A Question of Manners

I live in a decent, if somewhat small, apartment for which I pay a small, and therefore decent, amount of rent. It’s in a good neighborhood, there’s plenty of shopping nearby, and it’s right on a couple of major bus lines. Really I haven’t too many complaints, though I do have one: we have only four washing machines for 40 apartments.

Now normally that isn’t a problem, but sometimes, like today, it very much is. I went down to do my laundry and all four machines were in use. One had finished and the clothes were just sitting in there waiting to be picked up. The other three had less than five minutes to finish. Eventually they were all done and the owner of the clothes were nowhere in sight, though he did arrive after about seven or eight more minutes.

This left me in an interesting situation. I had my laundry. I wanted to get it in there and get it going. I was going to use only one washing machine. All four of the machines were in use, but were all finished. In theory, I could have taken the clothes out of one of them, put them on top of the machine, and thrown in my laundry. Ethically I believe that to be acceptable, but only after a certain amount of time has gone past. Clearly I shouldn’t reach in and yank them out the second they’re done, but I also don’t think waiting a half hour or so is reasonable.

So I’m going to open this up to you guys. How much time should go by between the time someone’s laundry is finished and the time it’s acceptable for someone like me to remove it and put it on top of the machine?


Some Questions About the Budget

Yes, there’s nothing like fiscal policy to really put people to sleep, eh? Anyhow, here’s a few questions about the US budget for you. I’ll reveal the answers in a link at the bottom.

For the curious, check your answers against the facts here. Did you do well? I got them all right, or at least close to it.

The Lebron James Thing

So Lebron James is set to announce where he’s going to play the basketball for the next few years. I don’t care. I don’t care at all, not even a bit. Also, what kind of stupid name is Lebron? People need to stop giving their kids crappy, stupid, made-up names.

Anyhow, I know about this story only from osmosis and really don’t give a shit where this guy goes. I also find it appalling that at this point Cleveland’s economy is built around him. Quite sad.

So what do you guys think about this?

America Hates the Metric System!

Here in the America we continue to use the so-called Imperial system of measurement. Miles, feet, inches, cups, pints, gallons, etc. We’re one of maybe three countries that continue to use it. The other two? Burma and Liberia, though some sources say they might be using the metric system officially.

So, basically, we’re the only country left it the world definitively not using the metric system. Why do we persist in this?

There’s lots of reasons. First, lots of people like to say, “Oh, it’s too complicated!” Perhaps it is. But how many people do you know who could, off the top of their heads, tell you how many feet are in a mile? Not many, but many in the rest of the world could tell you right away how many meters are in a kilometer and how many centimeters are in a meter.

Second, people say it’ll cost too much money. It might cost something, yes, to change all the signage and stuff, but not all that much. Start by, for example, printing road signs with kilometers and miles both. As signs need to be replaced, use those. In five years, when signs get replaced replace them with metric signs. Easy. Spread out the cost and there’s no problem.

Third, we’re lazy. We look at the possibility of changing to the metric system and whine about how it’s too hard to switch. This from the country that once fought off the Nazis, the Italians and the Japanese all at the same time. Now we find the idea of switching to the metric system to be too hard.

I’m sure there’s other reasons, but really, people, it’s time we switched over fully. There’s no good reason not to.

A pointless blog article that basically accomplishes nothing? Yep. That’s what my “Random Bitching” section is all about! 😀

Now, here’s a poll:

One Year Later

The State of the Union address was tonight. We’re slightly more than a year into the Obama administration. It’s time to ask the obvious question.

Ein Volk, Ein Führer, Ein Buch!

What matters more to you: content or the way you get it?

I ask this question because Alan Kaufman at the Evergreen Review seems to believe the delivery method is the most important. So important that he even invokes Godwin’s Law on himself when talking about the current trend of books moving from paper to devices like the Kindle.

All physical books must go up the chimney stack. Such was the methodology of the SS who forced their prisoners to run naked races round and round the barracks yard in the Polish winter, a race that no one was meant to win.

The book is fast becoming the despised Jew of our culture. Der Jude is now Der Book. Hi-tech propogandists tell us that the book is a tree-murdering, space-devouring, inferior form of technology; that society would simply be better-off altogether if we euthanized it even as we begin to carry around, like good little Aryans, whole libraries in our pockets, downloaded on the Uber-Kindle.

What an ass.

He seems to believe that e-books are responsible for bookstores closing. They aren’t. The vast majority of the population that reads doesn’t have e-readers, but they do often buy their books online, and that’s what’s killing bookstores.

He also seems to believe that e-readers hearld a new age where only the biggest, most important authors get published. This is nonsense. If that was the case, I won’t have a short story for sale in the Kindle store (for those who don’t have a Kindle, download the free Kindle ap for the PC and then you can read my story if you like).

The writer of the article is simply wrong, and comparing the transition from paper to e-readers to the Holocaust is just insulting on many, many levels.

Further, everything is starting to digital. Does it really matter if the movie you are watching is on cable, on a DVD, on a DVR or some sort of streaming video format? Does it matter if music comes to you as an MP3, a CD, or on a record? The content is basically the same across the various delivery systems. The content is what matters.

For fun, here’s a poll:

More on Willingham

I wrote last month about Cameron Todd Willingham, a possibly innocent man executed in the state of Texas in 2004.

Well, now it sounds as though there’s some political fallout to this. Texas Governor Rick Perry replaced three members of an investigation team looking into the case. He tried to play it off all cool, but I think it’s clear he has a guilty conscience and wants to try and avoid finding out that he played a direct role in the death of an innocent man.

I have a little poll here. This is a poll only for people who favor capitol punishment. Enjoy!