Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Paypal

Dear Paypal, 

I love you, but I know you use me.

For example, when I transfer money to you from my credit union on the 21st, it's gone from the CU the next day.  Like, immediately.  But you take 3-5 business days to register it.  Why is that?  I know that the electrons didn't disappear, nor do they move more slowly on weekends.  I have a strong suspicion that someone is making money on my money during that delay--if only through incremental bits of interest.  And I know it isn't me.

Anyway,I'm  just sayin'.  I'm going along with it, and I know everyone does it, but I'm no idiot.  I see what's happening.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not That Impressed With Dell These Days

I am pretty unimpressed with Dell lately.  They used to be the go-to company.  Maybe they're getting too big to be responsive, or something.  

I have a laptop (it may be three years old, granted, but still is quite usable and I like it) that needs some serious cleaning out (i.e. we plan to reformat it), and also my burner needs to be replaced--sounds easy enough, right?

I ordered a new burner online and then looked through the packet of software and stuff that I got when I originally got the laptop.  There was no disk for Office, which didn't surprise me too much--TheLimey got his computer just a couple of months after I did, and his didn't come with the actual disk either.  He had to call them and order it.  

I think they may even do this as a matter of course now, since you can reformat and restore it to factory specs with the image.  But I should be able to get the actual software disk if I want it--I own the license, so give me a copy of my own software if I want one already!  I called them, and they refused to do so, stating that they only do this if a person calls within 30 days after receiving their order.  So that ticked me off pretty well.  I can't even get a disk of the software that I spent all that money on with them? Ludicrous.

Well, we decided that we'd go ahead and reformat it using the image method, and TheLimey could uninstall all the crat that I don't want, install necessary patches and updates, etc. But not before I get my new burner, because we want to make sure that we can back up my data and reinstall my other software that I need and so forth, before wiping everything out.  

Unfortunately, every week on the estimated shipping date, I've been getting an email telling me that my order has been delayed and it will now ship the following week.  And then that following week, I get another email, and then the next....etc.  So today I called them to see if I could get someone to tell me approximately when it might actually be shipped.  I need that laptop for my work, and need to make plans accordingly.

I spoke with six (6) different people, who all transferred me to other people, who then gave me phone numbers I had originally called.  (Seriously--I have them all written down.)  The last guy was not overtly rude, but he was pretty well verging on it.  Come on!  I just want someone to tell me if this is typical and how long I might realistically expect to wait, rather than telling me what I can already darn well see on my online account myself! : "the estimated ship date is January 30..."  Well, duh.  

I didn't need to talk to six (6) different people to know that.  People who all asked exactly the same questions and told me the exact same thing that I could already see for myself on my account.  The last guy finally told me essentially that he could not give me a date (which is not what I asked for), but they were trying to get all orders out as soon as possible (yes, I understand that) and as soon as one was available from the supplier, it would be sent to me (I get that, also).  That's not particularly useful, and I don't want to be condescended to, either.  I'm not trying to be a pain, I don't want to be treated like one, and I think I was about as polite as someone who's waiting week after week and has spoken to six people can be. I wonder how that guy would feel if his computer was in my computer's situation.

Finally, he insisted on getting my email address, which is bizarre because all my weekly delay notifications have come by email anyway.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


There is probably more about the inauguration out there already than any other internet topic in history (yes, including slash fanfic of Spock and Kirk), so I'll make it short.

I admit that I did shed tears while watching the inauguration, and I am really, really, super happy to have someone in the White House who could be legitimately pictured with a thought bubble over his head.  The historic aspects are also not lost on me.  People all over the US are bursting with pride that we really did elect a Black man to be president.  People all over the world have exploding heads (metaphorically speaking) as they try to reconcile their recent impressions of us with that same election of a Black man.

However, while we gaze at each other in happy astonishment, blinking in the glorious new light and drying our tears, I am going to be a bit of a wet blanket here. I have developed the habit of looking for (and often finding, to my chagrin) unfortunate motives in myself, so here's a broader exploration in that vein:  I wonder how much of the pride felt by White America is (secretly?) very self-congratulatory.  

I keep picturing a White youth showing off a new boyfriend or girlfriend who is Black to his or her parents or friends.  "Lookitme, folks!  I'm really dating a Black person! Aren't I progressive?"  Once the self-congratulation and novelty wears off, turns out there's all the same stuff that you would have in any relationship. Plus the racial stuff to deal with on top of that, which many people aren't ready to deal with.

Now before I get any angry comments about interracial dating, I just want to point out that I am all for it.  Go back and re-read it.  This post isn't really about that.  

This is about how White people may be getting a little too full of ourselves and patting our own backs in the wake of this election. Now we really need to make sure that it's not just mental tokenism.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


According to the age calculator , I am exactly 360360 hours old right now.

Wow, is that old.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

"What I Did Over Christmas Vacation"

Just so I'll remember that brief, shining week (four days) off in the months and years to come.

In no particular order, though numbered.

1. Cleaned bathroom for second time since we moved in August.
2. Opened bathroom sink u-joint (or whatever it's called) and pulled out a bunch of really gross material, then Drano-ed the sink and tub.
3. Showered most days.
4. Took a BATH one day, while reading a murder mystery, drinking a cup of hot gloegg, and using a mud mask. It doesn't get any more decadent than that, does it?
5. Built a cardboard box castle for Limelet, using these rivets .  We didn't paint it and it's different than their example, but Limelet loves it just the same. (This might be appropriate for pet havers, too.)
6. Using my new Christmas bar code scanner, I catalogued our books on Library Thing .  I still had to type in some by hand, but the scanner sure is fun.  I haven't yet added Limelet's books--maybe next year. Keep in mind that the listed books are only the ones that we brought with us or have accumulated since then; the majority are packed away in our storage unit for whenever it is we are more settled. Oh yeah; it also doesn't include all my psych books, which are in my office at work. (Wow, now that I look at them, there are a lot...)
7. Cooked dinner most days.
8. Watched a bunch of really bad or at least really old movies on VHS while doing other things. Included Buckaroo Banzai, Barbarella, The Highlander, and The Two Towers.
9. Tried to nap but was too excited about time off to fall asleep.
10. Backed up most of the important stuff from my laptop to a stack we have in the office in preparation for the refrantibulation of said laptop.
11. Fed backyard birds and squirrels frequently.
12. Wasted some time on internet, but not much.  Too precious!
12. Panicked daily about not using my first time off in three years to best effect.
13. Kept house somewhat more tidy than usual.
14. Organized all our boxes of tea into sandwich bags with tea box panels inside.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Glimmer

The gods of research have not deserted me entirely.  I miss it!

Yesterday I got my dissertation back from the graduate school reader (i.e. copy editor) and it looks as though I have very few changes to make.  Yesterday I also received an email (that I read today) accepting my presentation proposal (staff training for prejudice based on ACT pilot studies by big dogs in the field) for the Big Ten Conference, which is conveniently being held in my state this year.  

I looked at the map, and I may not even have to stay overnight (though conference weekends are fun, staying in a hotel costs $$ and I'm also guessing the experience is entirely different when one is also caring for a toddler.

Monday, January 05, 2009



That was supposed to be a "note to self" email!

Friday, January 02, 2009


Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo
Please take a look at this bizarre cover art for a Norwegian book I have. I can't explain what's going on in the image. What is that? A spirit of a bird / man that is embedded in the architecture somehow? It looks really uncomfortable, at any rate. Embiggen it to get the full impact of its inscrutability. But don't look too hard; it could hurt your eyes or perhaps burn your brain.