Monday, 24 December 2012

08:19 – The lead story in the paper this morning is about the investigation of UNC academic fraud led by former governor Jim Martin. As the article headline suggests, the “investigation” was more a whitewash than anything else. One paragraph from the article sums things up pretty well:

“He did the who, what, where, I guess, but he never answered the why,” Willingham said. “He had the opportunity to expose that, and I think intentionally he chose not to do it because I don’t think he wanted to expose the corruption of the NCAA and the athletic program.”

13:34 – As I was packing up kits today, the wipe-down blade broke off my tape dispenser. The dispenser actually works fine without the wipe-down blade–all I do is brush down the tape with the back of my hand, which I do anyway–but I decided I’d better order a replacement anyway. The dispenser is a U-Line H-150, which they sent me for free the last time I ordered a case of packing tape, so U-Line was the only source for the part. So I ordered a pack of three replacement wipe-down blades for $6 and a pack of a dozen spare blades for $12. Given that I’m still using the original blade with no problems after more than 30 long rolls of tape, that dozen will probably be a life-time supply. While I was at it, I figured I’d better get some more packing tape. The prices at office supply stores and Amazon are pretty outrageous, so I decided just to order another case of U-Line tape. So I now have about 3.8 kilometers of 5 cm packing tape on the way. Oh, yeah. And another free H-150 tape dispenser.

22 thoughts on “Monday, 24 December 2012”

  1. The NCAA: one of a long list of things that shout for the dissolution of 90% of the country’s colleges and universities ASAP. Of course there is corruption; how could there not be? Beaucoups piastres are involved.

    19 here this morning but no wind, just light snow today and tomorrow and a white Xmas. But the weather liars are predicting a Nor’easter snowstorm Wednesday night into Thursday that could dump six to twelve inches on us, not a problem. A clone storm for the weekend, they say; again, not a problem. We have problems with the occasional ice storm that knocks out power and with the recent flooding in the river valleys. But a normal ol’ New England snowstorm ain’t nothin’.

    And I see from my work email that, as always in the world of IT, we have drones who have no other lives and who’ve been firing off trouble tickets over the weekend before Xmas; guaranteed they’ll shoot some more at us today and tomorrow. Just to be dicks; none of it is critical.

  2. Yeah. I’ve never understood why they’re such hypocrites about it. Why don’t they just admit that those kids aren’t there to be educated; they’re interns for professional sports teams? Why have them take any classes at all? And why not pay them at least minimum wage? They’re employees of the university, not students.

    Of course, truth in sports is extraordinary rare. I do remember one truth incident in the program for one of the games our high-school basketball team played. We didn’t have much of a basketball team. What we did have was the number one football team in the US.

    One of our linemen was Anthony “Monk” Laurenza, who was huge. Monk couldn’t actually play basketball, but he was on the team regardless. The basketball program that day listed the players, their numbers, and their positions. It listed Monk’s position as “Defensive Tackle”, which was in fact his job on the basketball team.

  3. A big day for tape, I guess; Mrs. OFD just asked me for masking tape, which I did not have, and gave her a roll of packing tape instead.

    The excitement is just killing us here!

  4. By coincidence. LATimes has an article about NCAA investigating infractions at UCLA and USC. However, at the other end of the spectrum; persecuting them without proper investigative techniques and evidence.

    Oh well, just goes to show you when it is a slow newsday and have to fill between the ads.

  5. Whadday mean a slow news day? Didja even read the posts here today??? Bob and I are having tremendous activity with tape and tape dispensers!!! Hold onto yer seat, Cowboy!

  6. as WE keep…etc…arrrgh…and I don’t even touch the loaded eggnog or punch anymore…just naturally senile with overly fast fat fingers….

  7. Egg nog. I knew there was something I forgot.

    This morning, while I was recording the weather for the radio project, I got an email from Amex asking to verify whether I had charged $376.05 at Walmart online just a few minutes ago, and to call to confirm. I had not made such a charge. I spoke to a nice young lady in Bangalore (the accent there has never been a problem for me), who said they had already denied the charge. Since somebody else was clearly trying to use my account, she invalidated my card, and said a new card would reach me ‘tomorrow’ by 5:00pm, delivered by UPS. That’s Xmas day. We’ll see if that happens. And in the meantime, my account number—which I have had since 1977—will also be changed. Good thing I also have a Visa. Nothing hits either card monthly, as I do only utilities that directly hit a bank account where I keep only a minimal balance.

    How in the world they pick up on specious charges, I have no idea, but geez, they nailed it—and I do buy a lot of stuff online. And how somebody gets the information to use that account is also a mystery. Most stores do not take the card from you anymore, you swipe it yourself. I have been trying to think who I gave it to recently, and cannot come up with anyone. I was in a Taco Bell yesterday and watched the kid swipe cards people gave him there twice—always a suspicious thing to me, but they had a security camera displaying customers from over his shoulder (this was in Muncie, where several armed robberies, muggings, and rapes have occurred during the last couple months), and it was recording his double-swipes to the same card reader. I am always suspicious when somebody swipes a card twice. My experience is that it is nowadays very rare when the information is not read correctly with one swipe. But I paid with cash there, so he never had my card.

    I was out to do some normal shopping yesterday and today. Every store was jammed, but it really did not interfere with my getting what I needed expediently. I have never seen the crowds in Walmart that I did today. Looks like a very good Xmas for business. A college student who helped me at Meijer (Michigan competitor to Walmart) in Muncie yesterday, told me they had doubled the number of people putting stock out, but the store was being stripped as soon as they put it out. And amazingly, she told me they knew in advance that was going to happen this year.

    Normally I do not shop the couple days before Xmas, but work and my car in the shop, conspired to keep me from getting everything done on my normal Xmas schedule. Stores here started closing as early as noon (hardware store), many others at 17:00, Walmart at 20:00, the Dollar Store, Walgreens, and CVS at 22:00. Last year, Walmart stayed open on Xmas, and took so much heat for that here in the Bible belt, that they decided not to do it again this year. CVS and Walgreens close overnight, but will be open regular hours on Xmas. The downtown 1-screen movie theater had a matinee, but nothing else, and will not be open tomorrow, which is classically the biggest single day for movie-going in the year. The people running it live on the far northwest side of Indy, so I suppose that is no surprise, as it is a lonely 90 minute drive each way.

    That N’oreaster is supposed to touch us tomorrow night, and again over the weekend. Ground is mostly grass green here; no snow yet has amounted to much, but temps will dive below freezing for the next week, so any accumulation is likely to stick.

    Have a wonderful couple of days.

  8. Let me be the first (being a few hours ahead of y’all) to wish all a Merry Christmas!

    Life is a bit saner here: Pretty much everything will be close today. Only a few stores were open yesterday (Sunday), because each Canton is allowed to choose at most 2 Sundays per year for stores to open, and most had “Sonntags-Verkauf” a week or two ago, or didn’t allow it at all. I remember finding this odd, when I first moved here, but now I find it makes life more relaxed: Sundays are quiet. Even being non-religious, it’s nice having a day like that…

  9. I could have got in well before Brad, but since y’all atheists I decided to pass.

    I’ve never had fraud on my credit cards, going back to 1977. The card company has called me a couple of times, but the charges were legit.

  10. The fraud dept. of my bank called me last Friday with the warning to change my ATM PIN number and passwords for online banking. Seems they caught a fraudulent ATM machine that had my ATM card number in it. They can’t tell me when my card was swiped, it may be two days prior, it may be two years ago. So new card, new pin number, new password for online banking and I’ve changed all my challenge questions at the bank.

    Mighty Christian of you to ignore your most important holiday in order to piss off Atheists, Greg. Very inclusive of you! Even Bob wished everyone a multitude of blessings, today!

    So Best of the Season to all!

  11. Bob has been saying for years that it’s just another work day for him. I see he’s taken the day off this year. I’ve always said he’s more likely to become a Christian than you.

  12. That’s funny! I’ve have paperwork somewhere that identifies me as a duly Baptized Protestant, and I profess a liking for many of the so-called Christian ideals (don’t: steal; murder; keep your hands off the neighbor’s stuff; etc.). Many people might even call me a Latent Christian, as I’m not actually “against” spiritual enlightenment. If you want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, go right ahead. Just don’t do it at my place, and make sure you clean up after. At best, I would say that “some” of us are Atheists.

    I’m just against religions that claim “their” version of God is bigger, better, or more important that anyone’s slightly different God, and that you should submit to them (either actually or via check) to save your souls.

    It’s slightly more than just another day around here. We don’t decorate, string lights, send cards, sing Christmas Carols (even though my sister was born very close to today, and is therefore named Carol), although my two sons and I do exchange (unwrapped) gifts, and we gorge on sweet treats slightly more than usual. For supper tonight we’ll order Chinese food, and eat off paper plates. That way no-one has to cook or clean up. Perhaps I’ll honor Festivus and tell me kids how they’ve disappointed me this year? It would be a very short discussion.

  13. @brad: Sundays here in Nova Anglia used to be quiet, until some bright bulbs decided that what was good for business was good for America or something and blew away the so-called “Blue Laws” here, after futzing around with various time and distance problems with package stores and groceries selling beer and wine. We used to have to drive to NH to buy beer, and then we hadda drive to some store within ten miles of the NH line but still in MA to buy beer. But when I was a teenager we’d drive into Boston and pay twenty bucks for a case of Bud tall boyz out of the back door of some dive in Southie on Sundays. (this was when the cans were steel, so a case was kinda heavy then.)

    I liked it much better when everything was closed on Sunday; so quiet that the only noise I ever heard was the occasional light plane overhead. Now it’s just like any other damn day, full of noise, traffic, crowds, etc. Except here in Retroville, thank God.

  14. Right. “Don’t murder” and the rest are Christian ideals because no one in history thought of it before it was codified in the Christian bible.

    As for “me kids”, I just figured you were a couple months late for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

  15. That’s why I said “so-called”, Steve. I realize that many predate Christianity. Doesn’t mean they weren’t adopted by Christians, nor that they aren’t promoted as Christian today.

    On TLaP day, I call my kids “me hearties”!

  16. Talk about blurry. And what’s that funny looking blue patch under his nose? A registration tag or his tongue?

    As far as I know Colorado Springs is still there so it looks like Steve in Colorado failed in his mission to take out Santa too.

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