Internet Ads Can Go Straight to Hell


I don’t know if you know how the ads on the Internet work, but basically all the sites that sell advertising are asking your browser to eat a cookie (and unless you’ve taken specific steps to stop it from doing so, trust me: your browser is a cookie-wolfing fatass) and based on where/when/what you’re clicking or searching for, or whatever, the ads are geared toward what the cookies figure out you’re probably interested in.

This is where my browser and I have a problem.

I’m using Yahoo! now for a calendar and address book at work, and EVERY SINGLE DAY I see no fewer than six ads (in seven hours) on those pages for Yahoo! Personals. Today’s just really pushed me over the edge. It said, “She *IS* out there.”


Meanwhile, it was a nice weekend which included the delivery of a kitchen table, two more chairs, a dresser, and a former microwave cart which no longer needs to hold a microwave, as well as the Kiefer’s housewarming party and Grandma’s Markowski reunion.

Saturday night, Jen and I went to see ‘Garden State,’ and we both enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it was BryGuy? that I was discussing this with: we agreed that it was impossible to NOT love Natalie Portman to pieces. Oh lordy.

Christy is coming into town today to get her car fixed. It’ll be fun to visit.

  • sigh* I really need a digital camera. Grr.

Belated Ranting


I forgot to mention something yesterday pertaining to last weekend’s shopping escapades. I want to talk about the cost of ownership of the Swiffer.

The Swiffer seems like a marvelous idea, and I’ll be the first to admit that it works just spectacularly, at least on the ‘dry’ side of things. The wet Swiffer, not really designed as a substitute for mopping, I don’t think. But yeah, dry Swiffer: it beats the crap out of sweeping, you can trust me there. The dust, it sticks to the cloth, whatever, and the thing pivots around whatever you need to get under, etc, it’s a nice cleaning tool, especially for someone like me who has 900 square feet and no carpeting.

The problem with the Swiffer is cost of ownership. You use ONE of these Swiffer pad things per ‘sweep,’ which, I mean, to keep your place looking like humans live there, you need to take care of once a week, and the “refill pack” of 16 of these things costs SEVEN AND A HALF DOLLARS.

Let’s break this down.

The initial investment of the Swiffer broom apparatus and 2 dry cloths was 9.88. 16 replacement cloths are 7.50, so that means they’re about $0.47 apiece. $0.47 * 2 = $0.94, 9.88 – 0.94 = 8.94. So the ‘broom,’ which does nothing without the cloths, is 8.94. Just to offer some perspective, you can get a sort of “home-sized” dust mop for 10 bucks. So we might as well compare there.

Over the course of a year, you need to sweep the floor at least 52 times. That means you have to spend $24.44 per year on replacement cloths for the Swiffer. Add your 8.94 for the broom, and in the first year of Swiffering you’ve spent 33.38 on stage one of floor maintenance. Or, you pony up the one-time cost of 10 bucks for the dust mop (which also has the pivoting head but which may not clean the floor as effectively over time).

OK, so let’s say you need to get a new dust mop, because this one wears out… wha’d’ya think? Every 18 months or so? Lets say 18 months for the sake of argument. And let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Swiffer broom lasts twice as long as that. What are you looking at as a cost of floor cleaning over the next 10 years?

10 years is 120 months, and in 120 months, we’re figuring we’ll need to buy 6-and-two-thirds new dust mops, at 10 dollars apiece, plus the initial mop at 10 bucks, so that means 76.66 over that amount of time. If we’re going to assume that the Swiffer broom lasts for 36 months (or three years), then in 10 years we’d need to purchase 4-and-one-thirds new Swiffer brooms, which, at 8.94 apiece, is 47.68, plus the first one, we’re at 56.62. Of course, we can’t forget out annual Swiffer cloth cost (24.44), which, relative to the brooms themselves, is simply outrageous: 244.40 for ten years of cloths.

76.66 to dust mop for ten years, 301.02 for ten years of Swiffering. And we didn’t even bother to calculate inflation (current annual rate of inflation, by the way, is about 3.2%, so if we apply that figure annually over the next ten years, the 76.66 will actually be 79.11, and the 301.02 would be 310.66).

Clearly, if you can be satisfied with the job done by a dust mop (and it’s not that bad) you are the thriftier person to pass the Swiffer by. Had I just thought this all through while I was there in the cleaning aisle at Wal-Mart?, I could have avoided the issue altogether.

I Love the Smell of Commerce in the Morning


Got up fairly bright and early for a weekend with plans for a full Saturday. Got most things accomplished.

Part of the morning was slated for a variety of shopping trips. I took a ride over to Wally world and got all the necessary cleaning supplies for the apartment. I really don’t like the way the super-Wally has all the cleaning crap on the grocery side of the store and random cleaning accessories (like, say I wanted a bucket to go with my mop) in a totally different part. But the supplies were all reasonably priced, so…

I also bought some socks.

I got my mop and bucket at Fleet Farm, where I figured I could get masonry drill bits as well (I was wrong about that), but I ended up having to conclude the trip at Menards. I stopped in to the old Menards, too (it’s a ‘Big Lots’ now) for no particular reason, just because I hadn’t ever been before. I didn’t find anything interesting.

I climbed my new ladder and took my new drill bit and put holes in the wall so I could hang stuff up. I hung all my clocks and printed out new tags for them (so people who come visiting will know which clock is which).

I did some wash while I was at the house, and then I loaded up the wet clothes to take them to JJ’s for the drying. I figure that the lower cost and shorter time commitment needed to do the drying commercially are worth the slight inconvenience of leaving the house. And let me tell you – there are some people in that laundromat, man; there are some people…

So I’m getting done with the laundry, right? And I’ve got everything loaded up and in the car again, and let me tell you: I was quite efficient with the drying that day, and my whole list was getting knocked out, one item at a time, and I was feeling really productive, and then there was the roadblock on Main Street at Lincoln. And then there was the same roadblock on Jefferson. And people in their cars are just scurrying around the side streets trying to figure out why the hell the Main drag is closed.

And then we heard the drums.

Another goddamn parade, which, as Devin observed later, seem to have a sort of creepy, hermaphroditic capability for reproduction in Osh Vegas. It’s almost as if more than 12 Boy Scouts stand in the same area for over 10 minutes, flag poles and instruments grow out of their pores and they just start marching. I have no idea what the hell this past weekend’s parade was about, but it took me 25 minutes to drive home from the laundromat, a trip that should usually take 5.

Oh – and that trip was pretty much the Last Ride of Willy. I’ve been driving the ol’ Festiva on a wing and prayer all summer long, as it’s in need of some repairs that exceed the value of the vehicle. It was about two or three weeks ago now that I decided I couldn’t leave Oshkosh with it anymore (the occasional grinding noise in the right front wheel had become much more frequent), and then Saturday night I realized I should probably avoid driving it altogether (the more frequent grinding noise in the right front wheel has become constant). For the time being, I’m walking a lot more, and I’ll have to catch a ride with people traveling my way if I want to go somewhere.

That or I’ll have to rent.

In either case, I’m in the market for a new car, and after a close examination of my finances, I think I can afford a bigger payment than I initially thought: Do you know any place that I can get in a new car for *THREE DOLLARS* a month?

Jen and Joe picked me up at about 6:15 on Monday night on their way to Green Bay for the Packers game. Joe got the tickets from somebody he works with. It was fun; the inside of the stadium is nothing like I remember from the last time I went (which will be five years ago this October). Yes, the Pack got their ass handed to ’em, but at least the lines at the urinal were short.

If I get back to Green Bay for a game at some point in the next year or so, I should really take a camera with me. I should really get a digital camera. Do you know any place that could finance something for me for *ONE DOLLAR* a month?

Phonebooks, Voicemail & 1999


Am I the only one who thinks that it’s weird you have to pay MORE to NOT be listed in the phone book?

You’re saving the phone company ink and space in the book that they probably have to pay an absolute fortune to print, so the way I see it, you don’t wanna be in there, you’re doing them a favor.

Well anyway, it was 1999 and the Internet was absolutely on fire. Little did we know that all the money apparently being manufactured in cyberspace was nothing but futures speculation and Enron scandals.

But there was a time, it lasted about 5-7 months, when you could get dial-up Internet access for free (so long as you could stomach the ads), and nearly all manner of telecommunication solutions could be found for low- to zero-cost. It was at this time that I was so bold and hopeful that I said to my grandmother, “No Grandma, you don’t have to *pay* for the Internet anymore…”

At 456A High Ave, we also had ad-supported voice mail for a little while. We each had our own mail box, and you could dial in a toll-free number from anywhere to check it. In addition, each message was captured as a .wav on this company’s server, so you could be away from a phone, but near a computer, log-in, and listen to your voice mails on the web.

I really wish I could do that with my cell phone sometimes. It’s not like the tech’s not there. What’s the hold up, y’think?

On or About the Weekend


Devin and Marj got married on Saturday to much fanfare. It was a very nice day (despite some overcast skies and a little rain in the PM) and two people have rarely looked happier.

So there’s that.

Wordy and Mark traveled the furthest (I believe) in order to be here over the weekend, and their presence was heartily enjoyed. Great to have ‘the band back together,’ as it were.

On Sunday, the Poquettes, Lorch & Jamie, and I all went down to the Wordell residence in Menomonee Falls for a slightly early birthday celebration for Wordy. That was also nice. As the evening wore on, we played Trivial Pursuit (the 20th anniversary edition) which Kevin and Amanda won. By the time we were finally leaving it was 11 PM. Kevin was good enough to give me a ride home.

I noticed something (or rather, finally wrote something down which has been all too obvious for far too long) during the course of the reception cleanup on Saturday night: I have a serious problem that involves the humming, whistling, or softly mumbling the refrain of “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors almost constantly. I can’t be certain whether anyone else has noticed this issue, but it’s probably safe to say that, having had it spelled out in black and white on the internet, more people will be aware of it in the days and weeks to come.

I feel a bit like Dickens today.

If I had some means to take a digital photo right now, I would show you the fruits of my effort to create a brand new party game that you can play at home: DVD Jenga.

The rules are simple, but the game does require a collection of no fewer than 120 DVDs. Stack the DVDs (in their cases) face up, one on top of the other, as high as possible without knocking the tower over. For the first 20-40, this seems like a simple, straightforward, and boring game. But very soon, it becomes exceedingly compelling as you’re able to place fewer and fewer cases on the stack at once, and holy hell is it a blast when the whole mother topples over.

I won the game with 93 DVDs stacked.

I need to buy some cleaning supplies for the apartment, but their purchase will have to wait until the weekend.

I’m going to get some food now.

Go Get Me Some Coffee


Lately (the last several days/entries) I’ve been writing this first thing when I get into work and before I get anything substantial done elsewhere. This may not be the best idea becuase at this point in the morning (8:30) I’m just a little cranky and lifeless because I had to get up (again) and I haven’t had but 4, 5, 6 sips of coffee so far. This is a disservice to you. Instead of giving you something substantial or insightful, I’m pissed off that I even have to write something.

Strides are being made, though; during the 69 Days, and several times before that, I would just blow you off.

I got a haircut yesterday evening at north side Cost Cutters next to Pick n Save.

Oooh, oohhh! Did I just get an email…???!

I’ve heard the incoming mail sound on one of my neighbor’s computers more often than before this week. So every time I do, I stop and check the eprompter and it’s typically unchanged. This story is demonstrative of the long days in summer. Pleasepleaseohplease let there be an email so I can do something.

Back to my haircut, though. Got the haircut and rented a shirt on the advice of Wordy @ the place next door there… what’s it called? Nedrebo’s, that’s it.

Also, OK, some of the coffee is kicking in a little now, I tried to watch Master & Commander last night, which was up for an Oscar for Best Picture last year, and OK, yes, it was very realistically done in relation to the other…. what would you call these movies? It’s not a pirate movie, cuz they weren’t pirates, but it’s a…. it’s a movie about boats. Whatever. So it was probably the most realistically portrayed movie of that sub-genre that I’ve seen, and I haven’t seen all that many of them I guess, but yeah: there were some very good bits in this flick.

The doctor on the ship was Russell Crowe’s imaginary friend in A Beautiful Mind too, yes? Yeah, that’s right.

OK, but *why* was the movie sooooo loooooong..?? Oh god it was long. And they were on the boat pretty much the whooooooooooooole time. Maybe I was just tired. Maybe that was it. But holy hell: I feel asleep at the 93-minute mark and then I woke up around 10 and went to bed.

I’ll give it another try, I’m just saying, this genre might not be my bag.

Was going to do a bunch of cleaning around the apartment yesterday, but realized that I didn’t have all the equipment I’d need.


First of all, I need to show you this, which used to be on Petters’s site, and did I mention that he is frighteningly near to getting that sucker back online? But, while you consider which of our two “Internet Communities” you’re going to commit full-time to, ask yourself this question: where has Nick been for the past year and a half?

Anyway, look at this link:

I thought of looking at this equation again when I realized fairly recently that of all the women in my office (I am one of two males employed by the department, and the other works *maybe* 10 hours a week) can’t stand each other. If anyone ever asked directly, I’m sure accusations would be met with denial, but since I’m the only non-female and I really don’t rustle anyone’s feathers, I get to hear about everyone from everyone else. They make with the gossiping plenty! It’s probably the most unique work situation I’ve been in. I wonder if it’s like this wherever the estrogen is so thick in the air.

Last night I watched 6.2 episodes of ’24,’ completing the first season; I hadn’t watched that one, I got hooked in @ season #2. If you watch the show, you can appreciate how much more I hated that goddamned Nina Myers after watching this season. Oohhh, she was evil.


Yeah, I’m trying to coordinate the aquisition of a sofa from Jim Droste this week (by Thursday, so yeah, 2 days to go) in part so that when/if Wordell stays over on Saturday (which I expect he will) he has a place to sleep. I was gonna have Kevin help me out w/ it yesterday, but that fell through. I’m hoping to a similar program in motion on Thursday, but it’s time for Jim to ‘complete his training ,’ so time could be sticky.

I’m sure something’ll work out.

Meanwhile, I also need a haircut. I should go do that today. Yeah today, I won’t have time the rest of the week. Definitely today.

Sorry; this is boring. Have you looked at the files?

Just a Recap – rated 'R'


Thought I would just jot a few things down about what I did over the weekend and some plans for the week, since I don’t have a lot to say today.

Friday night I went to Louis Glasnap’s retirement party in Fond du Lac. It was funny because there were a bunch of people from work there, all out at the bar. When you’re at a bar with people from work, it’s a totally different atmosphere, because you say things like “fuck,” “shit,” and “balls,” without anyone getting offended.

After the retirement shindig I met up with a gaggle of people at the old Lizard Lounge (now called simply ‘The Lounge’) who, strangely enough, were also sort of from work. Marie (the HNIC of the front desk) was there with a bunch of her friends, and I had no idea that you can get tappers of Pabst (16oz.) for two bucks over there. Marie was pretty loaded and said “fuck” a lot. As I recall, she was particularly anxious for the cracker who was layin down some rhymes to “fuck off.”

Saturday I spent the majority of the day de-virusating Sarah & Dan’s computer, as well as finding an anti-virus system that would actually work on their machine. I said “fuck” a whole bunch of times that day.

Saturday night I went with Kevin to Eden to see the last 13 Walls gig ever. It was a good show. It was too bad Amanda and Kilian couldn’t come with us, too, but he was sleeping and his mom decided they’d just stay home. Kevin and I had four pitchers between the two of us, so I’m sure we said “fuck” several times. I know that I said it once after we got back to the house and were playing a video game and I spilled my beer on the rug.

Sunday morning I slept in a little on the Poquette’s couch, and Amanda made blueberry pancakes from scratch. They were pretty damn good. I held Kilian for a while, and by the time I put him down, both my arms were a little sore. He is getting big!

I got back to my house at about noon, then I watched a whole bunch of ’24’ on DVD before I took a ride to the cottage in Mt. Morris to drop off the computer and have dinner with Sarah & Dan. Dan and I said “fuck” a few times, but usually as an adjective (‘this steak is pretty fuckin good,’ for example).

I went to bed sort of late, and I had this weird dream that culminated in me beating the holy living hell out of one of my professors from Montana. When I woke up, I didn’t really feel like going in to work, but I went anyway.

I did mostly stuff that related to my Fin Aid counselor training (I think my boss is gonna get me on that very soon) and the only time I typed “fuck” was when I was describing the aforementioned dream to my friend Ben Leubner in an email.

That pretty much brings you up to speed. Don’t forget to look at the photos of Devin’s bachelor party. Thanks Fallon!