Daily musings of a propeller head-homebrewer. It's a dangerous combo....

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Friday, October 17, 2003
I'm Not Making This Up

How can ATT Wireless stay in business? Part of what I'm responsible for in my job is all telecom stuff. and, trying to cut one of my employees some slack, decided to order a new phone for one of our directors, all by myself.

Have I mentioned yet that ATT are idiots?

This director has very poor eyesight. I tell the rep that I need one with a large screen. She suggests some model that I check out on their website. The screen is like the size of a postage stamp. I ask her if she has the screen dimensions, and she says no, just the size of the phone.

So I say, OK, what about XYZ phone. The thing has a huge screen. Oh sorry sir, this isn't the same kind of service. It's GSM, instead of the normal digital service. I tell her I can see this plainly and simply on their site, and I want to add it to our service (we do about $1000 in cell bills a month). She says no-can-do. Whole different can-o-worms, different division, separate time/space continuum. They can only do it if we get this on a separate bill. I say, you've got to be kidding, and she starts the whole time/space continuum schpeel, so I cut her off short. Ok, sell it to me separately.

Why would she assume I give a damned that, because of the way they've organized their business, she's unable to provide me the service I require?

I then get cut off.

I call back, and ream the lady who answers the phone. We go through the whole GSM/digital gig again. I get transferred to some puke that will actually "fulfill" my order. Right.

He's looking at my bill (I can tell this based on some earlier questions) and says he will need the Tax ID for our company. I tell him it's the same as it was for the bill he's looking at right now. Sorry sir, he says, I'll need it again. I tell him I don't have it on me right now. He says he'll get his supervisor.

After waiting 10 minutes on hold, and exactly 17 seconds before I was going to disconnect, someone else comes on the line and starts completing the order. We do the GSM/digital dance again. He says he can't do the order, so I have to be transferred.

Some new lady gets on the line. She sounds very competent (seriously, it was weird). I lay down the law - she will finish this order, or it will go to another carrier. Sir, I'm all over this - let's get it done. I like her attitude. Honest to God, we go through the GSM/digital thing again. We spend another 10 minutes setting up the account, verifying the phone number, etc. She then says she'll need our Tax ID number. We go through the Same ID As Our Other Account discussion. Sorry sir, can't finish the order without the Tax ID.

I nearly orgasm as I slam the phone into the cradle.

Un-frigging-believable. I call our network admin. Tag.... you're it.

I can't wait for the Number Portability law to go into effect.

I gotta go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Filter This

Over the past few weeks, the president has been complaining about "The Filter" - his euphemism for the media. It seems Mr. Bush thinks the press isn't giving him a fair shake about all of the troubles our troops continue to face while occupying Iraq, so he's decided to do something about it.

Apparently, one battalion commander has given his soldiers a pre-written letter describing the wonderful things that are happening in Iraq, and the warm and loving reception his troops receive from the locals.

The president has stated in the past that he doesn't read newspapers or watch TV - he gets a summary of world events from the National Security Council. Now, I don't care how unbiased someone claims to be, but if that much information is condensed for the president, it is being edited. The editor's own personal bias will affect how that information is presented to the president. That's another word for filter.

He needs to clean out the filter. The president needs to accept that things aren't going well in Iraq. They never will. This strategy of, "destroy then rebuild" will not work in a land where trust is the over-riding principal. American's are not trusted in the Middle East, and we'll continue to be sniped and maimed until we leave. Remember: we were never asked to come there in the first place, unlike the first Gulf War.

I won't apologize for our past actions in the area, but we have never given them reason to trust us. We did things in our own self interest (as we should do), but we can't expect the population to bend over and say, "Thank you sir! May I have another?" like some eager recruit. They expect to be treated as equals, and we just don't view them in that light.

We need to get the hell out of the Middle East. Revise our national energy policy to reduce our dependence on oil - how about actually enforcing fuel efficiency for autos and SUV's? - and buy every drop of imported oil from Mexico, Venezuela, and North Sea countries, until we reach our efficiency goals.

Bush will never do this, though. He's too entrenched in this war he created, and he's too beholding to his financial benefactors to let all of those billions of dollars that will be spent on the reconstruction to go to other countries.

Some filter, huh?

I gotta go (and puke).

Thursday, October 09, 2003
Condie Goes Psychic (psycho?)

I'm reading a story in the Washington Times about how Bush National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is still trying to justify to herself, the nation and the UN, why invading Iraq was a good thing.

Uh huh.

My most-est favorite-ist, golly-gee swellest quote is this one, "And let there be no mistake, right up to the end, Saddam Hussein continued to harbor ambitions to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction and to hide his illegal weapons activities".

Hmmmm. Have you ever noticed that you've never seen a picture of Condie and Miss Cleo together? Huh, have ya? Me neither. I believe they're one in the same.

Must be. How else could good ol' Condie know what was in Saddam's mind? The administration hasn't been able to come up with any physical evidence upon which to base this assumption. They've got no witnesses that have corroborated their fairy tale. The only logical answer is that Condie = Miss Cleo.

That, or it's just another attempt by the administration to blow smoke up our collective butts.

I gotta go.

Monday, October 06, 2003
Right Down The Pipe

When the California Governor recall first came up, I was vehemently opposed to it. You just shouldn't be able to remove the Governor so easily. It should be more akin to an impeachment, where a law has been broken ("high crimes and misdemeanors). When a small minority of the electorate has the ability to basically invalidate the past election, things just aren't right.

That being said, the recall election is almost upon us. The behavior of Davis has been absolutely reprehensible.

First, he panders to Illegal Aliens. At least twice previously, Davis had vetoed bills granting illegal aliens a drivers license. Simply considering an individual who has notoriously broken federal law, and granting them a privilege, is beyond my comprehension. A drivers license is the de facto identification for virtually all legal transactions in this country. How in God's name can you grant this privilege to a criminal? It makes me want to vomit. To cater to the Hispanic vote, he signs the "one free license to each illegal alien" act into law. Strike One.

Next, there was the "oh so perfectly timed" announcements of Arnold's groping escapades and admiration of Hitler. Davis has said he had nothing to do with this. Right. This is dirty-ball politics that just further smears California's image in the eyes of the country and the world. There have been rumors of this for years. Why not bring it out at the start of the campaign so Arnold could either directly refute the allegations, or fold up his tent and go home. It's easier this way, as he's guilty by accusation(1). Strike Two.

Finally, today, Davis signed a law that requires a huge chunk of California businesses to pay for the health care of their employees. Since when did private business become the hospital wing of the state government? If a business doesn't want to offer benefits, they should not have to do so. The employee has the option of going to another company that does offer this benefit. If they can't find a company that will offer they types of benefits they want, move to where they do!! Take responsibility for your own life! If you can't get the wages and benefits you want, maybe our society has determined that there isn't enough worth in your skills. Here's a thought: Update your skills! This attitude that the government owes you something is revolting. Strike Three. You're out!

That pretty much leaves Arnold as the choice. Bustamante makes Davis look like a Right-wing zealot, and McClintock is further to the right than Dubya.

I gotta go.

(1)One unintended benefit to Arnold of this coming out late, is that a reported 2,000,000 absentee ballots have already been cast, and Arnold was well in the lead before the smear campaign started...

Monday, September 29, 2003
Thought Provoking

I was perusing the California Libertarian Party web site and came across kind of a cool quote:

"The government doesn't take away our freedom by taking away our freedom. The government takes away our freedom by offering to be responsible for things for us."

Think welfare.
Think about the $120 million spent on the homeless in San Francisco alone.

I've said it before: The government should be a safety net, not a hammock.

There are around 14,000 homeless in SF. That's $8,600 per year, per person. Clearly, you're not going to get rich by being homeless in SF (obviously, this isn't all cash payments, although they do do quite well), but this amount dwarfs most other major American cities. And the SF politicians want to know why the homeless problem continues to grow....

The thing is, a large proportion of these people will continue to be sucking on the public teat because it takes no effort other than showing up for the meal, or the room, or the check. If you think this is incorrect, just ask the citizens and business owners in The City about their “regulars”.

I gotta go.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Two Braincells To Rub Together?

OMG! I was watching Bill O'Reilly last night (is he going over the edge, or what?) and he was having a discussion with Madeline Albright, the former Secretary of State for Clinton. They got to a question about Iran, and how it is believed that they may be breaking some international atomic energy rules, including the possibility they are building nuclear weapons.

O'Reilly asks her, "So, should we invade them?" She was kind of caught off guard, but stated, No, we shouldn't, because we can't just go running around the world invading countries when they piss us off.

O'Reilly was shocked by the answer. You should have seen the look on his face, it was pure: "Why not, you dumb bitch? It's our job to protect the world from bad, bad men."

Has anyone in the Administration ever heard of Asymetrical Warfare? Give me a couple of days, and I'll have an essay up on the Rants section of the site.

I gotta go.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
9/11 Hoopla

The second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will fall on us tomorrow. I'm confused by what I see going on.

To summarize the events of that dreadful day: We got stomped.

We came back, laid an ass-whipping on Afghanistan. Bush then lied to us, insinuating that 9/11 was (at least part of) the reason we went into Iraq.

What I'm confused about, is why would we want to celebrate this occasion? My own city of Brentwood (not OJ's old digs) is having a Patriots Day for Iraq-theater soldiers. There was talk of a national holiday to commemorate the event. Some folks want the entire footprint of the Twin Towers to become some kind of shrine. That's like saying the entire island of Oahu should be a shrine for the Pearl Harbor attacks. Ridiculous.

Uhm, we got stomped. Why would you want to commemorate that?

We have our share of war-related holidays where we remember the sacrifices soldiers have made to keep this country great. We don't need a holiday to remind us of the few times we've gotten smacked around.

Let's move on, folks, and find a way that will have a chance of working to deter these terrorist bastards.

I gotta go.

Dem's Debate

I watched some of the Democratic candidates debate last night on Fox (ironic, huh?). I must say, it was pretty impressive. Brought up a lot of good points - Bush spending our money like a drunken sailor (no offense to sailors), but not willing to give us his plan for spending it; how the USA Patriot Act is an abhorrent abuse of power, and which needs to be re-written or scrapped; Bush's use of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), and just out-right lying about the threat posed by Iraq to the American people.

I just about wanted to puke, though, with the blatant pandering to the largely black crowd. Seems like every one of the candidates was best-buds with Martin Luther King, they all toiled long and hard for civil rights, and they, too, want to spend our money like drunken sailors, just on other stuff. Every time I heard one of them bring up Universal Health Care or Affirmative Action Plans, it sent a shiver down my spine.

It pains me to say this, but I actually agree with one thing espoused by Fox's Bill O'Reilly (fair and balanced my ass...) - Affirmative Action should not be based on color or race (any more), but on economic background. If you are poor and black, white, Asian or Hispanic, you should get preferential treatment for college admissions or job training or whatever. Your color or race alone should not provide you with admittance to the dance.

Joe Lieberman actually call Reverend Al Sharpton, "My Brutha". Yeah, Joe Lieberman. He's about as hip as the word hip.

I've got to hand it to ol' Reverend Al, he made a pretty damned good showing. There were occasional outbursts in the audience and he hammered them, basically saying, "This is a chance for all of America to see African-American politics at work. Shut the hell up, and behave yourself." I was impressed. But no, he won't be getting my vote. Always playing the race-card wears thin with me.

This should be fun to watch for the next year or so, as the Democrats sharpen their arrows, and the Republicans thicken their armor. I just wish my guys (Libertarians) had someone that could realistically make a challenge. Oh well.

I gotta go.