Wednesday, January 31, 2007
As I referenced in last night/this morning's post, I had another work "going away" party last night. It was really rough because every time I was ordering a new drink, someone else was also trying to make sure I was covered, so I kept ending up with two drinks at a time. I had a very happy night. And it carried over somewhat into this morning. That is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.
I was running sooooo late this morning, but I was finally ready to leave for work. I grabbed my laptop, grabbed my purse, grabbed my Netflix to drop in the mailbox, and I was on my way. Now usually, I pull my keys out of my purse before I walk out the door, but this morning I was just so rushed I figured I would grab them as I was walking out the door... multi-tasking, I was ;) As I was walking through the door, digging for my keys, I was thinking to myself, "is it required that I get them out before walking out the door? nah, if they're not in my purse, I just won't lock the top lock on the door." See, the handle automatically locks, so I figured I would be covered.
Wow, now that was a lot of deep thinking for my "happy state" that was lingering from last night. What I realized just as I pulled the door shut behind me was that HELLO if I don't have my keys to lock the top lock, I don't have my keys to get in my car and drive away to work. Ah... just 1 second too late. And in the next 1 second I remembered that my keys were most definitely in my jacket pocket that was hanging off the chair at the kitchen table.
So there I was, my laptop, my purse, my Netflix, no keys. My poor husband, I had to call him at work and have him return home to let me back in the apartment :( He was just soooo amused with his smart blonde Aggie wife.
A friend of mine works for an IT Service Desk. They handle calls for a wide variety of technical problems, everything from a user needing a new workstation to a user receiving the Blue Screen of DEATH. They are an excellent service desk and have a strong focus on resolving problems as quickly as possible for the end users, or at least getting the right person engaged who could resolve the problem for them ASAP.
As a measure of their customer satisfaction levels, surveys are sent to a sample of the end users to gauge their satisfaction with the service that they received. For any negative responses that are received, their manager has to get involved in working with the parties involved to document what could have gone better to increase the satisfaction level.
My friend recently forwarded me one of their negative responses:
"I am sorry, at this time I am so upset with the outcome of the service I received. The service man that helped me did not close the hood of my car correctly and when I entered the freeway, about 5 miles down driving @ 60 mph the whole front hood was shaking and rattling I was so scared the hood was going to slam into my windshield!!! I had to pull over on the freeway , which as it is, it is unsafe!!! So overall.....VERY UNSATISFIED."
As I said, this is an IT service desk, not AAA, right? But it obviously speaks very highly of the service desk that end users are so used to calling them to get problems solved that they call them when their car battery dies (as was the case here). Heck, it speaks even more highly of these guys that they tracked someone down to give the poor lady a jump!
Monday, January 29, 2007
But this morning, I managed to sleep through the alarm for a full hour. Not like hitting the snooze button or anything, for the alarm clock is across the room from the bed to prevent situations where the snooze button could be repeatedly hit. No... I listened to terrible talk radio and bad 80s music for a full hour before my brain became conscious enough to deal with it. Then I jumped out of bed and got to work an hour late. So I got the "you need to go to bed at a reasonable hour" speech when I got home from a work dinner tonight. Which pretty much meant immediately.
As a side note, I not only slept through the alarm clock for a full hour... I slept through 7 different alarms. Yep, that's right, 7. I typically set 9 different alarms each night in order to not sleep through any of them. I was lazy last night and only set 7, so I'm sure that was my downfall. Not the fact that I did not go to bed at a reasonable hour... good night.
Friday, January 26, 2007
A few thoughts on this...
- Has there been any research done on the sudden spike? There was about a 3.4 jumper/year average going for 9 years, and then all of a sudden there are 8 in one year. Has anyone studied to see if there could be a correlation to Starbucks raising their prices on the Venti drip?
- Why, why, why would someone make the decision to drive on the wrong side of the road? Surely, there is a MUCH greater likelihood of someone hitting you head-on and you dying than someone landing on your car. And if someone did land on your car, maybe it saves their life by being a softer landing spot than the cement would be. Help your fellow man out!
- How effective is signage at stopping a jumper? At first I was curious as to what exactly signage looked like that was targeted at a suicidal person. Then I noticed the photo. It is very serene. Honestly, if I was a jumper, I don't think I'd notice it. It looks like an ad for the city, what with the skyline and all. Also, for some reason the sign makes me think of the "Got Milk?" ad campaign. This quote really confuses me, "'Any time you can interrupt a suicide thought process, you have a good chance of success, at least temporarily,' said L.J. Eddy, head of the police hostage negotiation team." Question... why did they interview LJ Eddy for this? Where are the hostages in this situation? The only hostage I can see is the focused, suicidal person who is held captive by the signage, which is focused on diverting their mission. Does the hostage rescue team negotiate with the signage? Also, that quote is just funny.
- Installing nets seems like a great idea. It always works in the circus, right? I am so thoroughly confused on how a net could interfere with a safety inspection. It seems like if you had a net to catch jumpers, you would be safer (or at least the people down below would be, and also Sarah Edwards would be since she could act like an American and drive on the RIGHT side of the road). I am also so thoroughly confused on their safety inspections "which are made with a big bucket lowered over the railing." What? How? I think I need to see this in person. Possibly with a Venti drip in one hand and a camera to catch a photo of a jumper for this blog in the other. I wonder if they ever catch jumpers in their bucket?
- At first, closing the bridge to pedestrians seems to be the sure-fire way to go. However, I can imagine that if you cut off the people flow, you are going to have even MORE people who are going to want to jump. Heck, if I saw a spot to jump from on my daily commute into the office, I might want to take it. Anything to get away from the traffic!! Luckily, the signage would probably stop me.
8/27/08 Note: I had to update the hyperlink to point to the same article on msn, since cnn removed the article! How could this be?!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
As lonely as I am in here, I wonder how lonely Victoria Beckham's blog is (http://www.dvbstyle.com/news/index.html). If any of you are NOT reading mine and ARE reading hers, you are pathetic!!
- Desperate Housewives (1 hour/week)
- Dirt (1 hour/week)
- American Idol (4 hours/week)
- The Apprentice (1 hour/week)
- 24 (1 hour/week, but I currently have 5 hours to watch in Tivo)
- Days of Our Lives (5 hours/week, though I fast forward through half of it ;)
- Top Chef (1 hour/week)
- Beauty and the Geek (1 hour/week)
- Hogan Knows Best (30 minutes/week)
- Surreal Life: Fame Games (30 minutes/week)
- Reba (30 minutes/week)
- America's Most Wanted (1 hour/week)
- Nashville Star (1 hour/week)
That is 18.5 hours/week + 2 movies/week from Netflix. Hmmm... is that too much TV? I'm thinking so.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Today’s blog is also being written in WordPad, with the hope that once I get back to my apartment my internet will work again!!! This past 24 hours without internet access has been 100x worse than the weekend I spent without my Treo was, which I did not think was possible.
Today I had the pleasure of again watching the TSA interact with Ziploc bags of liquids. I will admit that I had a lot of fear on this recent trip because I had to carry my shampoo and conditioner travel bottles with me, and I am unsure if they are under the 4 oz limit. They do not have labels on them, and I have not been passionate enough about them to measure the amount of liquid that they contain. However, I did not want to check any baggage for this 1.5 day trip, so I chanced it and attempted to take them through airport security. They passed on three different occasions with not a second glance by the TSA guys. However, I am still not sure if they are under 4 oz, as I have really not found a standard for spot checking by the trusty TSA. (on several occasions they did not even notice that the name on my Driver’s License did not match the name on my ticket) But I was so nervous about my liquids, that any time a TSA person was conversing with another passenger on their liquids, my ears perked up. Below are the conversations that I overheard.
- The lady in front of me did not have her liquids in a Ziploc bag. This is a HUGE violation to everything the TSA stands for, right? Of course they picked up on this. Her feeble excuse was that her baggie had gotten a hole in it… so she apparently scrapped it. What in the heck was this lady thinking?! Do any of you believe that you would make it through security without a ziploc bag? I certainly do not. Oh, for this lady it was totally fine. They accepted that excuse and let her hop on through.
- The guy across from me was ridiculed for having too large of a Ziploc bag. Now, I was pretty sure up until this point that the 1 quart plastic baggie rule was in order to make it easier on TSA to screen things, not for airlines to mandate how we pack our luggage. However, once he and his liquids were through the screening process, they pointed out his mistake and told him that the guy at the table at the end of the whole security process had the correct sized bags. Um, what is the point of changing out your bag at that point?
- The guy behind him had all of his liquids (plus deodorant, yeah, I’m nosy) in a clear make-up bag. I’ll have to review the TSA rules on baggies again, but I was pretty sure it specifically stated a 1 quart Ziploc bag. Also, what in the heck was this guy doing with a make-up bag in the first place? There was obviously a lot more to that story, but I was about to be late for my connection, so I did not have time to interview him for the full scoop.
All of these people made it through security just fine, but I was pulled aside for the special puffer machine. *argh* I think they did that because they saw my flight was boarding in 2 minutes and was 10 gates down :(
Tonight's blog is being written in WordPad to be posted tomorrow (or *GASP* maybe even Wednesday) because I have put myself into Internet HELL, and the awesome desktop support guys can’t even save me. It all started with my trip to the hospital here in Alabama. Upon arrival, I became hungry to hook into their network. Everyone else was using the wireless network, which I had so far not been able to enable on my new laptop. I had to run off to do an offer session, so I left my laptop unlocked and easily corruptible.
When I returned from my offer session, I was overjoyed because they had gotten me up and running on the hospital’s wireless network. Never mind how they did it or what they did to it, I was in business for some networking! Life was excellent all day at the hospital. I was sending emails, checking out web sites, IMing with Kim1Champ, overall just enjoying being wirelessly wired to my peeps. Then I returned to the hotel.
I am pouting as I write this. It has been a long time since I have had an evening this crappy. I get back to the hotel anxious to watch Desperate Housewives on abc.com, since I missed it last night while in the air. I bit back the urge this morning to wake up early and watch it before work, but I have lived my day in anticipation for catching it after my long day at work. I plugged in my laptop and waited for the wireless signal to appear. It lit up like a little green Christmas tree, and I anxiously clicked on the magic blue “e” for Internet “e”xplorer. And I got the oh-so-not-friendly “This Page Cannot Be Displayed” page. I disabled, re-enabled, repaired, turned wireless off, turned wireless on, logged off and on again, restarted, rubbed my tummy and patted my head simultaneously and yet nothing worked. The screen shot captures all of my issues. I even called the service desk. They were not able to resolve my problem but actually had a tech calling me within 20 minutes. Even he was not able to pull me from this hell.
So everyone reading this (Kim and maybe kays, if I’m lucky), please feel sorry for me. This also highlights a huge issue I have with the state of Alabama. I have yet to stay in a hotel that has wired network connectivity. I love a good wireless network as much as the next guy, but I need a backup plan, HELLO!
The only bright spot in this day is that my GPS arrived back in Cali. At least I have SOMETHING to look forward to!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
- Big Butted Flight Attendant... ok, I am as big a fan of a nice round booty as the next person, but big bootied flight attendants are a little bit uncomfortable. I actually counted how many times I was hit in the arm/shoulder by The Butt today on my flight from San Fran to DFW - EIGHT times. EW!!!! I don't know if they're allowed to discriminate based on butt-size, but narrow aisles and big butt are NOT a good combo for the person with an aisle seat (13C, specifically).
- $2 bottled water, or tap water? I will admit that when I heard several months ago that American was cutting out the free pretzels/peanuts in order to cut costs, I freaked out and swore I would not fly with them anymore. Yet, I continue. However, today I found out that they no longer serve bottled water for free. I heard the announcement for the snack pack ($3), the Italian wrap sandwich ($5) and bottled water ($2) and didn't think much of it. However, when the beverage cart came my way with the rows and rows of free sodas, free juices, and even free alcohol for us lucky AAirpass holders, I was just in the mood for some ice water. For those of you who have not noticed the water service from the beverage cart, usually when you ask for water, they pour it from a bottle. It's not like Evian or Dasani, it's some off-brand, but at least it's not (gasp!) tap water. Not anymore. Unless you fork over $2 for bottled water, it is from the tap as was confirmed to me when I ordered it. When I ordered ice water, the big bootied flight attendant said, "tap water?!" with an alarmed look on her face. Me, never one to carry cash or charge $2 on my AMEX, said, "yep!" Let's just said I had a Diet DP on the flight from Dallas to 'Bama (more on that later).
- 30 minute delay, just for fun. I made it through my flight from San Fran to Dallas, despite being nearly knocked unconscious by The Butt, hung out in TGI Friday's watching football during my layover, and made it to gate A14 with 2 minutes to boarding time. I happily got on the plane promptly at the time we were scheduled to be boarding, and hung out in my seat watching everyone else board. We were all buckled, with our carry-on items stowed and ready to take off... but we weren't taking off. The pilot was nice enough to let us know that the catering cart had not yet arrived, so we were waiting on it. And we waited, and we waited, and we waited... for 30 minutes. Okay, catering is fabulous, sure, but on an 8pm flight that is just over an hour in duration, I find it somewhat unnecessary. I certainly would never have approved waiting 30 minutes (or 45% of the flight's total duration) for it to arrive. I really wish they'd taken the democratic approach and let us vote on waiting on the catering cart.
- Where's my Diet DP? So we finally take off for 'Bama, and the beverage cart rolls up to the front of coach to begin the beverage service. I am sitting in 9D, just the third row into coach. The flight attendant makes her way to me and asks me what I would like to drink. "Diet DP for me," I say. She does not have any Diet DP. She asks the guy on the other side of the cart if he has one. As he is searching, I am thinking to myself about how (1) I do NOT want to have to have tap water again and (2) we waited 30 minutes for the catering service, and they did not deliver them any beverages - WHAT WERE WE WAITING FOR?! Thankfully, they found one for me.
- Sweets. This is really just a question... is it okay (even in Alabama) to call the flight attendant "Sweets"? That is what the guy in seat 8B did. He calls out to her, "Hey, Sweets. Can I put my bag in first class?"
I just can't wait for the return flights on Tuesday :)
Friday, January 19, 2007
The reason that tonight's post is going to be short is because I'm not really in a condition to be writing today. It all started because I have been staying up too late every night this week. I wish I could say that it was to think up crazy good things to write about, but unfortunately it is because I was procrastinating going to bed since it meant I had to take the dogs outside. As a side note, I must say how much I hate apartment life and how much I miss just being able to open the back door to let the dogs out before bed. The reason I hate taking them out so much is really my own fault. I am too lazy to put shoes and socks on before going down, so I freeze my tootsies off in my flip flops in the 30 degree weather. Procrastination and laziness tend to be themes in my life :)
Unfortunately, tonight stupidity also played a role, with laziness playing only a minor part. So as I was saying, I have been staying up too late at night, which for me invariably leads to sickness. And since today was Friday, that icky feeling kicked in. By the time I got home from work, I was just wanting some soup and hot tea for dinner. The husband opted for the leftover pizza, and he asked me to throw it in the oven while I was heating up my soup. I happily obliged (with only a small amount of whining, just enough so he knew I was doing him a favor and he now owed me one). The laziness comes into play in that we were both way too lazy last night to do dishes, so the only pan I had available for the pizza was one that had vents in it. About halfway through the pizza cooking I started imagining all of the grease running through those vents into the oven. That didn't seem like a good thing, but I was on the couch relaxing so it only minorly freaked me out. The timer went off, I grabbed a towel, pulled the tray from the oven and set it on the stove. As I pulled the slices off I noticed that there was grease under the slices, and it was now running through the vents into the burners on the stove. I guess the visual of the icky grease escaping threw me into freak out overdrive, so my only thought was to move the tray. Ooops, shoulda grabbed the towel first. I burned my fingers a good bit, and now they're mad at me for taking so many dang words to tell this story!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
- The most obvious first, of course. 2 minutes closer to midnight of WHAT DAY??? Wouldn't it be more important to pinpoint the day rather than the minute? I would much rather freak out for 1,440 minutes on Day X of Month Y of Year Z (assuming we made it all the way until the end of the day... it could be significantly fewer minutes than that if it were to occur at like 8:30am when I was about to start the daily ops call). Instead they would rather that I freak out every night at 11:52 pm wondering if the nuclear apocalypse AND environmental disaster were going to occur in the next minute.
- Who the heck let the scientist into the room to push the hand of the clock forward? Shouldn't we keep it more secure? Where is Homeland Security when you need them? Shouldn't the Doomsday Clock, which predicts nuclear apocalypse AND environmental disaster be their #1 priority? It sounds a lot more important to me than whether my 1 ounce liquids are in a ziploc bag when I'm at the airport, which is their current #1 priority, I believe.
- How does daylight saving time play into this? Especially with all of the changes to DST this year, I'm really concerned that we haven't thought this all the way through.
The Texas Ethics Commission ruled in November that a public official in the Lone Star state, receiving money as a gift such as from a lobbyist, need disclose only that he received "a check" or "currency" and need not reveal the actual amount of money. Said the district attorney in Austin, who was outraged by the ruling, it is now "perfectly legal to report the gift of 'a wheelbarrow' without reporting that the wheelbarrow was filled with cash."
Can I try this on my taxes? Just report that for the 2006 tax year I received "checks" for my salary, got some "currency" for capital gains and paid a hell of a lot of "dinero" in interest and student loans!!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I have been very diligent to post something every evening, even though right now I'm apparently just writing for Kim. I have faith that eventually if I blog it, they will come. But today I am pretty darn tired. Admittedly it is due to procrastination on going to bed last night. I had to clear out all of my shows in Tivo before I would go to bed. Well, all my shows except for this week's episodes of 24. Four hours is a lot of time to commit to one show in one week.
So I'm wondering if just posting an update to my Netflix list counts as today's update. Stay tuned... at least I have this up in case I fall asleep before real inspiration strikes!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
We both kind of look at each other, and he jumps off the couch just a step ahead of me. He turns on the light in the kitchen and says that it looks like the sink must've overflown. As a side note, it is a bad idea to shove 2 pancakes down the drain, not run the disposal and start the dishwasher. The water had flown out of the sink, onto the counter, onto some of his cookbooks, and was just basically everywhere.
At this point, I run out of the kitchen to get towels from the laundry basket (because all of the clean towels end up unfolded and in the laundry basket because the husband never stops doing laundry and I never start folding it). I run back in the kitchen and start wiping it all up. Wiping the floor, the counter, the book....
And the husband is getting a snack. All this time I thought he'd headed into the kitchen to help me deal with the situation, and he just needed a snack.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The air traffic control tower opened at Sky Harbor just a few days ago. From the Arizona Republic, "For the first time in years, the men and women charged with safely guiding planes over the Valley's skies will be able to visually pinpoint the location of every aircraft that has landed or is about to take off. "
Am I crazy, or is this a basic airport function?? I do know that I will be checking for these from now on before I select an aiport!