Friday, January 30, 2009

Ok, Now THIS Really Ticks Me Off

Apparently, some folks are upset with President Obama because he thinks Washington overreacts to ice. Well it's true! People in this town f-ing flip out over one snow flake! Hell, last year, they cancelled schools one day because snow was predicted for the next day. As usual, the weather people were wrong, and it was a clear blue sky the next day. Have you ever had to go to the grocery store and suddenly realized that someone had predicted snow? It's a madhouse! Bread milk toilet paper! Bread milk toilet paper! It's like a mantra that shoppers chant. You would think people would be housebound for a month the way they act.

The worst snow I've seen in this area was the blizzard of '77, when the snow was around 5 feet deep. There were drifts up to the roof of our cape cod. My sister and I dug a maze in our front yard. We dug a trench by the road so we could throw snowballs at cars (at least until our dad came out and yelled at us for doing it). Even then, the roads were cleared by the end of the week. One week! I've lived more or less paycheck to paycheck most of my adult life, and it's been a rare time that I didn't have enough food in my apartment to last me through one week. Granted, it might not have been stuff I would be thrilled about eating. I might have had to live a week off of year-old soup, peanut butter (with or without bread & jelly) and ramen noodles, but I could make it.

I used to work at Blockbuster and it was just as bad there. People would run each other over to grab the last copy of Gator Bait II ("Cajun Justice"!) off the shelf, just so they would have something to watch. These are people that if, a week before, you had said to them, "I will give you $10 if you watch Gator Bait 2," would have told you to take a hike. Seriously. Gator Bait II: Cajun Justice.

I've heard all the criticisms. I don't buy 'em. "It's because he's new here. He just doesn't understand." Well, I've been here 35 years and I don't understand. "People here come from other areas that don't get snow. They just aren't used to it." I came here from Hawaii. "We don't get that much snow here, so we're not prepared for it." I get just as much or as little snow as anyone else in this area and I still think it's absurd. People. Here. Just. Friggin'. Panic. Plain and simple.

Oh, back to what really set me off about the Post article. The quote from the Associate Head of Sasha & Malia's school, "No question, the president is right. The next time it snows, we would like to invite him to help us make the decision. His involvement will make it much easier to explain to our students why they won't be able to spend the day sleeping and sledding." Maybe the president should rethink where he sends his kids if the administration at Sidwell Friends thinks that's what school is all about.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Am Brilliant

Ok, I know it's not very modest... I'm just feeling pretty good right now. We recently had some computer issues, and had to buy a new one. When we got the old one back from the shop, and had to get our data off it and on to the new one, we had a problem. There were mother board issues with the old one, but the hard drive was fine. We just couldn't get it to boot up. After doing a little research online, I thought it would be possible to move the drive to the new computer and set it up as a secondary drive. Upon opening up both computers, it seemed it might not have been as easy as I thought to access some of the cables necessary to move the drive. However, I was able to unplug the drive on the old comp, disconnect the drive on the new comp, then connect the old drive to the new comp. This allowed me to copy some files onto a flash drive I had purchased, then, upon reconnecting the new comp drive, to move the files there. Granted, I had to move the files in batches, since the old hard drive was 80G and I the flash drive was only 4G. The drive wasn't full, and a lot of what was there was Windows and other programs. I think the actual data took probably 10 switches or so. It was a little slow & tedious, but given that I have virtually no formal computer training, I was pretty impressed with myself!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Post Office

Y'know... usually, I'm the first one to defend the Post Office. I think that, if you consider the number of articles that travel throught the postal system every day, and the fact that you can drop one small piece of paper in a box on one side of the country, and within about 1-4 days, it can reach any address in the entire country, all for $0.41, that's pretty damn amazing. I think most people take it for granted. Really, if you think about the number of letters, post cards and bill payments you send out every day, and the number of letters, fliers, bills and such that you receive every day... when was the last time you sent something that never made it to its destination? Doesn't happen too often. Last month, however, on December 15, I spend %5.45 to send a letter by Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. I realize it was during the holiday rush, but still. The guy at the Post Office actually took the letter from my hand, entered everything in the machine, and put the envelope into the bin. So I had no chance to screw it up. He did everything for me. Well, guess what? To this day, the track and confirm page only shows that my envelope was accepted for shipping. I have called 3 times to have the envelope investigated. Each time, I have been told that someone will contact me by the end of the next business day. Twice now, I have received no call. My third call was Friday, so they have until COB Monday to call me. I'm not holding my breath. What's even more frustrating is that, when I called yesterday, I asked if I could speak to someone directly, rather than waiting for someone to call me back (since that obviously wasn't working too well). I was told that they couldn't put me through to anyone, but that if I didn't get a call, I could call back and ask for the Consumer Affairs Division. So guess what I'm doing Tuesday? I still think that the Post Office is a good deal in general, but I think the next time I have an important letter that needs confirmation, I'll send UPS for FedEx. It might be worth the few extra dollars.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Who ever heard of a Romantic Zombie Comedy? Apparently S.G. Browne has. In fact, he may have invented it. He just finished writing Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament (to be available on Amazon on March 3, 2009). Breathers is a story of Andy Warner, every day guy just like you and me. Except that he recently died in a car accident. To most people, that would be it. Not for Andy. Three days later, he woke up ("reanimated") and got out of his coffin. Fortunately, his parents, despite the social stigma of having an undead son, picked him up from the SPCA and took him back home. Check out Scott's website for the book, and you get an idea of his style. From what I can see, he's dark, sarcastic and pretty damn funny. The book reads kinda like the dark shadow to HBO's True Blood (though Scott wrote his short story, A Zombie's Lament, a year before Charlaine Harris wrote her first Sookie Stackhouse novel). Of course, that's just my initial impression, based on the site. Long story short, check it out. Looks great. While you're there, enter the contest to win an autographed Advanced Reader's copy of the book. I am!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Merry New Year!!

Ok, so I'm a few days late. One major reason is that our computer is currently in the shop. We dropped it off just before we left for New Jersey for on New Years Eve. My mother-in-law doesn't have a useable computer and we're used to that, so it wasn't as big a deal for the 4 days/3 nights we were there. When we got home, though... Eeee. So weird. It's scary how quickly and easily we become dependent on computers. In the meantime, email, web surfing, Facebooking and blogging suffer.

So the Redskins finished 8-8. Could definitely have been worse. We really had no business losing the games to the Rams, the Bengals and the 49ers. By all rights, we should have finished 11-5, second in the NFC East and with Philly's wild card slot. But... we didn't. I'm actually ok with it. If you had told almost any Skins fan at the beginning of the season, with a young QB and a rookie coach, that we would have finished at .500, I think they would have been estatic. Then, we went 6-2 to start, beating the Cowgirls and Eagles on the road. Everyone got unreasonable expectations which, being the Redskins, we naturally failed to live up to. Overall, I don't think we did bad. Our defense finished 4th in the league, I believe. Campbell, in his first full season, made vast improvements over last year and finished right around the middle of the league. Portis finished 4th in rushing. Zorn had some growing pains, but acquitted himself rather admirably IMHO. I think we have a good foundation on which to build next year. I think our biggest focus in the offseason should be shoring up the O-line. We got some great veterans, but for linemen, they're too old. Either through free agency or definitely through the draft, we need to get some guys in there that won't tire out as the season goes on. The D-line probably needs some work, too, but offense is what needs the most attention. We'll probably lose a few high profile players, and we'll certainly need to renegotiate a few contracts. If Taylor, for instance, isn't willing to step back from the $8M that he admitted he wasn't worth, I doubt he'll be around next season. It's a shame, too. I really would like to have seen what he could do if he stayed healthy and focused.

In other, somewhat football-related news, I got 2nd place in my office football pool. Yay! Not much else going on in non-football news. Guess we'll see what the new year brings...