Here are a few more random things I’ve noticed while stuck (mostly) at home during this pandemic.
The 7-Eleven Clerk
On my morning walks, I stop at a 7-Eleven about a mile from the house and pick up an orange juice for my walk home. I’m usually there early, and the same clerk is there every morning. Sometimes, he makes some strange observations.
- I was wearing a new t-shirt I’d gotten when visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The t-shirt says “National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020.” Upon seeing the new t-shirt, the clerk said to me, “Hey, congratulations! Is that where you graduated from?”
- Another time, I wore a t-shirt with a map of the continental United States printed on the front. As I was checking out, he said, “You know the United States looks nothing like that? It’s all wrong.” I walked away puzzled. Was he referring to the projection used?
Counting the Years
- Why do we leave the “hundred” out when we say the year? If I want to say that this laptop costs $1,999, I say, “Nineteen hundred ninety nine.” If I want to tell someone how many United miles it is from Dulles to Los Angeles, I’ll say it’s “twenty-two hundred and eighty-eight miles.” It would sound weird if I said, “It’s twenty-two eighty-eight miles.” But when we say the year, we leave out the hundred. My grandfather was born in “Nineteen twenty” not “Nineteen hundred twenty.” I graduated from college in nineteen ninety-four. Today is the nineteenth day of August in twenty twenty-one.
- Some people use the term “ought” when referring to years, as in, “The Wright Brothers made their historic flight in nineteen ought three. The Red Sox won the series in twenty ought four. Ought sounds antiquated to me.
- Other people leave the zero out entirely. Wilbur and Orville made their flight in nineteen-three. Some people believe the millennium began in two-thousand one. Why does two-thousand one sound fine, but nineteen three sound weird?
- And why “two-thousand” anything? I thought we were doing the twenty twenty-one thing? Saying nineteen hundred seventy two just sounds pretentious.
- Since Y2K was mostly a bust, I think we should go back to using double-digits to refer to years in the current century, as in: I started this blog back in oh-five.
Social media seems anything but
Remember when Facebook was mostly just a list of updates and photos from friends and family and the worst complain you had was about how that one friend (you know the one) who always dressed up their baby in Star Trek outfits? The “social” part of social media was getting to see what your friends and family were up to an interacting with them through comments and like. Now, the updates from friends and family are spaced between things are aren’t really social at all. Going through my current Facebook feed, these include:
- An ad for Postlite Catalyst
- An ad for ClickUp, which is a weird name for a company because it sounds a lot like hiccup, and everyone in the IT world knows that a “hiccup” is never a good thing. I can see it now: “I’m experiencing a hiccup with ClickUp”
- An ad for Moleskine, which seems to be begging people to get off their computers an use real notebooks again. But of course, if we weren’t on our computers, we wouldn’t see the ad.
- A whole bunch of random videos calls Reels, which I think are videos where people do “reely” dumb things. When did Reels start?
Every now and then, between these ads and strange videos, I see some social updates from friends or family.
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