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Los Angeles has a long,

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 15, 2000

Los Angeles has a long, distinguished tradition of amusingly named Agricultural Commissioners. If you spend enough time in front of a gas pump — and if you live in LA, you spend plenty of time there — you’ll eventually notice the little decals that declare everything’s been tested by the state. And proudly emblazoned on each decal is the name of the man at the top, the head honcho gas-pump-accuracy-wise: Cato R. Fiksdal!

And while Mr. Fiksdal — Cato to his friends — is certainly a noteworthy addition to the pantheon, he doesn’t old a candle to his predecessor: E. Leon Spaugy.

How bad does your first name have to be to go with “Leon”?

So I’ve joined Jackass Nation. Last week, my boss got me this ridiculously small cell-phone, complete with every technological miracle they can pack into something smaller than my mouse. It chaffs a lot less than the leather leash he was using before.

But, for all its digital marvels, the damned interface on the thing sucks. “OK” is on the upper-left, making the majority of the population (righties) do a thumb reach across the face to get at it. “End,” “Clr” and “Menu” are used pretty much randomly. The arrow keys sometimes move you around and sometimes bring up features. Aaaargh.

One day, one wondrous day in the future, every little tech gizmo we’ve got attached to our bodies will abide by the Principle of Least Astonishment. They may not end up doing exactly what you expect, but at least you’ll spend a lot less time muttering, “What the hell?”