Friday, June 16, 2017

I'd Guess 30 Concerts, Minimum

If you’re wanted, should you really be going around rocking a million faces?  

For today's Blag, Jeremy will once again be calling into question the lyrics to Jon Bon Jovi's song "Wanted Dead or Alive."  

It's not my fault the lyrics never make any sense.

So here we have a guy who claims to be wanted dead or alive, which is a pretty serious legal status to be in.  It's never made clear what Mr. Jovi did to attain this status, but it's probably pretty safe to say that you don't get to be wanted dead or alive for tearing the tags off of your pillows.  You have to commit some pretty heinous act to reach this level of being wanted. 

So what does he do with his time while hiding from the law?  He plays guitar concerts for a million people. 

This is dumb. 

One would assume that if the police and perhaps some other less savory types are looking for you with no concern for your well-being, the last thing you would want to do is be spotted by a large number of strangers.  You should lay low and live off the grid as much as possible. Make yourself completely anonymous to anyone but a few of your closest and most trusted friends and advisors.  I mean...I'm guessing here...I don't actually have any practical experience being a fugitive. 

It just makes sense that any one of the million people whose faces were rocked by one of Mr. Jovi's concerts might be able to recognize him and alert any of the people who are out looking for him.  It really seems like the surest way to get captured...dead or alive. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Maybe This One Is Stretchy

No, random person at the gas station.  That pump’s hose isn’t longer than the other one

Well, depends on your margin for measurement error.  It's entirely possible that those types of things are not measured much down below the nearest centimeter or so.  With that, it's pretty much a guarantee that one is longer than the other...just not significantly so.  

While that's all very true, it certainly would not have helped with the situation I had the pleasure of witnessing recently.

So, not long ago, I needed to get gas for my car.  As I often do, I stopped off at the gas station that's on my way home from work.  It's convenient, the prices are usually totally decent, and they don't charge more for using a credit card, which is a rare and special gift in the Greater Jeremy Area.  It was also rush hour.  This means that the place was jam packed and I had to wait in line for a fuel pump.  No big deal.  I should mention at this point that in this station there are four fueling stations, roughly arranged in a square pattern, each of which can be accessed from either side, for a total of 8 available pumps. 

One of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind is that little arrow next to the fuel indicator in your car that tells you which side of the car the fuel door is on.  No matter how familiar you are with the car you happen to be driving at that particular time, you can very easily discern which side of a fuel pump you should be on in order to put gas in the car. 

Nobody explained this concept to the person in front of me in line for the fuel pump. 

This person pulls up to the pump and gets out of the car to begin pumping gas.  She takes the hose out of the holder and turns around to look at her car...unfortunately noticing that the inlet is on the other side.  Undeterred, she begins to walk around the back of the car, fuel hose in hand, attempting to reach the hose across the entire width of the car and dispense the gas on the opposite side.  Unfortunately for her, the hose was not long enough, and she was out of luck.  Putting the hose back into the pump's holder, she reenters the car to begin again. 

The following 30 seconds were the greatest moment of my week. 

She pulls her car directly forward to the more forward pump in the same line, with the car's gas cap STILL facing away from the pump.  She then exits the vehicle and takes the hose out of the second pump.  Walking across the back of the car, she attempts to reach the hose across the entire width of the car and dispense gas on the opposite side.  Shockingly enough, she failed the second time as well. 


Sadly, many of mankind's greatest inventions go unused due to people being unaware of their existence, stubbornness to admit that they did something wrong, and/or sheer rampant stupidity.  The poor little white arrow in this woman's car which faithfully shows which side the gas cap is on could only hopelessly point to the right while silently weeping.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Eventually, Early Wraps Around To Late

Has anyone actually graphed Health, Wealth, and Wisdom vs Sleep Schedule?  

For the most part, with the possible exception of wisdom, it seems like all of them are pretty quantifiable metrics that should be able to be plotted.  Somebody just needs to get on that.  

I agree.  We've all heard the old-timey phrase, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."  Many of us have also heard the Equally Profound Corollary "Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, but socially dead." 

I'll wait here for a second while you watch the rest of the Wheel of Morality video...

So, I thought about this and got to thinking that the phrase was made during a time when the hours of the day were a slightly more rigid concept than they are today. 

There are still 24 hours in a day, dummy.  

Yes, but the activities during those hours are much more fluid than they used to be.  The world has gotten much smaller in the internets age, and people collaborate and communicate all over the world on a much more routine basis than when this phrase was coined.  Incidentally, the phrase is attributed to Benjamin Franklin and his book "Early Rising: A Natural, Social, and Religious Duty."  With people across multiple time zones living and working together much more regularly than they did back in Franklin's time, this makes the concept of "early" very different for every individual. 

Not only are people using different definitions of "early" when it comes to sleep patterns, but people's natural sleep cycles vary significantly, and the traditional concept of 8 hours of sleep per night is just as ambiguous.  On top of that, people of different ages require different amounts of sleep depending on their developmental needs, so early and early may not be best for them, medically. 

So, if we normalize the amount of sleep each person gets, is there a true correlation between start and stop times of sleep with respect to traditionally-defined standards of "early" and the resultant health, wealth, and wisdom of the test subject?  I'm not aware of any such studies being done.  Get on that, science! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How Many Are There? The Lyrics Are Not Specific

I think Warren Zevon ordered my lunch for me  

Did he pay for it too?  That would be very nice of him. 

So, I should probably point out here that I don't know Warren Zevon, and have never met the guy, leave alone have lunch with him.  What's important to note here is that my lunch was inspired by Warren Zevon.  

Yeah, this doesn't make sense anymore. 

So, I'll point out here that there is something of a tradition here at work that goes back for several years.  It's known as "Chinese Tuesday" and it happens, as you might suspect, every Tuesday.  It's when we go to the Chinese restaurant across the street from work for lunch.  The guy who runs it is pretty cool, and he knows us all since we've been going there for years, and the place is pretty convenient.  It's actually one of to and a half restaurants within a mile of work, the half being the franchised donut chain that's attached to the gas station which I've never actually ordered lunch from.  I get their coffee all of the time, since I'm told my country runs on it or something, but that's beside the point entirely.  

Not long ago, on my way to work, I was thinking ahead to lunch, and what I should order from the Chinese restaurant, since it was Tuesday.  I often go with the broccoli-themed dishes, such as chicken with broccoli, or beef with broccoli, but since I have lots of broccoli at home, I wasn't really feeling that.  There are several curry dishes that are quite popular at the restaurant, and I get a couple of those on occasion, but I wasn't sure if I was into spiciness.  Then, Warren Zevon happened.  

See, Warren's song "Werewolves of London" might be his most commercially successful song, having peaked at #21 in the U.S. back in 1978.  It's a ridiculous song, containing precisely 8 beats worth of music repeated ad nauseum for 3 minutes and 27 seconds. never changes.  

Anyway, the first, I'm going to call it "verse" of the song, even though it probably doesn't count as one, ends with the line "Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein."  Then the song goes into some howling and mentioning the Werewolves of London while the same 8 beats of music play ad more nauseum.  

This reminded me of the fact that the Chinese restaurant does a pretty good job with Lo Mein noodles, not quite what the werewolf was eating, but my mind had made the connection.  More importantly, my mind made up what it was I wanted for lunch...a big dish of beef lo mein.  

I did not howl when I ate it, nor was I in London, nor were 8 beats of music playing in the background. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Attention every retailer ever:  Odds are good that I didn’t “forget” to take your email survey  

People are just trying to get a little feedback, Jeremy.  No need to get in a twist.

If all I got was a simple request for feedback, I would have no issue with it.  My problems are, as usual, deep-seeded and complicated.

So, not long ago I made a purchase online.  I do this from time to time, as do most people who frequent the internets.  Shortly after my product arrived, which to the supplier's credit, arrived on time and entirely intact, I received an email from that supplier asking me to take an online survey about my shopping experience.

I completely ignored it.  

To be fair, my shopping experience was entirely acceptable.  I just don't want to fill out online surveys about online shopping experiences.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email reminding me that my survey was waiting for me.  The expectation being that I had always wanted to take this online survey, and the only reason that I hadn't done so yet was that this important part of my life had accidentally slipped my mind, and I forgot to do it.  Therefore, I needed a reminder.

About a week later, I got a second reminder (which said "Second Reminder" in the email subject) about my anxiously waiting online survey.  I still have no intention of ever filling out this annoying online survey about my shopping experience, although my shopping experience is now being worsened by the fact that I get annoying reminder emails to take an online survey because of it.

I am at least a little curious about what is included in the online survey now.  It's probably a biased survey which is skewed towards provide positive feedback anyway (ie: "How well would you say we provided _____" using the positive connotation "well" in the question itself), but I'll never know.

I would like to think that this is an isolated incident, but sadly, I know this is not the case.  This exact scenario happens to me rather frequently, and I'm well on my way to another one as I type this.  (Remember that rental car upgrade I stole last week?  Well, I got an online survey about my car renting can just guess if I'm going to fill that out)  I'm entirely certain I can look forward to more online surveys and emails "reminding" me to fill them out because I "forgot" to the last time they emailed me about it.  The smart money is on me "forgetting" again.  

I would be tempted to fill out their online surveys if I could send them my own online survey to provide their feedback on me as a customer.  Then I could send them annoying reminder emails to fill it out since they'll probably "forget" just like I did. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'll Allow Two Weeks To Transition

Why is it a pair of pants, but only one shirt?  

Here we go...Jeremy's pondering again.

Well, it makes no sense.  Things need to make sense.

So, today's status obviously deals with semantics when it comes to articles of clothing...

That all depends on what you mean by "semantics..."

People tend to refer to certain clothing in singular terms, but others in plural, and I don't always know why.  I mean, some of them are pretty obvious, like a pair of socks, or a pair of shoes, in which there are two entirely separate pieces of clothing that come in a matched set, and you tend to wear both of them at the same time.  Gloves fall into this category as well.

But, when you talk about pants (and for the sake of today's discussion, we'll be dealing with the American definition of pants, and not the British version, but the same concept applies), they are most often referred to in the plural.  As in: This is my favorite pair of pants.  Why is this?  There is only one article of clothing. 

Pants and shirts are fairly similar clothes in concept.  They each are designed to cover a segment of a body's core, and two extremities.  The the case of a shirt, it covers your torso and two arms versus pants, which clothe the pelvic bum area and two legs. 

Can people please start using the phrase "Pelvic bum area" now?  

So I don't really understand where the semantic difference comes from that would lead you to need a pair of pants, when it is a single garment, versus a single shirt.  Sure, you have a pair of pant legs, but you also have a pair of shirt sleeves and nobody says "I'm going to wear this pair of shirts" when talking about one piece of clothing.

Can we at least say that this debate you're having with yourself is pants?

No, because that would be using the British version, which we already discounted.  Also, that's the slang usage anyway.

At this point, I'm not sure which side of the debate to fall on, but I would like us, as a society, to settle on a single usage for the sake of consistency.  We either need to refer to shirts as plural, or pants as singular.  So get used to it, will either need to start wearing a shirt and pant, or a pair of pants with your favorite shirts.  It's the only way. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Better Than "Rotted Driftwood" I guess

Even the rental cars are bigger in Texas  

Welcome back, Jeremy.  How was your trip?  

It was a real hootenanny.

In case you're wondering, Jeremy has been on a business trip to Texas for the last little while.  Nobody there used the word hootenanny.  

All of that is true, and at least half of that is entirely depressing.

And Jeremy stole a car, so that's a thing...

I did nothing of the sort!  I provided myself a free upgrade. 

So, when you fly into one of the largest airports in the country and need to rent a car, there really needs to be an efficient system in place for that sort of thing, since the folks there are dealing with a significantly higher than average volume of people looking for rental cars.  Such was the case at the airport I flew into at the start of my trip.  The efficient system that has been developed at that particular airport is to place all of the rental cars in a large parking garage, leaving the keys inside, and directing the customers to simply walk to an area of the garage designated for their tier of reserved car.  The customer then picks out whichever car they want from that area, and customer service agents scan the barcodes and such on the way out.  This is all well and good. 

I was directed to the "Gold" section of the garage, which is where the small-to-mid-range levels of cars that I'm allowed to rent are parked.  Seems like a bit of a misnomer, since there would have to be like...platinum, ruby, emerald, diamond, and depleted uranium levels to cover all of the upgrades I'm not allowed to have which would ostensibly be placed above "Gold" but that's neither here nor there.  I find that the Gold section takes up the entirety of two rows of cars, most of which are totally reasonable mid-sized cars.  I select one and stick my head in the door to retrieve the keys, only to be immediately gassed out by the remains of voluminous cigarette smoke.  I promptly close the door and move across the aisle to another car of the same make, but that I recognized as a higher-tiered model.  The inside smelled fine. 

After verifying at least three times that this car was indeed parked in a "Gold" space in the "Gold" aisle, I place my stuff in the trunk and make for the exit.  The attendant scans my license to look up my reservation, and immediately looks confused.  He asks if I got the car from "Gold" and I pointed to the row where it was parked, even informing him of the parking space number I found it in.  He goes back to his computer and remains confused.  He comes back and asks if I located the car in some form of "special prestige reserved" section or some crap...I once again explain that it was in the "Gold" row, once again pointing to the row and space where the car had been located.  He returns to his computer.  He comes back and says, "This wasn't in a special prestige reserved space?  It was Gold?  It was reserved for somebody else."  I explain for a third time that the car was parked in space number 502, which is the third space in the Gold row, that it was parked next to that silver one right over there (pointing), and asked if I should return it there and pick out a new one.  The guy says it's okay, that he'll change the other person's reservation to a different car, and that I was all set. 

So, at the end of the trip, I get my receipt from the rental car company, and sure enough.  My reservation was for a "C" class car (which, apparently "C" stands for "Gold" and the system goes to F at the very least...I don't get it), and the receipt says that I rented an "F" class car.  I don't know what the frig F stands for, but it's clearly better than C.  I was charged the C class rate, since that's what I reserved, so I got a free upgrade!  I also find myself entirely convinced that Gold is highly undervalued in the lexicon of this particular rental car company.