Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hunters rejoice (too soon?)

The Hunter community is ecstatic with the WoW Forum posting by a Blue that many are interpreting to mean WoW:Wrath will increase the Stable slot size, allowing Hunters to have more than just a couple of Pets.

The Forum Thread can be viewed here, look for Ghostcrawler's post. It looks like this:

Exactly what is Ghostcrawler saying there? Earlier in that thread he posted a single-word reply, saying "Okay", which had everyone tripping all over themselves.

Excuse me, but "okay" does not necessarily mean the same as "Yes, we'll do this".

"Okay" means "I hear what you're saying." It means "I understand."

GC then posts, "There are 2 additional slots in the stable."

His reply contains another paragraph but it's irrelevant and deals with a change to the summoning of Pets.

"There are 2 additional slots in the stable."

For some reason, everyone who read that interpreted it to mean, "We're adding 2 slots to the stable."

I'm a little more pessimistic (sometimes) and I read it as it's written, "There are 2 additional slots in the stable." And there are. You go to the Stablemaster and check out your Stable, and there's 2 slots. So you can have your current Pet, and you can keep 2 more in the additional Pet slots in the stable.

Maybe I'm a little jaded after playing for three years, but personally I think if Blizzard were going to increase the number of Stable Slots they'd have done it a long time ago.

Why include something like that in the expansion? Because it will give Hunters a reason to buy it? I doubt it. Most Hunters currently playing are going to buy the expansion anyway. There's absolutely no reason for them to code that in just to increase sales by a tiny amount.

There's an old gamer saying that I think is very appropriate in this situation.

"More stable slots? Screenshot, or it didn't happen!"

Ghostcrawler's post on the Forum is inadequate. I'll believe Hunters have more Stable slots when I see that change go live, but I probably won't see it. By that time I suspect I'll be playing Diablo 3 with my son.

*EDIT - A screenshot from BRK has shown Hunters will get 5 Stable Slots in Wrath. Rejoice!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

That was awesome

The epicenter for this 5.4 Quake was approx. 20 miles from our house, and about 30 miles from my office.

It rocked my building, tossed my wife around (she was outside sweeping), and scared the hell out of my son.

As long as nobody was hurt it's all just good, wholesome fun :)

Who needs the Fair when Mother Nature can offer up rides this awesome?

*edit* The first sign of the quake was a jarring bump with a loud bang. Then the rocking started, and it went on, and on, and on, for a good 20 seconds or so, I think. Time passes differently in times like these. Not being a native I actually enjoy the shaking and the swaying. As I said, who needs the Fair when you've got an angry Gaia.

Like Xinh, I think tornadoes and hurricanes are inherently scarier. With an earthquake you're prepared (or should be) with tinned food & bottled water to last a few days, but you just go about your daily life as you normally do, until the quake hits without warning. Then there's a bit of a shake, you have a chuckle afterwards, and life goes on.

With a hurricane or tornado you get the experts saying it's hurricane season, then the storm builds up. You listen to the news anxiously as you go about your daily business, until the hurricane alert goes out, then you hurry home, batten down the hatches and go down into the bunker you've dug into the cellar and secured with a bank vault strength door. And then the hurricane hits. And even from deep within your bunker you hear the 100+ mph winds HOWL outside and it's a terrifying sound. You hear the storm shutters banging, you hear your house creaking as it's walls are stressed in ways never intended. Even your bank vault door lifts and drops and thumps in its frame. And you sit like that, for several minutes, waiting for it to finally be over.

With an earthquake there is no warning. It hits, it last a few seconds, and it's over. See how easy that was compared to a hurricane?

What's the worst that can happen in an earthquake? Your house or building could fall down, right? Most buildings in California are built to withstand quite decent shakes, or are retrofitted to do the same. Ok, your house could still fall down, and in a hurricane it could get blown into your neighbors yard. Same difference, with one difference. If your house is going to fall down from a quake, unless it's poorly made you're going to have time to get out before it crashes down around your ears. Try running out of your house as a hurricane is picking it up and depositing it in your neighbor's yard and see what happens. Your house might land in your neighbor's yard but Gaia only knows where you're coming down. Maybe the next town over?

Give me a good earthquake any day, and spare me the howling winds of a hurricane.

Monday, July 28, 2008

OC Fair: Cooler, cheaper, even more fun.

Funnest? What the **** kind of word is that? It's as bad as ****!!!

We've been to the LA County Fair and the OC Fair several times over the past few years, and while it may be treason for us to admit it, Liz and I greatly prefer the OC Fair.

The LA County Fair. Kinder? Simpler? Funner? I don't think so.

Hotter. More expensive. Dustier. Yeah, that's more like it.

We rocked up to the OC Fair a little after noon on Friday, shortly after the gates opened. Liz asked the Attendant for Preferred Parking and he said we didn't need it. So we paid $5 for General Parking and parked right next to the Preferred Parking section, which would have cost us $5 more if we'd insisted on paying for it. Parking at the LA County Fair? $10 for General, and $15 for Preferred.

Admission was $24 for all four of us (+$5 for the Bunny if she'd been 5 y/old). For the LA County Fair it would have cost us $36 just to walk in the gate, and $48 if we'd had to pay for the Bunny, plus $15 for Preferred, which we would have paid for.
OC Fair vs LA Fair = $29 vs $51
Round One to OC Fair (2 parents + 2 kids = $34 vs $63 = Ouch!)

Temperature in Costa Mesa in late July? Mid to high 70s. Pleasantly warm.
Temperature in Pomona in early September? High 80s to low 90s. Hot and sticky.
Round Two to OC Fair

The assortment of rides are the same, as it's the same crew at each Fair, but at $1 per ride (for Friday when we went, I have a clever wife who plans these things) versus the $2 or more at LA County Fair. Fuhgeddaboudit!

Round 3 and a unanimous decision to the Orange County Fair!!!
Now in its last week for 2008.

* * *

Saturday after in-laws picked up the kids we just bummed around the house. Liz thought about rearranging the upstairs to accommodate a fourth PC (the Bunny is frequently kicking me off mine so she can visit and finally realized what a logistical nightmare it was. Despite the fact that I was going to get a big screen TV out of it (as in 45" big) I made Liz see just how much rearranging would need to happen to accomplish what she had in mind. Finally she settled for clearing off the desk in JE's room then went online to pick out a new PC for him.

I was complimenting Fry's but after visiting their own and Best Buy's websites Liz found a good price on a full system at Best Buy, which included a printer and a 17" wide-sceen LCD. Not just your run of the mill LCD but a wide-screen. Oooh! The sale ended midnight Saturday so Liz bought it online as an in-store pickup item, the plan being for me to pick it up the next morning.

Sunday morning I was browsing Best Buy's website when I saw my video card was on sale. Newegg have them cheaper, but there's shipping to factor in, compared to the No Interest plan (for using BB Credit Card) and the points from their Reward Zone, so it wasn't hard to convince Liz to let me Buy It Now! So when I picked up the boy's new PC I also got my new video card. Then I spent an hour or so getting everything set up in his room, including making sure Vista was working okay. We wanted the boy to be able to just sit down and turn on his PC and start doing his thing.

Liz attempted to install Age of Empires:Asian Dynasty (one of his favorite games) but she kept getting an error that aborted the install procedure, and she was getting a little pissed off with Vista (ok, even more pissed off than usual. She's not a fan of Vista). She went back to her PC to research AoE & Vista Installation Errors and thought she found the problem. Meanwhile I played with Vista for a few minutes and worked out how to turn off the annoying permissions thing that Vista has turned on by default.

"Hi, it's me, Vista. I know you double-clicked the Install icon on the CD that you just inserted, but I wanted to let you know that the program you're trying run is trying to run, and I just had to ask, do you want me to Allow it to run?"

Yes, if you don't turn that Alert off in the User Settings (I can't remember exactly where I found it, but it wasn't hard to find or turn off) Vista will quite literally ask you every single time you try to run a program if you want to allow that program to run.

With Age of Empires being a Microsoft game I called the MS Games helpline, only to find out they're closed on Sundays, then I looked at the box and discovered the problem.

"Dear!" I called out. "This is the Asian Dynasty expansion! Where's the actual Age of Empires game?"

(It's a good thing MS Games is closed on Sundays :P)

We started to install AoE and Liz started to get a little hot under the collar (again) when AoE informed her it wasn't compatible with Vista. Fortunately AoE lets you continue with the Install (as it bloody well should) so I told Liz to click Continue. I didn't care if AoE wouldn't run under Vista, I just needed it on JE's PC so Asian Dynasty would detect it and complete its own install procedure, which it did. And it looks really sweet at 1440x900 on a widesceen.
*Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound here*

Then I spent another half hour trying to get the Wireless Network card set up, to no avail. So the boy's PC is not on the network and doesn't yet have internet access. I gave up on his PC and settled down to installing my new video card and after a couple of teething problems had it up and running and damn! It looks good! Well, that card itself looks good, but I'd forgotten how good WoW could look with the graphics cranked up. And with 80+ FPS running around Org, no less. Very, very nice.

Afterwards we all got together for dinner to celebrate one of Liz's aunty's 80th birthday. By the time the festivities were over it was past 10pm by the time we got home, and very late by the time the kids were in bed.

* * *

After the kids were in bed I got in a couple more hours of WoW. (Yes, I'm running on less than 4 hours of sleep, but that's somewhat normal for me.) WoW looks so much better with the graphics maxed out like the designers intended :)

I've been leveling a Blood Elf Priest lately (I got my Mage to 61 and figured I'd park him and accrue some rested XP) and I've been having a lot of fun with the Priest, even in a Healer capacity. Healing is usually a very stressful "ZOMG! We wiped! Stupid Priest! L2Healz!" experience but I've got a bit more experience under my belt now than when I last played a Priest. I've also written a couple of Macros to help me out and found one or two tricks that make Healing (at least at a lower level) somewhat easier.

Earlier Sunday I ran Ragefire Chasm with a Rogue and a Warrior. The Rogue was 15, I was 22, and the Warrior was 29. This was actually a good break back into Healing because it reduced the number of Health Bars I needed to watch to three (inc. my own). We cleared almost the entire Instance, and had just one Boss to kill (with a few Mobs between him and us) when the Warrior said "Got to go" and began Hearthing.

I watched incredulous and sure enough, he finished the Hearth and bailed on us. I looked at the Mobs between us and Bazza, the final boss. At most we had a three pull. The Rogue had Sap, I figured we had a decent chance of doing this. So did the Rogue, so we did. It helped that even though the Mobs were Elites, they were 6 levels lower than me. PW:Shield helped, too, as well the wicked Gravestone Scepter Wand for mucho DPS. I ended up Tanking (& Healing :) because I did so much more initial damage than the Rogue that it was impossible for him to pull Aggro off me, or hold it if he had it. We took down Bazza then parted ways.

Later in a cave in Ashenvale I hooked up with a Warlock for an Escort Quest. Right at the end of the quest we got ambushed by several Furbolg, and amazingly we pulled through. I was OOM, down to double-digit HP, and had to quaff a potion just to stay alive, but stay alive we did. Those are the best times, where you're challenged far beyond your normal safe zone, but you still pull through. Those are the moments that really make this game fun.

If I keep playing a Healer I need to steel myself though, it's going to get even tougher until I hit 70...unless I solo all the way. But apparently End-Game Healing is actually easy. We'll see :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pet peeves

Oh! Where to start?! Blogs are really for ranting, we all know that ;)

The problem is if we rant too much nobody actually wants to read our Blog, unless we go so over the top and lose our head that it becomes funny to read but only because now you're laughing at the Blogger, not with him/her. And then those Blogs get kind of sad. Then depressing. And then you stop visiting because it becomes painfully obvious the Blogger is a sad, lonely person with an axe to grind but nobody to grind it upon.

Where was I?

Oh yeah! Wolfgang is keen to know what pisses you off, so head on over to his Blog and have a vent. It's very stress relieving :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible"

I've not been here yet, but knowing the genius that is Joss Whedon I'm not sure how he can go wrong.

"Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" is only available online for a limited time.

ACT ONE went up on Tuesday July 15th.

ACT TWO goes up today, Thursday July 17th.

ACT THREE (the finale) will go up Saturday July 19th.

All acts will stay up until midnight (PST? GMT -10?) Sunday July 20th.

After that you may only be able to see them if you're prepared to pay for them. But for now, they're free to view.

I'm not saying Dr. Horrible is the best thing since sliced bread or the next Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is just a PSA for those who might have otherwise missed it, like Liz and I did with Firefly and Serenity.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Andy Dick

He's a strange lad. I've watched his performances and always thought they were a little off, sometimes it seemed like he wasn't really acting.

Then he was on an episode of Trading Spaces and he was a little zany but not overly so. He was obviously having fun but he wasn't getting carried away like "Andy Dick the Comedian".

Now he's gotten himself arrested and booked on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance (Xanax aka Alprazolam), misdemeanor sexual battery (he allegedly pulled down the front of a 17-year old girl's tanktop) and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Xanax is a drug commonly prescribed to treat acute anxiety and panic attacks.

Common side-effects of Xanax are:
* decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger (increased risk taking behavior)
* depressed mood (with thoughts of suicide or self harm)
* hallucinations, agitation and hostility
* hyperactivity
* speech problems
* unsteadiness and clumsiness, impaired coordination and balance

I don't know about you, but I think those side effects describe "Andy Dick the Comedian" almost to a tee.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Difference in lifestyles

Some people have a house in the Hamptons.

We have a Hamster in our house.

The reason for the expression on JE's face is because there's no "lid" on the upside-down exercise ball, so as Tiny the Hamster runs around like the speed demon her breed is famous for, she's running right across JE's palm. He thought it tickled.

We figured this was a good way for Tiny to get to know JE's scent, without him actually having to cup her in his hands. This way the two of them can get to know each other in relative safety, without the risk of having a Hamster loose in our house.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A new way of questing

The current questing system in most MMOs goes a little like this:

You walk into town and look around and there's usually a visual clue or a sign, perhaps a golden exclamation mark over certain NPC's heads, which says, "Talk to me! I've got a quest!"

So you talk to these specially marked people, click through the page of dialog, then note the objective. "Kill 10 Rats. Ok. Got it." Then you hit Accept and off you go to kill your 10 Rats.

While this system can be very helpful in reducing your downtime, it's not very immersive.

I'd actually like to see a game where not one person has a sign over their head. I want to mouse over everyone and see a Dialog balloon for every, single NPC. I want to be able to talk to every single person in town, if I choose, and they'll all have something to say to me. Sure, not all of them will have a quest, that's asking a bit too much. Some of them might even just say, "Hi, Cap'n. How's it going? Sorry I can't stop to talk. Got to get these cows milked."

But other NPCs might lead into more detailed dialog, as Gordo mentions on his Blog. And these conversations could allude to a potential quest, or even have the quest giver flat out say he needs your help.

Instead of a "Quest Log", I'd like to see a Notes Log, or Journal, where every conversation you have with someone of note would be summarized and recorded. A farmer milking cows is not important to warrant a Note, but a drunk whose son was killed by Bandits certainly would be, and this may result in a Note in your Journal along these lines:
"Spoke to Jenkins in Goldshire. He says his son was recently killed by bandits."

There's no blatantly obvious Objective with this Note. No sign of an "Avenge Jenkins' son by killing 10 Bandits" sort of thing. Just a note that you spoke to Jenkins and discovered his son was killed by bandits.

What you do with the information you get from Jenkins is entirely up to you. But now that you have that Note in your Journal, speaking to Farmer Jed might elicit more than just "Can't stop. Cows to milk."

Farmer Jed now says, "I saw you talkin' to Jenkins earlier. Damn shame about his boy, damn shame. He was a good lad. Blast those bandits, and blast them good fer nothin' Stormwind soldiers. We told 'em them bandits was gettin' bolder. Even told 'em they was camped out by the Fargodeep Mine. They didn't do nothin'. They just hang out at the Northshire Abbey, drinkin' the wine. Bah! Look at the time! These cows won't milk themselves! Excuse me, Cap'n."

Again, no blatant quest objective. No Accept or Decline button. Just an option to say Goodbye and end the conversation.

But if you look in your Journal you'll see the Note for Jenkins has been updated:
"Spoke to Jenkins, in Goldshire, whose son was killed by bandits.
Farmer Jed says the Bandit camp is near the Fargodeep Mine."

Still no objective. Still no "Kill 10 Bandits" quest. But just a little bit of reading comprehension tells you that maybe you should check out the Fargodeep Mine, so you do. If you're not sure where the Fargodeep Mine is, now that Jed's mentioned it, if you talked to him again or to one of the other townsfolk you'll have the option to ask about the Mine and get directions.

So you make your way to the Mine and there are the Bandits and they're naturally not too happy to see you. Several of them attack you but you successfully defend yourself and dispatch all but one of them. As the last Bandit's health gets to 10% (just as an example, it could be when the second-to-last Bandit is killed) your Auto-Attack turns off and the Bandit becomes immune to your attacks. He also stops attacking you (phew!) and instead of an "Attack" icon when you mouse over him you get a Dialog box.

A Dialog box?

So you click and Talk to the Bandit.

"I'm sorry," he says. "Please don't kill me!"

Had you been out here just grinding on the Bandits and not spoken to Jenkins, this wouldn't have happened, instead the Bandits would have all fought to the death. But you've got a Note in your Journal that you spoke to Jenkins, so this scene plays out instead. If you were grouped with someone doing this quest, and you'd spoken to Jenkins but they had not, this scene would have still played out.

"Please don't kill me!" says the Bandit, and the Dialog box provides you with two choices: Interrogate the Bandit, or Finish him!

Clicking "Finish him" puts you back into Combat where the Bandit is quickly dispatched. Searching his body you find An Interesting Dagger, which if you examine will discover it has the letter J carved into the hilt. Checking your Journal you see the reference to Jenkins and the Bandits has again been updated. Now it states that you encountered and slew several Bandits at the Fargodeep Mine, and you found an interesting dagger with a J on the hilt. If you return to old man Jenkins and talk to him you'll have the option to show him the Interesting Dagger. Doing so will "complete" the quest you didn't realize you were on, rewarding you with some XP and the Dagger, which Jenkins returns to you. Spoils of war and all that.

"Now if you'll excuse me," old man Jenkins says, "I'd like to be left alone. Goodbye."

And your Journal gets updated in a manner which shows that this particular story has been completed.

That's if you go the blood thirsty "Show No Mercy!" route.

Clicking "Interrogate the Bandit", however, opens up more dialog (which I can't be bothered creating) but you basically reveal that you're there because of Jenkins and his dead son. The Bandit confesses that he killed Jenkins' son and says if you spare him, he'll turn himself in. Now you have the choice of killing him, or letting him go. Killing him results in the above situation occurring with you finding the Interesting Dagger, blah blah blah. Sparing his life will result in the Bandit running off towards Town. The next time you're in Town the Stormwind Guard stationed there will tell you that Jenkins' son's killer has turned himself in. He'll offer you a reward, which in the interest of fairness will be a monetary amount equivalent to the vendor value of The Interesting Dagger that you didn't get because you didn't kill the Bandit. This will complete the Interrogation side of the quest you didn't know you were on, or maybe you did ;)

Whenever possible, this is how I'd like quests to be done. No looking around for golden exclamation marks. Just talk to everyone. And if a quest appears vague or lacks information, talk to other people. Some NPCs will have quests, of sorts, and some NPCs will offer additional information to help you complete those quests.

If you're a Skinner or Miner (for example), talking to an Armorer or Weaponsmith might result in a response like "Sorry, Cap'n. I'm a little flustered right now. I've got a big order from the Guard and I'm running low on supplies."

Looking in your Journal you see a note stating the local Armorer (or Weaponsmith) is running low on supplies, and perhaps you can be of assistance.

If you hit the forest now and kill some critters and skin them, or go Mining for Ore, your Journal will get updated to reflect this.
"The Goldshire Armorer is having trouble filling a big order. I've got some animal skins he could use, but I think he'll need more."
So you gather more mats and your Journal updates itself, until it reads:
"The Goldshire Armorer is having trouble filling a big order. I think I've got enough animal skins to help him out."
When you return to him you get the same message, "Big order, low on supplies." but now there's an option to offer him the Skins, and doing so naturally completes the quest.

Sure, some people would still just click through every NPC's Dialog then look in their Journal to see what's there, what needs to be done, etc, but with this system the objectives will not always be clearly spelled out for you. It requires reading comprehension.

A quest system like this would help to promote immersion within your gaming world, and really make you feel a part of what's going on. Unfortunately it may not be that popular, because most of today's Instant Gratification Gamers just want to know what to kill, and how many.

Rats? Okay. 10 of them? Consider it done.

Really. How much fun is that?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Amazing feats

I've done what I consider some pretty amazing stuff in my life.

While chasing down an errant basketball I once hurdled a 4-foot high fence. This is 6" higher than an Olympic Hurdle. The rules of our playground game were who ever got to an out-of-bounds ball first kept it for the throw in. Two other kids beat me to the fence but they stopped and put their hands on top to vault over. Realizing that would slow me down I just leaped. I have no idea how I managed to clear it, but I did, and I got to the ball first.

While walking through a park one spring day I heard the beating of wings and felt movement in the air behind my head. Without even thinking about it I dropped to my knees and the furious magpie passed through the space just recently occupied by my head.

Both of these feats are nothing compared to an event that occurred during one of my karate classes. As a warm-up we used to play a very physical version of basketball, but we weren't allowed to use our hands, not to tackle nor to handle the ball, any other body part was fair game though, which is how I scored one of the few goals ever scored, with a head butt. That impressed everyone in the Dojo and several other people attempted head butt goals but nobody else was ever successful.

That's not the amazing bit though.

During one such game the ball flew so high into the air that it hit the ceiling of the Dojo, which was actually an industrial warehouse leased by our Sensei. I was underneath it at the time and with everyone yelling and Senpai Robbie rushing towards me I quickly headed the ball away to a team mate...but Senpai Robbie kept coming at me, very, very quickly, which confused the hell out of me because I didn't have the ball any more.

I yelled "I don't have the ball!" but Senpai Robbie kept coming.

Then he leaped into the air, straight for me.

I dropped to my knees and ducked my head and with a very graceful leap that can usually only be performed by highly trained ballet dancers or martial artists Senpai Robbie leaped over my head...and caught the fluorescent light that had been knocked loose by the basketball.

He leaped over me and while in mid-air caught a fluorescent light.

Then he landed on the other side of me, still running, and unable to check his momentum in time he literally ran into and up the side of the Dojo wall. Just like they do in the movies he took a couple of steps along the wall before dropping back down onto the floor, all the while holding the fluorescent light in one hand. You don't see them do that in the movies.

I've seen Martial Artists do some amazing things, but it's always something they've practiced many, many times in order to perfect it. I'm not saying what they do is not impressive, it's just it's all rehearsed. Senpai Robbie catching a falling fluorescent light in midair, then running up, across, and down a wall, still holding the fluorescent light; that was amazing.

The Case of the Silent Cell Phone

Xinh's post about the problems her parents (her father in particular) are having with their new cell phones reminded me of an incident at work last week.

One of the ladies was having a problem not hearing her cell phone ring. Her and another coworker had been calling it all morning but it hadn't rung once, so the coworker brought it to me to figure it out.

I went into the Settings and turned up the ring volume, then my coworker tried calling the Silent Cell Phone from her own cell phone.

It didn't ring.

I went back into the Settings. Yes, Ringer Volume was on loud.

I turned on Vibrate.

My coworker called the Silent Cell Phone again, but it remained silent, and it didn't vibrate.

I asked my coworker if the call went through, or if it just went straight into voicemail.

She informed me that she'd hung up as soon as she saw the Silent Cell Phone wasn't ringing.

I took the piece of paper on which the owner of the Silent Cell Phone had written down her number, and I called it from my work phone.

I put the call on speaker so we sat there listening to the phone on the other end ring...but the Silent Cell Phone remained silent.

Then the ringing on my phone stopped, and a voice came out of the speaker.

A little old lady's voice.


I grabbed my phone's receiver. "Hi. Is this 555-1234?"

"Yes," said the little old lady.

"It is? Then I must have been given the wrong number. I'm terribly sorry to have bothered you."

I hung up and looked at my coworker.

She looked at me.

Then we both looked at the slip of paper in my hand with the wrong phone number written on it.

All morning my coworkers had been calling the little old lady at 555-1234, then hanging up on her.

We used the Silent Cell Phone to call my desk phone. My Caller ID showed the number to be 555-1243. I called that number. The Silent Cell Phone was no longer silent.

We then proceeded to call my first coworker all sorts of names.
I think Doofus was one of the nicer ones ;)