Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Surprise Vacation

I got a call last week from my buddy Roger, the one working as a contractor in Afganistan. Which in itself I found odd. But when I looked at the number, it was from a local cell phone number. Huh? He was supposed to be there for a full year before coming home. Did he get fired? Did he quit? Well, neither. He gets a one month paid vacation back here in the States. Must be nice. So last night I ventured over to his house across town to hang out. Emily came along because I wanted her to meet his sister Melissa and see where he lived. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was Roger had dropped probably 20 to 30 pounds. He was a real Stay-Puff marshmellow man when he left 6 months ago. I guess it's a good thing the food at his base in Afganistan sucks. LOL He then showed me something pretty interesting. He took out 4 or 5 CD binders and handed them to me. I opened them up to see each of them filled completely with DVD movies. Upon closer inspection, I saw these weren't retail versions. Turns out, over in Afganistan you can buy new release movies for $2.50. Of course they are illegal burns from store bought DVD's. But for some reason, I dont see the Movie Picture Association sending agents into Kabul Afganistan to put a stop to the problem. Roger tells me he has bought 80 or 90 so far. Nice!

We left Rogers house around 11:45pm and headed home. I was stuffed from all the snacks Melissa put out. There were several other people there too. Neighbors along with Brotha James who showed up just after we did. It was a really fun time and it was nice to see Roger before he goes back to work overseas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Countdown

Big news is on the horizon. I can't announce it yet, so stay tuned. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Spare Yourself

That is, spare yourself paying $8 to see the movie "Constantine" in the theater and wait for it to come out as a rental. The special effects were decent, the plot and topic... somewhat interesting. But the movie just had WAY too many "drag on forever" scenes that really slowed things down. It turned a decent 1.5 hour movie into a 2 hour 10 minute marathon. I give it a 5 out of 10. Good rental, not worth full movie price. Ah, who am I kidding... skip the rental and download a pirated version from online. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Day From Hell

Normally my work days are pleasant, busy and fulfilling. Yesterday was a day where all of a sudden the reason why people go postal at their place of work, became all too clear. For certain reasons, I must be vague about certain details. But you'll get the picture.

Its Wednesday morning and my co-worker Karl and I are in one of our buildings setting up whats called a VLAN. Basically this requres us to move all the PC's and printers in that building to a new IP range on the network. For instance, everyone connecting to 10.1.x.x will be moved to 10.7.x.x. Ok, enough techie talk.... you get the idea. When we move them, they temporarily lose connection to the network and any printers. We then quickly get them back up and running while on site.

In this building, are certain "special people" who believe they are too important to be bothered by my work. One in particular, who already despises anyone and anything to do with I.T., computers or networks. This person who I had forgotten about was a timebomb awaiting our arrival. About 30 minutes after moving a printer to the new network settings, I get a call from another co-worker. I could immediatly hear the panic in his voice as he told me I need to get to that persons office ASAP and fix their printing. He then told me this user was now irate and "freaking out". Great. Just what I needed to have happen. As I begin climbing the stair back up to the offices where this oh-so-special user resides, I could already hear screaming echoing down the hallway. The user was on the phone with someone and was screaming at them about this printer being down. And I dont mean controlled anger, venting frustration. I mean screaming at the highest level possible. Voice quivering, bordering on tears-screaming. My first thought was, "this can't be caused by a missing printer... can it?" I stop outside the users office to wait for them to hang up the phone and calm down. I hear them scream into the phone, "these IDIOTS of screwed everything up!!". This persons admin assistant looks at me and says, "I dont envy you right now". Gee.... thanks. The irate user hangs up the phone and I enter the office with a smile and say "hello, I'm here to get you up and printing again". Immediatly I'm met with more screaming. The user tells me to get out of the office and since they are on a deadline, this mess will have to wait till tomorrow. By now we've spent almost 20 minutes waiting for them to stop screaming at people, get off the phone and calm down. To fix the users problem would have taken me no longer than 1 minutes and 30 seconds. This was ridiculous. So I turn around and walk out of the office. The screaming begins again. Later I find out this user callled all the way up the chain of command screaming and crying to anyone who they could make listen. This was simply an attempt to make my department look bad. In the end, it didn't but it did put a heavy dark cloud over the rest of my day. I really feel sorry for anyone who has to work around this person on a daily basis. They only have two personality modes, quiet and working.... or enraged and screaming. What was that line for The Wizard of Oz.... something like "Careful, someday someone may drop a house on you too".

Friday, February 11, 2005

Movin on Up!

My Thursday B league soccer team scored another win last night to move us up into a solid 2nd place. I scored 2 goals in a 8-4 victory. This was our first game with our new goal keeper since our last one had the melt down and recieved 4 red cards. Needless to say, he's out for the season. The new keeper did fairly well. Except for early in the game when he tried to dribble the ball out and then lost the ball allowing the other team to put the ball into an open net. Luckily we bounced back and won the match!

Monday, February 07, 2005

So Much Potential, So Little Quality

After a huge advertising blitz on TV and in the theater, I finally get my chance to go check out the new movie "Assult on Precinct 13". Yes this is a remake of the 1970's version where a big city gang assults a police station to free some of their buddies. But in this remake, the bad guys are cops trying to kill a big time mobster who is in Precinct 13's jail. Now, I'm all for a good shoot'em up action movie. And I can even overlook most gaps in reality, plot or continuity to get through and enjoy a movie. But this one was just too much. Call me a nit-picker. One of the first plot fall-outs that bothered me was.... well the premises. So, Im supposed to believe that when the countries top mobster is finally captured and sent to jail, the police would only assign 2 officers to ride with him on a lone bus thru a snow storm? No heavily armed guards riding shotgun, no escort units following the bus, just a driver and one guard transporting the most dangerous crime boss in the country. Strike one. Then, they are forced to make an emergency stop at Precinct 13 because of the snow storm. Knowing Precinct 13 is about to be closed down and is on minimal staff, the police department sends no one else to help out. Later, when the bad cops "jam" all the radio's in the area, it seems no one from back at the police station ever tries but fails to contact Precinct 13 for any type of a status report throught the night. If they had, cops would have been all over the place.

Once the siege starts, the bad cops surround the building with snipers on all the surrounding factory buildings. Yet, throughout the movie they all sit infront of the windows looking out for an up-coming attack. Im thinking this would have been a determined snipers dream. To have your targets continuously sitting infront of all the windows with the blinds up would have made for a short movie I guess.

Then, at the end of the movie, the action moves from in the police station into what appears to be a dense forrest. Yes, a forrest near downtown Detroit. What next, the characters become un-phased by hours of exposure to the subzero temps of a Michican snow storm? Oh wait... they did that too. This movie is barely a rental.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Clownfish, Grouper and Sharks... Oh My!

This past Sundays trip to the Dallas World Aquarium yeilded some great photo's! Everywhere I turned there were cool fish to snap shots of. Be sure to visit my photo gallery and have a look!
---> Dallas World Aquarium <----