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My Apple Maps Experience

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Everyone has been complaining about Apple Maps. The iOS 6 replacement for Google Maps is largely seen as a huge blunder made by Apple. The reasons are many and valid. Bus routes have disappeared as well as walking directions. The accuracy of the maps as well as the level of detail of the Apple Maps vs Google Maps isn’t even in the same echelon. Apple tries to keep a lot of the same functionality but with the amount of time and money that Google has invested in their Maps experience, Apple’s departing from this standard was destined from the beginning to be sub-standard.

With that being said, I gave Apple Maps a trial run yesterday.

I used the app to get from the office to the football field where the Duke of Ginger was to be playing football later in the day. The trips was mapped nicely with a voice giving me directions that were accurate. With exception of the very end of the trip where the final destination was not exactly where the app said it was (luckily, I already knew where I was going) the experience was good.

However, the drive home was a different story. Again, I already knew where I was going, but I gave it a try to see how it would perform. While directing me through a sketchy part of town can’t be blamed on the app, the final destination was way off. Check out these two screenshots from my iPhone:

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If you look at the address in the search field and what is on the map, they are not even close. However, this was a problem I experienced with Google Maps as well and this seems, to me, to be related to the convention of the address. The use of hyphens in the address seems to confuse both Google Maps and Apple Maps alike. Once I removed the hyphen in the address, the proper location showed up:

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Okay, so it’s not perfect on the exact location of the destination. However, for the record, the pin location of the arena is correct. It’s the location of George S. Hughes/Southside Arena on the map that is wrong. Tell me how that one works.

I’m going to keep using Apple Maps. It’s not like I am in New York or need it so desperately. This town is small and, for the most part, I know enough for it to tell me where I need to go.

My biggest beef: it doesn’t show the New JeffLand Empire. At all.

Bastards.

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Fucking Teenagers Make Me Poor

Nature has a funny way of getting revenge on us.

When I was 13, perhaps 14, I had a birthday party that consisted of me swimming with my friends and eating at McDonald’s afterwards. I ended up eating 2 – 20 pack boxes of Chicken McNuggets that day. Because I was hungry.

While I’m sure that my birthday meal took six months off of my life expectancy, I was in dire need of sustenance. I don’t recall the cost of a 20 pack of Chicken McNuggets at the time, however I’m sure that it impacted my parents’ wallet. Never mind eating two of them in one sitting.

Now fast-forward to today…

I picked up the Duke of Ginger from his football training camp Day Two just this afternoon. Since he is a teenager, I knew he would be hungry. When we got home I barbecued eight hot dogs so that he could have a bite to eat. I knew I would have a few as well, and he would eat heartily. Just how heartily I didn’t understand.

The little bastard ate five hotdogs with buns and condiments. In one sitting. And then when the Queen got off of work, she took all three boys to McDonald’s for food. I thought that the Duke would be full from the hotdogs. I was wrong.

The Flood

So it was pouring yesterday and I came home to the Prince of Stanley (PoS) and our ex-neighbor, Keaton, goofing it up with the Prince of Albacore (PoA) and the Duke of Ginger (DoG) also doing their own thing. I ate and then did some chillaxing. The DoG was going to go for a run with the Queen’s boss who is a bit of a fitness nut and he come upstairs after changing to go and said, “the PoS and Keaton spilled something in the hallway because there is a bit wet spot in the carpet.”

My heart skipped a beat.

This sounds like the last couple of times that our sump pump cratered on us and I noted some weird behavior over the weekend of the hose that runs from the pump discharge to the lawn. I ran downstairs to try and figure out if we were having an issue. Sure enough, we were.

I ran upstairs and got the PoS and Keaton and the PoA to go downstairs and start pulling everything out from the crawl space where the lid of the sump is located. I immediately hopped in my car and drove furiously to Lowe’s to buy a replacement pump.

Five minutes and $159 + tax later, I was out the door and back into my car. I made tracks back to the house and ran inside with the box on top of my shoulder, leaping three steps to get onto the back deck.

Moments later, I was in the basement attaching the spare hose I had to the pump before plunking the replacement pump into the sump. I put the discharge into floor drain in the laundry room and then plugged the pump in. It kicked on immediately and began pumping the groundwater into the floor drain. Where it might normally run for ten to fifteen seconds to empty the sump; the pump ran for a full ten MINUTES before turning off. It had to not only drain the sump but drain all of water that had built up in our weeping tile that surrounded the foundation of the house.

I then went to work sopping up the little bit of water that had gotten into the carpet. It was already getting late at this point and I didn’t have the tools at my disposal to fully deal with the problem. Plus, the Queen was out on a Ladies Night out for margaritas and catch Magic Mike.

Anyway, I got a call today at lunch that the basement was flooded! Luckily, the gas man was showing up at the exact same time as when the Queen discovered it and he noted that the discharge of the hose was too far into the floor drain and was now submerged due to the rise in water level in the drain. The pump couldn’t overcome the pressure head created by the water level above the discharge so the sump simply backed up and overflowed.

Anyway, I left work immediately. When I got home, I saw how bad it was. The water got into every room. It didn’t really go up higher than the top of the carpet but when you walked, you could see the water squish up. I helped to get the remaining movable items upstairs into the living room and the Queen sped off to the grocery store to rent a steam cleaner. From 12:30 until 4:30, we furiously moved furniture around and pulled up countless gallons of water out of the carpet. Seriously, I have no idea how many gallons are in the container of that Rug Doctor machine and I have even less of an idea of how many times I had to pour it into the toilet into the basement. At least 20.

We took a break for dinner (the Queen’s mom and dad invited us over for dinner) and after dinner, we got back after it. We stopped at around 9:00 because I was physically exhausted and I think the amount of moisture left in the carpet would be comparable to how much would be left if you actually steam cleaned the carpet.

We will have another go at it tomorrow, if necessary, but I think we will largely be waiting for the carpet to finally dry and we can go back to putting the basement back together again and getting the shit that is piled up in our living room, back downstairs where it belongs.

So that has been the last 30 hours. Fun.

A Summer Of Birthdays

The Empire celebrated not one but two momentous occasions very recently.

The month of May holds the birthdays of the Prince of Stanley as well as the Prince of Albacore! Not only are they in the same month but they are a mere eight days apart!

As such, these two birthdays were rejoiced and heralded by everyone living within the borders of this great nation. Great feasts were held in their honour with gifts and music.

Many friends of the two princes came to join in the festivities. The Prince of Stanley had a sleepover while the Prince of Albacore opted for a family campout in the backwoods wilderness immediately behind the palace.

All that being said, it was an expensive month to try to balance the budget and maintain the infrastructure while still jubilantly commemorating these events. The best part is that the Queen has a birthday in June while the Duke grows another year older in July. It’s a non-stop cavalcade of birthdays throughout the summer. No wonder we never get anywhere.

Justice Is A Dish Best Served Warm… With Ice Cream

Every nation needs to have a constitution and JeffLand is no exception. Without getting into the specifics of the NJLE constitution, there is a clause directed towards the theft and consumption of another man’s pie. It reads, and I quote:

No person shall […] be deprived of life, liberty, or pie, without due process of law; nor shall private pie be taken for public consumption, without just compensation.

Now, I bought an apple pie with the youngest Prince over the weekend and we consumed part of it; leaving the remainder of it for my own ‘personal’ use (and for those of you thinking of THAT pie scene in the movie American Pie… get your heads out of the #%$@ing gutter) during the coming work week.

Without naming names, someone consumed the last of my pie before I could even contemplate taking it to work with me.  He was even ballsy enough to do it right in front of me, necessitating me to take this picture as photographic evidence of this crime.

pie thief

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Obviously, a crime like this cannot go unpunished.  And since my word is law and I am well within my rights, as King, to dole out a swift and merciless punishment against whomever I choose; let it be known from this day forth that the theft of Royal Pie shall be a capital offense, one punishable by death.

Now, whomever it was that ate the Royal Pie, should be lead to the gas chambers* and executed.  However, taking into account that the guilty person is a ginger… I’ve decided that it will be a far more harsh sentence to let the boy live than to put him out of his misery.  Judgment has been passed.

*Note: The NJLE gas chambers consist of having to sit in a confined space with me for two hours after I’ve eaten cabbage, beans and broccoli.

May I Present…

The Duke of Ginger!

The Duke Of Ginger

The Duke Of Ginger

Money (And Clean Laundry) Make The World Go 'Round

Not that anyone would have noticed but the site was down last week. The JeffLand Treasury has been trying hard to keep the books balanced and make sure all of the bills get paid but, sometimes, one slips through the cracks. This time, it was the friendly folks over at 1 and 1 and they had to cut us off.

We’re back up and running now, obviously. A few payment method changes and we’re all friends again. What can I say? The “global economic crisis” has hit everyone.

Thinking of currency, I had a moment the other day with the Duke of Ginger that prompted me to ponder some of the more informal currency that is traded in JeffLand. One of those currencies is paired socks.

Yes, you read that right. Paired socks.

I don’t know what is going on down at the Royal Laundromat; I often see clean, unmatched socks just hanging around. Stragglers, I suppose. It isn’t for a lack of socks, that’s for sure. There can sometimes be random baskets of socks laying is obscure places. There seems to be a reluctance to spend the time to pair them and I think that, generally, the turnover of dirty socks to clean socks happens in batches rather than a few at a time which may aid in the backlog. Also, single unmatched socks get lost in the stacks of folded and undistributed laundry that piles up at the Laundromat.

Regardless of the reason, those bastards down at the Royal Laundry are lucky they’re unionized… otherwise I’d turf their asses so quickly it would make their heads spin. Let’s get real here… I wasn’t always King. I’ve paired a few socks in my time and, while I know it isn’t a glamorous or enjoyable job, it does have its place. Especially in a northern climate like this; you can’t leave the house without socks.

However, there is hope. Sock Reform is coming to JeffLand and I hope that this new initiative will solve many of the problems encountered by the old system. One of the key reforms is that when new socks are procured, they shall only be black in color. Preferably, they should be of the same type and weight as others previously bought but the main focus is that they are all black. Also, much like other currencies around the world, old socks (typically unmatchable ones or ones that have holes worn in them) are taken out of circulation. With these reforms put in place, I hope we can move forward to create a nation where paired socks are plentiful and the words, “I don’t have any clean socks” never have to be heard coming from a child’s mouth ever again.

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