Wednesday, November 27, 2002

This is just sad. Using terminally ill people to send messages to the afterlife. The Internet is a great thing, but it's potential to exploit stupid people seems to be almost limitless.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Space elevators rock. Hope this isn't just some crazy scheme someone came up with.

Friday, November 15, 2002

I've been trying to work on some of my grammar skills lately since I've been teaching ESL on Wednesday nights and since I want to start doing more writing. I've been exploring grammar sites on the Web and found one which seems to be fairly useful. It's a list of Common Errors in English. The error that I see the most that drives me insane is the misuse of the phrase "begs the question." If you start looking for it you'll see it misused very often.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Looks like the University of Alabama is getting ready for the seasons ahead by having a really good recruiting season this year.

Monday, November 11, 2002

I stumbled across this website today that features biographies of famous British authors with just a touch of smartass humor. Funny stuff.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

I've been using Google lately to find things related to distant childhood memories. Today I dug up a website that has mp3 recordings of an album I used to have as a kid. There was a whole series of Singing Science Records, and I had the Weather one that I listened to on our old huge phonograph over and over again. I still remember most of the lyrics, but some have become a little spotty. "Why does the wind blow" has been stuck in my head for years, and I still find myself singing it as I'm driving or in the shower.
This is what happens when most of the citizens in a country don't possess shotguns or other firearms. Squirrel rampages! Hell, a kid with a slingshot could fix this problem.
Ok, so here's a long mostly boring saga about my home phone. Back around August I switched my local and long distance service over to MCI's Neighborhood program. It took a while for my request to go through, but I didn't think much of it at the time.

Today I called MCI to have them transfer my phone service over to the new house that we're moving into this weekend. It took me almost 20 minutes to even reach the correct department since their touch tone menus were screwed up and would send you to the wrong department. I finally connected with the service department and they said they could get me transferred with no problem. It would cost about $130.00 and take up to 60 days. I was stunned into disbelief at this point, both by the cost and the amount of time it would take. I told the guy "Why in the world would I not just call Bellsouth and switch back to them. It would have to be cheaper and take about 1 day."

His reply was "if you can do that I would recommend it, sir. We're new at doing the local service and it just takes a while to get things going."

I hung up and called Bellsouth. They said it would cost $40 to get my service turned on at the new house and I'd have to change phone numbers unless I waited about a week for MCI to free-up my old number. "Fine," I said, just wanting to get it over with. The guy types in the background for a bit and then tells me that I still owe Bellsouth $39.37 and that it has been turned over to a collection agency.

"What the hell," I said, "I paid that like a month ago!" He replied that there was nothing he could do and I would have to talk to the collection agency.

So I hang up and call the collection people. She says they just got the deliquency last week. I had checked my bank account and the bank had electronically transferred the payment 22 days earlier. She said I'd have to call Bellsouth and have them figure it out.

So I call Bellsouth again. They have no record of the payment and said I've have to get my bank to fax over a proof of payment statement with some bizarre little 3 digit "customer code" on it, since it's probably "just a billing error."

I called Netbank, and they seemed to be very helpful. They're faxing over the information to Bellsouth. Now I have to hope that someone picks up the fax at Bellsouth and does something about it. Bleh.

My current plan is to get hooked back up with Bellsouth then do the ole switcheroo with MCI again. MCI won't charge me to switch from Bellsouth and once I have a phone hooked up again I won't care if it takes 60 days for MCI to get their crap together. It's pretty sad that MCI isn't trying harder to retain customers, though.
Here's a link to a site called Bad Astronomy that attempts debunk a lot of the silly astronomy related myths and urban legends floating around out there. My favorite has always been the one about standing an egg on its end on the spring equinox. I was actually a victim of this for a long time since back around 4th or 5th grade my elementary school had a school gathering in the gym on the spring equinox so that our 4th grade science teacher could demonstrate this "fact" to everyone. I kept trying for several years afterward on the equinox to stand an egg up. Apparently I just sucked at standing eggs up since I was never able to really do it very well.

The author also attempts to debunk the tired old story about the moon landings being faked. This whole idea is just so ludicrous that I'm not sure any sane person can go about debunking it well. They seem to just get frustrated and start frothing at the mouth. People that believe this need to be sterilized and sent to live in the wilderness somewhere.
You've got to love the Internet if nothing else because of the sheer amount of mostly useless information that is stored on it. I recently stumbled across the Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) Searchable FAQ while on a quest to find the lyrics to the theme song for the show.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Marissa and I would like to extend our condolences to my best friend Paul Clemons and his family on the loss of his grandfather, Mr. Elvis Clemons. I met Mr. Clemons last year when Paul came home from working in Saudi Arabia and again at Thanksgiving when the Clemons family graciously invited me to spend the holiday with them. He was a kind and gracious man, who seemed to enjoy his life and his family.

Monday, November 04, 2002's rock!

Friday, November 01, 2002

I want this book, the DeskRef. It looks really cool. It would be the perfect book to leave lying around in the Mallet Drawing Room to help settle arguments about all the goofy crap that Malleteers argue about.
We closed on the house finally yesterday afternoon. We're supposed to take possession today sometime after Noon today. I hope to have some more pictures to post soon, so stay tuned.
I'd like to wish my beautiful wife Marissa a wonderful and Happy Birthday! You're the best thing that's ever happened to me baby.
Most junk emails get deleted by me without even a first glance at them. This one caught my eye however, and this may be one of the greatest products ever invented. My friend Jeff definitely needs to pick one up for his casa de queso.