"Murphy was an optimist!"Uncategorized
I am literally driving with my elbows. Makes typing text messages easy.
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I feel like i am driving a go cart. Sure hope the air bags do not deploy!
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If you pull the front seats all the way up to the dash the cargo space in the van is exactly 4×8
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Adventures in Carpentry November 30, 2006 11:18 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, House
Nothing hurts like the sound of a counter sink bit breaking in the wood.add a comment
Someone should class action Sear’s collections November 30, 2006 10:51 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Touchy Subjects
So I was a Craftsman kid. Loved their tools! Bought my ladder and washer and dryer at Sears. I was well into paying off the Sears credit card when all hell broke lose. So, back in 2000, I had a little bit of a breakdown. Breakdowns come and breakdown go. What I did about it was quit reading my mail for the better part of a year. Your creditors really don’t like that. Since 2000, Sears has taken a $900 bill and increased it to over $4000 with not a single purchase. Since my home phone went away they have made at least two calls to my parents house. Now, these people have no business with Sears. They are in no way associated with my account. Such calls are harassment, an invasion of their privacy, and absolutely a total disrespect for my privacy.
I decided to call Sears and request the removal their number from the collection database. The response I received from the rude person on the phone was, "deal with it!" When I prompted for his employee id number and a way to file a complaint he hung up on me. My second attempt to call them from Skype failed (blocked?) There should be a way to counter this but that employee will go unchecked and frankly Sears doesn’t care. Really, the people this most directly affects are the least capable of bringing change. How can the working poor afford a class action suit against a giant?
One recourse, we all could quit shopping at Sears! Yeah boycott! Another might be that we all quit paying their bills but that’s as absurb as not buying gas for one day and thinking that gas prices would change. Here’s hoping karma comes into play.
Apparently the $165 million dollar punishment Sears received in 1997 has not been very effective in changing their collection practices.comments closed
The Inheritance Books November 30, 2006 9:02 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Book / Magazine, Of Interest, Publishing, Reviews, TV / Movies
Christopher Paolini began writing Eragon when he graduated from high school at the age of 15. Eragon and the second book in the Inheritance series, Eldest, captivated me. I shunned responsibility to absorb chapter after chapter. Book 3 is scheduled to release Summer 2007. That will be a long wait! And I will have to fight Tommy for first read. Eragon the movie is airing its trailer now and will be in theaters on December 15, 2006.
Eragon is an epic story of a farm boy’s travels in a land with dragons, elves, dwarves, and humans ruled by an all powerful overlord complete with allegiances, underground resistances, ancient broken promises, and magic. The book is riveting with unexpected plot twists that wrench at your sympathies. I must balance that statement by pointing out at times I felt the story was somewhat formulaic as attempted to guess its direction; however, it never failed to disappoint. I give it a high recommendation and suggest reading the book before seeing the movie.2comments
Over enthusiastic carpentry November 29, 2006 4:32 pmPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
You know that old adage about "measure twice, cut once?" Yeah, it’s like that.add a comment
Simple Pleasures November 29, 2006 11:58 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Programming, Technology
Math is so fun! I love days when I am a programmer and not a script monkey.add a comment
What home phone number? November 29, 2006 11:23 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Gadgets, Technology
Cingular won’t let me upgrade my phone online unless I tell them my home phone number. I guess they don’t get that they are in the middle of the cellular phone revolution and that line lands are dying. Update: Apparently entering my cell phone number as my home phone met their requirement.add a comment
Republicans == Fascists? November 29, 2006 7:19 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
Will they make it work?add a comment
Breast Abuse November 29, 2006 6:47 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Of Being Dad, Touchy Subjects
Yes, yesterday I selfishly used my wife’s boobies. You know how your SAM’s membership card has a picture on it? (Costco is the same I am sure) And they get a little particularly if you get to the checkout and the person pictured is not standing with you. Our SAM’s card has my wife’s beautiful picture on it. I wanted to do the world’s fastest SAM’s trip to get some ground beef and still make it out in time to pick Noah up from karate. To do this meant leaving Cathy, Amy and Evan in the van so I could run through the store. At the checkout I get quized, "Is she [pointing to Cathy’s picture] in the store?" I respond, "she is breastfeeding the baby in the car." They let me complete the purchase.add a comment
I sing the body recess November 29, 2006 6:40 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Noah
This morning Noah explained told me he wondered if the school would have another chorus separate from the 5th grade chorus. I proceeded to ask if he liked singing and so forth and what came out was "I am not in fifth grade chorus because they practice during recess [the Friday recess] and we only get like two or three recesses a week." Sigh. He has to walk his own path and make his own choices.
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Wanna watch me pull a rabbit from my hat? November 29, 2006 12:30 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Christmas, Daily Life, Holiday
So this past weekend we got the Christmas tree up and I actually got all the lights working instead of taking a month to light the tree and finishing on Christmas Eve as has become our tradition. Of course, I had hoped to really impress the wife and kids by getting the lights on the house too. Now last year I bought three extra strands when they went on sale so we could do twice as much of the roof as we did last year but I could not break those open until I found the old lights…you know, on a matter of principle. I tore the garage apart and much of the rest of the house only to find them when I wasn’t looking. Apparently for an entire year, the outside lights have been sitting beside my desk.
I don my headlamp, you know, because it is 10pm at night, and after sweeping the leaves off the front half of the roof, I proceed to string the outside of the house. Half way through I have to start reattaching the clips that I halfway took down last year. After the first 3 strands of lights (3×300=900 lights) are up, the house is looking pretty good but I am not satisfied. A glass of wine later and I am back on the roof.
Now, we live in a split rancher. What that means is that our house is built into a hillside. The front of the house is 1 story tall. The sides and back are two stories tall but the hill continues downward giving the illusion that from the roof you are about 9 meters above the ground. Of course I started taking down the gutters years ago so while we still have gutters on the front of the house, the back has no gutters so the dark roof just blends nicely with the blackness of the night. One big lesson of the night is that as you back up on a roof, even if you are sitting on it, you are not necessarily backing up in a straight line and that vast emptiness you feel under your toes isn’t roof.
Now, running the next 3 strands of lights is a little more heart pounding and shortly after getting over the peak of the roof I hear a disturbing noise as if I were sliding down the roof just before dropping into the great abyss. But I am not moving so I quickly turn my head to see what I might have knocked down the roof. My eyes are just in time to see this gray blur of fur leap from the roof, missing anything resembling a branch, and get absorbed into the blackness. Seconds later I hear a resounding thud and rustling of leaves as the thing hits the ground. Apparently I scared the holy sh*t out of one of the squirrels living in our attic. I have to admit, I almost laughed myself off the roof as I watched it propel itself into nothingness. I have seen squirrels fall from trees, shake their head and run off; I am sure this one will be back in the attic shortly.
Did I mention that I only swept leaves from the front half of the roof. Man leaves are slippery! Being on the roof at night was very enlightening. I was able to listen to something large and not domesticated tromp through our backyard. The crisp air was exhilirating!add a comment
Molly does not have cancer November 28, 2006 9:19 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Health, Molly, Pets
Molly had to go to the pet ER and vet while Noah and I camped in the Smokies. We just heard yesterday that she is ok! The vet feared cancer but it turned out to be an inverted papilloma (that’s a great link!) I am very relieved!3comments
Yellow pages only gets to a few November 28, 2006 9:11 amPosted by Doug McCaughan in : Book / Magazine, Of Interest, Publishing
When I ran my Internet Service Provider business, I spent $12,000 a year on a full page yellow page ad. That ad generated more calls than any other advertising. In the end, all my business came word of mouth.
I learned something yesterday. As I drove out of the neighborhood, many of the houses had their new Yellow Pages directory. But not us. It did not take long to realize that the phone company is mad at us. See, after having the same phone number for 15 years, we decided to cut the umbilical cord and go mobile completely. It was scary because we were so accostumed to having that phone line which would ring throughout the house. We actually had two lines and could conference the calls together. We lost use of our fax machine in the process. Yesterday I would have liked to have received a fax but it was not necessary.
What did we lose in going completely mobile?
- We don’t get a phone book anymore.
- We are not in 411 directory assistance so it is more difficult to track us down.
- Solicitations and bill collection calls dropped significantly (at times Sears would call every 3 days because they are Satan’s spawn).
- We don’t pay $80 per month for a desk ornament.
- The younger children are having different phone experiences/lessons that the older children did. (But our phone lessons/manners/habits are significantly different that of our children…and think about our parents…I remember a party line but could you imagine your children using a party line?!) Oh, and the younger children do understand phones. Even the 17mth old uses the cell phone proficiently.
- It is slightly more difficult to track down a single person and sometimes takes calling multiple numbers to reach someone at the house.
- No more long distance bills!
Now, the publisher of the Yellow Pages and the phone company are not one in the same. They are in cahoots but the publisher of the Yellow Pages makes their money from ads and distribution. I think we are getting ready to witness a paradigm shift in the way phone books are distributed. First and foremost, we don’t use it because we either look online or send google a text message from our phone (Text "Borders, Knoxville, TN" to 46645 and watch the phone number and address pop up in seconds). Secondly, the publisher is going to realize that their distributions are dimensioning as the phone company gives them fewer and fewer land line addresses. Their ad selling point is "we deliver x number of books and your ad will be seen by those people." My bet is that before long we will see stacks of Yellow Pages books at the grocery store entrances being distributed for free to anyone that wants one.
I think another service cell phone companies need to offer (and maybe they do) is one number that rings multiple cell phones. That way we could give away a "family number" and when one cell answers all others stop ringing.
I before E except after C unless of course you are spelling proficiently.2comments