Target Robot Machine

Here is a letter I wrote to the Target Robot Machine:

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The Target Robot Machine generated an automated response:

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Interesting that they give names to different sectors of their servers.  I’m glad the Robot Machine wasn’t able to crack the captcha code, which would indicate that had become self aware.  Score one for the humans!  This time…

Holiday Inn Express Pancakes

The elevators in the hotel had a swinging door on each floor that you could close over the elevator so people would think that the elevator no longer existed.  I think the idea was that when the fire alarm went off, a magnet would release the door, trapping the elevator behind it.  Anyone in the elevator wouldn’t be able to get off at any floor, except the first.  Also, anyone who tried to use the elevator on the top floors would have to run around screaming that they couldn’t find the elevator.

Since I wasn’t sure how the doors worked, I pulled the fire alarm to see if the doors would close.  Sure enough the door swung shut and trapped the elevator behind it while the fire alarm blared.

I watched people start coming out of their rooms.  They wanted to know what all the noise was about. A lot of people were in the hallway, yelling.  I told them to be quiet while I tried to turn the fire alarm back off.  But it wouldn’t turn off and the door remained shut over the elevator.  I heard people in the elevator screaming, but I banged on the outer swinging door to let them know that help was on the way.

One lady came out of the her room and started screaming.  She said we were all going to die.  When she got to where she thought the elevator was, she screamed louder and started clawing at the wall where the elevator used to be.  I tried to tell her about the swinging door trick but she just kept screaming about dying.  She fell to her knees, clawing at the wall.  I guess she really wanted to ride the elevator one last time before she died.

All of the noise made it difficult to think and I was hungry.  It was too early for the commotion that all of these people were causing.  I walked down the stairs (much faster than the elevator) since we were on the second floor.

I went down to get breakfast.  The pancake machine was broken.  The screen on the machine told me that it was in bagel making mode and that I should press a number to tell it how many bagels to make.  I got mad at the machine because there were not any numbers – just a big “OK” button.  I pushed OK, but the machine still wanted me to enter a number.  “I want pancakes!” I yelled at the machine.  The cleaning lady came out of her hiding room to tell me that the pancake machine only wanted to make bagels and I was going to have to be happy with bagels.  I told her I wanted pancakes but she just threw her arms in the air and went back into hiding.

Then I found the secret panel on the machine.  There are more buttons that just OK at the Holiday Inn Express pancake machine, but they try to hide them because they don’t want you to start choosing things for yourself.  There were a lot more buttons with secret options behind the secret panel!  The machine worked just like a label maker in which you could pick size, font, bold, underline, designs, shapes, and numbers.  I punched through the menu until I had selected the pancakes that I wanted.  I picked the BATMAN pancakes, in the largest size possible, in the maximum quantity of 10.

Then I pushed the OK button.  This time the machine started buzzing, reassuring me that my pancakes were coming soon and that I had reprogrammed it correctly.  There’s a graphic on the machine that showed the Batman symbol scrolling across the bottom so I knew when I would get my pancakes.  Soon I saw multiple Batman symbols scrolling across the bottom and my excitement increased with each one.

Then I started to see batter coming out of the pancake machine entrance.  “That’s enough” I told the pancake machine, but it wouldn’t listen.  The uncooked pancake material kept coming out of the machine and was getting all over the counter.  It was almost touching the muffins.  I started making a wall out of plastic knives since they laid flat on the counter and had more uniform batter blocking power.  The batter acted as a good mortar between the knives and proved to be an effective tool against pancake batter touching the bagels and muffins (possible disaster). When my wall was 15 knives high by 3 knives wide, the cleaning lady came out and started panicking. She screamed about all of the mess she was going to be cleaning up and how it was going to cut into her hiding time.  Pancake batter was dripping on the floor.

Meanwhile I had a big cooked pancake coming out of the pancake machine conveyor belt.  I eyed it with anticipation.  It was not Batman shaped but had jagged edges to look like the machine made a good try, but all of the Batman cakes just ran together into one giant Batman sheet cake.  I was getting impatient with the machine and used the last plastic knife to cut off all I could eat, leaving the rest for the next lucky hotel patron.  Since I was late for the meeting, I was going to have to eat it in the car without syrup. Plus the cleaning lady was making too much noise to enjoy breakfast anyway.

I would say my stay at the Holiday Inn Express was a roller coaster ride, but ultimately a disappointment due to the high noise levels. 2 Shrugs out of 5.