Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

"You want me to wear what?"

“If she only had a brain…”

Dear College Coed,

In the future, you might want to put down the cell phone and stop texting when a customer is waiting to pay you.




PS: You’d think this would be obvious…

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Me, after this weekend

Me, after this weekend


Of course, I’ve had worse stretches of days, but this has been among the worst in a good while.

The plan had been to take last Wednesday and Thursday off to…

a) Get my boss to stop nagging me to take time off (we can only accumulate so much);
b) Take advantage of the quiet intersession period at UCLA and the Friday state holiday;
c) And just to do things that I’d like to do, instead of what I have to do, and enjoy a five-day weekend.

Silly me.

Instead, what happened was:

I got sick for the first three days with a miserable cold. Only started getting better yesterday.

Got turned down for an apartment I wanted because I don’t make enough money, even though it’s less expensive than where I live. As you can imagine, I enjoy being told that, at age 55, I’m too poor to live in a distinctly average apartment, and I want to thank my employers, the UCLA Library System. While you hire more and more upper management, staff aren’t paid enough to live on their own in decent surroundings. Love you, too.

That rejection, of course, happened after I paid $635 for a deposit and credit check fee. I’ve been promised the $600 deposit back, but the credit check fee is “iffier.” If they had already started the check, then I’m S.O.L. Considering only less than an hour went by between my application and learning I’m too much of a peasant for them, I had better be refunded that, too.

Oh, and —yay me!!— I lost my Kindle Fire. (Pause. Heavy sigh.) Yes, you read that right. Sometime Saturday, while shopping at either Costco or the Albertson’s next door, I must have become distracted and left it in the cart or on the counter. Called them, but neither lost and found had it. If the apartment failure was embarrassing, this one is heartbreaking. That was a gift from a friend, and anyone who knows me knows how attached I was to it. It literally went almost everywhere with me. And now I’ve stupidly lost it. I’ve de-registered it, so no one can buy stuff on my account, but I really hadn’t planned on the expense of buying a new one — oh, and a new over-priced case, too.

(Secretly, I blame the late, lamented Notespark synched notepad applet and Apple computers. If Notespark hadn’t gone out of business, I could still have used it for my shopping lists, instead of Evernote. And if Apple hadn’t made my iPod Touch obsolete with its iOS upgrades, then I could have used Evernote on my iPod Touch, which can be slipped into my shirt pocket, instead of my Kindle Fire, which has to be placed in the basket while shopping. And then forgotten. See? It’s not my fault.)

Like I told a friend, if this keeps up, I may start to get cranky.

As it is, the weekend has a few hours to go. I wonder what else can happen?

I’d better not ask.

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The story is here.

This is callous of me to say, but… so? She was a drug addict who took a wonderful gift and had a life 99.99 percent of the world will only ever dream of living… and destroyed herself. Amy Winehouse, Darryl Strawberry, so many other celebrities in one field or another have ruined themselves with drugs.

I can’t feel sorry for people like Whitney Houston, for they make their own choices; their fate was their creation.

For those who cared about Whitney (and others high and low who throw away their lives while friends and family watch helplessly), I do feel pity. And I hope they recover from the hurt she did them.

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While I do indeed sport a beard, you will never catch me wearing one of these.

A punked, spiked beard, on the other hand… .

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In this case, it’s the $162.50 that some fool collector paid for Gary Gygax’s used cigar box:

I hope the winner got one of these with his prize:


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There’s one born every minute. I mean, who else but a sucker collector would bid over $150 for Gary Gygax‘s cigar box?

His empty cigar box.

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Bad mood

Not up, only down.

Not forward, only backward.

Not progress, only decline.

Not better, only worse.


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So, I’ve had an Apple iPod Touch for about two weeks now, having decided to treat myself to something after Christmas. I bought the 8gb “2nd generation” model. With Apple Care warranty (mandatory, according to Apple-savvy friends) and tax, it came to just over $300.

So far, I’ve been very happy with it. The sound quality is very good, and the flip-through feature for album covers is handy. (I wasn’t too impressed with it on Mac notebooks and desktops, but on a small screen like the iPod’s, it’s a good feature.)

I haven’t investigated the other applications much, yet, though the ones I’ve tried seem to be mostly “fluff:” cute programs that serve little purpose. Access to Google Maps is handy — if one is near an open wireless network at the time. Likewise with email. The notepad app can be useful, though the small pop-up keyboard takes some getting used to. It’s much better than other portable-device keypads I’ve tried, however. The games and social networking apps don’t impress me.

I’ve only encountered one technical glitch, so far: a couple of days ago, I found the volume symbol active on the screen and stuck at zero. The device wouldn’t let me turn it back up, nor could I make the symbol go away. Finally, I turned the iPod off and let it sit for a while; the problem was gone after I restarted it. This happened after a software update, so I wonder if Apple introduced a small bug. (Oh, no! Heaven forfend! Apple is perfect! –obligatory Cult of Apple Snark(tm))

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my purchase and I’d recommend it to others. The only thing I need to get now is a case that clips onto my belt, since carrying it by hand or in a pocket is kind of clumsy.

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Quote of the day

Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk.
Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

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Seen recently at the local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: a gorgeous twenty-something woman in a black vest and short yellow skirt. As I was admiring her fashion-sense (really), I noticed the logo on her skirt: an angel’s wing, one per cheek, making it look as if she were sprouting wings from her … ahem.

I was tempted to ask her what the message was, but I valued not getting slapped more.


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Just some observations from the last couple of days.

Drivers who turn right from the center or left lane, left from the right or center lane, or go straight from a left-turn lane: Do they think they have a “You won’t die from your own stupidity” card?

A women’s clothing line that has the word PINK splashed in giant letters across the buttocks. And yet they get ticked when we stare?

People who order caffeine-free non-dairy cafe au laits. I think the humor is lost on them.

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