humor comments edit

Let me get this out in the open right now: People, in general, are damn idiots.

This will probably end up being a recurring theme throughout this blog.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily imply that I’m any “better” than anyone else per se; I just see that the population en masse has exceptionally poor problem solving skills. In that respect, yeah, maybe I’m better than some folks.

The conflict here arises in the fact that I’m faced with a certain amount of desktop computer and telephone support in my daily workload. Especially since about half of the CIT department got downsized here at work a few months ago. Since I’ve taken on additional user support, I am continually astonished at the levels people sink to on the problem-solving and information-retention scales.

First of all, my motto for technical support: “God helps those who help themselves.” Which is to say, if you have a problem, try reading the fucking manual before you just throw your arms up in a panic and taking up someone else’s time to ask them a stupid question. (Yes, there are such things as stupid questions.) If you’ve legitimately tried to solve your problem and have reached a stumbling point, then, and only then, you may ask for help.

My favorite request in recent days: A user can’t figure out why his phone won’t ring. “It worked last week,” says the user. Did you do anything to it? “No.” Of course not. Let me look into it.

So I look through the phone system configuration. Everything looks fine. I start tracing the line back from the user’s desk to the telephone closet to make sure all the lines are connected and all is working in that respect. Yeah, the phone’s got power. Yeah, the phone’s plugged into the proper outlet in the wall. Everything seems to be in order. Quick check and… oh, geez…

Look. If you turn the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on, you’re not going to get any calls. That’s what ‘Do Not Disturb’ means. You won’t be disturbed. “I didn’t turn that on.” Are you sure? “Yeah. I don’t even know how to turn that on.” That’s interesting, because it had to be turned on from your phone, so unless someone ran in here to play a prank on you (not likely), you turned it on.

People. I just don’t understand them.

I think Dumbentia has the best solution to the problem.

In the meantime, I’ll drink out of my “Fuck Off” mug (that my friend bought for me, just for situations like this) and pretend to listen. Unbelieveable.

auto, hockey comments edit

Having season hockey tickets for the Winter Hawks, I parked my car at the local MAX stop to ride in to the Rose Garden Arena for the Friday night game. This is not an unusual procedure.

This time it was different, though.

I got back to my car after the game and drove it home. No problem, right? Well, when I went to drive out to a friend’s place the next morning, I noticed that some punk bitch decided to key my car.

There is now a big line from the upper passenger-side of the hood diagonal down to the headlight on the driver’s side. It’s a two-part line; you can see where the asshole’s arm wasn’t long enough to do it in one swipe, so he/she adjusted position and continued keying. It’s probably a good three feet long.

I feel sort of like John Travolta (“Vincent”) in Pulp Fiction, where he’s talking to Eric Stoltz (“Lance”) while buying heroin. He has his car in storage for three years, then it’s out five days and someone keys it.

VINCENT: I just wish I caught ‘em doin’ it, ya know? Oh man, I’d give anything to catch ‘em doin’ it. It’a been worth his doin’ it, if I coulda just caught ‘em, you know what I mean?

LANCE: It’s chicken shit. You don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.

Even more than having the asshole key my car, what bothered me was that I was going to have to go through the insurance company hassle. I’ve been through this before, where you have to schedule time to take the car to a claims office, have them take pictures, fill out the paperwork, etc., then do the same stupid thing at the auto body shop, then wait for the check to arrive, etc. What a pain.

But it wasn’t like that this time. Since the last time I had a claim, I’ve switched car insurance from Nationwide to Progressive. It was so much easier to deal with things through them! I filed the claim at noon on Sunday. 45 minutes later, I was talking to a claims adjuster. 60 minutes after that, there was a guy at my house taking the pictures, doing the estimate, etc. Had I not just renewed my policy (every six months, right?), he’d have cut me a check on the spot. Too bad for me; I will get a check in the mail in a couple of days. Shucks. And I was looking forward to the annoying hassle of insurance companies. Not. I totally recommend these Progressive folks. Check ‘em out. Not only did they save me money, the customer service, so far as I can tell, is the bomb.

So, anyway, that should [hopefully] be fixed by the end of the week. Pending on how soon the check gets here, that is. I’ll call the auto body shop and find out when they’ve got an opening.

media, movies, books, toys comments edit

I wasn’t originally taken with the whole Harry Potter concept. I mean, a children’s book about magic and stuff… doesn’t sound too appealing. I decided it wasn’t worth the time.

But then I saw the movie.

After that, I needed to read the books. I ended up ordering them from Amazon.co.uk because a) they had the fourth book in paperback already and b) I wanted to read the books the original way they were written.

I was not disappointed.

I won’t go into the whole “no series has sucked me in like that for a long time” rant. You’ve heard it all before.

What it did spawn, though, besides that, was a series of Legos that are really cool. Miniature Lego Harry and Hermione? How can I pass that up?

Of course, there was a huge run on them during the Christmas season, so while I got a couple of sets for Christmas, when I went back to the store to complete my collection, they were sold out. I ended up successfully ordering them online, with a few of the sets backordered.

I finally have all the sets now.

I set them up at work in my cube. They look pretty good, and I put them all together to make one giant set just like in the pictures on the box. Yeah! I dug it so much, I decided some photos were in order. Since I only have a crappy little webcam, the pictures aren’t too great, but they’ll do. All the Legos, all
together!

Looks pretty good, huh? I thought so.

On a side note, that sort of spurs a question of what the rest of my workspace looks like. From over by the Legos, if you look at where I sit eight hours a day, it looks like this. Yeah, that is a lava lamp. And a Luminglas. And a disco ball. And a mirror ball. Here’s a closer look. .

Lots of folks find it distracting. I think it’s boring if all that stuff isn’t there. Heh.

humor, hockey comments edit

I went to the Winter Hawks hockey game last night (we won) and as I was going about my business in the restroom after the game, an interesting thing happened.

Let me set the scene: There are five urinals in a row. There are people using the ones on each end. I decide to use the one in the middle, leaving an empty urinal between myself and each of the other two folks there.

Okay, so a fourth guy comes in and chooses the urinal to my left. Now there are (from left to right) two guys, me, an empty urinal, and another guy. Here’s where the interesting thing happens.

The guy to my immediate left (we’ll call him “Bob”) starts talking to the guy to the far left (we’ll call him “Jim”). It went something like this…

Bob: Some game, wasn’t it? Jim: Yup. Glad we won. Bob (gesturing at the Jim’s beer cup sitting on top of Jim’s urinal): You piss in that cup yet? Jim: Nope. Bob: Good.

Now, Bob is doing his business with his wang in his left hand. He proceeds to cross over with his right hand, grab Jim’s beer, and drink it, while he’s peeing.

This prompted me to feel as though there are a few unwritten rules of bathroom etiquette (and general sanitary conduct) that probably need to be written down for the people in the cheap seats. I can’t claim this list to be comprehensive, but here are some of the major ones:

  1. Don’t talk to other people in the bathroom unless it’s an emergency, like if you’ve caught yourself on fire.
  2. Don’t bring food or drink in the bathroom. The reason it smells like piss is that there are little piss particles floating around in the air.
  3. If you absolutely must bring food and/or drink into the bathroom, by all means, feel free to leave them on the counter. Don’t set it on top of the urinal unless you’re trying to play a dirty prank on the owner of the food/drink.
  4. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom. This sounds fairly obvious, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised. I think the “best” reason I’ve heard someone use for not washing their hands was: “If you keep your dick clean, you don’t have to wash your hands.” As if I trust the cleanliness level of someone else’s dick. I think not.
  5. If you wipe and somehow miss the toilet when you try to throw the TP in, clean up after yourself. Maybe that’ll teach you to aim a little better. (Don’t forget to wash your hands!!!)
  6. Flush. Please, by all that is holy, especially after a particularly foul crap, flush the sonofabitch down. As entertaining as you find it, please believe you’ll be eating that turd if I find you leaving it there and I’m the next to use the toilet.
  7. Aim. For the male population, this does require the use of your hand. Maybe both hands. Playing a handheld video game, reading a newspaper, or doing something else that might require you to remove your hand from the aiming position is not an option. I don’t care how “under control” you might think you have things.
  8. Don’t touch other people. Even if you’ve washed your hands. If you just took a leak and then stick your hand out to me to shake it, you’re gonna be left hanging. This sort of goes hand in hand with the “no talking” rule. Wait until you’re outside the hallowed hall.
  9. Try to minimize the noise level. Sure, sometimes that little extra “grunt” is needed to push the big guy out, but a constant, low-level moaning or other such unnecessary sound is, well, unnecessary. I don’t want to be involved with your business any more than you want to be involved with mine.

I think that pretty much covers it. I’m sure there are others, and I may have to revise this post and add to the list, but for the most part, them’s the rules.

activities comments edit

Cirque du Soleil is bringing their Dralion show to Portland and I’ve got my tickets! Come June 14, I’ll be sitting right up front (three rows back from center stage) taking in some of the most wonderful entertainment I’ve ever encountered.

I’ve seen the Mystere show at the Treasure Island, Las Vegas like three times now and it just gets better every time. I’ve also seen the Saltimbanco show, last time it was in Portland. I’m totally excited to see this latest arrival. When the big top goes up, I’ll probably be chomping at the bit.