Yesterday was quite possibly the worst day of my life.
It started like any other, with me rolling out of bed at 5:15 and jumping in the shower. About midway through the shower I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up, which actually happens fairly frequently. I have a weak stomach and mornings suck. Some days the simple act of brushing my teeth causes the dry heaves. In any case, this time was different... not only did I feel like vomiting while showering, I actually vomited too. Multiple times.
I decided I better call in sick, at least for a couple hours to see if it would pass or get worse. It got worse.
I spent the whole day alternating between feeling like I was going to throw up and actually throwing up. (I was just about to type "I'm not sure which was worse," but then I remembered that the throwing up was far, far worse. How anyone can do it on purpose is completely beyond me. Those people have a much, much greater committment to Sparkle Motion than I.)
Late in the evening I took one of the anti-nausea suppositories that D had left over from her knee surgery (boy THOSE things are hard to swallow...) and that seemed to temper the pukey feeling enough to let me choke down 5 saltines and some ginger ale so that the aspirin I wanted to take to knock down my severe fever wouldnt burn a hole in my stomach.
So that was my day. Total food intake: 5 saltines and some ginger ale. Total food output: the previous night's dinner from Hawaiian Charbroil and all liquids I tried to consume before the anti-nausea medication.
I would have taken it sooner, but it had the classic warning of "may cause ", and I couldn't face the idea that it might get worse.
I get a lot of comment/trackback spam attempts on the various blogs in my bloglomerate, which I have always attributed to the ginormous amount of traffic I get. Until today, that is.
Take a peek at the top of my inbox this morning:
That's 36 attempts, all involving diabetes awareness.
What once seemed like a random, scattered smattering of spam attempts now looks like a direct attack from one specific individual. Long time readers may immediately know who I suspect, but for the new folk I'm gonna spell it out.
I suspect that -- for some crazy reason -- Mr. Brimley is upset about the fact that he makes up much of the content here at nyquil.org, including my repeated outings of his... achem... personal dealings with hot young celebrities. This quick search will give you an idea of the frequency of his appearances here.
I believe this is just a warning of things to come, but rest assured: I will not bend under the threats of terrorists -- no matter how tasty their oatmeal is. I'll keep you posted; I may be forced to call for an oatmeal boycott.
Man: Well, she came in looking for a replacement knife to complete a silverware set that is no longer produced. I helped her look through every set in the store, finally finding one that is similar enough to replace the ones she's missing.
The problem was, though, that we didn't sell them separately.
"But all I need is a knife," she kept saying, to which I'd tell her there was nothing I could do; she'd simply have to buy the whole set.
It was at this point that she broke down in tears, her words mostly gibberished by her sobs and sniffs. All I could make out was "wedding day" and "chardonnay," but it was clear she was really upset.
Perhaps it's my sense of goodwill that keeps getting me into these situations, but I decided there was one thing I could do...
I said, "We do have some bins in the back with mixed loose silverware from damaged or returned sets. I'm not supposed to let anyone back there, but I really can't see the harm. You can look through them if you'd like. If you find a match, I won't even charge you for it."
She seemed really grateful as I led her into the back and showed her the racks of bins full of loose silverware. I must confess that I felt pretty good about myself right then. That's when the door clattered as another customer came in the store.
I quickly told the woman that I'd be back after helping the customer, and that I'd bring a stepladder to help with the higher bins.
Woman: You left her there all alone?
Man: Well, I didn't see the harm at the time. I mean, what could happen?
Anyway... I was a couple minutes into processing the return of the new customer's defective Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine™ when I heard a shriek followed by the most god-awful clattering racket come from the back room.
When I got back there, I found that in her eagerness, the lady had decided not to wait for the ladder. Instead, she tried to climb up the rickety shelving. Unfortunately, she managed to pull a bin full of spoons off the shelf, knocking herself to the floor in the process, crushing her to death beneath them.
Woman: She was killed by spoons?
Man: Well, there were a lot of them... I had never seen such a pile of spoons, and it took a full 5 minutes just to dig down to her unconscious body. I swear, there must've been 10,000 of those suckers.
Customer: Excuse me... I'm looking for something I saw on TV. It's that neat automated steam press that the Aussie guy sells late at night. You know, "Yeeoo just sayt ayt and forgayt ayt!"
I've been too tired lately to come up with content for here, let alone be able to make it sensible or entertaining.
That said, here's something I scratched out this morning:
One of my guilty pleasures is the show Ghost Hunters on the Scifi Channel, which I suppose might technically violate my "no reality show" policy. I think it squeaks by, though, on the basis that it's so steeped in a fantasy-world rendition of how science works.
See, the Ghost Hunters seem to legitimately believe that what they do is "take a scientific approach" to the study of the paranormal -- but unfortunately most of what they do just plain isn't scientific at all.
One of the staples of the show is Using Faulty Logic™, which I'm pleased to say they're quite good at.
Because so many people seem to not understand how logic works, I'm going to give a couple of examples of Ghost Hunter Logic™ and explain why they're no good. Hopefully this will serve as a kind of public service announcement, possibly helping some people that don't realize that they're not thinking logically about things.
First up: thermometers and EMF detectors as scientific ghost detection tools.
The theory here is that many places that people typically think might be haunted have been found to have measurable temperature differentials and measurable Electro Magnetic Field fluctuations.
As a logic excercise, we're going to assume that ghosts do exist, and that they do cause EMF/temperature fluctuations. (This is quite a stretch; neither of these things has been even close to proven, but bear with me.)
So, if I were going with Ghost Hunter Logic™, I could make the following claim:
"I just measured a cold spot and an abnormally high level of electromagnetic radiation with my scientific instruments. Because I know that ghosts cause cold spots and magnetic field fluctuations, I now know that there's a ghost here right now. Give me a tv show."
In case you're one of the large part of the population suffering from faulty logic-detection, that statement doesn't work because you can't correlate cause and effect in this way. Just because Pine-sol smells like pine doesn't mean that smelling pine proves that there must be Pine-sol around.
That's the fundamental flaw with how the Ghost Hunters guys investigate things. They come into every investigation thinking that there are ghosts; now any cold spot or magnetic field fluctuation that can't easily be explained becomes evidence that there's a ghost. Sure, they often discount them if they can easily explain them, which I have to give them credit for, but far too often they just don't think of the logical explanation.
Case in point:
Recently they were investigating a haunted library. As they walked around through the aisles, they kept hearing "footsteps" coming from aisles that would stop as soon as they would stop to listen. This suggested to them that something sentient was trying to evade detection. What this suggested to me was that their own footfalls were pehaps being echoed, or that there were loose floorboards or something that would transfer the noise over to another aisle.
I'm going to try to make a habit of posting examples of faulty logic I come across in an attempt to solve this serious problem.
UPDATE: This post was originally written in April of 2005.
After being completely oversaturated with coverage about John Bolton's United Nations opponent-turned-Ambassador nomination status, my own personal research has caused me to come to a startling conclusion:
In the early 80's, John Bolton secretly stole world-renowned SciFi Channel psychic Peter James' prized moustache and eyebrows, leaving his own in its place.
Without further ado, here's some photographic evidence:
That's Peter James on the left, while John Bolton is on the right. Clearly those moustaches and eyebrows have been switched.
I'm actually kind of surprised that a psychic of Peter's ability would be powerless to stop the switch from happening, or even notice that it had taken place. In case you are unfamilair with Peter's work, he has visited many historically significant haunted places, eerily telling of people and events he is "seeing." The amazing bit is how accurate he is when you compare his "visions" with the extremely well documented (and publicly known) versions of the same events -- events that the curators of said haunted places tell people about as part of the tour.
It is simply astounding that he could be so aware of the things happening around him and still miss the replacement of his moustache.
A few days ago, my neighbor brought over a parakeet budgie that he found in his driveway, wondering if: a) it was mine, and b) I wanted it. I said "no" to a, and "yes" to b, so now there's a new member of our household.
He answered to "Phillipe," so that's the name I went with. After a few days of waiting for his previous owners to respond to "found" ads, I decided that he was now a permanent member of the household, and thus needed a friend. I don't want my pets to be lonely.
That's Filliam H. Muffman.
Phil was friendly from the start, but Fill bit the crap out of my finger after a few minutes of chasing him around my office while trying to get him in his cage.
Upon doing research on the internet, we learned that "parakeet" is the American name for what the Australian natives called "Budgerigar" -- or "good to eat" in Aborigine.
Can you recommend me a Netflix-style Audiobook rental service? I want actual CDs, not some proprietary Audible/iTunes downloads.
Straight mp3/ogg download would be ideal, but I'm guessing that doesn't exist, so I'll settle for CDs with a monthly flat-rate pricing scheme.
Netflix-esque recommendations would be a nice perk also.
UPDATE:I got lots of "I searched Google and found these"-type suggestions, which wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but certainly saved me some searching. Many of them look particularly promising, and I'll be trying out the ones with free trials shortly. Also, there's been quite a bit of discussion in the comments as to why I don't want to simply get the from the library... it might be of interest to some of you.