Sunday, June 9, 2013

Perl blog posts #13 and #14

For only the fifth time ever, I missed a blog post last week.  I lost my driver’s license—actually, my entire money clip—and I was scrambling around, trying to replace everything before I had to get on a plane last Sunday.  So I have a reasonable excuse, I suppose.  Except for the fact that I had several posts all ready to go; all I had to do was get one of them up.  Ah, well.  My mind was fried.

Part of this was the moronity encountered when I was trying to replace my photo ID (which, you know, is sort of important for flying these days).  (If you were at YAPC with me, you probably want to skip this paragraph and the next, because I’ve already subjected you to this rant.)  Let’s start with the California DMV: the new driver’s licenses are all fancy and holographic, presumably to cut down on fake IDs.  But it means that, when you go to get a new license, they hand you a piece of paper off their printer.  Like a dot-matrix printer, even.  The fancy license gets mailed to you later.  Try convincing a TSA guy in Texas that the piece of paper printed off on 1980’s technology is your official state-issued ID.  But here’s the stupid part: there were 17 windows at the DMV, and, at every single one, there’s a thumbprint scanner.  Which scans your thumbprint and identifies you in real time.  Nice that I don’t really have to have much ID to get my ID, once I got my thumbprint in there in the first place, but the point is, you can afford 17 real-time biometric scanners, but you can’t afford one lousy holographic printer? really?

And then there’s Costco.  Your Costco card has your picture on it, and I actually read online that people had successfully used that with the TSA in a pinch.  So I went to get a replacement Costco card, just in case it might be useful.  They asked me for a photo ID.  I was tring to get a photo ID, I pointed out.  They said they couldn’t issue me a Costco card without a photo ID.  I pointed out that they already had my picture online: just bring it up on your computer and then look at me.  The lady looks at me and says: “But the picture is stored at the corporate headquarters.  It could take a few days to bring up.”  Seriously???  Have you people never heard of this little thing called the Internet?  I can get pictures from China in seconds, but you think it’s going to take you a few days?

And, after all that, the only person who really gave me any crap over not having a license with a picture on it was the dork at the cheap hotel I stayed at.  I even managed to get a rental car with my dot-matrix ID.  So that was nice.

Interesting side note: our best guess as to where the money clip went was that my youngest threw it away.  That’s her new thing: taking whatever she can lay hands on and thoughtfully putting it into the trash can, or recycling bins.  So helpful.

Anyhow, to make up for missing last week, I’ve posted not one, but two tech posts on my Other Blog.  So, if you’re into Perl, check out my post on notes in Vroom.  And you can also read about my experiences at YAPC 2013 if you like, and that one doesn’t require you to speak Perl at all.

I should be back on track starting next week.

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