Archive for December, 2005

I Was Right!

December 28, 2005

Remember when I talked about the widening of America? And some of you poo-pooed my point?

Well, I have news for you.


A Likely Story

December 28, 2005

I always miss all the fun…

This morning, before I got to the office, a lady smashed her car into the side of the building, buckling a door frame and smashing the jamb all into kindling. She took out the side of another car on the way in. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

She said her foot slipped off the brake onto the gas.

What I can’t figure out is, the tire tracks are halfway to sideways across the sidewalk. The parking spaces are 90-degree perpendicular. So methinks she was in trouble long before she jumped the curb and hit the building.

Just another example of the fun never stopping around here.

They Need A Study For This?

December 19, 2005

Headline in Yahoo! News:

Eating, exercise habits vary by season: study

Well, duh. We don’t get out as much in the winter to exercise because it’s cold and dark when we get home from work. And we eat more because of the heaps and mountains of fattening goodies that people bring us!

…the study participants’ body weight fluctuated by about one pound throughout the yearlong study period, but was the highest during the winter season, when they also reported participating in the least amount of physical activity…

Noting the inherent difficulty in many people’s attempts to lose weight, [study author Dr. Yunsheng] Ma stressed both the importance of balancing the number of calories consumed versus the number of calories burned and the importance of consuming a balanced diet.

“To avoid the winter weight gain, individuals need to be conscious of their diet and physical activity in the winter,” Ma told Reuters Health. “It is important to maintain a healthy weight throughout the year.”

I’m glad they mentioned the part about calories consumed versus calories burned. I never would have known that was important if they hadn’t.


Good Riddance

December 13, 2005

My sentiments on the top news story of the day were best expressed on a T-shirt worn by a police officer I used to know:

No criminal ever escaped from a cemetery!

The Widening Of America?

December 13, 2005

Saw a BMW commercial on TV last night that showed a montage of images of BMWs through the years. Has anybody besides me noticed the trend?

Here’s a 1970 model:

Here’s a 1983:


And now, the 2006 E series:

Okay, so what has CrankyBeach’s evil twisted mind come up with here?

What does the front of the car make you think of? (I’ll give you a hint. The newly married Sarahk calls it the pinkytoe.)

And the trend? As America’s pinkytoes have widened… so has the pinkytoe on the front of the BMW.


I TOLD That Guy Not To Mess With It!

December 12, 2005

The phone guy was in here on Friday.

Every time the phone guy has been in, something has gotten majorly screwed up.

Most recently, for the last several months, a co-worker’s private line has rung on my phone. Since it also rings on her phone (as it is supposed to) and I can see by looking at my phone that it’s for her, this did not present a real problem. I told the guy to please not try to fix it, because sure as anything, the next thing would be that my incoming lines would ring in the bathroom (even though there is no phone in there).

But nooooooo. He had to screw around with it.

And now? If my incoming line is not picked up within 3 rings, it does not go to my answering machine, as it is supposed to. It goes to the front desk.

As if the front desk doesn’t already have enough to do, without answering my incoming calls to boot! Not only that… they cannot answer any questions that might come in on my lines (just as I cannot answer theirs), so it is a complete waste of time for them to get my calls.

If this happened by accident, it’s inexcusable that the phone guy does not know his job. If he did it on purpose, it is inappropriate on top of inexcusable because he made an administrative decision that he had no business making, i.e. to send my unanswered calls elsewhere.

Reminds me of the time a so-called “architect” tried to re-design my space. She saw what she thought was “three computers,” and figured since only one person worked in the room, there was no need for “so many computers,” and she axed the server that powers the entire system in her zealous space-saving efforts.

I am going to kill If something mysterious and nasty happens to that phone guy, I had nothing to do with it. And that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

UPDATE: As if all of the above weren’t enough, our computer network has been flaking out on us all day–AND, when I went to leave to go see the chiropractor, I could not get my car out of the gated parking lot because both entrance and exit gates had decided today would be a good day to quit working. So I had to practically sprint 3 blocks uphill (fortunately, the chiropractor is not over in the next town) and by the time I got there, I REALLY needed that massage!

The phones are still futzed up, the last I heard they were trying to reboot the network (again) and our lifter-of-heavy-objects had gone out with his trusty wrench and unscrewed the gate bars so we can get out of the parking lot.

It has truly been Monday. I’m going home to hide under the bed!

True Definition Of Happiness

December 12, 2005

Peace on earth? Good will toward men? Or men of good will? (A good willing man???)


True happiness lies in an opening THIS VERY DAY at the chiropractor’s office, when you have a major muscle spasm that’s got your upper back all kinked up!

I can’t wait.

How To Feel Old

December 4, 2005

You know you’re getting old when the first car you ever owned is in a museum.

No, that’s not my actual car in the exhibit–the last time I saw mine, it was being towed away with a completely blown-for-the-final-time engine–but mine was just like it, except mustard-yellow (or turkey-turd-tan, as we used to call it).

For you flatlanders, that’s a 1972 Honda 600 sedan, a two-cylinder motorcycle engine with a reverse gear and a little shoe-box with seats slapped around it. A Volkswagen Beetle looked as big as a Hummer next to it. It got 36 miles to the gallon in town, but when I wanted to go up a hill, I had to drive on the shoulder and let everybody else pass me. It never went far enough on the road for me to figure out its road mileage. Its tires weren’t much bigger than frisbees, and the trunk would hold a sack or two of groceries, but that was about it. And it had–are you ready for this–an 8-track tape player, woo-hoo!

From that pregnant roller skate to a 2005 Lexus in just 30 years. Wow.

Seems A Bit Unnatural…

December 3, 2005

… to lace up my skates and step out onto the ice after driving only 5 minutes, instead of 85 minutes.

They’ve set up one of those portable ice rinks at the fairgrounds, which is just off the very next freeway exit.

Local friend Sara went on opening day and said the ice conditions were terrible, so I was not planning to bother with it. Except that Sara had given me two advance-purchase tickets for my birthday…. She had even talked about renting ice time on a Sunday morning (before the noon daily opening) and throwing herself a birthday party next weekend. She tried to cancel, based on the ice conditions, but they would not refund her money, so the party is back on.

We went today to try it out–and she said the conditions were 100 percent better than on Thanksgiving.

But they were still pretty rough. The ice resurfacing equipment consists of a hoe, a snow shovel, a water hose and two big squeegees. No Zamboni. So the ice was getting pretty biffed up, with about an inch-thick layer of shaved ice on top by the time we left–with still 7 hours until closing time. Sara said on Thanksgiving day, the moisture condensation from the overhead canopy was dripping down and making stalagmites on the ice, which the guy was going around and whacking off with his hoe–thus making holes.

The rink is about one-third the size of a regulation hockey rink, and it was rather crowded with many faller-downers, most of whom had clearly never been on ice skates before. And other than one of the rink-police guys, we were the only skaters with our own skates. Everyone else had the funky rental skates. So it was rather interesting, skating around on bumpy ice, in the snow, with little kids going splat right in front of you all the time. It’ll be much nicer when we have the rink all to ourselves, a week from tomorrow….

How To Get Spammed

December 2, 2005

Many of you know that I am about to abandon my long-time personal e-mail address because it’s gotten to where I spend more time fighting spam than dealing with real e-mail.

My e-mail provider recently put in some new server-side anti-spam measures–and the consensus, based on a completely non-scientific discussion between myself and two other members of that ISP, is that things are much worse since they instituted the new measures. All of us have had many legitimate e-mails blocked, and many more spams are slipping right through.

I had the ISP set my account to the “pass through” option, meaning they would let everything through, but mark suspected spams as such. Even with the filtering option set to “annihilate,” large amounts of spam are still not being marked as such; and legitimate e-mails are being marked (but at least I’m getting them).

I’ve tried numerous end-user anti-spam tricks, and none of them have been satisfactory. So I’ve decided to make a clean sweep of it and open a new e-mail address.

(For those of you who know me, if you didn’t get the e-mail about this, my new address is my first initial followed by my last name, at the same ISP, dot com. Clear as mud? I thought so.)

For what it’s worth, here are some of the interesting things I’ve learned:

If you want your e-mail address spammed, your number one move is to publish it on a website. Any website. Spammers have slaves who do nothing but surf the web and find e-mail addresses. So if you don’t want to participate in spam, if you must put your e-mail address on the web, spell it out in English, like I do (crankybeach at yahoo dot com), since the slaves do not speak English and therefore will not understand it.

If you like to forward jokes, urban legends and “send this to everybody you know” type e-mails, always use your private e-mail address for it. Your mass forwards–with your e-mail address and those of all your friends–will get forwarded on, and on, and eventually end up in the hands of the spammers, who will promptly deluge you with their gifts. But if you are a grinch and don’t want to get those gifts, open up a freebie (disposable) e-mail address for your forwarding, so that when it clogs up with spam, you can shut it down and open another.

Now, here are some methods you can use to make sure your e-mails to others get tagged as spam by an over-aggressive spam filter:

Do not put your name–or any name–in the default return address field of your e-mail program.

Make sure that the part of your e-mail address that goes before the “at” sign is a number.

(The above two instances actually happened; a friend on the east coast e-mailed me at the new address, and her mail was marked as spam because she did not have her name in the “from” field, and her e-mail address was her first initial, her last name, and a number, at the ISP dot com. So if you’re contemplating a new e-mail address, and your name is Susie Smith, think up something a bit more creative than ssmith109 at my-isp dot com. And then put your name in the return address field of your e-mail program!)

Send out mass e-mails by putting all of the “to” addresses in the “to” field, rather than putting one of your own disposable e-mail addresses in the “to” field and putting all the other recipients as blind cc’s. The flip side of this one is that if you are a spammer, and you want to send out a mass e-mail advertising certain drugs without a prescription, and you don’t want to try and think up new and innovative ways of misspelling them (in the hopes that the spam filters at the other end will pass them by), just send out the entire list as blind cc’s, and your spam should slide right through.

Lastly, if you want to make sure that all of your friends and family share in the spam wealth, be sure and post all of their e-mail addresses on your own web page, and in the “comments” of every blog you can find!

(And if some of you flatlanders aren’t sophisticated enough to understand that my advice on how to get spammed is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, go have some coffee, and then ask somebody to explain sarcasm to you.)