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A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.
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Wednesday 4 September 2002
After several days in bed, semi-comatose from the effects of large amounts of codeine, The Git is finally back on deck. Thanks to all who wrote with commiserations. The side-effects of the codeine lasted a full 24 hours after the last dose and in some ways it's the head full of cotton wool effect that's hardest to handle.
We have given up on iPrimus for Internet service as a bad joke. Nobody we know had any useful suggestions, so The Git signed us up with Aardvark for a month's trial. They are a little cheaper than iPrimus with some restrictions on peak-time usage, but that shouldn't affect us. One thing The Git is hoping for is better upload times to my server in the US. iPrimus frequently failed and it has been taking up to half an hour to upload the changes to this page each day! American website access seems a little snappier, though this is during off-peak. But then most of my web browsing is always off-peak (5am-8am).
Quite a bit of email:
Our company is the first Iranian company that gives services on electronic commerce. We also sell and buy necessities of industrial factories. We contact you to request a sanding machine for chipboard sheets.
Please send us your catalog with prices and specification if you can provide it for us.
Yazd e-Commerce Center
Tel: (+98-351) 7244268
Fax: (+98-351) 7253009
I'm not quite sure what to make of that. A similar missive arrived from Beijing. Perhaps The Git is in the wrong business!
From Thomas Cantrell:
Latter part of this has always been funny- especially this summer whilst watching some of the airfare craziness- friends of ours have tickets to London next month for $4-US (return flight was a little more -$9)...but the first part I can verify- Jennifer has been friend ,etc for over three years-
This particular joke hit home for me. Thad & I have just recently finished traveling back from the states and we had to deal with the airlines fiasco! The last bit of our trip was the 'cherry on the top' so to speak. I could give you guys a few stories, but I will limit myself to one. (Let me offer you all a little inside information here. We purchased our tickets here in Germany and booked round trip tickets originating from Frankfurt.) Thad & I were heading back to Germany from Washington state and were checking into the airlines... <fuzzy dream haze> We walk up to the counter and show our passports and ID:
the lady says: "Where are the tickets for your return flight?"
Thad: We don't have a return flight!
Lady: You can't fly overseas without a return flight!
Thad: But, we live in Germany. Why would we need a return flight?
Lady: You aren't allowed to leave the country unless you have a return ticket.
Thad: What?!? I'm military and we live overseas. I purchased our tickets in Germany and that is where our flight originated from!
Lady: In order to fly to Europe you will have to purchase a round trip ticket.
Thad: Why would I need a round trip ticket if I'm not going to be flying back here? I have already purchased a round trip ticket in order to return to my home.
Lady: That's the rules.
Thad: Who is the manager here? I want to speak with that person!
Lady: Do you have any proof that you live in Germany?
Thad: <Showing his military ID, leave paperwork and a pay stub stating he is stationed at Spangdahlem AB in Germany.> This ID shows I'm military and this current pay stub and my leave paperwork shows that I am stationed at Spangdahlem.
Lady: This does not show your place of residence! You are going to have to buy a round trip ticket and you can get reimbursed for the other half once you are able to prove your residence.
Thad: Get your manager!
Me: <I just happened to have some mail with me that had been sent to our German address and had been dated for early July.> Will this work? This has gone through the postal system and has been mail to our home address. What more can we offer you?
Lady: That will work.
She finally let us check in.
I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn't had that piece of mail!
Now, on with the joke!
IF AIRLINES SOLD PAINT . . .
Customer: Hi. How much is your paint?
Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends on quite a lot of things.
Customer: Can you give me a guess? Is there an average price?
Clerk: Our lowest price is $12 a gallon, and we have 60 different prices up to $200 a gallon.
Customer: What's the difference?
Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint.
Customer: Well, then I'd like some of that $12 paint.
Clerk: When do you intend to use the paint?
Customer: I want to paint tomorrow. It's my day off.
Clerk: Sir, the paint for tomorrow is the $200 paint.
Customer: When would I have to paint to get the $12 paint?
Clerk: You would have to start very late at night in about 3 weeks. But you will have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.
Customer: You've got to be *&%#@* kidding!
Clerk: I'll check and see if we have any paint available.
Customer: You have shelves FULL of paint! I can see it!
Clerk: But it doesn't mean that we have paint available. We sell only a certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and by the way, the price per gallon just went to $16. We don't have any more $12 paint.
Customer: The price went up as we were talking?
Clerk: Yes, sir. We change the prices and rules hundreds of times a day, and since you haven't actually walked out of the store with your paint yet, we just decided to change. I suggest you purchase your paint as soon as possible. How many gallons do you want?
Customer: Well, maybe five gallons. Make that six, so I'll have enough.
Clerk: Oh no, sir, you can't do that. If you buy paint and don't use it, there are penalties and possible confiscation of the paint you already have.
Clerk: We can sell enough paint to do your kitchen, bathroom, hall and north bedroom, but if you stop painting before you do the bedroom, you will lose your remaining gallons of paint.
Customer: What does it matter whether I use all the paint? I already paid you for it!
Clerk: We make plans based upon the idea that all our paint is used, every drop. If you don't, it causes us all sorts of problems.
Customer: This is crazy!! I suppose something terrible happens if I don't keep painting until after Saturday night!
Clerk: Oh yes! Every gallon you bought automatically becomes the $200 paint.
Customer: But what are all these, "Paint on sale from $10 a liter" signs?
Clerk: Well that's for our budget paint. It only comes in half-gallons. One $5 half-gallon will do half a room. The second half-gallon to complete the room is $20. None of the cans have labels, some are empty and there are no refunds, even on the empty cans.
Customer: To hell with this! I'll buy what I need somewhere else!
Clerk: I don't think so, sir. You may be able to buy paint for your bathroom and bedrooms, and your kitchen and dining room from someone else, but you won't be able to paint your connecting hall and stairway from anyone but us. And I should point out, sir, that if you paint in only one direction, it will be $300 a gallon.
Customer: I thought your most expensive paint was $200!
Clerk: That's if you paint around the room to the point at which you started. A hallway is different.
Customer: And if I buy $200 paint for the hall, but only paint in one direction, you'll confiscate the remaining paint.
Clerk: No, we'll charge you an extra use fee plus the difference on your next gallon of paint. But I believe you're getting it now, sir.
Customer: You're insane!
Clerk: Thanks for painting with United.
No need for comment!
From David Magda:
Instead of saving files to MP3 format you may want to look at the Ogg Vorbis file format. It offers superior or equivalent audio quality for the same bit rate.
It has no patents or licensing restrictions on it unlike MP3s: so it will never in the future have licensing fees in the future (unlike MP3).
There are currently several (see below) comparisons online of the formats that I know of. Judge for yourself.
I had considered Ogg, but read this:
At this point in time, I am sticking with MP3 and Fraunhofer as being "good enough" for what I am doing. Minimising filesize is not an issue as the cost of CDRs is so low.
Thought for the day:
It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.
Vaughan Williams -- Variations on a Theme from Thomas Tallis
Thursday 5 September 2002
After a day relatively free from pain, matters returned to where they were. Another day spent in limbo under the influence of the evil codeine.
Thought for the day:
Patience is the virtue of an ass, who treads beneath his burden and complains not.
Frank Zappa -- Hot Rats
Saturday 7 September 2002
Thought for the day:
Sunday 8 September 2002
Thought for the day:
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