2012.10 minutiae

  • I saw that "Bow Wow" was trending on Twitter and my first thought was that Annabella Lwin must have died.

  • Every year part of the main drag here shuts down so the city can set up tables in the street for a big outdoor dinner — I think it's like $15 to rent a table. I was coming home from my own dinner when I discovered the street blocked off; my own street was the last street you were allowed to turn onto, and all the curbside parking spots were taken. So I parked on a parallel street. A couple of days later, I had somewhere else to go, and as I was walking to my car, it occurred to me that I didn't know how the street I had parked on was zoned — was it a 90-minute zone on weekdays? grf! Hoping I didn't have a ticket, I approached my car, and dangit, there was a fluorescent rectangle under my wiper blade. But wait! It wasn't a ticket after all! I retrieved it, and discovered that it was a note, which read as follows:

    CALL me IF you LIKE TO SELL.

    I used to find those notes on the windshield of the Ratmobile all the time. I guess this means that the Aluminum Lung is officially a junker.

  • And after I wrote the above, it became even more of a junker: my street is quite narrow, and someone apparently drove a little too close to my car while it was parked in front of my house, because the next time I went outside I found a big chunk missing from my driver's-side mirror. My insurer sent me down to a body shop who said it'd be $400 to fix (and my deductible is $1000. Rrrgh).

  • Then the engine conked out on the way back from the body shop! I was able to get it restarted and drive back to my house, but after a little bit of testing I found that a restart would only give the car about two miles of life (and each restart was harder than the last). I took it down to the auto shop and this time a new 12V wouldn't revive it. Now, I'd known this was coming, and had done a fair amount of research to figure out whether it was actually worth trying to fix up a 12-year-old car, but there just doesn't seem to be anything new in the Insight's 66 mpg niche — the closest things are those plug-in hybrids, but I have nowhere to plug in and don't want to deal with the range anxiety. So I wound up shelling out for a total replacement of the electrical system. Which significantly chops down the amount of time I have left to finish this book, but I can't live in a world in which a trip to the Cheese Board and back takes an hour out of my day.

  • Overheard on the BART train: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't jump in."

  • Phoenixy found an unfortunate typo on the web page of Jason Clark, Republican candidate for California Assembly seat 17, in which he pledged "to spurn economic growth and job creation."

  • Wars have been waged over whether the abbreviation for "microphone" should be written "mike" or "mic". Casualties have been staggering. But the "mike" forces are clearly the ones on the side of right. "Mic" looks like it should be pronounced "mick". You wouldn't call a bicycle a "bic", would you?

  • It's times like these that I realize that not watching Star Wars until I was 17, and not thinking much of it when I finally did see it, make me, shall we say, a generational outlier.

  • I found myself reading the Wikipedia entry about the comic strip Shoe, and had to take my hat off to the person who wrote the first line:

    Shoe is an American comic strip about a motley crew of newspapermen, all of whom are birds.

    I was so impressed by how well wrought that was that I actually went to the history page to find out who wrote it. I started by clicking on the original version:

    The popular comic strip Shoe is depicts birds and was written by Jeff MacNelly

    That is equally magnificent in the exact opposite way. Man, this Wikipedia entry has brought me more joy than every actual installment of Shoe combined.

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