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I bought a backpack style bookbag with a laptop pocket in it when I first moved to ATL over a year ago. I take it with me almost everywhere. It carries my Toshiba Laptop that I purchased at the same time and all sorts of connector cables. I also keep some documents, memory cards, the TV out cable for my cell phone, pens, paper, Leatherman tool, Q-tips and Piercing Aftercare spray (when I have a new piercing), Cologne, breath strips/gum, nail kit, and my Epi-Pen. It's like my Urban Survival Kit.
When I bought it, I didn't realize it had a bag of Silica Gel (Do NOT Eat!) in the bottom of the padded compartment. I realized this later, but it's been in there all this time and laptops don't like moisture, so if it's still able to absorb moisture, that's good. Besides, what'll it hurt? Well about a week ago, it ruptured and spilled little pink balls of Silica Gel all in the bag. Apparently some of them got INSIDE the laptop. This morning I used it, and when I was putting it in the bag, the fan hadn't shut off yet. As I turned it on it's side to slide it into the padded compartment, I heard something rattling around and then it hit the fan. (Not the shit, the silica gel.)
When I got to work, I put on a static guard bracelet, grounded myself, and took it apart to get all those little things out of it. They take computers apart all the time in the helpdesk, but I'm near legal, and in a high traffic area. Someone walking by looked in and saw me with an opened laptop and she stopped by. She was amazed that I would "brave" taking apart a laptop. I took out 12 screws, lifted the cover and turned it upside down so the little things could fall out. What's so amazing about that? She acted like it was amazing. So apparently writing a scalable enterprise purchasing webApp is ho-hum, but removing 12 screws and turning something upside down is a miracle.
I wish they have a messages page like tha dot. But without the slowness and deleting them after 30 messages or 14 days.
This all started a couple of years ago. I was very unhappy with the way my insurance company treated me when I wrecked my car. I know, no insurance company is going to hand me a blank check and tell me to go get a replacement vehicle of my liking. They are going to try to give me as little as possible. But when you LIE to me, then try to cover your ass with even more transparent lies when I bust you, then fuck you I'm no longer doing business with you. Also, I'd been offered a job working the the company FortKnox was with back then, and that necessitated a move to Cincy, and this company only had offices in TN. So I figured I needed to upgrade to a national company. Because I sure hadn't received any of that "locally owned small business" love they gave me as the reason to choose them over a larger company. (Unless, unlike me, you consider them trying bend me over without so much as a reach around "love".) National companies should have more niceties anyway, like autopay and 24/7 service, right?
So I got State Farm in Ohio. I hadn't moved up there yet, but they took my payment over the phone via credit card. I asked about auto-payments to the credit card. "No problem, we can set that right up for you! I already have all the card information since you just gave it to me to make a payment." Sweetness, no more dealing with that bill, even though it only came twice a year. 6 months later, I'm still in TN, the job fell through. (Read the JEs from back then if you want to know the details, suffice to say, their demand went down and they didn't have any work for me.)
I get a letter from State Farm saying my insurance was canceled due to non-payment of premiums. Umm... the credit card autopay should prevent that, right? I call them. "Oh, we're terribly sorry, don't know how it could have happened. We'll bill this and get you back on Autopay." Ok then.
6 months later, I'm in Atlanta, and I've switched my agent to a local Atlanta office. I also added my truck, which had been sitting uninsured since summer, because I don't drive it except to tow my boat to and from the lake/river. I get a letter saying I'm going to be dropped for non-payment. Fuck. I call them up and pay again. Tell them I REALLY REALLY don't want to have to deal with this every time, so can we make sure it works. Yes sir!
I'm still in ATL, but at a different address. A month ago, I got a letter from State Farm saying GA couldn't verify that I had insurance on my truck and if it was registered in another state, to give the VIN, Tag Number, and what state it was registered in. I sent all that back.
About 2 weeks ago, I got a cancellation notice for the car AGAIN for nonpayment. This time the bill said $42 something, so obviously they charged my card for the wrong amount. I call in fuming. I ask her why the hell the credit card autopay never works or apparently this time, didn't charge the correct amount. She looks into and finally tells me the reason it hasn't been working is because State Farm doesn't HAVE a credit card autopay system. Ok... then... nevermind. We get it fixed and I ask about the truck. What truck? The truck I have insured with you guys! You don't have a RECORD of me having insured a truck with you? Oh, it was canceled when the car was, but I didn't receive a separate notice, but you didn't charge the premium for the truck when I told you to renew. *Sigh* Well just add it back. So then I'm told that I can't add it back because it was without insurance on it for 30 days. In order to get it insured through State Farm again, I have to get insurance somewhere else, then switch back (not fucking happening.)
So yesterday I get 3 things from State Farm. 1) a bill for the full premium. 2) new cards that DON'T have the truck listed. 3) a statement saying that GA DMVS is unable to verify that I have insurance and I should send them proof. (Umm, you're my damned insurance company, you send them proof, or maybe just say "Yes he does.") Then today, I get 2 things. 1) Reinstatement notice and 2) a check for $6.06 that was an overpayment.
So, first you don't take out anything at all, and cancel me. I call in and fix it. Then you take out too little, and cancel me again. I call in an fix it. Somewhere along the way, you canceled my truck without telling me and now say it's too late to fix it, then you send me a check saying I paid too much. Now, I'm getting ANOTHER bill and only God knows how bad you'll FUCK UP this one if I stay with you. All this headache and them fucking with my money and I haven't even had a claim? God help me if I ever got in an accident. They'd probably say I didn't have insurance for that day because I cashed the $6 check and they really WASN'T an overpayment, so they just left me uninsured for that one day so they wouldn't have to bother me with another bill. Oh and if I ever want to legally drive my truck again, I have to have TWO insurance companies or do some some funky insurance company musical chairs bullshit? Or option 3, which is what I'll take, tell you to shove your incompetence up your collective ass sideways (assuming you can find room with all your heads up there) and find someone that actually knows how to run a business.
I used to use XMMS to play media and I used YamiPod to sync up my iPod. Kubuntu came with Amarok and I'll admit, the only reason I tried it is because the icon is a howling wolf. (I love wolves, as Some Woman, bfofSW, rdewald, and anyone else that's been to my house in TN can attest.) But this program is not only the best music proggy I've seen on Linux, it's better than most I've seen for Windows. iPod support is built in. I plugged my iPod in to the firewire and told Amarok it was an iPod and was able to instantly play music FROM THE iPod without having to copy it over. Oh, and with YamiPod, I had to write a shell script to safely unmount and remove my iPod, while Amarok has a Disconnect Media button. (I have Disk Access enabled with my iPod, so I still have to go unmount it before I can remove it... I don't know if Amarok will work without Disk Access, YamiPod won't.)
So I was told yesterday that I did get the bonus and instead of adding it my next paycheck, they did it as a separate direct deposit. I checked my account today. I KNEW that bonuses were taxed at a higher rate, but 38.65%! (Breakdown for those interested: (Fed Income: 25%, Social Security*: 6.2%, GA State Income: 6%, Medicare: 1.45%) Shit! Speaking of taxes, my 2006 taxes are turning out to be a bitch. I contracted part of the year, and was a full time employee part of the year, and maintained a residence in 2 states.
*Damn I wish I could opt-out of that mess!
Monday morning when the alarm went off and I reached out to hit the snooze button, I noticed it felt really cold. I looked over at my atomic clock thingy that shows the temperature and it said it was 23F outside and 53F inside. I got out of bed and went to my bathroom. There was a heater so the bathroom was warm and note from my roommate saying, "I think the heat is fucked up.
After we checked all the simple stuff, I noticed two status LEDs, one of which was blinking. I looked it up on the internet and it turned out that a safety sensor had gone bad and was telling the unit it was overheating. We called a guy and he came out, figured out which one was bad, and ordered a new one. I worked from home today so I could let him in to swap the part.
Yesterday at work the VP of IT copied me on an email to the CFO. The subject was Bonus Recommendations and my name and 2 others were listed (oddly I was the only one CC'd on the email.) with dollar amounts beside the names. So I'm hoping that's approved, I could use it. The thought did cross my mind that he CC'd me on the email to placate me because they aren't going to give me the promotion we had discussed, or it's not happening right away. But I don't know, so I'll wait and see what happens.
I haven't worked from home in a while, and I had forgotten how productive I am when I'm not distracted by office noise, people stopping by my desk, etc. I figured out 2 stubborn issues that I've been working on this week the first half of the day. I was concentrating so hard I didn't read
I turned on the TV so I could put it on BET and listen to music. (They're one of the few channels that still plays videos for a large part of the day.) It's funny to hear the music because they mute the curse words and any drug references. There was a Lil' Wayne song on there that I went silent for about 15 seconds.
So we have heat again, which is good since they are calling for ice storms tomorrow. If that happens I guess I'll be working from home again.
So there are all these sites: LinkedIn, XING, Ryze, Ecademy, Passado, etc. I'm a member of the first 2 because JtS and Eth invited me to them. Ok, I joined... now what? Obviously some people make it a contest to see who can get the most contacts on them. (Yes, I heard about it all the way on the other side of the country, but I'm not going to mention your names... you know who you are.) Ok, so now I have this large network of... people that... also have large networks of people. Ok, so I can go to a job interview and say, "Look how many contacts I have on XING! You have to give me the job." I can't do that? But... they all gave me great endorsements!
Ok, I can use people I have worked with as a reference, but... I already had all that contact info stored in Gmail.
So now what? Has anyone used this internet fad for anything other than joining and adding contacts and wondering what the hell you get for all that time you put in to it? Maybe I'm not thinking "outside the box", but then painting your case never solved video card issues.