April 17, 2006

Defragmenting

Mondays can stink even when you stay at home. This morning I got up, made my tea and trudged back up the stairs, eager to create a new post, take a look at the news and answer some email. I didn't sleep restfully last night, and in fact, had one of those dream/nightmares that you keep trying to make sense of all day long. I knew my computer would come through for me though - filling my mind with tons of other stuff and setting me back on track.

Instead, I found myself face to face with a monster. It won't allow me into any of my Word documents - or assorted other files. Marvelous. This has really set the tone for today. I'm looking into some possible fixes, one of which was to defrag the existing data. While that's being done, I'm able (lucky for me) to use Ed's laptop to update my blog. I thought to myself "Good post topic" as I watched the defrag graph do its thing.

Here are some of the brain-bytes (fragments) that have surfaced in my head recently:

> I don't understand why hospitals and funeral homes bother to advertise on TV. It's not like anyone watching will suddenly nudge their companion and say "Hey, we had no other plans today, let's head over to (insert hospital or funeral home name) and kill some time."

Do you know how much television advertising costs? Do they really think they might go out of business if they don't promote their organization? Do you realize we eventually end up absorbing at least a small percentage of the cost involved for this stupidity?

If they were offering a huge sale ... now that would merit advertising. Imagine this - "Buy one wake, get one free" or "Two bypass surgeries for the price of one; bring a friend."

> It bugs me when people use acronyms then add the last word on at the end. A couple of examples would be "E.R. room" or "IRS service." While I've never used either of those, I have caught myself saying "ATM machine" and it annoys the daylights out of me.

>I wasn't always the good little doobie I am today. When I first got my driver's license, my friends and I would pick a frigidly cold day, drive up to a group of folks waiting at a bus stop and tell them they ought to start walking because the bus broke down several blocks back. The best part would be seeing them midway between stops, swearing up a storm as the bus whizzed past them.

> I also made my share of prank phone calls back in the day. We'd look up the name "Whitehead" in the telephone white pages, dial the residence and ask for Mr. Blackhead ... then quickly add "Oh sorry, wrong pimple."

Ordering pizza and taxi cabs to show up at random people's houses was fun too ... though it was always much better when you kept it in the neighborhood so that you could actually watch and laugh as they pulled up to the house.

Caller ID has really put the kibosh on this sort of child's play.

> I don't understand what's so attractive about cruises. Isn't it kind of like saying, "I'm going to drop thousands of dollars so I can do all of the same shit I can do on land while I risk nausea and/or drowning at the same time!"

And let's not forget about those nifty accommodations. If you paid that much money and showed up at a resort to discover that the room you'll be occupying for seven days is about eight foot by eight foot, you'd be all OVER the hotel staff.

>I hope when I die, people don't say I was the nicest person in the world, or that when I walked into a room - the whole place lit up. That would just lump me together with every single other person who has already died. Or, am I the only one who is a little tired of hearing those two lines at funerals?

> Speaking of death ... I get really annoyed when people react differently to the tragic or untimely death of a nun, priest or popular celebrity than they would to the tragic or untimely death of the average human being.

Case in point: Someone in the employee lounge reads aloud a newspaper clipping about a fatal accident on the highway the day before. Everyone seems eager for details, but when the speaker announces that there were two nuns amongst the dead ... trust me, at least ONE loser will gasp with horror and say, "Oh my God ... there were NUNS?"

Oh, because the story wasn't tragic enough when it was just a few everyday civilians?

> Ed has solved the mystery of the Easter egg business for me. It dates back very long ago to when early Catholics fasted for Lent ... so long ago in fact, that they not only abstained from meats, they also abstained from eggs and sweets too. To avoid temptation, one family member would go about "hiding" all the eggs around the property. Needless to say, this made for quite the abundance of unused eggs and sweets, so on Easter Sunday, they would celebrate using as many of these food items as possible. The coloring came into play so that they would be easier to find and wouldn't be left out to rot. This also explains the big meat meal and the baskets filled with candy. Thank you, Ed.

> I don't think handicapped drivers should ever be permitted to use one of the regular parking spots. There should be a huge fine for this. Okay, I'm kidding. Or am I?

> I have recently been asked by a couple of bloggers if there is anything I haven't done. My standard answer for this remains, "Why yes, but strangely enough I don't have any interest in writing about those things."

> Some people still have reservations about self-publication. Pulling just a couple of names from a long list of "surely you've heard of" people who initially self-published ... Mark Twain, TS Eliot and that H.D.Thoreau dude each assumed that his early work wasn't worthy of submission to an established publishing house. It was from these self-published works that they attained further recognition.


"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination." Albert Einstein

("Except when said computer dies a sudden death. But then, at least it wasn't a nun" WH)

36 Comments:

Blogger Grant said...

I usually tend to cheer (quietly, anyway) when I hear a priest bought it. That's one more altar boy's butt saved.

12:31 PM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

You never fail to entertain and amuse me...I realize how many of the "useless" things in my head we BOTH think about. Not so useless if not just I am thinking about them, ay? Hmmmmm...

Hh

12:45 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

ee cummings...Walt Whitman...I have a self-published famous author list somewhere.

I think computers are partly responsible for the surge in anti-depressant use. I want them to be like a car. You put it in the key and it goes. If you have a fairly new one it shouldn't be breaking down.

Is that true about easter eggs and a big meat dinner?

I was dared once to make a prank call. I was told it was fun, but I hated it. The line we used was. Hello... Is your refrigerator running... Yes...well, you better go catch it!!

Be well, Carol!

2:34 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Well i was hoping for a post by "Hag the Egg nazi"! But i am not disappointed, you brought back memories of how as a kid i used to do the prank calls too. "Is Mrs Wall there? Is Mr Wall there? Are there any Walls there? No? Quick, run, get outta your house no walls means it will fall down!

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Hey Weary, I laughed through your post, 'specially when what bugs you, is what bugs me (never been on a cruise and hope to never go on one). I hadn't thought of all your listed peeves though, but thanks for bringing them up...I think.
My annoyances are the state acronyms (or are they called abbreviations?). Many are not that easy for me to grasp, for instance AK. I would think it would stand for Arkansas, but it's really Alaska. And ME is Maine, but I guess good ol' Massachusetts got first dibs on MA. They don't all give me trouble :>) I'm pretty quick on NH NJ NM and NY. But VA bugs me though. Makes me think of Veterans Administration. Oh dear.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You know you bring up all sorts of things that would never have entered my mind. I might be blind to the commercials here half the time, but I don't think I've ever seend hospitals and funeral homes advertising on tv.

And you're not alone when it comes to those two lines as part of a eulogy(sp?)...makes me wonder how come it's not brighter in the middle of the night with all the 'beaming' people that apparently light up the place while they're still alive.

I can't believe I got to in the top 10 of your commenters!! yay! lol

9:19 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

Eggs also symbolize fertility and as Easter (the term easter actually being derived from different goddesses of a similar name) closely follows the pagan spring equinox, they were incorporated into the Church's tradition.

Heh. I do know some things! Random and useless.

I do have to agree. I get disgusted when people have violently emotional reactions to celebrity deaths but don't bat an eyelash at their city's yearly homicide rate.

10:02 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Don't forget PIN number. It's a personal identification number. Saying number at the end is redundant. But we end up doing it because if you say "Do you know your PIN?" to someone, they ask "What's that?" ARGH!

AE's quote and your response to it made my night. Brilliant. At least it wasn't a nun.

I was with a group of kids at a church overnighter (where were the chaperones? Sleeping) and one of them decided to make some prank calls. 3 AM and we call this guy who has the misfortune to be named Zzzzzzyryck or something like that. Our brilliant prank? "Did you know that you're the last person in the phone book?" "Yes, I did." Dumb.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Don said...

What's goin' on Carol? What's goin' on?

Check this out...

I was expecting the usual Hag post, well-written, nostalgic, mildly ranting, and from a quirky iewpoint... and I wasn't disappointed, although I suspect this one was imbued with more than just a little genuine ire.

Had to disagree with you on the acronyms if only because it helps stem the flow towards the complete abbreviation or acronymisation of the language - let's keep it long, dude.

And cruises - you miss the point. There can be no better and comfortable way to travel from country to country than on a ship - most, if not all of the travelling, is done overnight while you're busy chilling out, dancing, dining, swimming, or any one of numerous other activities. And the cabins? If you need extra space, avoid the cheapo economy cruises!

Good point about 'death' though,and I loved the jibe at handicapped car-parkers, a subject close to my heart - I don't know what percentage of the population are disabled, but my local council is weighting the parking excessively in their favour. There's an inordinate amount of spaces provided for them at my local railway station, which to my knowledge, NEVER get taken throughout the day [grrrrrr].

A good and varied post dude, which could easily have gotten a little bit 'pitchy' here and there, but it didn't.

You worked it out dude! You worked it out!

4:43 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

wrong pimple...classic

7:35 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Well, it seems Dana already pointed out the PIN acronym. I sit at work, cringing, because ATM machine and PIN number are said at least 500 times a day. It hurts. It burns!

As always, love this post and laughed myself silly.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous pablo said...

Sounds like you've covered just about everything. (Also, I never go to the hospital unless they are having a sale.)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Oh, man. I love these. But this one was my favorite:

> I don't think handicapped drivers should ever be permitted to use one of the regular parking spots. There should be a huge fine for this. Okay, I'm kidding. Or am I?

1:55 PM  
Blogger "AG" said...

Oh you just made me remember when I chewed and screwed* at 13 in a NYC diner with my friends at 3:00 a.m. I feel bad for that poor waiter, still.*


*Eat and run out without paying.

**Good times despite the guilt and law breaking.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Ovedya said...

All good stuff. Wished I had blogged some of those. Loved the podering about hospitals advertising on television. I can just imagine some poor guy having a heart attack in his living room, and the wife says, "Hon, I'm driving you straight over to St. Marys." The husband yells, "Saint Marys!? Didn't you see the ad, woman? They have second-rate heart surgeons over there. Take me to Central Health Services!"

7:19 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

I would think as old as I am I would know the history behind the egg at Easter. Now I know. Enjoyed, as always, all the fragments. Now that your bits and pieces are back where they should be, you will have trouble with the flow of your next post...;-)

11:30 PM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

Loved this post. Of course I printed it out & read it in bed, as always.

1. The whole egg-candy-Easter thing confuses me. One the one hand, it is pagan --fertility, spring, earlthy pleasures. But then there's the Christian part too.

I think I am more comfortable with the pagan holidays of my ancestors. We think little gnomes live under the soil; I can deal with that.

2. the funeral director's name in my neighborhood is "WAKEman. Ha ha!

3. Your childhood pranks gave me quite a giggle.

4. Hmmm ... self-publication. Not sure how to begin.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

p.s. "earlthy" is how we say "kinky" in Estonian. Just in case you thought that was a typo, back there.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Genna said...

This was a great post. I do find myself saying "ATM Machine" a lot. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. :o)

1:30 AM  
Blogger Swathi said...

luved tat quote of Einstein and since i deal with comps day in n out (being an IT consultant) i know how true it is.

5:17 AM  
Blogger dan said...

i hope when i die someone has really bad flatulence at my funeral.

5:51 AM  
Blogger dan said...

oh yes, computers are indeed a pain in the arse.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

rIGHT ON THE MONey!

Especially about cruises. Can't think of anything worse, except maybe a nice week long holiday (sorry - VACATION) on a 747.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous hellbunny said...

Technology can be brillant and you can totally rely on it.But also i think sometimes it was less stressful when we didnt have cell phones,computers.Now its hard to get away and get some peace.I loved the part about telling people the bus had broke down.Mean but so funny.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Actually, my parents called and told me about their evening at the funeral home crematory open house. Seems the funeral home added a crematorium and invited interested folks in for a tour.

Drinks and light refreshments were served.

4:16 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

I was thinking of "PIN number" but someone already mentioned that one. The kids used to order pizza and taxi cabs to show up at the neighbor's houses--for exactly the same reason--so they could watch and laugh as the pizza deliveries and cabs pulled up to the house.

4:45 PM  
Blogger NYCbeauty said...

Hey stranger! Great post. Very funny. You should read mine on Cruises....last summer. David Foster Wallace also wrote a funny piece on it: "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." I can totally relate.

As for commercials....I got this digital recorder thing set now so that it only records programs I want to watch and I fast forward through the commercials. Ok, SOMETIMES I surf, but mostly I'm immune to the advertising bullshit.

My favorite commercials are the ones for pharmaceuticals that give the side effects. Death is the one that cracks me up. I mean, upon death, doesn't a side-effect become, well, an effect?

xo
jw

10:25 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

Sometimes I say SAT test. I USUALLY say ATM machine.

As for deaths, it irks me when you hear a story about a person dying and it's no big deal, but when it's divulged that their pet died with them, people say "awwwwwww!"

I'm sorry but Fluffy had it coming to him, he's a freaking cat.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Hey, even us gimps have a good day every so often. I park in the handicap spaces when I need to (and yes, legally). When I'm feeling good, or they're all full, I take the long route.

I wish more stores had electric carts. There are so many stores I just can't shop in, because there aren't places to sit, no electric carts and no real space for either.

It's been a long time since I've been able to just window shop at the mall. I miss that.

4:48 AM  
Blogger jac said...

The story about the Easter eggs was lovely, I didn't know about it.



That was a lovely quote:-
"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination." Albert Einstein


and it is true.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Ketaki said...

hey carol! :) my first time here, and i must say that post was a real treat!! :D

and that is sooo true abt nuns!!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Lyvvie said...

That's definately too much stuff floating around one's head for a Monday morning!

On the point of handicapped folks parking in regular spaces: We have "Family" parking up close to the shops for parents shopping with small kids. I have - yes, I have - complained to handicapped drivers who have no babycar seats in there cars, for parking in the family spaces. "Do you have kids with you today? No? Well then you better move your car to those spaces there with the blue badges - this is for Families. Move it now or I'm calling the cops!"

The bastards would yell at me for parking in handicapped spaces - and I'd get a ticket - so I'm going to fume and blast at them for stealing my prime spot too.

Fair is only fair, right!

And you've relieved me from the burden of ever having to take a cruise. Thank you!!

5:46 AM  
Blogger Attila The Mom said...

"We'd look up the name "Whitehead" in the telephone white pages, dial the residence and ask for Mr. Blackhead ... then quickly add "Oh sorry, wrong pimple."'

Oh God, it's been YEARS since I've thought of that one!

Thanks for the memories!

Really enjoying your blog.

8:27 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I used to be guilty of saying ATM machine - but you have cured me of that! We have a street name here that just kills me. Some builder named a street Rue Monet Street. Someone should tell him that rue means street in French! I'm late getting here, Carol, but I've been on vacation. Forgive me?

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

So much interesting stuff here! Funny you should mention the commercials for the hospitals and funeral homes.. I have wondered the same thing.. why do they need to advertise? And about the ATM Machines :-).. I am guilty of that one.. no more though :-)

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:11 PM  

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