Let Freedom Ding!
March 6, 2023 3:04 AM   Subscribe

OMG it's Monday, free thread fam. How did that happen again? Not sure, but today we have another "free thing in your free thing" thread: this rather clever dingbat font featuring glyphs that can be chained together in various ways to create borders, backgrounds, and separators. (cute!) And which also allows a very bad pun in the page title. (priceless!)

Please enjoy your day, your dings, your thread, and your week. As much as possible.
posted by taz (77 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've had some fun playing with these a bit. If you have a graphics software program, it's very easy to get many of them to tessellate. Here's a quick one I did* using only the upper case "U" from the font, with each of three lines on a separate layer, and then moved the layers to snug them up. Oh, and filled in some of the loops with color. If you don't have graphics software, may I suggest the absolutely fabulous (and FREEEEE!) Photopea? It can be used online, and if you know photoshop at all, it will be very familiar. I love it so much.

* iow, don't look too closely, I did it fast!
posted by taz at 3:05 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]

I have taken on a new, fairly ambitious hobby project: attempting to build a 24-bit paged virtual memory system in assembly language on the Apple II. I haven’t done any 8-bit stuff since I worked at Motorola in the late 90s, so this is taking me way back.

I’m starting all the way at the beginning. I hit my first goal this weekend, learning how to use the available tools to build my own hard drive image and getting the emulator to boot it. No DOS or ProDOS, just my own tiny chunk of assembly code sitting in sector 0. All it does is play a tone until turned off, but it works!
posted by notoriety public at 4:22 AM on March 6 [11 favorites]

I am excited for the mail to arrive today: I've been teaching myself to sew, and some fabric should be arriving this afternoon. It's going to be hard to resist skipping work to try it out!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:13 AM on March 6 [10 favorites]

On the weekend I saw my neighbour walking past my front door with a smol pupper on a leash. I was at the door myself so I stepped out and asked what dog this was.

Turns out he and his family have a new doggo, and I got to meet Bowie, a golden doodle. Bowie is eleven weeks old and this was day two at his forever home. I crouched down to meet Bowie and sketched his chin to tell him that he was a Very Good Boy, etc. I remarked on how soft his fur was. “Yes,” my neighbour said, “he is is as soft as... as soft as a Kleenex!”

Metaphor may have failed him a bit there, but Bowie is definitely a Very Good Boy. 13/10.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:46 AM on March 6 [10 favorites]

That font is ordinary-style FPP worthy!
posted by JHarris at 7:01 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

IT IS SIX DAYS TO OSCAR NIGHT! (When you have a movie blog this is a major event.)

And that means it is six days until we all get to see Ke Huy Quan explode from happiness because y'all, there is no way in hell he's not getting an Oscar. (And on the slim chance he doesn't get it - a riot would break out in the Dolby Theater that would put the Smith/Rock Slap Incident to shame.)

I'm also interested in seeing how many people try dancing in the aisles when they do "Naatu Naatu" during the ceremony - both at the actual Oscars ceremony, and at the movie theater where I'm watching the telecast. I finally saw RRR this weekend, and I can kinda get why it didn't get any of the "serious" nominations; it is a Big Dumb Action Movie, the way Con Air was a Big Dumb Action Movie.

But - also like Con Air, it is a very, very, very well done Big Dumb Action Movie, and that makes it awesome. Like - you didn't go to see Con Air to get a serious examination of Federal prisoner transport systems or whatever - you go to see John Malkovich be all weird and creepy and to see planes land on the Vegas Strip and to hear Nic Cage growl "Put....the bunny....back....in the box." And for RRR, you go see that to see over-the-top acting and moustache-twirling villains, guys roaring into tiger's faces, Alison Doody pulling a wire-studded whip out of nowhere (you watch the film and tell me where she was keeping that thing), a fight scene where one guy uses fireworks and another uses a fountain, and the catchiest-as-hell dance break ever. I was telling a guy at work about the film, and all I had to say was "there's actually a moment during a group fight scene where one guy throws a live jaguar at another guy," and he instantly pulled his cell phone out and said "that's it, I'm telling my girlfriend we have to watch this tonight."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:07 AM on March 6 [7 favorites]

yesterday a few of us sat down with the budget and I'm just not seeing it.. I am not seeing our church survive the year

I'm ambivalent about a lot of things with organized religion but at a community level you can see what communities of faith can do.. we never really recovered from a schism back when the United Church of Canada made it official: you can be gay, and you can be ordained. A whole chunk of the congregation split away to form up a 'reform' church and we never really recovered. All things end, I'm just going to be involved with this particular end and for someone who bitches his way through committee work and tunes out a lot of the god talk, it's hitting pretty hard how traumatic this will be for people. We have been working hard to be an affirming congregation, if you know what that means it *is* work and I'm kind of proud of what we have accomplished. This week we're presenting "Nanette" to the community and I'll run the tech, but man. Our days are numbered, it's remarkable how we don't tend to live that way.
posted by elkevelvet at 7:34 AM on March 6 [15 favorites]

And that means it is six days until we all get to see Ke Huy Quan explode from happiness because y'all, there is no way in hell he's not getting an Oscar.

I like his chances too, and if indeed he does win, it’s a hell of a turnaround — to go in one year from “child actor who was vaguely famous for being in a couple of movies forty years ago” to “Oscar winner.” I mean, what kind of odds could you get from a bookie today that Corey Feldman or Tatum O’Neal will win an Oscar in 2024?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:44 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Given that EEAAO did a clean sweep at the Independent Spirit awards over the weekend, I'd be very surprised if it doesn't do quite well this coming weekend. In so many ways it is a pinnacle of film making, and in so many other ways it is exactly opposite of Hollywood, so it could end up not doing as well as I'd like. It's the one I've been rooting for since I first saw it nearly a year ago.
posted by hippybear at 8:28 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

Absolutely +1 for the title.


Please enjoy your day, your dings, your thread, and your week.

When it hasn't been your day, your ding, your thread
Or even your week, but
I'll be free for you
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:49 AM on March 6 [7 favorites]

Me to Twitter right now: STAY DOWN.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 AM on March 6 [3 favorites]

Yeah, this is what I get from twitter at the moment.
{"errors":[{"message":"Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint, please see https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/twitter-api for more information","code":467}]}
Apparently they cut off API access to their own web servers.
posted by hippybear at 9:05 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]

Apparently they cut off API access to their own web servers.

*slow clap*
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:13 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]

Normally I enjoy Mondays (Yay weekly trivia night!) This week though, Monday means a $1200 strut replacement on my car and then probably having to buy another car for my wife sooner rather than later. Oh well, after all, it's just money.
posted by schyler523 at 9:15 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Friends, I'm starting to think laying off 70% of your engineers might not be a smart way to run a complex tech platform.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 AM on March 6 [9 favorites]

Yesterday I discovered Dull Man's Club on facebook. It was okay.
posted by srboisvert at 10:04 AM on March 6 [4 favorites]

I may actually try to watch the Oscars this year (I note that it's live television and my TV hates to watch live TV in this apartment, so I may not even get reception) for that movie. I hope it sweeps everything.

I was out of work for 3 days--one day of dental drama and being too drugged to work afterwards, and then two days at a yarn con. I am PAYING THE PRICE TODAY for being out for three days and will be for oh, the next six days :/ This is why I can't even take a week off for most of the year. I'm the least valued person here and yet it's all "oh, only jenfullmoon can handle it."

The yarn con was excellent, I took some very educational classes and bought SO MUCH FANCY YARN. I would like to actually do something with all of these collections of fancy yarn, though. Maybe this year since since one of the classes I took was pattern adaptation. I say this to the yarnies only: I do not understand how so many fingering weight patterns (not doubled, not obvious loose/baggy yarn fabric) somehow have a 22 stitch gauge* for tiny yarn that for me, comes out as 28 stitches. How do people do this?! It helped that the alternation class instructor politely said that uh....apparently the designer thinks yarn weights are different from what they actually are, i.e. "this is crazy."

* Note to the non-yarnies: this is around the size of worsted weight/standard yarn size, not tiny thready yarn like I got here for fingering.

I also took a paper quilling (not quilting) class and that came out excellently as well.

However, I ended up finding out some Milkshake Duck-type shit about someone this weekend, and it sucks to find out that someone you always thought was nice and fine is being a closet bleepbleep to other people. I will not elaborate further since I probably still need this person as a contact, even if their behavior is being bad to others.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:04 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

I feel conflicted about being free. You guys be free: Enjoy!

In completely unrelated news, I went to a fairly amazing funeral earlier. I found out that that cemetary I've been walking past for at least a hundred times has a tombstone, engraved on the backside, with "KATZE" (i. e. "cat"). Why didn't they use its name and how was this allowed, because afaik god has a p. dim view on whether animals have souls.

Also, Stefan RIP.
posted by flamewise at 12:27 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

Instead of me moving out, my parents have moved out and gone to live by the sea. Good for them.
I am having a strange version of empty nest syndrome
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 12:33 PM on March 6 [14 favorites]

Last night I was working on a car and managed to clobber myself in the upper lip with a pair of pliers, which is expert-level dumb. I'm very fortunate I didn't break a tooth, but I did cut myself pretty good, and since I'm on blood thinners, it took awhile to stop bleeding. I need to learn to not be a big baby and shout so much when I do this sort of thing, Mr. Dog was upset at the antics and tried to "help" which was the opposite of what was needed. Ah, well, all's good in the end, painful lesson learned about the tensile strength of safety wire.

I really am becoming a grumpy old man. My neighbor to the south has had a fucking gasoline generator running 24/7 for over three months now, and the line power has been on all this time. WTF, man. That constant irritant means I can't have windows open on nice days (hasn't yet been a huge issue but the season is coming) or spend time outside without going slowly insane.
posted by maxwelton at 12:33 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]

Instead of me moving out, my parents have moved out and gone to live by the sea. Good for them.
I am having a strange version of empty nest syndrome

A friend of mine from school had a vaguely similar time of it; when he was maybe sixteen or seventeen, his parents' moribund marriage finally died, so they both moved out, weirdly leaving him on his own in the house -- working pretty much full time, paying the mortgage and the phone bill and such, and still in high school. In retrospect, it is unsurprising I don't recall seeing him much the final year or two of school.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:09 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

rb, that story feels like a tough time for the kid on first read, then, guesstimating your age, winding it back and thinking that the kid maybe got a half paid mortgage at like 1970's prices and skipped borrowing money to go to college and I wonder if maybe that person has already retired.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:27 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]

DOT: You're not far off -- early eighties, and while he has long since moved to a bigger, different place, he and his partner still have a mortgage so far as I know. He now runs his own company in a field that has seen difficulties during covid times and he says half-seriously that he has seen no income since November.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:36 PM on March 6

maxwelton, I'm mightily aggrieved at the thought of your neighbour keeping a generator chugging like that all of the day.. and I sympathize with losing it over self-inflicted injuries, that just burns my wick. When I am animating an object it should just do what I want it to do, not what my lack of motor skills produces. should've heard me swearing at my skate laces yesterday.
posted by elkevelvet at 2:29 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]

I'm mightily aggrieved at the thought of your neighbour keeping a generator chugging like that all of the day.

Thank you for the sympathy. Thing that also kills me: When the power is out, it costs me about $20 a day in gasoline at current prices to keep my gen running, and I shut it off at night. My gen isn't fancy (read, not a Honda) but is ok from an efficiency standpoint, and uses about a gallon every two hours. Given how noisy theirs is it is also not a Honda, and they run it all the time...call it 10 gallons a day. That's at least $35 a day in petrol, plus having to go get it.

In my region (PNW), electricity just isn't that much money. Even a fairly large, poorly insulated house with a fully-electric furnace would be hard-pressed to use $400 a month in electricity. Whatever is going on down there is costing them a grand a month, plus all of the noise and emissions. Argh. I think that house is cursed. The previous residents were gun-shooters and domestic-shouting-matches champions.

Sadly, I'm the most non-confrontational person in the world, so I guess it's a thing until the world runs out of petrochemicals.
posted by maxwelton at 3:08 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

It just keeps snowing here. Every morning I wake up and there's another inch or two fresh overnight. It's been like this nearly constantly since early November, and frankly, I'm over it. We had temps into the upper 40s and even a 50 predicted, but those temps gets lower as they move closer to today, and it just keeps. fucking. snowing.

(I know we've had nothing like other places have this winter, but this is unusual for here.)

((For what it's worth, the local NWS blog says we've had a hard winter.)
posted by hippybear at 3:11 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Whatever is going on down there is costing them a grand a month

Either grow-op or cryptocurrency. I'd be surprised by the former in the PNW, but the latter means they're losing money fast.

It's not 24/7 but the big snow we had caused a neighbour to dig out their snowblower which I don't think has seen a repair (or new gas) in 20 years. The whole street was filled with thick blue smoke, and the damn thing could hardly pick up anything. They ran it for most of the weekend, and with the still cold air, the smoke filled low-lying areas of the neighbourhood.
posted by scruss at 3:20 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]

California has gotten 50 feet of snow this winter. I actually saw a car with snow on top, in town today, it just came down off the mountains I guess. There has been a lot of rain, so that is nice, fruit trees are in bloom. Ready to plant stuff.
posted by Oyéah at 3:31 PM on March 6

I've tentatively dabbled a toe in the world of fountain pens this week - a huge rabbit hole with its requisite slippery slope, and it's one I'm not certain I want to get into. The only actual handwriting I do these days is hastily scribbled short-lived notes to myself on Post-Its or scrap paper. Inexpensive gel pens work fine for that purpose, so what's the point in messing with fountain pens? And yet, they've always held a bit of fascination for me, I have no idea why. So with that in mind:

Based on an offhand comment I read somewhere online, quite possibly Metafilter, I got set of 6 cheap ($2 each!!) Chinese-made fountain pens on eBay that I gather is a clone of a nicer pen but in inexpensive unlovely plastic, yet still surprisingly well manufactured and pleasant to use. I also got a set of 6 small bottles of ink in various colors. Lo and behold, it's...a pen. I do like the dark blue-green ink, but otherwise it's not any different to use than your average ballpoint pen. Mostly I was disappointed that there's no variation in line thickness, I didn't realize that not all nibs allow that. So I spent another $4.50 on a set of 3 nibs (I verified they fit this pen and can easily be swapped in), one of which might allow that. I'll find out when it gets here.

But if so, then what? Are these unused pens and bottles of ink nevertheless destined to end up forgotten in a drawer, dried and gummy, for lack of me being able to find a practical use for them? Probably, unless one of you lovely people can give me a compelling reason to keep using them that doesn't involve spending a lot of time learning calligraphy or investing a bunch of money in upgrades...
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:32 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

You're overthinking it, Greg_Ace (what? a metafilter person overthinking?!). Just enjoy it as far as it goes and if it takes you further into pen adventures, fine! Also fine if not! I mean, if someone says "I really enjoy my morning stroll around the neighborhood, and now I'm thinking about expanding it to wander a bit further," nobody is going to say, "yeah, but what's your ETA for climbing [nearest mountain peak], slacker!" If you enjoy whatever you're doing, do that! Enjoy the pens! Enjoy scribbling non-perfect things. Enjoy jotting! The world needs more jots!
posted by taz at 3:42 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

I'm a jotter, he's a jotter, she's a jotter, we're a jotter
Wouldn't you like to be a jotter too?

I guess what it comes down to is, I can jot fine with my usual ballpoint without investing any further thought into what I'm writing with. If using a fountain pen isn't materially any different from that, my vague interest will dissipate. But if there's some other facet I'm unaware of that could make it preferable/more fun/something else compared to a ballpoint, I'd like to know. I could be missing something obvious.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:21 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

I have a similar experience, Greg_Ace. Like, I always use a particular uniball pen that has dark-tinted colored ink but they're relatively expensive now and I go through them so quickly so I thought, hey, maybe I could look into ink pens. But it's not the same. Like, I want the ease of the disposable pen and the... I dunno, the lack of formality? Anyway, if you post an Ask or find resources elsewhere, I'd love to see what you find.

I'm supposed to have a freelance project starting on Thursday but I'm still waiting for details. I need to get better at managing the gaps.
posted by mochapickle at 4:32 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

Um... so when I lived in Germany a few decades ago, the fountain pen was standard there. They were I think Pelikan pens with ink cartridges, and I didn't really see any utility in them other than you could pick a nib that interacted with the paper in a way you liked. Since then, we've gotten more sophisticated with ballpoint technology here and so it's much the same now, when it was better then.

I don't know what kind of pen you bought or what the ink situation is like. If you have an inkwell and dipping nibs, just wash out the nibs and they will store fine. The ink might dry out unless you can really seal it. Those cartridges will dry out once punctured, and will get gummy and unusable if stored for a really long time.

My mom had a fountain pen that had a squeeze-bulb internal inkwell. That was interesting. But again, if you don't clean it out, it stops working. And in that case, the rubber of the bulb got old and gave out after a while.

Anyway, I guess you could just look around for a goose farm? You're in an area where such a thing could be gotten. And then you could learn the real use of the proverbial pen knife!
posted by hippybear at 4:38 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Greg_Ace, have you considered looking into dip pens? They're traditionally used for drawing and calligraphy, and they're ridiculously fun. They let you do huge variations in line width, or more controlled, precise lines depending on the nib you use.

I find they're much more fun, and easier to use, than fountain pens. And you can get some amazing inks to use with them too.
posted by MrVisible at 4:40 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]

My reasons for using fountain pens are mostly:

- They make it feel a bit fun and special when I am doing boring everyday writing like to-do lists and meeting notes (especially if I can use a green or purple ink or anything that's more bright and fun than just blue-black)

- The times when I do want to write several pages longhand, fountain pens are easier on my tendons than ballpoints are

- When I want to write a nice card or note to someone, I get better results from a fountain pen than from a ballpoint - they make my handwriting look nicer.

If these are not relevant use cases for you, then yeah, there's probably not much reason to use a fountain pen. I think they're neat, though.
posted by Jeanne at 4:42 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

Aaaagh - I was just about to create this FPP about an incredible video I found:
Snow is a short (7' 46") cinéma pur documentary showing the effects of the 1962-63 freeze on British railways. Its driving soundtrack is a cover of Sandy Nelson's Teen Beat, time-distorted and heavily processed by Daphne Oram
when I found that user nfg posted it back in 2011: Snow (1963) — A stunning mix of spectacle, social commentary, and snowbound trains. | MetaFilter. Dammit, dammit, dammit! Go watch it, it's bloody great.

And yes, I got a new snow shovel today. The one we got in 2003 finally gave up the ghost.
posted by scruss at 5:15 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]

A friend of mine got the lead in a new musical and I went to see it yesterday. I'd forgotten how much I love live theater. Songs were great. Performances were great. Crazy sci-fi comedy romance plot. It was amazing. I'm gonna have to start going to more plays.
posted by downtohisturtles at 5:45 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

scruss: it's okay to repost something that is 12 years old.
posted by hippybear at 6:37 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]

What hippybear said.
posted by taz at 10:07 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]

My father once got me a fountain pen for Christmas - nothing fancy - because he was under the impression I was already a fan of them. I'd never used one before and was a bit baffled, but agreed to give it a try.

I now own three more of the same brand in various colors.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:53 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

Thank you, taz for keeping the free thread flowing. I love it. I don't always have much to say but I visit, read and leave encouraged, amused, uplifted and comforted by the sense of a community at ease, chatting over the fence about this that and the other, before getting back to business with a smile.
posted by dutchrick at 5:55 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]

I went through a cheap fountain pen phase back in the late 80's in high school, that's when my notebooks were filled with green and pink and purple and whatnot. Now I stick to Uniball JetPens which are (hopefully still) the bestest always works first try, dries instantly, water/smudge proof ballpoint pen. Next you should go to an art store and get a 'fude' (brush) pen, sorta almost like writing with a brush.... sorta fun to play around with the thick and thin.

My upstairs neighbor has this nasty habit of vacuuming their hardwood floors every weekend (and sometimes mid-week). Do people really upright rolling vacuum hardwood floors? My passive aggressive side wants to go and buy them a big dust mop and leave it by their door. WTF vacuuming hardwood floors. They also have some appliance of some sort that runs for long periods of time and generates this low level hum of vibration for like two minutes, then cycles off for like 10 seconds, and then starts up again! Luckily that nuisance noise sorta just fades into the background. The vacuum thing is horrible,
posted by zengargoyle at 6:03 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

downtohisturtles: I'd forgotten how much I love live theater.

I went to see "Hamilton" in Boston last week with my youngest child, who is a teen newly-besotted with musical theater, having seen her first live show -- again, "Hamilton" -- about ten days earlier.

We won the lottery for tickets, so it was only $10 each, and we sat in the front row! (Apparently the ticket lottery in the app always gives out the front two or three rows. WTH? Anyway, I'm not saying no.)

We had all watched the Disney movie version two years ago, but being in the theater just yards from the actors (and a few feet above the orchestra members!) is so powerful and immediate. We made eye contact with the actors when they delivered lines because I guess they have to look somewhere, and it just shivered me. Forget the people who appeared in the movie and on Broadway: these people are the real cast to me now!

Friday my daughter had nothing to do so she wrote the cast a long letter about how awesome they are, and made a postcard for them to send back to her. We mailed it all off on Saturday so I hope they are reading it today, and knowing how much they moved her. :7) It's stamped & pre-addressed, so I am really hopeful that they write her a quick note and drop it in the mail before the show closes here this weekend.

Anyway, musicals: so great.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:09 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]

Just found out a close old friend died suddenly Sunday morning at 42...I'm 5 days older than her. We were never lovers but we slept in the same bed for months when we were illegally living in an art studio in a warehouse before that area became gentrified. It's like a physical connection to my past is now an ethereal connection and I feel unmoored.

Just trying to navigate a workday without (too many) tears right now.
posted by schyler523 at 6:31 AM on March 7 [10 favorites]

My upstairs neighbor has this nasty habit of vacuuming their hardwood floors every weekend (and sometimes mid-week). Do people really upright rolling vacuum hardwood floors?

*raises hand* What else would you do to clean a floor....?

My passive aggressive side wants to go and buy them a big dust mop and leave it by their door.

A dust mop would just....push dust around. And that dust needs to go someplace when it's finished. It seems you would simply be trading "I don't like the noise when my neighbor vacuums" for "I don't like the clouds of dust that drift down at me when my neighbor has to shake out the dust mop".

.....You sound like a peachy neighbor, buddy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on March 7

That's not how dust mops work. They grab the dust, for a good while, then you wash them and they're good as new.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:23 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

Well, earplugs are probably cheaper than dust mops anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:27 AM on March 7

Not if you get; decent ones and have to remember to put them in before bedtime to not be woken up in the morning, or want to actually watch TV or listen to music while upstairs goes "brrr, rolll,, brrr, whish, whoosh, brrrr, rumble, etc." for a couple hours while they vacuum the whole apartment.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:31 AM on March 7

Knocking on the door and having a conversation with them is free and probably best of all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

I vacuum hardwood floors because cat and dog hair.
posted by Mitheral at 8:51 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]

Oh, totally. But it takes 20 minutes to vacuum, right? I'm not sure why they'd need hours to do this unless they're putting down a fresh layer of sawdust every day, and if they are, perhaps there are bigger problems.

But it's possible they have no idea how much noise it's making. I lived on the top floor of an apartment building a while back, hardwood floors throughout, and the floor fan I used for gentle white noise every night apparently actually sounded like a 747 engine in the apartment directly below mine. It was months before they said anything and I wish they would have.
posted by mochapickle at 9:07 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]

Sounds like people have never worked in an industrial/commercial setting and used a 3' wide swivel head dust mop. You vacuum all you like and take your time. I can dust off the floor of a grocery store in thirty minutes silently with something that you can shake off a bit outside and eventually replace/watch that can also go under furniture. Do you think your grocery store breaks out the Hoover Upright and vacuums? Can you imagine using a vacuum on a gym floor? Weekly? You're missing out on the efficacy of a decent dust mop if you are vacuuming your hard smooth floors on a routine basis. I wish I had hardwood floors.

Meh, I've lived here for 20 years and have had half a dozen or so next-door neighbors. No worse than the weekly leafblowers or the back-up siren call of trash pick up. There has been worse.... Just really.... vacuum cleaner on hard floor.... you're doing it wrong. the vacuum is the first thing I would ditch if I had hard floors. And it would take much less time and effort.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:48 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

Sounds like people have never worked in an industrial/commercial setting and used a 3' wide swivel head dust mop.

...Hang on a second, you're expecting someone who lives in an apartment to clean their apartment with something more commonly used in an "industrial/commercial setting"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:11 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

They do make, like, Swiffer dust mop things.

If you want to get fancy, they make bare floor vacuums, I think they're called "electric brooms" or something. Those also work.

At the minimum, they need to be turning off the brush on the vacuum cleaner if it has one. Having that on with a bare floor only means you're throwing the dirt to other parts of your floor and capturing very little of it.

This conversation is ridiculous, BTW.
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]

(which may be why they're taking 2 hours to vacuum an apartment)
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]

This conversation is ridiculous, BTW.

(which may be why they're taking 2 hours to vacuum an apartment)

You're suggesting they're trying to drown out the noise of this conversation?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:56 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]

Bondcliff's AskMe question about static in his house inspired me to come up with this - more poetic than scientifically accurate, but you get the idea:

My Favorite Stings*

Two materials with collision/separation,
Intense electric fields and high energy radiation,
Cutting and friction and rapid heat change,
These are the things that make static so strange

* (or Clings, I can't decide)
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:27 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]

I have been debating and debating what to do about A Situation for literally months. The "due date" for it is at the end of this week. I no longer want to do what I normally did for this thing, but also didn't feel good about completely ignoring it/bowing out officially either. I have now come up with a Compromise Solution (doing a little token something, but nothing as involved as I used to do) and put it into the mail before I could change my mind. Hopefully that keeps me on token good terms without blowing everything up in a giant I QUIT, and also that I hopefully stop dreaming, feeling angsty, feeling guilty, etc. about the whole thing now. I'm tired of worrying about it. So, good job, me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:18 PM on March 7 [5 favorites]

I got a random punch in the social gut today but got some major closure out of it.

Last night I was working on a car and managed to clobber myself in the upper lip with a pair of pliers

While lying on the couch I dropped a laptop on my upper lip. There’s gonna be a scar.
posted by bendy at 4:04 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]

Have told this story before, am telling it again -

About 20 years ago I was working on a play that used the entire performance space (the audience sat in a ring in the center of the room, and actors could be doing their thing inside the ring or outside it), so we had to do a sweep of the whole space to set up ad hoc "backstage areas" in bathrooms, closets, alcoves, and whatnot. I went into one closet to tidy it up - and for reasons I am still not clear on, there was a rake lying on the floor, right in my path.

And thus - you know that thing from cartoons where someone steps on the head of a rake lying on the ground, and it makes the handle flip up and whang them in the face? That actually happened to me. It hurt, but I cracked up because "holy hell I've been seeing this on like Bugs Bunny and The Simpsons forever, I didn't think it was real".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:35 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]

I got hit in the face with an axe once.

Or, to be more specific, there was a day when I was tasked with assembling the hand-cranked carousel at a renaissance festival in the midwest a long time ago. A particularly rainy day. But we were opening that weekend, so it had to be done. I found myself in the shallow ditch we'd dug, knee deep in mud, trying to haul a support into place so that the guy working with me could put a carriage bolt through the frame, but it was impossible to keep the force on it that was necessary while keeping it still.

I know, I thought. I'll use the handle of this handy throwing axe, which was basically just a thick metal tube with dull blades welded to it, as leverage. So I crammed the handle under the frame and it lifted the boltholes into place precisely. And just as the first bolt was put in place, the axe handle slipped, and since I was pulling up on it hard it slammed right into my face, the blade of the axe leaving a three-quarter inch gash in my upper lip.

It healed well, and is barely visible. If anyone asks, I got hit in the face with an axe.
posted by MrVisible at 6:48 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

I knocked out a molar stepping on a rake. Luckily it wasn't a permanent tooth.
Speaking of which, I am off to get my first teeth cleaning since the pandemic. Wish me luck.
Is the floor cleaning poll still open? Put me down for using a broom, then a sponge mop.
posted by TrishaU at 7:29 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

Update: ah... minty fresh... no startling news from the x-rays, just extra attention on the lower teeth, a bit of grinding on a particularly sharp molar (children, stop chewing ice cubes!) and a wash and rinse. Excellent detailing.
Don't forget to floss.
posted by TrishaU at 9:59 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Glass dip pens ♡

Moving right along mopping, I use a Swiffer mop stick, but I use a folded cloth with soapy water , stuck in the corners, instead of the disposable Swiffer products. If you want to get really easy, use just hot water, on the cloth, and cleaning spray on the floor. It is fast, and works well, and cheap. I have been using the Swiffer stick for 20 years, and the same cloths, old blue surgical cloths. Don't panic, someone I know used to run the sterility tests for these. Once the bale was opened for testing, they couldn't be used again. So, I am still benefitting.
posted by Oyéah at 12:32 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]

Is the floor cleaning poll still open? Put me down for using a broom, then a sponge mop.

I didn't want to start a poll, so much as push back on the notion that a person deserved to be shamed for a perfectly sensible choice of tool, as opposed to simply having a chat with them about the timing of its use.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:48 PM on March 8

Much as I appreciate y'all's enthusiasm, the notion of replacing a simple ballpoint/gel pen with a fussy dip or brush pen for everyday writing tasks seems unrealistic. Not to repress you crazy arty Mefites, I support you doing your thing! Nevertheless I shan't be joining you.

On the other hand, I've been doing more research and found that it's possible to put a more flexible nib on the inexpensive fountain pen I bought and get the kind of line expression I expected in the first place...and without breaking the bank! Hoping I can be satisfied with that, settle for a few small bottles of ink in various useful colors, and avoid the deeper rabbit hole of fountain pen obsession.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:18 PM on March 8

Cuban mop.

My pseudo-roomba has a mop function - water tank and everything - someday when there’s less stuff on my floor I’ll mop everything.
posted by bendy at 4:12 PM on March 8

someday when there’s less stuff on my floor

I have never in my life lived a life where a roomba would be able to deal with how I use my floor. It's another surface. Things stack on it, pile on it. I would need a better robot vacuum friend than a roomba.
posted by hippybear at 5:25 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]

Later night thoughts...

Hear me out...

Janelle Monaé and Saul Williams and Questlove

Doing some kind of project together.

No clue what, but this cannot be a bad idea. Can it?
posted by hippybear at 8:35 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Depends - does it involve a mop, or a vacuum cleaner?
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:25 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Two or three years ago I switched my cell carrier from a hideously evil telecommunications company to one that is less palpably evil and charges me about 40% as much every month: we will call them $COMPANY. My stepdaughter was already a customer with $COMPANY and added me to her plan, I guess; when my bill arrived every month it was addressed to “Dear (Stepdaughter)”, although it came to my e-mail address, which is literally (my name)@outlook.com, and has been paid every month by me, with my full name again on the credit card account. All attempts to rectify this have been unsuccessful so I just shrugged and ignored this.

Three weeks ago my cell rang. It showed that it was $COMPANY calling, and the caller asked if they could speak to my stepdaughter. I told them this was not the right number, and then they asked what my name was. I told them that if indeed this was $COMPANY, then they should know this already.

Two days ago I went to pay my latest phone bill. I discovered my login no longer worked. No message saying this; just a perpetual little icon showing it was still connecting.

After maybe ten minutes of no progress, I tried their support line, which is available only via chat. I found myself typing with someone who identified herself as Arianne, and who assured me we’d get it squared away at once.

After multiple confirmations of my name and phone number, she let me know that it was not the name on the account. A question or two revealed that it was that of my stepdaughter, which I of course suspected already.

Arianne said she’d be happy to add my name to the account, but first she’d have to get permission from my daughter. “Stepdaughter,” I pointed out. Was my daughter there? “Stepdaughter, and no, she is not.” This was of course true.

Well, we will have to call your daughter and get her permission to add you to the account. “Stepdaughter, and feel free.” Okay, we just need your daughter’s phone number. “Stepdaughter, and I am sure you have it already. She has been a customer for maybe five years.” Excellent; can you provide it please?

“I am not sure I follow this, Arianne — $COMPANY has no way to locate the number of a customer except by having a third party provide it?” No, we have it, but we need you to provide it so we can find it. “Well... I am just trying to pay my bill as I have done, in full and on time, every month for years on end. Not sure why you need her as well.” Okay but we need to talk to your daughter so we can add you to the account. “Stepdaughter, and as I said, you can call her.” We cannot contact a customer without permission. “You have my permission, and in any event, three weeks ago $COMPANY was trying to reach her on my my line, which you thought was hers.” If we can get your daughter’s number, we wouldn’t have to contact her every time you pay your phone bill. “Stepdaughter, and you have never needed to before.” We have no way of verifying your relationship to her unless we talk to her. “Okay, please do so.”

Arianne began to show some cracks, some 45 minutes into our conversation. I think we are just going around in circles here, she stated. I tried a new tack: “Okay, let’s start again — there is a typo in the name on my account. Weirdly, my name is being misspelled so it reads precisely the same as my stepdaughter’s”. (Arianne did not go for this.)

Eventually Arianne admitted that I could pay my bill through their toll-free number, which I then did while still on the chat. I noticed that unlike every other time I had paid my phone bill, I did not receive an e-mailed receipt. A full hour into her attempts to keep me from paying my phone bill, Arianne admitted that she was not going to win me over to giving $COMPANY information that they already had, and began deploying scripted lines: we regret that your call did not have the result you hoped for. “What I hoped for was to pay my bill. Did this happen or no? I think I paid it but I have seen no receipt.”

Anyway, this morning I checked my account. It shows a balance due of $0.00. Still no receipt, and no activity on my credit card. My daughter stepdaughter contacted $COMPANY this morning and changed it all to my name... we think.

I guess I will see what happens when my next bill arrives.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:50 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]

So late in March, I was beating myself over the head because I realized my calendar icon on my phones home page had the correct day. So I told my friend about this, all sheepish, that I had never noticed the correct date is there and I don't have to tap the icon to find it out. So today, I look at the icon and the date is the 27th. I am like hum? Then I realize, I realized this realization on the 27th of February, and the calendar is like the broken clock, which is right twice a day, only the calendar icon always says the 27th, so it is like the broken calendar which is right only once a month. I got back to my friend, because, you know, sometimes, laughs are hard to come by.
posted by Oyéah at 5:16 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]

ricochet biscuit,

Something similar happened with me, although it was the big blue evil telecom company.

If your situation doesn't get resolved, file a complaint here.

After a complete fiasco of a mess up by my ISP (not the same company as above), this was about the only legitimate way I could get them to respond and address the problem. It seems the telcos very much dislike getting inquiries from this particular government agency.
posted by sardonyx at 9:02 AM on March 10


I am on my phone and switched from Modern view to old view so I could make a Fanfare post. How do I switch BACK?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:29 PM on March 12


You switched.

I'm so sorry.

You don't know what you've unleashed in your life.

But there is no going back.
posted by hippybear at 5:25 PM on March 12

EmpressCallipygos, go under the Customization page. In the first box, Display Settings, there should be a section that lets you pick from between Modern, Modern Dark, Classic and Plain. On my (laptop) system the images are broken, but you want to click the space above Modern, I think.
posted by JHarris at 6:06 PM on March 13

I was on my phone - turns out all I had to do was log out and log back in on my phone and that took care of it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on March 14

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