2014.10 minutiae

  • Somehow I only just now discovered that "She's Not There", "Tell Her No", and "Time of the Season" were all by the same band.

  • From the heartaches of today come the tears of tomorrow.
    Though time may pass, you will never be far from the edge of yesterday.

    —a note left by Lucy, age 8, to her mother, to cheer her up

  • I found myself 35 cents short of qualifying for free shipping on my Amazon order, so I went looking for something cheap I could throw in: maybe a candy bar or a pen or something?  Nope — to get the kinds I liked, I'd have to buy in bulk.  Finally I gave in and just looked for anything at all that was 35 cents.  And that is how I came to be the proud owner of a Kuriyama AHG-75 Rubber Universal Air Gasket.

  • I was driving up a residential street when the car in front of me, a real boat from the 1970s, started backing into a parking space.  Then it stopped, and the driver rolled down his window and started shouting angrily.  I waited a moment, but he kept shouting, and I looked to see whether I could get around him, but no, he was blocking the whole street.  I was about to shift into reverse and back down to the previous intersection when the man opened his door and started shouting furiously while slapping his leg — I thought some serious violence was about to ensue.  What happened instead was that a small dog trotted into the street and hopped into the car, at which point the angry man shut the door and pulled into the parking space.

  • At one point this month I saw the sun ensconced behind just enough cloud cover to be rendered as a harmless but perfectly defined white circle.

  • I mentioned to Phoenixy that I'd read that jellyfish were about to become Earth's dominant lifeform, to which she replied, "I've heard that, which I always find amazing since we used to fish-sit for our neighbor's jellyfish and they required an incredible amount of maintenance, then tended to be killed by things such as 'being fed' or 'bumping into the tank heater'"

  • I saw the image on the right floating around the Internet this month, accompanied by fiery comments about how this is an outrage and a socialist plot and the reason we're losing ground to the Chinese and on and on.  I imagine that millions of attempts have been made to explain to these folks what's going on here, but in case this is your first time seeing it and you're also wondering what the point of the new method is, here's my take.  32 – 12 is not a good example of when to use this method, which I'm sure is why the original poster selected it.  But consider, say, 123 – 86.  I don't know that off the top of my head.  But I do know off the top of my head that if I'm at 86, 14 steps along the number line will get me to 100, and from 100, 23 more steps along the number line will get me to 123.  And 14 steps plus 23 steps makes 37 steps, so 123 – 86 must equal 37.  If you ask me what 123 – 86 is, I will instantly reply "37", because it takes no time to do this method in my head.  If instead I tried to mentally go through the rigmarole of "3 – 6 is negative, so let me break up 123 into 110 + 13, and do 13 – 6 is 7, and 110 – 80 is 30, so the answer is 7 + 30, which is 37", that would take longer.  It might seem strange to see the stepping method spelled out on a piece of paper, when the point is to eventually do it mentally, but the borrowing method looks every bit as strange until repetition makes it familiar.  Insisting that what this image regrettably calls the "'old fashion' way" is the only legitimate form of subtraction because "that's what I learned in elementary school!" is no less inane than insisting that Pluto must be a planet because "that's what I learned in elementary school!".

  • I was pretty jazzed when I thought I had read that a bakery I wanted to visit was open 24 hours, but then I read more closely and saw that, no, it was just on 24th Street.

  • Want to help make the Ready, Okay! ebook and Photopia novel a reality?  Check out my fundraising page on Indiegogo!  Want to support those books and keep my other projects (e.g., Calendar articles, the Lyttle Lytton Contest, Stochastic Planet, etc.) rolling along as well?  Consider chipping in a little bit each month on Patreon!  You can help determine how much of 2015 I spend writing and how much of it I spend explaining to future MBAs how to calculate a percentage.  Spread the word!

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