personal comments edit

As any reader of this blog knows, I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for my copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to show up. When it does, I’m taking a week off work for vacation and a bit of the old ultraviolence. Oh, and to get my cat declawed and fixed. But that’s not the point.

I went in yesterday to to see why my order hasn’t shipped yet - the game’s out, it says it ships in 24 hours, so where the hell is it?

Turns out, they keep saying that my credit card’s being rejected so I need to enter new credit card information. Odd, since I just made a purchase at Barnes and Noble the day before. So I re-enter the card information and the site says everything’s cool.

I get an email this morning that says my card’s rejected again. What?! So I go back into the Amazon site and it’s asking for me to re-enter the card info again or enter a new card. Fed up, I just entered the number for a different credit card and things now seem to be rolling along again… Of course, I’m waiting for the rejection email on that card, too, but we’ll see. Either way, the delivery of my game is now pushed out until like November 7 - 13, when it should have been here by this coming Monday.

I called the credit card company for the card that got rejected twice, and they don’t have any record of my card being rejected. In fact, a separate order I made at Amazon was authorized on that card and they paid it on the 30th. They don’t know what the deal is.

Regardless, this has put a wrench in my gaming plans. I desperately need a vacation or I’m going to have some sort of a nervous breakdown, so just what I needed was another thing to postpone my time off. Needless to say, I’m pretty irritated.

I realized late yesterday that I never really tied the entry yesterday to its title, A Special Joy in Coffee Black. Yesterday was one of my few coffee-drinking days (and of course, no one filled the fucking pots) so I was drowning myself in caffeinated bliss.

personal comments edit

Today is not going to be a good day.

I got to work after my allergy shot appointment (for which the nurse was late) to find that several things had gone amiss in the 15 hours since I’d last been here.

First, we’re working on an automated approach to rolling out Office XP to the users here. I’m participating in the test rollout, being part of the CIT team and all. Basically, they configure some things on the network and when you reboot your computer you get Office XP automatically installed. Well, apparently, Access 2002 breaks certain apps that a few people use so last night the Office XP team here (a team of like two people) started experimenting with figuring out how to install some machines with Office XP complete and some with a subset of Office XP, minus Access.

When I turned on my computers this morning, Office XP (which was already installed) was uninstalled and then reinstalled for me. Automatically. Thanks. Because that won’t screw anything else on my machine up.

Next, I opened up my email box to find several beauties. One email from Microsoft Support told me that this gigantic program I had written basically needs to be reengineered - almost rewritten from the ground up. Apparently they’d rather have me do a shitload of work than fix the problem on their end. Fine. Another email from Microsoft Security Services alerted me to a bunch of IIS patches I have to roll out ASAP, which, of course, means I need to test them on my test machine, then fill out the change control forms on the servers that need the patch, then roll out the patch, etc., etc. What a pain in the ass, and just what I wanted to do today. There were also three new help desk cases assigned to me because users here don’t seem to know how to use the web, even though we’re a web software company. It never ceases to amaze me.

Finally, while I was figuring out all the stuff I have going and pending, I realized that I’m the major bottleneck on almost all of the projects I’m on because I’ve got too many damn irons in the fire (so to speak). No stress there, baby.

I did try using the voice recorder feature on my iPaq during the ride home last night, though, so I’ll put the thoughts I came up with here, in the order I came up with them. Honestly, I don’t remember a single one, so I’ll be just as surprised at them as you are. Here we go…

Transcription software. I need to look into getting transcription software for my iPaq, if such a thing exists. This would make the writing of the blog way easier, assuming the software was any good.

My mind is going, and I really can’t remember what I did yesterday (or even last week), so maybe the blog is spoiling me. While talking to my friend Liz at lunch yesterday, she asked me what’s been going on with me. I was like, “Haven’t you read my blog? I post all the good stuff there.” And she was all, “No. Can’t you just tell me?” That’s when I realized that I don’t remember what’s been going on. I write it down here so I don’t have to remember. I’ve never been very good at remembering chronologically-related things (dates, times, happenings), so maybe that’s just my nature. Then again, I’m wondering if I’m not even trying to remember because I have it written down right here.

Cheap American toys and the lack of quality. I bought a small die-cast metal car yesterday in the shape of a 2002 Acura RSX Type-S (the car I drive). It had this ridiculous spoiler on the back that was almost the size of the car, and while I was contemplating what to do about that, it came off in my hand. I didn’t even apply any pressure to it - it just broke. Where’s the quality anymore? I remember a time when you could take a 20-pound sledgehammer to a Matchbox car and it’d break your sledgehammer. Damn.

If I can’t remember things now, how will I even remember to listen to these recordings? This was sort of a disjointed thought that sprung from the above My mind is going… thought. Basically, I’ll forget I even recorded stuff on my iPaq to listen to later. That’s pretty sad.

Bizarre Love Triangle is one of the best songs ever. I was listening to the New Order album Substance in the car. I think the statement speaks for itself.

I wonder if I aspire to speak like Jay and Silent Bob? For those who have seen any of the View Askew films… I sometimes come up with shit that even I don’t know where it came from. I think subconsciously, I try to be like the characters from, say, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

I think my blog is a lot like the TV show Seinfeld - it’s a blog about nothing. I’m thinking that’s true. I read back on some of the stuff, and it reads like a bad episode of Seinfeld - nothing happens to me, yet I write about it anyway.

Driving my car at night reminds me of the SR-71 Blackbird spy jet. The inside and the outside of my car are both black, so you don’t see anything in the car that isn’t lit up. When you turn the lights on, the gauges all light up red. And I don’t mean the whole back of the thing - only the letters, numbers, and other markings light up. I dig it.

I always appreciate those people who want to drive extra safely and go 15 mph in a 25 mph zone. Because you know that the extra 10 mph is just killing them. Ice cream trucks go at least 30 mph. Get a move-on, people.

There you have it. The latest thoughts, as they happened.

I read this back and wonder if that tape recorder I so desperately need is such a good idea after all.

food, movies comments edit

We were strapped for dinner ideas last night so we broke out my mom’s recipe for tater tot casserole (or, as I have come to call it, Casserole du Tot).

It was actually pretty decent, all things considered. Jenn claims it was her first ever casserole creation experience, and I think it was mine, too. I’ve eaten various casseroles before, but never have I made one.

This one happened to make like 20 pounds of casserole, though, so I have a feeling it’s leftovers for another week or so. I mean, it calls for a two pound bag of tater tots. That’s a big-a casserole-a.

Something I forgot to mention yesterday: On Monday night, Jenn and I attempted to go to the sneak preview of I-Spy. I was pretty psyched about seeing it, and I think Jenn was pretty excited, too. But I say “attempted to go” because that’s all it was - an attempt.

Here’s how it went down: I signed up for a contest to get a free movie pass to see the movie. I got the pass. Jenn and I met up at home around 6:00p and we were downtown, parked (for $5, no less, because God forbid they have the preview at a theater with a parking lot; of course, my logic was that the movie was free, so $5 for parking was no biggie), and in the theater by 6:15p. The movie was set to start at 7:00p.

We got in line and there were, oh, 100 people in line, give or take, when we got there. That’s not bad; the theater probably seats 300 or so, I think. I’ve been to loads of these previews and that’s not uncommon to see that many people there. So we got in line and a few minutes later the line starts moving. They let like five people in, then say, “Sorry! The theater’s full!” What?! You let five fucking people in. It’s not full.

But it is full.

Turns out, the place that I got the tickets from thought they had the whole preview to themselves, so they gave away enough tickets to fill the seats. But another place was giving away tickets, too - and enough to fill the seats. So only half the people who got tickets were able to get in.

I understand they “slightly overbook the theater” to “ensure a good turnout,” but that’s ridiculous. Especially when the place I got the tickets from only wanted to know one thing about you - “Are you definitely going to be able to make it?” I made it, and I got screwed.

In the end, Jenn and I went to Starbucks and I got me a Ventitm Mocha Frappuccino®. So it wasn’t a total loss, but I was admittedly a little peeved.

Bitches, man. Bitches.

personal comments edit

I thought about this the other day when Jenn and I were shopping in the perfume section of Nordstrom

People make associations in their brains. Like the way people remember the words to a song based on how the song sounds - the rhythm, the melody, etc. In some cases, people use songs and rap as a sort of mnemonic device to help themselves remember stuff. A popular example of this is the Schoolhouse Rock series. Hey, that’s how I learned the preamble to the Constitution.

It’s also pretty well known that people can remember thousands of different scents. Who doesn’t know the smell of chocolate or coffee?

So what if people started exploiting the ability to remember smells and exercise that to help in remembering things? I’m not sure how that would work exactly, but the ability to do something like, “Hmmm… spearmint. That reminds me that the Wright brothers made the first airplane.” Or something like that.

I think scratch-and-sniff stickers would become popular again. People in classes would start carrying around these huge sticker notebooks and be madly scratching at stickers during tests. Schools would have to start pumping out a sort of smell neutralizer to stop kids from cheating.

Might be interesting.

music comments edit

I will admit that random thoughts cross my mind when I’m in the car.

For example, today I was driving along, listening to my Police: Live album, and one of the songs (I don’t remember which) had a pan flute going in the background. The first thought in my head when I heard that was not “hey, that’s nice and relaxing,” nor was it “wow, that sounds like Men At Work.”

It was: I wonder what ever happened to Zamfir?

I remember being bombarded by Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute advertisements while sitting on the green shag carpet of my grandparents’ house, watching the Magnavox console TV (remember those?) and eating Cheetos. (That was around the same time that Roger Whittaker was huge, and I can still visualize the back-to-back call-this-1-800-number-now commercials.)

My grandmother on my mom’s side was still alive back then and she’d let us pick the pennies out of her change bowl to keep. I can still see her sitting, smoking, at the kitchen table in their old house. Always smoking. That’s actually what did her in, in the end.

Whoa, flashback there.

Anyway, Zamfir. What happened to the guy? Was there just no more demand for pan flute music? Was there ever a demand for pan flute music, or was it this manufactured market that he catered to? Like somehow he convinced these record companies that there’d be this huge run on pan flautists so they’d best snatch him up and make some albums.

By the time I had gotten this far in the thought process, I was at my allergy shot appointment so I dropped it.

If anyone out there ever bought or listened to a Zamfir album, drop me a comment.