2007-08-11 22:40 in /random
I was being measured by a tailor yesterday, and my waist measurement was a little surprising to me. She said that she’s noticed in the last couple years that men’s pant sizes have stopped being accurate measurements of the waist size, and are now generally 1-2 inches less. The phenomenon has been well known for women’s clothing for a while, but those numbers never meant anything to begin with. However, one of the nice things about buying men’s clothes has always been that the numbers corresponded to objective reality. So much for that.
This does explain how I’ve managed to gain 30 lbs since college but only go up 1" in pant size, at least.
2007-06-28 13:40 in /random
A couple of my letters got returned to me this week, marked as insufficient postage. The first obnoxious thing about this is that my stamps have no denomination on them at all. The stamps and the packet simply say “First Class Mail”. Now I’m not a lawyer or anything, but it seems to me that a stamp sold as “First Class” postage should continue to be valid even if the rates increase. By analogy, if I buy a 10-pass at a gym or yoga studio or similar establishment, they have to honor those passes even if they increased their rates in the interim. Moreover, apparently the post office expects me to memorize which non-denominated stamps are worth a certain amount.
The second obnoxious thing about this is that someone had to pick out this piece of mail and mark it “Insufficient Postage”, my mailman had to return it to my house, I had to drive to the post office and take up my time and a USPS employee’s time, all over a total of 12 cents of postage (including enough additional stamps to go with the rest of the booklet I have at home). It’s hard to be precise, but the total cost was probably between $5 and $10 to collect $0.12. This is not a sensible way to run a business, and I can’t believe that if the USPS didn’t have a government-granted monopoly that they would be behaving this way.
2007-01-16 14:50 in /random
Over at the Guardian, someone is upset that there’s 160 Starbucks within 5 miles of Central London. Part of his angst, I’m sure, comes from an inability to do basic mathematical estimation. You see, a circle with a radius of 5 miles covers just under 80 square miles. So, that’s two Starbucks per square mile. That doesn’t sound as scary, does it? I’m not sure about London, but 10 blocks per mile is a pretty standard city grid. 2 Starbucks per 100 city blocks. Over 99% of street corners do not have a Starbuck on them. For a dense metropolitan area, that’s really not so bad.
(Incidentally, I checked my address. There’s 66 Starbucks within 5 miles of us. I had to think for a minute about where the closest one was, and I’m completely at a loss for the second closest. But, I can probably come up with a dozen other coffeeshops within a reasonable walk.)
2007-01-02 13:30 in /random
[This post is mostly search engine food.]
While reconciling a recent credit card bill, I found a payment to "IMAY OF PASADENA WATER PASADENA CA". This was a month after we moved, and for a fairly large amount, so we were a little concerned. A web search didn’t come up with any explanation of who this could be. This morning, I called my credit card company to see if they could give me any information about the merchant account on the transaction, and they were able to tell me that it was categorized as "Utilities", and from there I checked my records and found that this was our last electric and trash bill from the City of Pasadena, which I paid online rather than by check (probably because my checkbook hadn’t yet surfaced after the move).
I still can’t figure out where "imay" comes from, but at least the mystery is now solved. And, hopefully, the next person who wonders about this and does a search will find this post with the answer.
2006-11-01 21:30 in /random
Whenever I read these sorts of articles about terrible childhood games, I have to wonder: was I the only nerd who actually liked dodgeball? Admittedly, the clear explanation is that I was actually quite good at the game. Yeah, I was a nerd, but I was also small and fast, and had good hand-eye coordination. Any ball that I couldn’t get out of the way of, I could usually catch and get the other kid out.
2006-03-01 21:52 in /random
I walked into Rite Aid tonight and they have this giant banner saying "Easter. It’s coming sooner than you expect." And, I can only think that unless they’ve changed the definitions of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, I’m pretty sure I know exactly how soon Easter is coming.
2005-11-02 19:29 in /random
I ask you, WTF is up with having a fire drill 3 days before everyone moves out of the building?
2005-08-11 21:41 in /random
One thing I realized at OSCON was that I should really get some personal business cards made up. Naturally, my Yahoo! business cards only have my work email, and for some reason I didn’t put my cell phone number on them. (I think I had the theory that I didn’t want some people I might give my card to to be able to call me outside of work.) But, it turns out that 90% of people I give my card to I actually do want to have that information, and I end up having to dig out a pen and scribble it on the back. So, before the next conference I go to, I think I will try to have a second set of cards with my personal info on them.
2005-07-19 19:23 in /random
Apparently after 8 years I’ve turned in to a real Angeleno. I spent this last weekend on a low-intensity search for hair product. Not just any hair product; gotta be the right stuff; only Sebastian Control Top will do.
I also continue to keep my eyes open for a full-service car wash in Vancouver. While the quickie gas station attachment ones are not too hard to come by, I haven’t spotted anywhere that will actually clean the inside of the car too, which is sorely needed after the drive up the coast.
2005-06-16 18:01 in /random
There’s something severely wrong when you spend two full days visiting another office and the people you are supposed to meet with tell you they can only fit you in from 12-1, and then they don’t even show up to boot.