Phantasmic Links 10.9.06

Sunday was the perfect day for a parade, a far cry from Saturday which found me wearing a sweatshirt under that band's t-shirt and a jacket over everything. I wore a white dress shirt with the band I played with on Sunday, and found I had to roll up the sleeves at one point. With the weekend almost over, there was just enough time to shop for my parents' anniversary, something I realized too late was coming up this Tuesday. When you're a Nexus of Improbability, however, even simple tasks offer complex snags.

First, in Target, a decision to treat myself to a new shirt backfired when the old man at the register failed to find a barcode to scan, or even a tag with an item number. Target has a great system when a cashier is in distress. Forget those obnoxious phones that connect to a manager's hotline, or directly to speakers throughout the store. In Target, all a cashier need do is throw a switch and...the light on their pole blinks. That's it. We stood there for a few minutes, occasionally making small talk to break the silence, about how supervisors are never around when you need them, and always there when you don't want them. Now a second light was blinking at the register next to us, and the manager snapped to attention and came to her aid first. Next, he helped us find a small tag with a number to punch in. The cashier apologized for the delay, I told him “no problem,” and was on my way.

In the second store I shopped in, I waited while the kid at the register debated with his manager whether or not to open a new roll of pennies, because they would be closing within the hour. The manager said not to, but the kid was concerned because a few customers had told him, “don't worry about it,” where change was concerned. Given the opportunity, I might have done the same thing, but he took the initiative and cracked the roll open, finally noticing me standing there and ringing up my items. Time might have been lost, but at least I wasn't deprived of four cents.

Finally, a stop at Pathmark yielded the longest, and ultimately most entertaining, delay. The couple ahead of me came up short on cash, so the wife asked if she could pay by check. The young, Curt-like clerk asked her if she had been cleared with Pathmark before, and inquiry met with belligerent confusion. He explained that the process would be quicker if she had used checks in the past and been approved, but it would be no problem to set her up. He called his manager over and borrowed her card to scan to begin the process, but after she left he reached some sort of block. Pathmark, far behind Target's innovative blinking light, still has a telephone at the register, and so by picking it up he was immediately talking to his boss. He nodded, then upon hanging up explained to the woman that she needed her Pathmark card as well, which she of course didn't have on her.

“Why didn't you tell me that before??” she snapped to the apologetic clerk, as her husband rolled his eyes. They decided to put things back until the amount was low enough that they could afford to pay by cash. Putting back the bottled water only brought the amount down by a few dollars, and the husband asked her why she didn't bring cash or a credit card. “It's his fault!! He should have told me!!” she said, speaking as though the clerk wasn't there. They exchanged a few words in Spanish before deciding upon the next item. My impatience turned to amusement, as the process of putting back one item and having the cashier read off the new total screamed The Price is Right. Finally, when the amount was under $60, they could make their purchases. The wife stormed off as the husband sighed and apologized to the kid. “Oh, well...” resigned the cashier as he began to tally my items and asked if I had a Pathmark card and how I'd be paying. “Just cash,” I said with a smirk. My transaction took roughly 32 seconds.

Improbability may delay me, but I'll always get where I need to be eventually, and even these delays couldn't stop this week's PHANTASMIC LINKS:

Darrell is one of those people, the ones who make it a rule not to watch Lost. That didn't stop him from sending me a fascinating comparison between Lost and Watchmen, one that led me to deeper understanding of the Lost Experience. Namaste.

Here's some exclusive, rare footage of me dancing at our company Christmas party, courtesy of B13.

So many of today's cars look the same, that I'm sorry many of these concepts and prototypes didn't catch on. Still, there are some vehicles that deserve to be the centerpiece.

Somewhere at this car show, there are cars. No one tell the photographer just yet, though....

Deflect falling asteroids for as long as you can in Red.

I've been waiting nearly 32 years to encounter a robotic rampage. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto...

Will the Vein Viewer put an end to needle ordeals at the doctor's office? The kid in the ad sure seems happy about the prospect of not getting stuck more than once.

Maybe someday I'll be important enough to have an executive coloring book.

Did we need a Tribute to Grow? I, for one, believe that we did.

Would you step into this elevator?

Here's yet another Crazy Japanese TV program. I want all of you to pretend you're ten years old again. Now, imagine that red thing in the beginning babbling and riding a bicycle toward you. Terrifying. The commercial at the end may also induce nightmares...

Southpark takes on World of Warcraft. Hat tip to Rey for initially bringing this to my attention. Hilarious, and not for kids.



Blogger Darrell said...

Yay, I got mentioned in the P Links. Yes, I am one of those "I don't watch Lost" people. I just don't have the time. From what I can tell, watching "Lost" is a tremendous commitment in time. First, there's the hour each week spent watching it. Then, there's four to six hours per week spent combing the net for "clues." Then, judging from Wendy, there's the two hours each week spent hopping up and down and squealing before the next episode airs. Then there's the time spent talking about it with other people who watch it. Then there's the time required to convince yourself that it's really an exercise in creativity and not just a programming device designed to keep you watching through the commercial breaks.

I watch two TV shows, The Simpsons (nearly my religion) and House. I feel bad about House since it is, after all, a TV show. I watch it begrudgingly and wouldn't bother if it weren't one of the 50 shows Wendy is addicted to.

10/09/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger Otis said...

I am a faithful watcher of Lost, but I'm not sure why. It just seems like every episode is the same. They show you something and nothing at the same time.

It's frustrating, but I keep coming back.

10/09/2006 7:57 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

Lost is brilliant and Wendy has given Darrell a true and revealing picture of the Lost aficionado. Of which I am proud to be one....and what about Heroes?

10/09/2006 9:15 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Love Heroes. Gets better every week, and each cliffhanger tops the previous week's. I hope it lasts a while; I think they got picked up for a full season.

10/09/2006 10:19 PM  

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