November 16th, 2004

amused, silly, ha ha only serious

(no subject)

From The Old New Thing, a favorite blog of mine:
The makers of a certain major brand of detergent which I will not name (but which for the purposes of this discussion will be called "Snide") appears to take every step to exploit inattentive customers.

A box of Snide detergent powder comes with instructions indicating that for a normal-sized load, you should use 3/8 cup of detergent; for a large load, 1/2 cup.

The detergent box also comes with a handy measuring cup.

The measuring cup holds 5/8 cup of detergent.

Not to be outdone, Liquid Snide plays a similar trick.

The instructions indicate that for a normal-sized load, you should fill the cup to line 1 (the lowest line). For a large load, fill to line 2. If you look at the cup they provide, there is also a line 3 which is even higher than lines 1 and 2. Not even counting the imaginary "line 4" which is what you get if you fill the cup to the brim.

Just because it comes with a measuring cup doesn't mean you have to use it.
amused, silly, ha ha only serious

(no subject)

Lots of things happened today...

Last month, I applied to a distance-learning computer course at Oxford. It's basically designed to take you from "I can open the Internet!" to programming in two years, so I suspect a lot of it will be ridiculously easy. Well, today I got their response: I was accepted to the program. w00t! I'm not sure if I'll just take this, or apply to UC and use this as a backup, but either way it's a relief to know I've been accepted somewhere.

(There's a week-long summer school on the campus. Perhaps I'll get to meet up with vorlon010 and the rest of the MTers over there around that time...)

My grandparents took my car to a cheap body shop last week, and got an estimate around $600. Today my parents and I brought it to another one, and got a ~$750 estimate (new headlight + $500 labor). So it's not really clear what we'll do there. What it comes down to is that we can get a lease for $170/month; if the car doesn't need repairs this expensive for another 5 months or so, we'll break even. The risk of a lease is that if I (or my siblings, neither of whom can drive yet) get into an accident, we can't just get the cheap $600 workable repair done; we have to get the car back in perfect shape, which would be far more expensive. (Buying a used car isn't really an option; it'd be $400/month for a new one with a warranty, and an old one without a warranty would probably have as many problems as this car does.)

I got my own credit card today; it's linked to my bank account in such a way that if I overdraw, it automagically takes a cash advance out of the card to cover the difference. (Which would be expensive, but not as expensive as a bounced check.) Mom is suggesting that I put small charges on it that I know I can cover with my bank account, and pay the bill on time, to start building a little credit, which seems like a good idea. (I have other cards, but they're paid by my parents, and I can only use them for things like gas and books that they're willing to pay for; they have my name on them, but I don't get any credit from them.)

I made myself a new duct tape wallet. It's larger than the last one (two strips of duct tape high), and has four card slots, arranged in the opposite direction from normal because the wallet isn't wide enough to do them normally. I like it.

My grandmother apparently didn't know about this particular quirk of mine; her first reaction was to ask why I didn't put a wallet on my Hanukkah list. When I told her that I like making them out of duct tape, she seemed surprised that there wasn't anything else to it--apparently she thought I had taken a crappy "real" wallet and covered it with duct tape. Then she asked how I made it, which I couldn't really answer, because that seems to me to be a similar question to "how did you make that hot dog?"

I got two packages today, both gifts I ordered for others: the Speed Racer cars I got off J-List a few weeks ago for my uncle and cousin, and the shirt I ordered off Jinx yesterday (!) for my brother. Both are pretty nifty.

I bought a book on the A+ certification today. It's very, very thick (1000 pages without appendices), but it seems as good as any.

And I think that's it for today.