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Yeah.

I went riding with my neighbor yesterday. He on the Harley, me on my Suzuki. After the ride we were sitting in his garage, having some beers. The topic turned to how bikers usually wave to other bikers. He looked up the “secret” hand signals motorcyclists use. Two fingers down means “Two Down.” In other words, two wheels on the pavement. I thought we were just being super duper cool. I’m a little sad now, because I guess it means I’ll have to give a four finger down hand wave to every car I meet from now on.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Rule #1 in tech: Things go wrong.

Rule #2 in tech: The most efficient solution is to start over from scratch.

It's been my experience that these rules apply to almost all situations both at work and with life in general.


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IT FINALLY SNOWED


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Speaking of Legal Eagle, I think the greatest benefit I've received from watching his videos on YouTube is that now I know how civil cases proceed, so I can speak with my lawyer with at least some knowledge on the subject. "Yes, I signed the waiver, but if you listen to the recorded phone calls that you should receive during discovery, you'll hear that the agent clearly promised that if I signed the waiver my car wouldn't be totaled, so the signature was obtained via fraudulent means, rendering the entire document invalid under California law..."

I still don't believe that the lawyers are going to be interested in this case because the maximum damages are likely well under $10,000, but you never know.

EDIT: And I think that's why I'm stressing so much about lawyering up. My demands from Progressive are very simple:
(1) A letter sent to the DMV to un-total my car.
(2) A duplicate of that letter sent to me so I can physically take it to the DMV office and expedite things, or at least get a moving permit.
(3) A second letter sent to me from Progressive stating that they will never again attempt to total the Celica over this incident.
(4) A modest recompense for my time and stress; say $500. Because you have to make a tiny amount of money exchange hands to make megacorporations realize that something went wrong.
(5) They should pay my lawyer's fees.

I think any lawyer worth their salt is going to say, "That's totally unacceptable! Here's how we're going to extricate $20k out of them for your pain and suffering!"
And I really, really hate lawsuits like that. But long story short, Progressive just stole my car and I need help getting it back. So I'll tell my lawyer what I want, and they'll tell me what they're willing to do.


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SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW SNOW


Now here's something that I find fundamentally depressing: As she does on occasion, my mother-in-law sent me an email asking whether an email she just got was a scam. A few moments later she sent me a follow-up, "Oh, never mind. I just read through the whole thing and realized that it is."

This is a woman who did nothing technological until she was widowed in 2015; she didn't even pump her own gas or drive herself anywhere. She inherited her husband's computer and slowly taught herself to work with it to send emails, write poetry, and keep in touch with her friends.

And yet somehow she is able to immediately recognize phone and email scams and discard them, and if she's ever unsure she calls me or GothBard for our opinion on the subject.

I admire her for everything she's managed to learn in the last 8 years, and I wonder, is it just her inherent mistrust of technology that makes her so good at sniffing out scams, or is there something we can learn from her that would help us teach the rest of her generation what to look out for?

Scam calls and emails are still a daily thing for all of us. And they are because they only need one dupe in 10,000 to get their money's worth. And the question is always, "Is there anything we can do to educate that dupe?"

I believe P.T. Barnum when he essentially said, "Nope."


More Iowa winter insanity-- according to some locals I spoke to, the local snow removal crews don't use rock salt on the roads at all, they use brine instead. Unfortunately, brine freezes at around -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperatures have been dipping well below that at night, so all that's been accomplished is turning the Des Moines city roads into a giant hockey rink. Also, according to those same locals, tire chains and studded tires are banned within the city limits. So... everyone is just screwed? Every day when I go into work, I see at least five or six new accidents and/or abandoned/stuck vehicles, which have to be left where they are, because there's also a winter towing ban in place. The mind boggles.


We used to use salt that had been drenched in distillery leavings when it got really cold.

Mixing/using that stuff and then getting pulled over was an interesting conversation....


David M Mallon wrote:
Also, according to those same locals, tire chains and studded tires are banned within the city limits.

Des Moines *requires* chains during certain snowy conditions. (or snow tires, or a nonslip differential).

Des Moines City Code

Quote:

(b)

When conditions of snow or ice exist on the traffic surface of a designated snow route, it is unlawful for the driver of a vehicle to impede or block traffic if the driving wheels of the vehicle are not equipped with snow tires, tire chains or nonslip differential.

(c)

Any person charged with impeding or blocking traffic for lack of snow tires, chains or nonslip differential shall have the charge dismissed upon a showing to the court that his or her motor vehicle was equipped with a nonslip differential.


been in syracuse and up/downstate new york. Never used snowtires.

I think you only really need them if your roads turn a lot. Once you hit the throughway you can just slide straight ahead and its fine.


Dancing Wind wrote:
Des Moines *requires* chains during certain snowy conditions. (or snow tires, or a nonslip differential).

Tell that to anyone who lives there.

EDIT: on a second reading, it seems like this only applies to vehicles that are blocking the way for city plows, or in other designated "emergency" situations. I could be wrong, though.

I guess the thing that I just can't wrap my mind around is that this really wasn't a problem even just last winter. Sure, there's the usual gang of idiots who run their cars off the road on the highway, but this year, it's noticeably worse, to the point where it's a topic of conversation among strangers.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

been in syracuse and up/downstate new york. Never used snowtires.

I think you only really need them if your roads turn a lot. Once you hit the throughway you can just slide straight ahead and its fine.

I've never needed them either back east. Out here, though, if the weather drops below zero, the roads are just solid ice.

I got stuck in the middle of an intersection near downtown Des Moines for around 20 minutes last night because my tires couldn't get traction on a very slight incline. I ended up having to do a weird little sideways skid halfway into the next lane over, then reverse half a block down the road, pull a U-turn, and take a different route to the highway.


David M Mallon wrote:


I've never needed them either back east. Out here, though, if the weather drops below zero, the roads are just solid ice.

.

Ahh makes sense. at the people per square mile the cost of salt and one guy in a truck per county aren't really going to cut it are they...


Random thought as I shut down for the day: When you're an anomaly for something as fickle as a communicable disease, how on Earth do you test it?

With another COVID surge hitting the U.S., we still stand with me, GothBard, and Impus Minor never having had COVID-like symptoms nor ever testing positive for COVID, even when Impus Major was bedridden in WhimseyShire with it for 10 days and I was taking care of him.

Explanation 1: We're lucky in our genetics and COVID is hitting us so mildly that we never noticed we had it. But that doesn't explain Impus Major's major bout with it, nor our multitude (two full Costco boxes' worth) of negative tests, usually taken after we suspected exposure.

Explanation 2: We're doing the tests wrong. I'd be really surprised, but it's the only one that meets the evidence. Even when Impus Major had COVID his at-home tests were coming back negative. The doctors recommended a new brand, but he'd recovered before we managed to find that brand. But even after we did, none of us ever tested positive.

Explanation 3: Our family is naturally immune. I don't believe that an entire family could get that lucky. Defies belief.

Explanation 4: Our family is exceptionally careful. Again, I don't believe it.

So I have to blame the tests, but I still find it bizarre that with the exception of Impus Major's one case, none of us have ever had it that we know of.


I lived in a house with 3 people that all had it multiple times yet I never caught it.


It got up to 2 degrees today, so I walked back and forth from the laundromat during the sunny hours.

The sun is down so it's already -2 again.


Been going back through the old episodes of The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, and occasionally following through some of the actual stories, most recently some of the ones Lovecraft helped R.H. Barlow write. I've realized something that I hadn't when I last read the Lovecraft/Barlow stories (probably about ten years ago): while they aren't particularly good stories (they were mostly written by Barlow, who was in high school at the time, so not surprising), two in particular, The Slaying of the Monster and Hoard of the Wizard-Beast, seem like fun RPG adventure hooks.


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Yesterday was a "snow" day for the local school districts.
We had less than an inch.
But it means that we ended up with a four-day weekend, and now we have a three-day school week, and I'm honestly not complaining. It means that Hermione finally got caught up on her homework and almost got her room clean.


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NobodysHome wrote:
So I have no idea whether this constitutes "politics", but John Oliver did a fantastic hit piece on Homeowner's Associations, and that plus CY's complaints leads me to wonder: Is there anyone who's ever had a positive experience with a homeowner's association? Ever?

Yeah, the people who get themselves appointed to the position because it's the only form of authority, control, and personal fulfillment they'll ever have in their sad, empty little lives.


We've already had three snow days. But we're finally able to get started on our novel studies. 'tis Othello and Frankenstein time.


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i typed up another workplace rant, and then deleted it.

suffice to say:

i made the mistake of not taking a snow day last night, and now i intend to rectify that error by taking ALL OF THEM for the rest of the week.

why am i so angry?:
'cause "F~#+ing Stupid" always seems to be running the show. everywhere.

Liberty's Edge

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MLK day plus two inclement weather days here too, they don't call them snow days because, well, the snow itself isn't the problem at all in our area as everyone can handle dealing with anything up to 2+ feet when needed but anytime there is real temps below 5 and wind chill temps below zero they tend to call off school since it's not safe for kids to walk to school or stand at the bus stop for more than a few minutes.


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(Does not mention the local weather...)


I am starting to wonder at the wisdom of paying this attorney service. On the one hand, it's only $120/year and your first hour with a lawyer is vastly discounted: I started with the network when I needed a will and trust set up and it was all of $250 out-of-pocket for the entire thing, which everyone assures me was an incredible deal.

But now I need another lawyer to do similarly boring work for me, sending letters and making threatening phone calls, and apparently accident attorneys aren't particularly interested in the letter-writing aspects of these things, because I can't get any of them to call me back.

On the bright side, my original deadline with Progressive was this Friday and I have a call with them this afternoon to see where things stand, so if they continue to tell me they're "working on it" I can start spamming my assigned law firm with calls and emails to remind them that if they're going to be part of a legal network, they need to do the boring jobs too.


It's 8 degrees here! That's practically shorts weather!


It's below freezing here. Snow and collected water is turning to ice, slowly.


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Another Edition of "Teachers Have to Say the Weirdest Things"

"Tell me what makes your story Gothic or Romantic."
"He tries to kill himself!"
"I'm fairly certain that happens in more genres than those two. I'm gonna need you to put your eyeballs on the notes and absorb the words into your brainmeats."

"Of course it's Romantic - he's got a wife and child!"
"Preeeeetty sure people have families in other genres."

"Yes, Poe and Byron were both trainwrecks, but they're different flavors of trainwreck."

on deciding parts for a forensics duet wherein one character dies
"Welcome back! Figure out which of you wants to live."


watches kids goofing around in the hallway after school

Me: ...you're weird.
Kid: You're weird!
Me: ....yeah. How have you not noticed this?
Kid: ...I dunno.


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OMG, I love Google's absolute tastelessness with Calendar.

Impus Major needs to drive me to a medical appointment, so I told him to put it on his calendar.

I promptly got, "Invitation: Dad's Colonoscopy! Guests: Impus Major, NobodysHome", and the ability to invite more people, share it on Google Meet, etc.

Yeah... maybe not...


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NobodysHome wrote:

OMG, I love Google's absolute tastelessness with Calendar.

Impus Major needs to drive me to a medical appointment, so I told him to put it on his calendar.

I promptly got, "Invitation: Dad's Colonoscopy! Guests: Impus Major, NobodysHome", and the ability to invite more people, share it on Google Meet, etc.

Yeah... maybe not...

I don't think you understand the entertainment value of colonoscopies! Throw that shit on twitch or onlyfans and make a mint!


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NobodysHome wrote:

OMG, I love Google's absolute tastelessness with Calendar.

Impus Major needs to drive me to a medical appointment, so I told him to put it on his calendar.

I promptly got, "Invitation: Dad's Colonoscopy! Guests: Impus Major, NobodysHome", and the ability to invite more people, share it on Google Meet, etc.

Yeah... maybe not...

Yeah, it definitely sounds more like that Tik-Tok thing.


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captain yesterday wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

OMG, I love Google's absolute tastelessness with Calendar.

Impus Major needs to drive me to a medical appointment, so I told him to put it on his calendar.

I promptly got, "Invitation: Dad's Colonoscopy! Guests: Impus Major, NobodysHome", and the ability to invite more people, share it on Google Meet, etc.

Yeah... maybe not...

I don't think you understand the entertainment value of colonoscopies! Throw that shit on twitch or onlyfans and make a mint!

Don't do that.


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Hallelujah! It's all over except waiting for the DMV. I have the formal letter from Progressive that the car was totaled in error, and they claim to have sent it to the DMV, and I believe them.

So as I told them, I won't send the lawyers at all, and as soon as I get the registration sticker I'll call off the state inspector.

Because pressure for making a mistake is good.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

In similar good news, Home Depot did manage to get the refund back to the card, so all we have to do is pay off the remaining balance and then destroy it in a satisfying method of catharsis.


captain yesterday wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

OMG, I love Google's absolute tastelessness with Calendar.

Impus Major needs to drive me to a medical appointment, so I told him to put it on his calendar.

I promptly got, "Invitation: Dad's Colonoscopy! Guests: Impus Major, NobodysHome", and the ability to invite more people, share it on Google Meet, etc.

Yeah... maybe not...

I don't think you understand the entertainment value of colonoscopies! Throw that shit on twitch or onlyfans and make a mint!

Hopefully it's not the same twitch/onlyfans as the MurderkittyVsCrab...


Bayonetta was a big-big disappointment. I uninstalled it in second chapter.

It felt that I am not fighting hordes of ugly enemies (those chickens are supposed to be angles? seriously?!) but a hostile camera preventing me from having a good view of the situation.


Huh?

Hentai metroidvania?

...

Should I add it to my wishlist or not?


Meet another motorcycle: Wave/point at the ground with two fingers.
Meet a trike: Same but with 3 fingers
Four fingers for a car…
Okay, what do I do if it’s a semi truck?


Waterhammer wrote:

Meet another motorcycle: Wave/point at the ground with two fingers.

Meet a trike: Same but with 3 fingers
Four fingers for a car…
Okay, what do I do if it’s a semi truck?

Fingers and toes...


Drejk wrote:

Bayonetta was a big-big disappointment. I uninstalled it in second chapter.

...these words make no sense in the order you have placed them. I am aware English is a second language but still.


Drejk wrote:


Hentai metroidvania?

now these words make more sense.


Freehold DM wrote:
Drejk wrote:

Bayonetta was a big-big disappointment. I uninstalled it in second chapter.

...these words make no sense in the order you have placed them. I am aware English is a second language but still.

Mere fanservice is not enough for me to enjoy a game. I want (at a minimum) a comfortable gameplay.


What if it's comfortable fanservice?


Drejk wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Drejk wrote:

Bayonetta was a big-big disappointment. I uninstalled it in second chapter.

...these words make no sense in the order you have placed them. I am aware English is a second language but still.
Mere fanservice is not enough for me to enjoy a game. I want (at a minimum) a comfortable gameplay.

Bayonetta has excellent game play. What version are you playing?


Good God this is terrible.


I know. Those policemen all badly need a haircut.


Rain-snow-above freezing combo.

And I need to get some groceries... *sigh*


Freehold DM wrote:
Good God this is terrible.

It almost hits the Jon Pertwee quadrumvir:

(1) Mind-control: Check. I seem to recall that the guards in the first scene are being mind-controlled.

(2) Bad kung-fu: Check. Except this is obviously later Pertwee because it's much better than most of his kung-fu scenes.

(3) Souped-up custom car: Check. Bessie's there in the second scene.

(4) Person in a coma: Missing.

They should have added someone in bed in a coma and they would have summarized every series from the Third Doctor in under 2 minutes.


Speaking of Doctor Who, I'm sorry to report that I'm only on Tom Baker's third season and the writing is beginning to deteriorate. He enjoyed nearly two seasons of really solid writing to support him, but towards the end of the second season for some reason they started writing him as angry and arrogant (very against Baker's Doctor's typical personality), and the first series of the third season isn't very good at all.

But I have nearly 5 more seasons of Baker to watch. I'll reserve final judgement 'til I get through them all.


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In life, it's important to understand that everything runs in cycles, and there are terrible cycles, and there are good cycles, and if you don't pay attention you'll only remember the terrible ones and life will seem horrible.

As of this morning the Celica is fully repaired (Impus Major got a tire leak fixed yesterday) and de-totaled. GothBard has two solid leads on better-paying, lower-stress jobs than the one she has now. The kids start school next week and their schedules are mostly in order. We've survived our financial nadir for the year (property taxes hit hard) so we'll be building savings for the rest of the year. GothBard's father's cancer was misdiagnosed -- the supposed metastases turned out to be scar tissue and he's actually cancer-free.

All in all, things are going swimmingly for the moment. And it's important to notice that and realize it, because I'm sure in a month or two we'll have something go horrifically wrong again...
...for example, the Cranky Calico might still be alive...

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