The mid-summer gas crisis is over

There, it’s on the internet, so it must be true.

Srsly – besides the obvious news pundits, economic indicators, oil futures, and Middle east politics… Beyond the local gas price surveys, and the raft of traditional discount gas stations in the mid to low 4.0x’s. Beyond the breaking of the weather from miserably hot with too much air conditioning, to miserably humid and rainy – it’s not just that running your wipers uses less energy.

No, it’s finally noticing that the Shield Mini Mart in Summvile just inbound of Ball Sq is now listing regular for $3.95/gallon. Of course their “3” is half-broken, so it ruins the symmetry of the sign a tad, but as a discount station I’ll forgive them.

But $3.95 is a real indicator – unlike the numerous $3.99 places we’ve seen on and off the past two weeks. Pricing at $3.99 is just playing the psychology of 3 versus 4; of an at-first-glance 25% savings from your $4.05 or $4.13 competitor down the street. Pricing at $3.97 – which I saw last week – could be used by a desperate discount place to compete against the lucky name brand gas that could dip to $3.99 for a few days due to a good contract. But pricing at $3.95? That’s a clear shot across the bows of high prices, a definite signal that the peak has passed! Yay! Good times ahead! Make those vacation plans, and book your hotels now! Enjoy!

Paper? What’s that?

One of those strange moments happened on SameTime today, when a I asked a co-worker for the slides from a team planning meeting from last year.  She mentioned that she had just shipped a box of them out to the other manager (this is two reorgs later), so I should ask that other person once they got it.  I had to ask what was in the box.

Paper?  What’s that?

Paper is those thin white sheets you have to find when the printer outside of your office starts beeping incessantly.  Once you find enough sheets of the stuff to stick into it’s maw, the printer will be quiet again and you can go back to your email.

The other funny observation today is that when the postman comes to deliver the mail at home – which I don’t think of as ‘paper’ but rather ‘bills’ and ‘junkmail’ – my daughter yells excitedly “The e-mail is here!”.  Very cute.

Being a dad feeling old

Caught up with an old friend tonight, who wrote this – so much like real life.

age by Mark Mironer

Now my thirties have almost been spent
And I wonder just where the years went.
When I ponder their worth
I reflect on the birth
Of my children, with naught to repent.

Many classmates can easily claim
They’ve been showered with fortune and fame.
Then I grumble, “not me”
Til I look round and see
Those kids who are bearing my name.

Then I’ll think back on diapers and drool,
Or the time that I’ve spent at their school,
And the games that we’ve played.
Do you think that I’d trade
That for dollars? I’m not such fool.

Be sure to checkout the OEDILF for more wordplay!

Archaeologist and antimatter humor

As Steve said about why it’s important to keep funding high-level physics research:

“Archaeologists can’t threaten to work abroad on antimatter weapons if their funding proposal to dig up a Roman house gets turned down.”

An excellent argument for needing to understand the whole picture when thinking about funding.

Plus I was just happy to see I was finally picked up by Planet Apache, and wanted to prove I was reading it too.

Spammers Untie! Save those millions!

Wait, that’s not right – it should be Spammers Unite!  Reading too much spam makes splelleing hard.

Actually, no more spam here thanks to Akismet.  Oddly enough I get a fair amount at my work at &BigCo;, one of which is quite funny so I’ll share.  (edited to prevent errant google hits)

“This is greeting from China-type Automation Corp!
We like to introduce our new developed product — XXYY Large-capacity Super Safe ty Suitcase… which is designed for schleping or transferring big amount of cash and valuables. …
The dimensions of XXYY Safe ty Suitcase is 18×13.6×7.2 inches, it big enough to put USD 1.5 million of cash in it. … most remarkable character of product is function of high voltage shock spread all over the surface!  makes suitcase effective in protection and counter-attack. “

And on it goes.  There – that’s how spammers can transport their millions, safe in the knowledge that while “electric pulse voltage is over 30KV”, it is “…very small, it doesn’t hurt one’s health.”

This is too funny to pass up

Normally I don’t blog on politics, although I have my favored political blog sources I keep up on sometimes.  But these two snippets were just too darn funny to not link to (at least out of context, re: the recent terrorisim alert level scare tactics and being – or not being – terrorized):

Kung Fu Monkey: “Wait, Aren’t You Scared?”

FDR: Oh, I’m sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we’re coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How’s that going to feel?

CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We’ll be in the pub, flipping you off. I’m slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I’m sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

Must be my old WW2 history reading catching up to me, but those were almost priceless comparisons of good leadership (in public appearances) of old versus the (expletives deleted) leadership of now.