They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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Some Random Goodness

Here

Sitting in the Business Center at Lemmen-Grand Chevy having my transmission fluid changed. Uh, that'd be the two-bay workstation area that has two nice office chairs, good lighting, power and a phone jacks. And it's the transmission fluid on the 1996 S-10 Blazer, smartass.

Recently bought the "new" 1996 Blazer a full set of new shoes -- Goodyear Wranglers, P235/R75-15's or whatever the size is. They keep changing the tire models -- I've previously bought Wrangler ATS tires, but they've unified the line with Wrangler Silent Armors. Doesn't that sound like a tire for Homeland Security? Haven't had to buy a full set of four heavy duty tires in a while, there's a little sticker shock. Was $500-something last time. Up over $600 now. Damn this price inflation over a quarter century of buying tires! Still, they feel nice and the ride is smooth and they've got all sorts of deep treads so we won't be hydroplaning in the rain anymore -- I knew the "new" vehicle needed new tires this summer when I bought it, but've eeked out as much life out of them as I could, most of 10,000 miles, before needing to get this done for when I get busy with Fall semester and all.

My Goodyear store finally put in customer Wi-Fi -- that's nice. But there's no power outlets near the desk they provide. Might have to bring a 25-foot extension cord with me next time. (grin) Back when I had the Suburban, I had all sorts of things thrown in the back, including a hundred-foot extension cord. Alas, some people want the vehicle to be kept a little cleaner than that... The old WinME laptop only lasted an hour or so. Still, I had the trusty HP 4705 iPAQ PDA, so that was cool.

There's nothing wrong with the phone jack that Chevy has in their Business Center -- it's just that the Web is really increasing the noise to signal ratio and pages just take longer to load. Doesn't help that my normal work mode is to have both Netscape and Firefox open and alternate between the two, so I can have two webpages loading slowly in the background at dial-up speeds. Still, beggars can't be choosers and as an academic in the state of Michigan, I still have free dialup through MichNet/Merit, so it's not like I have to shell out money to have this backup non-DSL capability. (grin)

There

The ccfinlay-inspired Slush Bomb of F&SF by women writers is in progress, you can view the list of participants here. As I write this they're at the third-of-a-century mark -- the original idea was 100 stories by 100 women submitted on/around 18 August 2006. MUCH blog bandwidth has been consumed on the motivation, rationale and potential to prove anything by this, but there's a little piece of anarchist in me that loves any kind of unusual process. Shake up the slush pile, so to speak. Sorry, John Joseph Adams, slush reader at F&SF. (grin)

Elsewhere

Don't know what is going to come of all this, but the frenzied media feeding at the trough of a trio of stories is beginning to unravel. Now there's suspicions that this guy caught in Thailand may not be involved in the decade old hunt for Jon Benet-Ramsey's killer -- since when do arrested people do press conferences? And the great Wal-Mart cellphone buy-up plan, where these guys in a van were found with hundreds or thousands of cheap pre-paid cellphones -- may in fact be buying lots of cellphones at Wal-Mart because they're cheaper there than wholesale, for resale elsewhere. That these Middle-Eastern heritage guys had photos of Michigan's Mackinac Bridge may in fact be... tourist pictures of Michigan's Mackinac Bridge (it's very impressive). All this, of course, is fueled by the great U.K. triumph over the hairgel bombers -- and as I write this that story isn't as cut and dried as presented the first couple of days.

I know this stuff is "news", but thrashing the story and repeating yourself over and over doesn't improve a news story. There are times to check up on the government and its investigations, and there are times to let the authorities work the case through.

Safety Hint:
If you had to throw out a lot of stuff in line at the airport recently, I wouldn't go to Wal-Mart and replace all your pre-paid cellphones and stock up on all your favorite hair products all at once... Someone may be watching!

Dr. Phil
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