Thursday, June 29, 2006

More from the douche bag

This guy is great! :)

I told you I love to hate him. And it's not just me, either, everyone loves to hate him...or maybe everyone just hates him :P The guy loves to talk, but he always seems to ask the most inane questions. Today we had an hour long training session with a Cisco Rep on how to use our new Cisco phones (which come with voicemail), and we lucked out and had Mr. D in our session. When the Cisco Rep was talking about the voicemail, Mr. D asks her what they're supposed to do with voicemails. The Cisco Rep appears confused by Mr D's question, and rightly so, because it's definitely a "what the f**k???" kind of question.

"Um, what do you mean, what do you do with voicemails?"

First up Mr D blows his own trumpet by saying many people know his name, as if he's extremely important (more likely everyone knows his name so they know who to avoid), then he elaborates, explaining that because everyone knows him, he keeps getting calls from people so he has all these voicemails (today is our second day in the new office with voicemail), but as Mr D continues with his story he informs us that it's actually the one guy who's called and he just leaves his name and number but no message. And apparently he's left ten messages since yesterday.

Mr D explains that there's no actual message, just a name and a number, and he appears averse to just returning the call and asking why this fellow keeps calling him, so, what should he do? Should he forward the messages to someone? What...should he...do?

The Rep takes in the room and our expressions, and she realizes that we're all familiar with Mr D and his WTF questions, so she goes with the flow and tells Mr D that if this guy has left 10 messages for him, maybe he should return his calls.

As Mr D is about to ask something equally stupid, or perhaps repeat his question in the hope that he will be provided with some magical number to which he can forward all his voicemails and never have to deal with them himself, two other coworkers cut him off and ask slightly more relevant questions, like how many days will messages remain in the voicemail box, and how many messages can it hold. Everyone thinks Mr D will be the first to discover the answer to that second question. With the training session over everyone got up to leave, except for Mr D who apparently stayed behind to ask more WTF questions.

One of the best features of our new phones is call forwarding. We decided we should set up Call Forward so all our incoming calls go to Mr D's line. We also thought of leaving voicemails for him using a funny voice and giving Mr D's own number, so if he ever returns our calls he will get his own voicemail. Mr D makes life so much fun :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Where's my coffee?

We moved to our new office today (finally merged with the crew from the Main Office after 5 years, that I've been here) , and I find out I'm still in charge of the coffee. I thought I'd be able to fob it off on some poor, unsuspecting schmoe from the Main Office but no such luck. It's a little annoying, and disruptive, to be in charge of the coffee. I get bugged a few times a day for change (because I keep all the money, I think I'll just start telling people I have no change) or because the pot needs refilling, and yet we have a Keurig machine which makes an 8oz cup of freshly brewed coffee whenever you need it.

In preparation for the move I did some OT this past weekend. There were a few peeps in the office but I was the only one there that drank coffee, so I was damned if I was going to make a 12-cup pot of coffee for me; I just used the Keurig machine. Mid-way through the morning one of the guys I love to hate showed up.

Just to bitch about this guy for a minute, we used to host training sessions for engineers from other bureaus, and we'd cater for those sessions, brewing up a pot of coffee and bring in donuts and pastries. Although there was also coffee in the break room, this guy would come into the conference room and help himself to a cup of coffee and a donut or two, but he'd wait until nobody was in there to pull this shit. It got so you couldn't leave the room for a second or he'd be in there eating everything. In the break room we have both the Keurig machine, and a drip filter pot. The drip filter coffee is crap, compared to the Keurig stuff, but this guy drinks the drip filter coffee and claims it's gourmet stuff (I make it, it's nothing flash, it's the cheapest coffee I can buy at those office supply stores. It's crap), but I think he drinks the pot stuff so he doesn't have to pay for it. The pot coffee is donation, whatever you want to pay for it. 25c, 50c, 60c, doesn't matter. The Keurig is 60c a cup, not negotiable, unless you want to pay more. This guy got the idea in his head that the drip filter coffee is free, and despite being told otherwise, in his mind it's free so he never pays for it. Every time you tell him it's not free, he acts amazed as if that's the first time he's heard that.

So he gets in to work on Saturday, goes into the breakroom, comes out and asks me what they're doing about the coffee. I play dumb with him because as I said earlier, I love to hate this jerk.

The machine is in there, I say.

But there's no coffee, he says.

Sure there is, I say. There's a whole rack of the K-cups for the coffee machine.

In the pot? he asks, probably really confused.

I relent and tell him I wasn't making a pot for just a couple of people so he can just use the machine.

Now this is why I love to hate this guy.

Instead of paying 60c for a cup of freshly brewed coffee from the Keurig machine in our breakroom, this guy hits the streets of downtown L.A. on a Saturday morning, in search of a coffee shop, where he will probably spend $2 or more for a cup of ordinary coffee. Of course while he's out for an hour he's still billing OT, even though he's not actually working in the office. Finally, when he gets back in, he complains that nothing is open, at 8:30am, in downtown L.A., on a Saturday morning.

So today we move into the new office, we're finding our cubicles and getting used to a new office layout, we're unpacking all our boxes (almost everyone has 10 boxes, some people have a lot more), the office is pretty much a madhouse.

And this guy comes up to me and asks what we're doing about coffee.

I play dumb again, but I'm busy unpacking and setting up computers for me and my girls so I'm not really into the game today. The best I can manage to do is to tell him the Keurig machine will be installed tomorrow (the vendor took it away Monday and is hopefully servicing it prior to it's reinstallation in our new office).

What about today? asks this guy.

We've got a cafeteria downstairs, I tell him (and we do, it's a friggin' awesome cafeteria). I tell him, if you want coffee, go downstairs and get a cup.

I just know once the Keurig machine is set up tomorrow, he's going to ask where the drip filter pot is. But because the biggest wig in the office doesn't want a drip filter pot in the breakroom, we're not setting it up. This guy won't be pleased, but I don't give a shit.

Actually I must give at least a shit, or I wouldn't have posted this :P

I wish we lived in the south, coz this guy is the perfect candidate for that unbeatable southern defense plea: "He just needed killin'."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Real Life in dreams

I hit snooze a couple of times this morning. The third time the alarm went off I was dreaming I was in a planetarium with Liz and we were lying back watching the star show but it turned into one of those 3D-rides you go on at Amusement Parks, where you watch the movie as the seats move around and you feel like you really are flying over Antarctica in a helicopter.

When the alarm went off the song on the radio intruded into my dream but it didn't wake me up, it just became the background track for the 3D-movie. Liz eventually had to shove me to wake me up :P

I've turned alarm clocks off in my dreams before. Quite literally picked up the alarm clock in my dream (and in real life, too, I guess) and turned the alarm off, and the dream continued on but without the alarm ringing.

The most bizarre time I did this I was playing soccer (in my dream of course) on the field at my old Primary School and when the alarm went off I noticed a door in the field, like a storm shelter door. I opened the door and went down the steps and sitting on a shelf in this storm shelter was a ringing alarm clock. I picked it up, turned off the alarm, and went back up on to the field and continued my game of soccer.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Not Safe For Work

Nooooo, definitely not safe for work, or kiddies, or prudes, or Republicans...not even sure the Democrats would like this one. Nope, you've got to have a wicked sense of humor (and some privacy) to appreciate "Do you take it?" by The Wet Spots.

Friday, June 16, 2006

So long, and thanks for the Fish Tape

Before we went out earlier I threw out some trash, and as I threw it into the dumpster I saw an extremely long strip of narrow metal and I thought, that looks like a Fish Tape. Liz doesn't like me Dumpster Diving and as she was already in the car with Amber I knew I had no chance of checking out my hunch, so out we went.

When we returned and put Amber to bed she had a poopy diaper, so I took it straight out to the dumpster (rather than leave it in our bin in the kitchen all night to stink our house up) and when I lifted the lid of the dumpster, there was my Fish Tape. In I went and as soon as I grabbed the tape I knew my hunch was correct. I managed to pull it out and the only problem with it was the handle had come off the side so the Fish Tape couldn't be wound back into the case.

No problem. There was still a square bit where the handle had been attached (it looks more like the handle slips on and off this square, so maybe they just lost the handle) and I have spanners, so I took the Fish Tape into the garage, took out a 1/2" spanner, which fit the square perfectly, and using the spanner as a handle I wound the Fish Tape back into the case.

I was going to buy a Fish Tape because at some point I want to run the Internet/Cable TV cables down the inside of family room wall behind the TV, and I'll need Fish Tape to do that. But it's worth the trouble of doing that because that will look a damn sight more professional than what we currently have; cables emerging from the closet, running across the wall, over the top of the door frame, and in behind the TV. Yep, now I can do a professional cable install...but when I'm ready and not a moment before :P

Actually my sister & her husband will be here later this year, and he's an Electrical Engineer. Not quite the same as an Electrician, but damn close to it. I might enlist his help with this little project ;)

* EDIT *

Fish Tape is a thin, narrow, strip of metal with a hook of some kind on the end; in my case, it has a spiral of wire akin to a spring. The fish tape is fed down into the space inside a wall, between the drywall and the studs, until it reaches the hole you've cut in the drywall for your TV cable to come through. You then attach a thin piece of wire to the hook (wire spring) and reel in the Fish Tape, which pulls the wire up along with it. You now have a piece of thin wire in your attic running down inside the wall to the hole in the drywall which is where you'll put your TV cable outlet. In the attic is also your Cable TV cable, which you attach to the thin piece of wire. You then pull the wire back down which pulls the Cable TV cable along with it, and now, you have a small hole in your drywall with your Cable TV cables coming out of it. Finally you feed the Cable TV cable through the hole in your outlet plate, attach the plate to the wall, and you have a professionally installed (or so it would seem) Cable TV outlet where none existed before.
You do this so you don't have cables emerging from your closet and running around the floor and through doorways and across ceilings.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's the first day of Summer!

I don't know, it might be, it might not be. I'm just being silly because Hermes, or Mr. Crabs (depending on the time of day and who's asking) has finally resurfaced. It seems like he went underground three weeks ago, and I was starting to worry about the little guy. What he was doing was molting, again. This is the second time that I know of but I'm sure he's molted more than twice. But now that he's located on the kitchen bench next to the sink he's more visible than he was when he was on top of the toy shelf in the corner of the living room. He also seems to like his new location a little more. He seems to be more active (not that we paid him much attention when he was in the corner), and a couple of times he's actually climbed on top of his log hut (a half circle of pine bark placed on its side). He may also be ready for a new shell now. When I look at the shell he was in when Liz bought him, it's so tiny compared to how large he is now. I might have to stop at the pet store and pick up another shell or two for him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why do Manequins have nipples?

Anatomic Correctness is the obvious answer, but while that explains proportionality of legs to arms to torsos to heads, and yes, breasts, that doesn't explain why female manequins need nipples on those breasts. The only logical answer I can come up with is so when skimpier lines of clothing are being designed, the designers can take into account the nipple location and thus ensure sufficient coverage of the nipple occurs.

The illogical answer, and the one I fear to be more accurate, is that over the years manequin sculptors developed a wicked sense of humor, or perhaps they had it all along, but in more prudish times were never allowed to express themselves. Now, in more open, accepting times (unless you're a homosexual who wants to get married to another homosexual) the average person finds nothing wrong with walking past a manequin that seems to be feeling the cold.

So, has anyone observed a male manequin in his natural state, or near-undress? Do they possess Anatomic Correctness bordering on the obscene? The question that then springs to mind is, on what side does a male manequin dress? Or are male manequins, like Barbie's on-again/off-again boyfriend Ken, in possession of nothing more than a small plastic mound?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Is it the weekend yet?

Today was my RDO (Rostered Day Off) but did I get the day off?

No, I still had to work.

Fortunately my other boss got up before I did to attend to our daughter, who managed to wake our son up, and I actually got to sleep in for half an hour or so...past 7am that is. But even 7am is technically a two hour sleep in, so it's all good.

JE had his final dentist appointment (until his regularly scheduled check-up in September) so we all went to that, then we dropped him at school and swung by my mate's place to borrow his SUV for the day. He'd already told me it would need gas. "There's a gas station just down the road," he says, as he takes a small gas can down from his garage shelf and shakes it. "Yeah, I think this should be enough to get you there." He then empties the gas can into the SUV's tank. I get in, start it up, and the needle is marginally above empty...if I use my imagination.

My mate's SUV has a real gearbox, but fortunately I know what to do with the third pedal so it's not an issue. If anything, driving a manual (stick) in the U.S. is easier than in Australia because here I'm shifting with my right hand, and I'm right-handed. In Australia you shift with your left hand unless you have a column shift...I think. It's been so long I can't remember if an Aussie car's column-shifter is on the right or left.

I made it to the gas station and put in a little over four gallons of gas, and paid $15 for the privelage, which constituted a quarter of a tank, i.e., $60 to fill this baby from Empty, I continue my journey to Ikea in West Covina. Driving on the freeway for the first time in years in a manual (I had a Puegot with a manual gearbox many years ago) was not an issue. Merging from the 605S onto the 10E was also not a huge issue, if you ever drive through that interchange in L.A. you'll know why I specifically mention it here. Got to Ikea without a problem and Liz and the baby arrived shortly afterwards.

After a bit of a run around, returning some things, keeping others which couldn't be returned because Ikea no longer sell them, eating lunch, etc, we got the under & over bedset the in-laws wanted and it was time to head back home. Just before I left I helped a lady get a HUGE Ikea box into her Ford Focus station wagon. Nobody else was around, no attendants, no other customers, and the poor lady was looking so distressed that I felt compelled to help her out. (This is what being a Christian is all about, helping each other in times of need. Not accosting customers as they leave their local 7-11 and telling them Jesus loves them and that we're living in the end of days and unless we repent we'll be left behind and lady, shut the fuck up. That's what my lovely wife told her).

Liz followed me home from the Ikea, then it was off to the local Sam's Club to pick up two Twin matresses (Why the f**k is a single matress called a Twin? It's a single matress. A Twin is actually a double bed matress, but no, a Double is really a Full. At least we can agree that a Queen is a Homosexual and a King is a...CAL-KING??? What the f**k is a Cal-King? Well it's not as wide as a regular King, but it's got the length, baby! You know what I'm talking about, size matters, right? Er...how did we get onto this conversation?

Back to the topic at hand. I dropped one of the Twin/Single matresses at our house (for use later in the year when the family comes to visit) and headed for the in-laws, arriving just seconds before the FIL got there with JE, having picked him up from school. I got a good workout (by carrying a Twin/Single matress up two flights of stairs, as well as two heavy boxes) and sweating like a pig started assembling the under & over beds, finishing just after the FIL got back from his doctor's appointment.

We returned Spyfor's SUV and hung out for a little while, and so arrived late for dinner with the in-laws where they were shouting us at our favorite local chinese restaurant (where they know us by name, I'm the gwai lo 鬼佬) . Dinner was great but after a long, hot, tiring day, all I really wanted to do was get home and have a shower. I haven't done that yet because we had to put our daughter down to bed and the little angel wouldn't go to sleep straight away, and our bathroom is right next to her bedroom, so we're on the computers instead...but at least I got to update my Blog ;)

Later all. Shower time, finally.