lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Copying this from elsewhere because typing with 1.75 hands is so much fun (I get to wear a so fashionable thumb & wrist splint until told otherwise)...
car accident inclosed under the cut... )
lilfluff: An irked Pithani the student-librarian mouse. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Irked)
From the title you can perhaps gather that lay vs. lie is a bit of grammar that annoys me just a tiny bit. Why is this rule difficult for so many? Because this bit of vocabulary is a bleeping jerk that persisted long after every other verb in English abandoned the rule it demonstrates. It is the only English verb that still represents transitivity through a vowel sound change. It is an artifact that should just die off already. Conveniently enough I've read in multiple sources that it is dying off due to its unique nature causing so much trouble. Soon it will be gone.

Oh sorry, did I get your hopes up? As with geology, grammar moves on a time scale that feels very slow to humans. Soon in grammar terms means that even our great-grandchildren will most likely still be complaining about lay/lie and how confusing it is. Grammar rules age extremely slowly (except for when they change quickly).

So, since we're bleeping well stuck dealing with lay/lie for the rest of our lives I've decided to make a little post we can refer back to when this item of vocabulary bites us.

It all comes down to transitivity. Wait! Don't run! Transitivity isn't that hard to explain! Simple question, is something acting on something else or not? Transitive verbs have something that receives the action:

Intransitive: Bill smirked.
Transitive: Bill punched me.

In the first example Bill was smirking. Nothing receives the smirk in a grammatical sense, it's just something Bill does. In the second example bill was taking the action of punching, and I was receiving the action. This Bill is a jerk isn't he? Almost as much as the verb lay/lie is.

How about lay/lie? Is lay/lie an intransitive verb like smirk or a transitive one like punch? The answer: yes... The answer is that lay/lie can be transitive or intransitive and the sound of the vowel signals which it is. In fact English used to have a whole category or verbs which marked transitivity with this -ay/ie vowel change (quite possibly different sounds prior to The Great Vowel Shift, which is a completely different post).

How about a definition?

Lay/lie: a verb having to do with being in a resting/reclining position, which can be transitive or intransitive. In the transitive version something is or has actively been placed into this resting/reclining position. The intransitive version can be thought of as referring to the action or resting or reclining itself rather than the action of putting something else into a resting or reclining position.

Lay is the transitive version (you are the subject, the credit card is the object):
* (Present Tense) You lay your credit card on the receipt.
* (Past Tense) You laid your credit card on the receipt.

Lie is the intransitive version (you are the subject, there is no object)
* (Present Tense) You like to lie on the table.
* (Past Tense) You lay down on the table. You did this some time ago. You are weird, who rests on tables when there are beds around?

How about a table?

Tense Lay Lie
Present I lay the book on table. I lie on the table.
Present (continuing) I am laying the book on the table. I am lying on the table.
Present (perfect/finished) I have laid the book on the table. I have lain on the table.
Past Simple (Preterite) I laid the book on the table. I lay on the table.
Past (continuing) I was laying the book on the table. I was lying on the table.
Past (perfect/finished) I had laid the book on the table. I had lain on the table.
Future I will lay the book on the table. I will lie on the table, someday.
Future (perfect/finished) I will have laid the book on the table. I will have lain on the table.

So how the heck do you remember this? Massive repetition. Write examples over and over and over again until your fingers fall off. Or Google. A simply search can get you web pages with explanations of proper usage. You'll notice that lay/lie is particularly cruel as the intransitive form, lie, uses lay as its simple past tense form. What a jerk the verb lie is.

Do you know a good mnemonic device for remembering lay vs. lie? If so, please share!

Also, if you see me lying on the table, please don't laugh too loudly. I'm clearly tired and mentally stunned by trying to remember the lay/lie distinction.
lilfluff: An irked Pithani the student-librarian mouse. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Irked)
Reading through this post by Mari Ness on LJ about her hotel experience at the Town and Country hotel in San Diego has left me appalled. Even if I was to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt and assume Mari is incorrect on half the details it would still be past acceptability. When Chase Bank says, "What, no way should you have to pay that hotel bill," you know things were Not Right.

The best reading I can see of this shows utter incompetence on the part of the hotel. That's the best reading of the situation I can see. Any other reading only goes downhill from there.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Note to self: In the oil temperature gauge seems to be reading higher than usual, MAYBE CHECK THE OIL LEVEL!

At least I didn't run it utterly dry. Just down to the, "Hey idiot! Put more oil in!" line on the dip stick.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Red light, on a bike.
No danger should I run it.
Does not flesh beat steel?

* * *

Okay, okay, I get it. You're part of some bicycle team. Practicing for some big event. Guess what? I used to have to ride a bike everywhere I wanted to go, and I'll still say you're an idiot for running the red turn arrow on a bicycle.

Flesh colliding with a minimum thousand pounds of high speed steel? Yeah, you'll lose that fight ten times out of ten.

Hmm. Is it me or have almost all these haiku been grumpy/snarky?
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Follow directions?
Wow! How did you think of that?
You are a genius!


It is a bit discouraging sometimes how many problems a day I fix by pointing to the directions sitting in front of someone and asking, "Have you tried following the directions?" Followed by shocked amazement from the one helped when following the directions actually works.

Called a genius for suggesting trying to directions at least once? Um... Well, I suppose for certain definitions of genius. Somehow I still manage to be optimistic about the future.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
So, we have yet another executive saying we should stop with all this privacy talk. In this case, Randi Zuckerberg who is Marketing Director for facebook. In fact based on what she's said, "I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors." (source: blog post on the EFF's website Randi Zuckerberg Runs in the Wrong Direction on Pseudonymity Online) she thinks that people won't misbehave if their real names will be attached to their actions...

rest of rant below cut tl;dr version: I might listen to you if you voluntarily give up all privacy yourself first )
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
I have a partially completed Day 28 of [personal profile] ravenswept's 30 Days of Flashfic. A partially completed Jayce & Izzy piece (which I almost rewrote changing PoV). And as well a mostly completed homework assignment.

I think I shall actually be going to bed instead of finishing any of them. I will hopefully have more energy tomorrow.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Why this not working?
I not follow directions,
that not matter, right?
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Wait twenty minutes
finally you open chat screen.
Log off while I type.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
This is too easy
complains the user aloud
Head to desk, we weep
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Pithani the Librarian Mouse)
You know how in preschool you would get the lesson, "After going potty you need to wash your hands," that your parents first taught you reinforced?

Do we perhaps need an e-commerce preschool in which people can be taught, "After getting a credit card number, make sure you aren't saving it clear-text on a public facing server." And should we not consider companies that make this mistake to still be e-commerce toddlers? Possibly quite cute, but not yet ready to be given serious responsibilities.

Similar lessons being, "Don't store their password, store a hash of the password," and "Use SSL on those login pages, it's good for you."
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
The First Robotics Team 1432 web page has some updates:

  • There were in fact teachers willing to be the club sponsor, but the administration "talked" them out of it.

  • The local teachers union has stated that it did not object to the club paying a teacher to be the sponsor, a claim that the principal apparently made to try and push the blame for this on someone else

  • The school now says that it has sent much of the clubs money back to the sponsors. Something I'm sure would have the principal screaming bloody murder if someone did that with oh, say, donations to the football team.

They have apparently been approached with offers to assist in setting up as an independent 501-C-3 non-profit. However, even with assistance that will take time, which means they are most likely going to be unable to do anything for the rest of this year, and who knows how long into next year.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Pithani)
The TL;DR summary: "Gee kids, nice FIRST Robotics Club. We'll let you have the robot since you whined so cutely, but we'll keep the computers and cash. Now scram. Get out of here you foolish nerds."

I was thinking that someone ought to warn Franklin High in Oregon that they might want to do something like reinstate the FIRST Robotics club (like the students will trust the school now) or let them have their funds and any of the tools and equipment that they purchased themselves back. That way at least the tone would change to "School shuts down club" instead of "School shuts down club and teaches kids to trust authorities to steal from them." But since this is now being passed along by people with national levels of attention, like oh, the Mythbusters crew, I think this now qualifies as starting to go viral.

Franklin High banishes its robotics club; may keep its cash
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
To: Every company in the world
Re: Data/Sync/Etc Cables

If your gadget needs a cable there is an answer for that. It is called USB. If for some reason you don't want to use USB there is FireWire. Or, if it makes sense you might use an external SATA cable.

If you use a proprietary cable then you are part of the problem. You may think you have a valid reason for using a proprietary cable. This most likely means you are actually in need of a clue-by-four applied vigorously to your backside.

If you use a proprietary cable then you need to have your IP stolen, your employees poached by other companies, and for your company to suffer the death of a thousand lawsuits.

Do I sound irked? I do hope so, because I am.

(Oh, and Apple, yes I'm looking at you as I type this)

Edit: And after finally getting the cable and copying the music over, I found the whole process annoying enough I spent money I shouldn't be spending to replace the whole thing. Picked up a SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ 8GB player. Double the capacity of the old nano, takes mp3s, ogg, jpegs, and video files (although I'm not entirely sure why I would want to watch video on a two inch screen). Good news: It uses a USB cable for syncing and charging. Bad-ish news: it uses a "micro-b" size USB cable. Good-ish news: Since this is what cell phones are moving to, I shouldn't have trouble picking up spares.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
The depressing thing about the success of the Irish peace process? Is that of every last country in the world with such a problem, the Irish have been the only ones with the guts to actually work towards peace. For near as I can tell every other place with a similar problem has either refused to try, or at the first problem the collective leadership of both sides wet their pants and throw a, "Wah! Peace is too hard! We're just not good enough, if we can't have it for free we'll just give up and screw everyone else!" tantrum. Hello? If it was easy the Irish situation would have been solved so long ago that no one would have any idea that there ever was any trouble.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
No? You're sure? Well, what if I buy the hardcover how about th--*SMACK!*

"Lynch him! String him up! How dare he give us money! Hey publisher, show that dastardly reader who is boss and delay the next ebook until after even the paperback is out!"

Exaggeration? Perhaps. Not what the people at Writer Beware intend as a message? Probably.

Is that how the response looks to this reader? Pretty much.

The short version is that someone wrote into the New York Times Ethicist column saying that --
A: He bought an ebook device to read books on while traveling
B: he really wanted to read the new Steven King novel Under The Dome, but
C: the publisher has decided not to release the ebook yet (apparently as part of the recent "Oh noes! We must drive away customers in order to support hard cover sales! Darn them for wanting to pay us for books in ebook formats!" movement among publishers), so
D: Really wanting to read the book but not wanting to feel like a gosh darn dirty thief for downloading a pirated ebook copy without having paying the publisher or author... He went out and bought the hardcover like the publisher wanted,
E: Having then given the publisher and a book store money he went to the internet and downloaded an unauthorized copy in a format compatible with his ebook device and used that to read it.
F: The Ethicist columnist says, Hmm, Illegal, but you paid the publisher so I'd say it isn't unethical.
G: People start frothing at the mouth and saying, "How dare you, how dare you!" to the columnist and reader.

I think I agree with
[ profile] haikujaguar who on seeing this decided to do an impromptu addition of the Three Micahs (her new series on the intersection of business owner, independent marketer, and artist for artists of whatever stripe (author, painter, whatever)). She noted that the response on Writer Beware amounted to, "Bad reader! Bad!" With comparisons to outright stealing print copies without ever paying and nary a glance at the publisher that nearly drove away a sale.

I figure if I found this interesting enough to comment spam [ profile] haikujaguar's post on the topic, then it is an interesting enough post to give a pointer too.

More and more I'm reminded of the late Jim Baen's comment on the Baen Bar that business practices that got between a customer and the customer wanting to pay for Baen published books, were obviously evil. (Although I recall that it was worded in a less wordy and much snappier fashion)

(Edited to actually include a link to the article)
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Dear Pat Robertson,

Please never attempt to represent me on matters of faith, on matters of national pride, or on any other matter whatsoever. For if you had listened to even the slightest grain of true faith, wisdom, or empathy you would not have uttered those hateful, shameful, and Christ hating words. You claim to be Christian and to believe in God. May I recommend that this would be a good time to close your own mouth, to go into private as directed by your claimed savior, and there to beg forgiveness and ask for wisdom and empathy.

For, to borrow and gently modify a phrase from your fellow paleo-conservatives, when you act like this the devil wins. These words do nothing to advance the word of God and everything to aid that which is destructive of anything humanly or spiritually good.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
So I run across another article about photographers being harassed by police and find myself thinking once again that in these cases the officers should be given two choices. 1, admit to dereliction of duty and be drummed out. Or, 2, admit to incompetence and be taken off active duty and be sent back for retraining.

Really, even if terrorists were prone to standing around blatantly taking photographs, they are so outnumbered by actual professional photographers, amateur photographers, tourists, and anyone else you can think of who would be innocently taking photos that to use photography as an indicator that someone needs to be questioned is utter stupidity. The ratio of false positives to actual positives is going to be so lopsided that frankly I think even under the US Constitution's strict definition of treason, you could actually make an argument that it is indeed 'aid' to the enemy. Has even one person anywhere in the world who was stopped solely because they were taking photographs turned out to be a terrorist? How can this kind of time wasting on the part of those who are tasked with the job of protecting us be anything but dereliction of duty? Frankly I see it is no less intentional time wasting than if they were to find a quiet spot and pull out a game boy for a few minutes of Tetris or Mario.

Although at least that last option would have the positive of not being harassment that will cause a group of people to start viewing the police as an enemy.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Warning! All insects read notice! Entering my home shall be considered agreement to the following terms.

*All cockroaches squished on sight! Entering home shall be considered consent to be force fed noxious substances.
*Spiders shall stay in inaccessible corners for maximum longevity. Crawling on any body part shall be considered a request for flattening.
**NOTE: No mercy nor quarter shall be granted to Black Widow spiders.
*Attention flies, this residence shall purchase and employ miniature scale anti-aircraft style anti-insect devices as soon as they enter the market. Until then you shall have to settle for being swatted the old fashion way.

*Geckos are welcome to dine in this domicile. However, please go outside to take care of waste management issues.

How long until I can buy a real HoiHoi-san?


lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)

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