Misc Updates

I've been collecting up some miscellaneous tidbits for a while now, and I figured it was about time to gather them and put up another commentary page.

Broken English

My site has gotten my email address on a lot of lists. I never know what kind of an email I'll get next. Stuff comes to me from all over the world. One day the following note showed up in my in box:

YOUNG MEN's CLUB, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLICHallo friend,I correspond to you by name of YOUNG MEN's CLUB. I tender you the chanceenter to our club. Membership in the club gives you chance keep up acorrespondence or yourself meeting with man (men 15-40 year old) equalinterests. Club can mediate business or profession contact in 45 countriesof world, where has its members, to you too.So that you be member of club and you could use its service, is perhaps getthrough input test and promise, that you'll operate for club in locality afyour residence according our chance. Input test knock you may be, but it isfruitage of work expert in psychology and physiology.The first part af input test requires:1. Send your biography and characteristic af your interests.2. Send a few (5-10) photography, on that you'll stripped to the waist.3. Send following data:Height, girth of chest, width of shoulder, girth of biceps, distance betweennipples, girth of waist.

My first thought was to wonder if this person had used the AltaVista automatic translation tool. I've seen some bad translations in my day, but this one was about the worst. My second thought was what the f*ck is this email all about, anyway. I originally thought that it was for some internet community of young men, but when I showed it to a co-worker she felt strongly that it was an international male escort business. All I knew was I thought I'd heard it all, but this was the first time anyone anywhere had ever asked me the distance between my nipples.

The More Things Stay The Same, The More They Change

Some years ago New York State implemented a system utilizing digital images for drivers' licenses. I'm sure that most every state in the union utilizes a similar system. Well recently I renewed my license through the mail. When the new one arrived I noticed two things. First of all it had a very queer pink hue to it, which I liked a lot. But second I noticed that they used the same digital image from before, relieving me of the need to report to the DMV in person. I took out my old license and compared the two photos.

Drivers License Pic 1995
Drivers License Pic 1999

I quickly noticed that they'd been doing some image manipulation with respect to brightness and contrast. I wasn't quite sure the reason for this, but I noticed that the light beard I was sporting in 1995 had vanished. I wondered if they had some sort of policy to remove beards wherever possible to make the person more identifiable. I'm sure that they have some sort of Big Brother database of these images for identification purposes.

Don't Go To Barbers

For years and years I searched for a hair stylist who could cut my hair consistently the way I wanted it. You wouldn't think this would be a difficult task, considering my default hair style is pretty simple (short on the sides and back, more bushy on top). But year after year after year I remained vexed. I finally found someone here in town who could do what I wanted quickly, consistently, and without me having to explain it over again each time. The problem is I usually have to make an appointment about 2 weeks in advance. This is complicated by my "wait until the last minute" personality style. When motorcycle season hit this year, my hair was already getting a little shaggy. When I would get out of the shower in the morning, put on my helmet, and ride into work, I would arrive looking like a retard. I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore, and in a fit of haste I walked into a barber shop. Sure enough I didn't have to wait even a second before I was seated. I'd brought a picture off the web of a sexy military cut I wanted to try. The guy looked it over and said he could do that. Unfortunately what I got looked like it was more appropriate for a 1960's shop teacher than a jar head. To cap it all off, this was just a couple days before I got my new Cornell staff ID picture taken. I'll be stuck with this picture for probably the next 10 years.

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