Tag Archives: Annoyances

Winning

So tonight, I found out that the girl who bought our old house in Cape — who insisted she really, really loved it and was just DYING to move into it but simply could not get her lender to approve her for more than the pittance she was offering — never actually moved in. She just used it as an Airbnb, then flipped it for about $12,000 more than she paid for it.

Now, it’s possible she was telling the truth, and her circumstances simply changed unexpectedly, but I’m skeptical.

I should probably be irritated over losing my arse because I allowed somebody to manipulate me into letting her pay way less than fair-market value for a good little house that I worked like a dog to make into a great little house just so she could turn around and sell it for more than it’s worth, but here’s the thing: I have Joni Mitchell on the turntable, bizcochitos in the oven, and a view of Tucumcari Mountain from my front window.

All she has is $12,000.

It’s hard to muster up anything stronger than mild annoyance at losing money on a real-estate deal when you have literally everything you want.

Emily

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You keep using that word.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
— Inigo Montoya

Let’s talk about word usage for a minute. Specifically, let’s discuss the word “hack.”

Historically, it was appropriate and accurate to use the word “hack” if you were referring to …

1. … someone’s wood-chopping technique.
2. … the sound of a cough.
3. … a data breach.
4. … Judy Blume.

A fifth context arose a few years ago, when people started using the word “hack” to refer to the practice of disassembling something, making major modifications to it, and then reassembling it. The first time I saw it used in this context was sometime around 2007, on a website selling Holga camera modifications.

I’m not sure whether the term is meant to evoke chopping (“hacking up” an object to alter it) or cybercrime (“hacking into” something to improve it, as you might do with a smartphone’s operating system), but either way, it makes sense when you’re talking about making major alterations to something.

It does not make sense when you’re talking about using an item straight out of the box, with no modifications (e.g., hanging a spice rack in the bathroom to hold small items), using an item exactly as it was designed to be used (e.g., pushing in the little tabs at the ends of a box of waxed paper so the roll doesn’t fall out), or doing something sensible that anybody with any common sense could figure out (e.g., all of the tips listed in the “Five Hacks for Winter Running” article I saw the other day, which included such dazzlingly clever innovations as wearing several layers of clothing, putting Yaktrax on your shoes when it’s icy, and doing a few warmup exercises indoors before heading out to run).

“Hack” was a clever term about 10 years ago, but at this point, if you’re not using it to refer to a person who writes clickbait headlines for a living, I think it’s probably advisable to drop it from your vocabulary.

Emily

My promise to you

I am trying VERY hard to read what looks like a potentially useful blog entry about eliminating plastic products from a household. There are many good reasons for buying less plastic and using better materials.

I found the blog in question through a link from Pinterest. And I want to read it. I really do. But like 99 percent of the other blogs I’ve found through Pinterest links, this one has so many plug-ins and pop-ups and animated ads and obnoxious, memory- and bandwidth-eating nonsense that I can’t get the damned thing to load so I can read it.

With that in mind, I am making a promise to you here and now: If I ever decide to monetize this blog, I will NEVER put ads, offers, promotions, subscription requests or other useless crap on here that interferes with your ability to read the posts you came here to see.

To that end, I would like to extract a promise from you: If you ever find something on here that causes a page to load slowly, keeps you from being able to scroll down to read a whole post, locks up your browser, commandeers your phone, automatically opens the App Store, or does anything else besides sit there quietly, minding its own business, PLEASE tell me so I can remove it. (Any ads you see on here right now are put here by WordPress itself, and I don’t have any control of them or get any cut of the action. That’s how they keep the service free for users, which is fine, but if any of the stuff they’re posting causes you a problem, please screencap it and let me know what’s going on so I can raise hell about it — or, if need be, bite the bullet and switch to a self-hosted site so I can control the minutiae.)

I can’t think of anything that irritates me more than having to force-quit my browser because some stupid plug-in on somebody’s blog locked it up, and that seems to happen every time I click on a blog somebody linked from Pinterest. It’s infuriating, and I don’t ever want to subject my readers to that level of frustration.

Emily