Thursday, August 31, 2006

best buy is weak

Ok, this is my problem with Best Buy: their prices are terrible. And to make matters worse, people still shop there. And their customer service is so damn suffocating. I do not want to be greeted when I enter a store and definitely do not want to be thanked when I leave. Yes, I am not like most consumers. By and large, I know what I want, what a reasonable price is, and where to get it. Most people are just waiting to be parted from their money. "Extended warranty! How can I lose?" (Name the reference. Can't get it? It's from here.)

I'll admit that Fry's Electronics spoiled me. Where else do you go for great deals on almost anything electronic, but you have to be patient and you have to know what you're doing. Unfortunately, there is no Fry's here. There's a terrible, loathsome Best Buy. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

back already

See, I'm already back from Denver. It was a Ford Focus ZX4. I can see why it's been generally well received by automotive critics. While choosing my options when booking this trip, I choose the 'Standard' car size as opposed to the smaller 'Compact' and 'Sub-compact' options. It makes me wonder if they had a Ford Ka hidden in the back of the lot somewhere in case anyone actually wanted a sub-compact.

It had decent power for what I consider a compact car though that was certainly aided by its relatively small size, weighing in at roughly 1500 lbs less than my own car for instance. I could definitely tell that a couple passengers would have had a substantial impact on the car's performance. Though I'm not so sure a couple passengers would fit. I had my seat rolled all the way back and I still felt like scooting back just a little bit more. Plus, I definitely did not have much head room and I was almost troubled by how close the B-pillar was to my head. I also didn't care for the lack of a tachometer, but what can I expect from an automatic, economy car. I did like how sensitive the brakes were, especially since I'm used to American cars having spongy brakes, or at least minivans do.

I would definitely pick a Focus again if I had to, but only if I had no more than one passenger.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a day in denver

By the way, I'm going to Denver tomorrow for a lunch meeting/presentation related to a project I am undertaking. I'll be back by tomorrow night. Isn't that wonderfully absurd? Planes that seat 19 passengers rock!

In related news, I get to rent a car for the first time. One of the other field engineers who had to go to Denver a couple months ago ended up with a Chevy HHR, GM's boxier answer to the PT Cruiser. Maybe I'll get a Hyundai.

This also marks the first time that I will be flying since the latest round of travel restrictions was implemented. While they don't affect laptops, I'm still not taking mine since there is no need for it during such a short visit. However, I do have to leave behind my usual bottle of water and travel toothpaste.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Oh where, oh where have I gone? I have often said, though quite possibly never in this forum but quite often to actual live people, that modern technology has enabled so much connectivity that it's almost impossible to fall off the network. I remember saying it a bunch as I prepared to leave the Bay Area for Farmington. It was a way to inform people that I wasn't moving to some shanty town without a Best Buy. My wit and banter were only going to be a few screechy modem sounds away and that I was still, very much on the grid. But apparently, laziness is a really good way to try to fall off.

I kept saying to myself that I'm going to blog again. I've been saying it for the entire month. It's been nothing but a pair of pitiful, stopgap entries. And the link from August 11 was only good for a week. So that barely qualifies as an entry unless you saw the article and accompanying picture. For those of you who missed it, I will try to get some pictures of it from someone at work because it really is quite smashing, so to speak.

Now that I'm sitting here pecking away with my digits, it's all coming back to me. The initial trepidation is gone. There's nothing to this. It's just a matter of saying that I can do this and that I will do this and that, gosh darn it, people like me! If only I could muster up the same courage to do something about the 170 e-mails in my inbox. And that's after I've already sorted through the filler.

Anyway, work is work is work is work. (You have to read that with a subtly different emphasis on each occurrence of work or else the meaning is lost.) I think I'll have more to say on it in a couple days. Apparently my name was mentioned at today's staff meeting (in hushed tones of respect of course) on what they would be doing with me. If this issue sounds familiar to some of you it should. And if it seems like an old issue, it is. This issue has been dragging on and on mostly as a result of changes in managers, other field engineers, transfers, people quitting, hedge fund activity, and Pluto's demotion from planethood. Frankly, there has been no point in pressing for action on my part because either way, I'm fairly certain I'll get what I want.

Speaking of people quitting, my fabled mentee is quitting. I wonder if he'll have to pay back (read: have his last pay check deducted from to compensate for) his moving expenses since it's been less than a year. I'm not surprised by this, though I am more intrigued by the recent improvement in the quality of his work. Since none of you know him, there's no point in discussing this further, especially since many people may have already heard my, uh, cogent criticisms when I was in Los Altos last month. That and I ranted a bunch at lunch with one of the other field engineers to get most of it out of my system. Apparently, I'm not welcome at that eatery anymore.

In other news, I've been sick for the last couple days and it hasn't been running its normal course. And now it's culminated in me losing my voice, or at least large portions of it.

At work, I like to joke that I have passive-aggressive tendencies. In fact, I like to joke about myself in ways that, if what I said was actually true, would be very alarming. That has to make you wonder about some of the more unconventional things I've ever said (mostly in person, not this blog) and the curious air of first-hand experience on topics I presumably know little about. Huh. Anyway, since passive-aggressive really doesn't mean what I actually want it to mean, a better phrase would be aggressive-passive-aggressive. At times, I like to engage in passive-aggressive behavior (largely due to my teen angst) and then ratchet it up to aggressive borderline hostile behavior (largely for the comedic value). In the end, it's all quite interesting to see the subtle ballet of responses.

And yes, I really do have a problem with Best Buy. It's a moral issue.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


At the beginning of last week, two of our supervisors went on vacation. Before I go further, I should mention that the beginning of the week around here is considered Sunday, at least from a time sheet and vacation week perspective. Well, that actually isn't all that relevant, but now you know. The point is that with them on vacation, I was in the field filling in for them. Also come that Sunday was the beginning of every rig finally deciding they wanted a job. So, come that morning, I ended up on three straight jobs in about a 36 hour period. Don't worry, I wasn't doing any driving (more or less) by that third job. Well, except when we may or may not have gotten a truck stuck and some certain company policies on towing vehicles may or may not have been broken and something yadda mumble etc.

Suffice to say, by the end of Monday, I pretty much felt like toasted shit. The rest of the week was fairly busy too and by the time I slogged through to this past Monday I was pretty tapped out. And now it's Friday and the week never ends.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Well excuse me if I've been busy trying to make sure this doesn't happen on my watch.