You know why nothing could possibly go wrong today?Â Because I finally reached that elusive 4-plate goal.Â Yup, four whole plates of spaghetti at Highlander. Â No, actually it was four of those non-spaghetti-filled plates that one finds at the Old Gym.Â I’ve been shooting for that for so long you wouldn’t believe.Â Well, actually you would probably believe it, but the point is I’ve made some good progress since my scrawny freshman days.
It’s a good thing that that all worked out so well, because otherwise today would have been supremely annoying.Â See, this issue of Erin and Emily’s phone lines has really been getting on my nerves.Â Three visits now, and the damn things still aren’t fully functional.Â Here’s a synopsis:
- Visit 1:
Since I don’t know which of the many wires in the wall represents the second phone line, I try all of the pairs of wires one by one, seeing if I can hit upon a pair that produces a dial tone.Â For a long time, none of the pairs of wires work.Â Finally, I try the last pair of remaining wires.Â Bingo!Â Relieved, I hook the wires up to the phone jack.
Immediately the phone rings.Â This is puzzling, seeing as nobody is supposed to know the number for the second line yet.Â Erin picks up and says “Hello?” Â Jodi, her downstairs neighbor, picks up and says “Hello?”Â Then we realize that what I had actually done was tap into Jodi’s phone line.
Jodi was surprisingly nice about it.Â “I won’t be around tonight, so you can use it if you want,” she said, “as long as you don’t make any long-distance phone calls.”
Too bad Jodi is so incredibly friendly.Â If she were more of a bitch we could have used her phone line to call lots of those 900 numbers.
- Visit 2:
Emily calls the phone company and tells them that although she is paying for a second phone line, no wires for a second phone line exist in her apartment.Â “Oh yes,” they respond, “we knew that.Â We were just waiting for you to call to schedule an appointment.”Â Go figure.
Four days later, a phone company serviceman comes to activate the wires from the basement and test them in the upstairs apartment.Â Might he be able to hook up the phone jacks too?Â Sure, but that would cost 85 dollars.
I come by the next afternoon and connect the four wires from the wall to the phone jack. Â I guess that the going rate is $21.25 per wire these days.Â Problem:Â we have two modems, two phones, and an answering machine, but only three phone cables.
- Visit 3:
Do you really want to hear about Visit 3?Â As Ethan would say, “no“. Â You’re bored out of your fucking mind by now.Â Why did I waste my time writing this ridiculous narrative when I could have been working on my differential equations homework?
You wouldn’t believe some of the things you can
Ethan really likes to have lots of text on his web page. And his page is pretty much the best thing around. The problem is, in order to have lots of text, you need to be really witty. And right now I just don’t feel too witty. So I’m going to put lots of pictures on here, which makes things easier for me. It’s also good for people with extremely short attention spans, although I imagine that most of them have stopped reading this by now and have started clicking on the buttons on the left. That means that I can start making fun of them.
See, here is my theory about ADD. It all started with the show Bill Nye the Science Guy. Well, maybe it didn’t start with it, but Bill Nye was certainly partially responsible. I mean, take a look at this guy’s show: the camera doesn’t stay still for more than 5 seconds at a time! It leaps from here to there, it circles around, it jitters constantly as if the cameraman OD’d on Vivarin… say that Bill wants to state a simple scientific fact, like “an object’s temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of its constituent particles.” It will take him approximately one-third of the half-hour episode, because he can’t finish the sentence with at least three changes in camera angle, 5 sound effects, 3 cartoon animation overlays, and a guy in a giant rat costume coming into his lab and scalding him with a Bunsen burner while he tries to make huge arm gestures.
This is great for kids who grew up on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers because it’s the only way that they’ll possibly stay on the channel for more than a few minutes, but what about the Voltron generation? I want a show about science without any of the stupid gimmicks designed by pharmaceutical companies to keep Ritalin on the shelves. Why not have a normal guy — not some guy with crazy hair in a lab coat, surrounded by Erlenmeyer flasks and distillation apparatus — but just a normal guy in a t-shirt, talking about interesting scientific principles in a normal voice? I know that this show would fail miserably, but I would watch it. I wish that more kids would.