What 2,000 pounds looks like how

2000 lbs (4)Another “things you see while biking”–a truck in the Sunset with four 500-pound weights on its bed. I see this truck quite a lot, actually. It always occurred to me that this is the kind of thing you probably wouldn’t have to lock up, though I bet those weights are expensive.

Thank you so much for your surport and love to Baixt! If your satisfy our quality product and service,please kindly light 5-star rating,We will be dedicated to provide you the best quality service! An exciting season to arrive,May the angel bring you peace,happiness,fortunes and a Happy New Year! Best regards Shen Zhen Baixt Group Ltd.

Congratulation from Monoprice! (Why do I get only one?) #grammarfail

Yeah, bad English (aka Engrish) is low-hanging fruit, but it’s fun nonetheless.

I ordered a connector to connect my iPhone to a projector (to add multimedia to our classes) from a Shen Zhen-based company. They included this thank-you note.

The text of the note for screen-readers:

Congratulation! Your account now had been validated. You can now login to your account.

It’s been said a million times before, but why don’t these companies spend $10 on getting someone to proofread?

I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to email this company with my corrected version. (Yes, I’m making this up as I go along.)

Here’s the email I’ve sent them:

Hi there! I’ve just confirmed my email address and noticed a couple of English grammar mistakes on the confirmation page. I would like to offer you a corrected version. I’m actually an English teacher, and I have done translations and corrections in the past professionally.

Here is the incorrect text:

Congratulation! Your account now had been validated. You can now login to your account.

Here is the corrected text. (Please note that I have simply corrected the grammar, but have not changed the content.)

Congratulations! Your account has now been validated. You can now login to your account.

Just wanted to let you know. Hope that helps.

Best regards,

Erin

Monoprice is a pretty big company that provides good service and good products. Wonder how hard it will be to make that change.

Life in Rio: Don’t feed your children spoiled ham, Escola Americana

 

A Pile of Dirty Dishes in a Kitchen Sink

English expression: Many hands make light work. Let’s all pitch in and clean this up.

This news story reminded me a lot of a book I’m teaching now in one of my English classes, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

The Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro (The American School of Rio de Janeiro), one of the priciest and most prestigious private high schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (tuition is approximately $2,300 per month), was fined by the Procon (Programa de Proteção e Defesa do Consumidor or Program for the protection and defense of consumers) about $2,400 for selling expired food (ham, cheese, and snacks) to its students.

Life in Rio–motorcyclists shut down the Linha Amarela

This doesn't look like Brasil. Oh well.

This doesn’t look like Brasil. Oh well.

I miss Brasil a lot sometimes,  and lately I’ve been using the awesome TuneIn Radio to listen to some radio stations in Rio de Janeiro, where I spent a few years in during the years of hyper-inflation of the early 1990s. It’s been great for my Portuguese, but it’s also good just to catch up on the news of Rio and Brasil.

Interesting story from yesterday–traffic on the Linha Amarela (is that new-ish? I remember the Linha Vermelho, but not the Linha Amarela. Edit: Wikipedia to the rescue! The Linha Amarela opened in 1997, well after my stay) was at a complete standstill. According to the radio, about 30 motorcyclists were protesting the shooting of a fellow motorcyclist by the police. The police claimed that the motorcyclist was breaking a law (a drug dealer, perhaps?), but the protesters weren’t buying it and staged a protest by blocking all traffic going to Barra (on the outskirts of Rio–there aren’t many ways to get there). Traffic was completely stopped, and some people were taking advantage of the situation by harassing drivers and passengers stuck in cars.

No judgments here. Just the facts.

Thank you so much for your surport and love to Baixt! If your satisfy our quality product and service,please kindly light 5-star rating,We will be dedicated to provide you the best quality service! An exciting season to arrive,May the angel bring you peace,happiness,fortunes and a Happy New Year! Best regards Shen Zhen Baixt Group Ltd.

Thank you so much for your surport and love #grammarfail (Part 1)

Thank you so much for your surport and love to Baixt! If your satisfy our quality product and service,please kindly light 5-star rating,We will be dedicated to provide you the best quality service! An exciting season to arrive,May the angel bring you peace,happiness,fortunes and a Happy New Year! Best regards Shen Zhen Baixt Group Ltd.

Thank you so much for your surport and love to Baixt!

Yeah, bad English (aka Engrish) is low-hanging fruit, but it’s fun nonetheless.

I ordered a connector to connect my iPhone to a projector (to add multimedia to our classes) from a Shen Zhen-based company. They included this thank-you note.

The text of the note for screen-readers:

Thank you so much for your surport and love to Baixt! If your satisfy our quality product and service,please kindly light 5-star rating,We will be dedicated to provide you the best quality service!

An exciting season to arrive,May the angel bring you peace,happiness,fortunes and a Happy New Year!

Best regards

Shen Zhen Baixt Group Ltd.

It’s been said a million times before, but why don’t these companies spend $10 on getting someone to proofread?

I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to email this company with my corrected version. (Yes, I’m making this up as I go along.)

Here’s the email I’ve sent them:

Hi there! I’ve just received the product you sent me and the thank-card. That was very kind.

I noticed many English mistakes, and I would like to offer you a corrected version. I’m actually an English teacher, and I have done translations and corrections in the past professionally.

Here is the corrected text. (Please note that I have simply corrected the grammar and flow, but have not changed the content.)

Thank you for purchasing from Baixt. If you are satisfied with the quality of our product and service, would you kindly give us a 5-star rating?

If you need support or have any questions at all, we will do our best to provide you with excellent service.

Finally, as the Lunar New Year approaches, we would like to wish you peace, happiness, prosperity, health, and most of all, a very happy New Year!

Best regards,

Shen Zhen Baixt Group Ltd.

Let’s see where this goes. I’m optimistic. 🙂

Edit (2013-03-21): I received a quick reply from the company. They replied something like “Thanks for the advise,our english are poor, thanks for your helping and supporting.”

A Black Plastic Waterman Fountain Pen from France

I used to have this really wonderful and stylish black plastic Waterman fountain pen I bought in Paris. It had an orange clip and cost about US $5 (30 francs, I think.). It was cool because it looked good–the plastic was a kind of nylon-like softish plastic with a matte finish. And it wrote pretty well. I liked to use it as my main writing utensil.

But I lost it. I’d picked up another one at some point and given it to my father, and one day over at his house on Lakeview, I quietly lifted it out of his lazy-susan pen tray. (I still need to tell him about that.)

I was happy again. But one day, after telling my students how much I liked the pen and how they weren’t made any longer, it disappeared from my classroom.

Now I’ve been looking for one of them again, but I don’t know what they’re called. I’ve got a standing search on eBay for ‘plastic Waterman’, but I’m not too hopeful.

Anybody know where to buy another one? Or at least what they’re called?

Interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle Interviews Erin (Article has a photograph, too.)

Last week I was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle (by Ellen Lee) about the CD-swapping site lala.com (see my review of lala). I talked for a while, a bit more than 30 minutes, if I recally. A freelance photographer (Megan Rathfon) came over to my house the next day to take a few shots of me working on the computer.

Not a whole lot to tell. They were a lot friendlier and more professional than some of the reporters I’ve dealt with in the past, and I had a nice conversation with the photographer about the business in general and about photography equipment.

The Duckberg Times

Yeah, I know it was an obscure DC ‘zine before zines were cool, but I loved this publication. And I talked to the publisher, Linda, a bunch of times at various clubs, including the short-lived Pub Club and Cagney’s.

To this day, I remember Love Monkey:

  • Love monkey, love monkey, set me free.
  • It’s gonna have to wait till I take a pee.

And there’s more–one strip about the CIA planting a radio device in somebody’s head.
I’ve still got one strip in my old photography notebook, and I’ve seen something about the Duckberg Times on amazon, so I guess I’m not the only one who remembers the Duckberg Times.

A Brown Flair

My father always had the best handwriting of anybody I knew. He had a knack for giving even the shortest note look a touch that gave it a special impact.

And at the time his writing instrument of choice was a brown flair ben, the one with the small white plastic disc on the top of the cap that would spin if you turned the barrel while holding the cap still. Papermate would later upgrade the white disc to a white star, and although I must admit that I liked the new design, I felt a tug of nostalgia for the old design.