Saturday, February 25, 2006

Greetings from the Smoky Mountains

Wendy's 28th birthday was on Wednesday. We celebrated it that day, but in our normal tradition we also went on a trip to the Smoky Mountains, to Gatlinburg more specifically. Normally we stay at the Fairfield Inn on River Road, but it was sold out so we looked around online and found the Best Western Zodor's Inn . It is on the other side of town but still within walking distance in Gatlinburg.

Normally we like to hike when we are here so we did a fairly easy uphill trail to Laurel Falls.

What you can't see by the second picture is that I sprained my ankle pretty bad and I could hardly hold myself up. The trail wasn't especially rough - I wasn't even tired or anything. The worst part about it was I had to walk the 1.3 miles back down with a sprained ankle. Needless to say, when we finally got back to our hotel it was getting pretty bad. I could hardly walk. We just relaxed in the room for a while and went out to dinner but no more hiking the rest of the trip and my inability to walk stifled what we could do the rest of the day.

The 2nd day i'm a bit better and can walk in my dorky looking shoes. Hiking is still out of the question and with an ankle support wrap and painkillers I think we can at least walk around.

Friday, February 17, 2006


For my job, from time to time I have to go to the remote sites and actually fix problems. This time, I had to go about 80 miles away to Greenville. I was informed that Greenville is sometimes referred to as G'vegas. Maybe I wasn't there long enough, but all I could tell was the traffic was bad. I am so used to having to visit some of the smaller towns, I guess. The only real correlation I found with Las Vegas was "Hooker Street" that I came across but it was just a residential area. Maybe thats where they live. :P

One of the locations I had to go to had a lot of kids there (it is part of what they do). Kids being like 3- 5 years old I'm betting. So I have to fix a computer riddled that is with spyware and almost nonfunctional. IE is messed up making parts of windows not work. The important part of this story is that it was taking a while and I was in a room with all these kids.

When I got there, all of the kids where taking a nap. I figure this was going to be easy. Then after they start waking up, they find someone new in the room so they start chatting it up with me. I may have kids in a few years, so I figure I should probably at least interact with them. I just really have almost zero dealings with kids these days.

It went mostly fine, except for one or two kids. One kid asked me what my name was, so I told him. They he started calling me "Fifi" and asked me if I was a boy or girl. He said he seemed surprised because he thought I was a girl. Maybe it would have went better if I said, "Neither - I'm a Man"

The "Fifi" thing started catching on some with the other kids. Once that finally died down another kid came up to me and told me he didn't like my ears and wondered why I didn't do anything about them.

I love the honesty of kids and their lack of a filter.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sooo warm and Imogen Heap

First of all, let me say - it has been downright 70 degrees the last 2 days. I am sooo happy with this. It is going to be 40 tomorrow I think so this is going to be short lived. Still - very very nice. Why couldn't this be on the weekend? :)

I've listened to some songs from Imogen Heap recently. She is/was the female lead in Frou Frou, which many people may recognize from the song "Let Go" featured so prominently on the Garden State Soundtrack.

I can't get "Hide and Seek" out of my head. I know it was featured on the O.C. at some point - it couldn't have been that long ago. I don't watch the O.C. at all so I don't care. :) Anyhow, the song is fantastic. In the unremixed version - it still is very electronic - but only vocals. Wonderful effects. At this point I'd say I almost like it as much as "Always Forever" from Donna Lewis way back in the mid 90s before it was overplayed. Here's to hoping that it doesn't get crazy with airplay (unless it already has done so). My wife knew the song somehow (I think it was playing at VS) so everyone probably already knows it.

I don't listen to the radio at all - seriously. If this song is being overplayed where you at, let me know I'm several months behind. If you've listened to the song and like it - let me know. If you haven't listened to the song and listened to it by going to the myspace link in this post, let me know. If you didn't like it, let me know too :)

And IT people (Nudging Rich...) - M$ is offering a Second Shot on many MS Cert. Exams so go out and take some tests. I'm planning on doing at least 1 or 2.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Screw you Netflix

On the left hand side of my blog if you scroll down a little bit, you'll see my Netflix Queue - at least the first 5 movies. That list really not changed much if at all in the last month to month and a half.

You would assume that I haven't been returning whatever movies I have out, but actually no - it isn't the case. I've been getting - albeit slowly - the movies that are lower in my queue.

I contacted Netflix and they just gave me this:
Dear Tony,Thanks for your message.We have the latest releases as soon as they are released by the studios every week. I'm sure that you will be happy with our selection as we have over 55,000 titles to choose from.Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee the availability of any of our titles. With No Due Dates, our inventory fluctuates constantly.If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.Thanks,Bonnee,Netflix Customer Service .
Rich sent me this link as I was about to reply to them: Frequent Netflix Renters Sent to the Back of the Line . I was curious about the Terms of Service they had anyhow so I decided to read it.

So, here's my reply to Netflix:
Thanks for the reply.

It would have been more accurate I'm sure in my case had you mentioned your TOS
We reserve the right to allocate and ship DVDs among our subscribers in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine...In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service . As a result, those subscribers who receive the most movies may experience that (i) the shipment of their next available DVD occurs at least one business day following return of their previously viewed movie, (ii) delivery takes longer, as the shipments may not be processed from their local distribution center and (iii) they receive movies lower in their queue more often than our other subscribers. Other factors that may affect delivery times, include, but are not limited to, (i) the distance between the distribution center from which your DVD was shipped and your delivery address, (ii) the timing of your placement or adjustment of movies in your queue and (iii) circumstances impacting delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.

My question is this: if I cancel my account and then resubscribe later, can I expect to get movies any faster because of giving priority to members who receive the fewest DVDs?(i'm assuming new subscribers wouldn't be penalized right from the start). Maybe I'll just keep my accounts for 2 to 3 months at a time and then cancel and resubscribe. :)

It just seems silly that I can't get new releases for over a month with a service that I pay for each month when I can just drive down to local Blockbuster video and have the movie to be guaranteed in stock. I have no problem giving SOME priority for subscribers who only get a few movies a month, but this is ridiculous. I guess I'm make sure all of my friends read the fine print in the TOS before subscribing.

Thank you for your time, and don't forget that there was a question in there.

I'll post whatever reply I get back here. Maybe I'll switch to Blockbuster's Online Service.

Here is the Netflix Terms of Use . Just be sure to read it before subscribing. If you don't rent much, it won't affect you much.

I'd be happy to just not be penalized for renting more than they'd like me to. When they say "Unlimited" they should probably mean that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Name the Movie

This should be mind blowingly easy - I haven't seen the movie in a while but I keep thinking about these lines for whatever reason.

Repeat - this should be very very easy for some. :) So someone better get it. I've given all of you plenty to work with other than the names.
Eskimo! [Name Omitted] underlined a lot of things in this copy of Moby Dick, but I believe the word ``Eskimo'' underlined all by itself, is the key to understanding [Name Omitted]'s pain. On the surface, [Name Omitted] was the vivacious young lady we all knew her to be, but her soul was in Antartica! Freezing with the knowledge of the way fellow teenagers can be cruel, the way that parents can be unresponsive. And as she writes so elequently in her suicide note, the way that life can suck! We'll all miss Sherwoods little eskimo. Lets just hope she's rubbing noses with Jesus!

Is this turning out weak, or what? It was at least 70 more people at my funeral.

That movie is so good. I better Netflix it soon. Speaking of Netflix, if anyone looks at my queue on the left hand links of this blog, you'll notice it isn't changing much.

This isn't because I'm not getting movies. It just turns out that my top 7 picks are just unavailable for the last month or 2. Anyone else having problems with availability with Netflix. Whats the deal?