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Snarky Complaints « Ted's Polish-Mexican Page

This is all on me

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Published on: October 7, 2015

I get a couple of e-mails a week saying that if I just sign an online petition or send five bucks, I could “end Citizens United.” Wow. Who knew it was so easy?

I guess it’s my fault that the ruling still stands, eh?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Find the Pizza!

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Published on: June 10, 2015

Capcha has always irritated me, although I understand its purpose. As long as there are jackasses who somehow manage to make a living by setting up phony baloney sites and posting hundreds of spam messages, we’ll need it.

The thing that has bugged me is that the “type what you see” words sometimes include easily confused characters like ones or o’s. How can I figure that out, especially since you guys oh so cleverly warped it?

Anyway, they have a new thing. Capcha will put up a quiz like this:


I’ve also seen “Find the pizza!” and “Find the salad!” I don’t know if it’s an improvement or not. I guess it will stick until some guy in Belarus cracks it so he can make a dummy porn bot account.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Geek Question of the Day

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Published on: May 13, 2015

Okay, everyone (well, nearly everyone) knows the error in Star Wars where Han Solo brags about completing the Kessal Run in 12 parsecs. Parsecs measure distance and not time, and no one buys George Lucas’s explanation that he knew that all along and meant that Solo knew a short cut or some such nonsense.

Pointing out the error has become one of those ways to show that you are “in the know” as a Star Wars fan. But, here’s the thing that gets me: why would Solo or anyone in a “Galaxy far, far away” be using parsecs to measure anything?

A parsec is approximately three and a quarter light years and has been in use for about a century. It is based on the distance from which the Earth and the Sun would appear one second of arc away from each other. Given the difference in sizes, it is doubtful that the Earth would appear at all if it is that far in apparent distance from the Sun. Never mind that though; it is in common use in astronomy.

Here’s the trouble: how would some guy from Alderaan establish what a parsec is? Is there some definition like, “Hey, you know that star? If there was a planet 93 million miles from it, how far away would you have to be for them to be an arcsecond apart? That’s my new measurement!”

Obviously, someone didn’t think this through.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Baby Names

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Published on: December 4, 2014

The Washington Post published their list of the most popular names for newborns this week. Sophia and Jackson topped 2014’s top names.

I take it Jackson is not particularly popular among Native Americans.

While it doesn’t grate on me the way other lexicographical abuses do, they did something I don’t like: they referred to the list as “baby names.”

I run across lists of “baby names” on the internet all the time, often as obvious click bait. My trouble with the use of the term is the implication that this name is for an infant only, not one that will eventually grow up and be stuck with whatever someone thought would be cute for the little bundle of joy.

Something to think about to: that kid with the cute “baby name” like Shimmer or Sun-Willow will attend junior high at some point.

Remember that trend of calling girls Nevaeh? Did we ever settle on a pronunciation? Kinda makes my point, right? Glad that’s over.

Do zobaczenia. Hasta la proxima.

Two Words When One Is Better

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Published on: November 16, 2014

A story on Morning Edition had a small detail that made me cringe. It was about Google’s attempt to raise money to fight Ebola. More power to them.

What got me was when the Google spokesperson said that the company hoped to make a “differential impact.” Not a “difference” or an “impact,” but a “differential impact.”

I’m sure there is a name for this. There are times when someone has to use a fancy word or term to be more precise or to convey some connotation, but “differential impact” just comes off as a pretension. Yes, I’m a bit of a jackass about such things, but it left me saying “get over yourself” rather than thinking about how good it is that her organization is trying to make a difference, I mean “differential impact.”

There are two others that get me.

One is saying “price point” when one really means “price.” In economics, price point means something specific. Basically, it is how much you can charge without affecting demand. Nowadays, it seems to be used when someone just wants to say how much a product costs. These are not the same, and “price point” just means you are trying to sound smarter.

Another, and this has bugged me for a while, is the use of “epicenter” when a speaker really means “center.” This is a term used for earthquakes, and its misuse likely comes from a misunderstanding of geology. A spot is referred to as an epicenter because it is actually not where the earthquake occurred, but on the surface above the spot where it happened. Yes, it’s a center, but not really. In any case adding “epi” to the word “center” has more to do with trying to use a lofty term of art than actually conveying any meaning.

Now that I’ve insulted all of you, my work is done.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Why I’d rather not join your Facebook group

Categories: Snarky Complaints
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Published on: August 5, 2014

I got two invites in a row to a Democratic Facebook group the other day. They were from the same guy. Apparently, my initial refusal had to be some sort of mistake.

No, it was quite intentional.

Despite my previous vocation as a political blogger, I don’t feel the need to join a dozen political Facebook groups to express my activism. One or two will do, thank you.

Here is the problem: there is a raft of Facebook groups for activists and others interested in Arizona Democratic politics. They all seem to be dominated by the same group of four or five posters.

I went through a purge of my Facebook memberships about a year ago. I did it because I noticed that my newsfeed was getting “roadblocked” by a couple of people.

By the way, I don’t know if “roadblock” is actually a term of art or not. I use it to mean one user who posts several times in a row, so that your reading your feed on Facebook, Twitter, Tribe.net or whatever means a slog through posts from one “friend.”

This roadblocking was all the more irritating because it would be one person posting the same article to several groups they were a part of. Yes: Bob Boran posted an article to Lively Democratic Arizonans…Bob Boran posted an article to New Arizona Democracy…Bob Boran posted an article to Angry Arizona Activists…the same article from Huffington Post about why Paul Ryan is a bozo or, perhaps, that Upworthy video with Bernie Sanders.

I’ve knocked myself down to two Democratic groups, a labor oriented group and, despite my aging out nearly a decade ago, Young Democrats. The labor group seems the more “pure:” posts are actually about labor issues once in a while. The Young Democrats group seems little used by actual members of the Arizona Young Democrats; the two most frequent appearances on the current feed are two men in their late forties. No big surprise: their posts have little to do with YDA activity or youth issues and are the same things they posted elsewhere.

The problem comes down to activists who want so much to get the word out about whatever is outraging them that day. For instance: “I’m posting this latest Koch brothers outrage to the group Democratic Arizonans! But wait, the people on Green Eyed Arizona Democrats need to know too! And then…” You see what can happen, right? Soon you’ve posted to sixteen groups, all of which have the same members. By the way, the reason all of them have the same membership comes from the related impulse of not wanting to miss out.

There is a place for Facebook as an organizing tool. There have been events and activities that I’ve become a part of because of a notice or invitation on Facebook. I wonder how many I’ve missed, however, because it gets buried under endless posts about something stupid that Michelle Bachmann said.

And don’t get me started on people who insist on adding me to groups without asking.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Do Actual Human Beings Talk to Actual Human Beings This Way?

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Published on: June 18, 2013

From an e-mail that I read at work:

“I suggest a combined benefits approach that can include value engineering.”

Meaning, we can make this better by working together. See how easy that was?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Nothing About Chocodiles

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Published on: October 2, 2012

With the political blog kinda defunct because of work, I guess I can kind of do the same thing with little barbs on Twitter.

My thought this week was to say something about Mitt Romney and these “zingers.” I was going to make a joke about Zingers and Twinkies, but then I realized that there was only one place that would lead, so I had to stop.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Wouldn’t You Know It?

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Published on: June 7, 2011

I tweeted extensively from the FC Tucson matches this weekend, prompting two people to stop following me on Twitter.

I heard from them, and they both pointed out that they follow me for politics, not soccer.

I really don’t want to be an ass about this, but I exist outside of politics. Yes, I have other interests.

It’s shocking, I know.

The funny part is that that particular Twitter account rarely has political content. It’s my personal one. I’m far more likely to complain about the performance of the Revs or talk about the latest Corrin Tucker album than dish about Jan Brewer’s latest move on there.

It’s the Twitter account, by the way, that gets shown in the box on the left here.

I keep two accounts precisely so folks don’t have to read my ruminations on non-political topics. I don’t get why people who only know and care about me because of my political blogging would be the least bit interested in following my personal Twitter account. It’s even weirder that they would follow it and complain to me that what I’m writing there doesn’t interest them. Even better, a number of these folks follow both accounts. This means that they know there are two but somehow expect to read the same content in two places.

Okay, for future reference: my personal twitter account is @tedski. The twitter for political stuff is @3R_AZ.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Civic Pride

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Published on: March 11, 2011

KUAZ did a short story about the concert last night naming the big name acts that came down, but failed to mention Calexico played too.

KUAZ plays Calexico during it’s local drops, so you’d think they’ve heard of them.

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