Saturday, July 31, 2010

You taped what?

The day started out good. Then sketchy. Then good.

Traffic everywhere was savage. We went to breaklunch, and then headed out to the Berkeley Kite fest.

It took so long to get to the marina. Then, we found out they had the Marina blocked off it was so full. So we wound up on the frontage road and debated on walking the 2-3 miles around the bay. Which wasn't such a big deal. I didn't feel great about the walking back. When I'm done. I'm done. And - I had to pee.

You guys know my thing about porto potties. That is not happening my friend.

Mr S. convinced me there might be bathrooms at the Golden Gate Fields. Which is on the frontage road.

The parking attendant and the track people were so frickin nice to let me not have to pay to park. Then let me use the facilities. The restrooms were dreamy. I was the only other female patron. So they were super clean.

While I was walking through the lobby I noticed a bunch of cabby's just hanging out. When I came back through I asked how much it would cost for them to drive us to the Marina and back. It turned out to be the same as parking at the hotel next to the Marina. So, we paid the parking lot attendant to park, and took a cab.

For some reason I have a fondness for cabby's. My uncle drove cab for a while. For the most part they are really good honest guys. On a rare occasion they will try to take you the long way. Yet, if you ask them to come back and get you - they always seem to. Plus, they really saved me from a meltdown. It took an hour to get through the traffic the first time to find out there was no place to park. Golden Gate Fields cabby's? Awwwesome.

Hey. Maybe I shouldn't admit this. I plan on doing this next year. Eh, whatever. It's a slow time of year for them with the horses being gone. They could use the extra dough.

Video. Keep your finger on the volume. I have a little bit of wind feedback.

It's a super good thing Mr S. isn't self conscience like I am. What's with that white rapping?

In Oakland. Its surprising the lack of Obama bumper stickers. For a while they were on every other vehicle.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's a chicken and egg thing - isn't it?

I have to admit - I can not express how frustrated I am at the population right now. Take today for example.

Three years ago I spent a shitload of money on a custom fireplace door. Like 1500 bucks. Now, that is a lot of money for a door. Yet, it has saved my house burning down a couple of times. Log rolls forward. The door stops it. Where those screens with the wire mesh - would have let the log roll right through.

At any rate.... the base of the door gets a ton of heat. This has caused some tempering. Along with this, the black coating is starting to flake off. It is a small imperfection. Something I don't actually think can be helped. I'm happy to pay to have it fixed. It's functional. Still - I spent a shitload of money for a nice door, and it makes it unsightly.

I walk into the place I bought it from today. I bring a picture of the door. But not a picture of the full door. Just the affected spot. I figured I would just show him on a floor model where the problem was happening.

The salesman hits me before I could look around. Because, it is summer. What else does he have to do? I show him the picture. Again, I am just trying to get a rough quote on how much it will cost to fix.

This is where he makes this big deal about how the door shouldn't be doing that. Because, it is made in America. Which made me think - well, it was made in America three years ago. It wasn't exactly our finest hour. Don't get me wrong. I love it here. Which is why it pisses me off we've turned into such pussies.

After we get done talking - I go to try and see if I can find their floor model. This is where he tells me they don't even sell doors anymore. They haven't for two years. They don't sell anything that "produces heat".

Meaning - if you have a real fireplace. They don't think you will ever be able to use it. So we've stopped selling anything that pertains to being able to use it as a heat source. No - I'm not shitting.

Why is this all so bothersome? Well, because the guy made a huge stink about these doors being made in America. Of course.

The problem is, the environmental regulations are so restrictive - I can't use my fireplace in the future. And you can't even make this shit in AMERICA!

It sucks the US is on the loosing side of every game right now, and we have a coach who thinks that is just A-okay. We used to be winners. And it just drives me nuts that everyone blames our problems on outsourcing jobs to other countries. Which universally had made life better in the US.

One of my first jobs was working at NEC in "quality control". And, I had to lie to get it. I was 16. The law said you had to be 18. I was from a welfare poor family. I would have lied any day of the week to get a job. You know what I had to do?

Make sure silicon chips passed the manufacturing phase. It was repetitive. Menial. At the time I hated it. I was under age. But, it served a purpose. I made it to the middle class.

It makes me crazy that people don't understand you can't hardly even make chips in the US anymore. It isn't George Bush Hitler's fault! It is the fault that the regulations are so harsh - you just can't even do it. No wonder jobs are going over seas. Duh!

Do you know what solar panels are made from? Silicon! Yet President Vagina can't understand why China is getting all of our green jobs making solar panels.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh - for - shits- sakes!

If these people knew just how deeply all of us can't stand these people. I've never seen such universal anger. Everyone - everywhere - understands they are ripping us off every single day. Makes the days of hitler bush seem like a cake walk.

So, when I read this little gem - I just had to grit my teeth.

California's city officials scramble to limit damage from Bell scandal

"On Thursday, city managers from across the state will gather in Sacramento to discuss damage control. Among the ideas on the table: launching an independent examination of city officials' salaries and compiling a database of salaries for municipal executives.

The Legislature also is mulling several Bell-inspired proposals, including a requirement that cities make salaries easily accessible on websites. "

"Many of the ideas are designed to put political distance between Bell and the rest of California's 480 cities and towns. "It would be really unfortunate if anyone took the outrageous action of one city and generalized it to all cities," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities, which is hosting the meeting."

Have these people lost their minds? This is happening in every single city in California. Hell, even my city the school administrator makes a half a million bucks.

Yet again.. the are going to act like they are doing something. All the while wasting our money. Google can effing help them out with this. They have heard of Google. Right? There are at least two databases that have this information compiled.

Secondly, it isn't that hard. A judge ordered this information be readily available. Again.. all it takes is a little search engine time. Not even all that much. There have been people reporting these excesses for a couple of years now. Just type in the words pension jackpot!

From Inside Bay Area last year.

"More than two years after state Supreme Court Justice Ronald George authored a 7-0 ruling stating that the salaries of all government employees are public record, some local governments still refuse to quickly release data. The city of Alameda took more than two months to release information on all of its 2008 employees and would not perform calculations to make the data easier for the public to understand. Albany refused to make similar calculations on overtime pay and bonuses."

Or just type the word pension into my site. It will at least get them started.

Whatever makes you happy.

I don't think I've set foot in a tile store in a year. It's no secret I have a pretty intense love affair with tile. The feeling of rubbing my hand over the surface to feel the texture. And, that feeling you get on your hands of the moisture completely being sucked out of your skin from tile dust.

When the market crashed - so did new tile coming in from other countries. So, I don't feel like I'm missing too much.

I did find myself at a tile shop this weekend though and ran across this material. Which I love.

To you - it looks like bland tile. To me - it looks and feels like concrete. A very minimalistic industrial look I really enjoy.

I'd give you some links to usage. But... the Italians drive me batshit crazy with their sites. It has to be all flash, and ridiculously annoying. Think I'm joking?

Take a look at this youtube video. Leaves me feeling like - can I see some of the effing tile please?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life gives you warning signals all along the way.

There is this place I go to for cheese steak sandwiches. It really is the best place on earth. Yet - I never leave there feeling more afraid.

You see... the patron's are big people. Nice people, I am sure. Not your average run of the mill big people. I'm not judging. I'm only saying my brain only screams at me - don't come here too often.

The same thing happens at this supermarket I go to. I call it the old people super market. I really hate the place. Even old people Wednesday. Which I try to avoid.

They bus in the old people from the assisted living places. Have you ever tried shopping when the only patrons, are old? It makes me go nuclear in my head. It's like they have never seen these products before. And, they all have these assisted walking aids that block half the isle. SupermarketSUV's. Not only that- they stalk you. I'm happy to let them take as much time as they want to buy stuff. I will just go to another isle. But, oh no.

No matter what isle you escape to they manage to follow you there. You can't get them to move out of the way so you can grab some sour cream. But, oh they can sure speed walk to whatever isle you want to be on.

This place also scares the shit out of me. I always leave saying to myself - You better stand up straight. I just don't like the idea of living the rest of my life with my chin stuck to my boobs because I can't hold my head up.

I'm telling you. Life lets you know what your suppose to do. You just have to listen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So - that is where all the hot cars are hiding.

I'm not gonna lie. Sleep has been really hard this week. All day I just want to take a nap, but don't for fear I won't sleep that night. Only to not sleep anyway. This is why my blog is sucking more than normal.

This weekend we went to a car show in Saratoga. Which I was absolutely convinced I was going to hate. I actually told Mr S. - I know this show is going to piss me off. They billed it as "classics". But, listed VW Beetles and other odd assortment of crap.

I was still driving a VW in my 20's! How is that a classic? And anyway - Saratoga is sort of an old money town, and I figured by "classic" they meant "eccentric". Like Trabant. The kind of car you say - you shoved this thing in your garage for what reason?

The cars were okay. Until we hit this Aston Martin. Then I got the bright idea. Hey - this is Saratoga. They probably have bad ass cars just parked on the street. Which is how I got the Ferrari and the Aston parked right opposite each other. They had nothing to do with the show.

The show actually had a Bugatti, but they wanted to keep people from putting their grubby hands on it, and had it tightly roped off. I figured - screw that. In a couple of weeks I'll be at a place that people are so rich, they would think these people in Saratoga are peasants. They still have to work for their money.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Say it!

Updated - with fire.

The lack of crime in a savage recession has been interesting. Also interesting? The lack of fires. By this time of year there are always a couple of really big fires. The sky is always this smokey red. Great for taking pictures of at sunset.

Not so great if you love breathing. It's a trade off.

My deck has a pretty good view, and the smoke always blows over the mountains. You can sometimes see the smoke trail as far as Monterey. The ones from the Valley are almost always visible.

A few years ago I remember being pissed at the govenator for not hedging fuel for the firefighting planes. The year when gas hit 4.50 a gallon. California was paying market prices, and that year our state was burning to the ground. The planes were in the air all the time.

So, it has stood out how little fire activity we have had. I mean, it's good. Just different from most other years I can remember.

While driving through San Jose today - we could see the tell tale plume of smoke. And were surprised to find out it was right along the freeway.

If you have absolutely nothing going on - you can burn a couple of minutes watching the vid. It's pretty boring. But, hey - it's another opportunity to hear what I sound like.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Girlfriend in a coma. I know, I know it's serious.

Most people don't read my blog on Fridays. Just the die hards. Still, I try to post every couple of days so people don't loose interest.

I'm a little frayed at the edges. I've had a stomach flu the past week. That combined with above average sleep loss has made life "challenging".

Mr S. I and I went to see that movie Inception last weekend - which has really made me reflect on my non dreaming state. Some people love dreaming. I really don't enjoy it. Which, I wonder if it contributes to my sleeplessness. Even as a child I remember fighting stay awake. Still - I'd love just one week of good solid sleep.

I will try to find something interesting for you soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm starting to think it will pass.

Something I have been noticing over the past few months is the lack of outrage. Outrage I tell you! And, the talk of reefer madness.

Oh, how I used to love to watch old reruns of Dragnet. "You are pretty high and far out - aren't you"?

Oakland says - We are going to have warehouses full of pot. Full I tell you! And the only complaint is - Hey man... don't Walmart our pot. All of a sudden mom and pop pot shops are legit, and these big warehouses are going to put them out of business. The lack of complaining is almost like the whole thing is a forgone conclusion.

I mean, think about it - these pot warehouses are going to eat a ton of power. And the city is just okay with that. Every other week I see a class on how to run a pot business. The banks are starting to be okay with pot money. For business use only. Of course.

I say it goes legal. Mark this day on the calendar.

Welcome to Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What a little rebel you are.

Someone climbed out over moving traffic to paint this.

Man, the kids are starting to bore me. Yipes all of a sudden I had the echo of "why in my day" fill my head. Oh well, I might as well go with it.

When I was growing up - I don't even remember what decade it was, but clearly before I had an affinity to buy paint - congress made some rule that stores had to lock up all their spray paint cans.

This must have been in the 80's. And back then, it was a huge deal. Every single company that sold spray paint had to pay for these metal Faraday cages to lock up all their paint. You'd have to track down a store clerk to open the cage. So you could buy paint.

Fast forward to today.

Some stores still have these cages. Which makes me chuckle to myself. Silently. Because..... they are all open. Graffiti is out of control. Which I mostly don't care about.

I mean, I cared that one time someone tagged the light pole in front of my house. I stand in solidarity with other property owners who it pisses off. Excepting for that, the graffiti bandits are pretty skilled these days. Except in my town where I think they are all girls.

My point is - congress makes a big deal out of some issue, and 20 years later - people basically ignore them. It costs the companies a lot of money at the time though.

Antenna ooooooof DEATH.

It's one thing to get hit by a car. Bugs can say - hey! There is no way I could have missed that.

But... getting bisected by the antenna - well, I think your species is done.

Yes. The whole species.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I think the moral of the story is - whales smell like ass.

Readers! You don't know how much I suffer to entertain you. Seriously.

Today while driving around, I noticed that the water reclamation place had painted murals on the new "shit holding vats?" they just installed. I don't know what to call them.

Which I thought was really funny. I mean, this is the kind of mural you'd see on the buildings around the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Yet, it isn't. It's a poo plant.

So, instead of thinking these are giant tubs of shit - you think they are giant tubs of whales. Which by the way. Smell like shit. It was hot today, and while they've done a good job of making the place smell less bad - it is a far cry from not smelling bad at all. There is a restaurant right across the street from this thing. No... I'm not kidding.

From a slightly different angle.

At least I can feel all warm inside that my poos are going to feed whales. Or whatever. I'm not sure what message they are trying to convey. And I don't know what you'd paint on it - still. There is poo in there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Steve Jobs to the world.....

"You ungrateful little bitches! Don't you see how much I've done for you"?

I don't know. I'm slightly amused by the whole iPhone thing. I mean. This is classic Steve. I'm just not sure if the customer has ever experienced the wrath of Steve before.

This stuff is legendary. Dating back forever. All that have worked for him, or needed to work with him - are probably chuckling a little inside. I don't know why customers thought they were so special.

I'm surprised Steve didn't just offer them a free clothes pin to stick over their lips - so they could shut the hell up.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I don't know why I even make titles because they never describe my posts anyway.

I am not gonna lie. I'm just phoning it in today. It is hot. Which I have no business complaining about. It has been mild so far this year.

Things I thought were funny this morning are no longer funny. Or interesting.

Pictures I have from the last two weeks with my drive being all messed up, don't really look the way I want them to.

There is even a better side to this heart, but the picture I took sucks.

I can't be entertaining all the time. Or even mostly.

Maybe I'll download the Flip software and see if there is anything on my Flipcam. I'm still reloading software.

Did I ever mention that the terms of service for the flipcam software makes me agree not to harass people? I mean, I'm generally for that. I still don't think it belongs in a TOS. Next they will make me agree to not use bad words.

At least you got a heart from me today. You're welcome. Man, this all sounds shittier in text than in my head. I'm just not entertained right now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I gasped when I read this.

Oh sweet shit on a cracker.

Most of my regular readers know that I've been on a "green tirade" for almost forever. So, today - a tweet piqued my interest. I think the title was:

Halt on California solar incentives stuns schools, nonprofits.

"The California Public Utilities Commission has stunned public officials and the solar industry by suspending lucrative rebates to school districts, cities and other government agencies that install solar panels on public buildings."

Holy mother of gawd - I thought. Finally some fiscal sanity.

I actually only skimmed the article, and then went on with my life. Later I came back to read the whole thing. When I got to the bottom... the air completely left my body.

This is the good part:

"California law exempts energy projects from bidding requirements, allowing cities, counties and schools to sign multimillion-dollar contracts with companies without shopping for the best price. The California Solar Incentive reforms should prompt more agencies to seek bids, Weissman said."

I've been uniformly negative on this stuff forever. Read here and here. I read everything I can about it. This is one bit of info I'd never seen before.

How many of you think schools are taking advantage of the 40-50% drop in solar prices in the last few years?

Zombies have moved to the burbs.

And, I guess they are holding down pretty good jobs, because this was on a Chrysler 300.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do not recognize.

Today is one of those days that is going so well, it sort of freaks me out.

No - I can't just enjoy it. (Said sarcastically.)

Mr S. wakes me up, and tells me the market is up 150. Meh. Those gyrations are meaningless these days. Oh, and his sister got a job. It's amazing what happens when unemployment runs out, he says.

I don't know how long she's been collecting, but it's been at least a year. Self admittedly, she'd turned stuff down that wasn't desirable to her. Now magically there are jobs open. Not judging! Only because I don't have siblings to harsh on. Well, maybe just a little, because I'm betting pretty much knows someone who has been doing this. Turns out a lot of people can live on the income their significant other provides. Along with unemployment.

Then notice my renter has slipped the rent money under the door. Yeah, it's late. My expectations have been lowered enough that it doesn't phase me. This month my roofer has been in my house two years. Feels like a lifetime. Still, you never learn stuff in the good times. At least - not as deeply as you do when things suck. When the economy improves I'm convinced I'd do some of it differently.

Intel beats, on what actually looks like good sales. Which is a relief for all those who derive livelihoods from technology.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flat is so 2009.

Seems to me like the flat paint trend may have run its course, and the guys are now doing this. Stainless. Or?

Last time I thought something was brushed metal, it turned out to be a wrap. So, I'm not sure what this is. I'm not really a car chick - so I would have thought bare metal would have just rusted.

I guess he told me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Intel inside.

Never mind. I should have named this post - that will be 456 bucks please.

Remember what I told you about bunnies. They will bleed you dry financially. Sweet pets, but honestly - they should just eat hundies. Pretty much the same thing as what they do right now.

Last week Saffron started showing signs of GI problems. I actually had started thinking she was immune. Her breed (the Thrianta) doesn't have guard hairs. Which makes shedding awwwwwesome. The breeds with two lengths of hair are worst. She just has the one length of hair. Minimal shedding. Minimal GI issues.

At any rate, this wasn't a big deal. We just up her roughage. She was minorly off kibble. Two days go by. No real improvement. She is eating hay and parsley. So, we aren't alarmed. But, really - you have a small window with rabbits. If things don't change in a couple of days, you have to kick it into high drive.

We really started up the roughage, and started giving sub-q fluids. If you own rabbits for any length of time. You have one of these in the closet. GI problems are not that unusual. Two more days go by. No improvement.

On Sat, we woke up and she still hadn't eaten kibble. At this point you have to start fighting to right the boat. We schedule an emergency appointment to get Propulsid and an Xray. Which ate up most of our morning because we didn't have a scheduled appointment. Still, three hours later - we were out and on with our lives.

We've been playing catch up every since.

I'm sure you guys are feeling all sympathetic, and it's really nice. Seriously. But, I'm sure she will be fine. She's finally starting to show improvement tonight.

The interesting thing about her though. Was her reaction to propulsid. She acted like you were killing her. You almost couldn't get it down her. And we've had to cram a lot of stuff down the throats of bunnies. It was such an odd reaction - we had to taste it to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. Hey - they test this shit on rabbits. Surely humans can eat it. None of the others have ever shown this kind of reaction. After we found it was rather mild. Just a little watermelon flavoring - we laughed. But sheez. What a baby.

Oh, and for the low low price of two hundred bucks - I get this high res pictures of her insides. Everything is digital now you know. They just cut you a CD. It's the future!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ill have something for all you weekenders tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, July 09, 2010

You heard it here first.


This is my idea for President Money Bags. He needs to um.. "dispose of" all the cab drivers in Vegas. It is the only way Harry Reid can win.

When I was in Vegas for the consumer electronics show in January... Oh shit the cabbies were so pissed off.

I never wrote about it. Mainly because I had other stuff to write about, and I couldn't describe it very well at the time.

Every since that moment, I've been convinced that Harry Reid was going to loose.

Those cab drivers were the kind of pissed that makes you open your eyes wide and think "holy shit, these people are a little scary". Nice people. Super pissed.

Closer....little closer.

When I got up this morning, almost all the lights on my modem were out. I call out to Mr S.

Sooooo... are we just completely off the net this morning?

Him - I don't know.

He'd just gotten up too. Then I saw the modem was cycling. I had a truck coming to my house this morning. So, I figured they flushed the connection so the tech could make sure everything was clean on their side. Then he could blame everything on my side. Namely my modem.

My connection got vastly better.

I really like the truck techs. The minute they walk into the office they can see it isn't an ordinary AOL style call. It cuts through one level of bullshit right away. You just don't normally walk into a house that has a data closet. It immediately signals them that it might be more than the basics. Not that techies don't make idiot mistakes. We do.

He did find that the connection at the house was corroded. If you just talk to them a little you can glean a lot of information they don't just volunteer. He said they are suppose to change those things out like every 3 years. Good to know. It does make sense. The sprinklers hit the outside box.

I did have some data "ingress" at one of my outlets. At the TV. But, it's really nothing I can do about it. When I rip the area out, I will have to fix it. Until I'm able to do that.. it stays like it is. As its behind a wall. You can't easily re-run the wires. It's been like that for a few years. But, he was insistent on doing something about it. Apparently that kind of data loss interferes with airplane traffic? I'm guessing the FCC has some special hardcore rule they have to abide by.

He just wanted to run an external coax, but I refused. I have to keep the cables to a minimum around here. It's a constant battle. Finally he relented and put a filter on it.

So, whatever they did at the home office fixed most of it, and he cleaned up all the rest of the data leakage.

When I get a little more energy, I'm going to try Vonage and see if they piss me off less. To at least pry some of these features away from Comcast's grip.

Seems like I do this every six months, and "the other guys" piss me off right at phone contact. They loose a sale each and every time. And Comcast wins by default essentially. Some day they will learn how to take customers away from the bigger guys.

Tomorrow I have to devote the whole day to getting my drive thing handled. So probably nothing exciting. But, ya never know.

Running up that hill.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Great - now, instead of taking 4 hours to buy a car - it will take 8.

"Judging from his past efforts, we are expecting big things from Tesla's retail developments... and it sounds like Elon Musk got a head start on his wish to make his Tesla Stores "a cross between an Apple Store, a Starbucks and a good kitchen.""

From Autoblog.

I'm sure everyone will love that.

Since I'm in a bad mood anyway.

You know - my whole life I've never really cared that much about Presidents. I'm mean their policy affects things. Still, I've always had more faith in people and their ability to go around policy. People will take the shortest path that benefits them the most. It's the way it should be.

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that one person could make it so there was absolutely no incentive to do anything any better. I mean, not just in pockets. As a whole.

I even notice it with myself. I have two toilets that remind me every day of how much I hate the way things are going right now. Yet, even I won't rip them out. Because there are the Paul Krugmans of the world saying "oh, you won't spend money?! I'll just effing take your money and spend it for you. The way I think it should be spent". The only way to stop them. Is to not make money. I can't understand why these idiots can't figure this out.

Every day I vacillate back and forth on the unemployed.

On one level - I almost can't blame them. On another, I think - Don't they realise they are going to suffer the same fate as women do. You know - the magical wage disparity. Women as a whole are not in the workforce as long, so as a whole, they often don't make as much.

Do these people think they are going to sit on unemployment for two years making close to full salary. Then pop up, and get a job making what they used to?

They've been out of the workforce for two years! They are probably going to have to take a considerable wage cut.

It's essentially the sub-prime of the workforce. Dragging down wages for everyone.

And, no one anywhere has an incentive to make anything better.


Oh - the whole best of the worst trick.

As if I wasn't already completely agitated by my disk problems. Do you know how long it takes to virus scan a terabyte drive? Multiple times?

My net connection started acing up again last night. Trying to put myself on zen, because I'm already not at full capacity I tried to ignore it.

So, I decided to call Comcast and just have them send a truck. Well... let me back up. First I called Verizon to see what FIOS had to offer.

I get to the call menu - which has the options of add account, or tech support.

What? Companies don't have sales service anymore? I just don't effing get it. Like the cell phone companies who think you don't have to see a cell phone before buying it. Sure, you can get most of your information from the Internet, but you want to see how it feels in your hand. See how the features actually work in real time.

I want to talk to one of their reps before they hose me into some effing 2 year contract that makes me want to jab straws into my eyes for ever considering their crappy service. But no. I jump off into tech support. Somehow.

No big deal. I immediately tell them I want sales support. He asks - can I have your DSL number. Me - I don't have one. I just want sales support. If you just give me your DSL number. Me - I don't have one. This happened about 5 times before I had to raise my voice and clearly say "I AM NOT A CUSTOMER - I JUST WANT TO TALK TO A SALES PERSON". Where he then asked me if I knew what state I was in. It was a pissed off state at that point.

Now listen people. I get the whole Indian support thing. They are cheaper. And they are just trying to make a living like the rest of us. But honestly - they just have cultural difference that make them process data different than Americans do. It's just a fact.

Like for example Mr S. came home a few weeks ago after being in some insufferable meeting. The speaker asked if they had any questions, and the new Indian gal shook her head from side to side. Not rotating at the neck like we do in the US, rather tilting the top of her head towards the floor. Since the person holding the meeting had just spent time in India, he immediately recognized this gesture.

I've worked with Indians from India forever, and even I'd never seen them do this. Apparently because all the tech companies send them all to acclimation camp. I think they call it "fitting in" camp. Whatever.

It is just the nature of cultures. It doesn't mean it is right or wrong. It just means everything takes 5 times longer on an Indian tech support line. And who's effing idea was it anyway that a phone company - like Verizon - can't have a fucking proper phone line to India? I get the call lag. When I worked at Silicon Graphics a billion years ago - I got used to phone lag. Savage phone lag. But what? They can't have an effing clear phone line. Every call has to be filled with static? Really?

He does eventually transfer me to a sales rep. And I admit I'm thread bare at this point. I wound up aborting the call.

I break down and call Comcast. I just want them to send a truck at this point. But, oh no. Today they don't want to do that. Whatever I want, they seem not to want to do. I take a deep breath and go with it. Which involved me having to reboot my machine. This gives him ample time to poke around. All of a sudden he says - Oh.. about 7 days ago your connection became completely sporadic. Which I believe is what I told him when I first called.

I have a program that is constantly sending data. So, I can see the data stream in, them choke off. Then flood in, then choke off.

He says... huh. You are getting about 25% packet loss.

I wish. It seems more like I'm loosing about 75% of the data I am suppose to be getting.

What does this mean for you guys? Posts will probably be sporadic, rage filled, and otherwise surly for the rest of the week. Good luck.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Someone thought Tron was - Awwwwwesome!

Track back to Jalopnik.

Mr S. hits Jalopnik all the time. Of course he had to point this car out to me. A neon Bugatti. That does 258MPH. What? You don't want to drive 258? Pussy.

I mean, you know this car is going to make me smile.

What even made me happier? I'm gonna see this car in person. At the Pebble Beach Concours. I already purchased my tickets a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if the Govenator will be there. I mean - what else does he really got going?

From Last Year.

A job for Moores Law.

You know, with people buying computers that basically meet their needs as far as speed - there hasn't been that much for Moore's Law to do lately. I'm here to give the law a purpose again. I'm a helper.

On the 4th of July I walked up to my machine and realized I had contracted that virus that tries to trick you into buying their virus protector. It is a pretty pervasive bug. This is my second time around with it. So I knew immediately that I was infected. Plus, I'd just updated my virus protection a couple of days before. I even blogged it.

I was a little surprised. I had been pretty comfortable with my virus software. Until that point.

Previously - It seemed to me that one drive we fixed by mounting it on another computer and running a virus scan. One drive we had to wipe. Since these drives were mirrored. Well...I had two drives with a virus.

So, we mounted it on the laptop. Scanned it. Which actually made it bootable. But still not completely usable. I guess this virus over writes some registry stuff. So I'm going to have to do a clean install after all. That isn't the big issue though.

These terabyte drives are. We have reached a point where they are impossible to back up. A point I already understood I reached a long time ago. What the real issue is - transfer speeds on cloning and mirroring.

When you have a terabyte drive? You have a lot of data. You don't buy them for chuckles. And I haven't even started saving video yet. Transferring this data will eat up a few days of your time.

If they are going to make these drives - they really should advance the speed at which you can move the data from it. In bulk.

I mean, Mr S. just installed Paint Shop Pro, and it was a 3 gig install. So, it doesn't look like companies are going to moderate the size of their programs. And just let me have a minute in the "way back" machine for a second. When drives were really small - it used to be a big thing that you had to make programs compact. Now they just throw caution to the wind.

So, I'm "up-ish". But, probably won't be operating at full speed for a few more days. This stuff takes time. Which sucks. I have a bunch of posts to get out, and if many more days go by - they won't be interesting any more.

I do have to give a plug for this little device though. It is like the Swiss army knife of drive adapters. It let Mr S. mount my desktop drive to the laptop. For 20 bucks, it is the most awesome thing ever.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

President Money Bags sent his people to tell us the economy would be all better if we just paid them more taxes.
The beast is injured and is lashing out. Keep in mind - an animal is at it most dangerous when injured.
What goes to parity with the dollar first? TSLA or the Euro?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ive got a virus. So im behind on posting and replying.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Still independent. At least for a little while.

Last year we'd come up with the bright idea of watching the fireworks from the roof. The city sets them off maybe 15 blocks from my place. But, there are a ton of trees. So we figured the roof was the way to go.

I was pretty self conscience about it, and we wound up getting up there after dark. So the neighbors wouldn't notice so much.

This is were I found out I was extremely afraid of heights. I mean, I'm sort of wigged out normally about heights - but, I overcome it. And, I've been on my roof tons of times in the daylight. I'm completely fine. At night though. Whole nuther level. So, I wound up hugging the roof line last year. I couldn't even get to the point of sitting. I just laid on my stomach.

This year I figured we would get up there before dark. And, we did. Staked out a spot on the apex. This is the second floor roof. So - about 20 feet up.

I was fine when it was light, but as it grew darker and darker I could feel myself becoming more afraid of the height. I'd feel a little wobbly.

After we got down - Mr S. laughed saying he could tell I was having issues because when I first got up there I was pretty confident, but he could see as it got darker I started shrinking. I just had to fight the urge to hug the roof.

Which is funny. I mean - I made it down didn't I? Everybody lived.

The neighbors were all pooled in their front yard, and I kinda thought they might be there waiting for the screaming. Personally, I would have been placing bets if I saw my neighbors doing that. Who gets on their roof in the middle of the night. Especially a 2 story roof? On a ladder? I don't even have a light on that side of the house.

I guess all that is left now is night time rock climbing. It's the only logical thing to do.

Enjoy Independence Day this year. Who knows how long we will have it. My city probably won't even have a fireworks show next year. For the first time since I've lived here. It's sad really.

Write it in a letter.

Friday, July 02, 2010


My Gawd these people are about as dumb as a box of rocks. When I first read about this stupid program at least 6 months ago, I thought - why the hell would anyone buy a house that essentially has a lien on it? I never would.

It seems like someone has a pulse somewhere, because all of a sudden people are having a hissey.

How many years till they figure out all those electric cars need electricity, and are going to strain the grid?

Mercury News.

"SAN FRANCISCO — The Obama administration is devoting $150 million in stimulus money for programs that help homeowners install solar panels and other energy improvements, which they pay for over time on their property tax bills.

At the same time, the two government-chartered agencies that buy and resell most home mortgages are threatening to derail the effort by warning that they might not accept loans for homes that take advantage of the special financing.

The mixed messages have alarmed state officials and prompted many local governments to freeze their programs, which have been hailed as an innovative way to help homeowners afford the retrofitting of a house with solar panels, which can cost $30,000 or more before incentives.

"The thing that is maddening is that this is having a real-life impact with companies laying off people and homeowners in limbo as all these projects are stalled," said Clifford Rechtschaffen, a special assistant attorney general in California.

Under the financing programs, a local government borrows money through bonds or other means, and then uses it to make loans to homeowners to cover the upfront costs of solar installations or other energy improvements. Each owner repays the loan over 20 years through a special property tax assessment, which stays with the home even if it is sold. "

It is like a scab that never heals.

Last night my Internet connection started acting up. It was like I was getting throttled. Stuff was still getting through, but slowly. Really, really, slowly. I figured the problem was my virus protection. Sometimes when it wants to update - it goes a little crazy.

Can I update now? Now, now, now, NOW? It gets stuck in a bit of a loop until you finally give in.

So I tried to install the update. At two hours, I went to bed and figured it might be done by the morning.

This morning, both of the computer connections were still running slow. On my trade window, I could see the data stop, then flood in. Then stop again. Then flood in. It pulsed like that most of the morning. I'd already reset the router and the modem. So I figured I'd call Comcast to have them reset the modem on their side.

The automated message tells me they are having technical difficulties - yet the tech says - no.. No problems. She resets the modem, which immediately kills my phone line. Because, they are all connected. I already know this is the case. Yet it pisses me off every single time. My office has really bad reception on my cell. The land line is really just a fax line.

Things get a little better for a little while. I figure, I'm going to trust the automated message and just wait a few hours.

Not better. I call again. Still get told there are no problems. They think it is my modem, and want to roll a truck. Which pisses me off. First, I'd have to wait a day - but what kind of dumb ass company needs to roll a truck to your house to swap a modem?

I tell her, I can just take this thing down to the local brick and swap it out. Oh no - she says. You can't do that. They don't carry them. I'm sure I've done this before - I respond. I make the appointment. "Just in case". Run down to the local brick store, and sure enough. They won't swap it.

I get back to the house and realize my modem is still blinking. Even though it's been with me for 20 minutes without power. And I think - goddammit. That's right. These things have batteries that you have to let discharge. Sometimes rebooting isn't enough. I plug the fucker back in. My connection is completely fine.

Now - how fucking hard would that have been for the tech to know. Comcast always thinks they need to roll a fucking truck for everything. And to be fair - the guys who in the trucks are really good. But their tech support won't tell you if there is an outage like what happened two days ago. They tried to roll a truck on me that day too.

They aren't critical thinkers and can't figure out who is a dummy, and who actually knows even a little about technology. I'm not saying I'm smart. I'm not. But for shits sakes, I've worked tech support - you get an idea with people who you need to run a script with.

I wonder how much money they waste rolling trucks when the the support people just aren't trained well enough.

I swear, this is the time I have to find another solution. I pay too much to constantly be irritated by these guys.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bored - already.

I can't believe it's Thursday, and I'm just now getting posts out from the weekend. I took these pictures, so.... I'm posting them.

Trains aren't my thing, but the little cities were sort of interesting. At one point Mr S. walks up to me.

Him - you see that guy over there?

Me - (looking around) Ummmmm. Yeah?

Him - He just gave his wife the most intense lecture about trains I've ever seen.

You can see from how close this guy was to the window that Mr S. was not shitting at all. He then became on my radar. He hunted down one of the conductors and started telling him how they had done things all wrong.

It was clear they'd done some of it on purpose. One train had plane wings. It was a joke. He captured my interest for about a minute. Intense people are interesting to some degree.

The only other interesting thing that happened at the fair was - we got our teeth bleached. There was this guy with a bunch of the UV light machines. It was 50 bucks for 15 minutes. But because they weren't packed they let us sit for a half an hour.

It wasn't as conscientious as the dentist, where they try to keep it off your gums. But, deflation isn't all bad. Last time I paid 800 bucks for us to have them done. For a touch up, 100 bucks for the both of us was a deal. I've been drinking coffee with a straw now for a few years. So, they weren't too bad.

I did wind up with a bit of a chemical burn on my gums. After a couple of days I was fine though. No big deal. I'd do it again. Hell, I'd go every year for 50 bucks.

I love enterprising individuals.