Why can’t I have nice things?

I’ve often asked myself that. Today, however, I am happy to announce I have acquired a nice thing. It’s a monitor/television, depending on what you choose to do with it.

I bought it to finally replace my old monitor. My old one weighs 31 kg or a bit more than 68 lb. I’ve been afraid for years that one day I would place some small item on the desk absentmindedly, such as a pen or coffee mug, and it would prove to be just enough to cause the desk to crack in half. Simply put, the monitor is dangerously heavy. It also probably consumes more electricity than I’d be happy to be aware of.

Here’s what it looks like, finally disconnected and off of my desk:

Despite it’s shortcomings, however, it must be said that CRT has served me well. It only cost 3 USD.

I made a ceremony of unpacking the new monitor. It’s an ASUS VH236H. I’ve never even seen, let alone used, a monitor this large before. I only paid 140 USD for it though, so it wasn’t a bad purchase at all, especially considering how well it’s worked out for me.

But it was because I couldn’t actually mentally picture what a 23 inch monitor would look like that I was so astounded at the size of the box it came in:
New monitor
Opening it slowly, savoring every minute of the experience…
New monitor
New monitor

A nice bonus was that ASUS includes more or less all of the cables and connectors you could possibly require right inside the box:
Box Contents

They included the power cable for the monitor, an audio cable, VGA cable and a DVI cable. The only other thing that might have been useful to include, that I can think of, would be a VGA to DVI adapter, but I already had half a dozen of those lying around.

The monitor itself is pretty damned elegant:
Pretty Monitor
Pretty Monitor

It’s a plug and play monitor. It worked right out of the box without any special drivers or anything for me in Windows 7 64 bit and Windows XP 32 bit. One of the really nice things about this monitor is that, while you have up to three devices connected simultaneously — one via HDMI, one via DVI and one via VGA –, you can cycle through the different inputs using the input select button on the unit itself. This is not just a novelty; it’s incredibly convenient. I hate having to disconnect all devices except for the one that I actually want to use. I like having all of my devices connected simultaneously so that, when I’m ready to use one of them, it’s already connected. I wish my television were like this. My television won’t work with more than one device connected. You need to physically disconnect all but the one device you actually want to use for the television to “activate” that input. If two or more inputs have something plugged into them, none of the inputs work at all. It’s extremely inconvenient. Switching between input devices on the ASUS monitor, however, is, quite literally, as easy as pressing a button.

The picture is just beautiful. Before today, I had never actually seen 1080p in my life, I don’t think (though I have seen 720p), so I’m certainly not qualified to say whether it’s a superior monitor to others that are comparable in price, but as a layperson, I’m still amazed that something like 1080p even exists at all. There’s no word for it other than “breathtaking”.

I haven’t used the speakers on the monitor yet, but from reviews I’ve read, they’re nothing spectacular. I imagine that’s probably true.

People don’t know how to walk in public places

People need to learn how to walk in public places. In particular, people need to learn how to walk in the subway. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the subway, I’m in a fucking hurry. Always. I am always in a fucking hurry. That’s the assumption the public needs to make at all times.

When I’m in the subway, I don’t have time to waste. Or, in other, words, I don’t want to have to concern myself with anything other than getting from the station entrance to the platform as quickly as possible. When you’re too incompetent to walk properly, I don’t want you in my way. Get out of my fucking way.

You should all assume that everybody is on his or her way to meet his or her dying spouse in a hospital bed to hear his or her last words while simultaneously attending his or her son or daughter’s wedding, birth of his or her first child, grandmother’s 100th birthday, college graduation ceremony, eating his or her last meal before being executed, attending junior prom with someone’s attractive 12th grade sister, being awarded the Haffenreffer Award for Excellence in Trigonometry and picking up a +9 SOSun glaive dropped by someone who got PKed while he or she was under murderer status.

If you can still walk so damned slowly in the subway, preventing me from catching my train, while thinking of all that, then you’re more of an asshat than I thought possible and should be banned from public transit.

The 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue F train station is an irritating station. Stepping out of a Queens-bound F train at this station, if one walks at an average pace and does not walk up any of the four escalators, it should take an average person five minutes before reaching the Overworld, where he or she can use a Tent and save his or her progress.

An escalator is wide enough for two King Henry VIIIs to walk abreast of each other. Anyone fatter than King Henry ought to take the stairs, which are significantly wider than escalators and, for this reason, more accommodating to such an individual’s generous carriage.

It is common knowledge that those of us who wish to accelerate our ascent stay to the left of the escalator and walk upwards, while those who wish to spend the full five minutes stand on the right side of the escalator. Walking up an escalator is efficient because it:

    a) Allows the rider to ascend in about half the time of the stairs
    b) Expends the least energy. One can walk up the stairs at a pace of Pace A and reach the surfaceworld in time of Time A, which is less than if one walked at Pace A up the stairs. To reach the surfaceworld in Time A while walking up the stairs, one would have to walk at a pace greater than Pace A. Such a pace expends more energy than walking up the escalator at Pace A and is thus, of lesser efficiency than walking up the escalator

Returning to the original premise of me being in a real fucking hurry, it is rational for me, in an economic sense, to walk up the escalator. However, people don’t know how to walk in public places. Tourists, in particular. Tourists are always standing stock-still like morons on the left side of the escalator as though they’re just trying their damnedest to become strangulation victims.

Proper staircase usage

It’s really not difficult at all. When walking up the escalator, it’s the rule to keep left. When riding up the escalator, it’s the rule to keep right.

We’re living in a society. That word should carry some weight. It should make people think twice before zig-zagging, stopping, starting, turning, stooping, spinning, prancing, skipping, jumping or falling over in public places.

Unfortunately, surfaceworld stumble-bums are even more relentless than the subterranean variety in their propensity to get in my very regal way.

The rules of escalators and staircases extend to the sidewalk. If I’m walking north, I stick to the right side of the street. Those who are headed southbound walk southwards. They are on my left as I walk northwards. No, this is not confusing. If I’m walking south, I, once more, stay to my right. This is the same side of the street that would have been on my left side as I walked northwards. There cannot possibly be any conflict if everybody follows the simple rule of
Keep to the right, morons!

If everybody keeps to his or her right, that eliminates one problem. However, that doesn’t address all of my ambulatory grievances. Even if everybody keeps to his or her right, there’s still the issue of those who walk at an uncivilly sluggish pace or in an erratic manner.

The worst transgression a human being can make is to stop short in a crowded area when people are lined up behind the person in question in single file. When dancing in a conga line, the last thing anyone would dare do would be to stop. If some moron in the centre of the conga line stops to answer his or her mobile telephone, what happens? Everybody behind him bumps into the person one place ahead of them in line, causing whiplash or cracked teeth in the process.

So it doesn’t take a genius to see that stopping in the middle of one of the impromptu conga lines that invariably form when walking down a crowded street is a bad idea. This brings me again to how much I hate tourists. Tourists are always stopping to adjust their visors, which nobody wears unless they are a tourist. In fact, I’m sure that when those tourists go back home, they don’t even wear those visors anymore. It’s a garment only worn while afflicted with the tourist status condition. Once the status condition is cleansed, the player character is automatically disarmed of his or her visor.

In any case, tourists are always stopping in their tracks to adjust their visors, which brings me to my next point: tourists are less intelligent than us normals. Only a moron is incapable of walking and adjusting a visor simultaneously. Ergo, tourists are morons.

I realise, of course, that tourists are like locusts. They’re not particularly fun to have around, but they benefit the local environment in one way or another. They eat weevils or something. I don’t know much about locusts. Tourists, however, patronize our visor shops. Without tourists, visor dealers would be out of a job. So would the garment workers in Bangladesh who manufacture those visors. Tourists are also the only demographic I know of who actually purchase miniature statues of liberty or taxi cab Christmas ornaments.

So when these people stop in a crosswalk to adjust their visors and shorts with twenty people in single file behind them, there is a serious risk of getting hit by a truck. Of course, I would be happy if the tourist got hit by a truck, but with twenty non-tourists behind the tourist, chances are only one in twenty-one that the tourist himself will get hit. I value the lives of non-tourists almost as much as I value my expensive ergonomic mouse; I certainly don’t want to see either non-tourists or my mouse injured.

Therefore, I propose a minimum speed requirement for those who seek permission to walk on public streets. Those who do not meet the speed threshold are barred from public streets and transit. They can ride kangaroos or something until they learn how to walk at a pace that’s not gonna get them murdered by someone.

I was walking down Lexington Avenue today and I was in a hurry. I nearly tripped and broke my face when the guy walking in front of me stopped short. I was about to give him a fistful of righteous justice when I realised that he had only stopped short because the guy in front of him had done so as well. I gazed forward to see what the obstacle down the line was that had caused the queue to malfunction so grievously was and saw that it was two women, both of whom had the appearance of a cross between Gwen Stefani and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. The two of them were lazily idling in the middle of the sidewalk, each with one hand on her hip, both of them making it quite obvious they couldn’t be enjoying their cigarettes more even if they were the last two cigarettes on the planet.

Where do people like this find the hubris to justify their actions!!!???