Apple Customer Service

Call me a fan boy if you want, but I am really impressed with Apple’s customer service. My iPhone 4, which I waited a ridiculous amount of time in line for, developed scratches on the screen — something that never happened, and still hasn’t, with version 3. Took it in. They replaced it. I restored it from my backup. My only complaint about that process is that my “folders” disappeared and my apps were reinstalled in alphabetical order. But that prompted me to do a little housecleaning.

And the other thing was the battery door on my MacBook Pro wasn’t closing properly. This is a late 2008 model, I think. Turned out the battery was swollen. Replaced it on the spot. Cost to me? $0.00 and about an hour.

Meat in a Box

Meat in a BoxAside from the marvelous name, Meat in a Box, also has a great sign. Kind of reminds me of the old White Castle and its “buy ’em by the bag” (maybe that’s why they call little burgers “sliders” these days). Haven’t tried the food because (perhaps) the place was closed for Ramadan. The claim on the sign that it is “so much more” seems inaccurate. You can see the menu through the window and it seems like it’s all meat in a box.

Update: Meat in a Box is now closed for repairs after a car crash damaged the place. I will have to wait to Try it.

new digs

I am camping out at my new house, bought in May, with my new girlfriend, iPad. Actually, girlfriend may not be the right word, but there does seem to me something feminine about this thing. Make that siren-like. It calls my name.

The Netflix app has been totally indispensable without TV hooked up.

Such silliness aside Much work to do here. Had to tear out a wall to get rid of the rot produced by an ancient and repaired leak. Do not want to know what I might have breathed. The blackness of rot is sort of fascinating.

These things are irreplaceable: reciprocating saw. Mine is a DeWalt. Nail guns–my dad bought me these long before he died. I have been thanking him. Porter-Cable.

So what is the deal with Home Depot? They used to be surly and nasty, and now everyone is as helpful as can be. But I still HATE the self-checkout lines. But that is true of all of ’em. That kind of cost-shifting I hate.

But Home Depot is still an on-again off-again thing. One day almost pleasant, another, miserable.

A True Story

Over the weekend I’m talking to my brother on the phone. He says he’s concerned that he might be a workaholic, using his work in a way similar to the way the substance-aholic uses substances, escape, self-worth, etc.

So he decides that he should find out more about what being a workaholic means. He finds a Workaholics Anonymous meeting in his area. When he goes, there’s no one there.

In Praise, Sort of, of Profanity

I am not an apologist for snark—Stark, yes—but not snark. And I’m not going to argue that profanity—cussing as this young fellow, featured on a recent story on NPR has it—

I think David Denby and others are right that discourse—or some of it—has deteriorated in the digital culture.

But all of that aside, it seems to me that there are distinct and visceral pleasures—an onomatopoetic expression of sensation merged with the physical sensation of its experience. The two most popular “cuss” words, it would seem to me, are the S-word and the F-word. And both can be deployed in a variety of ways that are entirely irrelevant of their dictionary definitions and to express a wide variety of emotions. (And a lot of times can be used with a lassitude that labels the user as stupid and inarticulate.)

Explosively expressive 

The thing about these two words in particular, and some others—the B-word, for example—is the sheer physicality of their use. In linguistic terms, most of the tastiest profanity is loaded with plosives, or little sudden stops in giving breath to a sound, as in sudden halting of the final consonant of the S-word. Ditto the final consonant of the F-word. They’re also loaded with fricatives, in which the voicing of the consonant sound is more or less crushed upon its escape—between teeth, between lips and teeth, between tongue and palate or tongue and teeth. Which also occurs in these two words (ditto the B-word). You have the fricative at the beginning of the monosyllable, F forced between the upper teeth and lower lip, and then a satisfying middle period of pure sound that’s almost groan and uses pretty much the entirely of the mouth, and then it’s suddenly halted by the back of the mouth by the tongue—K, which also has a fricative quality.

So you’re hammering a nail and miss and your errant thumb just happens to be the recipient of the hammer’s blow. Seems to me that that sort of monosyllabic expression, with all its rough edges and sibilance, is very close to an onomatopoetic expression of the similar physical sensation currently being expressed by the neurons in the thumb.

So should I use these and other colorful words as much as I do? No. And why have I not used them here? Do demonstrate their power. You know what I’m talking about. 

Which sort of goes to what the young man in the video above—in his NPR interview—says about “dang is okay.”
Persephone’s Box says in this post:

“Why are replacement words like “fudge” or “frigging” or “cheese and rice” or “heck” or “gall darn it” or “sugar” considered better than the actual terms when we all know that’s what you’re really thinking? I don’t think they are any better.”

But the kid has gotten “death threats.” What a bunch of toadsuckers there are out there.