Thursday, March 16, 2017

With A Melon?

Snowmageddon 2017 is underway!
True to forecast, the snow started at 8-10pm, then at 9-11pm, as forecast. We were to see 2-4" by the morning, which appears to be optimistic, but there's so much sleet, it looks like an ice skating rink. There aren't even tracks in the street, so I'm hoping the smart people (and everyone else) stayed in. Schools in PA and NY were closed as of yesterday, long before it started. The majority of damage is supposed to occur today, so we'll check in later with our team of intrepid people who occasionally look out the window.

UPDATE from the People Who Occasionally Look Out the Window:
The Great Blizzard turned into The Fizzling Blizzard. Our 6-10" then 8-12" rapidly died at 2-4" of snow, with a nice sheen of sleet on top. I still wouldn't drive* but this was a bit of a break. You have to give credit to a high number of meteorologists, who completely screwed up the forecast, in a rather serious way.  The governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency yesterday, before the snow started. This happened last year too.. no amount of egg on their faces will improve their accuracy (although I understand it's not easy).

Further update: the responsible entities have done a pretty good job of clearing the streets. Except perhaps our street, which still has a snowy/icy coating. My street does not look significantly different from surrounding streets, which are clear, hence my confusion.

But when I say clear, I'm referring to the snow on roads. The roads themselves are clogged by trucks going to stores to refill supplies of bread and milk.

  • Headline of the week: IT Workers Expect Industrial Internet of Things Attacks to Rise.  Also expect taxes to rise and weather to be unpredictable.

Our buddies in the House GOP have been busy behind our backs, as is normal. This time it's a little heard of bill that would allow employers to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars and would let employers see the genetic and other health information. Although this is prohibited by prior legislation, the new law allows it as part of a "workplace wellness" program.

We're from the government and we're here to help you.
Hey, didn't they just announce a replacement for Obamacare? Any doubt you'll still get screwed? The cardinal rule for figuring out why things happen is Who Benefits?  It sure as hell isn't We the People. This is somewhat confusing as the president promised a repeal of Obamacare and a better replacement. From what I can tell, neither occurred. 

  • Rescue workers in Napa, California, had to remove part of a wall to pull a naked man out of a sandwich shop, where he spent the night inside a narrow passageway. Oh c'mon - who among us hasn't spend a night naked, trapped in a sandwich shop?

A buttload [technical term] of Twitter accounts were hijacked yesterday to send nasty Nazi slogans, primarily to Turkey. Twitter was not hacked - it was a third party service that people attached to their Twitter accounts. The next time you give a program access to one of your accounts or sign in with Faceyspaces or LinkedIn, remember this. Use only the login for that page-do not link to a different service.

  • An obviously well-meaning father forced his daughter to have sex with men at a truck stop. You can tell he was well-meaning because this was her punishment for having sex. She'll obviously never do one of those things again...

A while back, videos started to appear featuring cats having wild reactions to cucumbers. No, really. Watch this video, preferably with the sound down, and be prepared to howl with laughter. Experts claim the response is due to their fear of snakes. This kills me, even as an animal lover and owner of two former cats.


*When I say I still wouldn't drive, I mean because the streets are really slick and not cleared well. There's another reason....

My wife was looking at the aftermath and started to scream. Somebody was shoveling snow onto our car.  She started vibrating while screaming, then bouncing up and down between the floor and ceiling. 

I'm conflict-averse so I generally don't get involved but I stood at the window and watched this debacle. All of my conflict avoidance went out the (closed) window and I wandered up the street. 'Neighbors' were taking snow out of their private driveway and piling it in front of and in back of my car. I politely asked who was going to plow my car out. She didn't know. I suggested, politely, that she do it, as she boxed it in. She impolitely said I should do it myself - they needed to clear their drive. And if I didn't want my car snowed in, I should park in a local lot. My car, on a public street. My fault because I parked it there. Unbelievable. This occurs in bad areas of the city, not here. I told them I'd put the snow back in their driveway for them, which they encouraged.

I fully understand that one cannot kill one's neighbors, even if there's no real chance of getting caught. I do not want to call the police, as this is really petty (but will affect my back when I have to fix it). If I give them their snow back, the police will arrive. If I give them yellow snow, with little brown doggie dots, the police will eventually arrive. If their house developed smoke, the firemen will arrive, with the police a bit behind them. This is new. This is rude. And it will go on, as these people seem to believe that public accommodations exist purely for them. You'd think they owned a BMW.

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