Everything beyond my door annoys me

Pedestrians need street signs, too, City of Chicago. Or are we meant to walk in only one direction on one way streets, as well, hm? The street signs on on the part of Grand I was walking on this afternoon face oncoming traffic only, and since that traffic was westbound, and I was walking east, it was a little bit annoying to figure out the cross-streets, since I had to cross to the east side of the intersection first. Dumb.

Oh, also… I’m back in Chicago for the foreseeable future. Not that I’m psychic, so I can’t foresee very far into the future at all. In fact, I can’t foresee at all. So rather, I’m back in Chicago for the time being, and will be here in from now on with a probability of 1 for the present, and declining at a rate that I don’t know enough about anything to determine towards a probability of 0 at some time in the future. Or something. Whatever. Hi again, Internet.

They’d be better off hiring monkeys

I just finished taping up a note for the UPS guy who will be coming tomorrow with a package for me, and with any luck, actually dropping it off.

Why is it so hard to get something delivered?

Why have I had to complain about this 87 other times on this website? (I’d add appropriate links here, but my site is down at the moment, so I’m posting this by e-mail in hopes that it will show up eventually.)

Delivering packages is pretty much the only thing that FedEx and UPS do. You’d think that a business that does one thing would be able to do that one thing reasonably well, and would hire people who have at least one or two of the rudimentary skills required to do that one thing, including:

The ability to count (so I probably shouldn’t be getting calls asking me “I’m at 3943, but I can’t find 3943 1/2”, since anyone with half a brain should be able to figure out that it’s probably somewhere between 3943 and 3945).

The ability to follow simple directions (so when I tell the genius who can’t figure out how to find 3943 1/2 to go past 3943 and try the very next door in the courtyard, I probably shouldn’t get another call 10 minutes later from an entirely different street) (and okay, maybe 3943 1/2 isn’t as straightforward as other addresses — but these guys spend all day every day finding addresses — they should at least be able to figure out that 3934 1/2 N Janssen Ave is not located anywhere on N Greenview Ave).

The ability to read (so I probably shouldn’t have to write a note that says “our buzzer is on the bottom” when our buzzer is clearly labelled to begin with, but when I do it anyway because I have experience with delivery drivers’ limited mental capacities, I probably shouldn’t be sitting in my living room all afternoon listening to absolute silence only to later on find a missed delivery tag stuck to my door, and to be told upon calling the delivery company and asking them to check up on things that the driver explained that no one answered the buzzer — no shit, Sherlock, you didn’t press it).

Hm. Um. Yeah. That’s about all they need to know, as far as I can tell. And yet, they could hire a monkey and get better results. Dear Bob, and they trust these retards to drive company-owned vehicles? If they can’t match “G” on a package to “G” on a label next to a doorbell, is it really safe to assume that they can understand the meaning of a stop sign?

Maybe I need to give up and just leave a sign that says “Dear UPS / FedEx — Get fucked. Just take the damned thing back to the warehouse. I’m sick of playing your little game. We all know I’m going to end up picking it up there eventually, anyway. I will be complaining about you to your supervisor (again) this evening. Have fun with that. I hope you die horribly.”

Seriously, why do they bother sending drivers, when seemingly nothing ever gets successfully delivered to anyone?

At least I have an excuse for not cooking

Yesterday afternoon my apartment was filled with a thick chemical-scented fog that seemed to be emanating from our oven. It didn’t smell quite like gas, but it definitely didn’t smell like food, either. Google had nothing to say about my problem, and my landlord babbled incoherently for 15 minutes about how it was probably that pilot lights were out (they were all lit), or how supper was probably burning (the oven was empty and off). With no better ideas, I called the gas company, and they decided it was worthwhile to send a couple of guys over, just in case. It took them a whole 10 seconds to determine that the problem was burning paint or varnish fumes that were seeping in from elsewhere in the building. I have no doubt that they were right… Our upstairs neighbours moved out just a short while ago. I guess that apartment just got a fresh coat of paint.

Evidently, this stench is something that the gas company’s technicians encounter all the time. So I thought I’d put this out there for future idiotic Google-searchers (if you, like me, would sit around in your living room, getting a pounding headache and slightly woozy, while taking deeeeep breaths of chemicals while wondering “what is this terrible odor that’s making my eyes burn?” you can’t possibly be all that bright — at the very least, not after those chemicals kill off your remaining braincells). Fumes + gas stove = lung-burning death-fog. It will get worse the more you use your oven or stove, and the problem will persist for several days, apparently. The only way around it is to shut off the gas to your stove completely.

This is obviously very good for the health of everyone involved. As if paint fumes aren’t bad enough on their own — now I have to deal with burning paint fumes? In combination with the aforementioned plant bukkake, well… I’m going back to bed. My head hurts like hell.

To better serve you

I paid my Comcast bill by phone today, because the website is an idiot. To better serve me, they had me punch in my phone number right away, in order to access my account. Then, to better serve me, they had me punch in my phone number after I selected the billing menu, so that my account could be verified. Then, the first thing the agent did when she came on the line was ask me for my phone number, in order to pull up my account. Inefficiency irritates me more than most other things. And most other things irritate me an awful lot.

Wearing a handbag?

This sounds ridiculous. I don’t care how much your boring leather handbag cost (though, if you’re the type that goes around “wearing” yours, it was probably more than my last car — which is pretty silly, because your bag is boring and probably brown but definitely not special enough looking to justify the price, especially considering it was probably also sewn by children in a country you can’t find on a map, you twit). I will be forced to hurt you (emotionally by e-mail — I’m a recluse) if you don’t stop using this phrase. Well, at least… I’ll sit on my ass in front of the TV and hope as hard as I can that you get mugged.

I’m sure there’s a good reason for this nonsense

So, would somebody like to tell me what it is?

The internet has just told me that the most common romanization system for Chinese is Hanyu Pinyin. Apparently, the Wade Giles system is also kinda sorta still around. I didn’t know which system the spelling of “feng shui” came from, but this conversion table has informed me that both syllables are the same in both systems. So, it shouldn’t matter, and I’m assuming (I could be wrong… reading takes effort) that “feng shui” is a correct rendering using the Hanyu Pinyin system. And, according to Wikipedia:

In its final form Hanyu Pinyin:

  • was used to indicate pronunciation only
  • was exclusively based on the pronunciation of the Beijing dialect
  • included tone marks
  • embodied the traditional “initial sound”, “final sound”, and “suprasegmental tone” model
  • was written in the Latin alphabet

So, why the crap is “feng shui” pronounced “fung shway”? Especially considering the first point.

I require answers. How useful is a system that is meant to indicate pronunciation when the words aren’t pronounced the way they’re spelled in English at all? I realize there are rules for how all of the junk in the system are meant to be pronounced. But why should I memorize those, when instead of having to remember that e is more like u, they could just use a freakin’ u? Is it because u is already used for oo? So why can’t they use oo instead of u? I’m not seeing the logic.

Meh. Okay, okay. Wikipedia explains this thusly:

By letting Roman characters refer to specific Chinese sounds, pinyin produces a compact and accurate romanization, which is convenient for native Chinese speakers and scholars. However, it also means that a person who has not studied Chinese or the pinyin system is likely to severely mispronounce words, which is a less serious problem with some earlier romanization systems such as Wade-Giles.

But that doesn’t lessen my confusion. “Feng shui”, which is still “feng shui” using Wade-Giles, which should make mispronouncing words less of a problem, is still not properly pronounced “feng shui”, and I don’t approve.

I mean, really, I’m sure there is a good reason, right?

Yeah. Answers. Immediately.

(P.S. for you uptight asstards reading this that are going to proceed to tell me what that good reason is… you take me too seriously, and I am issuing you a preemptive STFU. I realize that it is not simple to translate one language into the entirely different written form of a second language that does not contain the same phonemes. Go boil your head.)

(You’re the same asstards that get bet out of shape when people say this shit the way it’s spelled. I dunno, I guess most people probably see the purpose of translating Chinese words into the Roman alphabet is to help guide one in saying the crap.)

(For the record, I don’t pronounce it “fung shway”, because I don’t pronounce it at all. Feng shui is for crazies.)

I knew it was a bad idea

I’ve been thinking about finally redesigning, so I figured I might as well install IE7 so that I would be able to test the site. As soon as I rebooted my computer for the first time everything set to run at startup that accesses the internet in anyway crashed. Tried to run Firefox. It crashed immediately. Tried to run IE7. It crashed immediately. I read that some people were having problems like this if they had Google Desktop installed. I uninstalled Google Desktop and rebooted. The problem was still there. I reset my computer to a recovery point made earlier today. And nowww… Windows Explorer will not run. I’m having to do without a task bar until I solve this problem.

Microsoft, I hate you.

This is why we don’t pay you, Comcast

The Comcast guy didn’t show up to fix our cable today. This is the second time someone has been scheduled. The cable line coming into our apartment is old/bad, and needs to be replaced, but I guess it’s never going to happen. So, I’ve pulled as much of the line as I can up through our floor, and taped it to the wall in such a way that the signal seems as strong as possible. Meaning that certain channels on our non cable-box having TV are snowy, but at least no longer snowy AND in black and white. And that my Internet connection still sucks ass, but at least no longer cuts out every 15 seconds (I’ve managed to get it down to every 5 minutes or so).

I figure we’ll probably move out of here before I manage to get a tech guy out… even if we don’t wind up moving out in the next month or two like Sean wants to. Because I think I misheard the time span I was given on the phone. I don’t think they said between 10 and 12 AM. I think they might really have said between 2010 and 2012.

Anyway, I’m posting this mostly to point out that I’m not (necessarily) ignoring anyone’s e-mails or IMs etc… It’s just such a pain in the ass to have to press send 87 times to get anything to work. Packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss packet loss.