Friday, November 30, 2007

The companies that loves misery

Thanks a lot, Despair, Inc. You sent your weekly new-product email out at 9:31 PM.

Thanks a lot, Verizon DSL. Your inability to start service in anything short of a fortnight caused me to not see the email until this morning, at work.

The result: I missed the limited edition shirt. :-(
Now, I'm left to wonder whether I'd look good in a baby doll shirt.

No. Probably not "good," just "disturbing."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's the matter, ISP got your tongue?

So, I see I've been "tagged." (Thanks a ton, 2nd. I was hoping to avoid this.) It seems I'm obligated to...well, to oblige. I'd intended to make that my next post. But it'll have to wait a bit.

See, I just moved into my new place, and that place does not yet include a connection to the world. I've made attempts to "borrow" wireless connections from other residents in my building, but to no real avail. I did, however, manage to connect to a wireless router for a few minutes on the first day. The router was not protected in anyway, so I was probably pretty safe. Then I decided to get too clever for my own good. I looked at the names of the computers that connect to that router, and decided to give my computer the same name. The idea was that the owner wouldn't notice. Well, that required a reboot, and ever since, I've not been able to even see the signals of any access points, except this one overpowering one, which is of course protected. I really should've just left well enough alone. I really doubt the owner would've noticed.

One of the protected routers is appropriately named "get your own sucka." And I have no issues with the sentiment. In fact, before I moved into the apartment, I contacted Verizon to start internet service. I thought for sure that I was getting ahead of the game, that I would be prepared, internet-wise, for the move. The problem is that Verizon is completely incapable of starting service service quickly. It seems the best they can do is two weeks. Which seems completely bogus to me. I started internet service within a day when I moved into an apartment at Blacksburg. However, that was cable internet, and this is DSL. Apparently that matters? I would hope not. (It's a shame, really, that Comcast's service is so freaking expensive. I'd have even been willing to pay a little more for quicker startup. Just not double.)

Anyway, the short if it is that it will be about two weeks before I have internet access in my home. So, I have to resort to libraries. (The one pictured above is not one of them. Just a random picture found on the web. Yay, Google images!) Which means I don't have the convenience of being able to come up with a list of random facts about myself at my own leisure. I'll have to think about it while I'm at home, write it down (lest I forget), then drive to the library. Really makes me realize how spoiled I've been by having the internet in the comfort of my living quarters for so many years. And how ridiculously long two weeks can be.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Old things new again

My name is Hot Cup, and I'm a lazy blogger.

That's why I'm covering old news. Two things I though might be interesting. One of them predates (by years) my blog, but the other I just never blogged about, even though I wanted to.

In 2004, a tornado touched down in our neighborhood. I was in Blacksburg, so I didn't see it, but a friend of my mom's just let her know about some pictures. So they serve as a fresh reminder. The storm pulled the west wall of our house away from the frame a bit (again, I wasn't there, so don't know how much) and did a little roof damage.

The second item was rather humorous to me. Someone hijacked a secretary's email account and sent a parody of a weekly email. The message -- entitled This week in the GLC and around campus -- usually lets graduate students know about events that pertain to them. The hijacker took some time to construct some great details. I was initially confused as to whether the message was serious or not. Some examples: (I'll skip the less interesting ones.)

A Halloween tour of the steam tunnels beneath campus will be offered for the first time this year to four groups of eight people on Oct. 29th and 30th. Sign-up for each of the four tours will begin on Monday, October 22nd, and continue until all places are taken. Interested parties should contact Richard McCoy at 231-3200 for more information.

The steam tunnel covers (the non-exploding kind) are apparent around campus, but I remember hearing prohibitions against entering them within my first month at Virginia Tech. The rumors were to the effect that students used to (I don't know how long ago) attempt to explore them, but if found out, would be immediately expelled. No questions asked. (I didn't notice it at the time, but Ricard McCoy, Jr. was an airplane hijacker.)

Sometime between Tuesday, Oct 23 08:00am and next Friday, Nov 2 7:00pm in Room C in the GLC Are you interested in purchasing a subscription package from your local cable company? Presenters from NTC Communications Comcast Digital Cable and Cox Communications will talk about the different internet, phone and cable packages available and answer questions about rates and programming.

I didn't catch it on the first reading, but I love the time of the event, in the context of the identity of the presenters.

Tuesday, Oct 23, 7:00pm in Room F in the GLC the VT Math club is sponsoring a Pi festival. Approximately 3,141 pies will be available for sampling. They will include but are not limited to Apple, Banoffee, Banana cream, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cheesecake, Cherry, Chestnut, Cream, Custard, Grape, Lemon meringue, Peach, Pecan, Pumpkin, and Rhubarb. In addition, at 7:30 there will also be a pie eating contest. The first contestant to eat an irrational number of pies will receive a hand-carved Penrose triangle.

Okay, this one is just strange, but for some reason didn't raise warning flags in my head. I know, 20/20 hindsight. (Oh, and a Penrose triangle is a physical impossibility.)

Due to the heightened security of many university campuses, a possible ban of all bags on campus may be implemented in the next two weeks. Backpacks, duffels, shoulder-bags, and purses may soon join the list of items prohibited on campus. This measure has been proposed since it has been pointed out that bags may be able to conceal already illegal items. An unlikely supporter of the ban is the campus Health and Safety Department as it would also alleviate the troubling phenomenon of overweight book bags that commonly lead to health problems later in life. Acceptance of the proposal will be decided by the campus Board of Directors later this week.

This is where I began to be suspicious. (I can hear all of my readers -- both of you -- thinking, "Duh!")

Wednesday, Oct 24, 6:00-7:00pm in McBryde 666, Microsoft will be giving an exclusive preview of service pack one for Vista. In response to the massive number of problems, compatibility, and stability issues in Vista, Microsoft has spent the past year fervently addressing these issues in the much anticipated service pack 1 (SP1). Representives from Microsoft will demonstrate the features and stability changes of SP1, such as the newly bolstered DRM software. This update and others in SP1 that will be demonstrated should help provide Vista users with new enhanced reduced functionality.

Subtle Book of Revelation reference. (McBryde has a sixth floor, so it's plausible.) The hijacker clearly doesn't like Microsoft, or DRM. Not all that unusual for computer geeks.

Registration for the Nov 5 forum is now open. This forum will showcase health, food, and nutrition efforts in research, extension/outreach, and teaching currently underway at McDonalds, Kraft Foods, Monsanto, and LuthorCorp. Register by Sunday, Oct 28 if you plan on attending the event. Sponsors will showcase the health benefits of the latest developments in GMOs, growth hormones, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, flavoring and texturizing food additives. For more information, including registration links, and to view the Forum agenda, please visit

The title sounds legit, but the whole entry mocks these large corporations. Oh, and wait...LuthorCorp? (P.S. Try the McVideoGame.)

A graduate student researcher working on behalf of Aperture Science is seeking highly-motivated individuals in good physical condition between the ages of 18-25 for her study. Participants will be asked to perform complex tasks. The entire study should last a minimum of 3 hours and moist, delicious cake will be served upon successful completion of the test. For further information or to sign up to participate, please contact Glados,

This final entry made me bust up laughing. Remember, "the cake is a lie." (Read this if you don't understand the geeky joke the hijacker made.)