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Thread: Stuff you just don't get.

  1. #4681
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    I'm eating salmon right now! Left over from a filet I grilled the other night, and on top of a Caesar salad. But eighty bucks a pound? No, I don't get that either.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #4682
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    I don’t get commercials for exercise equipment that include someone, probably taped or CGI, on the screen “encouraging” the user with a series of meaningless statements such as “light it up!”

    This just triggers a cynicism response from me.
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  3. #4683
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    That reminds me of an ad I’ve been seeing for awhile. I won’t mention the full name because I don’t want to advertise them, but it starts with “gold.” Anyway, they are a mail order place that sells (or coordinates sales of) pastries, pizza, and various food dishes, mostly seeming to be from New York. The kicker is that prices start around $60 and can go to $200 or more, mostly for stuff you could get locally, and at much lower cost, but these are supposed to be from famous restaurants and such. The idea is to get a “real” New York pizza or whatever, but you would have it shipped across the country to wherever you live frozen, and then you reheat it.

    Now, I could sort of see it for a special occasion if you remembered a particular restaurant and wanted their food without going there, but it is hard to understand how they get enough ongoing business to keep it going. I certainly wouldn’t speed money, not regularly at least, to have food shipped thousands of miles just for me. Further, only certain foods will still taste close to what they would fresh if sent that way.

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  4. #4684
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    I was reading an article about the company above, getting doughnuts from a famous baker through them will cost $66 for six donuts, so about $11 a doughnut. Some prices are better, they say, but wow.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  5. #4685
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    That reminds me of an ad I’ve been seeing for awhile. I won’t mention the full name because I don’t want to advertise them, but it starts with “gold.” Anyway, they are a mail order place that sells (or coordinates sales of) pastries, pizza, and various food dishes, mostly seeming to be from New York. The kicker is that prices start around $60 and can go to $200 or more, mostly for stuff you could get locally, and at much lower cost, but these are supposed to be from famous restaurants and such. The idea is to get a “real” New York pizza or whatever, but you would have it shipped across the country to wherever you live frozen, and then you reheat it.

    Now, I could sort of see it for a special occasion if you remembered a particular restaurant and wanted their food without going there, but it is hard to understand how they get enough ongoing business to keep it going. I certainly wouldn’t speed money, not regularly at least, to have food shipped thousands of miles just for me. Further, only certain foods will still taste close to what they would fresh if sent that way.
    For my birthday last December, my sister (who lives in NYC) sent me a gift box from Katz's Deli in NYC (a very famous deli). The pastrami and corned beef traveled well, as did the black & white cookies; the potato knishes.... not so much. They were actually pretty inedible reheated. But it was a nice treat to get for a special occasion.
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  6. #4686
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm eating salmon right now! Left over from a filet I grilled the other night, and on top of a Caesar salad. But eighty bucks a pound? No, I don't get that either.
    I've thrown away some salmon tonight! Kids' leftovers. Supermarket chopped cheap stuff.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  7. #4687
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    Stuff you just don't get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I don’t get commercials for exercise equipment that include someone, probably taped or CGI, on the screen “encouraging” the user with a series of meaningless statements such as “light it up!”

    This just triggers a cynicism response from me.
    My understanding is that a user can sign up for a class sponsored by the equipment maker and, much like a zoom meeting or a webcast, your name (one of many) is shown on the webcast and sometimes called out by the instructor. So…not sure it’s all that motivational but whatever.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2021-May-29 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #4688
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    Some writer bemoaned that a dollar to a doughnut was now an even bet. I read that maybe 50 years ago. Of course, it's gotten worse.

  9. #4689
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    I don't like doughnuts and I can't pay with dollars, so it's still an even bet in my book.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  10. #4690
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    There was a restaurant back in Pasadena that would ship frozen burritos, back in the '90s. I don't know if they're still a thing, but I know my mom shipped some to my sister when my sister was in college. In no small part because my sister didn't know anywhere in Tacoma, WA, where she could get burritos she would consider worth eating. Things have changed since then.
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  11. #4691
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    The appearance of the What's YourTube? thread reminds me that I don't get instructional videos. Even in the old days when they were produced by people with a lot of experience in the visual media, rather than by a guy with a GoPro in his garage who has never heard of the concept of editing.
    I think the proliferation of instructional videos on YouTube demonstrates definitively that the internet has actually increased people's attention span. Most of this stuff could be covered with a few paragraphs of text, a set of bullet points, and a few well-labelled diagrams and photographs. That allows you to scan forward to the bit you need clarified, say "Oh-ho!" and have the job done in twenty seconds. Or decide within ten seconds that this topic isn't relevant to your needs.
    But instead we get to watch someone someone umming and awwing and naming their tools ("You're going to need a hammer. This is the one I use.") for ten minutes, before then catching a glimpse of the relevant step filmed from an unadvantagous direction and performed too quickly to see properly.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #4692
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    The opposite is also true: by having someone film the entire process of doing something (under the condition that it's filmed clearly) and uploading it uncut, you will certainly get to see that one aspect you needed to know. Where an instruction manual might tell you to "lift the fuel tank out of the chassis", the video will show you how this one guy turned and moved it to clear all the stuff that apparently prevents it from getting out.

    But talking about attention span and YouTube: the main difference between what I watch on YouTube and what is on TV is that on YouTube I find channels that dare to focus an entire 20-30 minute episode on one subject with all its technical details. You just don't see someone on TV trying to mod a Commodore 64 without things being sped up and everything working miraculously from the first time. On YouTube, you get episodes like "driving a Hummer underwater: attempt #6" including 20 minutes of discussion on how to prep the engine for this mission. Looking at the viewer numbers of some of these YouTube channels, I think commercial TV either underestimates our attention span or might be aiming at just one of multiple "common denominators".

    Back to the subject of instructional video's: one thing I don't like about them is that, when doing the task yourself, you'll be in a world of pause and rewind.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  13. #4693
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    Instructional videos helped me to figure out why the door on the espresso machine kept popping open and how to remove the plastic shroud hiding the battery on my car. I didn't need the whole video, just a key bit of information.

    Meanwhile, I just don't get people. See also the non-trivial thread.
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  14. #4694
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Back to the subject of instructional video's: one thing I don't like about them is that, when doing the task yourself, you'll be in a world of pause and rewind.
    Another useful aspect of replacing the video with three paragraphs, eight bullet points and a well-designed diagram--you can print the thing on a sheet of paper and carry it to wherever you're doing the job.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #4695
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The appearance of the What's YourTube? thread reminds me that I don't get instructional videos. Even in the old days when they were produced by people with a lot of experience in the visual media, rather than by a guy with a GoPro in his garage who has never heard of the concept of editing.
    I agree to an great extent. It's definitely a mixed bag of excellent, good, mediocre, and awful content...with the curve being skewed pretty heavily to the right in that order. I generally like instructional woodworking videos to be fairly tight and on the short side. I do however find benefit in longer presentations which go beyond steps 1-2-3 and provide additional information on the methods and techniques used, alternatives, problem solving, etc. They do need to be well made for me to hang in there, though.

    What I don't get, are the content makers who seem to think speaking ever so slowly helps their presentation. The worst kind are the monotone metronomes who rarely vary their rate or pitch. Beuller? Beuller?

    Another kind that I come across use text-to-speech narration. I turn those off so fast, I almost violate causality.
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  16. #4696
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Instructional videos helped me to figure out why the door on the espresso machine kept popping open and how to remove the plastic shroud hiding the battery on my car. I didn't need the whole video, just a key bit of information.
    But what bugs me about instructional videos is the relative difficulty of extracting the key bit of information required, as compared to extracting the same key bit of information from a simple list of key bits of information. It's also a lot easier and faster to establish if the key bit of information I require is not present on a printed list, allowing me to move on to another source quickly. Whereas the Boon Companion has just been complaining that she watched a forty-minute video about a particular photographic technique which nowhere mentioned the aspect of the technique that she particularly wanted to know about. But she needed to watch the whole damn thing to know that it was no use to her. You can search a page of text for keywords, but not a video.

    A medical educationalist once told me that I have a "cognitive style strongly centred on print media". By which she meant (I think) that I kept skipping lectures and tutorials but nevertheless (to the apparent annoyance of the educationalists) did well in exams because I read books. So I'm sure my impatience with sitting listening to someone saying "This is my hammer" is related to my particular cognitive style, rather than any shortcomings of video as an educational resource.
    Almost entirely sure.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-Jun-04 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Typo

  17. #4697
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    One thing is, you'll find far less people willing to write a clear instructional than you'll find people willing to video the task they have to do anyway. On specialised forums like for my specific model of classic cars there are some people who'll write manuals, but generally speaking not a lot. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, you can find information on the most ridiculously specific subjects. I had to replace the third brake light on a 1996 Kia Sephia. I found a video online showing how to replace the third brake light on a 1996 Kia Sephia. That is NOT a common car. So yeah, the format might not be optimal for many circumstances, but sometimes quantity is at least as welcome as quality.

    By the way, I used to write instructional manuals in my previous job. When I see instructional videos, I can easily spot those who merely "record what they are doing" and those who are conscious that they are trying to explain something, and some are very good at it. But even the first category is better than nothing.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  18. #4698
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    I spent much of my engineering career checking, editing, and sometimes writing technical manuals. I can appreciate that it's not that easy for someone to write a clear and accurate manual when they don't have the deep knowledge of the guy who designed the gizmo. But I never could understand why a major aerospace company insisted on hiring writers for whom English was not only a second language, but not even a strong second language.
    The manuals were supposed to be written in "Simplified English", because a majority of the users wouldn't be strong in English either. I suppose management thought that made it ok to hire writers who weren't proficient in English either. You know what? Clearly writing something technical in "simplified English" is actually HARDER than regular English, not easier.
    To the company's credit, they did eventually backtrack on outsourcing the job to a foreign company which, in the competitive evaluation, had placed first in cost and last in English proficiency. But not before providing layoff notices to the current employees and requiring them to train their replacements.
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  19. #4699
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    Did this happen after the merger, or was it always that way?

  20. #4700
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    The problem with a text-&-images explanation is that there's no place to put it that people will find it. There's no equivalent of YouTube for text-&-images pages. Even when that was all that the average computer user could create, back in the days of writing your own HTML in a Notepad or using Netscape's built-in word-processor-like HTML editor and putting it on Geocities or Angelfire, there was no particular way for people who needed your advice to find it.

    I recently thought I'd found out, in a video, how to get my newish truck's alarm not to go off when I open the door after unlocking it with the key. But it didn't work. If there isn't a simple way (that I can find) to disconnect the alarm, I might go for disconnecting the horn, since the horn is what the alarm system uses to make noise. It's not too loud for the first ten honks (although it goes to full volume on #11 if you don't stop it first), but it's still annoying, partially for the noise and partially for the fact that it just makes no sense for a truck alarm to go off like that over the use of the truck's own key, especially given that it doesn't if you unlock it with the otherwise pointless remote control.

    (I actually still sometimes write HTML in Notepad. Sometimes HTML tables are the easiest way to arrange things in a fixed geometry relative to each other, and my browser home page contains all of my links arranged the way I want them arranged with no space wasted on ads or "news" headlines.)

  21. #4701
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Did this happen after the merger, or was it always that way?
    Both. But it got worse after, including the failed outsourcing.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #4702
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    The problem with a text-&-images explanation is that there's no place to put it that people will find it. There's no equivalent of YouTube for text-&-images pages. Even when that was all that the average computer user could create, back in the days of writing your own HTML in a Notepad or using Netscape's built-in word-processor-like HTML editor and putting it on Geocities or Angelfire, there was no particular way for people who needed your advice to find it.

    I recently thought I'd found out, in a video, how to get my newish truck's alarm not to go off when I open the door after unlocking it with the key. But it didn't work. If there isn't a simple way (that I can find) to disconnect the alarm, I might go for disconnecting the horn, since the horn is what the alarm system uses to make noise. It's not too loud for the first ten honks (although it goes to full volume on #11 if you don't stop it first), but it's still annoying, partially for the noise and partially for the fact that it just makes no sense for a truck alarm to go off like that over the use of the truck's own key, especially given that it doesn't if you unlock it with the otherwise pointless remote control.

    (I actually still sometimes write HTML in Notepad. Sometimes HTML tables are the easiest way to arrange things in a fixed geometry relative to each other, and my browser home page contains all of my links arranged the way I want them arranged with no space wasted on ads or "news" headlines.)
    This is the first time in 20 years I've seen anyone mention Angelfire.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  23. #4703
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    The problem with a text-&-images explanation is that there's no place to put it that people will find it.
    Well, there's the internet. Search engines index text content very effectively.

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #4704
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    Also, instructables.com. Although that site is initially aimed at "how to make X" rather than "how to repair X". But they allow repair how-to's such as "how to replace a car tire".
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  25. #4705
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    Jens's thread about the usage of winking emojis reminds me that I'm completely baffled by the burgeoning repertoire of emojis that are just little pictures of things that add nothing to the content of the text. If someone sends me a text saying "Want to meet up for beer sometime soon?" I just can't see the point of adding three "beer glass" emojis, a "sunglasses" emoji, a "thumbs up" emoji and a "party hat" emoji.

    Grant Hutchison

  26. #4706
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Jens's thread about the usage of winking emojis reminds me that I'm completely baffled by the burgeoning repertoire of emojis that are just little pictures of things that add nothing to the content of the text. If someone sends me a text saying "Want to meet up for beer sometime soon?" I just can't see the point of adding three "beer glass" emojis, a "sunglasses" emoji, a "thumbs up" emoji and a "party hat" emoji.

    Grant Hutchison
    Actually it saves lots of words.

    Party hat = We're gonna have a good time.
    Thumbs up = Oh, yeah!
    Sunglasses = Don't wanna be recognized
    Three beers = 'cause we're getting snockered!
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  27. #4707
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Sunglasses = Don't wanna be recognized
    Usually used to mean "cool" unless you're David Caruso, in which case it means you've just examined a crime scene.
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  28. #4708
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    My phone suggests the emoji for a word AFTER I type the word. At that point, it is too late to be useful.
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  29. #4709
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Actually it saves lots of words.

    Party hat = We're gonna have a good time.
    Thumbs up = Oh, yeah!
    Sunglasses = Don't wanna be recognized
    Three beers = 'cause we're getting snockered!
    In my social circle, all of that goes without saying.

    Grant Hutchison

  30. #4710
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    My phone suggests the emoji for a word AFTER I type the word. At that point, it is too late to be useful.
    My phone does not suggest emoji. I beat that out of it long ago, along with its frankly ludicrous efforts at predictive text.

    Grant Hutchison

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