Mini Blog August 2005
The Mini Blog entries for August 2005
- 31 Aug 2005: That's a nice one. A New Yorker with a tendency to masturbate in public (in other words, an industrial-strength exhibitionist) has done so in the NY subway. In front of him and with a full view of his… parts was a young lady. The lady was shocked, naturally, but being a website developer she's also a clever technophile: she simply took her mobile phone (a Samsung P777, in case you're interested in these details), shot a picture of the man (still busy with giving pleasure to himself) and went to the police, with the evidence in hand, so to speak. She also posted the snap on a few websites, among them Flickr (a huge site for storing amd sharing photos, though normally not for this type of shot:-)) and Craigslist. It didn't take long and the story was snapped up by bloggers as well as the Daily News, with the latter actually publishing the photo in the print edition.
- That was when things got interesting: as many as six other victims came forward rather quickly and a bit later the man was identified as Dan Hoyt, the 43-year-old owner of two restaurants (health food, of all things). It turned out that Mr Hoyt has been active before at the same subway station, even had a conviction dating from 1994 for “public lewdness”.
- The moral? Never leave home without your mobile. Or a hood, as the case may be.
- 30 Aug 2005: This site is about Saturn and the Cassini probe and it is truly amazing: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm Sorry for being so brief, but these pictures are really much more interesting than my blog… and they even ain't about sex:-).
- 26 Aug 2005: “Buy beef, feed the homeless and get a holiday in return!” Here's something crazy. Tesco (biggest supermarket chain in the UK) runs many promotions and here is one: buy three Birds Eye products (that's ready meals, deep frozen) and get 150 Clubcard points, that's the equivalent of £1.50. As the cheapest Birds Eye product, Beef in Gravy, is 65p, you effectively pay 45p for the lot of three: that's a pretty good deal. But we can better that. How? Well, Tesco has another deal with a company that sells holidays: you give those guys n clubcard points and they give you n times four that amount off your next holiday. So our 150 points are now worth £6: better deal, isn't it?
- Okay, so now let's think big. Really big. We buy 750 Birds Eye Beef in Gravy for 65p each (£487.50) and we get 37.500 Clubcard points. We donate the 750 Birds Eye Beef in Gravy to a charity that cares for the homeless (“And can we have a tax receipt, please?”) and, with our 37.500 points pocketed, we buy a nice three-week holiday in the Carribean worth £1500 — and off we go, with a big smile on our face: all that for less than £500. Yes, people have actually done that and Tesco had to honour their promise (though they quickly wised up to the plot: at some point people who tried to buy more than the “usual” number of products were (supposed to be) stopped at the tills).
- And I ask myself how the clever Tesco managers ever managed to turn their company into the biggest supermarket chain in the UK. Well, perhaps it's true and there's no such thing as bad publicity.
- 24 Aug 2005: Although normally attributed to the indefatigable Mark Twain, the famous quip about the weather (“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”) was by American journalist and essayist Charles Dudley Warner. Nice quip and nice to know — but why mention it? Well, it was exactly today 108 years ago, on 24 August 1897, that Warner said (actually wrote in the Hartford Courant whose editor he was) this. Whether the weather was especially tempestuous that or the previous day is not recorded. (By the way, the link for Warner goes to the online version of the 1911 (sic) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, by many considered to be the best encyclopedia ever produced. I can (and unfortunately do) spend hours at the site.)
- If someone pesters you with a stupid question that a simple Google search would have answered… well, send him or her over to Google it, you moron!
- 20 Aug 2005: Just bought another MP3 player, a tiny flash-memory thingy with 1 GB, should be okay for some 50 albums. Actually, it's for Vero and her jogging exercises: a hard disk player is not designed for this kind of vigorous shaking and bumping and even the smaller one of our two is a relatively big and heavy piece of kit, compared with a flash player. So Vero let it be known that she would like one of these nifty little players and — being the dutiful husband that I am — I went to the local PC World and found this nice Samsung Yepp MT6Z. It was love on first sight, at least on my part:-). That means I will be spending the rest of today and perhaps tomorrow with putting Vero's favourite music onto that gadget. Well, better than laying laminate or fighting an assortment of Cables From Hell, that's for sure.
- 17 Aug 2005: Today I did something really stupid. I spent the whole day (and it was a hot and dry day) in a wooded area with small trees. Doesn't sound too bad? Wait: The trees were planted seven years ago and they were, back then, protected by these round plastic tubes, between 50cm and a metre high. Now the trees and bushes (must be tens of thousands in that area) have grown strong enough, so the local Council has decided to get rid of the tubes. So they were looking for volunteers to rip them off the ground and I was stupid enough to actually put myself forward, with Vero. My god, it was hot, there were nettles and ants all over the place, and so much thorny undergrowth that I destroyed my jeans. (Not to talk about my precious skin: my arms are still criss-crossed with scratches and red with nettle burns.)
- Stupid, as I say. Never again. But it was good fun nevertheless. There should even be some photos in the pipeline: when I get the copies perhaps I'll put one or two somewhere on the website — depending on whether I look actually stupid or not:-).
- 14 Aug 2005: I spent almost the whole day with laying parquet (laminate, not real wood) in my office. Not a big job, as the room is just 3 by 4 metres. (Thankfully, British houses are minuscule.) Measuring, sawing and putting together the whole thing was a matter of some three hours. The real clincher wasn't the actual DIY part, it was first disentangling all the cabling that goes in and out of the PC, the printer, the scanner, the external HDs, the monitor, the speakers (the guy who designed the speakers was clearly a cable fetishist), the modem, the mouse, the keyboard, the fax machine, the phone… and then putting it all back: four hours altogether. FOUR hours of relentless cable warfare! Can you imagine the mood I was in? (I was seriously contemplating hanging myself with one of these cables.)
- Cables will kill us if we don't kill them first; don't say you have not been warned. DO SOMETHING: KILL A CABLE NOW!
- 10 Aug 2005: The UK Atomic Energy Authority has 26 research reactors to dismantle and they plan to bury the highly noxious waste in concrete bunkers. With the stuff they'll leave instructions, nice as they are, about how best to deal with it. Problem is — the waste will be around for a very long time: we talk AGES here. What medium will survive 1000s of years? Not DVD-Rs or hard disks, that's for sure. Well, the UKAEA boffins hit on a time-honoured solution: they use paper (yeah, the white stuff) but not the simple A4 variety eaten by our laser printers. No, their paper, in its composition and way of producing, seems to be amazingly similar to ancient Egyptian papyrus.
- Perhaps they should've gone even further back: why not cover the walls of the bunkers with paintings, perhaps in the style of Lascaux?
- 08 Aug 2005: Two straight Canadian friends (straight here means hetero-sexual) have decided to marry. So far so usual. The interesting bit is that they're both male: they want to pursue their union under a new Canadian law that allows gay marriage, although they are neither gay nor have any plans to consummate the marriage:-).
- The reason? Apparently, tax breaks for gay marriages are generous and as the two boys currently have no women to marry… Seems to be an entirely legal if perhaps somewhat unusual tax evading scheme.
- 04 Aug 2005: You're sitting in one of these drab Job Centres and they give you three career choices: you could be a) a miner in a Chinese colliery or b) a recruit on a Russian submarine or c) a member of the next Space Shuttle mission. What would be your choice?
- I would go for c). If we burn up a few hundred miles above ground we'll be heroes, naturally, and all the world will know about it. And there will be many minutes of silence for the six or seven of us. Oops. That's of course non-PC nonsense. In reality I'd go for c) because then I could watch the world go by from outer space.
$updated from: Mini Blog August 2005.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:12:47 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$