entire state).

2020-08-06

What, Me μεριμνάω?

When you do a Bing search for any Greek God in the pantheon, you'll see a listing of them all and notice one of them isn't quite like the others...



Strangely though when you do a Bing image search for Perseus that Alfred E. Neuman photo doesn't come up, so I'm unsure what the thumbnail is "tied" to. Alfred E. Neuman's Wikipedia page makes no reference to the Greek God, and vice versa.

Related (and speaking of tied): In 2009 Google Images had its own bizarre search result...

2020-08-02

Free expression for me, but not for thee

Cisco Systems fires employees for disagreeing with #NiggerLivesMoreImportantThanSocietyMotherfucker during an "open" forum.

The "incident" at Cisco (read: people expressing well reasoned opinions) has been a microcosm of similar situations at other silicon valley companies, who are left to try and figure out how to posture to the public they are concerned about racism, while at the same time not laying off their entire staff. Some believe that protests at companies could be next if employees aren't "trained" to think the right way.

Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said: “Employers should be striving for zero tolerance when it comes to racism and discrimination, period. The protests we’ve seen in the streets have become part of our new normal and will eventually make their way inside workplaces if employers fail to meet the moment.”
Clarke is proposing the U.S. version of the Rachel Arab legislation I objected to last month.

2020-08-01

Black fragility

How fragile are they?

You just put your knee on their neck for eight minutes and they suddenly can't breathe.

Be stronger.

Welcome to August

2020-07-30

Almost as much hysterics as Voyager's captain

When you do a Bing search for Star Trek Voyager the preview is this word salad...

I challenge anybody to explain what half of this means.

In the 24th Century the Federation star ship USS Voyager has just been released for take-off and for a Deep-Space mission to the Badlands. The Badlands is the hideout for so-called traitors to the Federation. They call themselves the Maquis. The Maquis are mostly ex-Federation and some freelancers. Anyone who pays their barging? is their leader. Captain Kathryn Janeway is the chosen captain for this mission because of her training and experience. She requests to speak a prisoner and former Maquis helmsman called Tom Paris. (Tomas Eugene Paris) Because of Mr. Paris, his experience and knowledge of the Badlands, he is the perfect advisor to go on the Deep-Space mission. Mr. Paris is also the Son of the Commander-Admiral Paris, Head of Starfleet. Setting off for the Badlands, they find no Maquis ship what so ever. Not even a trace. Some while later, they get swept away off their 'feet' and are carried to the Delta Quadrant - 75,000 light-years from home. There they find a stating? which belongs to the Caretaker who lately takes care of an entire race called the Ocampa. A friendly-suspicious person called Neelix is hailing them and warning them to stay away from his junk. She makes a deal with Neelix and he can come on board. If it isn't for Neelix, they couldn't save the abducted Maquis and Starfleet Operations Manager Harry Kim from the Ocampa world. This world is threatened by a race called the Kazon. Through the Caretaker, they meet the Maquis and decide to become allies because the situation doesn't look promising. They eventually will get at war with the Kazon since they want to have the - already dying - Caretaker's station and destroy the Ocampa. Captain Chakotay rescues Voyager from destruction by the Kazon and destroys his ship in the process, by colliding it with the Kazon ship. They will form one single crew and rescue the missing B'Lanna Torres and Harry Kim. Kes, Neelix's girlfriend and Nelix himself will stay on board and serve the captain by becoming part of the crew. Maquis and Starfleet bond together, they set off on a 75 year journey to the Alpha Quadrant, where Earth is. Since some of the crew

2020-07-29

The month dilemma

We're about to run into a problem.

As you know, on a lot of forms we tend to abbreviate months. It's easier to type and view, but especially in the computer era we like having narrow columns on spreadsheets. You can see in the example below that to abbreviate the months drops your space requirement by 47%:



The summer months cause a bit of a wrinkle though. May, for example, gets off easy: it's already only 3 letters long. What tends to happen is that people get larger spreadsheets with schedules that no longer show April dates by the time May turns to June. For example, many businesses have to align weekly plans which feed into monthly sales metrics. May 1st 2020 for example was the Friday of Week 18, so even though four of the five business days of that week fall within April, it counts as a May sales week (as seen below).



Now as your business is tracking your daily output compared to your weekly plan, you also want to know which sales month it falls in (which as we've established may not be the same month as the day you're looking at). Businesses might want to keep track of this daily data. That means a spreadsheet will be showing 25 lines of "May" workdays before switching to "Jun".

Meanwhile a managerial summary may only track the previous 14 days which means April ("Apr") will be long forgotten. June instead of Jun is only one extra letter and doesn't really add the space that "breaks" the sheet, as ends up happening in the example seen on the right. June eventually turns to July, and you can suddenly forget that you're supposed to be abbreviating all these months. That mistake works all fine and good, it doesn't really impact anything.

Yep, everything looking fine.

No problems at all.

We're going great.

Until now.

We're coming to the end of July, which is followed by August. Now things are getting weird. Do I go back and change all the July to Jul and June to Jun? Do I sneak extra width in and then make August the full month name? It really falls apart when it's September and I'm back to my wide columns again.

We had a sweet ride for the last three spreadsheet-entering months. But the rocky waters are ahead.

2020-07-27

The Seinfeld Reunion