Friday, September 29, 2006

Fahrvergn├╝gen!


My friend Donna, who moved out west to become a car salesman (long story), just found out she was Top Salesperson for Southern Alberta.

Way to go, Princess!

We all knew you could do it. You could sell ice cubes to Eskimos.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Finally!


The Undisclosed Tech Support Team™ gets a lot of grief from customers about the software, when all we are there for is to fix it after the fact. This new feature targets the real culprits, the people responsible for the software, the programmers.



I can't wait for this to hit the market.

And another thing...


This one made me bust a gut! Our fearless leader and Napoleon Dynamite

You have got to watch to the end you will piss yourself.

You would not believe how many goofball videos Bi.ll Ga.tes and Ste.ve Balmer have done over the years. I spent the better part of this morning watching them. Go see for yourself.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Discovered at Rad's


I am not a touchy feely kind of person, but I thought this was so cool I just had to link it myself. I guess this all happened a couple years ago but someone posted it on YouTube and it became one of the most popular, and you will see why.


"Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man who's sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal. As this symbol of human hope spread across the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring. In the Spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, If you can reach just one person... Music by Sick Puppies." -description from YouTube


Ok, I admit during the first few seconds of the video I was thinking that if I were to see this guy on the street my first inkling would be that he was probably going to pick my pocket. I, like most people, am just jaded that way.

But I would bet that every single person, who took a free hug, felt fantastic all day long.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Talent is sometimes a curse.


The boy has decided to become Itzhak Perlman. I spent yesterday hunting down a fiddle for him.

I know, your saying, (in a really snotty voice) "Excuse me, it is called a violin." But I don't care what you call it cuz you're dumb. No, you shut up.

I put it out there that I was looking for one and my nephew actually had one. Who knew? Anyway he was really accommodating and offered to drop it off to me at work. I should have known something was up.

So I finally get out of the building (my final call was actually 4 hours and 18 minutes) and the fiddle is in the back seat of my car. Wow, he is good.

I get it home and the boy is all over it like a fat kid on cake. Ten minutes later he is actually playing a song. I kid you not.

Just a heads up to those parents out there that think it might be cute to have their little angels take 'violin' lessons? Those fucking things are LOUD.

No, no, you don't understand. When I say loud, I mean really fucking loud! Earth-shattering, glass breaking, ear-splitting loud. This thing is louder than his guitar with the amp on 11.

After he got bored with the actual song he was playing he started experimenting. Seeing just what kind of sounds (not to be confused with music) he can get it to make.

Imagine a cat in heat, right after being hit by a car, screaming in pain.

Only inside your head.

If your little darlings ever present you with the choice between electric guitar and fiddle (even if they snooty-ly refer to it as a violin) please, for the love of God and all things holy, protect your sanity and go for the guitar. Right now I am trying to figure out how I can talk him into trading in the fiddle for a set of drums. Yes, it is just that bad.

At least with the guitar you can listen to them slaughter some really cool music instead of 'We Three Kings'.

Oh, the humanity!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Observant


"Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Technical Support Team™ my name is blah blah blah..."

The lady explains that her screen is saying 'shutting down windows' and has been stuck there all day.

"Ok, what we are going to do is shut the computer down."

"All right."

"Let me know when it is off"

"Well it does take a while after I close the drawer."

HUH?

"Is it off?"

"Yes."

"Ok, turn it back on."

"Alright, it is back on."
That was quick? "It still says 'shutting down windows'."

It takes me a few minutes to realize that what she is doing is opening and closing the keyboard drawer. She believes this is the way to shut down the computer. And in her defense I can see how she would assume that. When she closes the drawer (eventually) the computer screen goes blank, and when she opens it again, it jumps to life.

I explain to her that what we are looking for is an actual button she must push and for the next few minutes I wait as she turns the monitor off and on.

"No, Mamme, the power button is located on the tower, the box that you put your CD's in." Clearly I need to dumb it down for her.

"Dell did send me a disk, but I threw it out cuz there was no where to put it."

"Uh, it has to be there somewhere."
I was starting to think she might have a laptop but that would not explain the drawer.

She finally directs her attention under the desk, "Oh, well would you look at that!"

I come to find out that she has never, in the three years she has owned this computer, ever powered it off.

How is that possible?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Say hello to my little friend.


I have a tech-buddy.

Not to be confused with a fuck-buddy. (Get your mind out of the gutter, I know you were going there.)

This is an experienced tech that will sit with you for the first little while and help you with the tools and the procedures as well as helping you not sound like a complete idiot on the phone.

Well, I have one. We will call him Miyagi-san, and this is why.

While I was taking a call, Miyagi-san was making this:

Dude is into origami.

Now, when I say he is into origami, I mean way, deep down, into it. For real. He carries a really thick binder with pockets full of stuff for origami. Books, paper, folding implements, the whole nine yards.

And he is talented. Just look at the detail. You can see this dragons tongue. I know the picture quality is not that great, my camera sucks. But believe me when I say, I was much impressed.

It appears to calm him, so I guess it has a purpose.


Of course I can see this sort of thing bugging the shit out of me after a while. I have a really low tolerance for crafts of any kind. And this is border-line craft-like.

But for now, he occupies a place of honor on top of my monitor.

Till the cat finds him, I suppose.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A little culture crammed down your throat.



This boys voice curls my toes.


And a little English for the not so cultural.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

First day on the floor.


My first day on the floor was not so bad. It was pretty slow so I was waiting around for a long while for that first call to come in.

Thankfully I got my first call before the medication wore off.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Interesting.


Just finished watching Loose Change.
"Loose Change is a documentary written and directed by Dylan Avery and produced by Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas. The film presents an alternative explanation of events during the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. The film attempts to compensate for the perceived inadequacy of government investigations and the 9/11 Commission Report. It alleges that the attacks were not the result of the organization al-Qaeda but a series of cleverly executed events carried out by the US government. It was released through the creators' company, Louder than Words, and received wide attention after being featured on a Binghamton, New York local FOX affiliate, WICZ-TV (FOX 40).[1]"- From Wikipedia

It was quite enlightening in a Michael Moore sort of way. They raise some very interesting points. Like what really happened to Flight 93? It is reported to have landed that day, was actually seen landing by airport workers at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Also the cell phone calls reportedly made from the plane. One man saying "Mom, it's Mark Balmer." When was the last time you called your mom and introduced yourself? Experiments after the fact showed that it was impossible to get cell phone reception from that altitude. (It wasn't until 2004 that American installed antenna on their planes to accommodate cell phones.)

And that is nothing compared to the crap about the Pentagon and the tower explosions.

It is worth seeing, but I guess with anything you have to decide what you believe.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pickled.


I am reading the archives of Pickle Juice when I come across this link.

Steve, Don't Eat It! Don't give up till you make it to the breast milk one. It is not to be missed.

Incidentally, if anyone knows what has happened to Natalie, I would dearly like to know. Her last post is July of 2005, in which she alluded to a possible jail term.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Big freakin' deal!


I am driving in to work today and I am late. As I am driving through the mall parking lot I notice people looking up into the sky.

It's a helicopter and I think, so what? It doesn't look like it is crashing so I continue on. Seems to be heading in the same direction I am.

The parking lot adjoining ours is the one for the theater and the bowling alley/pub. As I get closer I notice that the pub parking lot is full, and all the cars are 'really nice'. Not that people around here don't have nice cars, but all the cars were either dark sedans or dark SUV's. Hmmmm. Now I notice that the men standing around are all dressed in black. Black suits, white shirts, black ties.

What is going through my head is 'who died?'

As I draw close to our parking lot, I see the helicopter again and it is really low and dropping fast. Next thing I know it lands, directly in front of me on the grass!

I slam on my breaks, cuz I figure the MIB will be running for the helicopter. Not one of them moves. So I continue on.

I finally make it into work. "Sorry I am late, but I was delayed by a helicopter landing in the parking lot."

"Really?"
No one knew why. Then it hits me.

"Oh ya, isn't that American chick in town this week?"

"Condoleezza Rice?"

"Ya, that's the one."


Turns out she is classified as an internationally protected person. So they had to put on a decent show for her. Except here in Pictou County, the only person she would have to worry about is the nutbar that protests the elections every year by stealing the ballot boxes. But I think he is on vacation, so it was pretty much a non-event.

I am wondering how they managed to find 350 people (who would give a shit) to attend the 'invitation only' breakfast.

Betcha Pete had to call in a few favors.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Shattered Illusions.


Since I have been in training 7am to 3pm, I am not able to drive the boy to school so he has been staying with his father.

The first week was glorious. Quiet and uneventful.

Saturday night the boy and his friends were going to go to the exhibition. I worry sometimes about his friends, but he said he was going with Milhouse (not his real name), so I was relieved.

From a parents point of view, Milhouse is an ideal friend. His parents are the sort that appear diligent in what he does and who he does it with. He has not ever been in trouble (that I know of), he is polite and does well in school. In short, he is what we believe to be a good influence on our children.

So that was the plan for Saturday night. Imagine my surprise when I get a call to come and pick up the boy. At the police station. He has been picked up by the police for drinking underage. Fuckin' lovely.

All the way to the police station I am imagining him staggering around, or passed out in his own vomit. However, when I get there he and his friend 'Otto' (again, not his real name) are just sitting there. They look normal. WTF?

The cop starts to explain how the boys were picked up at a convenience store. I expect him to tell me that they were acting like delinquents and causing a disturbance, but no.

"Ok, wait a minute. What exactly did you do?"

Turns out they drank something called a cold shot. Basically it is a smaller can of beer than the regular size, about 8oz. So, they had two of them, then went to the convenience store.

They are in the convenience store and the cops come in. Picture it, your a teenager who has just done something illegal when a cop is suddenly standing in front of you. Non challant is not something teenagers do well.

So, of course, they are acting suspicious. The cop comes up to them and asks them if they have been drinking, and Tony Soprano says, "Yes."

As the cop is telling me this, I am trying hard not to shake the boy and say, "Dude? What the hell?" I don't know who this kid is sometimes, he confesses to everything. Must get that from his fathers side of the family.

Then the two of them come out with, "It's peer pressure."

"Oh, don't give me that bullshit."

"It's true, Mom, these guys pressured us into drinking."

"Oh, ya. I remember being a teenager and pressuring other kids to ... DRINK BEER THAT I PAID FOR! That is horseshit! Wait a minute. I thought you were supposed to be with Milhouse? What happened?"

"Milhouse ditched us."
And I am thinking, he didn't want to associate with you two delinquents when the cop chimes in.

"Milhouse? Hmmmm, what is Milhouse's last name?" I tell him and he starts flipping through some papers. "Uh huh, we picked up Milhouse 2 hours ago."

"There must be some mistake."

"No mistake, you want to see what we took from him?"
And he takes me aside and shows me. It's a hash pipe and some marijuana!

"Are you kidding me? Not my little Milhouse!" I was floored.

Out of the whole experience, I was most traumatized by Milhouse. Somehow I expected it from the boy and his other delinquent friend, but Milhouse? He had me completely snowed.

I am scarred for life.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shall we dance?


Was roaming around over the weekend and came across a news item on ChaCha.

Not the dance. It's a new search engine that launched on Monday. Here is the kicker, you are not alone. You can have someone help you search for free.

I have run across these types of sites before. But you usually have to pay to have someone 'research' your issue. Fuck that!

This is great for people who are not familiar with searching the internet, it can be exasperating at times when you don't know how or what to search for to find exactly what you need.

Well, you just type in your search and click on Guided help. A chat window pops up and someone is there to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Within minutes you are done.

I was so impressed I signed up to be a guide. I wanted to see what it was like from both sides of the search. It is dead simple to do and (drum roll please) they will pay you to be a guide.

It is free to join, and after a little over 20 min I had made $5. And that included the time it took to go through the training and take search requests from trainers. I think in total I helped 3 'actual' people find what they were looking for.

In comparison, the stupid AdBrite thing on my page has generated (in the month that it has been up) exactly ten cents. That is so coming down.

So if anyone wants to join me, and make a little extra cash, email me and I will send you an invite.

You really have nothing to lose, just remember, Google had to start somewhere.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Brief interlude with the Politically Incorrect Sisters.


My mother had to be taken into the emergency room the other night. Her sister, of course, came to see her. (she is fine by the way)

My mother starts, loudly. Remember that Trin has just the one good ear.

"Trin, you know my doctor is a woman?" (She is still impressed that we are allowed to vote.)

"I think she is Arab or something, she has this thing, (she makes a circular motion with her hand around her head) this...this... contraption on her head."

"A turban?" She proceeds to make a similar (but not the same) circular hand motion.

"No, no, no! Not like that."

They are synchronized now, mimicking each other's motions. Apparently the only way they can complete a thought together is if they both do the hand gestures.


"No, like a nun, only she has a bunch of kids." She makes a face, like, 'what is THAT about'?

This baffles Trin, so while they are distracted I seize the opportunity to make my escape.

They are still trying to work it out as I disappear around the corner.

It's not what you know, but who you blow.


I tried to corner the Big Giant Head this week, but he eluded me. So I figured, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, wait for the internal memo congratulating the new TM. Usually it will list the persons credentials and welcome him.

As I read the memo I could not believe it. They come right out and say, 'most recently from the XP training class'. They tactfully leave out the fact that it is a new hire training class.

Ok, but he was with the company before, he must have some tenure with another site? Nope. Literally 2 weeks off the street. And we are told we can't even apply for a different project until we are past the 90 day probationary period. Apparently this does not apply here.

So I guess we aren't even pretending that the process is fair anymore.

Here is something to ponder. Most of the MO's in the building are under 5 feet tall. There is like one that I know of that is normal to tall. The new TM is slightly over 4 feet tall. Coincidence?

I wonder if they sang the song for him when he was hired?

Monday, September 4, 2006

... the more they stay the same.


I had heard a vicious rumor last week that someone in our 'training' class applied for, and got, a team manager position. They did not have a name, just a description. Short, older, geeky looking. Describes most of upper management. I knew who they were talking about, but I was sure it was just a rumor.

Considering that everyone in the class except for me was straight off the street I was sure it was just a rumor so I did not go straight to the MO's and express my displeasure. After all, didn't we all hear the Manager of Operations (during his little speech in class) tell us that they always promote from within? I am pretty sure that tenure is a factor in the process, and this boy had two weeks. I was sure I did not need to 'have a talk' with anyone.

Fast forward to today. Kelly informs me she is sitting behind the new TM, staring at his little bald spot.

Well, for once I give management the benefit of the doubt and I am sorely disappointed.

I guess I will just have to request a 'smoke break' with the Big Giant Head to express my displeasure. I know how much he loves that.

Udder-ly Ridiculous.


Me and 'The Bride' took her teenage daughter and a friend to the drive-in tonight. We thought it might be fun. Unfortunately, we often fail to think these things through.

For the long weekend they were offering 4 features. I had no illusions that I could last for all 4 but I was hoping that I could at least stay awake for two.

The first one was in progress when we arrived. Barnyard. It was funny. However, the lead, Otis, played by Kevin James, had an udder.

Now I am no farmer, but I am pretty sure the male cows don't have udders. Please correct me if I am wrong. This prompted a deep philosophical discussion between 'The Bride' and I about the film industry's obligation to anatomical accuracy versus the delicate psyche of 5 year olds (the target audience) who would probably not appreciate what a bull had to offer. Considering that said bull would be standing upright throughout most of the movie.

The second was Miami Vice. We were half an hour into it and I still had no idea what the hell was going on. The writing was bad, as I said, I had no idea what was going on. The acting was atrocious, they just phoned in the performances. Worst of all the camera work was so bad it made me nauseous. We didn't even have the soundtrack to fall back on. In a nut shell? It was 2 hours I will never get back.

Before Miami Vice was even over I was trying to bribe the girls so we could fuck off home. I was not looking forward to Pulse, since I am no good with horror movies, and 'The Bride' had already slept through half of Miami Vice anyway.

Finally they gave in for pie. Who knew, teenage girls will do anything for pie?