Thursday, December 29, 2005

I am soooooo stupid

You'd think someone who works with computers would know better.

Today for some strange reason, I decided to upgrade my nVidia graphic card drivers. I went to their website, saw there was a newer version and downloaded it. They also had this message in bold, "Please make sure to read the Driver Installation Hints Document before you install this driver." Normally I don't read instructions, but thought I would this time. It said before installing the new drivers to uninstall the old ones. Ok, no prob, that's what I did, restarted like it said and now had an icky 800x600 screen in 16 colors.

No problem, time to install the new drivers. About half way through the install my computer blue screened. ARGH!

My work laptop sits in a docking station with two monitors (just added a 3rd today and LOVE it!!). After rebooting my laptop from the blue screen, it wouldn't work with the docking station. I tried the laptop by itself and that worked fine, but when I would dock it, the other two monitors wouldn't work. I tried everything I could think of - uninstalling the drivers again, re-installing the original drivers, redownloading the new drivers, you name it, nothing was working - I'm more of a unix guy than a windows guy. I don't hate windows, I've just worked with unix more and understand it better.

Finally our windows sys admin came in and had some idea's to try. After playing around a bit, he was able to get things working again - and made me promise never to do that again. haha

I had a lot to do so got up at 3:30am (the time I usually get up when I go for my run) and got into work at 4:30am, but didn't get my computer working again until 8am - that's over 3 hours of wasted time!!!! I felt sooooo stupid and was ticked at myself all day. Sometimes us computer people think we know what we are doing and end up making a bigger mess of things than regular users.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bad Customer Service

This last Sunday we were out shopping and decided to stop off at Old Chicago for an early dinner. We go there a lot, so we didn't expect to have such horrible customer service. This gal didn't pay much attention to us at all - actually not to any of her tables. We asked for a chocolate milk shake for Riley. She came back saying their ONE blender was broken so they couldn't do it. I doubt they have only one blender or even if they do that it was broken, but we ordered chocolate milk instead.

About 15 minutes went by with no chocolate milk and we only saw her a few times, she never came over to our table. Finally we asked someone else to check on Riley's chocolate milk and THEN she brought it. We also told her we'd both like a couple more beers and she said there's only one bartender so it's gonna be awhile. Ok. You're busy and short-staffed. You KNOW the bartender is taking awhile. Wouldn't you watch your tables for when their glasses were about half full and then ask if they want more instead of waiting until they are out? That way they would get another beer/drink shortly after they ran out (or maybe before) instead of waiting an extra long time.

We did notice that another waitress serving other tables was always checking on her tables, making sure they had enough, a party of nine sat down and ordered after us yet got their food before us, etc. Oh, and all of the tables around us where people got up and left were dirty. This other waitress was busy helping to clean the tables while our waitress was no where to be found. As we were getting ready to leave, she finally started cleaning and said to two other people working there, "Would one of you come get this stuff? It's time to earn your paycheck." We could NOT believe she said that in front of customers. She didn't sound mad, it just wasn't an appropriate thing to say.

I really hate it when you're having a good day, decide to go somewhere for a nice fun meal, and end up leaving ticked off because of horrible customer service. This gal wasn't out right rude, she just wasn't friendly, nice, didn't go out of her way to make our experience enjoyable.

I paid with a credit card and in the Tip section wrote "$00.01 - the service SUCKED!" Ya, I know that probably didn't do much to her, but it made me feel good. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Same BDay as me

Watching Monday Night Football, they just said Aaron Brooks (QB for New Orleans) and Peyton Manning (QB for Indianapolis) both have the same birthday as me, March 24 - although they were born in 1976 and I was born 13 years earlier, 1963.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Making your Christmas Tree Last

Here's something Marci learned when she went to floral school. Add about a cup of 7-Up to a 2-liter bottle of water, then water the Christmas tree with that. It'll help make the tree last a LOT longer.

We get our tree right after Thanksgiving and it's still holding up great on New Years day.

Monday, November 28, 2005

3D Photos

I found out how to do create 3D photos in an article on the NASA Mars Rover website. It's really easy and fun! Here is my Flickr 3D Photo set.

I'll keep adding more and more photos there over time. You'll need those funky red and blue glasses to view them. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Blogger Spelling Checker

This made me laugh! I was spell-checking my last post and got this:

So Blogger doesn't know the word "blog"? That's too funny!

Dan Miller

Oh good, something other than me ranting! I was thinking my blog was going to be rather negative.

My company - Hampton Affiliates - decided to hire a guy named Dan Miller to do some communication/relationship training. Now I'm normally not to keen on these because they are more about the person giving the presentation liking to hear himself talk, tossing out buzzwords and other crap that no one ever remembers or uses, and he just made a ton of money.

HOWEVER, Dan Miller was TOTALLY different! We did three half-day classes with a three week break between each class. Dan is a great guy, knows his stuff extremely well, has done a ton of stuff, and most of all, doesn't try to sell you that this is easy and he's perfect at it. Quite often he gave examples in his life where he messed up too, like the previous day not 10 years ago.

This was fantastic! I learned a lot, not only techniques to help me communicate with people here at work, but in my everyday life - and Marci can tell you I need some help with my communication skills (D'OH!). These are things I AM using, and will continue to use and work on. It's not easy, but if you work at it, the payoff is amazing. Many of us mentioned how we are using these skills when talking with our spouses and especially our kids, and how much it has helped. I would highly recommend him to everyone.
Dan is also VERY funny and made each class extremely enjoyable. Get your company to hire this guy. Not only will it benefit the company, but it will benefit the employee's in their every day life as well. And when things are going well in their life outside of work, things at work are a little easier to deal with.

Thanks so much Hampton & Dan!

Paper Delivery people

I get up at 3:30am to go for my 5 mile run every other morning. Quite often I'll see the people delivering the morning newspaper. They are driving in their car, on the wrong side of the road (so they can toss the paper out), with their hazard lights on. This doesn't really bug me. What bugs me is these people feel laws don't apply to them. First, they are usually driving way too fast in a residential area. I doubt there would be a problem with them coming around the corner and hitting a person or another car at that time of the morning. But just because it is that early doesn't mean they should drive so fast. Second, and my biggest gripe, is they do NOT stop at stop signs - at all! I have seen several different cars delivering papers and the only time they stop is when they have to cross a major road. Around the neighborhood they NEVER stop, not even slow down! So here they are, driving too fast, on the wrong side of the street, and not stopping at stop signs. Maybe I should call the police and tell them they have a chance to hand out some traffic tickets.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Turn Signals & Stop Signs

I think a lot of people need to either go back to driving school or take their cars in to be fixed. I'm always seeing people turning without using their turn signals. When I see a new car doing this, I want to drive up beside them and say, "Excuse me, I hate to say this about your brand new car, but I think there's a problem with it - your turn signal doesn't work." You're driving along, someone starts slowing down, no signal, you wonder what's going on, then the suddenly turn. The turn signal is there to let others know what you are doing, it's called being polite.

Then there's the other people who turn their signal on about a mile before they want to turn leaving you to wonder if they are ever going to turn. I do realize sometimes you forget to turn it off or on, but those should be the exceptions. I know people who never use their signals, they say it's just a bother.

And when did Stop signs become "just slow down a little" signs? A few years ago I rode the bus for a few months. I gave each stop a rating from 1 to 10, 10 being a full complete stop. I was shocked to watch people roll through the stop sign. Now I don't expect everyone to come to a FULL stop, that would be nice, but heck, I don't even do that sometimes (I pretty much only do it when some jerk is tailgating me because I know it's going to make them mad). Still, at least an 8 would be nice. There were so many that just slowed down and kept going. Many times I almost saw an accident because two people decided to roll through the stop. AND one morning while jogging (it was about 4:30am), I saw a guy not even slow down and blow through the 4-way stop doing at least 40mph (which is the speed limit there).

I watch enough of this and I'm all in favor of photo radars at every light and stop.

Vanity Plates

I have no problem with vanity plates on cars, some of them are actually quite funny. When I had my Honda S2000 I thought about getting "Pop Top" for my plate.

But what's with people putting the name of the car on their plate? I saw a guy driving a BMW Z4 and his license plate said, "BMW Z4". Huh? You think people don't know what kind of car that is? Or maybe just in case you forget what car you are driving, you can just look at your license plate.

I'm sure the people who do this can give you a good reason, but I just don't get it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

More playing with Flock

Flickr Photo Again playing with Flock, you call pull images from Flickr to drag-n-drop them to your blog entry. Pretty nice actually.

Using Flock

I'm trying Flock, a new different type of browser, not to be confused with FireFox, and not meant to compete with it either. Some interesting features, like accessing your blog without going to your blog. It's still in development and this is the first beta, but so far it's interesting.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My first post

Not sure what I'll be using this for, but thought I'd sign up just for fun. :)