Friday, December 31, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
But he's a tough guy to work for. He often brings his personal life to work with him and days like that you hope that there's a colleague who's better positioned to take the brunt of it. You feel for them, but you're thankful it's not you. But, sometimes it is you.
And then one day, I stopped caring. And suddenly, the job has gotten so much better, and my working relationship with my boss has improved so much. In the end, do I really care where the picture is placed or how big or small the picture is? Is that really being creative? No, not really. Do I take it personally when he wants the picture somewhere else, or resized? Should I feel personally criticized? I made a bad choice? I used to think so. I used to get so frustrated, that my input wasn't being valued and my abilities weren't being respected.
But on that one day, something happened. The scales fell from my eyes and suddenly it all became clear to me. I would never be respected for that job. I could work really hard and be disappointed when I was overruled. I could push back because in the end I knew that I knew better. And I could further incur his wrath. Worse yet, once he was on a roll, I could expect to get even more "notes" on things not even related to the current project. Change requests to things he had approved, or even come up with in the first place.
But in that bright and shining moment, I realized that none of it mattered. It was part weasel, part ephiphany. But if I didn't push back, I let him get his own way, and occasionally commented that his changes were a good idea, suddenly my day was no longer destined to be insufferable. I could affect change that benefitted all my colleagues. I could allow the man to feel like he was getting his way and making things happen.
Ah, it was a thing of beauty. Suddenly, I had a receptive ear to suggest new things, and was even able to push through some of my own initiatives and prove that I could handle the task and actually make his life easier.
Jeff Rowe would have been so proud of me. Jeff Rowe was a former boss. He taught me so much, but I was so young, so green that he must have often bit his tongue. The last time I talked to him was my last day at Warner Bros. I can't remember why, but for some reason, he called the day I got laid off. He was the one that encouraged me to end my career at UltimateTV, but thanks to his contacts, work we had done with Warner Bros. was what allowed me to jump there. Warner Bros. afforded me a great opportunity to manage people and I think I did a decent job there and I really miss managing a team. Part of my quick rise, though, didn't give me enough opportunities to be a grunt. I'm not thrilled being a grunt, but there are some great interpersonal skills to be learned there. Sometimes I feel it's more about learning to be a weasel and to stroke people's egos, but I figure as long as I keep a really strong work ethic -- work hard, put in an honest day's work, and try to do more than earn a paycheck, actually better the company I work for -- then sucking up, ego-stroking and not taking things personally can just become extra tools in my arsenal.
The wildest weather I've seen since moving to California, probably on par with some of the stuff from my days living in Washington. On the drive home last night, I've never appreciated more how much of my car is made up of glass. The light show was just awesome, the whole sky kept lighting up all around me while I was in Pasadena and as I made my way east, I could see the flashes behind me, including some just ripping across the clouds. Awesome. And then last night while we were sleeping, God just let loose the floodgates and it was so loud. At one point, simultaneously being forced against the south and west windows of the house by the wind. It seems calmer today which should be good for the commute, but this weather just rules. Because I have a nice warm dry home, nice warm dry car and nice warm dry office from which to witness it.
It sounds like seagulls have replaced wild parrots as neighborhood birds this morning. That must have been a lot of rain.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
This song has always made me think of you. Perhaps it because I knew you at the time this song was on the radio often. Tonight I feel nothing but sadness. This is what I get for trying to look up old friends on the internet.
The Outfield - (I don't want to lose) Your Love
Josie's on a vacation far away
Come around and talk it over
So many things that I'd like to say
You know I like my girls a little bit older
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love tonight
I ain't got many friends left to talk to
No-one's around when I'm in trouble
You know I'd do anything for you
Stay the night - we'll keep it under cover
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love tonight
Try to stop my hands from shakin'
Somethin' in my mind's not makin' sense
It's been awhile since we've been all alone
I can't hide the way I'm feelin'
As you leave me please would you close the door
And forget what I told you
Just 'cause you're right - that don't mean I'm wrong
Another shoulder to cry upon
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love tonight
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love tonight
I just wanna use your love tonight
I don't wanna lose your love tonight
Lose your love
Lose your love
Lose your love
Friday, December 17, 2004
Anyhow, tonight we decided to go to the Rose City Diner for dinner. They placed at a gigantic booth that would sit 3-4 people on each bench. The stroller had to park at the end of the table which seemed to impede the flow of the busboys and waiters. Not sure why they didn't just seat us at one of the smaller free-standing tables in the front of the restaurant.
The service was good. A guy would take our orders, or take our empty glasses and a girl would come back with the food or drink refills. Both were very pleasant and polite and checked up with us at just the right intervals.
We started with a lemonade, a vanilla cola (not a brand name beverage) and chilli cheese fries. The fries were interesting to say the least. They were $6.99 and the chilli had beans and peppers and big chunks of hamburger. It might have made for an interesting chilli, but I'm not a big bean fan and we both really like the ccf's at Johnny Rockets, so these were a bit of a let-down. I requested some ranch and ate some of the fries with ranch and ketchup. But we still ended up leaving probably close to half of them on the plate when we were done.
The vanilla cola was $2.50 and served in a large glass. The first sip with the straw was straight vanilla syrup. I tried to drink from the top but it was the non-brand-name dark cola. So I eventually resorted to raising the straw as I sipped, to get some syrup and some cola. Stirring did not help. I do not believe refills were available on the vanilla soda. Based on that and the inconvenient way I had to drink it, it did last my entire meal.
For dinner, Lori had a hamburger with bacon and an onion ring. The burger was served open-faced with an onion ring that resembled the volcanoes they used to make at Benihana... that is to say that it was really tall and she had to mash it down before she could close the burger. She ate much of it. I think she liked it, but she was getting full and wanted to make it look like we had eaten more of the chili cheese fries, so near the end she switched her attention back to that plate to pull out fries to eat with ketchup.
I had the Reuben. It came with a decent quarter pickle and some pretty decent coleslaw. The corned beef was good and they really piled it on thick. Most of the toasted bread stayed crispy, only a little was soggy at the end. The sauerkraut was also good, tasty but not overpowering. What prevented it from being a great sandwich was the almost non-existent thousand island dressing. I could see that it was there from the color, but it was used too sparingly in my opinion to the point that you couldn't always taste it. The other thing that kept it from being a great sandwich is that it cost $7.50. I ate all but the soggy bread at the end, eating the last of the meat with a fork.
The decor also seemed unimpressive for being part of the mall's new expansion. I think they were going for retro, but it just felt less inspired and flimsier than the Fry's that has the alien invasion theme. A weird touch, there were lots of those long toothpicks with the plastic colored strips at the end, the kind that come in your sandwich, stuck in the ceiling. But the ceiling was so high away that they were either done with a dart gun of some sort, or a ladder. The music was a broader mix then you'd find at Johnny Rockets, and a little bit quieter, but the balance was all wrong, it was overly bass-y, so even though the speakers were farther away in the high ceiling and it felt quieter, I had trouble hearing Lori and had to keep asking her to repeat stuff across the table to me. The tables all had the same mini-jukeboxes as Johnny Rockets.
Their menu has a wide variety, including a big breakfast selection, which is available any time. They also had some old fashioned shakes that sounded good but I passed on because of my pseudo-diet and the prohibitive price-tag.
So for two burgers, two drinks, chili cheese fries, tax and tip, they had us on the hook for more than $17/person. If I want to spend that much, I'll go some place with much better food like Hamburger Hamlet. And if want 50's kitsch and that kind of food, I'll go about seven doors down in the mall to Johnny Rockets.
Unless there's something about them that I missed, I give them eight months.
Fun fact... they have a $35 burger -- over 3 pounds of meat. Comes with unlimited drinks. Menu says it feeds six or one really big person.
Anything except an eyesore that would cost $700+ to have removed. Tonight when we came home, the Christmas lights I had hung to the underside of the carport were not lit. Odd, I thought. But I didn't think too much because the timer on those lights is powered by an AAA and only works for a few months at a time before there's no power left.
But Lori got out and went over and picked up a black cord hanging loose and stared at it trying to figure out where it should have been plugged in. Nevermind that, I said, trying to draw her attention to the house-colored cord that was draped from the house, over a fence and extended past the garage into the back yard. Having just seen a semi-bad original movie where a guy with an electric(!) snowblower plugs into his neighbor's Christmas lights for power, I thought someone had plugged into our power.
And then I realized what it was... it was the phone line into the house from the pole, rounding the garage, we could see it running along the ground. So we hit the lights on the garage and saw that a humongous piece of the tree had broken free and pulled the phone cord down with it. Thankfully, the dog had been inside for the past few hours while we were out having dinner. We pulled the phone cord from under the tree and threw it up onto the roof -- so we could let the dog out without her eating the phone cord -- and that was that.
Big chunk of the tree down means it will cost less to have the rest of it removed and now I know that there isn't a specific way to how the phone cord is attached to the pole and I can finally get it moved over towards the garage and finally have a back yard with no wires above.
But I was thinking... I know we have our own problems here in the United States, but how is it possible that 52 million people live in poverty in Mexico? That seems like a rather large number. I'll admit right away that I know very little about Mexico, knowing mostly only what I see from pictures and video taken by friends who have gone to Mexico to build houses and what I've seen from Mexican TV as I've flipped past.
It seems like there's a very willing workforce (many risk their lives to travel illegally to this country for work), lots of land (slightly less than 3 times the size of Texas) and what seems like a pretty nice climate. Texas has 22 million residents so 3 times that would be 66 million. So I guess there is actually a lot more people per square mile on average in Mexico.
Since I started writing this, I have learned more from the CIA Fact Book (should be a link from the title above). Maybe change is in the wind, but is taking a long time. Vicente Fox was the first person elected that didn't belong to the political party that has controlled the government since the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
So maybe it's more about patience, maybe change is underway. I hope that's the case. (Yeah, little old imperial me trying to figure out what's best for some other country.)
Ok, so this post ended up going somewhere completely different than where I expected. But at least I learned something.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
In a side note, my resident-post-commenter Kevin now has his own blog for me to go post comments on... oddly enough, it's at cindycrawford.blogspot.com
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
(1) The network for bad girls and the girls who love them
(2) Nope, still not gonna get cable (DISH rules!)
(3) Oxygen: 5 pretty girls and two ugly ones
But seriously, folks, is this not a horrible ad? I thought that Oxygen was a channel for women but the "Oh! We're Easy" just seems extremely demeaning.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
"We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence."
May all beings be free of suffering.
Vegetarians Taste Better.
First, I thought the one about suffering was dumb. (a) That's impossible. (b) In regards to not eating meat, wouldn't you then suffer if you liked eating meat? We have a friend with a new baby. She didn't eat red meat and now her diet requires red meat and the baby has to have injections because he's anemic. The tasty animals were put on this planet for us to eat, folks.
The second one was even more puzzling. Was it a sexual thing? If not, did it just apply to eating humans? Because then the argument for eating animals is made... everyone loves a good corn-fed steak. So I guess if you're trapped in the Andes, you want it to be with a vegetarian soccer team? Probably not, you probably want a bunch of overweight accountants. There would be more meat.
Either way, I thought the person in the car was an idiot and I thought the second bumper sticker was a joke bumper sticker and the driver didn't get the joke. They also had flaming skull stickers on both back windows and one on the rear window.
I guess it takes all kinds.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
1. About the company
2. Specifically about the planes in Iraq
Friday, November 26, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I need that dual-tuner DVR so that we can record Scrubs on the DVR instead of the VCR now that Amazing Race is on again.
I read another article where a coach was describing it as racially insensitive because the player was black and the actress was white. And also complaining because it reinforced the stereotype of (atheletes? blacks? unsure) as sexual predators.
I finally was able to read another article about the topic that finally described the scene in enough detail for me to determine that it wouldn't be inappropriate to watch at work... that when she drops the towel she's only shown from behind and from the waist up.
So I went to good ol' iFilms.com and watched it.
First, off, it doesn't reinforce any stereotypes other than (a) guys find it hard to say no to naked women jumping into their arms, (b) something about sluts but I'm not sure exactly what the stereotype is, (c) ABC and the NFL are hypocrites like the article linked above suggests. I'm pretty sure you see the very top of pink underwear when she drops the towel, that she's not actually completely naked, just topless.
But, having said that, let me say loud and clear... I am offended by that clip.
First, the cinematography sucked. For most of it, the back and forth interaction between the football player and the actress looked like it was done at two different times in two different places, maybe even green screened. The restaurant scene in Heat looked better and it's been widely suggested for years that the scenes between Pacino and Deniro were done at different times.
Secondly, the acting sucked. The athlete we can forgive, it's not what he does. He may play a good game of f-ball, (hey, if you can say b-ball, I can say f-ball. deal.) but he probably doesn't aspire to be an actor. If he does, he's gonna need some lessons. But the actress... man, she stunk so bad. I have so many more talented female friends trying to get into showbusiness with little luck. While the meantime, this horrible waste of airspace gets by solely on her willingness to be naked. I wonder how many casting couches her rear has left impressions in.
Was the spot a big deal? I don't think so. Without taste? Yes, but I imagine so were many of the ads that aired during the game. Will I follow OneMillionDads.com's recommendation and file a complaint with the FCC? No, but can I file a complaint with SAG?
I don't think anything in that clip was that devastating or can't be seen anywhere else. You can see that much skin on an awards show, with an actress wearing a backless dress. You can see women in towels on any show. And I'm not sure that someone who hasn't heard of Desperate Housewives by now, or hasn't found the concept appealing would really be all that swayed. Maybe they'd check out an episode or two, but if anything, Sheridan's crap-crap-crappy acting would probably do more to turn people off, or cause them to TiVO it in hopes of seeing more racy stuff without having to hear her horrid line delivery.
Monday, November 15, 2004
The change in alert level was precipitated by the recent fire which destroyed one of their white flag factories, effectively disabling their military.
The French Terror Alert System contains four levels indicating successive levels of assessed threat by the La Ministrie de Securite ou La La. The safest level is Run, followed by Hide, then Surrender and when danger is strongly antipated, its highest rating is Collaborate.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
Thursday, November 04, 2004
In short, most educated Americans have little sense of the texture and the complexity of working-class life, of its richness and satisfactions as well as its problems and discontents. And without an intimate and personal understanding of these things, it will always be profoundly difficult for liberals and progressives to convince working Americans that they should be trusted to represent workers' needs and interests in the political system.
During the 1930s, union organizers were taught never to blame the workers if an organizing campaign failed. 'It's not their fault for not understanding,' the organizers were instructed. 'It's your fault for not explaining it clearly enough.' It is a motto today's liberals and progressives would do well to hang on the walls of the political campaign war rooms in the elections of the coming years.
And perhaps on the walls of some leftist bloggers too.
America's left today is dominated by Hollywood and academia, and their values don't resonate with actual, American voters. What's more, if the Democratic Party did represent the views of actual American voters, it's values wouldn't mesh very well with those of Hollywood and academia. That's reality.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Now it should be completely obvious why I'm advocating against voting. I took the poll at PresidentialGuidester.com (link above) that's designed to help you know how you lean. Apparently I don't lean. This wasn't me playing with the numbers until I got the result I wanted, this was me going down the list and answering the questions honestly and then submitting my results. And apparently I seek a moderate... hates abortions and guns, likes the environment and thinks the missle shield is stupid. I need to go find that political cartoon about the missile shield.
I read an article on MSNBC that said if the electoral college tied, then the House picks the President and the Senate picks the Vice President and we could end up with a Bush-Edwards presidency. Hey, if Cheney's out, then I'm much happier.
Two little cliches always used to bug me.
- "Don't blame me, I voted for the other guy."
- "If you don't vote, it's a vote for the other guy."
Well, I'm not voting. I've used my Tivo to avoid watching any political ads, I've stayed away from the news channels and websites as best I could, have changed the channel when they began to discuss politics and I put on headphones and focus on my work when my colleagues begin to discuss politics at work.
And this is on the heels of a recent trip to DC where I came to a new level of appreciation about our country and what it stands for. That same level of appreciation does not extend to politics, especially in regards to the presidentail election where your vote doesn't count anyway so long as there's an electoral college and its votes are not split along the lines of the popular vote.
I believe the only power the president has is in who he or she appoints to the Supreme Court. It's been suggested that several will retire during the next four years, but if they want to be replaced by a specific leaning replacement, they'll just stay on and everything will be different again in four more years.
But in the meantime, can no one offer us a reasonable candidate? Both parties disgust me so much that you could consider my lack of a vote a protest.
Bruce, Dixies and the rest: Shut up. Your job is to entertain met. If you want to blather on about politics, go run for office. I don't need to think about your politics as I try to listen to your music. It taints it for me.
Any celebrity who has an accountant: Do your own taxes for a year before you try to tell me how to vote.
MTV: It doesn't matter who we choose, we've already lost.
Rock the Vote: Rock yourself.
Cheney: Go crawl under a rock and die. Then I will come jump on that rock and squish you.
Bush: I'm still ticked off about that lame thing you said after the superbowl last year. Way to be a uniter and president of the other 49 states. As they say on JibJab: Dumbass.
Kerry: No, YOU really scare me.
NBC: I have six million other choices for election coverage, including MSNBC and CBNC. Do us all a favor and show a Scrubs marathon tonight instead. Especially since everyone will have called the election before this side of the country even ends its work day.
Lawyers: Do us a favor and at least get it all wrapped up so that when a President is finally confirmed you don't have to make it retroactive to January 2005.
So, my responses to the cliches:
- I'm getting a bumper sticker, it's gonna read "Don't blame me, I didn't vote for either guy."
- I've heard this logic before and it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Are they going to call me and ask me who I would have voted for and then give the other candidate a vote? Derrrr.....
I would split my vote down the middle since both candidates have issues I support. (Why are gun control and abortion on opposite sides of the fence? That makes no sense.)
My advice is to spend the day watching "This Land" on www.jibjab.com. Then it will be truly obvious that we are damned if we do, damned if we don't.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Apparently McDonalds thinks so, it's planning to put them in 13,000 locations over the next few years.
And no more writing checks before you've got the cash in the bank... The Check Clearing for the 21st. Century Act goes into effect today. It will take years before everyone is on board, but we're going to see more and more companies treat checks like credit cards, deducting the money immediately. Which hopefully will mean fewer and fewer idiots at the grocery store with a million items who don't even start to fill out their checks until they see the total.
I don't know what your night job is, but please, please quit your day job. PDF is a horrible format. Or maybe it's not. But Adobe Acrobat Reader is a horrible program. It's more bloated than Microsoft Internet Explorer and Michael Moore combined. It's slow, drags the entire computer to a halt while it loads, and then it cumbersome, unintuitive and annoying to use.
But it gets worse. You also offer a program called Adobe Acrobat, a more full-featured program that you can use to to create PDF's. I'm sorry, but scissors and tape are better tools for page layout than Acrobat. Oh, and it's slower than molasses and more bloated than the Reader, Microsloth IE, the afforementioned player-hater/film-documentarian and a well known fat film critic thrown in for good measure.
But you don't stop there. You layer insult on top of injury. When I view a PDF off the internet, you insist on loading the entire Acrobat program. But when I open a PDF on my own computer, then you load the Reader. Where is the justice in that?
We, the public, would benefit strongly from you sending everyone home, selling off your products and closing up shop.
Thanks for your consideration.
Yes, you too, can get out of your Sprint PCS contract without paying early termination fees. I read of a man who filed a new complaint with the Better Business Bureau each time he dealt with Sprint PCS and was unhappy with the results. The complaints were legitimate, he wasn't trying to get free stuff, just trying to get problems resolved.
After three complaints, Sprint PCS finally told him he could cancel without paying the ETF. But, he took them at their word, failed to get it in writing, and then got charged it. When he threatened legal action, then they waived it.
So, get it in writing. But using the BBB to help you document your problem will result in your being able to get out of your contract, until Sprint PCS figures it out and finally refuses to even deal with the BBB at all.
...you must have suffering friends...pass this on to them...
Sprint PCS sucks in New York, Sprint PCS could care less about San Diego, Sprint PCS hates New York, Sprint PCS tells Chicago to stick it, Sprint PCS gives Austin the bird, Sprint PCS ignores Detroit, Sprint PCS laughs Chicago
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Imagine if you were driving a Segway from Seattle to Boston. Top speed? 10 miles an hour. Ok, sure, it's an interesting topic for an independent movie. But it sounds like agony. The bugs would buzz your head a bunch of times before landing on your teeth just to annoy you. And what if it broke down... can you imagine dragging one to a motel looking for a power outlet?
Sounds painfully dull, even if they did get a police escort in one city by that city's Segway-ized police patrol.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
Well, we heard from the homeowner who's now living next door again that her psycho renters had said they had called the county about our tree, but that was a full month before that big branch broke, so I don't know if she had her timeline wrong or if it was about another large branch, but anyhow, there are barricades out there this morning, and there was no note on our door, so I don't know what they have planned. A power line for the street light goes through the tree, so I'm hoping they just plan to trim the tree a bunch. We left before anyone arrived this morning, thankfully.
I sent three pictures but so far this one is the only one that arrived, so if more random pictures of trees start appearing on here, that's what they're from.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Monday, October 18, 2004
Commuters still buy mobile jammers to shut up chatty train passengers...
Saturday, October 16, 2004
I feel really proud of myself. For some reason this morning, I looked at the coil of unused wire left over from my dishwasher project just about a year ago. And I stretched it out in the living room and it stretched all the way to the nursery. So I realized that this was in, in fact, enough wire to reach from the power outlets installed in the attic last March when the heater and air conditioner was installed. So I opened up the ceiling fan that we had purchased 14 months ago and laid all the pieces out and started looking over the instructions. It looked simple enough so I started some pre-assembly.
After Lori and the baby woke up, I measured the center of the living room. I drilled a small hole and pushed a garden stake up to see if there was any obstructions. Finding none other than insulation, I held up the mounting box, traced it, and then drilled lots of holes in the ceiling. Then I went out it with a hammer through the plastic and a box cutter through the drywall until I had a big enough opening. I put in a saf-t-brace and a saf-t-box, then I pushed up the wire until it was all looped in the attic and secured it to the box correctly with the pressure clamps. And then I proceeded to hang the ceiling fan. Heavy sucker, the box doesn't say how much, but I'd guess one of the heavier ceiling fans out there.
Part way through, I had to go to Home Depot because it didn't come with bulbs (cheap-os!) and then I came back, finished up assembly and then cut the power to the attic, climbed up and unscrewed the plate on the outlet. At that point, I became really thrilled with how the project was proceeding. The crew had used a plastic box and the outlet itself had open connections. I thought I was going to have to illegally tap into something in wirenuts, but instead, all I had to do was connect my wiring to the outlet. Screwed the panel back on, tacked down the new wiring -- as much as
(from home depot website)
I could reach, since the heater pretty much makes it impossible to get to most of the attic now. Climbed back down, went out and turned the power back on and came in to see the light on and the fan spinning. Success. All told, probably 3-1/2 hours from start to finish, plus 30 minutes of clean-up. Still need to clean some of my tools and put them away, as well as take out the trash, but the living room is back to normal and the fan looks and works great. I am really proud of the job I did.
The fan is a Mission-style five-blade fan with a Tiffany-style lighted base. It gives the entire room a warm golden glow.
Yep, I can hear the rain now and the littlest cat is going crazy running around trying to figure out what it is.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Friday, October 08, 2004
I recently made a trip to the east coast. I knew that my plan only covered the west coast, so I called Verizon Wireless to find out if they had any plans that covered the entire country that was comparable to what I had. They described a plan to me and I said I'd confer with my wife and call back. Well, I did call back, and indicated that I wanted the plan. The operator confirmed and said it would start with the next billing cycle, two days into my trip. Fine, I had colleagues with national plans who said I could use their phones during the trip.
On the day we were to leave, I called Verizon Wireless to confirm that the new plan would be going into effect and they confirmed that it was. So I flew to Virgina and didn't use the phone for two days. On the new plan day, I began using my phone.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my e-mail and saw a bill for $36 more than I was expecting, and that all of it was out of area roaming. I was confused and annoyed so I called Verizon Wireless. They said they had no record of the call to place the order and the call the day of the trip I just asked general questions about roaming, according to the notes.
WTH? Uh, no. The woman was not that polite at all. I realized I was going to get nowhere with her and said "Ok, I guess I need to take it to the next level." and she said "You want to upgrade to a new plan?"
Uh, no. I said "No, I want you to transfer me to someone more superior." To which she replied "Sir, there is no one more superior, but I will transfer you to a manager." I'd swear I couldn't believe my ears, but yes, that is indeed what she said. Manager came on not too long later, I related the entire story again, she credited me the full amount and hooked me up with the other plan.
Happy Ending, but by did that first representative suck.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Friday, September 24, 2004
Oh. It was a Kerry-Edwards rally.
Ok, so maybe Lori has a point when she asks "What, do only Democrats get to exercise the freedom of speech?"
But I also have to think that maybe her dad is a royal frigging idiot. What did he expect? People that go to rallies are pretty rabid to begin with. A torn-up sign is pretty bad, but I imagine there were some in the crowd who were saying stuff pretty inappropriate for a child to hear (and I don't mean Kerry blahing on about something) and I've heard of people getting beat up at those rallies.
Don't take your "Go Green Bay" sign to a Raiders game and think you're teaching your daughter a lesson, dude.
But bottom line, if you survive a catostrophic event where people might be looking for you later, leave some indication that you survived.
Granted, in the second case, someone somewhere had an original thought to begin with before it got ripped off, but you can collect a bunch of Christian cliches, add some Biblical references, some insight and BAM! best-seller. Doesn't help if you're at a well-known church to begin with.
But, far worse is the first case. While I don't normally watch South Park (anymore), I did see one not too long ago where Cartman and the other kids had a bet as to who could get a platinum album first. The other kids practiced and practiced while Cartman took songs that had been popular in past decades and just changed every instance of "baby" to "Jesus". Quite clever, and a great example of what I'm talking about.
I'm tired of seeing permutations and adjustments to popular slogans, skewed pop culture references and tweaked corporate logos. I mean, anyone who knows me knows I love the Warhol effect - taking an object and repeating it with changes, or in a different medium and then tiling the image to show the changes. And I'm all for a great parody (The News was the best, the Mad TV does some good ones sometime. SNL, not so much.)
But I don't think the intent of these Christians is to parody. I think the intent is to draw from what people are already familiar with, and then using the "making it relevant" argument as an excuse to shortcut the process and in the meantime, to put it as bluntly as I can, steal from companies who have invested to develop a brand, come up with a tagline and to promote and market their message.
There is a difference between being relevant and just plain theft and it's time Christians stop being lazy and either make decent and logical connections between the secular material they're drawing from or come up with an original idea of their own.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
Seriously, I'd like to lose some weight. Even had a doctor recently tell me I needed to shed 20 pounds. But it seems nearly impossible. There is always snacks at work.
I've recently started to realize that if I don't have the cookie, there will be cookies again in the future. This isn't the last cookie on earth. But that usually only applies to the second or third cookie. I'm starting to be able to pass it up, but most of the time, I just don't want to. I want to have that cookie, that brownie, that piece of cake. Sadly, sometimes there's an "and" in that statement.
I may overall be making some headway, but I am always looking for an excuse to snack, and I have one of the world's sweetest tooths, teeth, whatever. But I'm not serious. I'm never serious. Perhaps that's my problem.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Most of the time, it's a shot to the back of the head, though they're "experimenting with lethal injections" and that most are for murder, but in some cases, it's been as minor as butt-pinching.
(*Had to throw that in for my Bush hating friends.)
Monday, September 13, 2004
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Friday, September 10, 2004
Sunday, September 05, 2004
|This is reprinted from my friend Kevin's website (link above) because I just thought it deserved as many people as possible seeing it. Not sure I can claim that many readers, but if it's another chance to get onto a search engine, or if someone visits here who doesn't visit his site and has a chance to read it, well, then that's why I reposted it.|
September 1st in Russia isn't a holiday, but it is significant. It's a different way of thinking, but to them the first day of the school year holds more meaning than the last day of the previous year. Beginnings are emphasized over endings. The first day of school, known simply as "First Bell," is a day to recognize the next step in a child's development. But September, as we keep learning, might not be the best month for optimistic thoughts.
A team of Chechnyan rebels, armed with guns and wired to explosives similar to the suicide bombers of the middle east, seized control of a school. Militant separatists bent on becoming martyrs to their own cause of freedom for their people. It won't work, of course. It will end badly for many, perhaps all.
Children, teachers, and school staffers sit huddled inside the school, waiting for the fireworks to begin. Past experience teaches us much. The images of a crowded theater lined with bodies of both terrorists and their innocent victims are tough to forget. Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent, rules Russia with an iron fist, if not an iron curtain. Death looms large over the more than 350 hostages.
But the big news in the United States is not about terrorists or hostages or even the Republican National Convention. Our top story tonight is the dismissal of Kobe Bryant's rape charges. I'm sure historians will debate the outcome of Mr. Bryant's rape trial for decades, whereas a silly thing like ethnic warfare in the eastern hemisphere won't even merit a footnote.
In a situation which makes Columbine look like a Norman Rockwell painting, American media chose to lightly gloss over it, then moved on to an in depth and compelling debate about Kobe's future in the NBA. That, my friends, is why THEY hate us. That, dear people, is why America faces another painful anniversary in a week's time. Our ignorance and our lack of shame make us the most disgraced nation since WWII Germany. And to think, we don't even have to kill anybody to be despised... our apathy and ego are more than enough.
Since we claim to be fighting a war on terrorism, and we seemingly have no problem setting foot on foreign soil uninvited, why aren't we in Beslan, Russia right now? Why aren't we in Moscow, dethroning Putin and installing a regime who recognizes the rights of Chechnyans? Why aren't we in Chechnya installing a government that can contain the violent extremists of their citizenry? Why aren't we in North Korea, fighting a genuine threat of actual, proven-to-exist nuclear weapons of mass destruction? Why aren't we in Libya, capturing or even assassinating its leader who has claimed responsibility for the deaths of scores of Americans? Why aren't we in Arafat's bunker with a force of special ops. agents to muzzle that outdated son of a bitch before he opens his fat face again? Why aren't we in Israel, commanding the Israelis to heed the teachings of their most sacred religious texts which teach of love and forgiveness and charity and compassion?
But we don't go to these places and we won't do these things because we aren't fighting a war on terror. And we can't televise global tragedies which don't directly impact Joe American because it would only serve to remind us how cold and self serving the United States really is. So we hug mom, we eat apple pie, we interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you breaking news about Kobe Bryant's penis, and we go to bed feeling safe and smug. Which is all well and good as long as the victimized children aren't American so we don't have to pretend to care, because let's be honest, we only barely care when they are American children.
Foreign boys and girls, dressed in their brightest white shirts and blouses and their cleanest black pants and skirts, carrying backpacks and sack lunches, attending their first day of school, only to be threatened at gunpoint by men so desperately misguided they actually believe the murder of children might force us... westerners... Americans... to take notice... to intervene. Hell, we don't even interrupt "Fear Factor" for something that trivial.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
The RNC was on TV tonight when I came home and they were waiting for President Bush to accept the nomination. I didn't turn it on and I expected to be bored, but I ended up thinking that it was a really well written speech. I thought it ran the gammut, from deadly serious to light-hearted and self-depreciating. I thought some stuff was wading a little deep into you know what, and some of it was really reaching to put a good spin on some stuff that fell pretty flat, but overall, I liked it. I thought it was even funny how in one instance he put himself next to President Clinton and had Kerry opposing both of them."I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world."
I am amused that in my post about weight and cookies that it was cookies that it triggered into and all the ads were for cookies. I wonder how it chooses to pick that over other things on the page like Sprint PCS or drunk driving.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
I realized that growing up, we rarely had snacks, sweets or desserts. So when they were available to me, I consumed like there'd never be another cookie, never be another chocolate cake. Probably why I had that cookie eating contest with that kid during the church raising party. I lost; I stopped eating after 110 cookies. Amazing that I wasn't puking my guts out later that night. Must have been small cookies. And in retrospect, who over-estimated that much on cookies and left them in the room with the kids?
But so now, even to this day, I struggle... when I see sweets (of which there are often lots) here on campus, I must have some. There will never been sweets again.
I made a bit of a breakthrough last night... I had the option to have another brownie and I did not. I know that there will be more brownies when I get home tonight, so I didn't take any with me to work, either. And if the brownies all get eaten, I have the potential and the ability, should I so desire, to drive to the store, buy more brownies, mix up the contents, eat some raw brownie goop and then cook some more.
But I also have the power to be patient... there will be more brownies.
Small steps, right?
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Anyhow, I turned the song way up and it sounded great. You can count on the Eagles for consistently great music. Maybe it's because only their better stuff gets played on the radio, because I know people would say "What about..." and name off an Eagle song they don't like.
But the music is good. The band members had talent and fun. Take songs like "Boys of Summer" or "All She Wants to Do is Dance" by Don Henley. Those are great songs. They take you back. But, if you think really hard about those songs, they were great when they first came out. It's not nostalgia that makes them great, or even the memories of where you were in life when those songs got regular radio airplay. I'm convinced that they were just great songs, hands down.
But, unfortunately, Don Henley got older and now writes crummy stuff that is too full of politics or too much about his family life. I have a family and I love them. And I have political opinions, too. But why should I pay some entertainer to go on and on about something. Fricking shut up and entertain me already. Don't sucker me by making me think I'm buying entertainment only to find out it's mindless drivel. I don't care about your opinion. Or anyone else's when it comes to politics. That's why I don't watch cable news talk shows. The songs of them that Henley sings now do not make me want to open the sunroof and turn up the stero really loudly.
So my question is this... in today's homogenized world of four gigantic media companies controlling the music catalogs and three or four giant media companies controlling all the radio stations, does good music exist anymore? There are songs here and there that I like, but are there any really good consistent artists left? I'm talking the kind of music that makes you feel good to be alive, but isn't up with people. The kind of music that celebrates a beautiful woman or women but isn't a soft-core porn come on. The kind of music that says "summer" but isn't the window rattling crap our dumbass drug dealing neighbors and their custom.. uh, friends play all day long as they drive by in their low-riders?
And does such a radio station exist that would give airtime to such music? KLOS and Arrow 93 are probably good bets, but they do more to celebrate the Eagles in their better day, with my limited time in the car, I wouldn't know if either even play anything new.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
she cries because she's in pain, you just want to die.
It seems to me like supporting the Unborn Child Pain Awareness act is a no-brainer.
As a child, I remember going with my mom on two different occasions to have cats put to sleep. It was very sad, but I know that they were tranquilized in the process, so to them, it just felt like they were falling asleep. They weren't in pain and, well, being cats, probably didn't think much about whether they were going to wake up or not.
But the point being, surely if we're going to end the life of a human (or nearly-human, depending on your point of view), surely we ought to give the same option of pain relief as we give to pets.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Today a truck cut me off on the freeway and then stayed in front of me blocking my view of the road. I thought he was a real a-hole. When he finally did start moving over, I could see that the problem was he was on his car phone. Not his cell phone, but an actual phone the size of my shoe with a cord attached. That makes him even more of an a-hole, but I felt a little better about the situation, realizing he was out of his element being in this decade.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Which means others might actually now see my blog. Welcome!
Anyhow, you've probably already seen this, but if you've not, check out www.jibjab.com for a very funny political parody. I've had to watch it several times now and the song has been stuck in my head for two days. Wonderful, imaginative stuff. And the voices, well done as well.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
There's gotta be two or three more good jokes here... like "Available in XL, XXL and XXXXL" or "Yeah, but you gotta also purchase the Costco burial plan... you get a prime spot under the parking lot."
As always, your suggestions are welcome. (Which is seeming to prove that Kevin is my only reader.)
Monday, August 16, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
I did like how Men in Black played with scale, showing the really tiny solar system on a cat's collar and the really big aliens to whom our planets were the size of marbles.
In related news, I went to Wendy's the other day. I know the old lady is lone since passed away and even Dave Thomas himself is RIP, but seriously (or ironically), where's the beef?!?!?!
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Thursday, August 05, 2004
I know, old joke that I made up that probably only amuses me.
But I stopped at Target this morning (wardrobe malfunction) and noticed that it now has a Starbucks. But the Starbucks didn't have any customers and the whole two cashiers that they had in the Target part had lines so they made the Starbucks barista go work a Target register. That's when I noticed that she had the same Target nametag. So I guess it must be some sort of franchise arrangement, like how when you go to the McDonalds at Disneyland they have Disneyland nametags.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
The article also says that at one point, the boy's 15-year-old cousin drove her SUV around while she and the boy were having sex in the back. What assurances did she have that the 15-year-old wouldn't rat them out? Did she do the cousin any favors or give cash or gifts?
I probably wouldn't have even mentioned this story on here if not for the unfortunate choice of advertising banners NBC's slapped up top the photo gallery. (Still nothing tops Breckin Meyer, hands clasped behind his head with a phrase like "Life is good" stuck to the top of every page on MSNBC.com on 9/11/01 for several hours.)
I was always amused, too, that they got caught the second time... in her car! I mean, ok, so he was young, but she was old enough to know to... oh, I don't know... get a room? Find a more secluded location?
The kid is now 21 and his mom is raising his two daughters and he's working on his GED and is unemployed. You'd think with her locked up behind bars that maybe he'd have a chance to focus on his studies.
I was also amused at the boys outside the correctional center holding signs saying "I'm 18. Take me home!" when she was released. Now there's either something wrong with them, or way to go all the way for a joke.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
- In my pants!
- Do I look like a freakin' firefighter?
- In the bushes about a mile back.
- Woah! Nice mustache! If I were a firefighter, all we'd need to find was a construction worker and an indian.
Ok, some decent, some not so good. What might you wish you could say? Post a comment.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Targeting a company like Citibank, Prudential, etc., would be a tragedy, in that people would be killed. To those who would lose loved ones, or to those permanently disabled, it's a big, awful, sad deal. I don't mean to diminish or downplay that by what I have to say. I want to be respectful.
But in every other regard, I think any such attack would do so little to affect us financially. While there is inherent value in the employees of a company like Citibank, a lot of its value is in its ability to conduct business, make deals, move money, etc. All computerized. One of the last non-computer steps is checks, but by late October, even that will be computerized. In the event that Citibank's headquarters were attacked, redundant systems elsewhere would immediately kick in and within hours (or minutes) the internal machine would be back to business as usual.
The NYSE's announcement that they intend to start letting computerized trades function in the same way as traders on the trade floor echoes that same trend. I'm pretty sure if the NYSE were attacked, a new trading floor could be up and running within 48 hours.
I think we would treat it just like any other attack. We'd get ticked off, vote the candidate who had the more aggresive pro-war campaign [back] into office and give the terrorists more ammunition for their recruiting package. Personally, I believe that ultimately a war on terrorism could be won, but it would be a very bloody battle for both sides, with lots of blood shed here in the US.
(P.S. For you conspiracy theorists out there, it's rumored that Citibank has a warehouse full of blue money standing by should anything happen to the US green money.)
Friday, July 30, 2004
All they would do is cause us to want to vote more. We don't care, until we're told we can't do something. Then we'll prove we can.
We're big, but we're slow... until we get prodded. Kind of like a lumbering bear, I guess.