Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mixed messages.

Four feet away was this:

Should read: I was an Easter Bunny that somebody loved until I became too difficult to take care of. My Family decided to set me free and now I live on the streets of the city. Everyday things that you see are dangerous and even deadly to me. Cars, cats, dogs, birds, and plants aren't things you would think of as lethal at first glance.

Can you imagine the cold icy stares as these two groups set up their booths?

Look at me!

Don't you just love these things? What are they called anyway?

I'm not sure if I should be concerned when they start climbing rock walls to get my attention though.

How I'm still ruining the earth.

I have to admit.. I don't really care that much about ruining the earth. A meteor is just going to come through and make everything right with the universe anyway.

So - when a company's packaging gets on my radar - you know it has to be excessive. You can see this stuff happens all the time. Here.

This is a simple roll of lead tape. It was the only thing that was in that box. WTF?

Does it really cost less to send a big box like this rather than a small envelope? I mean.. that's only explanation. Right? Lead tape isn't breakable.

Okay - I'm done messing around.

Leave some comments - or the lamb gets it!

Friday, June 29, 2007

I can dream can't I?

Is it wrong I feel jealous of Texas because its been raining there for weeks?

I've decided that if it were ever to rain here again - I'm going to buy a chaise lounge and just lay out in the rain for hours.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Okay.. I'm starting to think most people who read this blog don't really like bunnies because I don't get many comments. You don't hate bunnies... do you?

Maybe they aren't cute enough for you? Well.. maybe Paisley looks a little demonic this time...

Clever advertising - or inappropriate?

You be the judge.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A sales rant about Vonage.

Tonight I get a call from Vonage. At first I thought it was a routine sales/marketing call.

The sales guy however tells me Vonage is calling customers that have called them recently because they have a sales promotion going on.

All of a sudden I got all exited. Because honestly, I did just call them a few days ago after I had my last customer service rant. Here.

At first I was super impressed because I never gave Vonage my number. Their sales guy had effectively frustrated me enough that I wound up not switching my service to them.

So, the company stripping my number from the sales call impressed me. Okay.. it doesn't take that much these days. To be honest, the sales guy could have had me at "hello".. but this is how he screwed it up:

While giving me the hard sales pitch he says the following:

"Do you have a pen, I'd like to give you some information to write down". Then he says " I'd like you to write down our company name - this is Vonage".

Me - "Um.. yeah, I know." You said you were calling all the customers who had recently called you. I know who you are. Plus, you've said the name like 20 billion times in 3 minutes.

While my husband is trying to find a pen, I figure I'd ask the sales guy about something I read. So I ask "I heard that Vonage uses Comcast's lines, and that Comcast has been downgrading the Vonage signal because they don't want you to enter the sector.

This causes the sales guy to totally ignore my question and tell me about the Vonage services again trying to stay on script. So I say "that doesn't answer my question". I again ask about Comcast downgrading the Vonage signal.

He then tells me he'd never heard about that problem. Then starts backpedaling.

Well, he says - if that does happen you can increase the Vonage signal. But again, he's never heard about Comcast doing that so it shouldn't be a problem. And we can try the service risk free for 30 days without disconnecting from our current service. Then goes onto say, maybe he has heard of Comcast downgrading the signal, but they have a complaint registered with the FCC.

Okay...Comcast is pissing me off so much I might not even care you guys are having a little flame war, but don't fucking lie to me about about it. Either you've never heard about it - or you have a complaint with the FCC. It can't be both.

It's all about my rack.

I'm still on this crusade to have some surgery. Hopefully sometime before the sun burns out. So - I figure I would just make an appointment with my GP, to see if I can get things moving along.

My doctor has treated me for various problems with my back over the years, but he hasn't really had a first hand look at the problem. Mostly because I sort of had a crush on him for a while. Thankfully over the years he had convinced me he was gay. But not convinced enough to show him my parts.

So - I go in and talk to him about the problems I was having with the surgeons office. I explain to him how I'm stalled because I can't get his office and the surgeons office to communicate, and I urge him to take a look at me. (He'd never seen them). Because at this stage I really need my doctor to fight the insurance company on my behalf. I could tell he really wanted to look, even though he didn't really want to ask. I'm sure he sees that stuff all the time.. but I got a vibe he was much happier I offered.

So - I take my shirt off..... and now I'm pretty convinced now my doctor is not gay.

Of course he was really professional...but straight men make a super hard attempt to not react, but they just can't help it.

Needless to say.... I'm hopeful the process will get easier for me. And I'm happy to report that I'm doing a bang-up job of minimizing these puppies. All the medical professionals I've shown them to say they would have never guessed I was as big as I am. They also seem much more willing to help get them whittled down.

If I would have known how hard it was to get through just getting okay'ed for surgery I would have started this process a year ago. At this rate, I'm guessing maybe by Christmas I might be all fixed up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

California Burning.

Last night - our local news led in with 7 fire stories. Most notably the South Lake Tahoe fire that destroyed around 200 homes. News link here. I'd been jittery about the fire season all spring. With really good reason.

Conditions are so favorable for fires right now you see smoke in the sky roughly once a week. I've started taking my camera more places because I just don't see how CAL FIRE is going to be able to manage enough resources to keep the season under control. You can see from the hillsides just how dangerous things are. This used to be a grove of oak tree's.

So anyway... I'm out running around this morning. I pop on the freeway to get to an appointment and off in the distance I see a huge smoke plume. But at this point I'm late. So I can't really go to investigate.

Since none of the firetrucks seemed in a big hurry, I figure it probably wasn't that big of a deal. Plus, I didn't see air support.

I figure the fire is going to be out by the time I get done with my appointment, but it wasn't. The winds had started kicking up. By the time I got up near the fire line - it was obvious it wasn't a big fire, rather lots of little hot spots. From the freeway the fire looked much larger.

Those are huge satellite dishes in the distance.

This weekend should be pretty interesting though. Thankfully I've heard very few pre-fireworks.. so hopefully people are taking the fire situation pretty seriously.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A little out of my element.

I find myself in a really weird position of needing to buy a sewing machine. I think.

Well... first lets start with the fact I don't sew. At all. So keep that in mind. I never dream of sewing. Not even when I have grandchildren. I totally respect those who have the patience to sew. That isn't me. As a matter of a fact, it seems like a really bad idea for me to sew anything. But I'm going to do it anyway.

My regulars know I'm completely ADD. I'm either going to wind up driving the needles I've dropped through my feet, or sewing my fingers to the machine. I can just see it now.

The problem is I need some curtains hemmed, and searching out a seamstress seems like a pain in the ass. I don't even know where I would find one. Besides the obvious - the phone book. The job is so small, it hardly worth any seamstresses time.

But - apparently, curtain manufacturers don't think customers need curtains thick enough to block out all visible light in the size I need. So I'm forced to hem.

Normally, I would just lop off the bottom of the curtains and call it a day. But I think I may want to wash these things. Which surely will result in them completely unraveling. Then I'll have to go through this whole process again. And I really.. really don't want to spend months shopping for simple non-hideous curtains again.

Women must think god awful designs are the greatest thing. Therefore torturing me, because I don't really need flowers on every piece of fabric in existence. I also don't need to feel like I'm having a grandmother flashback with the weird 1970's materials.

Now I'm digressing.

So to recap - I just want a simple sewing machine. I don't need 80 stitch patterns. That is just 80 patterns I'm going to sew into my hand.

The problem is.. most of the really simple ones are manufactured by Brother. Who I just blacklisted 2 months ago. I'm never buying anything from that company again.

I have a fax machine from them, which apparently will not work without the color ink cartridges. It won't even allow you to send a fax.

What pissed me off more is the machine stops working when the color cartridges still have a lot of ink left in them. To replace all my cartridges cost me 75 bucks. while buying a new low end Brother fax machine would have been 100 bucks.

So - long story long... Brother may have a sewing machine a little more my mentally challenged speed.. but I'm not going to give them my money.

So I'm asking for ideas from my readers. I know I have some readers who sew, and I'm positive they will give me some really good ideas. You guys always do.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This is how I embarrassed myself today.

I just found out I've been calling my neighbors wife by the wrong name. For a year and a half. Then when he told me - I tried to cover it up and pretend I knew her name and I was just having a stressfull day. Which I'm sure just made the whole thing completely worse!

Man... I suck. How do I fix that?


I am all in a tizz about getting my neighbors name wrong. I feel really bad.

So I call up another neighbor and ask " Hey neighbor - what is our neighbors wife's name"?

Him - "um.. I just drew a blank". Why?

Me - " Apparently I've been calling her by the wrong name for a year and a half. I know I've said her name in front of you and you've never corrected me ".

At this point he busts out laughing.

Him - " um.. I don't know. What's her name"?

Me - " what do you mean? You've lived here for 20 years!"

Him - " So- whats her name"?

Me - "I'm not telling you - have your own embarrassing neighbor moment".

The thing is.. not one of my neighbors has corrected me when I've said her name. And they have all lived here for decades.

My Insta-freakout.

So - I'm going to talk about the Instapundit thing.

I didn't really think I would get picked up by one of the most popular blogs on earth. At first I was super excited. But of course it freaked me out, and I became super self conscience. Because - I'm still really a shy kind of girl, and I realised there were way more eyes looking at all the stuff I've written about.

Then I started thinking about the posts where I talked about my vast porn collection and my boobs. Then my vast porn collection with my boobs. Okay... maybe not that.

Even though I know this is very temporary, I kind of thought I would gradually acquire readership over time. Not be noticed by a huge blog.

Thankfully everyone has been really nice (thank you Instapundit readers) - except that one guy who had sand in his vagina about me bitching about Alienware. All in all, its been a good experience.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Questions that don't need to be asked.

I figured we would go super low tech today. I know I'm on tilt right now... but maybe my customer service scab could heal if people would stop asking me stupid questions.

I'm at the hardware store buying two 8 foot 4x4's. This is not one of those items where you can just take a little paper slip with the UPC on it up to the checkout stand, and they'll load it for you. You have to take the actual lumber to the register.

So - the cashier asks me if I'm buying two of them.


I'm trying to figure out what the cashier was thinking. Did he think I was only buying one 4x4, and I brought the 2nd one to the cashier just for exercise? Or did he think I was somehow smuggling a 3rd eight foot beam up my ass?

Okay - this is the other thing. I know this store doesn't put any bar-codes on their lumber, so I made sure to take a close in cell phone picture of the price tag and the item number. Had it right up on my phone screen so when he went to find the barcode I could just show him the price-tag.

I walk up, and the cashier starts to look confused. Because no one under 20 who works at a fucking hardware store knows what a 4x4 is. They don't even have different length 4x4's at this store.

So - I hold up my phone which has a pretty large screen. Roughly 2x2 inches. So he's not looking at a little tiny cell phone screen. This only makes the cashier ask me "what's that"?

Fuck me...!

I don't know... what could it be? It has a bar-code, item number and description. And the price.

Update: I finally got around to getting the picture off my phone.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Customer support sucks ass.

I have to make an admission. My fuse is becoming positively short with representatives of customer support. I don't like that about myself right now. It didn't used to be that way. They could annoy the hell out of me, and I could still make jokes. It is just getting harder and harder to find the funny side of dealing most companies.

This is my laundry list of complaints today.

1. Why have an f-ing website if you can't manage your account from it? Or when you do manage your account the information gets lost - so I just have to wind up talking to a support rep anyway?

So - today I get a call from Sirius Satellite radio. My one year free subscription is up. Okay fine. The call is automated and if you wanted to renew you just had to press a button and you will be connected to an operator. Except they put me into the general queue and I'm on hold for 11 minutes. I didn't even call them - they called me!

I knew for a fact last year we linked our credit card to our Sirius account because we were having problems with XM at the time. I didn't want to have to deal with customer support when the free trial was up. I just wanted them to seamlessly start billing my credit card. How hard is that? The customer support rep however, insisted they did not have our credit card information.

To add insult to injury I just logged into the Serius website and they do have my credit card on file.

2. I want to talk to a support rep who makes me think they have worked at the company for more than 20 minutes. I've done plenty of phone work in my career. Some of that was in tech support. When I first started working - they made you learn the f-ing rehearsed script before they even stuck you on the phone.

When I ask a question - I'd like it if you first acknowledged you've heard a question. Not pause, and re-read the same sentence from your script. If I happen to be standing in front of you I'd like more than a blank stare. Maybe a nod or a flicker of acknowledgment in your eyes. Is that too much to ask?

3. Why do I have to spend more time on hold than I would at a normal job? Why do I have to be on hold for 30 minutes to order an item? For that matter - why do I have to be on hold for at least 30 minutes no matter what company I call? Unless that company calls me. Then I'm merely on hold for 11 minutes.

4. Why do I have to talk to a company a minimum of 3 times to get a resolution to a problem? See # 5.

5. Why do I even have a problem? I paid for your service or product. Why do you keep switching it on me causing me to have to call and figure out why the service I paid for doesn't f-ing work anymore? I just want to get what I paid for, and I don't want to talk to you ever again until I make a change with that service. You aren't making my service better. In fact usually you are making it worse. Or I would have already switched.

6. If you can't handle the customers you have - lay every single one of your sales people off. Stop taking new customers. Most of them don't even know how to sell your product anyway.

7. Why is it the only choice consumers have is between "sucks ass" and "sucks donkey balls"? It's ridiculous!

8. Why do I have to walk your technical support reps through how to solve my problem? Why?

This clearly isn't only about Sirius. Its about the constant dealings with untrained support staff I've had to do this week. Then companies like Comcast Cable for example who make you so crazy - you are willing to pay anyone on earth besides them. My previous rants here and here. I'm not the only one being driven to insanity by Comcast. Look here and here and here.

Then you have to pull your hair out to find another company who makes you believe for one second their support staff is in any way more competent than the one you are leaving.

Am I really asking for that much?


Hey, I got insta-lanched! Welcome Instapundit readers.

Today I became a hypocrite.

I did all that bitching about Lenovo last year. Here.

What happened this morning? Mr S. purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad X61 Series. I've been trying to talk him out of it for two weeks because I blacklisted them.

He finally wore me down by telling me how much the people at work thought the construction was much better than all the other laptops his co-workers have owned. So - what could I do?

But - all those other companies.. I'm still not buying from you.

Anyway.. they allege it should be here in 2-3 weeks. Oh - did I mention they are having a big sale. If you call their sales department and sit on hold for 30 minutes you can get an extra 15% off the sales price listed on the web-site.

Midnight in the Garden of good and Evil.

Mr S. said most people would feel title would be anti-climactic. He thought most people would want a story from that title. If you think so - the comment section is open.

Normally I hate my photo's and grow to love them. This one I loved, and now think it sucks.

I'm posting it anyway because I love the feature on my camera that allows infrared light in, but also allows vivid colors to show up. Which means I can take pictures in complete darkness. Like this shot.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

You have to admit it's cute.

I know this crosses some weird line about dressing up your pets.. but Tivo Antenna's don't really count. Do they?

BTW- she now hates those antennas.

More bunny pics here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My girls travel in packs.

Normally I don't post about conversations I have with friends. Mostly because they are too intimate, personal, inappropriate. Choose one. Today I am breaking my rules.

When one of my girlfriends called last night at 9:00 - I knew there would be trouble. Before I even answered the phone I was sure she was in a dark place. Which is basically my code phrase for freaking out. Sounds more ominous than it really is.

Honestly, I wanted to not answer the phone. My girls seem to run in packs, and when one wants to talk they all want to talk. Its gotta be some crazy thing like women's periods sync up or something, because it happens all the time. I can go for days and not speak to any of them... then bam! they all descend on me like the neurotic chatty Cathy's we all are.

So I was already pretty high up there on the talked-out list. But it was uncharacteristically late for her to call.. so I figured I should just suck it up.

Let me just say - talking to my girlfriends is a little like squirrels on crack chattering at cats. Because all of our lives are so hectic - we get to talking so fast that a full 8 hour conversation gets condensed into about 2 hours. I'm exhausted by the time I'm done. Then - I wind up doing the highlight recap for my husband which always involves the phrase "can you believe that"? He gets exhausted just from the 15 minute recap. Plus all of a sudden he is faced with a wife that is completely wound up like a child on sugar.

So girlfriend and I are spawned from the hippy-est hippies on the planet. I started becoming more conservative long ago.. but she moved to Seattle and became one of my most liberal friends. And I live pretty near San Fransisco, so that's saying a lot. I wouldn't say I am a full out conservative.. I'm not. I'm just more conservative than she is. I'm the type of conservative that doesn't care what you do with your life.. I just want to keep the money I earn.

This is how liberal she is. When she met and married her husband some years back he wouldn't even use a car at all. He would only use a skateboard for transportation. The only reason she still drove is because she's a girl and girls are not going to choose a skateboard over a car.

Well, lets say some years later skateboarding isn't as practical. But he still wants to buy a cabin in the woods. Stock it with supplies for when the end of the world comes due to global warming, antiperspirant giving everyone cancer, or whatever this weeks liberal is telling her she needs to do to prepare for Armageddon. She told me last night her husband actually told her he thought they could hike to the cabin in a week.

As you can imagine there is a lot of eye rolling. Nodding in agreement and biting my tongue - but whatever. The thing is, almost every time I talk to this friend she is becoming remarkably more conservative. And it isn't happening gradually over time. Every conversation she is becoming less granola hippy, and its freaking me out.

I've never seen anything evolve this fast. Its like how fast the sea-people evolved on the Southpark epiode "Simposons Already Did It". At this rate next month she is will be to the right of Rush Limbaugh.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Aliens have reached the mother ship. Another Alienware rant.

Yes.. Dear Regular Readers, I know I'm boring the shit out of you with these posts. But you must know this is for search purposes for potential buyers.

Today I got the following email from Alienware:

"Thank you for contacting the Alienware Technical Support team.

In regards to your inquiry please be advised that, unfortunately, at this moment we do not offer an option to check the status of your system while being serviced in our facilities, in the same way it can be done when tracking the progress of your order through the Order Status page.

In regards to your inquiry please be advised that according to FedEx, the system was delivered today in our facilities. It should be entering the diagnostic phase during this week.

The normal Depot turn around time frame is approximately 15-20 business days. This time frame is subject to change depending on stock availability of replacement parts. If any issues were to come up, we would be sure to notify you."

Did you see that part where they say turn around is 15-20 business days? Plus 7 days for shipping time. Probably times 2 because who here thinks turn around time counts time to ship the machine back to me? Ya'll raise your hands if you do.

Okay - so this is the thing. This morning my husband told me his company started offering company discounts on Alienware machines. Lots of tech companies do this, but I couldn't have cared less.

Honestly there isn't a discount on earth that makes buying another machine from them worth it. Especially when I pay for on site support..which doesn't exist. Then have to ship my machine back to them for a minimum of 4 weeks. That's if they have the parts in stock.

Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes them to figure out I put a new drive in the machine that is completely clean? Drives are so cheap these days that I didn't want the support guys checking out my vast porn collection. So, we just popped a new drive in it when we shipped it back. We didn't even install an OS on it.

Okay - so I don't have a vast porn collection.. but I do have financial data, and they don't need the f-ing drive anyway. They can just plug in a master drive.

Oh wait.. I forgot to link my last post on this. So here it is.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Should read - Lighthouse For The Blind.

Clearly if you need to see the building name you shouldn't be there.. so why trim the tree.

Now I'm highly stressed.

Some of my regular readers will know about my desire to have a reduction.

I've been in this limbo mode for a while. Insurance has to pre-approve you before the surgery. You have to get records from other doctors who will say they think the surgery is medically necessary. So I've been going through this paperwork nightmare.

I finally thought I was on the homestretch - but I hadn't heard from anyone in about three weeks. Even though we all know insurance takes their good sweet time. I figured I might as well call and get a status. This is where I begin to freak out.

Me- This is Mrs. S, and I'm just calling to get a status on my case.

Dr. Office- Oh Mrs. S, we haven't gotten anything from your GP.

Me - Okay.. when I talked to you three weeks ago I told you that if you didn't receive anything from them early the following week you should call me so I can light a fire under them.

Dr. Office - Well I left you a message on May 24th.

Me- Yes, and we spoke shortly after that. I said you should call me if you didn't get the records by the following week.

Dr. Office - Well... who is your GP?

This is the part that made me really nervous. I have told this woman at least 5 times on the phone who my GP is. And - it should be in my fucking file anyway. I wrote it right in there on the consult visit.

Dr. Office - Well, you probably have to sign something before they will send the records.

You have got to be joking me, right? Now my red flag warning is off the chart. This woman is acting like I have never talked to her before. She hasn't made any notes to our previous conversations.

For instance - why would I be calling about the status when the last time I talked to her I was told I needed to sign a release form for my GP to get him to send his records. She must know this or she wouldn't have told me they hadn't gotten anything from my doctor yet.

Do I even have to point out this is a procedure that scares the shit out of me. I don't even really want to have it. I'm actually in tears because this is like a major deal for me, and I don't want to feel like my doctor or his staff are complete fucktards. I'm sorry if this shit freaks me out, but honestly this isn't a little cosmetic surgery.

Really - I think I should find another doctor. Even thought this doctor came to me from a recommendation. I don't know how my insurance will say about all that.

Plus this sets me back about 2 months at least. It took a month to get into see this guy. So - technically 3 months.

My stomach is in complete knots right now.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The economy slows on Fathers Day?

I'm a little fascinated by Fathers Day - being the bastard child I am (literally). Hey - I heard doesn't bother me. It isn't sad. So stop it.

Mr S. and I chose today to lay around all day and do nothing. Well, after talking to his dad on the phone and providing tech support.

We eventually decided to venture out for supplies and noticed the whole city was deserted. Nuclear holocaust style. It was all tumbleweeds and echos. I don't even think the traffic was this low on Christmas Day.

Apparently dads just want to lay around all day and do nothing. I guess that is the perfect fathers day for them. Which makes me a little conflicted because all of a sudden I think Fathers Day is the perfect time to shop. Think about it.. no one at the home improvement stores. Or anywhere for that matter.

Mr S. can stay home and lay around if he wants.. but Fathers Day is my new shopping day. Who else is going to prop up the economy?

Robogames 07' - Part II.

In retrospect, I'm not going to post as many pictures as I thought I would. I don't think I got that many great shots anyway. There are probably a ton of other sites that will have great coverage.

I was super happy the games had a bunch of robots and exhibits to see. The trade-off is it was hard to get good photos. Kids were everywhere as would be expected at this kind of event.

Kids don't have a concept of either looking cute so you can get a "precious moment" shot. Or letting you take your photo before they completely surround the target. Then all you can get is that back of their heads. From every angle. Like this:

The adults can be bad too... and some of those guys with the little handheld video camera were the worst. They would stand right in front of an object, and stay there for like 5 minutes. Often times when there wasn't any movement from the item they were shooting. I'm not going to go off on a rant about it too much, because this is really typical of these types of events.

Anything technology causes people to loose their minds and have no concept of anything around them. One more thing. Exhibitor's! If you want people to take photos of your stuff - don't make it hard for photographers. Don't stand in front of your exibit or move your items around constantly.

There was one exhibitor's item I was trying to take a picture of. He rearranged his display 10 times within the space of two feet, while standing right in front of it the whole time . I finally gave up after about 4 minutes.

More to follow...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Robogames 07' - back from the dead.

I put the year in the subject line because I have immense hope they will be returning. I'm only posting a few pictures for now - but I totally have to give Simone and Mr. Robotics huge props for the games this year. As soon as we walked in the door as I was immediately happy. This wasn't the sparsely populated games of last year.

This was a full fledged event I was happy to pay admission to.

More later...


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Warm California Sky.

I will remember this year for the endless red skies.

What is up with Pedestrians?

Well... I almost hit someone this morning. My nerves have been messed up every since. Now I have to go on a rant about it. This is what happened.

My light was green and I was making a right turn into the lane nearest the sidewalk. After I completed the turn, about 30 feet from the crosswalk this guy runs into the road. He is only watching the green light and not any traffic. It was like slow motion even though he was at a full sprint. He never once took his eye off that light.

I came really close to hitting this guy, and if I were going any faster I would have. It was that close. I could tell it shook the guy up as well. The blood probably drained from both of our bodies. I know it did mine. It was one of those "I could have gotten very hurt today" moments. He did wind up crossing again. In the cross-walk this time.

I was in my truck... so he would have taken a full body impact.

Which is where I am going to start my rant.

I've noticed in the last year that pedestrians have exhibited an uncanny trust of traffic. At least once a week I see someone barrel right out into the road and not even look. Not check to make sure traffic is stopping. Nothing. A few days ago my husband and I saw a woman walk out into the road and her face was totally obstructed by a package.

I just don't get it. With more and more people being distracted by phones and other in-car devices, I don't really understand why peds (pedestrians) have become less cautious rather than more. It just also really annoys me because I was hugely affected after hitting that dog. I don't really know how I would cope if I hit a person. This pedestrian behaviour happens so often, I'm surprised I haven't seen someone else hit one of them. I don't really want those images in my head either.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Set your Tivo's.

I've been totally robbed! Who would have ever thought Jimmy Kimmel was a Maker fan? We were there and didn't even know they were filming.

Maker Faire on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight!

My Maker Faire Series here.

Now - who doesn't need a stripper pole?

This is an actual product.

It's probably mean to put this guys picture on my site. But I thought it was super funny his picture was right next to the USB pole dancers. With the caption " This area is proudly merchandised by - Eddy Chang".

Does television influence the way you dream?

I'm not the kind of person who really likes to dream. I wake up feeling completely not rested. Like my brain hasn't shut completely down - and as an insomniac... I really need a good nights rest that doesn't include dreaming.

So - a couple of days ago I had a big giant nightmare. Which is fairly uncommon for me. Although I'm pretty surprised. The stuff I've seen, you'd think I would have more nightmares - but I don't.

Anyway, I remember the nightmare being in vivid color. I've dreamed in color before - but this was different. After thinking about it for a while, I started thinking that maybe the high definition world is creeping into my dreams. With TV's, photo images and high resolution monitors - the world seems a little more vivid. Perhaps this is what made the color in my dream really stand out.

So - after a while I decided to talk to my husband about the whole high definition dream thing. Because if true, its minorly funny.

He told me he has these dreams that has theme songs in his dreams. Background music, and directorial camera shots. Zoom, pan. Those types of things.

It just made me wonder if other people have odd things like this in their dreams which, clearly are influenced from watching television.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm never shopping there again.

Okay - today I go to the market to pick a few things up. I walk through the semi cold area. What do they call that area anyway?. The area they keep cheese and lunch meats. I'm going for ricotta cheese - if it matters.

So - I turn the isle and there is a guy stocking the shelves. But - he is standing in the freezer area. On top of a mound of bacon. His size 10-ish shoes. Right on top of packages of bacon. Not on the metal lip that keeps everything from falling out.

Am I the only one with the illusion they should be handling products in a sanitary way?

I walk down to the other end of the isle to get my ricotta cheese and think to myself "I've gotta take a picture of this guy" because who stands on products that will eventually be sold.

Damn - my memory cache is full. I delete a few pictures, and try again. He's still on top the the bacon. Phone still complaining about not enough space. So I give up.

I would have complained.. but would it have really mattered?

In Security News.

This week has been mainly occupied by finding clever ways to form a police state.

Well.. without the police "and stuff". It's only a few days until the neighbors party, and we will be up in the City. (San Fransisco) We got all of our cameras last week. Plugged a couple of them in, and the inside camera promptly overheated and died. Which would have made me crazy, but Luk Werks has already shipped a replacement.

The interesting thing about the system is that its quasi wireless. Meaning - it isn't wireless, but actually finds its connection through the wires in your house via the outlet plugs. So you can plug them in anywhere you have electrical outlets, and it must send out an electrical current to talk to the receiver in the next outlet plug. It's sort of hard to describe - so just go to the site and look at the pretty pictures.

Even if the whole thing winds up pissing me off - you have to admit that is a clever design.

Since we are sort of a high profile house on the block, we didn't really want to make the cameras too obvious. So this was our solution.

We were going to swap the garage doors, but in light of a time crunch we just decided to swap the opaque panels in the windows to clear plexi. See - that one on the right isn't swapped yet. Doing it this way makes it doubly nice because we aren't spying on the neighbors, we just want to protect our cars, and maybe keep an eye on the robotic mower.

I really need to get some updated pictures of that thing. Just this weekend 2 more neighbors came to watch the mower. It never gets old for them. Anyway.. I'm starting to digress.

Another blogger problem.

For some reason Blogger isn't showing replies to comments I've made. If you commented on something, you need to expand the comments section to see what I've said.

P.S. To the force that influences good in the world - Can't I have just one minute where I don't have to figure out why something isn't working? Please. It would be really helpful.

Update - Huh... now that worked freakishly fast.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just weird.

So - there is this guy who walks the neighborhood with his cat. Like - every day.

I don't know what to make of him. He always wears these crazy hats. I think the one here is Donald Duck - but it can be a jester/captains/cat in the hat - hat. And he always sings in this loud deep baritone voice. You can actually hear him before you see him. Usually the cat is on his shoulder.. but sometimes the cat will just follow him like a dog. It is the weirdest thing. He acts like he wants attention, then really doesn't engage when you try to talk to him.

Every time I have anyone at the house and the guy passes they all ask "whats up with the cat guy". A question I think we'd all like to know.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My little slice of technology hell.

The past two weekends have been a blur. Which is why I'm writing about this now. In a few days most of the weekend events will just blend together into a ball of exhaustion.

In non-technology news.. the bunnies have managed to stage a revolt, and have had bunny emergencies on both weekends. Last Saturday Paisley's allergy problem flared into oblivion and she needed to be taken to the vet. Her ear was seeping puss. I'm now convinced she is allergic to petroleum based products. Vaseline.. and to the horror of all bunny owners - petromault. Which means when she gets a hair backup she has to go straight to propulsid. She has also been on baby Benadryl twice a day. Sucks.

This weekend - our bunny Fudge decided it was his turn, and in the middle of robbing him from extra fur he started screaming. His main malfunction is he won't stop eating when he feels bad and lets his stomach expand until it can't get any bigger. Blogged about it here. This would have caused a trip to the vet, but it was after closing hours, and since we have been through this before we just started him on the emergency routine. Sub-queue fluids, propulsid, anti gas meds, and pain meds. Yeah.. you read that right. Takes a lot of energy... and double sucks.

Now back to the technology stuff. I finally reached some sort of acceptance that I had to ship my Alienware machine to their site, and boxed it up. Took pictures in-case they claim it was fucked when they got it. Took the air compressor and blew it out from any dust. While the compressor is out we might as well blow out all the computers, roomba's, and scooba. And any other technology device that could use some de-dustification. Yeah - that now is a word.

The other thing is that the data closet (here) is fabulous - until you need to work on some machine. Since we were taking the Alien machine out, putting in an old crappy Emachine, and adding a new machine for the security system - this meant a total rework of the closet.

This was after pulling parts from other machines so I could use both my monitors. So we upgraded video card, power supply, and stole some memory from another machine to put into the Emachine. I might as well prepare for being without my Alien machine for weeks.

In a sidenote we are calling the security server Glady's after the old Bewitched television show. Sucks we have put it up, but one of the neighbors even suggested it since they were once broken into. Hopefully today we will get some of the cameras up. Next weekend there is suppose to be a kegger party, and I'm not sure all of these people will be drinking legal. If our cars get touched again, I'm going to freak out.

So - all the stuff from yesterday took us about 12 hours - and now my husbands video card is probably fucked. Hopefully. Otherwise I'm going to be lit up about it being a monitor. A big monitor that is little more than a year old.

I hope your weekend is going better than ours.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Slow news day.

Not much going on at Chez-Snarkolepsy this week. It will be a slow week to finish up projects so next weekend we can go to San Fransisco for Robogames.

Normally I would post bunny pictures, but only 1 of my 7 regular readers even commented. Thanks Monicker! I mean - who could not think that was cute?

My biggest dilemma right now is whether I should let my mother-in-law help me recover from my impending reduction. I don't have a surgery date yet, but she planned to come out this summer, and now wants to combine the surgery with that visit. She called last night in fact to see what the status is. The problem - is insurance hasn't let me in on their secrete plan.

I'm all shades of conflicted because my mother-in-law is a very wonderful person and means well - but I'm not sure I'm going to feel like having company. I'll be all drugged up, and probably depressed. And seepy. Yeah you read that right. Seepy. They put drain tubes in you, and it is surgery after all. Plus, she is all motherly in a normal sort of way, unlike my own mother, and sometimes it's just too much. But she really wants to help.

The other half of me thinks maybe I'm over-reacting, and it will be just fine. My husband probably could use the help. I don't know - at any rate, I'm feeling pressure about it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

How Alienware wastes my time and money.

Let me just start out by saying...buying an Alienware on site service contract is complete bullshit. It doesn't exist.

This is what happened. Yesterday Mr. Snarkolepsy and I were out putting up our LED solar numbers. I come back in and my machine is not responding. I reboot it. Still nothing. It looks like my motherboard has died.

This is a 6 month old machine. Which has already needed a graphics board replacement. Blogged about it here. Did I mention its only 6 months old? Oh yeah.... I did - it's right there.

It is now about 9:30pm, and I figure I might as well call support. I get to a tech in about 5 minutes. We start through the diagnosis phase. Re-seat memory, graphics board, and the motherboard battery. Nothing works. Pretty clear case of motherboard failure since the fans are still running.

It was then the tech told me I needed to pack my machine up, and send it to them in Florida so they can work on it. I'm in California.

This is where I hit the roof. "Oh no" I say - I paid for on-site support. The tech tells me they only provide onsite support after they know what the problem is. Which is complete bullshit because when my graphics board was only half functional I asked for on-site support as well. They wouldn't send a tech. They sent me a new graphics board via FedEX.

Now I am faced with being without my almost brand new machine for a month - if I'm lucky. What fucking company on the planet does this? They claim it will be 2-3 weeks turn around after they get it. Which I doubt very highly. Alienware chronically misses shipping dates, so why would I believe them on this?

They also tell me they may or may not wipe all the data from my disk drive. How great is that? I don't know why I even need to send them the machine with a drive anyway. They must have a master drive they can plug right in.

I predict Alienware will be out of business in 2 years. This isn't bitterness. Even with the "oh-so-cool" mark-up for these machines, I can not see a business model that makes this company profitable. The company never improves. Evidenced by how many hits I get on my blog from customers waiting for their machines, or having problems with Alienware support.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

When bunnies smile - Part 3.

Part 1, Part 2.

When did this happen?

Valet parking at the mall?

I'm going to admit outright I don't go to the mall much. There is something about disaffected youth with nothing better to do than leisurely walk around the mall getting in my way that annoys the hell out of me. If I need to shop for something - I'm on a mission and everyone must clear a path. I don't find what I want 90% of the time anyway, so I have to walk super fast to make sure I'm in and out as quickly as possible.

So yesterday when I was forced to go into the mall I was super shocked to find they now offered valet parking.

Now - I have been to a lot of upscale malls. This one wasn't in an upscale neighborhood. But the mall had become all pretentious.

Who puts accents on a 'Y'?

Friday, June 01, 2007


I love when something works much better than I thought it might. In this case - Solar LED numbers.

I was pretty skeptical about them.

We charged them and played with them for about a day, then we put them back in the box until we can hang them. 3 days later they were still glowing. I know LEDS don't take much power, but still. We haven't even taken the protective coating from the solar cells yet. Pretty impressive.