Today's anecdata on Global Weirding (was "global warming"): mid-January, and much of California is under an extreme fire watch, given total lack of rain and (at least near here) possible temps in the 70s accompanied by fairly high winds. One thing you don't normally worry about in mid-January: firestorms.
Carefully-planned spam email (that Gmail didn't trap as spam) of the day: Email from a "local Printing company"--note the "local"--with its "New Year price" list. All prices are stated in British Pounds (£). And here I didn't even know California used Pounds as a local currency!
Another interesting Bing photo--aerial view of a cityscape, but not your typical cityscape. Beni Isguen, Ghardaia, Algeria. As usual, hotspots tell the story--if the third one doesn't freeze your browser. (I suppose I should use IE for these!)
Sometimes the variety of ways we wind up with movies in our Netflix queue yields interesting surprises (we watch one movie a week)--e.g., Safety Not Guaranteed, which we watched last night. It's good, and not at all what we expected.
To the two little old ladies who rang our doorbell at 9:45 this morning. 1. The protocol is that you ring the doorbell and step back a couple of paces--not crowd the door before I open it. 2. You'd do better to hide that Watchtower if you want the conversation to go on for more than two words. (Actually, I used four: "Not AT ALL interested.")
Another striking Bing photo of the day: Pool at sunrise in Coogee (outside Sydney)--a seaside "pool." (The third hotspot is interesting--an aerial view--but it froze my Firefox. Maybe you'll have better luck.)
Another example of why we're likely to be loyal to Netflix DVD/Blu-ray as long as it's available: Had next BD disc of Smallville Season 9 at top of queue; sent in previous disc. Got email saying "[name of movie in #2 slot] is on its way." Grumbled a bit; figured I'd just turn around the movie. And today get another email saying:
Purely anecdotal but consistent: Went to the local public library this morning, 15 minutes after it opened. Close to three-quarters of the (270+) parking spaces were already full. Ten minutes later, when ready to check out the three books I had, three of four self-check machines were in use, each by somebody checking out a small stack of books.
Speaking as an introvert who liked Quiet (but thought it overstated some cases), I should have figured that, along with pushback from extroverts, you'd get absurd stuff like this about introverts: "we’re great listeners. We give good advice. We’re reflective and observant. We offend few. We usually have fantastic writing skills, and possess a...
A Consumerist post detailing how unhealthy some of the huge-portion chain sit-down restaurant meals can be is no surprise, but I call BS on one claim: the average meal was 1,495 calories, but if you add a "drink or dessert" it went to 2,000 calories.
Always amusing when someone's true attitude shows through... In this case, lots of Objectors to Google and other tech companies having shuttle buses in SF (although, as my favorite columnist has noted, apparently nobody objected to the many Academy of Art shuttles). Even breaking windows in one bus and delaying them for half an hour. So...
This column is, of course, anecdotal (not even anecdata), but I wonder whether he's alone: Jon Carroll, who had happily shifted to reading books on his Kindle some time ago, had the Kindle die on him...and after trying print books again, doesn't plan to replace it:...
Another lesson in the mystery of supermarket pricing. Safeway's full price for Nature Valley bars (except the $protein$ ones) is $3.99, about 67 cents a bar. I won't pay that, ever: $3.00 ($0.50/bar) is my limit. So today's Club price was $2.49...but $1.49 if you got four boxes. Hmm. 24 cents a bar: not bad.
In a discussion of NY Resolutions (which I don't do), I said something about "reading" fewer listicles, especially the one-item-per-page adstravaganzas. I should add to that: Trying to entirely avoid "reading" any listicle that includes animated GIFs. I may miss something Important or Meaningful by doing so, but I'm guessing not much.
I actually wasn't planning to do this until tomorrow (today being our 36th anniversary and all, not that we plan any huge celebration), but it's ready, so... the February 2014 C&I is available: http://walt.lishost.org/2014...
For the benefit of people (none of whom are in LSW FF, to be sure!) who find it difficult to discern ALA dues, I've posted the secret decoder ring guide to finding them: http://walt.lishost.org/2013...
Another random nonpost: We went to Costco yesterday. We're not members. Our cat needed an Rx (no membership required) which was $42 there and apparently $300-$400 elsewhere. After dealing with the parking and the people, my wife said "You couldn't pay me to shop at Costco." My response: "You could pay me, but it would cost a LOT." Shudder.
My wife's been checking weather forecasts every day to see whether she needs to put a tarp over our fledgling Meyer lemon tree--that is, whether it's likely to get to 32F or below. And we've been running 3-5 degrees lower than the predicted low. Last night, predicted low was 40F but she was suspicious. Rightly so: At 6:30, it was 31.5F.
Probably the kernel of a post some day, but in today's "10 best of the year," the SFChronicle's main food critic accidentally (I think) nailed why I don't deal with most restaurant reviews. He dismissed new peninsula restaurants as rarely more than "good neighborhood places."
So we watched The Hobbit (Part 1) last night. Or at least the first 2 hours and 10 minutes; we'll finish it tonight. Other than being almost entirely unable to understand anything Gollum says, my general reaction is...geez, overdoing it much? And this is the one that got fairly *good* reviews.
I do wonder sometimes... I like AARP, but they just sent out email with Guy Fieri's New Year's Eve recipes, the first of which is "Nor Cal Cioppino." Per serving, this dish has 2,896 mg. sodium. Real healthful stuff, that.
Today's paper tells me that Alameda County had more growth in population than any other California county. Not necessarily a good thing. Unfortunately, the worst city in my area is one of the leaders in growth: Dublin would probably pave over Mt. Diablo if it could.
I just LOVE Wikipedia: Looking for a useful definition of "Magazine" (starting a new essay), and the final sentence is a wildly misleading statement about magazine closures...where going to the footnote shows, after one more link, that in the years cited, twice as many magazines *started* publication as *ceased* publication.