Not unlike much of the rest of the civilized world, I was saddened, although not necessarily shocked, to learn of the terrorist attacks in Paris over the weekend. One of my ways of reacting to situations like these is to seek out live webcams in the local area. I prefer raw, unfiltered information when possible and webcams certainly offer that.
I didn’t find much in the way of action-on-the-scene in Paris. I did, however, find one of the most mysterious and odd cams I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen hundreds). Essentially, it appears to be located in an underground HVAC/utility system or something industrially similar, and focuses on a poster. The poster is what is the befuddling part. If any of your are familiar with this type of chart, please let me know. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’ve done the usual, tangential searches (by IP, location, contents of the poster, etc) and still haven’t gotten very far.
Here is the link to it if you want to check it out yourself: Mystery Cam, Orange, France. Of course, clicking that may all put us on some NSA watch list. You’ve been warned. If you do click on it, please let me know what you think it is.
Vive la France!
Update: A little further sleuthing shows me that part of the poster contains an ISO 12233 Test Chart. This doesn’t explain what the other contents of the poster are – what is that building? and is that an eye chart? Then there are still the biggest questions – why is this chart located in this undetermined utility area? and why is there an live webcam on it running 24/7?
Well over a year ago, I promised I would share with you my ‘first’ ghost story involving my nearly 100 year old home (see: Ghost or Gravity). As we’re drawing near one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, I thought I’d finally share this.
I can’t specifically recall when this happened, but my guess is sometime between 2006-2010. It was a nice day and we had the windows open. I was in the laundry room, which is in the far back, downstairs corner of the house. My beloved Jerry Garcia was in that room as well, chilling on a shelf we made so he could look out the window. Mike was upstairs in our home office, which is on the exact opposite side of where Jerry and I were.
I was loading up the washer when I heard a man’s voice, very deep, very gravelly, rasp, “Jerry!” in a quite angry tone. I looked up to see why Mike was messing with our cat like that (this was not something that he’d ever do in jest), and saw Jerry rise up with the hairs sticking up all over his back. Jerry’s eyes were wide and he was clearly upset that he just got yelled at. “Mike?” No response. I calmed Jerry down a bit, and then proceeded to go upstairs. There, I found Mike, who was completely oblivious to everything that had just gone down in the laundry room. After a few go-rounds, I was convinced it wasn’t him messing with us.
To this day, I have never been able to figure out what it is I heard. I probably would have chalked it up to something innocuous had Jerry not reacted the way he did. I’ll never know what it was I heard that day, but as Jerry was my witness, I know we both heard something. Speculate on that as you will.
I celebrated my Jack Benny birthday* by taking a long weekend and enjoying the free time. I managed to maximize this enjoyment by avoiding the news and staying off Facebook. Many of you were kinds enough to send me birthday greetings and well-wishes, primarily through Facebook, so my apologies for the late thank yous. Thank you all for thinking of me. I did get notices of your messages and they mean a lot. I know none of you can blame me or think any less of me for avoiding news & FB. They are such time sucks, and free time is so precious.
The last four days were a bit of a mini stay-cation. I got a chance to renew my library card, ride my bike, play both my ukulele (a story for another time) and my bass, finish Halloween decorating, watch the Hawks (lose. Thanks, guys), and of course eat birthday dinner. Kept dinner simple this year – a ribeye from our local butcher, baked potato, mushrooms, and asparagus, with oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert. Overall, a much needed break.
Thanks again for all the well wishes, and especially to Mike for making the last four days so stress free.
*Kudos to Aunt Sue and anyone else who got this reference.
Banner raising tonight as the 2015 NHL season officially opens! Finally, right? Let’s all sing along to our anthem:
PS – if you subscribe to the NHL package via Directv, please be sure to check your account. They almost screwed us and didn’t auto-renew, which resulted in a hellish multi-hour call with them by Mike, Ugh DirecTV… just… ugh…. In fact, it may be the reason we finally cut the cord and go online.
Civil law isn’t usually ripe with the fun stories you get if you work in criminal defense. Today is a bit of an exception. I have been working on documents that will be filed in federal court that contains the phrase ‘zombie hunts’. I think my life may be complete. I can die happy now….and then come back again and eat your brains.
This lunch hour was supposed to be spent either shopping for a bridal shower gift or for working on a writing contest entry, but no. Instead, it’s rant time. You have been warned.
The topic of this rant is about those who anecdotally diminish my/others’ experiences. This is something that occurs all the time, but it’s been rather prevalent as of late (in my personal, anecdotal, experience, of course).
Let me give you some real examples (going further into the irony/more anecdotes territory):
1) Me and a friend are in an elevator. I was grumpy and my friend asked why. I told her I was very cold because the a/c had been on too low all day and it made me miserable. Out of the blue, two old ladies in the elevator decide they need to get involved in our conversation and lecture us on how we should be grateful for the cold air because once we get to be their age and experience menopause we are going to need the a/c at a near freezing level. You know what? STFU old ladies. I was cold. I am not menopausal and your useless anecdote is just that – useless. Not only that, it pissed me off. Why are you trying to diminish my feelings? What good does that do? I WAS cold. You old ladies being menopausal and having a different preference for climate control does not mean that my experience being cold was any less.
2) A college-bound person I know (trying to preserve his/her anonymity here,so “CBP”) was at an event and needed to leave. CBP’s leaving was contingent on another person at the event giving him/her a ride. The ride-provider was slacking and not really wanting to leave the event, so CBP was getting more and more stressed to the point where he/she had to step away from the event because the stress was about to turn into a panic attack.
A few of the older people at the event became aware of CBP’s actions and instead of trying to help the situation or merely stay out of it, they had to voice their anecdotal opinions of, “CBP is stressed? Please. CBP doesn’t KNOW stress. Try living MY life. THAT’S stressful.” So again, STFU older people. CBP’s stress was real. Just because you, as an older, and in theory wiser, person, have the tools to deal with the kind of stress CBP was learning to deal with, doesn’t mean CBP’s experience was NOT stressful. How about a little empathy instead? How about sharing some of those great tools you have learned to teach CBP on how to handle his/her stress? How about just not being a jerk?
3) This one is far more general. This example is one I’m sure we’ve all heard with much frequency, especially if you happen to watch/listen to any right-leaning talk shows. “You can’t have an opinion on the military (and now more recently, the police) unless you have served yourself.” This one is pretty easily defeated with ye olde, “Well, I’ve never murdered either, but I have an opinion on murderers.”
I don’t really have any goal to this post. It’s a rant for rant’s sake. I guess I am mostly trying to bring to light something that is very annoying, and quite, frankly, rude.
TL; DR: Don’t diminish other people’s experiences because their anecdotes don’t match up to yours.
After much consideration, we took the plunge and adopted a kitten on Friday. Our newest addition comes to us by way of the incredibly caring folks at Castaway Cats. Please welcome our new boy!
He came with the name Gabriel, but we’ll be giving him a new moniker once we get to know his personality a bit. He is incredibly social, very nimble and agile, and of course, kitten-spastic. He is already getting along with our two older boy cats, and the Queen-B of the House Sugaree has mostly been oblivious. The youngster has kept to the upstairs and Sug rules downstairs, so no issues. Plenty of room for everyone. All in all, he is fitting in very well and far quicker than I had anticipated.
Thanks to Stephanie and her family for keeping this little guy alive and healthy until he could become a part of our family. We are very grateful, and are looking forward to making many memories together.
Somehow my work direct dial phone has gotten on some spam lists and I’ve gotten a handful of bogus sales calls over the last week. I’ve let 99% of them go to voicemail, but one happened to come through while I was on lunch (yes, eating @ my desk – I’m that cool), so I answered.
It started with a recording which stated that “a friend” had recommended I wanted this call for a home security system. If I wanted more information, I needed to press 1 and stay on the line, so I did.
A female got on the line (perfect American English, I don’t think this was outsourced) and asked me enthusiastically -
Her: Are you ready to receive a FREE home security system?!?!
Me: Are you ready to stop calling law firms with your crap sales calls? [Then I LOL at her, and hear subsequent laughter from a few in the cube farm around me].
Her: [Pause, Silence] Uhhh…yeah, good luck with that. [Hangs up on me].
That was fun for all of 45 seconds. Now what to do with the rest of my lunch hour?
If this is a repeat topic, I apologize. I thought I had previously written on this, but I wasn’t able to find it. So here you go, my no-dog-in-this-hunt-but-that-will-not-stop-me-opinion on the subject of the first day back to school here in the South. In short, W…T…F…?
For the sake of my non-Southern dwelling readers, most of the public schools down here will start this week, if they haven’t already started. In case you’re not familiar with Savannah’s sub-tropical climate, the average daily highs for the first three weeks of August are above 90°F and it rains almost every day. We, therefore, have a situation where we are opening up and cooling public buildings during the year’s highest heat and humidity.
What collective group of jackasses (because we all know this is not the type of decision that gets made by a sole jackass) thought that starting school this early is a good idea? Don’t go giving me that old BS of ‘it’s a hold over from farming times.’ We haven’t been an agrarian culture in over a half century (arguably more). There is no way that this is still the reason for the hold over. I’m not really sure what the reason is. I can say that it is insanely energy inefficient, and that is the source of my annoyance.
With most of the modern environmental weeny-ism consciousness being pushed in our public schools, why is this still even ‘allowed’? Isn’t it amoral to use more power than one needs to or some socialist blather? Ultimately, the real problem is that it is far more costly to use power during peak power usage season than not. It is a poor use of the schools’ tax revenues. The money should go for actual education, not artificial climate control.
As promised, I have no real stake in this arrangement, other than feeling like a ripped-off tax payer. That feeling isn’t new though, however. That brings us back to this being a rant for rant’s sake, which is now over and I feel better.
This is a Facebook-related topic, so if you are a FB hater (and I certainly understand if you are, you can skip this post).
Am I the only one who is absolutely hating the Memories feature? This may come as an odd complaint from a person who is passionate about history, but I’m finding this to be incredibly annoying. I’ve even taken to hiding all Memories posts that any of my friends post. Sorry, but not sorry, my friends. I already saw your post the first time, and I don’t need to see you kissing a puppy 2 years after the fact.
I know your memories mean a lot to you. They should. However, social media is shallow and usually void of context. Don’t go dredging up your memories to post like everyone else cares. Yes, it’s harsh, but no – no one else but you cares.
So go ahead, scroll back through your old posts and pics. You should do that every once in awhile. It can be a lot of fun. Just don’t share it with anyone else. No one wants their Newsfeeds clogged up with non-news.
All right, donning the flak jacket. I know I’m going to get hell for this. I still love you all, and will always remember you.
Art Bell is back! I couldn’t be more thrilled. I sure hope this incarnation lasts longer than the last time around.
What I’m really enjoying so far is that, despite the show now being online rather than radio, it is nearly identical to the late 90s/early 2000s shows I remember. Same subjects, same bumper music, same Art Bell-style sarcasm and speculation. Even the website has that same awful/awesome early 2000s design.
Day 1095 of our institutionalization. Three years ago today, Mike and I made the plunge and registered our relationship with the government.
The longer I’m married the more annoyed I am by the idea of the entire scam arrangement. Perhaps because this year my gay friends and family can finally join me in this unconstitutional institution, the whole idea of government-registered relationships seems glaringly biased and wrong.
Government-registered relationships cause the establishment of different classes of citizens – single citizens and coupled citizens. Depending on which class you are, you are treated differently under the law, which according to my understanding of the Constitution, is a violation of the 14th amendment. Every person, whether they have one, many or no significant others, should be treated the same.
The whole reason Mike and I registered our now 19-year relationship with the government was because we wanted to get special treatment under the law which we could not have gotten otherwise (cheaper health insurance rates, primarily). It sucks that we had to game the system by registering our relationship with the government. It sucks even more that single people get screwed out of this advantage because they can’t find someone to couple up with and/or they are not willing to lie to the government about it.
So there you have it, happy registration day. Next year, Mike and I will celebrate our true anniversary – 20 years together (16 free of government intrusion). No soapboxes then, I promise.
One of the ironies that best defines me is that I am passionate about the study of history, even majored in it at college, yet, I have a pretty crappy memory. Très typical Jaime. I compensate for this by leaving myself notes, making lists, and writing things down (see: this blog). Unfortunately, I’ve hit one of my first instances, that I can remember, where even writing it down failed.
Upon coming home from work, I opened my tablet wherein I found a 1×2 yellow post-it note on which I wrote, in black ink, 8:28. What I know is that I wrote that at work, as I don’t have yellow post-its at home. I just don’t know why I wrote it, and why I would have stuck it in my tablet. It seems to indicate I wanted to remember something at home, hence it being in my tablet.
Oh wait. Holy crap. Typing this out helped. It literally just dawned on me why I wrote that. I was going to appeal to you readers for help, but I guess I don’t have to. Thanks anyway. Lesson learned – be more specific in your reminder notes.
Well, sorry to waste your time with this post. I figure since I’ve already bothered to type it out, I’ll publish it. At least I got the exercise.
Cute cat anecdote with a hockey twist. As background, our cat Oscar has shown an affinity to certain sounds and loves to be in the company of these sounds. The big three for him are: 1) when Mike and I play music; 2) football on tv; and 3) hockey on tv. If any of these sounds are going, Oscar will nap or lounge in the room with the sound source.
Of course, Oscar was hanging out with us the entire time during the Stanley Cup winning game for the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. Upping his adorable-ness, Oscar chose to lay on the extended footrest of our La-Z-Boy. During the first period, he laid facing the same direction as Crawford. At the start of the second period, he turned around, so again, he was facing the same direction as Crawford. Thirty minutes or so later, third period, guess what? Yep, turned around again to be in sync with Crawford.
Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks and thanks to Oscar for the extra karma boost.
The Chicago Blackhawks have secured their spot in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s been known to hockey fans for awhile now that the ownership of the Lightning instituted a dress code and ticket policy in Amalie Arena (home ice for the Bolts). The ticket policy:
Amalie Arena is located in Tampa, FL. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of Florida. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside the selected area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.
The dress code:
Please note that for all 2015 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena only Tampa Bay Lightning team apparel (or neutral) will be permitted in these club and adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team apparel will be asked to remove them while in these areas. (Both policies courtesy of Ticketmaster.com
Private clubs are allowed to institute whatever policies they chose, no matter how moronic/draconian/narrow-sighted/straight-up-stupid they may be. My question is – IS Amalie Arena a private club? Are they legally allowed to institute such measures?
Part of what makes a private club ‘private’ is that they fund themselves, either through dues or membership fees, etc. Amalie Arena exists because a mix of public and private funding. In fact, the government of Hillsborough County recently approved $12.5m in tax dollars, primarily coming from tourism taxes, to renovate Amalie Arena. So The People, especially and including tourists to Tampa, are now at least half-sponsors of this place. In exchange for the Arena accepting tax funding, shouldn’t they also be required to adhere to the types of admission/ticket policies that would be required if this were, say, a bandshell in a public park? I am curious as to the legal authority a club like the Tampa Bay Lightning has to try to prevent Blackhawks fans from wearing their red, white, and black in a quasi-public place like the Amalie Arena. I am also interested in how the ticket policies are not a violation of interstate commerce laws.
So who’s down for some class-action action? This seems ripe.
As much as I love (er, am obsessed with) hockey, the commercials are starting to get to me. During the regular season, this isn’t an issue because we record the games and can fast forward through ads and period breaks. Playoffs need to be watched live when at all possible, so I’m stuck.
The issue for me is that they are incredibly redundant, and some are really old copy. Discover – I’m looking your way. Drop that stupid-ass campaign with the ‘twins’. He said FRAUD protection, asshat, not frog. Move on. They have been running these exact same ads for at least three years. A number of the other ads are loaded with Canadian wuss-rock (sort of redundant, right?), which can really get into your head the way a jingle does. The music isn’t technically bad, just so repetitive. Of course, I’m actually glad to see the chicks-with-ukeleles-who-sing-off-key trend is finally ending. Apple, if you bring that shit back, I….have nothing to threaten you with, I would never buy your crappy walled-garden products anyway. But I do promise to mute your ads.
So blablah, what the frick is your point, Jaim? Mostly to set up for this song that has been stuck in my head since at least Saturday. Not Canadian, but on the wuss-rock level. It’s a fun song, though, and like a jingle, will get in your head. Enjoy: Kids (by Goodtimes Goodtimes).
Yesterday, marked the untimely passing of Mike’s brother. Sometimes the emotion of it all is still more raw than it should be, wounds that just won’t heal.
This year, we’ve had the fortune of finding some peace from the pain. Mike and I have somewhat-recently come into our ‘inheritance’ from his brother – his entire music collection. For those of you that knew Mike’s brother, you realize what a vast and awesome collection this is. For those of you who don’t – think of it as about 400 or so CDs of just about every variety of music (with an exceptionally large Steely Dan section). We’ve been in the process of digitizing these CDs and making them available to the family music library.
What I love about this is that music was always such an important part of his life, and of course, remains so in ours. Music was probably the strongest link between us all. Now that we have his music, it’s like having a little part of him, the part I best love and remember, with us always.
Keep on dancing thru the daylight
Greet the morning air with song
No ones’s noticed -
but the band’s all pack and gone.
Was it ever there at all?