Bring your own fork

September 30, 2003 - Tuesday

 Work Rant

Morons. All of them.

When configuring the computers we deliver to the sites using our software, there is one section where the install instructions show a path as being //ServerName/Traffic. “ServerName” is supposed to mean “enter the server name here, you fucking tool.” So how is the path configured here? //ServerName/Traffic. Morons.

Calling the tech support line of a fellow vendor whose software ours interfaces with, I routinely get people who have no idea what I’m talking about, but in prime tech support fashion are convinced they know more than I do about my issue. I just spent 45 minutes on the line with one of these nippleheads. He resolutely refused to listen when I told him which computer on the network was causing the problem, then he ignored me when I gave him the correct path while setting up the wrong machine, then he put me on hold while PC Anywhere’d into the system and industriously fucked everything up while I sat on the line watching powerlessly and unable to tell him he was fucking everything up because he had me on hold. When he finally did come back on the line to tell me that “Uh, I’m having a problem here” I told him what the problem was, hung up on him, and went and fixed it myself. Moron.

Two more days. Home in two more days…


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September 29, 2003 - Monday

 Comedy Assist

My company sends out a little “thank you” box of Mrs. Fields cookies to the stations to recognize all their hard work. These deliveries have gone “missing” in the past (hungry delivery drivers, maybe?), so now we usually send out a global email to everyone on the conversion team when they arrive confirming that “The cookies have landed.” The following thread is from today’s email:

Co-worker:
New Orleans has received their cookies, and the TMs were quite pleased. They dove into the box like kids in a swimming pool.

Me:
Do NOT eat the cookies! You know what kids do in swimming pools…

Co-worker Gavin:
If they’re at Tommy Lee’s house, they drown.

Ooh, good one, I wish I’d said that! That was a perfect joke! I’ll take consolation in having given him the setup.


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 Oklahoma, Okay?

I drove over the state line and had lunch in Oklahoma today, just so I could say I did. And now I’ve done that, too, so that’s all I’ve got to say about that.


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 On The Air

Fort Smith, AR went “Live” on my company’s software at 00:00 today and we’re still on the air. Woo-hoo, go me.

Back in the early days of our software, back when it was a minefield of “undocumented features”, it wasn’t unheard of for stations’ on-air systems to completely lock up when they hit our log and to start broadcasting “dead air.” Dead air is death in the radio industry. It’s not a Good Thing.

That never happens now that we’ve worked most of the “features” out of the software, but Go-Live mornings are still a little dicey for me. I always listen to “our” stations when I get up in the morning to make sure we’re still on the air. I’m not sure what I’d do if we weren’t — maybe just head for the airport and get the fuck out of town, I dunno.

We’re still on the air today, though. My job for the rest of the week? Babysitter.


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September 28, 2003 - Sunday

 Soar Gripes

I shamelessly stole the following from a blog I found through Movable Type:

After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, that conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by Quantas’ pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. By the way, Quantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

(P = The problem logged by the pilot.)
(S = The solution and action taken by the mechanics.)

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what they’re there for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.


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 Oh, Steve?

Guess where I had breakfast today? Waffle House!

Peruse the menu with me. What should I have?

Pecan waffle with hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, chunked and topped? Excellent choice.

Give Beth my love…


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 Reverend Me

2:20 a.m. local time. I can’t sleep. I’m stuck in a hotel room surfing the ‘net between too-short and too-edited Girls Gone Wild commercials on TV. Good Lord, I’m bored. And speaking of the Lord, I just visited the Universal Life Church and was ordained as a minister. I might as well use my time productively, right?

minister.jpg

I’m available for weddings and ship christenings immediately.


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September 27, 2003 - Saturday

 Welcome To Waffle House

El Steve called Beth the other day and sent a message to me through her: Enough with the Waffle House entries. I dunno what his problem is, but he actually threatened me over it: Stop with the entries or he’s going to call Beth every day while I’m out of town and ask her what she’s wearing.

Well, Steve-O, let me tell you something, buddy. I ask Beth that question all the time, and you know what her answer is? “I’m naked.” Every time. She’ll probably tell you the same thing, but don’t believe her. I know, I’ve made that mistake. She lies, you see. She’ll say she’s naked, but she’s really wearing sweats, or maybe a pair of ratty jeans and a sweater covered with dog hair and cat puke, or even a bathrobe and slippers. It’s just like when you call one of those “We’re 18!” chat lines — she’s rarely naked when she says she is. It’s her stock answer, so don’t be fooled. I tell you this to spare you my pain.

But go ahead, test me. I’m going to give you a tour of the local Waffle House, so I guess you’re going to have to call my wife. Enjoy both.

I’ll ease you into it. Imagine you’re driving down the highway. You’re feeling a little hungry, wondering where you might stop to eat. Then you see the sign up ahead:

“Yeah, Waffle House!” you think, “That sounds good!” So you take the next exit. You know you’re on the right track when you see the sign at the bottom of the off-ramp:

At the bottom of the exit, the finest restaurant in all the land hoves into view. Oops, it looks like you’ll be making a right turn from the left lane, but Waffle House inspires such lawlessness:

Getting closer… Here it is when you’re using the correct turn lane after using the wrong one:

You park. Here’s what it looks like from behind the wheel. You can see people inside already enjoying the finest food in the land:

You go inside. Welcome to Waffle House:

The waitress, Nikita, takes your order. She’s not your standard WH waitress — she has all her teeth. She’s trying to fit in by hiding them:

Sam cooks your order, Texas Cheesesteak sandwich and hash browns:

If you had friends, this is where they’d sit:

The finished product. Looks goooood (except for the pickles). How did you order those hashbrowns? Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked and topped. (In English that’s “scattered on the grill, smothered with diced onions, covered with a slice of American cheese, mixed with chunks of ham, and topped with a spoonful of Burt’s chili.):

A meal at Waffle House. You’re a happy man:

Want to hear some music while you eat? Drop a quarter in the jukebox. There’s one in every Waffle House:

Waffle House is a popular place. New customers come in while you’re eating:

Urp! Finished. Aaaahhhh:

All good things must end. You ask for the check:

Time to head back to your room. You won’t have to share the bathroom there, so you won’t need the beefy lock. Fortunately, your hotel is very close, so you’ll probably get there before the cramping begins:

…and that concludes our tour of the local Waffle House. I hope you enjoyed it. And Steve, I’ll tell Beth to expect your call. Even money says she’ll tell you she’s naked. Double or nothing that she’s not.


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 Movie Cop

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who talk in movie theaters. It infuriates me and I never let it go unchallenged. Two of my co-workers who will no longer go to movies with me once witnessed me 1) yelling back over my shoulder at a guy in the back row who was talking on his cell phone to shut up, 2) then throw Goobers at the same guy while yelling at him to shut up, 3) get up and go back to his row to tell him to shut up, and then 4) walk down his row to stand right in front of him and tell him to “hang the fuck up.” They were convinced a brawl was going to break out. One didn’t: the asshole hung up. So you can see I don’t put up with a whole lot of noise in my movies.

Well, I had another incident today. I went to see The Rundown this afternoon (I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up), and Billy Joe Jim Bob decided to bring his 4-month old infant in a child carrier with him. As soon as he sat down four seats down from me I knew there was going to be trouble, and sure enough the kid started squalling within minutes.

Look, I understand that babies cry, I had one that did it myself. But you know what? Babies cry, so you’re an asshole if you take them to the movies. You may be able to tune it out, but the rest of the theater shouldn’t have to. Just stay home, have some consideration for the people around you. That’s what Beth and I did when Zoe was little.

So Billy Joe’s spawn is yowling. I gave him about 30 seconds to cork the kid, then leaned over and said, “Hey, this ain’t gonna work. Move or get out.” He huffed and puffed and I interrupted to repeat “move or get out” and gave him the added option of paying for my ticket since he was ruining my movie.

“Don’t you go gittin’ smart with me!” he drawled at me, so I stood up and leaned over him and told him I wasn’t getting smart, I was getting “fucking brilliant,” and that he should find another seat or get the fuck out. From all around us I felt a general sense of drawing-back as the people around us thought fists were about to fly.

But then the guy’s wife (or sister, or mother, or maybe all three) showed up and broke the tension. She took the baby and he complained to her that “this guy’s gittin’ smart with me!” and I sat back down and she and the baby went away (I have no idea where she came from or went to) and peace and quiet was restored. For the rest of the movie Billy Joe glared at me from time to time and I readied myself for the inevitable showdown in the lobby, but he was out of his seat like a jackrabbit when the credits rolled and was nowhere to be seen when I followed him out a minute later.

So to my fellow audience members of Fort Smith, AR’s Carmike 14 theater’s 4:40 pm showing of The Rundown: you’re welcome. And to everyone reading this who will ever be in the same theater with me: please, oh please, be quiet. I will make a scene.


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September 26, 2003 - Friday

 Dissonance

1:30 a.m., watching three channels of late night TV at once, and on one of them is the “Behind The Scenes” Eminem story going to commercial. Voice over says, “For all things Eminem, go to VH1.com.”

That just sounds really, really wrong.


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Listed in the IMDB as a "Production Torpedo."

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