Semi-nastygram received from Yahoo! this week:

We’ve noticed that you have not changed your password or adopted Yahoo Account Key since we sent you our first email about this issue. We strongly recommend that you promptly change your Yahoo password and adopt alternate means of account verification, as appropriate. For example, please consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether.

I’ve noticed that now and then, but mostly now, it’s impossible to fill in their damned input boxes because some laggard tracking component of theirs isn’t keeping up. But they are scolding me.

This seems like a good time to drop my Flickr Pro account.

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Deck chairs unmoved

This seems to sum up matters entirely too well:

The establishment is like a giant ocean liner charging ahead. It couldn’t make a drastic course change if it wanted to. It has too much mass and too much momentum, so they spend their time and energy arguing about chickenshit, swilling cocktails and snorting coke. They might go on for a long time, but if they hit an iceberg, it’s the people in steerage who are going to drown.

Which is no big deal to them, since they don’t know any of us low-priority passengers.


It’s all cat videos

And the cats darn well know it, too:

A morning TV show in Turkey’s southwestern Denizli province was interrupted by an uninvited guest on Tuesday when a stray cat, who secretly entered the studio through an open door, popped up on screen.

Presenter of “Good morning Denizli” show Kudret Çelebioğlu on Denizli Radio and Television (DRT) was dumbfounded when he saw the cat climb onto his desk and sit on his laptop during a live broadcast as he was reading the headlines for dailies.

Shortly after he realized the cat was in the studio, he said that he had a ‘surprise visitor’ and continued with his program.

After the cat climbed on the desk, Çelebioğlu reminded viewers that winter is coming and that they should remember to feed stray animals on the streets and keep their doors open as cold weather arrives.

(Via Miss Cellania.)


Not ready when you are

Priorities, always priorities:

Delta Airlines contracted with clothing designer Zac Posen to create new uniforms for Delta ticket agents, flight attendants and gate attendants. This means that the flight attendant who offers you three peanuts and a glass of water, the gate attendant who has no patience with how long it takes you to produce your boarding pass and the ticket agent who laughs when you ask why your connecting flight is seven hours late will all look really snazzy. The new uniforms won’t actually go into service until 2018, which may prompt you to suspect that I will make a joke about them being delivered on a Delta flight. Consider it done.

It occurs to me that the airlines most revered for stylishness — Braniff, Eastern, Pan Am — are all dead. (Well, okay, the remains of Eastern have apparently signed up for the Lazarus treatment.)

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A little bit downmarket

World Tour ’08 took me to Marfa, Texas, where I snapped this picture of an objet d’art posing as a retail store:

Simulated Prada store in Marfa, Texas

This week, my son Russell is in Alpine, Texas, about 70 miles east of Marfa, and he snagged this shot of an object somewhat less arty:

Simulated Target store in Alpine, Texas

Just for the hell of it, I ran a search, and while there are many 7-Elevens surrounding Beverly Hills, there are none in 90210. Or, for that matter, in 90211 or 90212.

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This much and no farther

This is a swell idea on the face of it:

Starting around 2002, BMW implemented a system called Condition Based Service (CBS), which is a set of algorithms that calculates how often service such as oil changes should be performed. The system uses sensors and mileage to make the calculations, allowing them to increase the time between service intervals without any detrimental effects on the vehicle.

Since most people would rather drink bleach than take a car in for service, this should be considered a boon — until it stops working altogether:

Owners and technicians have discovered that once a post-2002 BMW hits 300,000 kilometers (186,411 miles), the counter no longer functions and owners will no longer be notified of their next service.

Then again, how many recent Bimmers ever acquire mileage like that? Most BMWs these days are leased, which means the typical happy owner is going to give it up in 3 years/36,000 miles — by wacky coincidence, the mileage at which BMW stops providing free maintenance on its new cars.


Poor, poor, pitiful she

“Why does nobody follow my social media?” she wails:

Well I tell a little lie, I do get a few followers now and then, on Instagram, Twitter and so on, I don’t use Facebook anymore, but I don’t have as many as some people and when I do get followers, they don’t even appreciate what I have to post, otherwise what was the point in them following me in the first place? I don’t what I’m doing wrong. Everyone else just seems to have it easy. They can get away with posting selfies of themselves and gets lots of likes and comments for them, I’ve never gotten anything like that in my life. I think I must come off as fake to people. But nothing about me is fake at all, whatever I post is true to what is happening in my life in the present moment. People seem to be inspired by others’ happiness but my own. Say I post a picture of me smiling, nobody gives a damn. It doesn’t feel fair. I’m a human being too with interests, passions and hobbies like everyone else.

I’ve always assumed that my vast social-media following has been due to my mad grammar skillz.

Still, this is worrisome, because someone who thinks she’s entitled to X amount of attention on screen probably thinks she’s entitled to comparable levels of attention in Real Life. Of such is madness born.

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More microfinance

From earlier this month:

PayPal & microlending pioneer,, are celebrating 10 years of collaboration. Make a loan to an entrepreneur by October 10th, get a $25 Kiva credit to create more impact.

Which I did. I now have a second loan out there:

Muborak is a generous woman. She was born in Tursunzoda, Tajikistan, in 1992. She is married and has a daughter.

She is a challenged woman who has faced hard, difficult times in her life. In order to not burden her husband, she used to work at seasonal jobs. Then she gradually learned from her neighbors how to sew traditional women’s dresses. She has been working more than six years in this sphere and has a lot of experience.

She was seeking $650 to buy fabric, which doesn’t strike me as being a whole lot of fabric, but this is not my area of expertise. So far, ten of us have ponied up $25 each.

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Presumed absence

I have formally requested an absentee ballot for the November festivities, on the basis that I don’t expect to be able to stand in line for any substantial length of time that day. I am not actually required to give the State Election Board an explanation, but the application indicates that they’d like to know, probably for data-mining purposes, and it’s not like it’s any big secret in this town that I have mobility issues for the moment.

Applications are accepted no later than 5 pm on the Wednesday before the actual election.

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This is no time to be driving

The Instamotor folks crunch some traffic-safety numbers, and some of them are a bit surprising. For example:

Looking at the number of fatalities by the time of day, we found that the safest times during the weekday was always the early morning hours of 12 a.m. — 6 a.m., with the safest time for both men and women being Tuesday morning.

However, this drastically changed for the weekend. The same time in men skyrocketed on Saturday and Sunday morning, with the highest (about 1,100 fatalities) on Sunday morning. For women, however, the most dangerous time to drive was actually on Thursday afternoon, with the peak of accidents coming between the hours of 12 p.m. — 6 p.m.

Got to finish the errands before the weekend? They won’t speculate, and I can’t say as I blame them, but I can say that I am somewhat taken aback.

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Temporarily closed

At least, one hopes it’s only temporary:

(Seen at the Natural History Museum in London. Via Jeff Faria.)

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My grandfather’s Oldsmobile

The manual transmission, in this part of the world anyway, is almost dead. Perhaps it’s instructive to remember that the automatic wasn’t always the default:

And in those days, GM would happily build slushboxes for everyone; smaller automakers (Hudson, Nash, Kaiser-Frazer) without the resources to develop their own transmissions came calling on the General. Even Ford bought Hydra-Matic and installed it in Lincolns; the lesser Ford-O-Matic was a licensed Borg-Warner design.

(Via Dusty Old Thing.)

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Right in the Nuggets

The Thunder have seldom had problems with Denver in recent years, and they weren’t going to start tonight; the Nuggets played close in the first quarter, went stone cold in the second, and couldn’t mount enough runs to prevail. Oklahoma City’s preseason ends 3-3 with this 97-87 win; there were some problems Billy Donovan will be wanting to look at, one of the more blatant ones being “How come you guys foul so darn much?” Steven Adams, working tonight between injuries, led the Thunder with 17 points; Russell Westbrook, who didn’t play at all in the second half, did a lot more ball-movement than he did hero ball, which has to be reckoned a Good Thing. (And he did stop at the scorer’s table once to check on Dodgers vs. Cubs.) Playing against his old team, Joffrey Lauvergne picked up nine points.

One upcoming issue: whom to shed. The Thunder have 20 players on the roster, and must get down to 15 before the season begins, but the D-League can absorb only so many. I’m hoping they find a way to keep Semaj Christon, who doesn’t cost much and who seems to have one heck of a good work ethic, along with a three-syllable (!) first name.

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This shall not pass

From the This Can’t Possibly Be A Coincidence files:

The blocked site in question belongs to the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, a nonprofit that advocates for tenants. I wonder if this page linking to them is now going to be blocked.

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Just Dropped in

After several years of schlepping around thumb drives to move files from the home box to the work box or vice versa, I have installed Dropbox, which simplifies the matter considerably. So far, it’s worked admirably, though there’s still a distrust of The Cloud lurking in the back of my mind.

(And with good reason, I might add: over the weekend at the iTunes Store, I bought the BT album usually referred to as __, expecting that I’d be able to pick it up on the work box Monday morning. And indeed, the 25 tracks were queued for download, but in eight hours not one of those tracks was completed. If I can’t complete the task tomorrow, I’m just going to load my home copy into Dropbox. No, I don’t sync.)

If you’ve had experience, fair or foul, with Dropbox, or with Microsoft’s OneDrive (on the work box already), I’m wanting to hear from you.

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To a Summers day

In 2014, Russell Johnson — the Professor — died, leaving only two survivors from Gilligan’s Island: Ginger Grant (Tina Louise) and Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells). Back in the Sixties, Ginger vs. Mary Ann was as serious a topic for debate as Ford vs. Chevy, and it’s just about as persistent today. I declared for Mary Ann early on, mostly because she (along with the Professor) was given short shrift in the theme song: they mention “a movie star,” of course, but then it was “and the rest.” This was corrected in subsequent seasons, but I am not one to be forgiving in such matters.

That said, non-Gilligan-related photos of Dawn Wells, who was, after all, Miss Nevada in the 1960 Miss America pageant, are drowned out by three-hour tour guides and such. We try harder:

Dawn Wells at the entrance

Dawn Wells takes a seat

Dawn Wells at the window

A bit of weirdness: in 1982-83, CBS aired something cartoonoid called Gilligan’s Planet, featuring all the original Gilligan cast except one. Tina Louise was otherwise occupied, and so Ginger was voiced by, um, Dawn Wells. Maybe the two of them were more interchangeable than we thought.

Oh, and today is Dawn’s 78th birthday.

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