Saturday, April 30, 2011

not the sharpest pencil

The other night someone called us, very distraught - near panic if not already there. They had a huge problem with their renewed drivers license that they had just received in the mail that day.

DP (for Distraught Person): I think they made a mistake on my drivers license.

US (for Us): What do you mean?

DP: They got my first and last name mixed up. My last name is first and my first name is last on the new license.

US: Well maybe that is how it is supposed to be?

DP: My old license has my first name first and my last name last like it is supposed to be. Now they got my name all mixed up. What happens if I get stopped or I need to show my license and my name is backward? Am I going to get in trouble??

US: I don't think that is a big deal. They'll know it's you.

DP: I'm really worried about this. What if I get in trouble?

US: Then why don't you go to the DMV and take care of it?

DP: I don't have time to go there! I have to work!! Do you think it is a mistake they made?

US: What does it say on the license?

DP: (reads her name) -What does "LN" mean? There's a "LN" and a "SN" next to my name.

US: "SN?" You mean "S" like in Sam?

DP: "S!" -- "S!"

US: You mean like in "Sam?"

DP: No, "S!"

US: Do you mean "F" or "S?" "F" like in Frank?

DP: Yes, "F" like Frank! (all this time it sounded like she was saying "S")

US: Well then "FN" must mean first name and "LN" must stand for last name, don't you think?

DP: First name and last name??

US: Well the "LN" is next to your last name and the "FN" is next to your first name so that must be what it means. They must be putting your last name first on the new licenses.

DP: I'm still worried. What if it is wrong? What if I get in trouble?

US: Then why don't you go to the DMV?

DP: I don't have time!

US: That must mean last name and first name. Stop worrying about it.

(and so on and so forth)..

Name withheld for obvious reasons..

Friday, April 29, 2011

woowoo

Those of you, if any, who have followed this blog for a long time may recall my disgust at the woowoo dog next door. This dog that had an annoying, wheezing bark and just wouldn't shut up. Thankfully it seemed to be just a visitor because I only heard it once in a while on weekends.

The regular dog next door was loud enough but at least it didn't have such an annoying, wheezing bark like it had swallowed an accordion.

Well for the past few weeks I noticed that it was nice and peaceful. No barking whatsoever. Actually, it seemed too quiet. I started wondering what happened to the dog and, even was hoping that nothing bad happened to it.

What the heck was I thinking???

The noise is back. Today I heard this woowoowoowoo accordion bark. Argh. And the other dog is there, too. And they have been barking like crazy.



Here's another dog video for you.. this one is pretty funny (you may have seen it already; it's had over 8 million views on the YouTube site):



Thursday, April 28, 2011

your tax dollars and mine

I don't have much to write about what's going on with me but I found a couple of articles of interest that I thought I would repost here - the kind of stuff that makes you want to throw your television through the wall and become Howard Beale:

Article #1 (text reprinted below or click the Article #1 link for the original)

Someone should’ve thought to stop this return-to-work agency before it rolled out a marketing campaign that included a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment.”

Workforce Central Florida has come under fire recently because of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a campaign that aimed to distribute 6,000 superhero capes to jobless individuals in Florida.

The agency didn’t want to simply hand out these controversial capes, either. To get one, people had to become a fan of Workforce Central Florida on Facebook and take the “What Superhero Are You?” quiz — or have a picture taken with a foam cutout of WFC’s Dr. Evil Unemployment.

The ridiculous and insensitive superhero theme of the campaign wasn’t the only thing that drew the public’s ire, the cost was also an issue. WCF, which is federally funded, spent a total of $73,000 on the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” — with the capes alone costing $14,000.

The campaign caused such a public outcry that Workforce Central Florida was forced to shut it down, and a state investigation into the agency’s spending is currently under way.

According to Workforce Central Florida Vice President Kimberly Sullivan, the unorthodox campaign was meant to “generate awareness of WCF and our programs” not to “minimize the difficulties of unemployment.”


Article #2 (text reprinted below, or click link for original article)

There’s a big difference between important job training and spending valuable funds on something employees learned how to do in kindergarten.

Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board plans to spend more than $173,000 on training that will make workers “friendlier” and “more well-mannered” at the 650 statewide stores it operates.

Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 has been hired to coach store managers and employees to say common things like “hello,” “thank you,” and “have a nice day” to customers. In addition, the training will teach workers when the best time to greet customers is and how far they should stand away when doing so.

The expensive training is drawing fire from around the Keystone State. Political activist Eric Epstein said the training was “a demented interpretation of happy hour.” He went on to claim, “it’s a sad state of affairs when you have to train people to be kind and courteous.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

spammers

Today I received an e-mail purportedly from UPS that announced my package had arrived, and to click on the link below for my tracking number and another link to download my invoice.

First of all, if my package had arrived then why would I need tracking info?

Anyway, it was obvious to me this was fraudulent but then I am sure there are many out there who would click on the link. Had the jerks who sent this out used something like "your paycheck has arrived" in the subject line instead of "package" maybe even more people would click.

It just pointed out to me the need for an additional key on the standard computer keybord: "ES" = "electrocute sender" key. Press it and it sends a 5,000 volt shock back through the internet to the keyboard of the person who sent the e-mail.

Today it is just a dream but one day it will be a reality, haha..

Saturday, April 23, 2011

re-release

Back in the mid-90's I wrote a lot of stuff using Ami-Pro, which was the word processing software made by Lotus. At that time I was anti-Microsoft, before they pushed everyone else out of the way.

Tonight I was reading some of my entries and I just decided to reprint one of them here; I always find it interesting to read about what I was thinking many moons ago. At least I saved it for posterity, even if it has meaning only to me.

9/5/94

Getting out into the night is still one of my favorite pastimes. Sometimes there is simply no substitute for climbing into the car and going for a drive on a wonderful night, when the windshield is clear, the lights are sparkling, and I breathe in the air which is definitely different from the air present during the daytime. I wish I had a typewriter... or maybe a dictaphone. The feelings inside of me, the thoughts and things I say, they escape once I am back home and inside.

I debated about going for a drive tonight; that is until I stepped outside and breathed in the night air which was not at all like the air inside of this apartment. It spoke to me and told me it was a perfect night to get out and about, that to stay home was to remain sterile. I need to take it all in. Coolness has settled upon the city. Features highlighted during the day are in the background at night, and the electric and neon signs which look so drab in the daytime come alive when they have the black for a background. What can I say? I just love it. Everything is so in focus.

I listened to the Assorted "A" tape tonight; this was the first formal assorted tape I made, back sometime in the early 1980's (1981, I think). Some of the songs I hadn't heard in a while and it was good to hear them again. Keep on Truckin' was one of them. I love the beginning guitar chords; they have an effect on me in the same way as the beginning chords of Moondance. Danny Kortchmar's guitar also reminds me of the nighttime.
"Get off your summer chair,
into the August air, take me there
don't think about the heat
it's time to get on the street
time to fly away from your lonely day
keep on truckin'..."
The song never mentions any particular time of day, but to me it the time has always been at night. I thought back on the days in 1971 when this was our phrase, when so many clicks were placed on the odometer and cheap gasoline guzzled by the dinosaurs we used to drive. I loved it. As I reflected, I also had the urge to come home and write some sort of story which would incorporate the feeling or mood of this time. I find, however, that my mind seems to be much more fertile when I am in motion than when I get home and place myself before the keyboard,

The broad point of all this is that I still love cruising; I still appreciate all those lights out there and the feeling that comes only during the nighttime, the feeling that makes me reluctant to stop. Somewhere there has to be a story in all of this, something I can write which can convey this to others. It is something that one has to experience, however, and this story would actually be one in which the reader would nod his or her head in recognition. Are there others out there who feel the same way? Who revel in the night?


That's what I was thinking, nearly 17 years ago.


Friday, April 22, 2011

another mundane thursday

If you google the term "mundane thursday" you will find that this very blog comes up first in the results! Whoo hoo!

I noticed that there have been several visitors who used that search term and found their way to this site. I am sure they are disappointed, since my post was just about what was happening on a particular Thursday way back in 2008 and how it was a pretty mundane day and that would have nothing to do whatsoever with what they were searching for in the first place.

So just what is "mundane thursday" and why are people doing a search on this term?

You got me.. it seems that there are enough folks out there searching on this term to indicate it actually has some meaning (I wonder if they same holds true of mundane monday or tuesday or whatever?

What I thought was funny was how this site rose to the top of the ranking/results page in google because the more people that click to come here, the more google thinks that I am the supreme authority on the subject and thus it keeps raising me higher in the rankings and results. I've done what it takes other people and company tons of money to do with their SEO models and consultants and charts and graphs - and I did it for free!

Of course, the results when you click through the link are meaningless but then so are a lot of other pages in the cyberwasteland. At least this one is written by a real person and not some automaton trying to drive traffic to the page.

I noticed this same thing happening a while ago and, thinking maybe this was some sort of trend, I registered the domain name. But then the traffic tailed off and I really could not find anything that indicated "mundane thursday" was a popular phrase so I deactivated the name. It seems that the name is still registered with my registrar, however, as it shows not available.

I still don't know why people would be searching on that term, but for whatever reason, they are. Now that I've used the term several times in this post, maybe it will strengthen my spot at the top of the ranking/results?

Maybe the Lakers need something like this to strengthen their spot at the top so they can do a three-peat.. let's not have any mundane playoff games from them!




Tuesday, April 19, 2011

low class

I think it is no secret that I don't care for our current president and certainly hope he doesn't win a second term next year.

However, while I don't like him, I also felt compelled to write about how low class and disgraceful Marilyn Davenport is. In case you don't know, she is an Orange County GOP official who circulated an e-mail depicting Obama as a monkey with a caption, "now you know why - no birth certificate!"

What I find unbelievable is that she refuses to resign after an idiotic and racist stunt like that. She claims it was just a "joke." Well yes, it was a joke but an utterly tasteless one that was not in the least bit funny. It is just like all those other tasteless jokes that are made by racists with the sole purpose of trying to insult other ethnic groups and cultures and thinking people will laugh just because it is insulting.

I suppose if Ms.Davenport were to run for president against Obama then I would definitely vote for Obama. You might as well find another monkey and put her head on it with the caption, "now you know why - no brains!" - although monkeys have more brains than she does. Why doesn't she do the right thing and resign?

I'm disgusted.

Friday, April 15, 2011

fridge

I think you can tell a lot about a company by looking inside of its refrigerator in the lunchroom.

All of you who go on a job interview and are given a tour of the office and its facilities - make sure you check out the lunchroom and the inside of the fridge (and the bathroom while you are at it). That's where you're going to find the real scoop on things.

Now, if they don't have a fridge in the lunchroom then you ought to ask them why. That might bring forth some valuable information that otherwise may have escaped you - like the "interesting story behind why we don't have a company fridge anymore."

Sometimes companies who are thinking of doing business with another company will take a tour of that other company's offices to get some idea of what their potential partner is like. That's another instance in which they should make a beeline for the lunchroom and check out the fridge because most likely they won't have thought about getting it cleaned up for the tour. They would have told all the employees to clean up the mess on their desks and straighten up the office in general but no one would think to say clean up the fridge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ewww

Well this post really has not much to do with anything but not too long ago I had reason to look for images of termite queens because I liken them to some people I know. I won't go into details about that, but what I wanted to say here is that as I look at those pictures, it is hard to imagine anything more gross. Termite queens look really disgusting.. totally eeewwwww.. Here are some examples for you:




Isn't that just totally gross??? Imagine accidentally stepping on one of these things, it squishing beneath your shoe. Or worse yet, doing this barefoot. Or finding one in your sandwich or stuffed pizza crust..

Haha.. well, sorry if I made you feel sick but that's what I was thinking about tonight. Disgusting..


Sunday, April 10, 2011

ain't done nothin'

Normally I don't talk politics here, although I've been known to do so in the past. We all know how politics polarizes and brings out the worst in people (especially the politicians) but at the risk of irritating people, I figure hardly anyone reads this blog anyway so I'll write my mind.

Just what exactly has Obama accomplished since he has been in office, anyway? He painted a utopian picture of change that helped sweep him into office over his more stodgy opponent, but it seems so far it has been a perfect case of all talk and no action, all bark and no bite.

What he has accomplished is to artificially sustain a bunch of loser companies by flushing billions of dollars of bailout money their way.

Make no mistake about it, he talks a good game - he has mastered the art like few people have. The thing is, there's just no substance with him.

You know what makes me mad - people hurled all sorts of insults at George W, really insulting and degrading things, but has Obama done better? In my opinion no, he has not. Obama is a master at putting the spin on things, like Obi-Wan pointing his finger at America and hypnotizing them because, lets face it, for the most part we are becoming a mindless nation whose weak minds are influenced by the Force.

Below is another master at putting spin on things, and his buddy. I liken them to the current president and vice president (both appearance and character) and I dare say the similarities are remarkably and disturbingly uncanny:


When Stevie Wonder penned the song below, he was referring to a different president in earlier days but if you ask me, this song is just as relevant to the current chief. It's just that for whatever reasons, people are afraid to say it.



What prompted me to say all these things? Watching the news. Just take a look at what is going on these days and then you'll come to the same conclusion.


Friday, April 8, 2011

it does work

Some of you may already have seen this, but if you haven't (if you don't use g-mail you probably are not aware of it), I thought I'd clue you in on a new way of composing e-mails. I finally put the video cam I had gotten a while ago to use and surprisingly, it works.

Here are some videos that explain things better than I can:







Any of you who get e-mails from me - they are mainly written using what you just watched above. It takes a little getting used to but after that, it's soooo easy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

french

I'm very irritated because every time I go to Google or G-Mail (and even to make this Blogger post), the page opens with language in French!!! This started happening about a week or two ago and I can't figure out what is causing it. It's extremely annoying; I've set the page/language preferences, deleted cookies and cleared the browser cache but nothing seems to work.

I've resorted to bookmarking Google's English page, and have to go click through that each time, instead of typing it into the address bar. Very, very annoying.

That reminded me of my impractical decision to take French instead of Spanish as my language in junior high and high school. Impractical because what little I've retained has been of practically no use to me throughout my life; aside from a few basic words, the only other time I've really put French to use was when learning about or discussing wine.

Why choose French? Because I was tired of all that "hola Paco, que tal?" that we had in elementary school and I had the notion that Spanish was too "common" to learn and French was more elegant.

Mrs. Myerly was my French teacher in the 9th grade. What I remember most was a class lunch outing at Les Freres Taix on Sunset Boulevard. She was a nice lady. Oh, the other thing I remember is being asked the color of my eyes. I answered, "noir." Mrs. Myerly looked at me in a pensive manner and then made some comment to the effect of how black eyes were very unusual, in a good way. Actually the reason I said "noir" was because I didn't know how to say "brown" in French.

Miss Clementi (this was before "Ms." was used) was my 10th grade French teacher and I learned pretty much nothing from her. It wasn't her fault; it was my own laziness. She was the instant immersion type - spoke mainly in French and expected the class to pick up on contextual cues to understand what she was saying. Like I said, I was too lazy and rebellious so I really didn't know what was going on in there and have no idea how I managed to slide by and pass that class.

Perhaps if I had paid more attention I would be able to fix these Google pages. Maybe that's the karma or bachi coming back to me for my lack of attention..

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

stupid stuff

Last week the news was plastered with that YouTube featuring a couple of twin babies who were in diapers "talking" to each other, with the newscasters gushing about how funny and cute it was.

Well, I guess this is a grinch attitude but I didn't think it was all that funny. I got tired of seeing it. Now here's what I think is funny:

I stole this from someone else's FB page - it's the stupidest thing I saw all day but it made me laugh so I'm reposting it here.


Psycho Dog Man Reenacts Dog Attack - Watch more Funny Videos

Friday, April 1, 2011

the big time

I'll usually look at the Food section of the L.A. Times each Thursday because, well, I like food. Today they featured a web site called TasteSpotting.com, and the person who runs the site.

The site consists of a bunch of pictures of food. Yup, that's it. On my browser I counted 9 rows of 4 square pictures, but the rightmost space in row one was occupied by an advertisement. It's very clean and elegant in appearance and needless to say, delicious, as well. You click on the picture and it links you to the blog or web site from where the picture originated.

It's a very simple concept. What interested me is that Sarah J. Gim, the person behind the site, spends her whole day just working on the site - in other words, unlike folks like me who unfortunately only do something I really enjoy (like this blog) as a side apart from the rat race, Ms. Gim has the luxury of working at home and making a living from her site.

Where do all the pictures come from? That's another thing that interested me - they come to her! People, mainly bloggers, submit them to her in hopes that she will select them for publication on her site - hopefully the front page, which will then propel them to something like instant celebrity status as their pic not only appears, but viewers can click through to their blog or other site from it.

The Times article stated she sometimes gets 1,000 submissions a day, and also gets a bunch of upset folks who don't understand why their picture wasn't selected. To her credit, she tries to reply back with a constructive note, and says she genuinely feels bad about having to turn down submissions.

So I am sitting there reading that article and thinking, wow, how nice - the business comes to you! All you do is open up your e-mail every day and pick and choose (I know I am making it sound easier than it is, but doesn't that sound good to you? It does to me). Then you've got ad revenue being generated from the three ads that are tastefully placed on each page. And as you might guess, I was sitting there thinking about what I could do along those lines.. well first, you have to actually get out and DO something about it, which is usually the first step I manage to miss.

Being featured in the Times must have been a tremendous boost for the site. I had trouble getting there as I'm sure the servers were overwhelmed with traffic. I did manage to get through once in a while but clicking on the other links resulted in endless delays and numerous time-out messages. It's a small-scale version of what must happen if Oprah mentions your book or web site on her show.

The site is simple, but a great idea (and aren't most great ideas simple?). I mean, who doesn't love looking at food? It's the next best thing to actually consuming it, with the benefit that there's no calories in looking.

Anyway, it intrigued me enough to blog about it today.. and to say hey, I'm thinking, I'm thinking!!!