Wonders of the wirelessly connected world

>> Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I had to leave work early today to get a window fixed on the bug. I brought my laptop along, figuring I could get in a few minutes of gaming if I got bored, and what do I discover? Power outlets and an open wireless server! Hoorah! I'm still online, kids! And clearly it doesn't take much to impress me, does it?

So, waiting... waiting... waiting. And not a whole lot to say before I'm paying, paying, paying.

I'm tempted to make this a separate entry, as I did for Harvey Korman and others, but I can't quite think of what I should say: Stan Winston died this weekend.

Winston is one of those special effects geniuses in that select elite who practically become household names, or at the very least have done work that everybody has seen. Douglas Trumbull comes to mind as a peer, but Winston was maybe even more of a well-known figure after all his work through the years with James Cameron.

One of the things with Winston that's kind of cool is that he remained known for his mechanical effects even after most of his work had shifted over into CGI.

In the middle of that little stream of thought, I was interrupted by the fellow coming over to tell me that the repair would be about twice what I mentally had prepared myself for. Well, it was going on a credit card anyway.

Still, it's a bit distracting, and now Stan Winston's accomplishments and whatnot have just been shoved right out of my head. It's not exactly like I have a choice about the repair--it's just the rear driver window, which won't go all the way up or down and indeed won't move at all unless you get out and pull it. I could go to Carmax, I suppose, and object to whether it's covered by the warranty, but I came to the VW dealer for quick, competent service, and that's what I'm paying for.

I suspect this is one of the things about being a lawyer for a living. I was thinking about it on the way over. I have this tendency to go for the simplest thing in day-to-day living because, honestly, why be confrontational on your free time. In the courtroom, maybe, maybe it makes you a diligent adversary and advocate for your client. Most of the time elsewhere, it makes you a prick.

It's easier to just pay the money and be done with it than it is to shop around and hope it doesn't rain or that nobody decides to go for the easy car stereo.

Anyway, on to other things:

One of the things NPR mentioned while I was getting up was that today is the anniversary of the Watergate break-in in 1972.

Think about this: you have a President who orders military actions far in excess of what Congress authorized him to do, who engaged in widespread domestic surveillance, who single-handedly did more than any of his predecessors to erode confidence in the Executive branch of our government, and in the end he was forced to resign because of an inept break-in of the Democrats' headquarters in Washington D.C....

Why, oh why couldn't President Bush order an incompetent break-in of the Democrats' national headquarters!

It seems this entry is a bit slim on content, you know? I should probably say something witty and clever about Janeice's UCF organizational chart. Or about Nathan's painstakingly crafted 3D model (which is extremely dimensional, I do have to say). Or perhaps I should say something about the Elf-cat's big adventure yesterday having his teeth cleaned. (My cat now has bald spots on his legs--they had a hard time putting him to sleep for the cleaning and then had to put in a catheter to hydrate him after he had a reaction to the anesthetic. Don't worry about him: he went from fetal position to literally trying to smash through the bars of his pet carrier as soon as he realized he was in my garage--within seconds of being inside his actual home, Mr. "He Has A Slight Fever Call The Vet On His Cell Phone If He Doesn't Perk Up" was strutting around and pushing his bowl across the floor when he'd emptied it of the extra portion he got last night for being a good soldier.) But no, I got nothing.

Hey, the repair might be under warranty after all! I guess we'll see in a few minutes....

In the meantime, I think I will play a video game for a little while. Cheers.

Hoorah! The warranty covers it and I'm only out $75.00! Oh frabjulous day!


Nathan Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 5:27:00 PM EDT  

The magic connectivity is just that...magic. I think I blogged it, but I filed permits the other day while riding around in the front seat of a Police Car. How freakin' cool is that?

kimby Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:40:00 PM EDT  

to me, the magic of the internet is being able to connect with people..and i don't even have to change out of my jammies!
I like to be comfy as i blog hop.
Jammies, coffee and my fuzzy slippers..now that is what make the internet great!

kimby Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:41:00 PM EDT  

and i am glad that Elf is feeling better.

Jeri Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 7:53:00 PM EDT  

Your poor little bug already needed window work done? :(

And did you ever name him/her? Besides Cthulhu Ftaghn?

I, too, am glad Elvis is back in his rightful place of dominance in the home.

Eric Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 10:55:00 PM EDT  

I was thinking today maybe it's the Yodamobile, though that's less a name than a concept I suppose.

The window work was described as "a known issue... not that it's that common...," which I took to mean "this is a known problem but I wasn't supposed to say that." Apparently there's a part that just breaks in the power windows sometimes--not really a big deal, except in the compressed space of the bug they had to take the back seat out to get at it.

Thank you all for your well wishes for Elvis. I'm sure he'd thank you himself if he had any idea there were other living creatures at the other end of this glowy thing that his pet plays with instead of amusing His Lordship with food or a feather at the end of a plastic fishing-pole thingy. He's doing quite well, though he did completely vanish when I was leaving this morning, instead of making his usual attempts to block my exit.

It really is kind of like magic, isn't it, Nathan? You almost get a practical feeling of what Clarke meant when he talked about high tech being indistinguishable, etc. It's hard to get my mind around the fact that a mere century ago the only ways to send an instant communication were to visit a telegraph or wireless station and get somebody to transmit the message for you; and a century before that it might take weeks to get a message across a continent or ocean--a message might become moot before it was halfway to its intended recipient. And now you can sit in the front seat of a car or in a waiting room and access the world like it's in the room with you. An age of miracles, my friends.

Eric Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 10:59:00 PM EDT  

Oh, and Kimby, I almost forgot: it could almost be a corollary to "on the internet nobody knows you're a dog." "On the internet nobody knows I'm in my pjs and comfy slippers." Or perhaps it should be a tribal greeting among the geek: "May your surfing always be comfy and caffeinated, and may your feet always be warm!"

Tania Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 2:55:00 PM EDT  

Give Elvis some scritches behind his ears and under his chin, from me.

I spent last night at a bar having an official meeting. We were there because it has free wifi. The ESB was just a bonus.

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