Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Metro Journal: June 29

Business park kitty committee meeting
Walking to the bus stop tonight, I interrupted a late meeting of the Business Park Kitteh Committeh. They looked annoyed.
I've been working in Burbank for almost three months now, and my bus-riding experience has been a mixed bag. Let's compare to my commute to my last job, in Hollywood.

  • Fewer drunks on the bus
  • Fewer tourists to trip over at the bus stops
  • No premieres of stupid movies along the bus route to make it really late
  • The two viable lines (94/794) don't run nearly as often as the 180/181/780, especially after about 6PM.
  • The route the bus takes isn't as direct as the Hollywood lines were, so the trip takes a fair bit longer relative to driving, and that's if I don't miss a connection
  • The route just isn't quite as, well, interesting
Out of sheer pig-headedness, and a reminder of how much I hate other drivers when I do drive, I muddle through.

Anyway, tonight I hoofed it to my stop. I had to take the 794, but it was so late in the evening, I would have had to wait another 30 minutes for the next bus, a 94. The two lines take the same route, but the 794, being a Rapid, doesn't stop as often. But unlike the 180/181 vs. the 780, the 794 doesn't actually get me there that much faster, because it has to sit and wait at the same set of stop lights through downtown Burbank, and get stuck in the same traffic on the perpetually-under-construction San Fernando Road as the Local. Plus the 94 stops several blocks closer to work, and while I could use the exercise, I'm always worried about somehow mistiming and missing the bus in the evenings, when the next bus may come in 5 minutes or not for half an hour. Of course, walking to the 794 stop means I can also take a 94, whereas waiting at the closer 94 stop means I'm locked in.

Anyway, I got there well ahead of time. I was standing around, playing with my new phone. A woman walked up to the stop and asked if I'd seen the 165 go by. I said I'd been there about 5 minutes and hadn't. Then I decided to use my fancy superpowers. Using the Google Maps app, which now has a feature where it will tell you when the next buses are due when you select a transit stop, I told her the next 165 should be there in 10 minutes. She marveled. I basked.

My bus came right then and I got in. I sat at the back, on the aisle-facing seats. This YMD1 sat down across from me and opens the window above him. Even though the bus is freezing because the AC actively blowing cold air back there. If he was too warm, he should have taken off his jacket. If he was too cold, it wasn't actually any warmer outside. Yeah, anyway. He was the type of moron who has the volume on his mp3 player jacked up so high, everyone in a 5-seat radius can hear it coming out his earbuds. It sounded like really crappy dance music, too. Then he paused the player, called up a friend, said he was at his mom's for two days, listened a second, then told his friend to call him back when his phone is recharged. (That's the story I would usually tell my mother when I wanted to get her off the phone. "Oops, Mom, the phone's beeping at me. The battery's out of juice. Talk to you lat..." Click.)

I just made the connecting 780. After a few minutes, I glanced out the window. The SUV in the lane next to us had a vanity license plate that read "COEDDIE." So, of course, I had to try to parse it. Here are the possibilities I came up with:
  • Co-Eddie. Like the driver is associated with some person named Eddie.
  • Co-ed-die, as in "like a female student at a unisex institution of higher learning."2
  • Co-ed Die! As in, "that female student at a unisex institution of higher learning stole my boyfriend and I curse her soul!"
The SUV stopped even with me at a light. The passenger, tapping on her txting device, was definitely a female of about college age, but while I could see the driver was female, I couldn't really get a sense of her age, relationship to the passenger, likelihood to ax-murder a bunch of sorority sisters, etc.

1Young Male Dumbass
2My father liked to relate how, when he was at Georgia Tech around 1960, they referred to them as "co-odds."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Other: New Phone Update

  • I used Google's voice navigation to go to Torrance and back (almost 30 miles each way) yesterday and while it worked, it did scare the bejeezus out of me every time it said something. Just like I knew it would. (I went to the Japanese market in Mitsuwa and got a couple Japanese knitting books. Then I had dinner with friends at this Japanese fusion place called Musha, which SteveZ recommended. Yummy. Ate too much.)
  • I managed to enter the 60+ character WPA-PSK string for my home wireless access point correctly, the first time through, on the dinky software keyboard. I totally rule. And it only took me about 5 minutes to do it.
  • The Chinese vampire on the lock screen seems to be working. No one has messed with my phone yet!
  • While so far I like almost everything about this phone, the battery life is not the greatest. I recommend keeping it plugged in as much as possible.

Friday, June 25, 2010

News: Workin' It

Special guest lolbunny:
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Other: My New Phone

My New Phone
My new phone, with special lock guard!
I have a new phone. It's an HTC Hero, and, well, it made me really popular at work. For about 5 minutes. I'd been putting on the decision to get a new phone, because (a) I'm cheap, (b) I'm lazy, and (c) cheapness + laziness actually make me relatively environmentally friendly, at least as far as not acquiring and disposing of more electronics. (My only TV set still has a cathode ray tube. But, hey, the thing works.) But in the case of my (now old) phone, there's a (d). My father got me that phone the last Christmas I spent with him, 3½ years ago.

He had been asking me what he could get me that year, but I had nothing I needed or wanted. Then the $&%^^$%(* shuttle service came thisclose to making me miss my flight to Florida on Christmas Eve Day, and when I slammed the phone I had at the time shut after making no headway with their customer disservice, I broke the hinge. Arriving at the airport in Florida: "Dad, I know what you can get me..."

Here's how not-bleeding-edge I am. The phone I ended up picking out at the store was the same one my parents both already had (Motorola Razr). Then when the clerk went to transfer the contacts stored in my old phone into the new one, he pointed out that there were, like, 10. Which caused my father to mock me, since he had dozens and dozens in his.

So, even though I know it's silly, that Razr has memories. But it started getting confused over how much charge the battery did or did not have, and I started missing work calls. My father would have thought it was silly to keep it as long as I did, but I think he would still have been secretly pleased that it mattered. But he also would have thought my new phone was pretty cool. If he hadn't already gotten one for himself first.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Metro Journal: Zombie-Free Room 4 Rent

Saw this taped to a light pole last night:

Absolutely No Zombies?

I'm just not sure if the "Absolutely No Zombies!" bit means that the place is guaranteed to be zombie-free or that zombies need not apply. Maybe because everyone there is a zombie and they need fresh meat. Call at your own risk... (but all the slips were gone, so those won't be hungry zombies for long...)

News: Yup, Still Backlogged

Let's start out with the most cutiest things EVER: video from the world's only sloth orphanage, located in Costa Rica.

Meet the sloths from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.

  • Sony is introducing a gadget that tweets your cat's activities. Pay particular attention to the photo captions. (I'm sure a lot of cats might actually get confused. "I thought the human said I was going to get to eat Tweetie bird!")
  • IOGraph, a free, multi-OS program, tracks your mouse movements and allows you to save the image. Here's a day at work with me. The giant blob is when I left for lunch... looks like a bombing run map, doesn't it? Yeah, that'd be about right.
    IOGraphica - 5.7 hours (from 10-51 to 16-43)
  • Amigurumi spaceman angst. Check out the Underwater explorer angst link on that page, too.

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Well, let's leave that one on some double lolcat relief...
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(You might also want to go back and watch the sloth video at the top of the post again. Soooo cute!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Knittin' Crap: Pandagoma!

Pandagoma in the Wilds of Burbank! Look! I found a rare Pandagoma mamegoma crawling through the bamboo wilds of Burbank! Pandagoma in the Wilds of Burbank!

News: Total News Backlog, Part 2

Geeky crap:

Super cuteness break!

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Random crap:

LOLcat break!
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Facepalm-inducing crap:

Friday, June 4, 2010

News: Total News Backlog, Part 1

Work-From-Home Fridays Let's start with a piece of yassif advice: "Dress for the Office to Increase Telecommuting Productivity". Here's the reality. (And just like Spoon, I'm not even wearing pants.)

  • A wedding I'm sort of glad I didn't go to. I hope they didn't write their own vows, because I cringe to think what they were. (Sad thing is there's a good chance these might have been someone I knew...)
    Funny Wedding Photos - I Love These Nerds
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  • I've been meaning to try this free game called Youdunnit for awhile, but as I don't boot up the old XP box much anymore, I haven't yet. Basically it's like the Prince of Persia movie about the knife that lets you travel back in time, except without Persia and totally non-Persian-and-why-is-a-Persian-faking-an-English-accent-anyway actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Well, actually the only thing in common is the time travel bit, where you have to make your past actions consistent with the present outcome. (Meaning it's completely unlike the Terminator movies.)
  • Cool graphic about how high the $200,000 SpaceShipTwo (which I can't help but think of as the most expensive amusement park ride ever) will actually go. 68 miles up. Just high enough to leave what's considered atmospheric flight altitude. I am underwhelmed. (Granted, I'm also a cynic, but for that much I want to be able to wave to the people in the International Space Station or something.)
  • Boing Boing has an excerpt from, well, an anti-Facebook rant. It highlights just how much many people don't realize the privacy they're giving up. (You're friends with A who is friends with B. You don't want B to know what you're doing. Except B can see your updates through A's page. Oops.)

Kawaii (cuuuuute):

All right, enough for now.