Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State of the Union Drinking Game 2007

The President gives his annual report to congress tonight.
And this year for me - it's all about the Drinking Game

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

2007 Design and Development Emergency Kit

So having been away from the office for three weeks, I was mildly surprised to find that someone left a present for me on my desk. It's a zip-lock baggie (with a little Santa Claus on it) that contains some goodies, and a damned funny little explanatory note. You can see the picture here, but just in case you can't make out exactly what the text says, I'll transcribe it...

--BEGIN--

2007 Design and Development Emergency Kit

To prepare for cuts and bruises from continued use of bleeding-edge technology, you will find the following:

* 1 Band-aid - for the nicks and cuts you may endure next year
* 1 quarter - for the headache or ulcer medicine of choice. See the medicine dispenser in L-1 or in other Corporate South Locations
* 2 pieces of chocolate - for its anti-oxidant & pick-me-up properties for those days when you're just feeling down or depressed

--END--

At first glance, I immediately assumed the quarter must be for "calling someone who cares" - but apparently that's just the obnoxious New Yorker inside me talking.

So much weirdness in so many places...

It has been a weird few days in in the news - literally all over the place:

My triumphant return to Bloomington-Normal

After three holiday weeks in New York, I returned to Bloomington Sunday night. And naturally - just because I was looking forward to getting back - and I had forgotten just how annoying this particular commute can be - there was a mildly annoying adventure in store.

Traveling on Sunday nights is almost always problematic - as is flying all the way to Bloomington (taking a connecting flight from Chicago, as opposed to just driving the 133 miles from Chicago) - as is also checking bags. That's why I avoid doing these things. But naturally - this week, I scored the hat-trick.

My flight from New York was delayed over an hour... and it landed naturally in a different terminal from my connection. I hustled across the airport and really should have made the connection, but unfortunately they decided to "close the plane" 10 minutes early...so I missed it. Naturally it was (almost!) 9:25pm and this was the last flight out. The gate attendant wouldn't help me - she just directed me to customer service (repeatedly... I almost asked if she could say anything else or if her needle was skipping). The United customer service was annoying too... they're like "you are rebooked on the first flight tomorrow morning". I had no desire to stay overnight - and I told her I was going to drive it. United naturally won't reimburse for a hotel or a rental car - and getting the one leg of flying to be refunded requires calling an 800 number that I've had to call before, but is literally *never* answered by a human being - and I'm convinced it's impossible to get a refund from them...but that's all they can do from the airport side...

Of course I did have this one checked one bag to contend with. Tee-hee. (I hate checking bags!) My bag missed the connection too...but the lady said to go downstairs to the United baggage claim and I could pick it up. Turns out that it's back in the first terminal where I landed - so I had to schlepped all the way back there... and waited on line for 20 minutes... only to be told by the grumpy dude behind the counter that they don't release bags at night - so I actually CANNOT pick up my bag. He informed me that it would be on the first flight to Bloomington the next day I could claim it at that airport... Waste of time. I don't know why the customer service person told me to go there when I could have left the airport 20 minutes sooner...but whatever...

Blah blah - this hole thing wasted oodles of time....I also had to stop at the Hertz place in Bloomington early the next morning to "return" the car - and check it out again (the same car!) - just so I wouldn't get one-way rental charges on the car everywhere I went all week...

One nice thing from Sunday night is that I met this really nice couple who also missed the same flight for the same reason... They are psych professors here at the university (ISU) - and they were coming back from visiting their families for xmas & new years... and we were commiserating at the gate and ended up renting a car together for the long drive. So - for the first time, I got to do this long drive WITH company (didn't turn on the radio once the whole way!). And they're really cool - we had lots of fun chit-chatting the whole way here. We all met up again (unplanned) at the Bloomington airport when claiming our bags Monday night. I believe these are my first non-work-connected friends in town...and cooler than that...I now know two Normal psychology professors! (yes - the puns are intended)

Friday, January 5, 2007