Thanks to Betty Boop, fried clams

The tube on my Betty Boop standup cracked at the base the other day, so I found a neon shop online that’s closer than the last one I used in Maine and got a reasonable quote for repair. There was no address on the web site, just “North Shore”, but I got directions from the guy and it turns out he’s not even five miles away from J.T. Farnham’s in Essex, and I just found that Farnham’s has extended their season through December this year instead of November. So it’s fried clams for lunch on Sunday and prolly a quart of seafood chowder to bring home. Maybe a lobster roll, too, if I’m feeling a bit peckish. Must remember to bring cash. Can’t wait.

I took this photo in August 2008:

One job – they had one job

Here we see the problem inherent in mail-ordering shirts. The collar labels on these three claim they’re all the same size. The middle one fits well while the other two would have me mimic, respectively, a pup tent and a rather tightly-wrapped mummy.

I have sent words – restrained ones, I thought, considering the alternately grumbling and growling noises I seem to be making.

Excuse me while I fetch my eyebrows.

Heckuva profit margin, bub

I have a slow leak in one tire and,¬†when the pressure monitor warning lit up again on Saturday, I stopped at a place near where I was that I’ve had previous good repair experience with. They found the leak is unfortunately on the shoulder and therefore not repairable, so I asked for a quote on a replacement. They said US$195 for the one, with installation, balancing, disposal, &c. included in that price.

That sounded a bit high to me, and it’s time I got a set of four anyway, so I checked Costco’s site when I got home. Their price for the same is $131 apiece, also including everything, but with their recurring $70 off a set of four Michelins deal that ended yesterday, it came down to $113 each. They’ll be at the warehouse tomorrow. My savings is the equivalent of five years of Costco membership fees.

What could possibly go wrong?

So a simple straight-line driverless shuttle spots ahead an 18-wheeler backing into a loading dock in front of it and stops – a smidge late and directly in the truck’s turning arc. Incapable of, say, tootling its horn melodiously while bellowing “Yo, dummy!” or quickly backing up 48 inches because “that numbnut doesn’t see me”, it sits there, obstacle stop logic performing perfectly, happily getting its bumper smushed. And it’s sponsored by the American Automobile Association.

For some reason, the local news story is not framed in the manner I just used, maybe because everyone wants driverless cars, don’t they, and we’ve all agreed not to be negative about them, haven’t we, and what’s Mr. Just-Ate-a-Lemon’s problem over there, anyway?

In related news, $300m of driverless and aptly-named imagocurrency Ether was accidentally stolen and then promptly digitally burned to a whisp as the inadvertent thief tried to return it. No smoke, no muss, no cleanup. Not even a sound effect, I’ll wager.

The long con fish story

A fine-toothed comb is passed through that “five months stranded in a sailboat” story from the other day in a delightfully expert fashion here.

When I initially read the story in the news, it was the fantastical shark details that wafted up to my crinkling nose not unlike a stagnant rock pool, but nothing about the story they told made sense, really. The not-so-finely crafted fish tale struck me as the ramblings of two small children who’ve broken a lamp and quickly invent a fairly complete but nonsensical alternate universe in which impish goblins did it, not them. In this case, one presumes with the hope of selling the Fantastic Unbelievable Story of the Broken Lamp and the Goblins for six or seven figures.

“And then, and then, and then, a force eleventy-‘leven storm hit for three days and it didn’t even show up on the satellite because the goblins hid it and stuff!”

Tales of the Bizarro World

Stylist: “I’ve never had corn myself, but I imagine people serve it something like this.”

Photographer: “Yes, probably so. All done?”

Stylist: “Yup!”

Be sure to click for a larger, more disturbing version

Found here, about three-quarters of the way down the page.

It’s possible, I suppose, that this is somehow imaged directly from a food stylist student’s cold-sweat nightmare just hours before a final exam.

Think of this: They actually had a marketing meeting at Rubbermaid, probably a fairly lengthy one, during which this photograph was shown, discussed, and approved, probably by all present. Amazing.

“We don’t need laptops. I don’t have to show you any stinking laptops!”

I didn’t know until a few days ago that many phones and tablets support USB mice, trackballs, and other devices through USB On-The-Go (OTG). After reading about it and that most Samsung devices support it, I got a pack of two Ugreen OTG micro-USB to USB Female adapters in the mail this week – US$7 – and was pleased to see it works on my 1920×1200 Galaxy Tab A 10.1″ tablet.

It’s a little strange the first time you see a traditional cursor on your tablet – see the middle of its lock screen in the photo below. I found that you can even control its speed under Language and Input settings on Android, so it’s now exactly the same speed as my desktop cursor. Buttons on my trackball duplicate the Android home and back functions, click-drag is the same as swiping, and the scroll wheel works perfectly. A slight touch of the trackball wakes up the tablet. With a trackball and a Bluetooth keyboard, there’s no need to touch the screen at all. Working with a remote 1920×1080 Windows 10 desktop becomes much easier and faster.

With a folding LED-backlit Bluetooth keyboard that has Android and Windows function keys, my favourite trackball connected through OTG, TeamViewer connected to my home or office desktop as in the photo below, a multi-angle folio cover, and a good pair of reading glasses, I’m not sure I have any need for a laptop. The only real difference is the screen size.

That trackball and its USB-connected receiver is Logitech’s Cordless Optical Trackman, long ago discontinued, with remaining new examples being sold for US$400-500 these days (when they were still being made, I believe their list price was $69). Why so exorbitant? Because it remains the best trackball anyone has ever made. I have two – bought at the much lower price, of course – that I’ve been using for many years at home and in the office, and this is one of three hot spares I still have that I bought for forty or fifty bucks apiece when they were still being made several years ago.