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Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Earlier today I was putting together a few forms and receipts to send over to my company's old Flexible Spending Account provider for tax purposes. The super fast printer/scanner in my office does a great job of instantly scanning several documents into a bundled PDF that's emailed to me. As I'm about to draft an email and attach the PDF I check the website and realize that there is NO EMAIL ADDRESS to use to send the information. Instead they want you to mail it (oh hell no) or f-ff-fffax it!?!?
Ok, fax machines were pretty cool back in the '80s before Adobe Acrobat and email came around. It was actually kind of fun hearing the alien noise at the other end of the line when the call connected. The advent of the fax allowed paper documents to be magically beamed across the country over regular telephone lines. When Albert Gore came along and invented the internet, we instantly had another method for transferring information (email). In one of the most underrated technological advancements of the 1990's, Adobe (now an official partner of my company) developed the .PDF data format in 1993. The Portable Data Format allowed images and text to be embedded in a lightweight medium consisting of a very minimal file size. People now had the ability to print directly to PDF and send documents over the internet without the need for dialing out to another fax machine.
We're now closing in on 2010 and I find myself severely annoyed that companies still rely on this outdated communication medium. Adobe Acrobat is free for anyone to download and is installed on the vast majority of computers in today's online world. Instead of being able to simply email my receipts and forms to the FSA provider, I have to copy down the fax number, prepare a god damn cover sheet (lame), go locate one of the few fax machines in my office (none exist on my floor), figure out again how to dial an outside line, wait for the alien noise, marvel at the excruciatingly slow scan speed that all fax machines possess and finally wait for the stupid confirmation message to print out so I make sure the documents were delivered properly. And once all that's done, I need to hope that my fax is ultimately delivered to the proper person in the office of the FSA provider.
In short, there is no need for anyone to buy/use a fax machine anymore (I checked, and they still sell a lot of them at officedepot.com). They should all be burned (err recycled) and made to suffer the same fate of Betamax (and VHS) tapes.
My second favorite cartoon of all time (Beavis and Butthead will always be #1 in my heart) returned last night was a spot-on satirization of The Jonas Brothers. Highlighted by a foul-mouthed Mickey Mouse character (serving as the head of the Disney machine), the episode reveals the true colors of the whole Jonas Brothers craze and takes a few hilarious shots at Evangelical Christians. Thankfully when Daughter gets to the age of a pre-teen, the Jonas Brothers will be coked-out has-beens (I'm sure some new boy band will take their place though).
Take a look at the clip below or view the whole episode online at Comedy Central. South Park is still going strong in season 13, cementing my claim that Matt Stone and Trey Parker possess two of the greatest minds in comedic history. Now if only they would set some time aside to make a sequel to Team America: World Police.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Has anyone else noticed that terrible Idol contestant Jorge bears a striking resemblance to the character in Meet the Fockers that was supposedly Greg Focker's long lost son?
|Idol's Jorge Nunez||Illegitimate Focker|
Even weirder is the character's name in the movie: Jorge Villalobos. Look for this focker to be cut tonight on the results show (Latin vote be-damned).
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
At the Charlotte airport yesterday during our layover I decided to take care of some business in the men's room. As soon as I walked in, I noticed an African American man sitting on a stool next to a basket of some mouthwash, toothpaste and various other random sundries. He greeted me and I said "hi" back. He seemed nice enough but unfortunately he is employed in one of the most annoying job positions out there: Bathroom Attendant.
When I decide it's time to go freshen up or "take the Cosby Kids to the pool", I have a plan of action from the moment I step in the restroom until I leave and it doesn't involve anyone else assisting me in the process. I'm perfectly capable of drying my hands by myself and I really don't need any mid-day mouthwash action. Plus I think it's a bit creepy to have him sitting in the room and listening to/smelling whatever damage goes on in the men's bathroom.
Maybe some people do enjoy this extra service but I'm more of a do-it-yourself person and I like to interact with service personnel as infrequently as possible. If I could do all my shopping online (and not talk or converse with an actual person) I would. I'm getting very close to that becoming a reality too. To me, a bathroom attendant is just another instance in my daily routine where I am encouraged to tip for a service I don't need. I felt bad yesterday in making a point of washing my hands away from the attendant so I could dry them myself and not tip him on my way out. We had just spent our last bit of cash in the Bahamas and I had nothing to tip with anyways. I do think the bathroom attendant is a little more tolerable when you're drunk though. At that point, even a random stranger that lives in the bathroom becomes a real good friend.
I know that in this economy, the man I ran into yesterday is fortunate enough to even have that job. I just don't see the need for bathroom attendants in general though and think they should be outlawed from the national restroom landscape. One thing I don't know is if this employment opportunity even exists at all in women's restrooms. I'm guessing no, but I think women would be more apt to get some assistance in the restroom. I'm counting on my female-laden readership to chime in on this one.
Last year was my first year of being sucked into the American Idol machine. I had avoided the show like the plague for years but once I sat down and watched last season from start to finish I was hooked. Sometimes the singing can be quite good and I'm a sucker for elimination reality television (Idol, Amazing Race, Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice all holds season pass spots on my DVR). The top 13 in this season of Idol face off tonight and while Stacey can probably do a better job of recapping/predicting this thing, I thought I would give my picks for the order of finish amongst the 13 finalists. Note: It's Michael Jackson night tonight, so look out for Anoop Dogg!
#13 - Jorge - I was unimpressed with him everytime I saw him sing in the prelims. I predict he will suck on MJ night.
#12 - Megan - Her constant wobbling and scary tattoo hurt her chances. I don't even think her voice is that good.
#11 - Allison - Too much of an underdog to go far here. Not sure if MJ night will work for her either.
#10 - Kris - Nice enough guy who looks sorta like my sister-in-law's boyfriend. He's not memorable enough though to stick out and go far in the competition. He sang Man in the Mirror last time around and could rock it again on MJ night tonight.
#9 - Michael - The oil rig guy who's "super nice" and a fan favorite. I believe that by the 5th elimination, people will realize that he can't sing very well.
#8 - Matt - People really like him for some reason even though he butchered Coldplay. I don't think he's as "bluesy" as the judges do.
#7 - Scott - He will play the blind card as far as he can but he just isn't marketable enough to win this thing.
#6 - Jasmine - The youth factor will work well for her and she could actually sneak into the top 5.
#5 - Alexis - She's cute and can sing well. If it wasn't for Lil, she'd be the last female standing.
#4 - Anoop - Definitely a fan favorite and hopefully can put together a string of good performances to get this far. He's not really marketable as a pop artist though so I don't see him cracking the final three.
#3 - Danny - Great voice and a feel-good back story about his wife dying. I think he'll get a ton of votes on the way and could actually win the whole thing (the last three are almost a toss-up).
#2 - Adam - He already looks like he's in My Chemical Romance or something. Big voice and looks like he's a natural performer from his Broadway background. He and Danny will fight it out for best male.
#1 - Lil - It's Ms. Rounds' competition to lose right now. She has a great stage presence and can channel Mary J Blige when she needs to. I wonder if she may fall into the Melinda Doolittle trap though where she was so much better than the other contestants that there was a voting backlash in the top three.
Should be an interesting finals and I'm excited to see some good MJ action tonight.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Well it took the whole trip for me to realize, but we actually had an Ethernet cable in our hotel room and did not need to traipse down to the lobby to use the net. We're packing up the room right now and will go do some breakfasting and some shopping before heading back to the shack that serves as the Freeport Airport. At about 7:00 tonight we'll be back in DC. It was nice to be able to enjoy another late sleeping day this morning (the last one I'll get for a while I suppose) despite the infestation of Spring Breakers at the hotel. About 600 students from various Florida schools "UCF! GO GATORS! SPRING BREAK RULES! WOOOOOOOOOOHHH!" descended upon our hotel. I'm pretty sure if we stick around some more I'll get on another Girls Gone Wild video. We heard yesterday that the resort normally wouldn't allow a large group of college kids to book up rooms at the hotel but since the economy is so bad right now (you can really see the trickle-down effect over here), they made an exception. Thankfully the swarm came yesterday and not on Friday.
The highlight for me yesterday was playing 18 at the Reef Course nearby. The course was in so-so shape and was totally not worth the $85 (twilight rate) I payed for it. It was the emptiest I'd ever seen a golf course and I went out solo and powered through the round in just under 2.5 hours. I must have passed about 4 or 5 groups. And as I thought, when I don't have to wait for long stretches, I play better. My driver was in fine form (straight and long) and I eeked out an 89 finishing par-par on 17 and 18. Pretty damn good start to the golf season as I don't think I broke 90 at all last year. Now I have the golf itch and will be looking to squeeze in a couple rounds before Daughter comes out in May. Interestingly, one of the groups I passed said that the emptiness of the courses around here is the norm. They said they usually drive to the different courses looking for the one with no cars in the parking lot and play there.
Finally, this is a milestone post for the blog. Post #100!! When I started back in December, I wasn't sure I would enjoy this enough to get to 100 posts. I definitely do enjoy it though and plan to. Are people generally enjoying this "project"? Or is it too random for your tastes? Feedback as always is welcome and encouraged (yes even the deep meaningful "Beat it Nerd" posts that my brother leaves). Time to leave this tropical paradise behind. I miss my two little men though so it'll be good to see them again tonight.