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10/22/09 02:07 - 60ºF - ID#50074

i don't know about this.

image

...but if you don't, we'll send the deformed babies in person next time.

Cleft palate is a serious problem, and they say they can fix it in 45 minutes for only $250. That's amazing! It boggles my mind. But am I the only person who sees an implied threat to send unsettling photos until I pay up?

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/50074/i_don_t_know_about_this_.html
Words: 59
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/07/09 09:38 - 51ºF - ID#49953

poll

Is this awesome?
[ ] YES!
[ ] NO.

(Check one.)

image

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49953/poll.html
Words: 18
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: geeky

10/01/09 04:20 - 52ºF - ID#49897

free souvenir

The thing about living in Buffalo is that you always need to take visitors to Niagara Falls. Now I actually like going to Niagara Falls, but this past summer we ended up taking two sets of people there on two consecutive weekends. When you get that much Niagara Falls, the eye tends to wander. And it doesn't have to wander far before it starts to see how much schlock you can get.

One of the things they'll try to sell you is a green-screen photo of you in front of Niagara Falls. You could just walk across the street and take as many pictures as you want of the real thing - for free - but I guess some people would rather pay cash for a dorky simulation. Now, thanks to technology,* you can get a dorky simulation for free!



0. If the Flash app isn't directly above this, go here
1. Allow camera access, if necessary.
2. Get out of the camera frame.
3. Click 'Background.'
4. Use the slider to move the background, and adjust the threshold if necessary.
5. Say cheese, and click 'Save.'
6. There you go, you just saved eight bucks.

- Z

_______________
  • Adobe Pixel Bender

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49897/free_souvenir.html
Words: 213
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/29/09 09:05 - 53ºF - ID#49883

wtf

Two items.

1: Brian May is an astrophysicist. How did I miss this?

2: Somebody screwed up a little:
image

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49883/wtf.html
Words: 35
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/27/09 10:31 - 58ºF - ID#49865

jibba jabba

I've had a number of visitors from out-of-town ask me: 'Why is it that you call your highways The 33, The 198, The 90, The 190, The 290 ... when everywhere else in the world they would simply call them 33, 198, 90, 190, 290?' To which I respond: 'fuck if I know.'

I have a hypothesis, but it's pretty weak. The highways used to have names [I guess technically they still do]: The Kensington Expressway, The Scajaquada Expressway, The Thruway, The Niagara Extension, The Youngmann Highway, which naturally got shortened to The Kensington, The Scajaquada, The Youngmann. But there's hardly any signs that say their names, which only geezers know anyway. So they went to being the... the, you know, 290, which is only a short trip to 'The 290.'

But that doesn't really explain The 219 and The 400, especially when there's Route 5 and Route 20, but only 990 and 20A. It also doesn't explain why Canada has 'The QEW' and 'The 401.'

The only other idea I've got is that the Great Lakes chapter of the Illuminati, convinced by the success of their 'pop' campaign, are teaming up with the Newfoundland division to come up with new and innovative ways to make us all sound like yokels.

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49865/jibba_jabba.html
Words: 198
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/23/09 07:34- ID#49842

i'm not a person who gets annoyed

but I'm just going to put this out there: the QA on my MacBook was horrible, and my customer service experience at the Walden Galleria branch of the Apple Store near Buffalo, NY was not significantly better. Probably next time it's worth the drive out to MacSolutions Plus.*

Within the span of my three-year warranty, I had three hard drives, two AirPort cards, a faulty temperature sensor, a glitchy mouse button, and a case that chipped so bad they would have fixed it out of warranty. So when I brought it in today, with another dead AirPort card and a dead Ethernet port, I was not really in the mood to have my appointment quietly canceled after I got there - on time - because I didn't check in, and to not have anyone tell me until 45 minutes later when I had to ask why my name wasn't on the list anymore. So when the geek behind the counter explained their total lack of common sense like some computer glitch [Did you check in? No. Well then. Well then what? The person before me was a no-show and even she got the courtesy of being called at least a dozen times. I didn't even get called once times!] I didn't really agree that it was a big favor that he would reschedule me for two hours later. He did say that if I continued to hang around like an asshole like I had been that maybe they could edge me in somewhere. Well what else am I going to do, go home and get back to work?

Right, work. We'll get to that. Anyway, it turns out that an Ethernet card on a MacBook is actually a $700 logic board. Which oddly enough is not the problem, because the only thing they ever do for out-of-warranty repairs is 'factory-refurbish' them for a low, low fixed price of $280. But they don't do that on-site, they mail it off to God-knows-where, and it's 5-7 days before I'll see it again. Which brings me back to work. I double-checked: 5-7 days, right? Five to seven days, so you can't freak out on us before that. What?? Some people get all kinds of anxiety when they drop their computer off. Well this is kind of my work computer, and I can't really do anything without it... We'll give you a call as soon as it's ready. I know it's a bummer... especially since I bill hourly. OH. I'll see if I can put a rush on it. Thanks. I don't have a project right now and I understand there really isn't anything they can do, so I didn't make a big deal out of it. But yeah, I could potentially be out a lot of money for that.

I don't think I was a dick about it. Maybe I was. I only really got annoyed just now when I wrote it all down in one place. Thanks, (e:strip), for making me aggravated six hours after it would have made a difference!

- Z

_______________
  • The owner was totally out back grilling hot dogs for their Leopard 'release party.' Man, Steve Jobs starts grilling me hot dogs maybe then we can talk.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49842/i_m_not_a_person_who_gets_annoyed.html
Words: 537
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: geeky

09/19/09 09:09- ID#49810

tcp = traditional carrier pigeon ?

4GB of data was sent 60mi by carrier pigeon in two hours - 1:08 in flight, and the rest of the time to copy from the memory stick to the computer. In the same amount of time, South Africa's largest ADSL firm managed to send only 4% of the data.

This topic had already been addressed in 1990 by the IETF in RFC 1149, 'A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers' which so far has failed to gain widespread adoption.

In all seriousness:
The bird carried 4.75 Mbps, which is approximately equivalent to three T1s at full utilization. The network speed of 190 Kbps is lowish, but within tolerance of residential ADSL upload [which is usually pretty crappy].

Sneakernet is a viable mode of transfer for large data sets, to the point where Amazon Web Services now offers enterprise-grade sneakernet uploads to their data center

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49810/tcp_traditional_carrier_pigeon_.html
Words: 165
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/16/09 02:11 - 62ºF - ID#49783

this morning

On days like today, fortune favors those who stay in bed.

There is a small group of Latvians who are visiting Buffalo. On Monday, my aunt was driving them through the Finger Lakes, doing some wining, with the ultimate destination of New York City where my cousin could help with the touristing.

But they got T-boned coming out of a winery, sending my aunt to the hospital and totalling the car. [This makes my own story small in comparison.] My mom eventually brought the rest of them back to Buffalo to regroup.

So they decided to put them on a train instead. This morning, when I was the only one available to take them. No problem. My mom says their train leaves at 8:40. I remember: their train leaves at _:40. Before bed, I check the schedule for the Empire Line, which says 7:36. I groan and set my alarm.

But we can't take my car, because it's too small. We switched cars last night so my mom could take mine to work in South Buffalo, and I can take mom's to the train station. Once I've dropped everyone off, I'm to drive to the school where she works, and switch cars so she can drive hers to have it serviced after work.

So. See if you can spot all seven ways in which this can go wrong. I already gave you a freebie. Consider this your spoiler alert.

1. I show up promptly at 6:45 and the whole house is dark. I rang the doorbell a couple times before someone staggered to the door half-asleep and asked me in Latvian what my deal was. I eventually determine that Mom had put them on the Lake Shore Limited, which an Amtrak employee once informed me was referred to by employees as the Late For Sure Limited, which is scheduled [heh] to leave at 8:40, not 7:36.

2. Sitting at the intersection of Englewood and Kenmore, I look at Kenmore, then I look at Englewood, and I think, why not just take Main to the Scajaquada instead of backtracking to Parkside? Maybe because they've closed off half of Main Street to install stupid medians. During rush hour. It was supposed to take 20min to get to the train station; it took 20min just to get to the Scajaquada.

3. We arrive promptly around 8:30 - more than ten minutes to spare. Get up to the counter, get everybody's IDs sorted out [thank God] and get the tickets. By the time everybody's done signing their tickets, the train pulls up. The Late For Sure, which was six hours late the last [only] time I took it, was eight minutes early. Everybody got on the train ok.

4. Driving down Abbott, which is not my neighborhood, I overshot the school by about 600 house numbers...

5. when I realized I'd left my own keys at home. Turned around, went back to the school, got buzzed through, found my mom, and

6. she can't remember where she put the key we'd given her. She was going to leave them in the car, but didn't want to because the windows wouldn't go up [apparently the child window lock also applies to the driver, who is ... also a child?] but doesn't know whether they're in her purse or wallet or desk or if she stashed them in the car anyway.

[At this point, a child came up sniffling to my mom that he was having the worst day probably ever [it was only 9:30]. For some reason this made me feel better.]

So I have to go all the way back home. Along the way,

7a. I cut somebody off [because I'm still driving mom's land yacht],
7b. almost get T-boned by another person, and
7c. watch as somebody else almost gets T-boned. Needless to say, I am hypersensitive to the T-bone.

This was the point when I understood that the cosmos was sending me increasingly less ambiguous memos regarding my placement on the org chart of the universe. [Answer: it's better to be at the bottom than to not be on it at all.] This was also the point at which I bought a toasted Everything Bagel Jaygel and a French Roast with heavy cream, did not get food poisoning, and did not get a pink slip from Upper Management. I went back and picked up my car without incident and things are going OK so far, but I've still got to make it through another ten hours before it's tomorrow.


- Z

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49783/this_morning.html
Words: 743
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/13/09 10:01 - 67ºF - ID#49764

heaven help us

(e:dragonlady7) has finally read everything there is to read on the Internet and has started over from the beginning.

image


- Z

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49764/heaven_help_us.html
Words: 28
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: fun?

09/05/09 09:13- ID#49701

little help here guys

So I have a distant n'th-cousin from Latvia visiting my aunt. She asked if we could take him out to do "young person things" [I'm pushing 30 and I'm the youngest person in my family who still lives in Buffalo, so I guess it counts] on the 11th or 12th. I'm like: no problem. And she's like: he's 20.

GRAHH why is it that my idea of a good time always involves beer, or at least, a place where you have to show proof of age? And there's no f*ing way we're taking a Latvian to Canada on Amateur Night* - I don't know whether it would be worse to get buttraped by the border guards, or have to spend an evening in a bar full of drunk 19-to-20-year-old Americans.**

Help me out here people. I mean seriously my idea of crazy times is going to the Century on Free Bacon Night, getting some wings and a burger and several [ok three] beers, and making fun of mixed martial arts for a couple hours.

- Z

_______________
  • I guess yesterday was really Amateur Night but I'll let (e:dragonlady7) explain.
  • Or to have to spend an evening in a bar full of drunk 19-to-20-year-old Americans while my cousin scores with some freshman in the back seat of her friend's Mazda. Brr.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/49701/little_help_here_guys.html
Words: 221
Location: Buffalo, NY


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