December 2006

Cup of Soup

Tue, Dec 5, 2006

Ass of Disapproval II

Leon's now has a friend on my shelf of accolades.

Some weeks ago, my honkin'-huge 21" CRT monitor went on the fritz after about seven years of diligent service. After some searching and researching, I was convinced to go for Dell's ultra-bells-and-whistles 24" LCD. Dell's sale price had just ended, and they would require two weeks for delivery, so I searched around for a better offer. found me one with CompuDirect, a computer distributer based out of Ohio. They offered a reduced price, with a processing time of only two days. I placed an order and waited for desktop real estate to arrive.

Within a day or two, I noticed that my credit card had been charged for the order. Note, for those thinking ahead, that this would be the only thing CompuDirect would do on time.

The shipping service for which I had paid was "Next Day Saturday Delivery", and when my doorbell rang bright and early Saturday morning, I excitedly rushed to open it. I was disheartened to instead find someone distributing religious tracts. The day would pass with no delivery.

On Monday morning I emailed the sales department of the company to ask what was up. I was quite busy with various things on my mind, and another week had gone by before I realized that I never got a response to my mail. I sent another one off to customer service. That one also received no response. I finally sent a third, tersely-worded mail explaining that my monitor had yet to be shipped and that no one had responded to my previous mails.

That one, finally, received a response, apologising for the delay, and claiming that the product would be sent out at 6:00 PM that night. Finally. I checked the status page the next day to find no update. Grrr...

I sent another mailing asking why it wasn't sent when she claimed it would, and lo and behold, I got nothing back. Finally, three weeks after I had originally placed the order, I rang them up to bitch them out. The service representative, Anna, could give me no reason why it wasn't yet shipped out. She didn't know what was going on down at the warehouse. All she could assure me was that it would be sent out at 6:00 PM that night. "That's what you told me last time," I said.

"Ummm..." was her response.

I tried to haggle for a price reduction, especially considering that the only reason I chose to shop from them was because they promised a 2-day processing time. That had mutated to three weeks, and another sale from Dell had come and gone. She passed me off to another representative, and I gave him the brief: In-stock item, should have been two days, now three weeks, twice told 6:00 PM ship-out.

His response nearly sent me into hysterics. "With the holiday season the volume is just far too high and delays are inevitable. It's just impossible..."

I cut him off there. "Don't you dare say 'impossible' to me," I responded. "I ordered this early in November, well before the holiday rush, and there's no excusing a two-day wait blooming into three weeks. Don't say it's impossible because it isn't. Don't lie to me."

"One moment please..." he said, and put me on hold.

A minute later I heard a familiar voice. "Hi, this is Anna from CompuDirect."

"Oh my God," I sighed. "I was just talking to you."


She changed my shipping to next-day delivery and promised that tonight was the night. 6:00 PM.

Guess what? No shipment. The next morning I called again. "Hi, it's me again, we talked yesterday about my order that's become a catastrophe?"

"Oh, right. Hold on."

Wait wait wait.

"I dont' know what's going on. It's packed up, but I don't know when it will go out. I can give you $30 off and you can just keep waiting, or you could cancel."

$30 off of an item that costs $700? Pathetic. 2-day wait exploding into 23? Ridiculous. Being lied to several times about shipping times and reasons for delay? Dispicable. I cancelled and threatened hell and high water should they even try to sneak in some sort of restocking fee. Some unpleasant words later I parted company.

CompuDirect becomes the second dishonourable recipient of the "Ass of Disapproval".

Ass of Disapproval

Once again, the Ass of Disapproval seal is composed of 30% iron, 40% zinc, 40% titanium, and 40% dolomite. Like Bender's, this ass is a shiny metal one. So that they may bite it.

Sat, Dec 16, 2006


I have now been living in my downtown condo for one year. And I still have to decorate the den. I just finished with the bedroom last week. The last moving boxes were put away only a month ago. Time flies when you get very little done.

Thu, Dec 21, 2006

4 Days

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you

I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

The boys of the NYPD choir
Stood singing Galweh Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas Day

Fri, Dec 22, 2006

3 Days

Happy holiday, happy holiday
While the merry bells keep ringing
May your ev'ry wish come true

Happy holiday, happy holiday
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy holidays to you

Sat, Dec 23, 2006

2 Days

Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
what I'm going to say:
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
tell me if you can.

Sun, Dec 24, 2006

1 Day

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Except for a bunny...

Not quite the traditional version, but much more cuddly.

Mon, Dec 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

It came upon the midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

It's the middle of the night, crisply cool, in the wee hours of Christmas Day. I'm standing on the patio, egg nog in hand, as Benji joyfully runs circuits of the terrace. Silent Night plays in the background as I look up into the silent night sky of the city. For one night, the city is quietly calm. All the children are nestled snug in their beds, and the cars of the highway are locked up in their sheds. For one night, we can pretend all in the world is right and well. Our minds are filled with the world that could be, and the problems of the real world around us tuck their heads away, waiting to address us again another day.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

Tonight we remember the hope that all in the world can be made right one day, that sin may not enslave us, and love may reign once more.
And Man will live forever more because of Christmas Day.

For lo! the days are hastening on
By prophet-bards foretold
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless.

Sat, Dec 30, 2006

Long-Winded Reasoning

Someone once asked me - after a friend and her boyfriend had a fight - whether a guy can change. I thought for a second, and came up with a response that I still find holds true in many varied situations.

"Yes, he most certainly can change," I said. "But, it's not enough to want the result of that change; he has to want the change itself."

It wouldn't be enough for him to want the relationship to work. He would have to want all the things required for it to work. If he doesn't particularly want to be more sensitive, or go out less, or stop taking off his pants in public or whatnot, then the desire to fix the relationship is doomed to fail because it will eventually be overcome by his accumulated desire to not change certain things he happens to like about himself.

Such an effect is most common with diets. One may want to lose weight, but that requires a healthier diet and plenty of exercise. If one does not particularly want to eat healthy or work out, the diet is doomed to fail. Some would say it requires discipline, but realistically, most people simply don't have it. If the desire to sit on the couch and eat potato chips is too strong for the desire the lost weight, then get ready to buy bigger pants.

Focus mine. Over the past year, I have gained about 15 pounds. I'm not offensively fat, but my tummy is a bit more rotund than I would like, my stamina lower than it once was, and my award-winning perfect ass a little bit imperfect.

I know what must be done, but considering what I have just said above, I know what will happen. My desire to continue my Oreo habit is far too strong. I know I'll never go to a gym because I don't really like working out in front lots of strangers, and my odd waking hours means they wouldn't be open when I want. Weight routines rot my brain with incessant counting and repetition. I bore of the slow pace of jogging, and wince at the damage it could do to my knees. I play four sports a week, but I play goal in each, which means I spend half of each game standing and waiting.

But now, I have found a solution. I just bought a rowing machine.

I like rowing. It's fun. When the Summer Olympics come along, rowing is the event I enjoy the most. Anytime I do find myself in a gym, I find myself on the rower. The little pixelated pace boat on the monitor provides motivation to push that little bit harder. The power gained will greatly assist my goaltending skills. The full-body workout rowing provides will be the only weight-sustaining exercise I will need, all packaged in one fun little activity I can do from the comfort of my home at any time I want. It cost an arm and a few legs, but hey, it's my health we're talking about here. And, I want to lower that goals-against average of mine.

My desire to get in better shape will now be assisted by my desire to improve my hockey game, and by memories of paddling the open sea in Fiji.

If that's not enough, I can attach an Oreo to the end of the chain and try to take a snap at it after every stroke.

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