Monthly Archives: November 2007

Flying through the Air with the Greatest of Ease…

Thurs. Nov. 8, 2007
Flying through the Air with the Greatest of Ease
or The small, bouncy child version thereof
or the non-Twitter but NaBloPoMo version
Approx. 4:30pm (PST) or 12:30am (GMT) – After a long and stressful week that included a scheduled small nervous breakdown from 5:05 pm to 5:07 pm on Tuesday afternoon, I am on a Boeing 777 flying over the Great Lakes en route to London. London Calling, the November edition.
Due to completing tasks and finishing my Jane Austen-a-thon, I did not get to sleep until 2am. When the alarm rang at 6:04 am, I was hurting from too little sleep. No matter, zip bags up, and get them out to the car. I drove over to my brother’s house and together we drove up to LAX.
My first flight was uneventful as I cat napped. The plane landed in Chicago a bit early and I miscalculated time, I thought I had an hour and a half until boarding my next flight to London, it was really 45 mins. I had a bit of steamed rice and mixed veg at the Manchu Wok place at the food court and a lovely chat with some folks from Yorkshire who had just visited their grandkids in Houston. I then went for a walk, got a little lost, and kept hearing “Last boarding call for London gate K-12” over the paging system. Oops. Last one on the plane.
The flight to London is going well so far. I have the “H” right aisle seat and the block of the middle 5 seats is occupied by a woman and her three children under 6 years old, of which the two boys are bouncing off the seats, walls, aisles, etc. Should be interesting. The Simpsons movie has them somewhat quieted down but the oldest is still kicking the seat in front of him. The lady in front of him is watching the Transformers movie.
The best part of seat backs with video screens is being able to vaguely watch the various movies in one’s view, partial attention with no sound. The best way to watch a movie. Unless one is having a Jane Austen-a-thon or Kevin Smith-a-thon, then it should be one movie at a time with sound.
The meal service is now coming by and it is the very first time I called beforehand and ordered a gluten-free meal. I am quite curious what it will be.

(more…)

Here We Go, Here We Go…

To quote the Bouncing Souls, “Here we go“…
Tomorrow is the big day: the departure for London Calling, the November Edition or the Future of Mobile Edition, as well as, Dublin Calling, Ulster Calling, and Andalucia Calling.
As I have started all the packing and the last stages of planning, I had to run lots of errands today. One of the errands took me to the Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, so that I could obtain a variety of Peek-a-Poohs for the small Hickseys. Whilst at the Mall, I stopped in at the AT&T/Cingular store to inquire as to why my sim chip has been going screwy of late. Some days my phone announces that it is Cingular. Some times AT&T. And some days, oddly, T-Mobile. What?!?!?! For fear of a large roaming bill, I decided to stop in to the AT&T/Cingular store and see what was up.
At the store, I found three men there, two obviously clerks and one in a suit, of which all three matched up my idea of the typical mobile / cell phone store employees: Mr. Indifferent, Mr. Helpful/Nice, and Mr. Pindick. When I walked in Mr. Indifferent and Mr. Pindick ignored me. Mr. Nice asked after what I needed, I explained to him that I was wondering if my old school AT&T sim chip from 2004 is on its last legs and described the issues I was having with it. Mr. Nice was very helpful, said yes I needed a new sim chip, and recommended where I could get a new AT&T sim chip without paying $25 for a new one and having to sign up for a new contract that his store would require.
I then asked when AT&T will be upgrading their 3G network. Mr. Nice did not know, he suggested I ask Mr. Indifferent the Regional Manager and Mr. Pindick. Over to the other two I went and inquired. Mr. Indifferent the Regional Manager asked which plan I had, I told him that I had an old school data plan from 2004, he was impressed. But his phone rang and he walked off to answer it.
Mr. Pindick, after arguing that I could have had an unlimited data plan since 2004, asked to see my current phone, I pulled my N95 out of my purse of which Mr. P. inspected.
Mr P: “Do you know that your phone is European manufactured?”
He didn’t give me time to answer, “No shit, Sherlock, that is why I bought it.”
Mr. P: “This phone does not work on the American 3G network, only the European and Asian ones. Which is why you don’t have a good 3G connection with our network. You need an American 3G phone.”
On he pressed. Me, repressing a snotty reply to the effect of “Cingular/AT&T has a 2.5 G network, the “EDGE”, which is why I am asking when you will be upgrading to a REAL 3G network.” He went on…
Mr. P: “Nokia has released an N95 for the American market.”
Me: “No….” ((BLAH))
Mr. P as he turns my phone over and fondles it: “The American N95 has a black cover (his thumb rubs over the back cover of my phone repeatedly), instead of the purple one that this one has.”
Me: ((Mr. Pindick is having thumb sex with my phone!!! AGH!!!))
Mr. P: “The new Nokia lacks a camera lens cover and has a bigger battery. Too bad you don’t have that phone, you wouldn’t have the problems with the network.”
Me: “When will AT&T be selling them?” ((Knowing they aren’t at this time and knowing even if I had the new Nokia N95-3 for the US market that the Cingular/AT&T network would still be slow…))
Mr. P: ((????)) [He did not answer.]
Me, smiling and taking my poor abused phone back: “Thank you.”
Mr. P, voice dripping with condescension: “I guess you need a better plan and a better phone.”
Me: leaving.
Going to a cell phone / mobile carrier retail store has become as unpleasant as going to a car dealership. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable as the call center folks can’t help me replace my sim chip.
Dear Mobile Carriers, please screen out the Mr. Indifferents and Mr. Pindicks of the when you are hiring for your stores. Thank you.

Guy Fawkes and PHP

Guy Fawkes wanted to blow up the new order (the Protestant Ascendency) to return to the old order (Catholicism). Today, I am going to have to blow up the old order (a mishmash of PHP4 & 5) to install the new order (PHP5 with PEAR & PDO). Wish me luck, taking down foundations is always risky…
How is it that England has a bonfire night on Guy Fawkes Night, Ireland has a good bonfire on Halloween, but we here in the US don’t have a good bonfire night to start the descent into winter? Extending daylight savings time a week doesn’t count.
We could argue that here in California we had a month of bonfires of the wrong sort.