You are waiting for your morning bus with about 15 other people. Your bus stop plays host to multiple routes, so with each approaching bus, you squint at the glowing number emblazoned on its front (or taped to the windshield by the driver) to see if your chariot has come to whisk you away.
You note that the latest arrival is not said chariot so you return to your Metro or to gazing at nothing. A motion to your left catches your eye. With muscles still drunk from sleep, you turn your head and aim your heavy-lidded eyes down the sidewalk.
You see a man. You see a man running. You see a man running with, perhaps, a slightly panicked look in his eyes. These eyes are starting pointedly at the conveyance that still sits idly in front of you as the last interested parties climb aboard.
You twist your head again and take in the bus, the driver waving the last passenger on without showing their monthly commuter pass. Back to the man running. Back to the bus.
Decision time. Do you:
A. Motion to the driver, notifying them they have a latecomer rushing at best speed to the bus, appealing to his better nature to hold up for five more seconds.
B. Continue to gaze dumbly at the on-charging commuter, remaining motionless but for the infrequent blink, little evidence of higher brain function.
I, myself, typically choose A. Admittedly, studies have shown that my enthusiasm for flagging down bus drivers for other riders is directly proportional to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“femaleÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“cuteÃ¢â‚¬Â levels of the tardy rider. However, I maintain that, if I see a running rider (RR) and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in a position to, I will move to flag the driver.
Evidently, the 15 people at the bus stop this morning, five or six of whom I specifically saw watching me sprint towards them, do not share my principles in this matter.
As I ran, I watched the people at the bus stop look at me, look at the bus and then turn back to me. I could almost hear them thinking, Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not gonna make it. Dumb bastard.Ã¢â‚¬Â Knowing that they werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to help me and suspecting I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to make it in time, I briefly considered lowering my shoulders and just driving through the pile of people. It was cold and icy, so they were all huddled together. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure I wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done some damage.
I was in line with the back of the bus when the doors closed and the driver hit the gas. I ran past the bus stop, not to catch the bus, but because I knew if I stopped amidst the inconsiderate sons of bitches at the bus stop, I wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve made a scene that would achieve nothing more than to make me look like more of an asshole than I already did.
Luckily(?), all but two of those riders got on the next bus. It was a route that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve taken in the past which goes farther than my office and I end up walking back through Chinatown, so I debated shouldering my way to the front in righteous indignation. But by then IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d taken a few deep breaths and reason prevailed.
I like my commute to work. On good days, I can get to work in less than 15 minutes and the express bus is nowhere near as exciting as the T. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not without itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own flavor of inconsiderate mcdouche that causes me to grind my teeth down to the nerve endings.
10 years agoespithaca
10 years agoespithaca
Watched Forbidden Kingdom last night. I really wanted that movie to be goodÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ ButÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Jackie Chan and Jet Li were good with the roles they were given. Lei Yifei and Li Bingbing (!) succeeded at filling their respective of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hot innocent Asian girlÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hot not-so-innocent Asian woman in a fetching white wigÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Visually, the move was very good, though, I think some of the sets looked a bit rushed.
The fight choreography was passable. It was exhilarating finally seeing Jackie vs. Jet, that fight wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough to justify this movie.
These were the high points of the movie, and they made much of this in the special features. Jackie and Jet, of course. But also the Director of Photography (Peter Pau) and Woo-ping Yuen as the fight choreographer (You may remember him as the fight director from The Matrix movies who, when asked to describe the actorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ abilities as fighters, when he got to Keanu Reeves, his diplomatic answer was: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He tries very hard.Ã¢â‚¬Â).
The parts of the movie that turned my stomach were:
The kid from Ã¢â‚¬Å“South BostonÃ¢â‚¬Â. Where did they find this bag of douche?? Did they just run out of money hiring Jackie and Jet?
I was also going to bitch about the Boston setting, but then watched the extras and saw they had to recreate all those sets in China, where they were being built by set designers who had to research what dumpsters and trash cans look like and accidentally put up the electrical outlets in the walls sideways. So they did a passable job, I guess.
The other big example of douche-dom had to be the screenwriter. This was a guy who came off as very conscious of his image. He clearly knows his shite when it comes to Chinese fables, but do I really want to watch a special of him practicing Kung Fu sets on an LA beach in a really goofy looking costume?
The answer, is no.
So, it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t greatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as bad as Step Brothers, which challenged my policy of never shutting off a movie halfway through almost as much as Punch Drunk Love but without the reward of the movie turning out to be awesome like Punch Drunk.
Five years ago, seeing Will Farrell whip out a pair of fake testicles and rub them on a drum set would have been shocking and possibly hilarious. NOW, however, I just think Ã¢â‚¬Å“Man, Will Farrell, just put the testicles away! ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tired!Ã¢â‚¬Â
PS. I wanted to add a second poll asking Who is the better actor between Jackie and Jet, because I think there's a distinction there where people may have different answers... but I'm learning, belatedly, that... you can't have more than one poll in a journal...
10 years agoespithaca
Had a successful weekend of close to 18 hours of Fable. I know I'm a couple months late on this game, but it's for that 18 hour reason that I'm always hesitant to get going on these monsters.
As usual, I have about 3 games on my shelf looking for play time right now: FIFA 09, Fable II and Fallout 3. Also festering on there, unfinished, are Lost Planet and the ever-present Oblivion. I've not finished BioShock yet, but the excuse for that is the person I usually play it with lives in New Hampshire so isn't able to come over frequently.
First thing I want to say about Fable is that I'm loving it. The fight system is great and satisfying. The little bits of humor left lying all over the place in books and characters is just right. The fact that I found Mjolnir armor in the first couple hours of play had me laughing on my couch and thinking "I've gotta put this in a journal!... Wait, I'm three months late on the game, I bet they've seen it already..."
For the record, if you haven't found "Hal's Armor", go find it it. You can even get an energy sword!
I am now happily married in the game with an infant daughter the game named Nora. I met the wife in Oakwood and moved her and the kid twice, now they're in a very nice house in Bowerstone Market.
Interesting side-effect of moving to Bowerstone: There are a lot of people in the Market, especially ladies, who love and want to marry me. They, apparently, think nothing of following me into my marital house. This makes for some interesting circumstances when the wife "Wants Sex" but I'm fighting through a crowd of pining women to select her and Hither her to the bed. I noticed there's an achievement for having an orgy (!!) and was wondering if this is how that could come about (pardon the pun... *snicker*). It was not to be, sadly.
But yeah, 18 hours. Luckily, Amanda had to coach swim meets on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, so I don't feel too bad about not hanging out with her, but that is a main reason why the time suck games like Fable and Fallout get left on the shelf for so long. Hell, I barely started Oblivion...
With the sports games, I can, at least, say I'll be at a stopping point in, at most, 40 minutes to an hour. I find that's a lot harder to do with the story-type games.
Speaking of Sports Games, saw a teaser trailer for MLB 2K9. Looks pretty good, though evidently The Show still beats it, but that's on PS3 and that ain't happening any time soon.
One thing I learned, however, is that the Red Sox have a new Away uniform! They're reverting, slightly, back to the away uniform of the 70s and 80s with the gray and blue lettering, though, mercifully, they're staying away from the block lettering and at least keeping the familar Boston Red Sox font. I got on the Sox' website and found they also have a new alternate away jersey (Dark blue top with red lettering). Here's hoping the new kit is featured in MLB 2K9.
Finally, I've started writing again in my blog (in fact, a few of my recent journals originated there), but I also want to do some creative writing. I'm thinking of doing some fiction. Short stories, not connected or themed. (Nothing like The Tale... hopefully better)
The story I've got in mind right now is a bit of pulp fiction. I meant to work on it this weekend but, as seen above, Fable stole it. But look for it in the coming weeks!
10 years agoespithaca
The way I see it, if Prop 8 was passed after a push that involved attention-getters like this, then perhaps it can be undone the same way. I had a gut-wrenching reaction to this video, I hope you do too. Now here is the form letter they put together that has the details.
Have you heard that Ken Starr -- and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund -- filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and attempting to forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year? The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, 2009, with a decision expected within the next 90 days.
The Courage Campaign has created a video called "Fidelity," with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, that puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law.
Please watch this heartbreaking video:
After you watch the video, please consider joining me in signing the letter to the state Supreme Court and passing this video on to your friends. The more people who see this video, the more people will understand the pain caused by Prop 8 and Ken Starr's shameful legal proceeding.
10 years agoespithaca
This just doesn't seem right.
The White House is, supposedly, one of the most secure (albeit, public) pieces of property in the world. The Residence is watched around the clock by hundreds of our country's finest Secret Security agents (officers?). They have snipers and anti-aircraft emplacements. There's a big fuck-off fence!
So how come they can't keep out a couple of freaking raccoons?
I mean, I remember reading (Where the Red Fern Grows) that you can catch a raccoon simply by digging a narrow pit, putting a shiny piece of tinfoil at the bottom and banging pointed sticks in at angles that will keep a tiny, tinfoil-holding fist from pulling out.
That was a scheme made up by a little boy. These guys have the National Parks Service on the job!
If I may tangentilize here for a moment: How cool would it be to have the National Parks Service as your landscaper? Do you think you'd get a hat?
Anyway, it's obvious the NPS isn't up to snuff in the varmint rasslin' department. Time to call in the big guns: a 15-year (!) raccoon-catching (!!) veteran. Tim McDowell sounds like he's straight out of a movie. He knows right away what the problem is
"Y'see, they cages prolly don' smell rayet." (drawl embellished)
This is, obviously, an incredibly unfair portrayal of the man. I have no idea if he has an accent, pair of overalls or buck teeth.
I do feel, though, that the Post article gave us one small glimpse of this rodent snaring superstar's caricature when he offers his services gratis:
"I won't charge 'em nothing.(sic)"
I smell conspiracy, however, when he admits that catching raccoons at the White House has always been a dream of his.
Perhaps the man'll get his wish. I'm almost rooting for him. Unless he turns the whole thing into a Pied Piper situation. That guy got the rats out, but he came back and got all the kids, too. That ain't right.
10 years agoespithaca
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 30 songs that play (no matter how embarrassing)
Step 3: Spoiler the song when someone guesses the artist and song title correctly
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or another search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If nobody gets the song right, then you may post further hints.
Step 6. Make your own list
Note: Went through a couple of instrumentals from Man Ray, Yoko Kanno and the Journey to the West Opera soundtrack.
1. For once I wanna be the car crash, not always just a traffic jam.
2. I know that I will never be politically correct.
3. Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball.
4. Could you, could you come back?
5. Paradise comes at a price
6. Let me wrap myself around you
7. Hold your grandmother's Bible to your breast.
8. Because you're sweet and lovely, girl, I love you
9. She freak out at a damaged life like a jailbait in the park
10. This lass, Some fifteen odd years
11. Sorry, About my past life
12. I don't wanna be your friend
13. Why everything that's supposed to bad make me feel so good?
14. To my surprise and my delight
15. For the benefit of Mr. Kite
16. Hey Jude, don't make it bad
17. My generation's for sale
18. Close your eyes and lose the feeling that's been sinking
19. Now it's time to say good night
20. We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment,
21. Stir it up
22. Whether long range weapon or suicide bomber
23. If I could reach the stars I'd pull one down for you
24. Gone for a moment that you'll never know
25. Can anybody fly this thing?
26. He said I'm fabulously rich
27. I left your house this morning about a quarter after nine
28. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
29. Who's in a bunker?
30. Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today.
10 years agoespithaca
Pulled from my blog.
When is the last time you had to call tech support? Either your iPod has kicked the bucket, your Guitar Hero (Rock Band, more likely) guitar is no longer working or the public Beta test that is Vista has expired again.
Whatever the issue, if you have contacted technical support in recent history, you likely have been listed in one of the following categories:
Conscious Incompetence (CI)
Individuals who are not competent, but are aware they are not competent and understand the specific areas of deficiency. The incident area can be quickly identified with these customers, since they know where they are deficient, making it easier to isolate the issue.
Unconscious Incompetence (UI)
Individuals who are not competent, are unaware that they are not competent, and do not understand the specific areas of their deficiency. These customers require open-ended questioning to determine their competence level or lack thereof.
Conscious Competence (CC)
These customers are competent and are aware they are competent. Typically, these customers know exactly how and where they need help. They need to be acknowledged for their competencies, and you can ask specific closed-ended questions to pinpoint the issue.
Unconscious Competence (UC)
These individuals are competent but are unaware that they are competent. Typically, these customers understand that there is an issue, but are not clear on what the issue is or if they can fix it. These individuals sometimes know more about a particular subject than the service representative, but they often miss simple and easy troubleshooting steps, before they contact the support center for assistance.
For close to a year and a half now, I have been answering phones for a major publishing company whose online course management systems are used by higher education all over the world. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had the pleasure and pain of speaking to each one of these individuals. They are, at times, kind and gracious, at others acerbic and impatient. Frequently they are harried and rushed. Always, they are wishing they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be on the phone with me.
Your Favorite Old Aunt (CI)
This one is hit or miss. She (this is a rare gender-specific character), invariably, has no idea whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on inside this computer of hers, but whatever it is, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fantastic. She is just so amazed at what they can do these days. Her only downside is that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to spend the next thirty minutes walking her through the most basic of functions, sprinkled in with stories of her progeny. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re lucky, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll only have to talk to her twice a day.
Hot For Teacher (CI to UI)
This is the young and virile-sounding (fe)male teacher that leaves you wondering how old they are and guessing at the color of their hair. They are typically amiable and chatty and talk to you as though youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re meeting up for drinks later with the rest of the group. Their questions are usually simple ones they probably could have figured out on their own but you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re too busy wondering if it would be wrong to look them up on Facebook or to see if their college has faculty pictures on its Website. You ask them if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s anything else you can help them with... twice.
Ernest Hemingway (CI to UC)
This is that cool older instructor that calls the guys Ã¢â‚¬Å“dudeÃ¢â‚¬Â and flirts with the girls. He understands computers enough to know that he has no idea whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s typically patient and understanding. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still excited that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s preparing the youth of today to take over the world tomorrow, which is cute, but he is also savvy enough to know that electronic homework is rarely eaten by the dog.
Give Me Back My Abacus (CI to UI)
This luddite is not, happy. They never wanted to use this system in the first place and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t they say it was going to cause problems? Capable of, at best, grudging thanks, these customers are more frequently bitter and aggravated. No amount of empathy is going to help. Just fix the whatchamacallit so the bosses are happy and these kids will stop bitching and go back to their tiny phones and their portable records.
Just Fix It, Scum (UI to UC)
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s broken and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your fault. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never had this trouble before, so what did you do to break it? These are the people that cut you off in traffic and then park in handicapped spaces. They are the ones who talk on their cellphones in the movie theater. They take up both the aisle and window seats on the crowded bus. They drive Escalades or think they should. These are frequently students who have reached the instructor line and threaten to speak to your CEO.
The rest can be found over here.
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