But one of my friends had it worse. He had a long, complicated Lithuanian surname, and even though his handwriting was better than mine it apparently was not that much better, because his name got mangled every time he mail-ordered something.
I think of this, and try to remember when it was that it stopped happening, and can only conclude it was after we all got checking accounts; but that has to be coincidental because that was about the time that all the weird misspellings disappeared. It's probably more likely that that was about the time that huge address database got established, the one which tracks everyone's preferences and ordering habits and addresses.
That's why my wife has been receiving all kinds of spam for different services, under her maiden name; the change-of-address form set a flag, and her name came up in the latest "recently changed addresses" query. And so we get a bunch of useless advertising.
Best one so far? DirecTV. When she works for Comcast and we get free cable. Yeah.
* * *
The Anchoress discusses the US media's need to destroy Bob Woodward for telling the truth, and I like the turn of phrase describing it as, "that staggering business of mediafolk eating their own to protect their presidential squeeze-toy."
That's also a link, to this Instapundit post, and there's a quote in there I want to discuss:
Who thinks this will end well? The White House’s escalating war with Bob Woodward has major ramifications for all involved — not least the [P]resident whom Woodward believes wouldn’t approve of his own aides’ tactics.Woodward may believe that, but I honestly doubt that Obama doesn't know about this.
Let's assume he didn't know about that policy for a moment--the policy of threatening reporters that say true things which damage the current political aims of the administration--and see what that gets us.
Most of the time, the "senior official" gets away with it, because there are very few reporters out there with enough mojo, dedication to the truth, and who are secure enough in their positions to reply, "Eh, the President said what he said, [official]. It's a matter of public record." But once in a very long while even the toadiest of senior journalists--even those who have grown fat and comfortable pushing liberal politics for decades--finds himself in the position of either having to sell out, or to stand up and refuse to be silenced.
So then what? When that happens, Obama finds out that certain aides of his are threatening journalists who say inconveniently true things about his administration. (Unless he is completely disconnected from current events. Do his handlers let him see the news?) What does he do then? He's just learned that even senior journalists like Bob Woodward aren't immune to threats like, "you'll regret this" from administration officials, but that this kind of thing is de rigeur for any negative press. What does Obama do?
Well, experience has shown us he does nothing. He's not denounced the policy; he's not said, "Those responsible have been sacked," nor does he even acknowledge that anything has happened. He hasn't even said, "I deplore this and intend to get to the bottom of it!" (as a prelude for doing nothing, which is what he normally does anyway). What he has, in fact, done is to let the press work on demolishing Woodward and quietly kept a careful distance from the story.
That's why I don't buy the idea that Obama didn't know about this--that and his already-demonstrated tendency to micromanage everything. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Obama himself set the policy in the first place.
As I said yesterday I have no love for the man, and the only reason I'm on Woodward's side in this thing is that he is telling the truth and he is one of a very, very few journalists who is actually speaking truth to power and not backing down. I think this event is highly instructive: not only does it showcase the extreme liberal bias of the media, but it also demonstrates just how corrupt the administration is when dealing with media which is sympathetic to it, even to the point of sycophancy.
Just let a George Bush or a Ronald Reagan--or a Richard Nixon--try to get away with sending notes to reporters saying, "you'll regret this!" and see how that plays in the newsrooms across America.
That's why the story is so important.
* * *
One thing you have to keep in mind when dealing with the Left is that leftists very seldom tell the truth about anything. They depend upon misleading others. That is why, if you notice a leftist is putting particular stress on something, that is a glowing-red, beeping signal that if you look a little closer, you'll discover that whatever they are claiming is, if not entirely false, at least somewhat exaggerated.They have to lie, embellish, and exaggerate, because the facts are simply not on their side.
Vox Day concludes, "It is always unwise to place any trust whatsoever in those who live by attempting to redefine reality through their lies."
I'm currently dealing with a situation wherein someone I know is doing exactly that: lying to all and sundry about things and insisting that what he's saying is the truth, even when what he's saying now contradicts something he said yesterday. The truth is A, but he'll say it's B or C with equal facility depending on what suits his needs, and if you remind him that he said A (or B) when he's saying C, he'll vehemently deny ever saying A or B...and when B or A is the order of the day (tomorrow or next week) he'll just as vehemently deny that he ever said it was C.
Then he wonders why people don't believe him when he makes declarative statements. He thinks everyone's just being mean to him, I guess.
* * *
In any highly technical endeavor there are bound to be glitches. So far SpaceX has been running a pretty smooth operation; and even now their responses to the inevitable problems seem to be pretty competent.
The latest cargo run to ISS developed thruster problems after launch (it's fixed at this writing) but the system is very robust: "...[T]he Dragon can operate for about a month in orbit while they try to sort out the thrusters. And, if all else fails, it can splash down with the cargo, avoiding a complete loss." In that event, not only do they get the cargo back, but the failed capsule as well, meaning they can have a look at the failed system, figure out why it failed, and fix it so it doesn't fail that way again.
This is why reusability is such a prize in aerospace operations: it lets you get failed components back to the workshop to look them over and figure out how to improve them.
* * *
I think I may have figured out why people like watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.
Mom used to watch it and it annoyed me to no end, hearing the beeps from the other side of the house when I was at the computer in my bedroom.
But now? Mrs. Fungus has the DVR set to record it, and I've begun to watch it with her because the damned show is a gold mine for wisecracks.
Also, I've come to understand why Ramsay swears so much; it's because he's subjected to the same sort of BS over and over and over again--common sense BS, like "if you freeze food it is no longer fresh." It's surprising how often that one comes up on that show. Ramsay doesn't seem to have anything against freezing things, just against presenting frozen food as "fresh". (Of course there are things that must not be frozen, like oysters...and the latest target is freezing cheese, which makes no fucking sense whatsoever.) And invariably the people he's telling this to try to claim that the frozen food is "fresh" when it usually turns out to be anything but. When someone can go into a freezer, in 2012, and take out a package with a freshness date in 2009, your restaurant has a problem.
I still have to wonder how much is real and how much is staged, but at least now I can watch the program with my wife and get some enjoyment from it.
* * *
Kids doing odd jobs need to be taxed, too. That's the message coming from "the DFL"--it took me a bit to get a definition of that acronym, which stands for "Democratic Farmer Labor Party"--in Minnesota.
This is the same kind of political thinking which insists that kids running lemonade stands must get business permits, licenses, health inspections, etc in order to operate...thus insuring that kids remain indoors all summer playing video games. Yeah.
* * *
Before the snow stopped yesterday we got about 3 inches of it, which I blew off the driveway in about 15 minutes. It snowed again last night, but not a lot, and I won't bother with the snowblower today.
* * *
I came across a cable channel which shows Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and K-on!...dubbed. I watched perhaps forty seconds of Haruhi before turning it off, because bad dub is bad. They even dubbed the OP theme, which was pretty crummy.
I guess I can't stand dubs any longer. That either means I've turned elitist, or the dubs have gotten worse.
* * *
Yesterday was 3/1/13 and I missed writing the date. *sigh*
* * *
The stomach is feeling better today. I was actually able to get some restful sleep yesterday, which is something else; over the past couple of weeks I have been getting increasingly shitty quality sleep, such that I was a wreck most of the time. Now I am merely incoherent at times, which is a vast improvement. The steroids seem to be helping the retronasal swelling that was giving me sleep apnea, and the better antibiotic is doing its thing as the swelling in my glands has gone down. (Come to think of it, that might also be the steroids...oh well.)
Well, there's a scant three weeks left in winter. We can still get plenty of snow after March 20 this year (and have, historically) but it becomes increasingly unlikely. I was bemoaning the fact that I want to ride my motorcycle, and Mrs. Fungus reminded me that it probably would be sooner rather than later that I'll be able to. Woohoo etc.
WTF, it's only been three months. *sigh*
Watching Wheeler Dealers has gotten up my urges to fiddle with things mechanical, but it's simply too damned cold outside for me to want to go work on cars/motorcycles. And being married there's no way I can bring the dirt bike indoors to work on it; that kind of thing was fine when I was still a bachelor but a married man has less latitude for such stupidity. ("It doesn't even match the carpet!")
Please don't get the idea that I'm complaining about this. I'd much rather be married than able to work on my dirt bike indoors. I am just remarking on this development with some amusement; also the startling fact that I actually have enough sense to realize this before giving my wife an excuse to banish me to the sofa.
...if there were room downstairs I expect I could get away with working on it in the basement, though.