Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

Motion Activated Security Lights

It has become pretty common practice in my neighborhood for people to leave their porch and/or garage lights on all night. I find this to be completely annoying because that much ambient light has really cut down on the view of the stars. Annoying as this is, it pales in comparison to the scourge of Motion Activated Security Lights (MASL) that have popped up.

I can see how MASLs can have their uses. My parents use one that turns on when you are about 8 feet from their porch, helping so you don't trip on the steps. This is way too conservative use for most people in my neighborhood. These people have them set so sensitive that not only is anyone approaching the house illuminated but also anyone using the public sidewalk and in one case anyone using the public street through the neighborhood.

Yep, every time a car passes through the neighborhood the security light is triggered. Not just any bulb will do for this light either, it has to have the 200 watt, 1000 Lumens, extra brilliant white light bulbs. This is also a light that happens to shine in my front windows...so that is lovely. It is so bright that all I can think is that they must be sending out the Bat Signal so they will be rescued (although I am sure Batman is just as sick of the middle of the night wake up call whenever someone drives down the street, as I am). It is a little funny when you are walking on the sidewalk (or street for that matter) and it catches you unaware. You literally feel like one of those old prison break movies where the sirens start up and the swirling searchlights come to focus on the escapee.

Is this really necessary? No, it is stupid overkill. It annoys people and wastes electricity. I would also suggest that it makes you much less safe. As I want to bludgeon you to death as you sleep every time it wakes me up.

I do have to thank my next door neighbor who finally adjusted his sensor so it no longer goes off every time I or my dogs go out onto my deck. It's a start.

End Hate

Monday, September 28, 2009

Obviously My Lucky Day

Today must be my lucky day...looking over my morning email -

  • I have won the European International Lottery for $28 million Euros (twice!).
  • A wealthy Prince wants me to help him get his money out of his country...for which he will pay me a 40% reward ($12 million).
  • I have won the Canadian Internet Lottery for a measly $11 million.
  • Three people have sent me $1000 gift cards to Wal-Mart.
  • I have several opportunities to get rich quick from a new cell phone glitch.
  • I can get Viagra at very cheap prices with worldwide shipping ( I wonder if they will accept my lottery winnings as payment?)

Hooray for me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

Geez, no post in two weeks? The writer of this blog sucks. Someone should pass a law or at least form a committee. Sorry Interwebicon. Now on to the hate.

Annoying Craigslist People

I know the majority of people who use Craigslist are probably great people but the people that I have dealt with lately seem to be mostly jerkholes.

I've been getting rid of some extra stuff by posting it on Craigslist. This is not awesome stuff but decent for the right person. Like the TV in my basement that I haven't turned on in over 5 years. I figured I give it to someone else who could use it. Some of the items have worked, some not and I always make sure to list as much information and the detail the condition of the object as much as I can. I am trying to be honest with people, hoping that the item will find the right person that needs it. I have both responded and posted adds. Let me be clear...I am giving this stuff away for free because I didn't want to deal with any hassle or complaints. I figured free would mean that my not-needed items would be taken and the receiver would be happy because they didn't have to pay a dime.

I was wrong.

It has been almost nothing besides hassles. Here are just a few examples -

  1. I respond to an add about some one desperately needing a computer monitor. I had an extra lying around so I offer. I ask them if they would like to pick it up at my home or meet some where during my lunch break at work. You would figure that the person getting something free would make the slightest effort to meet half-way or try to make it convenient for the person giving the item to them. Nope. The response I got was something like "You can drop it off at my house between 9am and 11am," where said house is not only on the opposite side of town, but clear out in the middle of nowhere...and a two hour time window? I'm not installing cable, I am trying to give you something. This was given to someone else.

  2. Someone responds to one of my ads and I give him my address, directions, and we agree on a time to meet. Nearly three hours after the time we planned on meeting he finally shows up. But I do have to say that at least he did show up...may others did not show up at all. If you say you want something for free and ask the person to hold it for you, show the fuck up when you say or if you change your mind send a message or call. That is just rude.

  3. When an ad says something is large and heavy and you will need at least two or three people to move it, you shouldn't show up by your 110 pound self and then complain that I can't help you lift the thing into your truck. Read the ad. When I buy something I don't expect others to help me get it into my own truck. I bring my tools, my cart, and the help that I will need. All I ask is that it is in a location that I can get to without too much trouble. If I don't have all the help I need, I am sure to ask the seller/giver beforehand and then give them a small tip for the help (I just did this on Saturday with a pinball, I didn't have the help so I asked before I showed up and then tipped $10 for the help).

  4. Read the ad. When the ad says something is Non-Working, don't get angry when you show up and it isn't working. It was listed pretty clearly as NON-WORKING. The ad said it three times and explained the issue. It is not my fault you just saw the title and didn't read the ad.

  5. Don't threaten the person who placed the ad. This actually happened a couple ways, one guy threatened me over email when the item was already taken and I hadn't taken down the ad yet (even though it did list Pickup Pending). The other threat was from someone who picked up and item - and I helped load even though I wasn't asked - and went something like "This better work because we know where you live." I am not sure if this was said in a joking manner or not...either way it was really uncalled for. You are getting a TV for free, you had a chance to inspect it, I even got an extension cord and plugged it in so you could try it. This is a free item, there is no warranty.

  6. If I email you and tell you that someone is looking at the item but I'll let you know and that you are second on the list if they don't take it. You should not email me every 45 minutes to see if it is taken. I told you I would let you know as soon as I knew for certain. I already have 50 other emails to tell people the first time that someone is looking, I don' t need your repeated emails too. Oh, after your fifth email that I once again replied to saying "The other guy isn't coming till this evening. I will let you know one way or the other when he leaves," you went from second in line to off the list. Sorry.

  7. If I am giving you something, it means I do not want it and I don't want to sell it. I don't really want your advice on what I should have done or hear about how stupid I am because I could have gotten "a lot of money" from this item. Please just take your item and be happy, I really don't want to listen to your purposeless gloating.

That all being said there were a few cool people who showed up on time, quickly and efficiently moved their stuff and were actually appreciative (not necessary but much better than angry or threatening). Thank you to those people, that is what Craigslist should be.

End Hate

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

Political Party Idiots

I don't care what a person political affiliation is - Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Independent, etc... I think they all have valid viewpoints and all have good ideas on various topics. I think this variety is good for the country.

But, I don't like when someone is such a slave to their political party that they can't see or admit that another party might have some good ideas and do whatever they can to destroy something just because it was proposed by their opponents. This is shown most clearly in the Democrats vs the Republicans since they are the majority.

Politicians - I voted for you for your thinking power, yes you, not some person who is the the supposed head of your party. I voted for you to do what you think is best for me, for my neighbors, for my community, for this country. I did not vote for you to just follow what someone else tells you to do or to follow a set of predefined party rules. I want you to think, and think hard about what each decision and piece of legislation actually means for us, the people. I don't want you to automatically dismiss or oppose something just because it was thought up by the other side. You are there to compromise and work together and come up with the best solutions as part of a team that leads this country.

People - I am glad you are taking an interest and a stand in politics. That is great, everyone should have an interest in this and be involved as they feel comfortable. Like the politicians though, you need to think for yourselves...and show some respect. Maybe you don't agree with everything that is happening in Washington at this time - I don't either, but the way to combat this is not to yell and disrupt town hall meetings. That makes you look like an ignorant asshole. If that is how you handle things, I hope the people that you believe in NEVER get into power because I can only imagine that they will be idiots just like you. If you don't agree with something, come to the meetings and lets talk about the situation. Let's have a debate (note: a debate is not yelling and not calling someone a Nazi), let's look at facts and figures, let's gather data and talk to other people to find out what they need because it might not be the same as what you need. Let's look at a big picture and do the best we can for everyone. Maybe the best thing is to keep the current system, maybe not...let's study the issue and see if we can come to an agreement that is beneficial to everyone.

Everyone - being a total party whore makes you do stupid things...like making your children boycott a speech by the President. Seriously? He is the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, the current leader of this country. I don't care if you don't like him or if he is a member of an opposite political party, the position in itself deserves some respect. If he wants to give a speech encouraging children to stay in school , you should encourage your child to watch and pay attention. I remember Republican presidents doing in the 80s and even though I didn't believe in Republican values at the time, I still found the speeches to be a little bit empowering and uplifting (and this from someone who at the time didn't care too much for school). Stop calling your children's schools and threatening them. Even if you don't believe in his policies and ideas, you should still listen when our leader, the Office of the President deserves that much respect.
Please note - I consider myself independent, and have voted for Democrats, Republicans, and others (no one from the the NORML party yet though). This message is not aimed at one particular party or policy, the examples are just currently favor one side due to leadership and majority...but there are just as many examples the other way too - I am just too lazy to find them at the moment).
End Hate
Picture borrowed from the website of the US Embassy in Dublin Ireland.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great Ideas

Every once in a while I come up with a great idea or invention. Unfortunately, most people seem to think that these ideas are too weird. After I mention it and a few people shoot it down, I usually end up forgetting my great idea. Maybe I should take one to that show SharkTank. Instead I will document these ideas for you, interwebicon.

Baby Beer Smuggler

This idea was obviously inspired by the genius of The Beer Belly but combined with the desire not to look like an out of shape loser. Sure you want to have free drinks but you also want to be able to attract the opposite sex right?

So my idea was to take a semi-realistic baby doll (kind of like a Reborn but not as creepy..and cheaper), hollow it out and insert a beer bladder, throw it in a bjorn type carrier and take it with you. There you go, easy access to beer (you can have a straw like the beer belly or maybe a little tap in the baby's foot), while not looking disgusting to the ladies.

The real genius of this idea:

  • When entering a location - sporting event, restaurant, elementary school musical, etc... no one will ever really question a baby (and babies get in free!). Pat it softly and say that it is sleeping and don't want to bother him and no one will think twice.

  • Babies allow you a lot of other (barely searched) baggage. Diaper and Bottle bags - fill non-translucent bottles with beer! Hide Twizzlers, nachos, and more in with the diapers. You can probably hide a case of beer on a stroller or a few in a car seat. No one is going to look through all those blankets and stuff.

  • You can easily unstrap the baby and set it in a seat by you...try doing that with a beer belly that is hidden under your shirt.

  • When finished with the stock inside the baby, simply toss it in the diaper bag. Then you can move about as normal...you are not committed to wearing the baby all night!

  • Lights will be probably be dimmed at most functions, so there is very little danger of getting caught.

  • Babies are a magnet for many women, again just use the "sleeping excuse" and no one will look too close. You get to meet women that you might not have approached otherwise. Also just say you are babysitting for a brother or friend and you are golden for an future dates (plus you come off as a responsible and trustworthy person).

  • This baby never cries or poops but instead provides you with sweet, sweet alcohol.

  • Might make you feel a little like a zombie...More Brains!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

I wasn't going to do a TMH this week because I have been way too busy to hate...but my hetero life-pal CT just reminded me of something that really annoys me:

People Who Believe the Mayan Calendar Predicts the End of the World

Some quick background. One form of the Mayan (Mesoamerican) calendar is called a Long Count calendar. This calendar is used for writing their history and is expressed in larger periods than just days, for example 20 days = 1 Winal, 7,200 days = 1 K'atun, and 144,000 days = B'ak'tun.

The problem arises that the Long Count Calendar only lists out 5,125 years. The calendar starts at the beginning of the Maya 3114BC, so the end of that calendar ends up being in Dec 2012. The Mayans/Mesoamericans called this period of time a "Great Era."

So some people think that since this 5000 year calendar ends, that means the world ends. Guess what? My calendar ends every December, never once did I think the world was going to end because of that. But why go to 5000 years and stop? Well they probably didn't really need to go 5000 years, but since it was a calendar cycle the could also use this calendar for recording past events too. So 5000 years covered all their history and gave them plenty of future dates to go forward...the calendar was created so that the date of creation was approximately in the middle of the calendar. Half in the past, half in the future. Seems like a good plan if you are creating system for past and future dates.

Also remember at this time, such things as this calendar would be carved in stone. If you were carving something out like this would you really feel the need to carve out more than 5000 years worth of dates? I doubt it. Plus the whole thing is cyclical, so basically it would just start over.

Another reason people interpret the end badly is that it happens to be the end of the 13th B'ak'tun...and now people associate the number 13 with bad luck. Again, this is basically the length of time they needed to cover past and future events, it doesn't mean an end.

What people ignore is that the Mayan often did predict the future and never did they really predict an apocalypse at the end of the Great Era/Cycle. The apocalypse idea came about in the 1950s (and was popularized in the 1980s), 2000 years after the creation of the calendar. Most modern scholars believe that the end of the Great Cycle would be a time of celebration not destruction. Plus the end of the world idea completely ignores the fact that Mayans do have predictions and celestial events after the 2012 date carved onto their monuments. Doesn't sound like the end of the world to me.

I just don't like when people automatically assume an ancient culture must have been smarter, more advanced, or knew more about the world than we do now. Yes they did great things. But their predictions didn't help them save their own civilization. Let's live in the present and forget about the doomsday talk, that is just an excuse to keep you from living your life the right way. Just remember there have been many doomsday cults before this and we are all still here. Fanatical believers will just end up looking foolish or dead at their own hands.

End Hate

Note: all this info was from the days when I was interested in such (when I was a teenager) so there may be some details that are a little mixed around but the essence is correct.