17 January 2022
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Add to Technorati Favorites

Listen to or download MP3 version of this blogitem

The system

When I Write About the System,

I'm usually complaining about how it's what gets most of us in the end. It's the one in which you're born, live, and die, to compress a lot of sententious philosophy. It has an understudy, the lesser auxiliary System which does a lot of the dirty work and is often responsible for dire events referred to as "untimely." But today's system is much simpler, and begins with a lower-case letter to avoid dignifying it with life-changing puissance. Rather, it's my fairly intuitive way of remembering minor individual subjects for blogitems that would otherwise be lost in the welter of incoherent and ephemeral thoughts with which we are all afflicted. How does my version of this system work?

  • I send myself an email of a few words.
  • I "file" this email in a "folder" conveniently and, to pick up a theme from yesterday, skeuomorphically, provided by my email program.
  • From time to time I re-read these emails, write a paragraph or so for the ones that I can decode, and delete the emails.

Pretty good system, no? All except for the part where these random (but legible!) scribblings turn into miniature time sinks for you and me. Let's see how many I can get through today...

Arizona really does have some great clouds. There's so much sky and so much room for them to experiment.

It also seems to have a very lonely one.

Revel in the careful attention to usability exemplified by this "Eberle" thermostat in an unremembered "Landmark" hotel that, despite being in the United States, is marked illegibly in degrees Celsius. My note said I needed extra light to read it. And the icons could have been explained easily in the expanse of white space on the device.

"Design!" He cursed. Perhaps my epitaph after the System has done its work.

Those committing a putsch would have to be putschists. I just recently saw that word in print for the first time. It grated on my eyes!

I think I have a mild case of Witzelsucht! But unlike the now-common German word Schadenfreude (whose spelling I didn't even need to check) Witzelsucht is worth a link-click.

I no longer have the luxury of implementing my sneaker algorithm. But with today's emphasis on buyer convenience, one wonders why, in addition to the idiotic tissue wads they still include in the toe area, new sneakers are delivered as a kit!

The epicene name Leslie, of whom I know several, seems to lend itself especially well to variant spelling for the ostensible purpose of gender disambiguation, or possibly to demonstrate eccentricity. Who knows who came up with Connecticut state representative's name Lezlye Zupkus. Surely not a parent!

A "note to self" to whine about the delay in obtaining the results of blood tests languished in the system so long that I noted this year the problem was resolved without resort to blog-excoriation of LabCorp. Good work, LabCorp, and all who sail in them*.

When you sign up for an email list or newsletter or purchase a product, you are added to the purveyor's mailing list instantly. If you "unsubscribe" you are asked to allow X days to be removed. Why is this an issue I'm even bothering to mention?

In an article about the California Air Resources Board in a 2019 Wall Street Journal, CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey was mentioned as disputing the sincerity of a Trump Administration move. Today I checked and I see he remains in his position. Whew!

When did "special" evenings become "very special?"

I spend too many words explaining how it is possible that I "don't like" a particular food item but don't "dislike" it, an entirely different emotion. If we never ate foods we didn't like, we'd probably starve. (Well, I wouldn't; there's always chocolate somewhere in reach.)

Business opportunity! In the movies, Mr. Burglar has to look behind every picture to find the wall safe. Why not put a dummy wall safe panel with a cheap WiFi-connected, stick-on keyboard behind every art in the house? By the time he finds the right one, Mr. Policeman will be there.

Those wacky astronomers! After observing a suspected magnetar for three years, scientists found its rotation slowed by about one-hundredth of a second. The discoverers “... were more than exhilarated,”[...]“They were ionized.”

The Loss of Lindt

I reached the point in my system where I see that I had noted that Lindt the chocolate company was having almost daily micro "sales" that weren't sales at all, but just annoying exercises with fractions. That math in a minute...

My thousands of millireaders won't be surprised to note my chocoholic tendencies. I've discussed chocolate any number of times in this blog, and I note that, by coincidence (I swear!), I even have one of my chocolate T-shirts as the ToTD. In this respect I'm a lucky tron: I am not as picky as I might be in terms of quality. Although Teuscher and a handful of other aspirational brands maintain a standard of discernment that even I recognize, I'm entirely content with Godiva, Sees, Lindt, and, not to be fastidious, often Hershey Bars and and other mass-market brands. This is a good thing since sometimes that's all I can get. The pandemic hasn't treated the Brand Boutiques well!

But first...

I'm on Lindt's mailing list. Twice, despite my ineffectual efforts to determine how to eliminate one entry. Every (yes, every) day I receive two identical emails, each touting the supposedly advantageous price of their yummy "gourmet truffles" which are neither gourmet nor truffles except by unilateral proclamation. Even so, they are yummy, filling, and reasonable in price; they form a leg of my chocolate-consumption foundation, as opposed to the occasional decoration provided by random purchases and gifts. Lindt truffles are mass marketed and can be found not just in Lindt shops but in supermarkets and drug stores throughout the land.

Here's what they cost:

  • 100 for $30 = $.30
  • 150 for $41.99 = $.2799
  • 2*75 for $44 = $.2933
  • 75 for $22 = $.2933
  • 2*75 for $42 = $.28
  • 150 for $44.99 = $.299999

Each of these offers has appeared multiple times over the year or so I've been collecting them. Despite the variety of offers, each couched in discount-implying marketing puffery, the price varies by just two cents from highest to lowest. Which is not to say they're not worth it, but I am giving up on collecting their "sale" prices.

But That's Not My Point at All

My point, if there is one, is that my last source of buyer-selectable chocolate has been rolled up. This past weekend I went to procure an aliquot of Lindt "European" chocolates which are not available on-line. The store I frequent, to use the dire phrase I saw on the notice over their now-opaque window, was Permanently Closed. They absquatulated without approval or even notifying me!

Earlier in the pandemic, I sustained a notification that all the Godiva Boutiques have closed.

Only See's still offers a custom mix, but all the See's emporia in Arizona are franchises and other offshoots, authorized to sell only packaged confections. To get exactly what I want, I have to order my Key Lime Truffles and Butterscotch Squares by postal mail. (Yes, mail-order or I can't use my dwindling supply of physical "gift" certificates.)

Who ordered this stupid pandemic anyway?

* Practicing using the New Pronouns.

Richard Factor



Pink Floyd



Written words fail me, as would spoken words, for obvious reasons.

Yesterday  |  Tomorrow