WDYS — The Sinkhole

“I told you that you shouldn’t build your house on this particular site,” the architect told Frank as the two of them were assessing the damage to the partially sunken house. “This area is known to be a liquefaction zone.”

“I don’t know what that means,” Frank’s said, “but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me and I’m not going to like it.”

“Liquefaction occurs when saturated or partially saturated soil substantially loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress, such as shaking during an earthquake. When that happens, the soil, which ordinarily is a solid, behaves more like a liquid,” the architect explained. “Because this area is prone to earthquakes, which cause the ground to oscillate, the land is unstable.”

“You never told me that my house would fall into what amounts to a giant sinkhole in the ground,” Frank. “I’m going to sue the shit out of you.”

“Good luck with that Frank,” the architect said. “I sent you a written report in which I did warn you that this property was in a liquefaction zone and I recommended months before you started to break ground on your house that you needed to find a different piece of property, one that was not in a liquefaction zone,” the architect said, “but you rebuffed my recommendation and insisted on building here on this site because you liked the view. How do you like it now, Frank?”

“So what am I going to do?” Frank asked. “My beautiful new home is ruined.”

“I think you need to call your homeowners insurance company, Frank,” the architect said. “Good luck with that.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Lance Anderson @ Unsplash. Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (particular), The Daily Spur (feeling), Ragtag Daily Prompt (oscillate), Word of the Day Challenge (month), and Your Daily Word Prompt (rebuff).

More of Rory’s Random Questions — Double Shot

So Rory, over at A Guy Called Bloke, periodically posts a series of silly and/or intriguing random questions and I’m going to respond to two such series of questions in this post. Because why not?

The first set of questions were posed on February 11th and came from what he called “Season 4 — Game 2.”

1. Favorite pizza topping?

Mushrooms and Pepperoni.

2. What do you do too much and too little of today?

Today? I guess responding to Rory’s Fun Questions posts and not spending enough time writing my own posts.

3. Do you live by the 2 second rule when it comes to dropped food on the floor? [As in if food drops to the floor do you eat it or bin it?]

I actually answered this in my response to Melanie’s Share Your World post today, only she referred to it as the 5 second rule. So if you really want to know my answer, go read it here.

4. Have you ever fooled around with electric wires and tripped you as in received a shock if yes, what were you doing?

Yes, I used to rewire antique light fixtures as a bit of a hobby when we owned a 120-year-old Victorian house back east. I’d buy the old light fixtures on eBay, but many required rewiring, so even though I’m not an electrician, I would do that. And on several occasions, when I connected the light fixtures to the receptacle in the ceiling and had my wife flick the switch, I got a bit of a shock because I had screwed up the wiring.

5. Are you a plate licker?

Not since I was about five years old.

6. What time do you normally retire to bed for the night, or try to anyway?

I generally get in bed at around 10 or 10:30, but then I spend an hour or so catching up on posts that showed up in my WordPress Reader that I hadn’t gotten a chance to read during the day.

7. How many blue elephants would it take to change a red lightbulb in the green toilet?

I’d be tickled pink to give you an answer, but I’ve never seen a blue elephant nor a green toilet. But I did see a lot of red light bulbs when my wife and I went to Amsterdam on our honeymoon. But I was on my honeymoon, for crissake, so all I could do was look.

I responded to Rory’s February 17th Season 4 — Game 3 questions here. So let me move on to his most recent set of questions in Season 4 — Game 4.

1. Are you happy with all your body parts?

Well, given my advanced age, I suppose, for the most part, I am. I do wish I could hear again out of my left ear, and that I could taste food again, and that my eyesight was better, and that I could do some of the things I could do as a younger man. But hey, I’m alive and, overall, I’m in good health and decent shape, so far be it from me to complain.

2. What is the worst song ever?

This one:

3. What’s the strangest culinary thing you have ever done with a bowl of fruit?

Um, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything strange with a bowl of fruit. But it’s something to consider. I might have to put that on my bucket list.

4. What’s the sauciest/naughtiest thing you have ever done with whipped cream?

Please refer to my answer to number 6 and use your imagination.

5. Okay, you have been tasked with inviting 7 famous yet dead people to your dinner party – who is on your list and more importantly why those 7?

Famous “yet dead” people. I guess my answers must exclude famous people who were once dead but are no longer dead. Okay, in no particular order

  • J.R.R. Tolkien — I’d just like to have him tell me about how he conjured up the Middle Earth and all who inhabited it.
  • Isaac Asimov — One of my favorite science fiction writers.
  • My father — He wasn’t famous (except, perhaps to me), but I’d love to ask him questions about his life that I was too self-obsessed to ask him when he was still alive.
  • John Lennon — What a talented singer and song writer.
  • Sean Connery — One of my favorite actors. I’d just want to talk to him to hear his voice.
  • Jesus Christ — I know this is surprising coming from an atheist like me, but I’d love to get him to tell me, once and for all, if he was a mere mortal or was actually the son of God, who I don’t believe exists. That would be one hell of a conversation, right?
  • Charles Darwin — I’d like to ask him his take on those who poo-poo his theory of evolution with stupid statements like, “How can we have evolved from monkeys when monkeys still exist?

6. What goes up but never down until it stops?

Please refer to my answer to number 4 and use your imagination.

7. If I have a head, a foot and four legs what am I?

The only thing I can thing of is a bed.

A Month of Love #22

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.

I was raised in Maryland and one of the best aspects of living in Maryland was the Chesapeake Bay. And one of the best things about the Chesapeake Bay was blue crabs. Now, living in Northern California, I can get dungeness crabs, and I can get Alaskan king crab legs, but there are no Chesapeake blue crabs around this area. Fortunately, I did find a website that will delivery blue crabs from Maryland to virtually anywhere in the country overnight, but it’s very expensive, so I only do that maybe once or twice a year for special occasions. Because I love blue crabs.

TMP — Being Seen

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has perused my blog over the past four months that my rant today is about WordPress. On November 3rd last year, I wrote a post, “Another WordPress Bug,” in which I pissed and moaned about how WordPress had released an update to its iOS app for the iPhone. That release, version 16.0, had a bug in it.

When I went to my reader and then click to visit posts, I could no longer “like” certain posts. And if I tried to comment on those posts, it didn’t recognize that I was logged onto the app and it asked me to enter my name, email address, and blog URL. And sometimes, even when I did that, I still was unable to leave a comment. I’d never had to do any of that before from within the WordPress app on my iPhone.

Of course I’ve exchanged dozens of emails with the WordPress Happiness Engineers, who have assured me that they’re working on a fix. Almost four months have elapsed since that release and every time WordPress issues a new release, I get my hopes up that the bug will have been fixed.WordPress just released version 16.7 and, once again, my hopes have been dashed. The annoying, frustrating bug persists. But one of the “enhancements” introduced in version 16.7 is described as this…

We continue to improve the experience in your Reader, and you can now mark posts as “seen” as well as view your total of “unseen” posts.

Okay, what does that mean? Why would I want to mark posts as “seen”? Does that send a notification that to the blogger who wrote the post that I’ve seen it? Here’s an example of what it looks like:I can also mark a post I’ve seen as “unseen.”So much for the old saying that once you’ve seen something you can’t un-see it.

I’m hoping that someone out there can explain to me what the purpose of marking a post as “seen” or “unseen” could possibly be.

And I’m going to contact the Happiness Engineers and link to this post and ask them if they can explain how this new “feature” improves the Reader experience, and, more important, why they’re focusing their efforts on seemingly unnecessary features and not on fixing that goddam bug!

Share Your World — Butt Dialing and the Five Second Rule

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and that means Melanie is up to her Share Your World questions once again. So let’s get to sharing, shall we?

Have you ever ‘butt dialed” someone?

I do keep my iPhone in my back hip pocket, but I don’t think I’ve ever butt dialed anyone with it…at least not that I know of. There have been occasions, though when I’ve been working on a draft post on my iPhone, and I have to get up and do something in the middle of my drafting, like, perhaps, feed the cat, and I’ll stick the phone in my pants pocket. When I pull the iPhone out of my pocket, I might see some words that I didn’t type show up in the draft. So if you see a typo or a misplaced, random word in one of my posts, it’s probably because I had to feed the cat while writing it.

If you were given 1000 acres of land, what would you do with it?

That would depend upon where it was. If the land was in the middle of nowhere, I might do nothing with it. If it was an idyllic location with a babbling brook in a wooded area on the side of a mountain, I might erect a cabin on the land and go there when I wished to get away from it all. If the land was in an undeveloped suburban area, I might take the 1,000 acres and subdivide it into 200 five acre lots and sell them off to a developer, keeping one five acre lot for me and my wife, and one each for my two kids.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on-line recently?

The cartoon I posted in answer to Melanie’s first question.

Have you ever eaten something off the floor? ‘5 second’ rule applies or not (the ‘5 second rule’ is that if you pick up the dropped food within a set time frame, it’s still ‘clean’ and you can safely eat it)?

It depends upon what it is and where it dropped. But if I determine that eating something solid — like a French fry or a potato chip or a cookie — that fell on the floor is unlikely to cause severe gastrointestinal distress, I would probably eat it. That is, if my dog, when she was alive, didn’t get to it first. She was very quick.