OK this is too funny not to share

And I’m even tweeting it because it’s indicative of the weird PC world that we live in today.

I’m searching for apartments in the San Diego area.

I was on a web site, that asked me to “Check availability” by sending contact information and sending a short note to the complex.

My note read:

I’m looking for a 1 bedroom, with assigned or covered parking. I’m moving to the area for work.
Do you have anything available and if so, when?
Thank you for your assistance.
Regards

What actually showed up and was quoted back to me in a reply from the apartment complex was:

I’m looking for a 1 bedroom, with a**igned or covered parking. I’m moving to the area for work.

Do you have anything available and if so, when?
Thank you for your a**istance.
Regards
Do you see it?
 
There is some kind of filter that scanned the text and triggered on the ASS portion of the words. In order to protect the sensitive eyes of someone who might be offended by the first three letters of a word it changed the “SS” to “**”
 
This is an example of a couple of things in our society today.
 
HYPERSENSITIVITY and poor Quality Assurance.
 
There is no reason that the filter software couldn’t have examined the whole character group and compared it against a list of allowed words.
 
It’s called a Whitelist. (No Racist intent there.)
 
The white list would include:
 
Assistance
Assurance
Assigned
Assuage
.
.
.
 
and any other legitimate words from multiple language dictionaries that began with ass-
 
OR, and this might be the easier solution.
 
Use a Blacklist (Again no racist intent)
As an aside isn’t it amazing how common terms must now be explained lest someone be offended that you’re using a term that might be misinterpreted by a relatively small yet vocal group of people.
The Blacklist would simply have all the bad words you wanted to edit from the message. Typically, the blacklist is much shorter and therefore a much faster search and compare.
 
Ass
Asshole
Asshat
Dumbass
Asinine
Assfuck
Assfucker
Asswipe
Asslick
Asslicker
Assbite
Assgrab
Assgrabber
Asskiss
Asskisser
Asskick
Assmunch
 
The programming process is straightforward.  If the first 3 characters is ass, branch to compare with words in the blacklist. If there’s a match, then edit the naughty bits. If there’s no match then leave the text alone and pass the message untouched.
 
The really funny thing is that if you see A**HOLE you know it means asshole. If you see the “N” word, you know what that really means so honestly what’s the point?
 
If your company had to impose filters to protect your staff from offensive language, maybe you need to have a look at why people are sending your staff offensive messages in the first place.
 
Ahh PC what would we do if we weren’t bound by your brownshirt insanity?  
 
Oh yeah, we could have a sense of humor.
 

Starbucks Encounters

Starbucks Logo

Starbucks is an interesting place to observe people.

I’m sitting at a small table, waiting for the traffic to die down. I’m blogging, which is also kinda normal for me. But as I was blogging, I thought to myself there are all kinds of stories here. 

There are the usual students, and hipsters. The hipster kid in the beanie on his Macbook FaceTiming on the free WiFi, heedless of the impact he’s having on all the other patrons in the place. 

The disgruntled looks from the other students trying to do research who now have throughput that’s slower than 300 Baud ever was. (You whippersnappers, look it up.)

The annoyed patrons around the kid, as they’re being forcibly included in the kids’ conversation. 

Hipsters1

I’m immune to the throughput issues, because I’m using the hotspot on my phone. I’m at a small table with only one chair in a far corner of the room. The Kid notices me looking at him as he fairly shouts into his headset “I like having you play with my asshole!” 

Ahem, he forgot that the muffling effect of his earbuds meant he couldn’t hear himself and when you can’t hear yourself speak, you tend to yell.

There’s no embarrassment for his part, he’s looking at me with doe eyed innocence, either not realizing that the entire place now knows he likes having his ass played with or simply not caring.

WOW! 


Standing in line

Two people ahead of me. 

Starbucks line

First person has gotten to the counter but has still not decided what they want. Suddenly everything is in slow motion. I’m questioning if I actually need coffee. 

The person finally figures out what they want, and pay for their order.

The next person steps to the counter, “I don’t know what I want…” TIME STOPS! After slow tedious questions and descriptions by the counter person a beverage decision is made.

Only NOW does the lady start digging in her purse for her wallet and a method of payment.

While the lady in front is learning about the merits and growing conditions of Columbian coffee beans, (Which by the way she didn’t buy) Another lady is behind me.

And she’s stepping into my personal space, on my left, then on my right, then on my left, then on my right and she’s bumping me in the process.  All this un-necessary motion in close proximity activates my security instincts.

I turn to carefully look this woman over. I mean carefully, with intensity and precision. 

“What are you a perv,” she asks annoyed at the attention.

“No, I’m just making sure you don’t have a bomb vest on, since you’re obviously agitated, in a rush, and had NO PROBLEM trying to bum rush me out of your way. DO YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD OF ME?” I replied firmly.

Now “crazy lady” is looking at me like I’ve got two heads.  Hey, as far as I’m concerned her opening line about my being a perv was intended to be shocking. So I replied in kind and I think I trumped her

The lady at the counter is still getting her education about coffee beans. 

Crazy Starbucks Lady.

“I’m an American!”

“As am I, ma’m, however apparently I’ve got much better manners and understanding of “waiting in line” social etiquette, than you do.”

“I repeat, do you want to go ahead of me? Honestly, your invasion of my personal space and obvious impatience is putting me very much on edge.”

She blinked like I’d slapped her.

“Uh no.”

“As you wish.”

I turned back to the counter. The lady ahead of us having now completed her coffee bean education, digs into her purse for her wallet… Sigh.


Placing orders.

your order please

My turn: “Cafe Mocha, no whip.” I flash my Starbucks App barcode at the scanner and I’m on my way to the pickup station. Before I get to the pickup station, my phone vibrates telling me that the purchase receipt has arrived.

“Crazy Lady” is asking questions about the coffee drinks… Four minutes later, Cafe Mocha in hand, I’m heading out the door. The line too is out the door, “Crazy Lady” is only now digging in her purse for her wallet…  

There oughta be two lines. One for those of us who know what the hell we want, and another for those who don’t know what they want, and aren’t organized enough to have their method of payment ready.

I know you can place your order on-line, I’m just enough of a luddite I still like having the interaction. 

I’d like the lines…

If you get in the “I know what I want line,” and don’t have your order and payment ready, you get asked to step to the other line.

10 Seconds! That’s all you get, If you don’t have your cash out, or payment thing ready, your order is canceled and you’re asked to step to the back of the other line. 

Fitting punishment, I’d say.


Sitting at a table

Starbucks Table

When I sit at a Starbucks table, I like to hang out, out of the main flow of people.

I’m often working on a book or a blog, or coding something on a website. Generally, I can shut out the hustle and bustle around me as white noise and be in my own little world.

Sometimes though, my attention is drawn to the mini-dramas playing out in the rest of the place.

The crying child. The angry person on their phone. The older person having their first experience with Starbucks. The students, and hipsters grooving to their own beats. The gaudy dude in the tasteless suit wearing fake diamonds bigger than the Hope diamond in his ears, and the cheap flashy Rolex knock-off. (Dude, here’s a hint, we know it’s all fake because of your shoes and the POS beater car we saw you get out of.) The homeless guy outside on the patio trying to stay out of the wind and find a little shade drinking the left-overs, and getting a little charity from the occasional good soul.

Starbucks Crowd

It’s a cross section of humanity, and very often an interesting mélange of people. There’s a texture to the people at Starbucks, with some variations dependent on region, all Starbucks are the same.

The mélange of people is essentially the same, and when you’ve been in enough Starbucks you start to think you’re seeing even the same individuals in every store.

So much for originality or uniqueness! 


Relaxation

Crowd1

Sitting there doing my thing and tuning in and out of the mini dramas is strangely relaxing for me.

I’ve never run into anyone I actually knew at a Starbucks. Everyone in the place are strangers. I get to engage in judgement without guilt.

Starbucks mini dramas provide material for my writing. I think I’m relieved that I don’t actually have to live all of the drama to get a feel for what it’s about.

I think I’m relaxed because I’m reminded that my problems aren’t unique, and my focus is expanded beyond my immediate crisis. 

What’s that old saying?

Misery loves company…

Meh. It could be worse

Unknown

The other half came home with some serious junk food.

They are tasty and the other half justified the purchase by pointing out that these taste very good with berry flavored tea.

But the classic statement was;

Besides, they were on sale.

Which apparently justifies the purchase of four packages.

I was reminded about a friend of mine.

His other half loved bargains. Shoes, Jewelry, you name it, if something was on sale it was in their house shortly there after.

Everything was pretty much fine until…

Luxman d 08

What has since become known within the US Government and NATO as;

The Luxman Incident.

I vaguely recall waking up, the day after Thanksgiving at my friends home.  I staggered to the kitchen following the smell of awesome coffee.

Ahhhhhh Coffee!

Then I smelled that distinct smell that comes only from New Electronics. The unmistakable smell of rosin, and board cleaning solvent. Then I heard the rustling of styrofoam, and plastic bags.

There, in the living room, was my friend looking like a kid at Christmas in the middle of cables and packing materials.

It was 9 am.

My friend had showered, shaved, gotten dressed, left the house, driven to Van Nuys, made a purchase, driven home, re-entered the house without disturbing the dog or anyone else and was in the process of having a geek orgasm induced by a new electronic toy.

My friend didn’t roll around in the packing… His control was remarkable, (which is not to say he hadn’t done this prior to my entering the room.)

Alien by buchemi

Enjoying my coffee, I was looking forward to watching Alien on this brand new LaserDisc player, later in the afternoon. (It’s a Thanksgiving or day after Thanksgiving tradition, leave it at that.)

At which point… His other half came in and frankly lost it.

At the time, I wondered if I was watching Alien live!

I headed for another cup of coffee. I was not wanting to be drawn into this under any circumstances. Best to not be present.  My friends other half looked at me “Did YOU know he was going to buy this?”

“Uh Nope… where’s the coffee? I’m going to put on another pot,” continuing to the relative safety of the kitchen.

At which point I don’t remember too much. I do recall the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard for about 30 minutes then it got quiet.

A few moments of silence and the opening sound effects of the score of Alien could be heard from the living room.

I looked around the corner. That now infamous opening line appeared on the screen.

In space, no-one can hear you scream.

Clearly a vacuum had opened somewhere between the front of the house and the rear of the house. I knew no-one had been “spaced” but there was some serious space in that house for the next day or so. I don’t think they spoke the rest of the weekend.

It wasn’t funny then.

Many years have passed, and I think it’s funnier than hell now. My friend may not think so but I hope he takes it good-naturedly.

Of course this is the same friend that gave me the single most EPIC ass chewing I’ve ever received. I deserved every word of it. I was an asshole!

I’m hoping that I’m not cruising for another EPIC ass chewing with this post.

It’s strange how memories are linked in our heads.

My other half saying “They were on sale,” as I was trying to rearrange the pantry to accept a 3 cubic foot block of cookies, put a smile on my face and allowed me to relive that “Black Friday”.

My friend has a much lovelier person as his wife now. She’s awesome, I genuinely like and respect her. She brings out the best in him, and the imp in me.

(I love trying to shock her and watching her reboot for just an instant when she processes that I really did say what she thought, but never imagined, I’d say. In truth because she’s made my friend happy and truly loves him, well don’t tell her, but I’d do anything in my power for her.)

I’ll throw myself on her mercy if he’s really mad at me.

I should point out that I’ll buy her mercy if necessary with tales of a blue Mustang, a green Monza and a certain church parking lot!

It pays to be a very old friend to someone, you know literally ALL their dirt.

Ahhh Chooo!

What was I saying? What Mustang, I’m not a church going person, what’s a Monza? I’m so old my memory fails at the most inopportune moments.

Cookies or over priced bedazzled sweat shirts.

I’ll take the cookies and funny memories.

I’m Awake!!!

1:20 am.

The other half was wheezing at just the right frequency that the mattress was resonating and amplifying the sound. I’ve been asleep for about 2 hours.

I briefly consider the application of the large fluffy pillow! Nah, I’m not sleep deprived enough to be able to carry off the role of distressed spouse for the cops. They’d all know I did it and knew what I was doing.

If I wake the other half up telling them to roll over because they’re snoring, I’ll get “I’m not asleep.”

I know if I move around too much the dog will wake up and want to go out.

I lay there trying to get back to sleep then realize now, I have to take a piss. DAMN!

Alright!

I get out of bed, cold air hits my balls, and I suddenly have a swollen vulva where my balls used to hang. The dog is already heading down the hall to the back door.

When I open the back door, a breeze blows in that is so cold it would make the ice planet Hoth seem like a tropical paradise. I’m looking around for my Tauntaun.

I’m VERY awake! I’m also rethinking this whole house in the mountians thing. Maybe a house in Hawaii would be better.

Dog pacing outside looking for “The Spot”. He’s going to be a while, I head back to the bathroom and relieve myself. Grab a bathrobe and wait for the dog to finish.

1:50 am.

Dog finally ready to come back in.

Back to bed, but I’m awake. I guess that whole thing about looking at computer screens making it hard to sleep is for real. I was writing this on the iPad.

2:48 am.

I fall asleep.

The cold from hell is finally abating

For those of you that have The Cold. I give you hope. The light you see glimmering at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily an oncoming train or “The Light” you’re supposed to go into when you die.

After two weeks of misery, today I’m finally feeling more like my old self.

This has been the worst cold or flu I’ve had in many years. And to add a little spice and variety to the wonder that the virus brought into my life. The damn thing was morphing as it progressed. It’s a tease too, I’d start to feel better, then wham! A whole new set of symptoms. Then about the time my body would get a handle on those symptoms, pow! Something completely new.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been chilled to the bone with my teeth chattering in a sleeping bag, while the ambient temp in the house was 70° F. I spent a couple of days where I was too hot with the temp in the house at 65° F. I’ve had my joints ache so bad it was agony to move my legs. That was followed up with body wide cramping of all my muscles. Through it all, my sinuses were producing all manner of gothic horrors (I had a club handy just in case the kleenex started moving!) and the coughing and hacking left my already painful ribcage feeling like I’d been in a violent car accident.

How do I know I’m on the mend? The same way every man knows they’re getting over something… I’m thinking really dirty thoughts and want to just get NASTY.

Ladies, that’s the way we work… As we get sick we want to screw because we know we’ll feel better for a little while and if whatever we’re coming down with kills us, well at least we went out on a good note.

All men want to have an unseemly grin on our faces in our caskets. I personally want to have a dirty smirk so locked on my face that my mother would blush and my spouse can’t have it jackhammered off. I want my last hurrah to be etched on my face and so dirty that folks seriously consider a closed casket. For the sake of the children, don’t ya know.

Once we survive the disease, we want to screw to declare to the world that we’re awesome, victorious, and our genes are worthy. Besides it makes us feel better. ( are you seein a theme here?) Ya just have to picture a big silver back gorilla and you’ve got a snapshot of us and what makes us tick.

So, I’m off to pound my chest, or whatever else seems appealing.

Don’t give up hope, The Cold doesn’t last forever.

It just seems that way.

Whoops! Down the rabbit hole

receiptsample

It was a simple enough thing. Find a receipt so that we could claim the warranty replacement / repair.

“No problem,” says I, heading toward my computer. And that’s when it all fell down.

I’ve been keeping electronic receipts on my computer for years. There’s something like 2700 emails that are all in a nice neat folder in my email client. I started doing that because for years Mac Email did a great job of indexing and allowing me to find important emails like receipts.

Except today!

Today, I stumbled again over an indexing problem in Mac Mail. It’s been rearing it’s head from time to time.  I’ve done all the corrective actions specified TWICE! Still the search and indexing functions are all but useless in Mail.

The Final Solution, the Apple Web Site is recommending, which is the final solution on any computer is to re-install the OS. 

I’m thinking I’ll wait on that. In a couple of months, Apple is releasing a new OS and at that point my plan is to rework my computer anyway. 

Rather than go through this process twice in a short period of time, I’d rather combine the pain.

This leaves me with the initial problem… finding that receipt!

GRRRRR

Searching one email at a time isn’t cutting it. Sorting the emails in the folder should narrow my efforts… working working, working, working.

A couple of hours later…

Other half, “What are you doing?”

“Looking for that receipt”

Other half “Oh, um that problem is taken care of. Hours ago! I called the rewards program and they emailed me a copy of the receipt. I’m leaving now to drop the whatsit at the repair place.”

Some days, I’m too stupid to use a crayon!

“GRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr!” Pounding head on desk.

“Okay, drive careful, could you pick up some aspirin while you’re out? I’m going to need it.”