I’m at my sister’s house today, chilling out and preparing for attending a friend’s wedding tomorrow. My local thrift store was having a 90% off sale (not a typo) and so, since none of my fancy clothes fit me, I got a dress and shoes and a few shirts for Jim (if he wanted them) as well as a little purse-thing (all I have are messenger bags) another skirt and a light sweater, all for $6.19. It is hard to have to leave the 1950s sometimes….
Last time I was down here, I wanted to grab a gyro on my way in to town. I knew there was a pizza place that I liked but I couldn’t remember what it was called. A quick aside, when I grew up, Boxboro was sort of teeny. It didn’t have its own post office and you’d tell people where you were from and they’d say “Foxboro?” “No, Boxboro.” “Boxford?” “No!” People had yellow t-shirts made that said “Boxborough with a [picture of a bumblebee]”
Now the town is a little bigger and more people live here and more people have heard of it. The town has a post office and a website even if we can’t all agree on how to spell it. However, there are still problems. My default “How do I find this business?” option is to call Google 411. You say the business name and the city/state and not only will it look up the number (for free) it will connect you (for free). You can even just say a business type like “pizza” or “taxi” and it will give you the top listings. It uses voice recognition, no humans, and it works pretty much all the time. Except for Boxboro.
I called and said “Pizza. Boxboro Massachusetts.” It repeated what I said “Pizza. Foxboro Massachusetts. I’ll connect you, or say ‘start over'” “Start over.” I tried this a few times figuring this was just the voice recognition machine getting used to or possibly learning different voices. However, no matter how hard I stressed the B, it kept hearing F. I had some time to kill so I went through the entire alphabet of letters “Soxboro Massachusetts…. Start over… Toxboro Massachusetts… Start over…” Sometimes I’d get Foxboro, sometimes I’d get something else, never would I get the actual town. I finally just punted and asked for “Pizza. Acton Massachusetts.” And got Bravo Pizza in the top set of listings.
When I heard them say the name of the town in the listing, it sounded a lot like box-burr-OH which isn’t that far off so I’m not sure what the problem is. I’m not sure if this is something that I care about enough to start a whole “hey fix this!” campaign especially because I know right now it would likely be futile, but it’s just one more tiny ignominy about living in smalltown America while Big Tech makes awesome tools that only sort of work here.
You can click on the gator to see more of the photos from my quickie trip to New Orleans. The worldwide party went off pretty much excellently. We really did have a guy at the South Pole which I thought was just terrific. I ate some Southern foods up to and including grits, gumbo, alligator (in aforementioned gumbo), po-boys, Abita beer (just like this blog’s name!), beignets, chickory coffee, biscuits and a whole lot of bacon. I did not get to try the praline bacon that other people had at the breakfast after the meetup because I was sleeping in, in the world’s most comfy bed.
I got back, via the long route through Boston/Belmont, on Tuesday night and have been hosting a houseguest until this morning. Then I went to work at the library where me and my friend Stan finally linked the first library record to library book barcode, starting the final big process to get the library automated which I’m hoping I’ll be able to wrap up in late August. It’s been raining, I’ve been feeling slothful, Summer is excellent and why am I still typing?
I wish I could say I’ve been not-around online because it’s been lovely outside, but in truth it’s been raining an awful lot, but it’s sunny today! MetaFilter turned ten years old yesterday which was an occasion for much online grab-assery as well as a lot of “awwww” reminiscing. I’ve been using the site since maybe early 2000 and it’s been my paid job (or one of my paid jobs) since 2004-ish. It’s a great job, my co-workers are terrific and I’ve met a lot of real life people who make my life excellent. Tomorrow I’ll be heading to New Orleans for an in-person MeFi Tenth party and a few days of hangout time. I made this little movie yesterday in response to Josh’s little movie and I think it’s amusing and you might enjoy it.
I’m still getting my summer on and oh look it’s July already. It’s not just me thinking this, June was sort of a wash and moreso than usual. Wet and cloudy. This bodes well for the growingness of everything, but that includes the moss on our bones. My brain is mostly coming back to me which is nice because I missed it. I’ve had so much free time that I’ve become one of those dull people with immaculate homes. I’ve also realized that some of those back-burner projects are really just no-burner projects and I should stop pretending that I will be doing them. So, here is me saying that
I do not think I will be re-covering that pillow made from an old carpet that was partially savaged by mice
I do not think that I will be roasting that chicken in the freezer, until it cools down some at least
I do not think I will be going through the steps necessary to reboot my purple bike at least until it stops raining for more than two days in a row (the bike requires resuscitation when it’s been idle for more than a few days)
I will not be getting my pants hemmed; they were too big anyhow and I should just get new pants
I will not be buying plastic racks for my postcards and I’m not even sure why but I’m watching myself not do it.
I will not be installing a reading light by my bed, I will be reading in the living room instead.
Something I did do however, and what this photo is about, is registered for the National Marrow Donor Program. You can read more about it on the Flickr page, but it was free (may have a small cost associated now, there was some sort of a marrow drive when I signed up) and might save someone’s life. I’ve always been one of those blood-giving types and this seemed like a logical progression. I did some cheek-swabbing and sent my cells in. If I match someone who needs a marrow or stem cell transplant, they’ll let me know. Easy, and I can check it off thenot-that-long “stuff I did” list for last month.