Jan 212015
 

I don’t much like State of the Union addresses even when I like the guy giving them. The State of the Union address has become a particularly shallow exercise even in a shallow town. I’d love to see a return to the president advising Congress of the state of the union by letter.

So I didn’t watch our esteemed president last night. I did, however, look over a transcript of his remarks this morning. I see he is taking implicit credit for the country being “as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.”

Indeed. You know, recently I had an Obamanaut ask me if I was enjoying the gas prices, as if her hero had something to do with it.

Our gas prices are not falling because of anything Obama has done.

Thanks to the ongoing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) revolution, the United States has accessible oil reserves in quantities unthinkable just a few years ago. OPEC doesn’t care for that at all. So they’re trying to lower prices to a point that it’s not profitable for us to get our own oil out of the ground. It’s no more complicated than that. Obama’s just there while it’s happening.

Thus, he might as well take credit for the sunset.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Jan 202015
 

To whom it may concern:

I will not talk to your stupid automated “natural conversation” phone menus anymore.

No commonly encountered societal construct irritates me more highly, or takes me from content to extremely agitated more quickly.

Pressing 0 used to work reliably. I encountered one last week that kept saying “Tell me something about what you’re looking for” when I did so. An enraged, through-clenched-teeth “human being” finally did the trick. Robobitch understood that.

Big organizations, I get that it helps you to do some front-end call routing. And I don’t like push-the-button phone menus either, but I have come to appreciate their lack of ambiguity. Repeating myself to a computer that fake-greeted me and is now fake-apologizing to me for not understanding is something I’m not doing anymore.

So here is your notice, companies with whom I deal electively. When a call to you starts with me having to talk to something other than a person, it pisses me off. If you compel me to deal with a so-called natural language electronic stooge past one or two steps to get him/her the hell off the line, you shall lose my business.

Cortana is different. I choose Cortana. Ditto Kinect. Ditto Echo (eventually). An important distinction, yes?

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Jan 072015
 

Three masked men, armed with automatic weapons and wearing flak jackets, slaughtered at least 12 people at the office of a satirical magazine in Paris this morning before escaping into the city. The publication, Charlie Hebdo, has published caricatures of Mohammed in the past. The gunmen reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” throughout the attack, and claimed […]

 Posted by at 10:05 am

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