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Retail: The Final Frontier

, , , , , , , | Working | April 28, 2021

It’s late 2009 and a famous movie rental chain is on its way out, so the local branches are selling off their inventory before they close down for good. I missed seeing the first “Star Trek” reboot movie in theaters, so I decide to see if I can snag a discounted copy of the DVD to watch at home.

For those who don’t follow “Star Trek” closely, the first six movies made in the 1970s to 1990s all had numbers II to VI in their titles, besides the first movie, and they were based on the crew of the original series. The next four movies featured the crew from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and they dropped the movie numbers from the official titles — probably to avoid newer fans of “Star Trek” thinking they needed to watch six older movies to catch up before seeing “Star Trek Generations” in theaters.

Since the first of the reboot movies was just called, “Star Trek,” fans sometimes refer to it as “Star Trek XI” to identify what we are talking about.

The store is pretty cluttered as they have been working to get rid of as much stuff as possible.

Me: “Excuse me, do you have any copies of Star Trek XI left?”

Employee #1: *Confused* “There were only six Star Trek movies ever made.”

Me: “No, there’ve been eleven. There’s a mural dedicated to the latest one right behind you!”

The employee slowly turns around to look at the entire wall of the store with the new NCC-1701 painted on it before slowly turning back to stare at me, confused.

Employee #2: “He’s talking about the new one that came out last summer.”

Employee #1: “Oh.”

The first employee went into a closet and retrieved the DVD I requested, which I then purchased.

Shot Her Down With Laser Focus

, , , , , , | Related | April 17, 2021

As a kid, I was always a geek. I had a love of math and science and was an avid reader. However, despite my excessive reading, I’m only an average speller at best, while my mother and sister are great at it and love all kinds of word games. Thus, when they both insist on playing Scrabble, I join them begrudgingly, knowing I am doomed to be a distant third place in the end.

One turn, my sister puts down “LAZAR” using some of the special locations to get a high score.

Me: “What is a ‘lazar’?”

Sister: “It’s ‘laser.’ You know, like a gun that shoots people with light.”

Me: “Oh, come on. That’s not how you spell ‘laser’!”

Sister: “Sure it is. How would you spell it?”

Me: “It’s spelled L-A-S-E-R.”

Sister: “No. I think it’s a Z?”

Me: “No, I’m quite confident it’s an S.”

Sister: “How do you know? We should check the dictionary.”

Mother suggests, with just a hint of amusement in her voice:

Mother: “Go ahead. Tell her what it means.”

Me: “’Laser’ is an abbreviation for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.’ You can’t Zimulate radiation!”

My sister was indignant but conceded that she must have spelled it wrong without demanding we check the dictionary after that. I had just told my mother the week prior that the book on physics I was reading explained the origin of the term ‘laser,’ so she knew what was coming and was just waiting for my sister to dig herself deeper before speaking up.

I still lost the game, as I had anticipated. However, I felt vindicated that I managed to show my older sister up, even in the game she excelled at, by using the things I was good at: physics and obsessive reading.

Ask Your Local Agent What [Boss Monster] Can Do For You

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 2, 2021

I’m playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends. We’ve spent most of the session clearing out a large dungeon, with bigger and badder enemies on each level, leading to the final level with the boss battle.

Our Dungeon Master likes to set the scene with background music, often using soundtracks from popular video games, as well as more generic atmosphere playlists.  

Dungeon Master: “You enter a large cavern and see a large silver dragon waiting for you…”

He dramatically presses a button on his computer to trigger the boss music. Instead, an ad plays before the video, with an instantly recognizable jingle for a certain insurance company.

Bard: *Not missing a beat* “Like a bad neighbor, [Boss Monster] is there!”

Excuse Me, I Just Gotta Make A Quick Trip To Pennsylvania

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 27, 2021

Jason Momoa is filming a movie in the town where my college is located. I am walking to the main tourist square to grab lunch and I am behind two young men around my age. I happen to overhear their conversation.

Guy #1: “Are you sure this will work?”

Guy #2: “Absolutely! Look he’s like seven feet tall, right? So we’ll easily be able to spot him. Then, we strike up a friendly conversation and invite him out for beers. Next thing you know, we’re best friends with Khal freaking Drogo, man!”

Being A Nerd Pays Off

, , , | Working | February 22, 2021

I work in an office and we have an issue with a client. We haven’t received a payment, so he sends me proof of payment. I contact the bank, but they can’t find the transaction listed. 

When I talk about it during a coffee break, a coworker I barely know and who just started asks if she can see the proof of payment. I don’t know what she can do with it, but since it’s a very large sum, I grasp every straw I can get. 

She takes one look at it, and within ten seconds:

Coworker: “This has been faked.”

Me: “What? Huh? What do you mean?!”

Coworker: “This screenshot has been edited.”

She looks nervous and uneasy, but she points at the big bar on the top.

Coworker: “This bar is missing a few pixels; here, it doesn’t match up. This description is a different font from the rest of the text here. And this zero is slightly lower than the other numbers. There’s also a slightly different hue of white here and here. If you move a bit over here, you can see a few digital brush strokes.”

Me: *Baffled* “How did you spot that?!”

Coworker: “I… ehm… I used to do art on the computer. Pixel art… eh, game sprites. Just for fun. It’s kind of… my thing.”

I don’t get why she was embarrassed but I didn’t press that any further. She saved us a lot of money!


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