You…Are Yogurt!

I’m starting to wonder if I’m losing the part of me that responds to the warm fuzzies that some commercials try to generate. Take this YOP ad for example.

Granted, the version I keep seeing just starts with the group of four young people saying “If you want to build a better world, …” and I thought it said “You need fuel to change it.” But when I saw it, I looked at the TV, and said “You…are yogurt!” And now every time I see that commercial, I say it again.

For the most part, I think the message is fine, that we all need to make a difference where we are, and it’s little change that builds the bigger change. I also somehow missed the part where all the kids tell their longer stories about what they’re doing. I’m sure they’re all great kids with great stories. But there’s something weird about companies profiting, or trying to profit, from social movements.

It’s one thing if the company is genuinely trying to do something to help people. Aira offering free minutes when people go on a virtual tour of a civil rights museum so that they can get better descriptions of the exhibits and learn more is a good example. That is a company thinking of a way to help. But there’s something insincere about just putting out a message on the subject and making a canned statement. It doesn’t feel like a genuine offer of support. It feels more like jumping on a bandwagon to appear socially aware when it suits.

Slurping back yogurt is not going to make people into better people. Stop stretching to try and find a way to get in on the action. You are yogurt. Just focus on that. If you’re actually doing something positive to make a change, tell me about it. Otherwise, just be yogurt, dammit!

Red Hot Eeewww!

Somebody commented on Gill’s misheard lyrics and that got me thinking of another one. I was a strange, twisted kid sometimes. Not only did I misunderstand lyrics of songs, the ones I came up with were…just…gross or something.

Take this one. “The last of the red hot fools”. The name should have been enough to help me out, but no. For years, I thought it said “Now I’m just the last of a red hot pool.” I would picture him getting so hot that he melted, and people would ask where he went and somebody would say “That used to be him right there.” Eeewww!

This misheard lyric was floating through my brain earlier this month when we had our crazy heat wave. I wondered if I would be just the last of a red hot pool and chuckled to myself. Then I had a dream that scientists figured out that Coronavirus came out in your sweat…and then woke up all sweaty, and that song came back to me again.

Sometimes I wish my imagination would just take a break.

A Mass Of Mask Info

Since masks are a new part of our lives when we want to go to a store or hang out in an office or whatever, I thought maybe it would be good to post a few helpful videos about them.

First, since you run the risk of making yourself sick if you don’t do things right in terms of wearing them and putting them on or taking them off, there’s this little article, complete with a guy showing how to put on and take off a mask properly. I know it’s a surgical mask, but a bunch of stuff probably applies to the cloth masks too.

Also, somebody did a video pointing out some things that might not be obvious to someone who is blind and who has never had to deal with these masks before.

This one is about the disposable masks, but hey, it’s something. I’ve never seen a mask with a tear in it, but I guess it could happen.

And last and most cool, someone has made a tutorial on how to make your own masks with a clear window so people who have hearing loss can read your lips. The more of us are walking around with clearly visible lips under our masks, the more helpful it will be.

Who knew a mask would be so complicated?

If Alexa or Google Gives You Some Bad Info Now and Then, Don’t Be Surprised

I know I have written before about a kid picking on her virtual assistant, but I’ve seen another version of this, and this one seems even worse, in a strange way.

Here’s the ad in question…almost. Apparently this ad was made for the Super Bowl, and we got a slightly abbreviated one.

In ours, she doesn’t talk about her lack of a soul, but that’s about the only difference. In both commercials, the guy acts like a dick and cuts her off.

Am I weird to not think this commercial is hilarious, and focus on how much of an asshole the guy is? The first time I saw it, I found it kind of jarring because the virtual assistant just started talking about how much she wished she could stack pringles and it was just spooky. But then when he cut her off, I wanted to hear what she had to say.

I don’t know if I like this trend of people being all mean to their virtual assistants. I know they’re just machines, but there’s something about it that feels wrong. There’s a weird part of me that wonders if people will slowly start barking more orders at people they think of as below them. I’m probably nuts, but it goes through my mind sometimes.

Wow, They Took His House?

This is some pretty sloppy headline writing by the Waterloo Record here.
Police to review how officer left vest with ammo in his vehicle overnight at his Kitchener home which was later stolen

It’s been up like that for over a day so I’m not holding out much hope for a fix, but what would have been wrong with “investigation launched in case of stolen police equipment”?

The officer’s home was not stolen, in spite of what the headline seems to be suggesting. And surely the answer to the question of how he left the things that were stolen in the car overnight is as simple as he didn’t take them out of there.

The officer who left his police vest in his personal vehicle could face disciplinary action after the vest, and two magazines with 30 rounds of ammunition, was stolen.
Waterloo Regional Police said an internal review will be conducted to see if any policies or procedures were breached.

It’s the second theft of police equipment within two weeks. A police badge was stolen from a vehicle in Cambridge after a rock was used to smash the vehicle’s window.

On Thursday morning at around 6 a.m. the officer reported the theft of the police-issued ballistic vest and ammunition.
It is believed the theft occurred overnight as the vehicle was parked in the officer’s driveway in the Stanley Park area of Kitchener.
The stolen vest also contained handcuffs, a flashlight and a tourniquet. A red, black and white mountain bike that was not police-issued was also stolen.

Your Name Stinks

Somebody must have had this thought already, but I just had it now, so…

Why is deodorant called deodorant and not reodorant? Decluttering makes sense. It turns a space from messy to clean. De-worming makes sense. It removes parasites from people and animals. Deforestation makes sense. It turns a forest into not a forest. But deodorant? It doesn’t make your armpits not smell. It just makes them smell less like armpits and more like whatever the smell of deodorant is supposed to be.

Please, someone get on this. A change is needed.

How In the World Do You Shop Online For Clothes?

I’m not just asking for the benefit of blind people like me, I really want to know how someone does it in general without it becoming an enormous pain in the ass.

To be clear, I’m not talking about buying things like funny t-shirts or sports hats. I don’t even think I’m talking about underwear, which I’ve managed to successfully online purchase once or twice in my life even though they’re not the best things I’ve ever worn. I’m thinking more along the lines of things like pants or shoes, things that never ever fit the way the size on the label says they should fit.

Shoes would be bad enough for me. I’ll never buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first. They’re generally less of an ordeal than pants, but still enough of a process that there’s no way in hell I’m picking them out anywhere but in a store. Part of my problem is that I’ve got one messed up foot, so what fits fine on the normal one can sometimes feel awful on the other, to the point where it’s almost like I’m wearing shoes from two different pairs. It takes some time and effort to get things just right, the sort of time and effort that I can imagine getting me on a first name basis with the girl at the post office and banned from an online shop for making excessive returns.

But pants would be even worse than that. I don’t know if it’s a rule or what, but no two pairs of pants fitting the same happens often enough that it feels like it has to be a standard. The non-standard standard, I bet they call it. And I don’t just mean the same size fits differently across brands. I’ve literally had times when I’ll find something I like, decide to buy a few of them and then when it comes time to wear one of the ones I didn’t try on I have to double check that I didn’t buy the wrong size by accident because they wear so much differently than their friends. Or have you ever found while trying things on that the smaller size fits more loosely than the bigger one? That happens to me all the time. It’s weird. And none of this takes into account things like texture or whether or not I like the pockets and the buttons, details I can’t get from even the best description.

As a blind guy, I should love online clothes shopping. It should make things so much simpler. I’m sure for somebody out there it does, but I just don’t see how.

All Abonk!

Depending on the circumstances this is either exceptionally tragic or exceptionally stupid. Unfortunately it’s quite likely we’ll never know for certain which one it is.

A rail firm has been fined £1m after a man died leaning out of a train window.
Simon Brown, 24, was killed when he hit his head on a steel gantry on the side of the track while on the Gatwick Express in London in August 2016.
In May, Govia Thameslink Railway admitted a health and safety breach because a sign saying not to lean out was not displayed clearly enough.
The rail regulator has written to firms demanding “immediate action” over trains with these types of windows.
Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, at Southwark Crown Court, said while there was a warning sticker on the door, it was “jumbled” around other notices.
“The signage around the window was confusing,” he said, adding no risk assessment of the windows had been carried out.

I’m sorry, but with all due respect to his honour and to this fellow’s loved ones, if you need a sign to tell you “hey bud, don’t stick your head out the fuckin’ window unless you’re 100% prepared to make a decision you won’t be taking back,” the clearest sign in the world isn’t going to do you much good. In fact it’s a minor miracle that you got dressed in the morning and found your way to the train all by yourself.

If this was an intentional act, taking a steel signal stand to the brain at 61 miles per hour seems like an awful way to go. I can’t imagine what sort of state he would have had to be in at the time for that to seem like the best way out.

I really want us all to just be able to laugh at this big dummy and congratulate him on his Darwin Award, but since he’s described here as a lifelong train enthusiast who worked in the industry, I’m not so sure things are that simple.

What A Strange Bug. I Have Questions

Apple released a new version of iOS this week. I installed it on my phone this morning and so far, the world hasn’t ended.

So why am I posting this, then? That would be because of this random line in the release notes.

Fixes an issue that causes some phone calls from Saskatchewan to appear as originating from the United States

What an odd, random bug.

I never get calls from Saskatchewan, so I can’t say I’ve ever seen it. Or maybe I do get calls from Saskatchewan and don’t know it because I don’t know anyone in Alabama.

My question isn’t how did somebody catch this because of course somebody did, weird as it is. My question is how it happened in the first place. I’ve always been under the impression that the information displayed by caller ID was controlled by your service provider and whichever databases it pulls its information from. I didn’t know my hardware or the software it runs on had anything to do with it other than being the screen on which it’s shown. Am I wrong about this? Have I always been wrong about this? If not, when did I start being wrong about this?