Night of the Lanyard

Lanyard is a misguided word.

Two years ago, I donned a neck strap with my company logo that displayed my employee ID badge. I rarely wear it. It is a thick cloth material that is rather warm on my neck in the summer months. These days, I wear my employee ID badge on my waist.

Once upon a time, I was wearing my neck strap, and a co-worker friend of mine walked up to me and said, “Oh, you have a lanyard.” I looked left and right, trying to figure out what he was talking about. I asked him what he meant. He explained that he was referring to the thing that I was wearing around my neck.

I don’t want to come across as being stupid, but I did not know what the word “lanyard” meant until that day, two years ago. I’m sure I’ve heard and read that word before that day, but it did not resonate at the time.

I take issue with the word “lanyard.” I very much dislike it.

It is a stupid word. When I hear the word “lanyard,” I think of an old haunted plantation. That is how the word resonates with me. It sounds like a word from a horror movie. It doesn’t sound like a word to describe something around your neck.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about this on Twitter. I tweeted: “Night of the Lanyard.” I’m sure that came across as completely random. I’m sure that nobody knew what I was talking about, but it was a joke in my own head.

The word is downright creepy.

There has to be another word we can use. If not, let’s create a new word for a strap around your neck. “Lanyard” is the most misguided word I can think of in the English language. I don’t approve of it at all. Let’s dispose of it.

Fly By Night Computer Schools

I do a scan of the radio dial on my drive to work every morning. Most of the time I’m only hearing a bunch of commercials. I practically hear the same ones every day.

There are two computer schools that advertise regularly. I can’t quite determine if they are actual schools or simply some type of online course. It’s not a good sign that I’ve heard these commercials so many times, yet I still don’t know exactly what they are offering. The advertisements sound a little shady to me. They all sound like the empty promise of a get rich quick scheme.

One of these “schools” said that they had a student who enrolled in July and was already working in IT in August. Oh, come on. I don’t believe that. Another ad said a student was hired in the IT department of a large company only four months after being enrolled. That also sounds rather dubious. I doubt that any IT manger has even heard of these shady schools.

The ads don’t mention any specific course material. They’re very generic. There is no jargon spoken. It’s as if they are directing the ads at people who don’t even know how to use a computer, let alone program one. This is not an actual quote, but it’s as if they’re saying, “Hey, people who work in computers make good money, don’t you want to do that too?”

I’m not going to name the schools or point you to their websites because I don’t want to give them any publicity. I haven’t looked into them or visited their sites. I don’t care to. I’m basing my opinion solely on what I hear in the radio commercials. What I hear just sounds a little fishy.

If these schools were in strong demand and enrollment was high, they wouldn’t have to advertise on the radio every morning.

Beep Goes the Microwave

I despise the beeping sound of a microwave. My microwave at home beeps at least three times when the time runs out to announce that it has finished cooking. The units in my office cafeteria beep four or more times. I don’t know the precise count offhand, but trust me, when there are a row of microwaves, it can become highly obnoxious at lunchtime.

There needs to be an option to disable the beeps entirely, much like most dryers allow you to disable the buzzer that signals when the clothes are dry. (For the record, I hate that buzzer too.)

Most of the time, I simply use my microwave to reheat a cup of coffee or something small like that. Reheating coffee takes less than 20 seconds. Does the microwave really need to beep three times to let me know that 20 seconds have passed? How far away could I possibly have gone that I need to be reminded that I just heated a cup of coffee? Seriously. The majority of the time, I open the door before the time expires so that I don’t have to endure the sound of the beeps.

I have an idea for a better, smarter microwave. The number beeps should correspond with the amount of time the microwave was running. If a frozen dinner has been in there for 7 minutes, then by all means, go ahead and beep three times. Chances are that I will have left the room by the end of those 7 minutes. However, if the total cook time was less than a minute, it should beep only one time, if at all. I still would like to have the option of disabling it entirely.

While I’m on the topic, why does it have to be a beep at all? Why not add a voice announcement that says it’s done? Perhaps they could program different options in there, or perhaps, let me record my own.

Does this obnoxious beeping bother anyone other than me? I’d think there would be more of a movement to do something about it, but the general population seems to be pretty content to simply put up with it. Oh well!

I Hate the Minions

I hate the Minions. I have been meaning to write this post for some time. The Minions movie came out over last weekend and I saw enough tweets and posts about it that I hastily recorded an audio post where I ranted and raved. Having already done that, I’ll keep this post rather brief.

You can hear all about why I don’t like them in my audio post. After listening to my recording, I will admit that I was extremely harsh on the subject. I feel a little more relaxed about it today, but my overall opinion remains the same.

The Minions are not cute or funny to me in any way. I didn’t see the movie they first appeared in, and I’m most certainly not going to watch the Minions movie. Heck no. What bothers me the most about these unlovable cartoon characters are the pictures I’ve been subjected to on Facebook over the years. People post little memes and quotes that have a picture of a Minion next to the words. I don’t know how that became a thing. They are not the least bit amusing. I wish I could filter every last one of them out of my news feed.

As I mentioned in my audio recording, I saw the trailer for the Minions movie last week. It was absolutely unbearable. It was completely unlikable and not the least bit funny or amusing. I was cringing the entire time I had to sit and endure it. It was painful.

Unfortunately, with all of the marketing and toy sales that have gone into this, I have no doubt that there will be a Minions 2 and 3, and beyond. This garbage will probably live on forever, much to my dismay.

I am debating about whether or not to include a picture at the end of this post. I want to include one as a mere example of what I’m talking about, but at the same time I do not want to subject myself or anyone else to having to look at it. (I’ve decided that I’m not going to.)

Go away Minions!

The Unsettling Silent Public Bathroom

Public bathrooms are far too quiet. I find this to be the case at most places. It bothers me.

The bathrooms in my office building are completely silent. It’s disturbing. I don’t mind it as much when I am in there alone. It’s when I’m in there with other people that it becomes unsettling. When you’re standing next to someone at a urinal, it is common knowledge that you do not speak to each other. The dead silence in the room can create some very awkward moments.

For example, when someone is pooping in a stall, I do not want to hear it. I don’t want any knowledge of what is going on in there whatsoever. The bathroom desperately needs some background noise. It shouldn’t be totally silent. It creates an awkward situation for all parties involved.

Public bathrooms should have some type of ambient sound that is constantly playing. Think of it as some white noise to mask the yellow noise, if you get my drift. Ha! I had to work that line in somewhere.

In all seriousness, an end to the complete silence is sorely needed. Some restaurants pump music into the bathroom, and that’s a fine solution. It gets the job done. I would suggest that the sound could also be that of an exhaust fan, a waterfall, a mechanical hum, or practically anything. Anything would be better than nothing!

I prefer the idea of some basic white noise rather than using music. It doesn’t have to be a mechanical object. A simple speaker embedded in the ceiling would work just fine. Then any noise come out of it that one prefers. Let’s implement this, for everyone’s sake.

State of the Blog

I wrote my first blog post on December 2, 2005. My blog turns ten years old this year! Since that December day ten years ago, I have written 685 posts.

The regularity of my writing has slacked off in recent times. It’s now June and I haven’t written a single post since March. I used to be far more regular with them. It’s not for a lack of material. I have a list of things to write about, and I have several ideas on that list. I just haven’t felt like sitting down and writing about any of them.

The static pages on this site have become terribly ancient. My Hate List is the only page that I’ve put an effort into updating and maintaining. The other pages, linked to at the top of the page, are pretty much neglected. The iPhone, Mac, and Linux pages were created many years ago and have become irrelevant. I could simply delete the pages, but it would look rather empty up there with out some page content to link to. For the time being, I will leave them as they are and let them continue to develop cobwebs.

Where does this go from here? My blog isn’t going away. I’ll continue to maintain it, and will write a post when I get the notion. It’s hard to believe that I launched this site nearly ten years ago. Here’s to many more.

Mullet Car

I see this car daily in my office parking lot. It is so ugly. I’ve often thought that to myself when I’ve walked by it. What is it? Whatever it is, it looks like a mullet.

I’ve made a point over the past week to get a good picture of it. It’s been hard to get it in decent lighting without anyone parked next to it. I was finally able to get a good photo of it while out walking at work today.

I truly don’t know what kind of car it is. I think it may be a Subaru of some kind, but I am not certain. Before writing this post, I searched online for cars that fit its description and photo. I simply can’t find a reliable answer on the make and model. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. If I ever find out, I’ll post it in the comments.

Mullet car

My Take on Dressgate

It’s been more than 24-hours since the whole dress debacle took the Internet by storm. It is practically old news by now. I figured I’d write something and weigh in on the matter before the entire subject is played out, if it isn’t already.

I was watching TV most of the evening last night and wasn’t looking at Twitter or the Internet in general. A friend texted me a photo of the now infamous dress, and innocently asked me what color it was. From my initial first glance, I replied that it appeared to be blue and gray. She didn’t agree with me, which blew my mind. I soon realized that this was circulating all over the Internet.

I fired up my Twitter feed and sure enough, nearly every single tweet that I read was about that stupid dress. It was all the rage. I’ve never quite seen such a thing take off in that way. It was suddenly everywhere. The debate over the color of the dress was boiling over. Articles were being written. Experts were chiming in. It was total mayhem.

It completely blows my mind that some people could honestly believe that the dress is white and gold. I find it hard to believe that anyone could possibly think that. There is not a speck of white anywhere on that dress. I think people were taking that stance just to get a rise out of the rest of us. Either that, or they are completely mad.

At 11:15 PM, I weighed in and tweeted: “I’m tired of hearing about that stupid dress. It’s #blueandblack. Anyone who says otherwise is a monster.”

I must point out that the photo is horribly washed out. The only reason I said gray was because the color saturation was so weak that the black in the dress didn’t look all that black. However, I could still easily deduce that the dress was black and blue in real life. The blown out lighting to the right side of the dress is a total distraction from the object itself. Perhaps that’s what was throwing people off? I don’t know.

It was later confirmed that the dress is indeed black and blue, both from the woman who took the photo, and from a listing of the dress for sale on Amazon. There is not a hint of gold or white to be found in the dress. Again, I insist that anyone who thought that in the first place was either lying or completely crazy.

The speed at which “dressgate,” as some clever person dubbed it, took a life of its own was truly amazing. It spread like wildfire. Within a few short hours, it seemed that everyone was talking about it. The subsequent jokes and counter photos that were posted soon after were truly hilarious. There are some really funny and creative people in the world. Despite the anger and disagreement that took place over the photo, the hilarious jokes that followed it made the event worthwhile.

When I got to work the following morning, I printed the picture of the dress in grayscale on my printer, and handed it to my friend who had texted the photo me originally. I added a caption that read, “Now it’s black and white.” Ha! It was the least I could do.

Dressgate