Patterico's Pontifications


Blog Recommendation: Acephalous

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General,Humor — Patterico @ 12:03 pm

While we were having our fun with Chuck Adkins, someone alerted me to a post on a blog by someone named Scott Eric Kaufman. It is called Acephalous. I had never heard of it before, but I went to see.

I found myself very entertained. Scott is a really good writer. And he has some very funny stuff.

In particular, I recommend the saga over the money his school’s library stole from him. Start here, and then read this and this.

Also, the post where he discusses his dissertation work as a computer game is very funny. Read that here.

And the one where he walked in on some undergraduates having sex in his office is a classic. That’s here.

Scott is a left-leaning fellow whose name I think I have seen on Protein Wisdom (I didn’t realize this until my commenters pointed it out). But he seems like a nice fellow who is committed to rational debate and avoiding name-calling. And, like I say, he’s a very good writer and a funny guy.

Because no blog recommendation is complete without an excerpt, I’ll give you this, from the links about the library stealing his money. This is Scott speaking with the teller, who is informing him that when he paid a small library fine along with his student fees, they school applied all the money to the small library fine:

The teller had excused herself for more than a moment. Much more.

I waited.

Tapped my fingers. Pulled my ear. Fiddled with buttons.

Ten minutes went by.

I leaned over the partition. Looked around. Leaned back. Tapped fingers.

Ten more minutes passed.

I huffed audibly. Crossed my arms. Scowled.

That did the trick. The teller returned and said:

“Did you pay a library fine the same day?”

I said that I had.

“How much was it for?”

I said how much it was for.

“Because the library applied all the funds you deposited that day to the overdue fee.”

“They did?”

“They did.”

“Why’d they do that?”

“They don’t know.”

“Will they undo it?”

“They said they’ll try.”

“They said they’ll try to refund the $2,640 they applied to a $12.50 overdue fee?”

“That’s what they said.”

“Did they indicate whether they thought they’d be successful?”

“They didn’t say.”

“Did they say what I should do if they weren’t successful?”

“They didn’t say.”

“But they did say they’d try to refund the $2,640 they applied to a $12.50 overdue fee?”

“That’s what they said.”

“Did they happen to [] say when they’d try to refund the $2,640 they applied to a $12.50 overdue fee?”

“They said because they assessed the fine last month the money’s already been reallocated—”

“Can they allocate it back?”

“They said it’s not that simple. In the meantime, why don’t you pay your student fees now and work out this situation with the library later?”

I looked at her as only a man without $2,640 in his wallet looks at a teller who assumes he does.

Great stuff.

I recommend that you go check out some of the links above.

19 Responses to “Blog Recommendation: Acephalous”

  1. Ugh. This brings up all sorts of bad memories of trying to deal with the financial aid office.

    tired (2e7c68)

  2. And even more bad memories of writing a senior thesis.

    DRJ (09f144)

  3. I had the same problem at the DMV.
    They misapplied a fee and I finally got a supervisor to straighten it out. Except my fee had been entered already.
    So the supervisor lady told me I’d receive my refund in the mail within 90 days. Oh and hold onto this paper that whole time because it is the only verification of the transaction I will get.
    “But my cash is right there in your drawer..”

    At least they didn’t tase me. Bro.


    SteveG (4e16fc)

  4. Sounds like it’s time to visit Legal Aid, and ask for assistance on a Small Claims Court action against the president of the school.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. I hope he had vinyl furniture in his office rather than fabric. A few shots of windex and some paper towels and you’re done. Otherwise…..

    daleyrocks (906622)

  6. Obviously you’d just switch furniture with some professor down the hall while he/she is out protesting the war

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  7. I thought he was a graduate student. Since when do graduate students have furniture? In my day they were lucky to get a desk and chair.

    DRJ (09f144)

  8. Good point SteveG. You too DRJ. Windex works on desks. If the floor was spot in question and it was carpeted, dump some bong water on it. If SEK didn’t have any himself, as Steve points out, I’m sure he could get some from one of the professors protesting the war.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  9. If anyone asks about the spot on the carpet, tell them it’s a map of Australia.
    Hopefully they’ll go for a closer look and then make sure you point out the Great Barrier Reef

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  10. Scott’s a good guy. Nice to discover folks like him on the Left, with (among other virtues) a sense of humor and some funny tales to tell. Not that I agree with him too often–but that’s a reminder that most thoughtful people aren’t in agreement with most other thoughtful people on most of the contentious issues of the day.

    AMac (8e9026)

  11. Nichols and May, Stiller and Meara. Mm-hm.

    Vermont Neighbor (6cf02f)

  12. AMac: his commenter Rich Puchalsky is a real piece of work, though.

    Patterico (faeccf)

  13. Yes. Some of RP’s comments are elegant and insightful, others are Party Line. Presented in the sure knowledge that anybody to his Right is not only wrong, but mendacious and/or stupid as well. Hopefully the easily-triggered cascade of scorn is an affectation, for the amusement of fellow denizens of Al Gore’s Interweb.

    AMac (c822c9)

  14. I read through most of his posts, and they were well-written and clear-headed. I know he’s a liberal only because he said he was. He’s the kind of liberal like my sister is. Took the facts, looked at them, made a different conclusion…that is all. Not averse to an alternative viewpoint like most liberals are, just came to a different conclusion. I added him to my favorites, but I don’t plan to read his commenters, because I suspect most of them are just party-line people. He did say that he “fears” that all of his woes might turn him Republican. We could only hope so.

    That’s the kind of liberal I could actually befriend.

    otcconan (713b01)

  15. A couple of years ago,there was some blog controversy that he got drawn into. I remember him being fair about it and refusing to spout the party line much to the chagrin to his regular commenters.

    tired (2e7c68)

  16. “Nope. I paid the school, what the school does with it is not my problem. I have a receipt for $2640.00 paid, and it’s the SCHOOL that needs to strong-arm the cash out of the library, not me. Bye.”

    mojo (8096f2)

  17. Mojo, that would have been my reaction to the teller.

    I could be mistaken, but the misappropriation of funds was probably not the library’s fault at all, but the original teller’s fault, assigning the payment made to one charge code.

    Who should he call now? What should he do?
    Did the check have “student fees” listed on the face of it? Does the receipt indicate which accounts were to be credited?

    SarahW (285441)

  18. File a report with the campus police, charging the Library with petty larceny.

    mojo (8096f2)

  19. Better yet, some calls to the president’s office and/or regents. Just go up the ladder until you reach the highest-ranking university official you can. Be a pest.

    One time my university told me, only after I’d completed 3 1/2 years of my degree, that I needed X course, but they weren’t teaching it that semester. They suggested I take X at the community college and transfer the credits. I sent the president of the university a letter, a very forceful, but civil one, explaining that the reason I was at a Catholic University in the first place was because I didn’t want a COMMUNITY COLLEGE education.

    They let me take X as independent study, where you go one-on-one with the professor.

    Now that I think about it, X was Macroeconomics.

    otcconan (cbb3f7)

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