2015.12 minutiae

  • Google autocomplete now prefers "spoopy" over "spooky".  We are all doomed.

  • We are all doomed, part two: Solange pointed me to a list of titles like "Big City Critic" and "Rampaging Reviewer" that Netflix will bestow upon you for, e.g., submitting a hundred ratings, or watching ten episodes of a show in a row.  My favorite bit was the first reply post, nitpicking the terminology:

    Those are achievements, not challenges.

    That's right, satirists of the past: here in the future, we are arguing about whether watching TV is an achievement or a challenge.  We win, you lose.

  • For some reason my mail has taken to arriving after 9 p.m., and since I have a mail slot rather than a mailbox, that means that I will be minding my own business when suddenly, eek!  Startling creaky noises in what in the winter feels like the middle of the night!  I mean, I keep unorthodox hours my own self, but it kind of weirds me out every time it happens.

  • I saw this sign posted in the window of a donut shop in Elmwood:

    See, this is why punctuation is important.  As written, this sign seems to be responding to some sort of controversy about store policies.  "You may have heard scurrilous rumors that we don't like animals, but NO!!! Pets allowed inside OR on outside tables! Your choice! We permit it either way! How dare anyone suggest otherwise???"

  • So one night I was woken up by a sharp CHIRP — eeeagh, the smoke alarm!  Fire!  Fire!  I jumped out of bed — but saw no sign of a fire.  Meaning that, dammit, I was just woken up and am now shaking from the adrenaline spike because the smoke detector's battery is low.  I went over to the smoke alarm in the kitchen… and heard another CHIRP from the other room.  Oh.  The other smoke alarm.  Fine.  So I went to the other room, and heard another CHIRP from the room I was just in.  What?

    Then I realized: fuck, that's neither smoke alarm — that's the carbon monoxide detector.  And there would be no visible sign to indicate that it was misbehaving.  What do I do?  Should I be opening windows and running into the street?  Or do I have a moment to investigate?  It's not blaring, it's just chirping.  What is the CO level anyway?  I checked the monitor… and instead of any number, it said "Err".  So I went online, and discovered what had happened.  Apparently these carbon monoxide detectors are an example of planned obsolescence: they have a working life of exactly seven years.  Once the time is up, they stop working — and begin chirping, so you won't be tempted to just let your CO detector sit there dead.  And if you're like me, and first plugged in the detector in the middle of the night, then it will be the middle of the night, seven years later, that the thing will begin to CHIRP.

  • Facebook posted the following story in its "TRENDING" box: "Cat With Hat: 'America's Funniest Home Videos' Shares Clip of Cat Unable to Get Rid of Hat on Head".  That seems like pretty standard Internet fare — why am I mentioning it?  Because it was listed under "Science and Technology".

  • At the post office I overheard two little girls telling each other jokes.  The one I heard from start to finish went like this:

    "Knock knock"
    "Who's there"
    "Panda who"
    "Pandas that love you"

    I think that one may have been an original

    Like, not from a book or anything

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