Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blog Layout Upgrade in Progress

Don't panic! I have not forsaken Blue, I'm just finally upgrading my Blogger template to their Blogger v2 system. Your Arthaey-approved blue colorscheme will be forthcoming, no worries.

Update, 11:13 PM: I've got the old colorscheme back in place, more or less. So now it looks like my blog again. (Not that you feed-readers care; that's okay. :)) Next up on the list is peek-a-boo comments, like they were before.

Update, 11:55 PM: I have peek-a-boo comments back in place now, though I'm not entirely happy with them. The old-style Blogger instructions don't work for the new Blogger, so I had to follow Stephen Weber's instructions. He has asynchronous and synchronous versions of his instructions; I went with the former because all the script-loading for the synchronous version made the page very slow to load. But now you see some "loading..." text for a moment before the post's comments display, and I don't like that.

I also still need to redo the graphics that make this particular Blogger template have rounded corners [1] on the divs... But I'm ridiculously tired — I should have gone to bed hours ago — so I'll look into fixing up the graphics and comments some other day.


Linguistic Mystic Post: Everyday Linguistics

Over on another blog, the Linguistic Mystic wrote an article titled The Double-Edged Sword of Linguistic Passion, which describes my day-to-day experience with linguistics very well. I'll let the Mystic explain. :)


Monday, July 30, 2007

The Merechi Blog

Pas keniriv mleni ejh vek'nes vás'vanuna k', kret'vesha no emaelivdeni vek'di adhen. Lajiv neshad ne gir'emaelivon riga'vik vojeni.

Vik esni emaeliv vesha'lomael so'Amanda 'da meirechith k'. Sirev lomael seith ne shalthan 'sa lomael ghya seni, vet'sholdavni ne ovon shalthan 'sa eyemaene seith. Yet sholdav esa ne lisevon done dasharan, jhiye cha'akénelvaiye ne lomael meirechith 'da so'Amanda. [explanation]

Or, in English:

My boyfriend visited this weekend, but I will write about that later. The topic needs more writing than I can right now.

I'm writing now about Amanda's merechi blog. Her blog has a link to my own blog, so I want to link to her website. If you want to read in a conlang, then go look at the merechi blog of Amanda's.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Car's Brakes Died

My '95 Honda Civic has had mild brake issues for a while. So, when the brakes started making a low grinding noise Monday on the way to work, it wasn't shocking. Not happy, but not shocking either.

When cars make weird noises, I figure that's bad and I do my best to pull over immediately. There was a pay lot through the intersection from where the noise started, so I pulled in to the lot. I got out of the car and looked at the tires, but I didn't see anything really really obvious. Kicking myself for letting my AAA Roadside expire, I stood around wondering what to do. Then I noticed that Goodyear was right next to the pay lot. So some good luck, at least.

I drove my car one lot over and went in to the Goodyear office. I told them what was going on with my car and they said they'd look at it for me. We agreed that they wouldn't start work until they told me what was wrong, had an estimate, and received my approval to charge me for the work. One of the employees gave me a lift to work, which was nice of him. "It gets me out of there," was his explanation. :)

They called me later that afternoon to report that the front brake pads and rotors would have to be replaced. In addition, the driver's side CV joint boot was torn and needed to be fixed. They quoted me $1000 for the entire job. I thanked them for the estimate and told them I'd get back in touch to authorize the work.

It seemed to me that $1000 was high, but I don't do my own car work, so I wasn't sure. I called my dad and Forrest; they both thought it a ridiculous price, especially when over $700 was just for the brake pads and rotors themselves. I looked up some Honda-only places, and ended up taking my car to Honda Specialties, who had quoted the same job at $450.

My coworker* Josh gave me a ride back to work from Honda Specialties. I didn't realize it at the time, but my cell phone fell out of my pocket in Josh's car. Later in the day, I noticed I didn't have my phone with me. I hoped it was in his car, but he'd parked quite a ways from work that day and so I didn't go out to look for my car right then. I called up Honda Specialties to let them know that the number I'd given them wouldn't be very useful. I gave them my work number, but apparently my extension doesn't actually work; you have to navigate the directory, which most people don't bother to do. (And I don't blame them.)

So I tried calling the mechanics back, but I'd waited too long and they had already closed. Not so bad, though: I have bus tickets and the 17 goes right between work and downtown. (First Hill is practically the same as downtown, so those routes are great for me.)

Last night when I was going to bed, though, I remembered I still didn't have my cell phone. No cell phone means no alarm clock. And if you know me, you know I'm not naturally a morning person. So I was, uh, a "bit" late in to work today.

After lunch today, Josh gave me a lift back up to Honda Specialties. I paid for the work done ($475) and drove back to work. I'm happy to have my car back in working order, even if my wallet is not so happy.

The word "coworker" doesn't really imply "friend", but "friend" by itself doesn't tell you that I also work with said friend. "Coworker-friend" just looks silly. So I'm without a succinct word; or, at least, I can't think of it right now. But if you read this footnote, then at least you understand what I wanted to convey. :)


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Make Easy Money: Become a Scam Artist Today!

Apparently scamming people for money via panhandling is totally legal. So, if your morals don't dissuade you from it, I suggest going out and scamming your local kind folk!

Perhaps some background is in order, eh? About a month or two ago, I was walking downtown on 5th Avenue with my friend Shane when this guy in a suit stopped us. He said that his story was a little embarrassing, but his car had run out of gas. He said he would be happy to show us his ID (for what? I dunno), but he would really appreciate it if we could spare some cash for just a gallon of gas to get home. I'm very distrustful of strangers, but Shane had barely finished listening to his story before he gave him a $10 bill. The guy thanked him and walked off.

Shane and I discussed a bit about how it's hard to tell the motives behind strangers asking for money. But we both agreed that a well-dressed person seemed less likely to go spend begged money on booze or drugs. We left the conversation at that, and went on about our evening.

Fast forward to today. I was walking back home along 6th Avenue when a guy in a suit stopped me. (Sound familiar?) He launched into his "slightly embarrassing" story about how his mom was in from Spokane and for some reason her credit cards were frozen and they just needed a little cash for something or other. I had this very strong feeling of deja vu, then I recognized this guy and his sob story from before! I backed away while he was still trying to convince me to be charitable, and I told him I thought I'd seen him before. He denied it, of course, but I didn't feel like debating his scamminess with him. So I just kept walking, and he walked off the other way.

When I got home, I looked up the non-emergency police number for Seattle and reported the guy. The woman on the phone politely informed me that, unfortunately, panhandling was not a crime unless it's aggressive. This scammy-suit-man was nothing if not polite. So I apologized for taking up the woman's time, and I hung up.

At least I can blog about it and try to warn my Seattle friends about this guy.

Update: According to Wikipedia, this is (unsurprisingly) a well-known con:

Just $5: this is an abuse of charity scam: the conman approaches the victim and asks for "just $5" to help them achieve some goal that is almost within reach. The conman displays cash to prove they have "almost enough" and usually adds some props/window-dressing to add veracity: carrying a car part that needs repair/replacement or carrying a gas can (because the car ran out of gas and the wife/child is waiting). The victim frequently gives double or triple the amount requested or more. Couples are the preferred target: the wife for sympathy, the husband often pays out of nobility.