Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Youthful Aspirations

Ahh, I remember feeling like the kids in this article. After all, I still read the BYU Police Beat simply for the entertainment.

I never resorted to doo-rags, but I did have quite a bit of fun in college. And yes, dear reader, on one occasion my roommate and I achieved our goal. We were mentioned in the campus newspaper's police blotter.

All I can say to these young kids is: you must think creatively. Our operation did not harm anyone, involved no dry ice, eggs or water balloons, and made the entire campus laugh. It's rather satisfying to go to class, and have someone say to you, "Hey, Eddie, did you see ...?"

My consulting services are available, for a fee.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Swiss Alps in my office

Today I have been playing with a Cisco VoIP phone, identical to the one you see on Michael Scott's desk in NBC's "The Office". Or, similar to the one that Chloe O'Brian uses on Fox's "24". I understand that "House" also uses Cisco, but since I don't watch that show I can't speak authoritatively.

Anyway, I have been testing the phone and trying different call features. Did you know what happens if you have 3 phones in one office all conferenced together, with at least one of them on speaker?

You get an echo. Like ECHO... ECho... Echo... echo...

The first time it caught me off guard, but then I started yodeling with a co-worker.

Good times, courtesy of Cisco.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dear "Paul Harvey News and Comment" c/o ABC Radio

(sent today via email, probably into a big email trash can, but at least I feel better)

Dear "Paul Harvey News and Comment" c/o ABC Radio,

I enjoy listening to Paul Harvey weekday mornings as I drive to work. Today, however, I took exception to the way your substitute news reporter described the polygamist cult in Texas. The Yearning for Zion group is NOT a "renegade offshoot of the Mormon Church," as your program reported today.

I am inclined to believe this was an editorial oversight. Most, if not all, of the people affiliated with the Yearning for Zion group have never been members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For clarification on the matter, you may wish to visit the Internet newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/polygamy-investigation

Thank you.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dear Dell, Inc.

Dear Dell,

When I bought my laptop last year, I bought the extended service warranty that covers just about anything that happens to my laptop, short of being stolen or lost.

I even quizzed the gal on the phone with odd situations that could conceivably occur to my laptop:

Dropped in the deep end of a pool? Covered.

Run over by a hijacked garbage truck? Covered.

Drenched with an entire bottle of wine from a disgruntled Frenchman? Covered.

Crushed by a bulldozer on a construction site? Covered.

Shortly after I bought it, the battery life started to get noticably shorter. I'm normally near a power outlet so this didn't bother me too much. But starting a few months ago the battery would die after 30 minutes. So I contacted your customer service to get a new battery, only to learn that the battery is not covered under the warranty.

That's right. The battery has its own warranty, which ended two months ago. Nice. "Dude, you're gettin' a dud!"

Thanks for nothing. And enjoy that $150 I just spent on a replacement battery.


P.S. I admit I'm tempted to exact $150 worth of entertainment from the warranty coverage on the rest of the laptop. The construction site next door even has a bulldozer. Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Germ Phreak

I've had a long-standing policy that after using someone else's computer, I wash my hands with soap and water. I assume that this is less offensive than, say, snapping on a pair of surgical gloves prior to sitting down at my co-worker's desk.

The thing is, I realize that people sit at their desk all day long, eating, sneezing, coughing, and doing who knows what else. The direct recipient of all these activities is: the keyboard! And his ugly brother, the mouse.

Well, this has only confirmed my suspicions. Maybe those surgical gloves aren't such a bad idea after all.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dear Graduate School

I've grown tired of you.

You have become like the house guest who never leaves.

Or the leaf that gets stuck on my windshield wiper, no matter how fast I gun it.

Yes, you demand that I write a paper to turn in tonight. However, I am now adopting "just in time" production.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yo VIP, let's kick it!

This morning as I was pulling into the parking garage at work, I was rapid-firing through my station presets before I lost signal coverage.

I'm pretty fast when I go through the stations. Anne is convinced I can't possibly know what song is playing by listening to half a second of it. I can tell. This morning, just prior to entering Static City, I stopped on a song I hadn't heard in ages.

Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby". I haven't heard that song since, let's see, 8 weeks after the album debuted and radio stations stopped playing it.

The 30 seconds or so that I heard today brought back some memories.

Picture it: Fall 1990. Junior year of high school. Someone asked me to help out with the homecoming float (probably a girl, otherwise I can't see why I would have participated). The theme of the year was "Fry the Falcons", the Falcons being the team that we would play at the big game.

So we met to discuss float ideas. They ("we") came up with a big pot, with a bald bird head bobbing up and down in the pot with fake smoke and what have you. At a subsequent float building meeting, it was determined that we would paint "Boil the Falcons" on the side of the pot.

At this point, I chimed in and said, "Uh, isn't the theme Fry the Falcons? Shouldn't we do a frying pan instead? And, you know, paint Fry the Falcons on the side of it?"

I'm sure the young lady who invited me regretted her lack of foresight. Needless to say, we constructed a pot and painted "boil" on the side of it.

How does this tie in to "Ice Ice Baby", you ask?

Because no homecoming float is complete without loud music! (I learned.) They got the DJ kid to load his equipment onto the float, and as it made it's way around the track at the big game, they blared "Ice Ice Baby" while the bald bird head bobbed up and down in a boiling pot of inter-school rivalry and disdain.

The seniors had a pretty good float. If I recall, it was a frying pan.

Quick to the point to the point no fakin'
I'm cooking MC's like a pound of bacon!

So that's what came back to me this morning as Vanilla Ice faded into the static in the parking terrace at work.

Oh, later that year I dated a senior. At some point in our relationship, the homecoming float inevitably came up.

Her: "What were you guys thinking? Boil the Falcons? The theme was Fry the Falcons. We got a good laugh out of that. Idiot juniors."

Me: "Yeah, but the music was bumpin'."

If there was a problem yo I'll solve it!
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your Help, Please

WANTED: Someone to come to my office and discuss appropriate in-office dining options with my coworkers.

For example, if someone could politely explain to my coworker that cracking open a can of tuna fish at 8:30 in the morning, dumping the fish juice down the drain of the sink, and leaving the empty can in the trash can ALL DAY is not acceptable, I would be most appreciative.

Yesterday it was leftover fish for lunch. Today, tuna for breakfast. What will it be tomorrow? Clams for an afternoon snack?

My one saving grace: the Ionic Breeze Air Purifier, which has been working some serious overtime. Whoever left that in the storage closet, you deserve a medal.

P.S. If you eat tuna fish for breakfast, please help me understand your... culinary tastes.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just when you thought it was all good...

Life was going just as planned.

Yep, life was coming in for a smooth landing on a nice sunny day. Then, today, an unexpected crosswind blew the plane off its approach onto the grassy median. Sure, no one was injured. The landing gear collapsed, a couple of people got some bruises and suffered from smoke inhalation and will probably file suit, but everyone survived. The airplane has seen better days, but it's probably fixable given enough time.

One thing's for sure: the pilot won't be playing golf this afternoon.

That's how today feels.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bygone Era: The Prank Phone Call

Oh, this post "rang" so true with me. You see, I was once a mischievous youth. I know, I know--You can't picture it, this completely shocks you! But alas, it is true. My neighbor friend and I would spend hours dialing up unsuspecting people and subjecting them to our vocal talents.

Ahh, those were the good old days. We never did anything malicious or mean spirited (at least in our opinion). Many of our calls during summer months were to businesses where we would ask outlandish questions to see how they would respond, i.e., "Yes, an in-ground pool. No, no... I don't want it in the backyard. I want it in the front, with half of it in the garage with a partition I can swim under."

My favorite, however, was to don an Australian accent and state that I was an international operator with AT&T. We would crinkle some paper next to the microphone to make "static".

Me: "G'Day! I'm AT&T international operator #477. I have a collect call from Danny in Melbourne. Will you accept the charges?"

Them: "No! No!" (the usual answer).

Me: "I'm sorry, sir, this is a bad connection. Will you accept the charges?"

Them: "NO! I don't know anyone in Australia!"

Me: "Okay, one moment while I put the call through."

Me, different voice, same accent: "Hello, Uncle Taddy? Is that you?"

Them: CLICK or "Uhh, I said NO!"

We recorded most of our phone calls, which I now realize was illegal under Federal wiretapping laws, or some such regulation otherwise designed to protect peoples' privacy. 20/20 hindsight. We'd play back the "best-of" calls to entertain ourselves.

And, like the post above points out, this is a lost "art". Caller-ID has marked the end of an era.

Probably for the best. ;)