Tuesday, March 7 2023
This morning Gretchen took Oscar to the Petco so surgery could be done on his mouth, which is a "total tear-down" of bad teeth. $1800 later, she went to pick him up at 4:00pm, and when she released him from his carrier in the laboratory, he was in such a foul mood that he immediately went off to hide in the darkest corner of the laboratory (the southeast one). Oscar was supposedly missing six teeth already at the beginning of the surgery, and supposedly the surgeon removed nine more. Bear in mind that a cat with all his teeth has thirty of them.
Gretchen will be spending the next several days in Seattle attending a writers' conference. But this evening when she went to check-in for her flight, she was alarmed to discover that the flight had been canceled. It had actually been canceled back in November, and somehow she'd missed the email they'd sent about it. So then she had to quickly book a flight for tomorrow, a process that was frustrated by a failing Expedia website. She kept entering the same data over and over but Expedia wouldn't go to the next step in the process. Understandably, Gretchen was enraged, shrieking at her computer with a hatred that transcended anything I've ever manifested at technology (but I've been close). This energy was putting everyone on edge, especially Neville, who sometimes responded with barking. Eventually, though, Gretchen managed to get her tickets (both her flights to and from Seattle had been canceled). But then Gretchen had to make a bunch of calls to get a refund for her canceled flights, refunds that mysteriously hadn't been automatic. Perhaps such stochastic income streams (which rely on a certain fraction of people not checking their bank records) is essential for keeping airlines profitable.
Speaking of people not checking on things into which they dump vast amounts of money, I'm still watching YouTube videos showcasing people who stupidly shovel enormous sums of money to romantic partners based only on static images these "partners" have said are of them. The pictures are always of gorgeous Instagram models, and the people being duped are often old, homely, and clearly not that bright. Watching this stuff is a little like watching episodes of To Catch a Predator (which is pretty much how my YouTube addiction began) in that it reminds me that no matter how terrible my life might be, at least I didn't just take out a mortgage on my house, turn it into Bitcoin, and transfer it into the wallet of someone only because she claimed to be the person in a photograph. It's so easy to look up images with Google to quickly determine whether or not they're used by scammers, it's amazing that people aren't willing to undertake such due diligence. Much of what is happening from the victims' perspectives is wishful thinking. They don't want to know that their love interest is a scammer. But when one's life savings is on the line, you would think that a survival mechanism would kick in. The fact that in so many cases it doesn't suggests that our brains really aren't all that well adapted to the present technological environment.
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