Welcome to page three of my random comments. Page one was too long, so I started Caustic Comments, which, while not as long as the original Random Comments, was getting up there. Plus, I hadn’t updated it since last semester, so I decided to start fresh. As for the corresponding graphic: I saw it online a number of places, so decided to grab it. I do not know who to credit with its creation, etc. If you would like to step forward and make such a claim, please do. Anyway, on with the complaining.
Ethical dilemma: I go to Micky D’s and order an “extra value meal” and another sandwich on the side. Total cost should be $5.04 after tax (I calculated it). Instead, I got charged $3.16. That’s what I paid. What happened was that the dip behind the counter charged me for the sandwich in the meal, not the whole meal, and failed to punch in the extra sandwich. I didn’t say anything, and just ate my food, as usual. Should I have—before paying—said “Excuse me, but I believe that’s incorrect” or something similar? If I had been overcharged, I would have. One possible answer is no—if Miss “I’m too good to work at MacDonalds, but I’m too f**king stupid to get a job elsewhere” is too stupid to catch her error, why should I do it for her? Then again, what about if they overcharge me but I don’t catch it, and then, once I sit down to eat, the manager does see the error. Should he or she bring me the difference, or should s/he just say “stupid customer; didn’t catch the mistake. Our gain.” What about when I dropped my wallet there? Did they have a responsibility to me to give me a call and let me know so I could return to pick it up, or should the person who found it have simply said “moron, he dropped his wallet. Nice wad of bills”? It doesn’t matter now. I didn’t lose any sleep over it; it was a week ago, and I didn’t go up to Miss “Would you like fries with that” to report her error.
I am still, um, on not-so-great speaking terms with GeoCities. It’s not as if they’ve done anything in particular to me, per se. Afterall, they are “kind” enough to provide me with (as of this writing) 11MB of “free” web space, etc. Still, as I have previously complained, I am rather unhappy with their policies and overall attitude. And, as a mere user of their services, there isn’t much I can do about it, except leave. Why haven’t I left, then? I’ve contemplated it many times (I know, doesn’t this seem a bit much ... this is only a web-hosting service, for crying outloud!), but have refrained for a few reasons. First, I still have my site titled “Helicon,” and if it weren’t associated with the Athens neighborhood at GeoCities, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep that name. I guess I could rename my site. Do a global search and replace on all my html files, and remove all Helicon references, etc.—I would just have to think of a new title. So, if anyone can think of a good title for my site, I will consider it. Next on the list, GeoCities provides the two little Java Crapplets “photocube” and “photoalbum,” which, while not particularly interesting, etc., are two things which I have put to mild use. I could give them up pretty easily. I guess the main reason for not leaving is that the alternatives aren’t too exciting at this time. Tripod, while a bit better in some regards, still throws pop-up ads all over the place; sure I turn off java-script when I’m there (actually, I usually have JS turned off), but it can be annoying nonetheless. Xoom is another alternative; sure, I don’t currently have an account with them, but one would be easy enough to get. However, I would have to put up with their annoying e-mail ads. There’s also FortuneCity, etc. However, all of the above have similar Terms of Service agreements; not as if I’m violating any right now, anyway, but I am opposed to the contents of many such agreements on personal grounds. In other words, all these “aternatives” are about as equally bad. Of course, I do have my SIT account; the only problem there is that I am running out of space on it. I guess I could move some things to polyglot, but I just don’t feel like wasting Bruno’s server space for my personal pages. The current compromise is: pictures and “sections” containing lots of pictures/graphics are placed on GeoCities, with the exception of the Hofmannsthal and Front Hall Fame stuff, which is over at Tripod. All the more personal and/or academic stuff is over at SIT for now; it’s mostly text, anyway, so not a big drain on my quota. As for the stuff on GeoCities, I was tired of pop-ups. I always turned off JS, but when I did so, the text/code to the JS always showep at the bottom of my page. I assume it’s Netscape’s fault, but also that of GeoCities—I assume they’re unable to put together quality code. So, I caved in and put a stupid GeoGuide on each of the pages at GeoCities. It’s at the bottom of each page and so, I hope, not too annoying (except for its mere existence). It’s a temporary solution, at best, but it’s the solution for now.
In further computer news—that is, news regarding my computer—even more e-mail has been archived, and I have managed to put together a decent html address book. The nice thing is simply that now my (old) e-mail, etc., is available when I use both Linux and Win95. I still have numerous old documents—mostly academic papers—that need to be translated into a more universal format. In addition, more photos need to be scanned and html must be written for a few sub-sections of the main site. The Idaho section has seen little activity recently, for example. Oh well, I’m just a lazy bastard.
A commentary on lame-o ICQ users. Why would some 17 year-old girl from Texas, for example, see fit to message me on ICQ, ask if I want to chat, and then proceed to compose statements consisting of only monosyllabic words? “Yup” “Ok” “No” “Yes” “Uh” You get the picture. The occasional “I see” was a welcome change. I don’t claim to have the world’s best social and/or conversational skills, but at least I throw in the occasional polysyllabic “Whatever,” or “Indeed.” My main question is, why ask to chat with someone when you have no intent of chatting? The good news, I generally only chat with such people once; they then go on my ignore list. Oh well, in any case, I think it’s about time to go do my homework
—17 February, 1999
And I return: I had thought of going off to do my reading for class. Alas, it was not to be! Instead, I reorganized the “Miscellany” sub-site. The misc.htm page had gotten a bit out of order—over the past year I have added a few extra links. So, I grouped pages a bit by topic (or lack thereof). I think it’s more usable. But, what do I know? I also went through snippets (no, you haven’t seen this section—the link is commented out; you can see it if you look at the page source). I’d been meaning to revise some of those pieces a bit more this semester. Rereading them, I’m not sure that it’s worthwhile to do so, as—in my opinion—there isn’t much worth saving. I’ll keep them for their nostalgia-value, and I may even post the link at some point, but at the moment what’s more important is doing some actual writing. High school was a time of high productivity, college was a wasteland, but grad school has been a vacuum, sucking up all my creativity before it can reach paper. I carry that little red sketch book around with me, and it does contain a few blurbs of text, but it’s not really any good. Why is this? Why has my creative drive diminished so? I can doodle on my notes—actually, I can take notes on my doodles, as my sketches take up more space than do the notes. People—other students around me, for example—notice my doodles, however, they aren’t “good”—not like some of the doodles I used to do (thinking back to high school biology class now). Do I need a “project”?—a specific drawing or sketch to do? A particular image in mind? Perhaps not a doodle but a piece of white paper dedicated to a drawing; not a fragment? I can’t really say. Part of me answers that I need to find new images; the same images I drew years ago are now empty to/for me. Either I see them as empty forms, or I see them, content-wise, as something I have out-grown. Perhaps both. A great many of my high school era drawsings were merely variations. On what? That changed now and then; it depended on the class, on the time of year, on who was asking me to do a drawing for them. I was never a stoner, but in Mr. Reed’s Health class I got a number of requests to draw skulls and other similar images from metal albums. And not even for others—they were only for others in that others wanted to see them and/or watch me draw them. It wasn’t until senior year that I really gave anyone my drawings (sure, I’d done them for class assignments many times: Siddhartha, Arthur, St. Basil’s Basilica in Moscow—damn, that one took a lot of work). I can’t go around in classes now asking, “so, what would you like me to draw today?” Actually, with only one exception, my classes aren’t even large enough to allow me to draw without interruption or distraction (distraction = my participation) Perhaps working on a “series” of images—again, theme and variations—would help. Pick an idea, and work on getting better and better with it. Illustrations for a particular purpose? Who knows. Ah, well...
—17 February, 1999