What are you smiling about? The Non-Complaint Thread

It looks like salmiakkikossu: a Finnish concotion of vodka in which is dissolved salmiakki/salted (with ammonium chloride) licorice.

It is deep black in color and is delicious. I highly recommend making some if one is of the drinking persuasion, although genuine Finnish salmiakki can be hard to find in the U.S.


Got my second pair of comped shoes this year from work: composite toe waterproof. To my surprise, even in width “D” (i.e., regular), they feel good and roomy about the toebox. Light weight compared to steel toes. And they kind of look like regular trail runners, sort of.

Definitely keepers!


I cleaned my kitchen today! Now, it’s all nice and clean. …of course, I did boil over a pot of water this evening, but I cleaned it up really quickly so that my kitchen can stay clean for a couple of days at least.


It’s probably more than we can afford, but we hire a cleaner now and it has made our lives so much better. To not have to take the time to clean the kitchen and bathrooms… she even polishes the microwave!


I just got a text from Spectrum saying that there will be outages due to an upcoming snowstorm- but we just switched to a local company that has buried fiber and won’t have any outages, so bite me, Spectrum!


“Obviously we can’t know FOR SURE that there will be outages, but… we suck, so…”


I wish more companies would bury utilities. Our fiber is on the same pole as Frontier and Spectrum, and a couple years ago we had a neighbor’s branch come down in a storm and it took out our power, fiber, cable, and phone. Fiber company ended up (with our permission) just cutting the coax and copper at the pole when they restrung the fiber, because it’s all we’re gonna use.


More will, after an EMP takes out the grid.


I’d love to have a dark alley meeting with the idiot who thought it was a good idea to put our power grid up on the air on sticks.

I’m gradually watching all the curbside trees in my town being cut down because they interfere with the wires… which they can’t really avoid doing because there are millions of wires. There’s more than a dozen wires going down the street outside my house. Power, cable, phone… what are the rest for? Why the hell are we still using wires at all in 2023 A.D.?


I do sympathize and I agree that buried cables make way more sense, but I’d just like to ask something.

People often say “It’s [insert whatever year it is here]. Why are we still doing such and such a thing?” Is there some timeline that I’m unaware of that requires certain things to happen at certain times? It seems strange to me to invoke the current year as if we’re late on achieving something. There’s nothing particularly special about the year it is. Yes, there are anniversaries and such that deserve to be celebrated and all that, but 2023 is not inherently somehow better than 2022. Quite frankly, I feel like society is degrading, not getting better. [And getting into why I feel that would probably get me in trouble so I won’t do that. I’ll keep focused on my question.]

And this is a genuine question. Sarcasm and cynicism aside (since I don’t really enjoy feeling cynical), it’s something I’ve wanted to ask every time I see something along those lines posted and this is the first time I felt like I could actually ask without getting someone mad at me for it. :slight_smile:


I read it more as “this should have been standard operating procedure years ago” than “it should have happened by this date in particular.”


That’s how I’ve always seen that “it’s XXXX date” thing, as a way to say something should have been fixed ages ago.

As for the utilities being underground, there are pros and cons of both ways. Above ground is easier to damage but also far easier to fix. Below ground has issues with water and frost and is way harder to find issues and fix them when they do break down.


Note that it’s never followed by “So I guess I’ll bury the power lines,” e.g. It’s a way of eliding the very real resistance to change found in the universe and also assuming that whatever thing is an unalloyed good, but without assuming any responsibility for the thing in question.

(And that’s not a criticism per se, though it might be a cause for reflection in some cases.)

The nice thing about not getting into why is that we can all imagine conflicting "why"s. :wink:


It all has to do with all the “in the year 2000” promises we got during the 20th century. Somehow when we passed that marker, it would be a tech utopia. And people discovered that wasn’t true and it’s fomented bitterness ever since.


I think the “year X” is incidental; what those statements really reflect is a general frustration at how agonizingly slowly humans learn important lessons. I was just a tot in the 70s, but I imagine there were folks saying, “I can’t believe it’s 1970 and we’re only now mandating seat belts in cars.”

The U.S. is probably among the worst offenders. In a society where money is more important than literally anything else (it’s right there in the name, capitalism) – more important than people dying without healthcare, more important than people having a place to live, etc. – it all moves so slowly. It costs much more to bury utilities; more manpower, more equipment, more time. And it costs more to repair it when something breaks. So we kick the can down the road like a schoolchild. Rather than spend $1 million today to bury a neighborhood’s power lines, we’ll hope tomorrow isn’t the day we have to spend $1 billion to do it because of some catastrophe and ensuing lawsuits.


It costs more to bury them when it is new construction. For existing lines, you not only have that cost, but the cost of maintaining the above ground and buried lines until you can decommission the above ground lines.


That wasn’t a problem with fiber being installed because there weren’t above-ground fiber lines. Considering how much of the (large) subdivision is apparently getting it installed in their homes, I don’t know how long the above ground coax will be needed.

We all hate Spectrum.


Burying cables is harder and more expensive for a number of reasons. And if the cables are above ground, they’re much easier to repair. It’s also much cheaper to repair some downed lines here and there than it is to take thousands of miles of lines and move them all underground, especially given how much stuff (pavement, water mains, sewers, other cables, etc etc) there is in the way.

That said, it became clear decades ago that having the lines in the air puts them at much greater risk for damage, leading to costly outages. In the long run, it’s better to bury the cables. It’s 2023. It should have been done a very long time ago.

But, as with many things in life, there’s too much inertia. It’s easy to keep what’s there and patch it ad hoc. It’s difficult and expensive to overhaul things so that they make more sense, even if it’s been abundantly clear for decades that the overhaul would be much better and cheaper in the long run.

Back on topic: After months of being too exhausted and weary to stay vertical for long enough, I managed to cook dinner for myself last week, and again this week. Simple dishes like pizza, vegetable fried rice, and Impossible beef chili. But it’s been good and satisfying.

Also, I’ve been too exhausted and weary to handle company, and my friends are all hundreds of miles away. Other than close (physically, genetically, and emotionally) family coming to visit for an hour or two here and there, I’ve been alone in my apartment for most of the last year. But my best friend is coming to visit for the weekend, and I’m looking forward to that.


Sorry to hear about the exhaustion. I hope it isn’t something health-related like long COVID. I have been through a lot of medications and some of them made me feel like I couldn’t get out of bed.


I’ve been dealing with multiple chronic autoimmune issues (including fibromyalgia, which is basically chronic fatigue syndrome with bonus pain and hypersensitivity) for most of my life. Some years are harder than others. Working with a couple of new docs to see if we can improve matters any.

I and my parents have avoided getting COVID thus far. We’re vaccinated (including with the bivalent omicron booster), but we still wear masks and are careful about how and where we interact with people. We know that even fully vaccinated people can carry and transmit the virus. A recent study showed that if you do get infected your risk of long COVID complications is the same regardless of vaccination status, and that risk rises sharply the more times you get infected. So even if you get a mild breakthrough case, you’re risking permanent damage. I’ve got health issues and my parents have risk factors of their own. We’re fortunate to be able to take proper precautions for ourselves, and we’ve been lucky.


Well I’m glad to hear you’ve got more energy lately. I hope it will continue!