September 04, 2002

what's wrong with this picture?

From across the street from where I work:

Clearly this sign didn't do its job.

Posted by Mike at 10:34 AM

Jake is in the house

Here's a picture of our new cat that Meredith wrote about. The winning name is, indeed, Jake.

All of the stuff the Humane Society gave us talked about how the cat would be really lethargic (because of the anesthesia from being neutered) and shy and not want any attention when he first came home.


He's pretty cute...

Posted by Mike at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)

September 06, 2002

All we need is music, sweet music

Recently, the battery in my car died. It died the day of Meredith's birthday party, so I took her car out to run errands. I jumped it Monday morning, hoping that was all it was, but by Monday evening, it was quite dead.

Fine. I ignored it for a few days, either biking into work or getting Meredith to run me in, until Thursday morning when I bought a new battery and took it into work to change there. All was well. Except --

I no longer could use my stereo. I turned it on, and since it had been disconnected from power, it wanted the security code. Oops. The last time I had the card with that code on it was 3 or 4 years ago, the last time I changed the battery. That was before we moved. Hmm.

I thought I remembered the first two digits of the five-digit code, so I tried entering codes that sounded right. Then I discovered the extra security feature where after three wrong entries, it wouldn't take any more for some long period of time. This wasn't going to work.

So then I called the original dealer. Amazingly, they still had the stereo code on file, seven and a half years after buying the car.

So today: music, sweet music!

Posted by Mike at 06:32 PM

September 07, 2002

Stupid people suck

Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that read "Your kid's an honor student, but you're a moron."

That was my day yesterday.

First we went to the SprintPCS store in Palo Alto, where Meredith wanted to look at the Handspring Treo 300. We had been down there once before to look at it, but this time we wanted to get it and figure out what we'd have to change our rate plan to. Unfortunately, things like rate plans seemed to frighten and confuse the sales rep we got stuck with. He looked up our existing rate plan and said, "These codes are so old, I don't even know what they mean. I've only been working here for six months. I guess you can call customer service." OK, well, do you at least have any of the Treos in stock? "Umm ... no, I think we're out." Well, that's good.

Next on our journey of idiocy, we went to the Apple Store in Palo Alto, with Meredith's dead iBook power adapter in hand. This, at least, seemed simple: exchange it for one that works. Hahahaha. First, we had to wait at the Genius Bar while the 'genius' helped other customers. Well, or something. He didn't actually appear to be helping anyone, but rather jumping back and forth between several different people that certainly didn't include us. Finally, after about 40 minutes, he asked what we wanted. "Well, are you sure it's the power adapter." Yes. "Have you tried another?" No. But he really wanted to see the iBook, so I retrieved it from the car, and brought it back. By now he was deeply involved in ... well, something. He was typing on his PowerBook a lot. I'm sure that was somehow helpful to something.

After another long wait, he said we should try the store power adapter on our iBook. It worked. Amazing. Now the genius decides that it must be our power adapter that is defective. Then he goes and starts doing something else again. After a while, he gets the idea to look and see if they have a replacement power adapter in stock. He then tells us that they don't have one for Meredith's model of iBook, but they might have one that will work anyway. Then he goes back to something else for a while, and, after another several minutes, he calls into the stock room and asks for someone to bring down the adapter.

Sure enough, that works. But that's not the end of it. First he has to prepare the paperwork for the exchange. Which he can't start, because he's busy doing something else again. For another ten minutes.

This was the point where I was having to work really hard to supress my homicidal tendencies.

Finally he finished, and we got to leave. But this, dear readers, was only half way through my day of idiocy. During the wait, I had called Fry's Electronics to see if they had the Treo in stock. That was a five minute phone call, during which I had to explain that the Treo wasn't a camera, nor an MP3 player, but was, in fact, a cell phone. No, not made by Nortel, by Handspring. s-p-r-i-n-g, not s-p-r-something-k. Oh, they do have it. Wonderful. They'll even hold it for us.

So after we finally left the Apple Store, we went to Fry's. After getting the attention of one of the twenty or so people sitting on their asses behind the registers, one of them decided it was worth the effort to get up out of the chair and go find the product. Even with that, it was probably the fastest trip to Fry's ever.

Only one more stop on the loony train: call Sprint PCS to have them activate the phone. You may recall an earlier experience of mine trying to call their customer service. First we tried to activate it online, but it said that we needed to call a phone number since I have a business account. So I called that number. "The number you have called is no longer in service." Hmm. Fine. Perhaps Sprint forgot to pay their phone bill?

So I call the regular number. Reach 'Claire, the virtual help desk representative'. Discover that Clarie has not, in fact, been programmed to recognize the phrase, "Oh, God, not Claire the virtual help bitch again!". Yell random things at Clarie until the computer gives up and connects me to a person. Or at least to the hold music for a person. After ten minutes, I reach someone who says I need to be transferred to the business center. Another ten minutes. Then I reach someone. He had instructions like, "Press the phone button on the right." "I don't see a phone button on the right." "No, there's a phone button on the right." "No, but I see a key on the left." "No, the right." "Is it an icon or a button?" "It's a button." "The phone button on the left?" "Yes, the button on the left." ARRGGGHHH!

The amazing part about all this, as Meredith points out, is that there are so many smart people these days out of work. So how do so many people like this still have jobs?

Posted by Mike at 10:19 AM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2002

More words of spiritual wisdom

Following up on my entry last week about the spiritual quotes of Walter Payton...

In the Miami - Florida game yesterday, near the end of the first half, the announcer, analyzing a play, said: "Nobody accounts for him, everybody's running in coverage, and Ken Dorsey sees that it's like the parting of the Blue Sea."

The Blue Sea?????

I think he means Red.

Posted by Mike at 06:36 PM

September 20, 2002

random observations of a cat

As I write this, our cat is curled up sleeping on top of the scanner.

This isn't actually his favorite place in the office to sleep. Usually, it's on the Ethernet switch under the desk. Why the switch? I can only assume because it's (a) roughly cat-sized (if he curls up), (b) warm, (c) it hums. The only bad part of this is when he wakes up -- there are lots of fun cords back there to play with. Not so good for me...

Jake is fascinated by the shower. It's like one of those Far Side cartoons where the animals dare each other to do something. The shower in the master bath is just a shower stall, so there's about a three inch ledge between the bathroom and the shower itself. While we shower, Jake likes to stand on the ledge, with one paw inside, on the floor of the shower. And meow a lot. Yesterday, he actually came into the shower while the water was blocked by me. Once I moved, though, he wanted OUT! But then he came back a second time, the same way. Too weird...

Posted by Mike at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2002

How bad can you suck?

I watched the Tennessee - Florida game today.

There have been many years where this game was infuriating. Some we've just been blown out, some have been incredibly close. A couple we've won.

Never -- until today -- did the Vols hand victory over to the Gators on a silver platter. Never -- until today -- did the Vols look like they could have been defeated by your average Tennessee high-school team.

I have never seen such a pathetic display of football in my life. Tennessee managed to fumble the ball on four consecutive plays at one point. They got called for having too many men on the field -- not once, but twice. You only have to be able to count to 11 to handle that one. The pass rushers, trying to tackle Florida, looked like they were trying to grab a greased pig. On at least one play, the Florida ball carrier escaped no less than FOUR tackles before being brought down.

It got so bad in the second quarter that the 107,000 Tennessee fans began booing the Volunteers, because it was just so sad.

ESPN observed: "On the bright side, Vols quarterback Casey Clausen did complete 30 of 44 passes. Too bad that was about the same completion rate that he had with center Scott Wells on the quarterback exchange."

CNNSI said: "Scientists could study the tape of this game for hundreds of years and still not figure out how a highly ranked team, in its first big game of the season, could be flagged multiple times for such easily preventable penalties..."

Maybe one of these days Fulmer can actually get the team ready for the Florida game in September.

Oh well .

Posted by Mike at 10:59 PM | Comments (1)

September 25, 2002

sick, sick cat

A tale of feeling screwed over by the Humane Society... and our poor sad kitten.

When we picked up Jake from the Humane Society, they warned us that cats frequently come down with a cold after leaving from being exposed to so many other animals there. Sure enough, he did. Meredith took him in the Humane Society vet, who said that yes, the kitten had a cold, and to not worry about it unless he started getting 'glop' around his eyes.

Late last week, he started getting glop in his eyes, so we called the vet, and Meredith took him in Monday morning. A local vet this time.

The vet couldn't believe we were just now taking him in, saying that kittens almost always get secondary infections after getting a cold, and that he couldn't believe that Jake wasn't given an antibiotic the first time. NOW Jake gets an antibiotic (note: Jake likes getting shots even less than having his temperature taken. Much, much less.) And, now we have to put this cream on his eyes four times a day, and give him an oral antibiotic twice a day. And, despite all of this, it may turn into a chronic infection, because it's being treated so late.


The good thing is that he does seem to be doing a bit better now than he was. And I've only suffered minor flesh wounds in the process of trying to give him his medicine. (I think Meredith has fared slightly better in this process. Maybe Jake likes her more ;) ).

Posted by Mike at 09:52 AM