traffic, personal comments edit

Just got a call from this guy Bill over at Farmer’s Insurance. I’ll take my car in to the body shop for the estimate tomorrow morning, then take the car back this coming Monday for the final work to begin on it. I’ll get a rental car Monday so I can get to work. (Yay?)

Well, this is all coming together. Hopefully my car will be done for Christmas.

traffic comments edit

My weekend was eventful from the word go.

The festivities started as soon as I left work. I got maybe half a mile before I was rear-ended. A diagram of what happened looks something like this:

Rear-Ended! (7k

Basically, I was stopped at approximately the place where one lane splits into two. This guy suddenly decides that, rather than wait, he’ll just go ahead and take the curb and try to skinny past me because, hey, 1984 Ford Pickups are tiny cars that can just squeak through anywhere. Needless to say, he scraped right up the rear of my car.

I, of course, am a little taken aback at the audacity of the driver in question, but, well, shit happens and it needs to be dealt with. So I honk my horn at the guy and he stops. I stop my car, start to get out, and he takes off. Shit.

I start my car back up and floor it to catch up to him. After about a mile of chasing the guy down, he finally pulls into a 7-11 parking lot. Turns out it’s a kid, maybe 17 or 18 years old, tops, driving his dad’s truck. No wonder he claims he “didn’t know he hit me” - he’s gonna get his ass kicked when he gets home. (How could you not know? My car rocked back and forth with the force of the impact, so he had to have felt something…)

Anyway, my car looked only cosmetically damaged… at least it was still drivable… and I called my insurance company (Progressive) when I got home.

I could not recommend Progressive Insurance any more than I already do. These guys rock. The last time I had something happen to my car, I was very pleasantly surprised with the speed with which they handled the claim - I mean, they came to me and got everything taken care of by the next day. The only thing I had to worry about was getting my car to the body shop. Yeah, boyeeee.

However, on speaking with the Progressive claims office, it turns out I have two options - I can either go through my insurance, pay the $250 deductible, and get no rental car while my car’s in the shop or I can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance - Farmers - and deal with their overhead but get a rental car while mine’s being fixed.

I chose to go the Farmers route, since I need to have transportation to get to work and all. Thus began my call to Farmers.

Around three hours after the accident had happened, this guy still hadn’t called it in to his insurance, so I filed the claim for him. That wasn’t the hard part. The hard part starts now because Farmers is this vast, slow, annoyingly inconvenient company that doesn’t like to pay out. What I “get” to do now that I’ve filed the claim is: wait two business days to hear back from the claims adjuster; take my car to them to have them take pictures and provide an estimate; wait while they process that all; then get a check that I can pay the auto body company with. I don’t know how they’re going to arrange the rental car, but I’m sure I’ll get some piece of shit Ford Escort or something that I can’t fit into worth a damn.

To sum it up: I’m a little irritated that the whole thing happened. And that was just Friday night.

Saturday wasn’t too bad. During the day I was pretty lazy and played some more Kingdom Hearts, then that evening Jenn and I went to my parents’ house to watch some holiday movies. We watched It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (probably the best Muppet movie to come out for a loooong time, available only from and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (okay, so that’s more of a Thanksgiving movie than a Christmas movie, but still). That was pretty cool, except they always get this damn Papa Murphy’s stuffed Chicago style pizza that seems to have an inordinate amount of onions in it (I’m not an onion fan). I think next time they come over I’ll have, like, eggplant and lima beans or something so they finally get it. It’s pretty nasty.

Sunday I played a little more Kingdom Hearts and went to the Winter Hawks game against Tri-Cities. That was probably the longest hockey game in history, or at least it felt like it. I totally wasn’t into it, either. I half-jokingly asked Jenn if she wanted to go home in the middle of the second period and she was all for it. In the end, we lost in overtime, so it wasn’t even for a success that we put up with that crap. It’s unfortunate they can’t get themselves together this season. While I hope they can pull it out for the second half of the season, I admit I don’t have a lot of faith. Besides, I’m thinking if they don’t make it to playoffs, that’s money I don’t have to spend on the tickets. :)

And now it’s Monday, and I have lots to do. I still haven’t bought Jenn’s Christmas gift(s), only because she can’t tell me anything she wants, and the stuff she did say she wanted is now no longer carried by the store it was sold in, so I’m sort of up a creek. I guess I’ll do my best; since she doesn’t show any interest in anything in particular, I suppose the flip side of that is that she can’t complain if she doesn’t like what she gets.

One positive note: I just checked, and Amazon finally finished refunding me the money they wrongly charged me for my last order. Yay!

personal, blog comments edit

I’ve heard from a couple of people that come by to read the site that I should offer “some sort of language warning” up front because I cuss every once in a while. Well, I was thinking about that while using the restroom just now, and I’ve decided that my response to that is simple:

Fuck that.

I’m not here to entertain your kids or read you Richard Scarry books. I’m here to write about me (which, while admittedly self-centered, is the point of the site). You, I presume, are here to read about me, which automatically makes you my best friend ever.

In the process of writing about me, I try to approximate my actual thought processes and feelings, so that you might get an understanding of how I tick. I further hope by doing this that I can read back through this jumbled mess and maybe even I can get a better understanding of what the hell I’m thinking.

The point is, you’re here of your own volition. You’re here because you love me, or are learning to love me, or maybe you hate me and want to figure out how to psychologically punish me in the most egregious fashion. Regardless, you came to me, most likely already knowing me, so you probably had an idea of the substance you were stepping into before you got here. The fact I carry a “Fuck Off” mug around with me at work should have clued you in.

So, anyway, there’s your warning. If you don’t like it, tough cookies, baby.

In other news…

I thought about it today (again), and the more I think about it, the more I think I need one of those digital camera/cell phone things so that I can easily take pictures of the stupid crap I see. I am constantly bombarded with visual spectacles of moronic proportions, and I am always willing to share lunacy with my audience. The only problem I can see is that I find so many ludicrous things around to share with folks that I’d very soon run out of disk space on my account and I’d have to find a new place to host this blog. Which would also mean money out of my pocket, and, me being the cheap bastard I am, I’m not willing to part with said funds. So until I start feeling generous (or acquire the digital camera, at which point I don’t think I’ll be able to resist the Urge to Herbal), you’ll just have to make due with my textual descriptions.

I won’t tell you too much about my latest bout with stupidity, but let’s just say I have another restroom etiquette rule: If you splatter on the toilet seat, clean up after yourself.

I’ll leave the details to your imaginations.

gaming, playstation, tv comments edit

Now that this Kingdom Hearts thing has invaded our lives, it’s become sort of an obsession. I believe Jenn is starting to understand the conversion of a game from a pastime to an addiction, just as I understood when I first encountered Grand Theft Auto 3. It’s no longer just something to sit down and play; it’s a common reference point that we can share and see what’s going on with the other person’s game.

Jenn’s a bit further ahead than I am as far as her characters are concerned, but I’ve taken more time to go through each world you must traverse and get all of the things so I don’t have to go back.

A few nights ago we watched A Very Merry Muppet Christmas on NBC and were very pleased with it. We had just recently been complaining about how Kermit the Frog really doesn’t sound like Kermit now that Jim Henson’s dead, and with this latest movie, I was pleased that his voice was nearly spot-on. They also paid a lot of tribute to the original Muppet movies and had some great humor for both the kids and the adults.

I ended up buying the VHS tape (along with a “Best of Muppets CD”) from Normally I would never consider buying a VHS tape in my land of DVDs, but I asked the customer service folks and they said they weren’t going to release it on DVD. Anyway, I look forward to that getting here so I can see it again. Great stuff.

Hmmm… Oh - I get the Zamboni newsletter (what - don’t you?) and saw in this latest one that they’re coming out with a remote controlled Zamboni ice resurfacing machine. I think that’s a must-have for yours truly. Jenn’s dad has a remote controlled truck, my dad has a Hum-Vee… I need the Zamboni. (Speaking of Zamboni, a lot of their clothing items are on sale. For those looking for gifts for Trav, there you go…)

I’ve started reading a book called The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. It reads a little like the Harry Potter series, but has a much different world; rather than placing magic into today’s world like Harry Potter does, this series takes place in a world where you might recognize the names of things, but that’s about as far as it gets. Sort of alternate universe style. Anyway, it’s really quite good so far, though I’m only on page 50 or thereabouts, so you don’t have to take my word for it.

Finally, I’m in the process of installing and testing SharePoint Portal Server v2 beta 1. After talking to the Microsoft guys about it, it looks like a lot of the work I’ve done on customizing v1 over the past year will basically amount to jack squat because they’re changing the whole thing so drastically. On one side, I’m happy that they’ve improved everything so greatly; on the other, I can’t help but feel like I’ve basically just been spinning my wheels for the past year now because I’ve gotta start all over from scratch - there’s no “migration path” for these things. C’est la vie.

personal comments edit

Thanksgiving came and went without incident. Rather than the standard (lesser alternative) of turkey, my family celebrated with a great lasagna and some shrimp ravioli in scampi sauce. Two thumbs up from me - both were excellent, and I ate until I nearly burst. I didn’t even have room for dessert! Great stuff.

After eating, we played some games. We have a Survivor board game that we hadn’t played before and busted out. It was actually pretty fun, but it takes a long time to play, and the longer you play, the more people you have sitting around, bored, having been voted out of the game. I can see where it may not be a holiday game, too, because you sort of have to choose favorites and vote people out. It was fun, though. Also, Dad mustered up a Clue card game that played similar to the board game but went a little faster. I liked that one a lot. Apparently, it’s sort of hard to find, though, so if you see it and you like Clue, grab it up.

That, in a nutshell, was Thanksgiving.

Friday I worked, and I had hoped it would be a slow day, me being the only person in the department, but that was the day our WOS (wireless office services) system went berzerk and stopped letting phone calls go through to anyone who has a cell phone. This, of course, included me and the rest of the tech guys, and loads of other folks, too. The real catch is that I was the only one here, and I couldn’t call the phone guy for help because his phone was one of the ones affected! I eventually figured out that if I left the immediate campus, I could call my boss because he had gone on vacation and separated his phone from the system. He came in and we did a very technical procedure to restore service - we turned the system off and back on again.

I dunno. It worked, so all was well.

Saturday morning was spent in Kingdom Hearts. The more I play it, the more I like it. There’s really only two things I’d fix on it to make it better: First, in some places the camera bugs out and it’s hard to figure out where you’re going. Second, there’s a piece of the game that involves you building and configuring a space ship to fly around in; that’s unnecessarily difficult to figure out and really doesn’t have anything to do with the game proper. Take it out. Other than that, it rocks.

Saturday night our friends Jason and Tracy came over for some teriyaki chicken sandwiches and some games. We played Catch Phrase and Zobmondo, both of which were quite fun. I hadn’t played Zobmondo before (though I’d had it for a while and meant to), so it was good to finally bust it out. You definitely need a few people for that, though.

Sunday Jenn and I decided that we needed the strategy guide for Kingdom Hearts, so we picked that up at Best Buy (a store I loathe for their shitty return policy, but where you can find some stuff that it’s difficult to find elsewhere). While I was there, I saw that the Kelly Osbourne album (Shut Up) was out, so I bought it.

I’m actually very pleasantly surprised with Kelly’s album. It’s sort of punky and hip. I don’t know what I was expecting, but either way, it came out ahead for me. I can’t say she’s got the most awesome voice in the world or anything, but her songs are catchy, if maybe a tiny bit repetitive. I found myself toe-tapping all the way to work this morning.

The best songs on there are “Shut Up” (the title track) and “Too Much of You.” There is, of course, the requisite ballad at the end of the album, which wasn’t all that great. Then again, I listened through the entire album waiting for it, since doesn’t every rock album have one?

The album itself is short - I was able to listen to the entire album on my commute to work this morning, about 45 minutes. I don’t think that’s a problem, but it is what it is.

In all, I think it’s a pretty good album, and I’m not sorry I picked it up.

Sunday night we went to the hockey game and watched the Winter Hawks finally win one. They’ve really been sucking lately, so it was nice to see a win come out of ‘em for a change.

This morning brought some interesting news: The people have finally received their own taste of my irritation. While shopping there on Friday, I found that I had like $100 worth of gift certificates on my account. Hey, no problem for me! I did my shopping and it all came out of the gift certificates. Well, they finally got around to looking at my account in the depth I wanted them to, and they realize that they owe me $11 and that they miscredited me $120 on my account. They further asked for me to authorize them to charge my card for the amount of my order. Interesting how they want immediate action when the shoe’s on the other foot, isn’t it?

So I mailed them back and said, basically, that I’m not a thief and I understand that accidents happen, but if they wanted me to authorize them to charge my card, they’d have to call me the way I told them to do in the first place.

Not an hour later, I got an email with the customer service phone number for so I could get in touch with them. Yay, me!

For the record, and for anyone who wants it, the customer service phone number for is 1-800-201-7575. (For the non-US folks, it’s 1-206-266-2992.) I challenge you to find that on their site anywhere.

I called them, talked to a guy named Brad, and got everything straightened out. I authorized ‘em to charge my card (see? I’m not a bad guy) for the stuff I bought, and everything will be sorted out shortly.

I’m gonna rip ‘em a new one if it’s not. I got your number now, baby!