Category Archives: complaint

The ugliest Wikipedian navbox yet!

Wikipedia uses, on its pages, templates with links to kindred articels so you can see the relation between them and find similar subject matter. Here is a good example.

Now, for what I found: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:DSLR_cameras_with_movie_mode&oldid=772927666

Hideous! It is hard to display so many different categories at once, and this is a good example of that.

Have you tried restarting the network, sir?

For most people who have fast (broadband) connexions to the Internet, and have called their ISP’s tech support, that line is quite ubiquitous. However, I have to report that doing it actually solved something for me!

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McMansions appearance against function: defense

In the United States at least, large cheaply built houses are commonly termed “McMansions”. The term appears to be a portmantle of “mansion” (a large house) and “McDonalds”, the fast food franchise.

Many of these McMansions are built to look castle-like with (fake) stonework, quoins and in some rare cases, battlements. I have not seen a moat yet.

Anyway, my comment to these styles is, “that’s stupid”. The construction of these houses isn’t enough to stop a normal burglar or home invader, much less a siege engine. If you’re into paranoia about your house, look into survivalist architecture. If that isn’t yet a thing, I expect it to be made one to fill the perceived need.

I wonder if @legallysociable has any thoughts on this?

Tree interfering with lines

On the way to work for a couple of weeks I noticed a decent diameter tree, maybe 30 cm, fallen across some non-electric lines. I think they were cable or telephone. Unfortunately, I don’t remember ever learning how you are supposed to report these things. They aren’t in an obvious municipality, so I can’t just go to the local DPW and tell them.

What I wish is that 8-1-1 wasn’t just utility marking, but a general utility number for things like downed lines (well, maybe that is covered by 9-1-1), trees in lines, service outages and similar matters. Currently you have to call the local utilities special number, which is hard to remember. It’s also hard to find out when you’re in the middle of nowhere and see something like this.

There ought to be a word for this

On the way to work, I pass through some areas where the rocky hills or mountains have been cut to provide a roadway. At these cuts or passes, the rough rock is exposed in faces on one or both sides of the road.

During warm weather, springs may be seen where the rock face is damped (usually it is a darker color). During colder weather, these flow onto the road and form ice in a little bar maybe 30 to 50 cm wide across the road.

There should be a short word to refer to these things that combines the elements of (ice) (on the road) (from a spring) (caused by earth removal). There must be such a word in some language that could be adapted, or adopted.

Mistakes were made … by Readers’ Digest

Normally I don’t patronize Readers’ Digest. My grand mother had a cardboard box filled with them that I used to read when I was visiting her place when very young and was up late at night, as I nearly invariably was. This was before computers.

Anyway, I found a posting by “RD” that listed what it considered stupid laws from the 50 states. These are fodder for satire everywhere and even some websites (I won’t link to them because they are usually trash) pretend to collect them.

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I, civil servant

I neglected to blog about it, but about two days ago I received my official State instrument of identity. It is much less involved than a driver’s license, all it contains is my name, photograph, signature (both stolen from the DMV) and the name of the agency I work for. It doesn’t even have a number on it.

I was going to say that this makes me officially a member of the State service now, since there is nothing left, but I learned yesterday, that I haven’t gotten the huge packet of forms that I have to fill out for things like union membership (this state has public sector unions) and insurance.

To my amusement, I’ve been getting paid, but have not filled out I-9. While I am a citizen, the State has no way of knowing that absent that form, so I think that they might be on the edge of the (federal) employment law.