February 19, 2015

Adventures in formalwear

This weekend I'm attending my first black tie event in... many, many years. So of course I have to rent a tuxedo. Ever since I moved to California back in 1985, the place to rent your tux was Selix Formalwear. I remember for my fraternity formal, a bunch of us went to the one in Oakland and laughed about the Miami Vice pastels, ultimately settling (of course) on basic black.

So I sought out Selix and found one just a few miles away in Pleasant Hill, three weeks ago. Went in, got fitted, left a deposit, arranged to pick up the tux on Wednesday, February 18. Since we're flying to Los Angeles on Friday the 20th, this would cleverly give us one day for adjustments if necessary.

Wednesday the 18th comes. It's been a busy week. We rush over to Selix after work, arriving at 6:30 a full half hour before their closing time of 7 p.m. But they're closed. With a sign saying they'd be back at 10 a.m.


So of course I did what any rational, angry person would: I tweeted about it.

It says 7 p.m. closing time RIGHT THERE.
I googled them and called the number that came up in the search results, but of course it was a fax machine. What the Fax, google. Seriously.

Then I went to the Selix web site and found this lovely note:



We have less than 48 hours before our flight to Los Angeles, and the place that has my deposit and measurements is now in receivership. Lovely.

Long story short, Orlando at Men's Wearhouse in Walnut Creek set me up in under an hour. I ended up buying a tux for not that much more than a rental. Now all I have to do is either find more formal events to attend, or join the British Secret Service.

Walther PPK not included in base model.

February 1, 2015

Scientology, clearly you know nothing about science or religion.

Of all the Superbowl ads I saw today, one just keeps coming back to me and making me shake my head in wonder.

At about 13 seconds in, the narrator says, "Imagine an age in which the predictability of science and the wisdom of religion combine."

This is like saying, "Imagine an energy source in which the efficiency of gerbils on treadmills, and the cleanliness of burning coal, combine." W. T. F. Seriously.

Scientology, you just proved in one sentence that you actually know nothing about either science or religion.

The best scientists know that science is not predictable. If it were predictable, it would be called engineering because you'd already know the outcome of the calculations. Science is the work of trying things to see what will happen. We make guesses at what might happen, but we actually try it to see if we're right. And at the most interesting of times, we aren't.

As to religion: Religion is faith. Faith is the absolute conviction that something is true, without needing evidence to prove it. This is not wisdom; wisdom relies on knowledge and discernment, based on experience and thoughtful analysis. Faith relies only on conviction, frequently discarding both knowledge and discernment.

If you are paying attention, you will notice that science is the source of wisdom while religion enjoys complete predictability.

I don't know anything about Scientology, and I don't intend to find out. But seriously. If you are trying to attract smart people into your cult, you should at least try not to destroy your own arguments in your own ads with one single sentence.