August 31, 2004

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

I'm in Home Depot with the spouse. She wants to buy a new fridge and asks if I would help. Sure, why not? I'm a nice guy.

As we're looking around, I notice "Depot Direct" on a few models. Since I'm not sure what that means, I ask. The sales guy explains that these items are available, just not in stock. If you want it, Home Depot has it delivered right to your home. These items are never in stock. Keep that in mind. Home Depot does not stock them. Ever. As I wander, I notice that most of the fridges are listed as "Depot Direct", which, for those of you that missed it, means that Home Depot does not stock them. They sell them, but do not stock them . Got it? Let's continue.

The spouse finds the one she wants; side by side, filtered ice and water in the door, lots of shelves, and white. The price on the quote comes up $70 cheaper. Score! The guy double checks the make/model again and same price both times. Double Score! The spouse then decides to finance the balance using a HD credit card. She fills out the paper work, gets approved, and gets 12 months same as cash. Triple Score!

The woman at the credit approval desk then starts to explain how this works. Since we've done this many times, neither of us pays much attention. I happen to hear the words "special order" and "restocking fee" and decide it's time to pay attention.

Me: "Uh, can you repeat that part please?"

HD: "Sure. Which part?"

Me: "The part about the restocking fee and special order."

HD: "Oh, ok. Since this is a special order, we charge 15% if you decide to return the item after the first three days."

Me: "It's not a special order. You don't carry these in stock."

HD: "Right. That's why it's a special order."

Me: "Wait. You never carry these in stock, right?

HD: "Yes."

Me: "You sell them all the time, but don't carry them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "Ok. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a special order something that's out of the ordinary? You know, something that you don't normally sell. Isn't that what makes it special?"

HD: "Yes, you're right. If it's something we don't carry, then it's a special order."

Me: "But you carry these all the time. The sales guy told us 'we sell lots of these', which would make it not special."

HD: "That's right. These are very popular. We sell quite a bit of them."

Me: "Then why is it a special order?"

HD: "Because we don't have that one in stock."

Me: "OK. What color do you have in stock?"

HD: "None. We don't keep these in stock."

Me: "You sell them, but don't keep them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "So, you have this same exact model in a local warehouse, just not in the store?"

HD: "Yes. We can get it to you in a few days, depending on how busy the delivery guys are."

Me: "So you don't have to order this just for me?"

HD: "No."

Me: "Then why would you charge me a 15% restocking fee if you sell these all the time, keep it locally in a warehouse, and have none that I can take home right now?"

HD: "Because it's a special order."

Sigh. I gave up at that point because it was late and she didn't see the irony in it. It's no fun making fun of people if they don't know they're being made fun of. Needless to say, if the spouse doesn't like it after three days, it'll cost her 15%. Because, say it with me people, it's a special order.

Posted at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2004

Welcome to my nightmare

I'm in Texas at a disaster recovery exercise. So far, the only exercise I've had is pulling my thumb outta my ass. We've had a priority one problem since yesterday morning and "the powers that be" can't make an f*in decision on what to do. The other techs and I can fix the problem, but of course, the people who have never touched the g-d product are the ones telling us how to fix it.

The only good thing is that the other team members and I get along so well that we're having fun in spite of the managerial f*ups around us. Wish me luck.

PS - I had a panic attack in the shower yesterday. I realized I forgot my new Aveda face wash. I had to wash with....soap. Eeeeeyeeew! :)

Later gators.

Posted at 11:17 AM | Comments (5)

August 24, 2004

I'm an Aveda-holic

Hi, my name is Howard, and I'm an Aveda-holic.

Hi Howard. We’re here for you. Please tell us your story.

It started innocently enough. My friend loaned me some and said I had to try it cause it was awesome. I'll admit I was scared, but tried it anyway since I didn't want to look like a pussy. She was right. It was awesome.

I started out as a casual user. You know, a little Shampure here, a little Black Malva there. I wasn't doing it a lot. I was just supplementing my normal shampoo. Another friend suggested I try the Shampure Conditioner. I took the .5 ounce sample bottle, but never used it. I hid it in the back of the linen closet so my wife wouldn't see it. She was already a bit suspicious about the other two bottles I had and I didn't want her to find this one.

About a month went by and I was holding it together. I would use only once or twice a week at most, telling myself that my hair was limp or lifeless and it needed a little pick me up. The wife was out of town one weekend and I don't know how, but the .5 ounce ended up in the shower with me. Next thing I know, I'm standing in the mirror, dripping wet, marveling at the softness and manageability of my hair. I was hooked. I started using daily and I was a wreck.

My hair never looked so healthy, but I was ashamed someone would find out my secret. When I ran out of the 8 oz'ers, I talked to a friend who was able to get me the liters at a discount. I couldn't hide the big bottles anywhere so I emptied the conditioner into a new plastic gas can I picked up at Home Depot. I put the shampoo into two automatic transmission fluid bottles I had lying around. The shampoo was almost the same color so I thought I was safe. My wife never noticed that those 8 oz bottles lasted for 6 months.

Growing up, you hear your parents talking about how using one product will lead to using others and I always thought that was a bunch of crap. Listen to your parents, people, for they speak the truth. I branched out. I started looking for more exciting products. I found them, all right. Shaving cream that makes your face as smooth as a baby's butt. Aftershave that doesn't sting. Rosemary Mint shampoo and conditioner. Styling Gel that makes your hair soft, but has incredible hold. I was getting out of control. When the boys would come over to play poker, I had to hide my stash in my closet. I wouldn't let the apartment exterminate since I didn't want anyone to know what I was using. It was getting out of hand, but I thought I could handle it on my own. I was wrong.

Two days ago, I hit bottom. I crossed the line and almost didn't make it back. The day started out normal enough. Coffee and a bagel for breakfast, greasy fast food for lunch. It was a day like any other. Then it happened. I noticed some pimples on my forehead. I NEVER break out. Ever. I knew what caused it, though. The cheapass Nivea face wash I bought at Wal-Mart. I knew I shouldn't have bought it, but I was already spending too much each month maintaining. I figured, sure, it's cheap, but it'll do. I did ok until someone I asked if I was going through puberty. I know it was meant as a joke, but it hurt.

Next thing I know, I’m in the mall. I casually walked into the store and inquired about their male skin care products. I was shown a few items and did my best to pretend I wasn't interested. Then I made a fatal error. I saw that the shaving cream was on sale and immediately grabbed two tubes. The salesperson pounced when she figured out I was a habitual product user. I was as helpless as a newborn. I don’t remember checking out. I don’t remember the walk back to the truck. When I finally found the courage to open the bad, I lost it. I had purchased a sensitive-skin face wash for all skin types, a new medium hold hair gel, and...sniff...and...please don't make me say it.

It's ok, Howard, go on. We've all been there. Here's a tissue to wipe away your tears.

(sniff) Does it have aloe in it?

Yes. Yes it does. Now, please continue.

I sat there staring at it, wondering how I could have sunk so low. I mean, of all the things to buy, this is the one purchase that convinced me that I had a problem. It was the one thing I swore I'd never do and there it was, right in front of me.


Posted at 04:28 PM | Comments (6)

Work Tip # 15

Do not start giggling uncontrollably during the final Disaster Recovery Conference Call when someone keeps asking "where's Dick?'. If you do, please get up and leave the conference room before losing it altogether.

Posted at 03:06 PM | Comments (1)

August 23, 2004

Old School

So I walked into a local restaurant yesterday right as their computers went down.

The whole place just stopped, literally. The manager kept going from machine to machine, hoping and praying it would come back up. I could see the desperation in her eyes because, unlike the rest of us, she knew what was coming.

The cashiers couldn't figure out what to do. They just sort of looked at each other like, "Hey, think we can leave early?". Luckily, the manager was old school like me and had been around before the advent of computers. She casually gathered the group together and said, very slowly, "Write. the. orders. on. a. piece. of. paper." I saw several kids cock their heads like dogs do when you say something they doesn't understand. The brighter ones, however, picked it up right away.

"Like, yeah, we could, like, you know, write stuff down like they did in the old days and like, then, you know, we could, like, um, give it to the cooks and stuff." Bingo. Step One completed.

The manager smiled to herself. She had circumvented the computers and was able to get orders to the kitchen. Now all she had to do was sit back and wait for the computers to come online.

Oh how wrong she was. You see, friends, the manager took for granted that her employees could figure out the next step on their own. She assumed (and we all know what happens when you do that) that her employees knew basic arithmetic. Foolish, foolish manager.

The two people in front of me already had receipts printed out. They also paid by check. Easy as pie. I, however, put a monkey wrench into the system. First, I added something to my order and second; I had cash.

When I asked the girl how much it cost, she frowned. She asked the Assistant Manager. He said $6.75. She smiled. I asked if that was with tax. She frowned. He said, yes. She smiled. I said I'd like a piece of carrot cake, too. She frowned. The Assistant Manager (smart guy, really) preempted the next question by saying, $3.50, tax included. She smiled, then went to get the cake.

She came back. She frowned, looking around like she'd lost her parents. I said, "what are you looking for?" She said, "paper." I said, "It's $3.50 and $6.75, right?" She paused, scratched her head, and said, "uh, huh". I said, "That's $10.25". You ever see the look little kids get when they're shown a magic trick? That's the same look she gave me. I handed her a $20. She quickly lost that look.

I said, "What now?" She said, "I need paper." I said "Why?" She said, "So I can figure up your change." I said, "It's $9.75." She gave me the magic-trick look again. I said, "The 75 cents makes 11 dollars, then you give me 9 more dollars to equal 20." She said, "If you say so."

I heard the guy behind me snicker. When I turned around, I saw he was old school too.

Posted at 10:42 AM | Comments (8)

August 20, 2004

Caption Contest

Thought y'all would enjoy this. It was taken outside the office yesterday. I also thought you, Dear Reader, could put a nice caption to it. Have fun.

Posted at 02:42 PM | Comments (6)

DR tests

I'll be out of the office next week participating in our yearly disaster recovery test. This is my first time and I'm sorta looking forward to it. It's been a while since I've had any type of intellectual challenge. Well, there was that time Sunday when my porn quit downloading, but that's just not the same. And yes, I did figure out why. Whew...

This is a semi-rant about work.

The one thing I don't understand about this whole thing is this; It is my responsibility to keep copies of any software I may need during the test.

We pay thousands of dollars a year to make sure we have a hot backup site. We keep our mainframe tapes in an off-site storage vault. We practice once a year to make sure we can bring our systems back up. However, we don't have any mechanism in place to store operating system software, email software, etc.

To me, this is a HUGE hole in our plan, but I can't get anyone to listen. In the event of a disaster, not only do I have to pack and leave within 6 hours time, but I also have to remember to grab my Windows 2000 CD that I keep at home. I mentioned this to our DR Coordinator and he just stared at me. It's mindboggling to me that no one seems to give a crap.

Yeah, I know this is boring, but I've been thinking about it for the last week and had to write it down. I'll try and be more humorous later.

Posted at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Finally some common sense

Interesting article about the ongoing legal battle between the movie and recording industry and on-line file sharing software. It's about time we got some smart judges...

Posted at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

Dammit, not again!

People, how hard is it to replace the toilet paper in the stall? Put the fake key in the fake lock and insert the paper. Viola!

Now you owe me two socks.

Posted at 09:00 AM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2004

I just gotta say it

I read the title for Maura's post today, German highway fun with a side of Google, and the first thing that popped into my head was:

If you think driving a German highway is tough, you should try driving a Hershey highway.

Yeah, I know it's bad, but the only way to make leave my head was to post it.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Comments (6)

Morning Wood

The current roster for Morning Wood 2004 is:

QB - Drew Bledsoe
RB - Edgerrin James
RB - Correll Buckhalter Thomas Jones
WR - Joe Horn
WR - Darrell Jackson
WR - Tai Streets
DEF - Philadelphia Eagles

We only made it through the first seven rounds. With 16 teams, it takes a while to get this done. I'll let you know once the roster is complete.

Posted at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

Instructions for creating Outlook rules

How to setup Outlook rules (I have Outlook 2002 so yours may differ slightly)

Click on Tools

Choose Rules Wizard

Click on New

Select "Start from a blank rule" radio button

Click on "Check messages when the arrive" if it's not already selected

Click Next

Select the Condition you want Outlook to check. This is what causes the rule to fire. In this example, let's use "with specific words in the subject".

Click on the checkbox next to "with specific words in the subject". You'll notice that the Rule description has changed and now says "Apply this rule after the message arrives with specific words in the subject". If you click on the link specified words in the Rule description window, Outlook will open up a window where you can then enter the words to look for.

Enter any words you want one at a time (key in word, hit enter; key in word, hit enter). Click OK when finished.

Click Next

Now Outlook wants to know what we want to do with the message. Scroll down until you see the checkbox "play a sound" and select it. Outlook appends this option to the rule.

Click on a sound in the Rule Description.

Find the sound you want to play and select it.

Now we need to tell Outlook what to do with the message. Scroll back to the top of this list and choose the option you want. For this example, choose "move it to the specified folder".

Click on specified in the Rule Description.

Choose the mailbox location where you want to move the message.

Click OK

Click Next

Now you can add any exceptions to the rule. I don't do this, but feel free.

Click Next

Enter a name for the rule. If something is in the text box, you can delete it and create your own name. There is an option to run this new rule on existing messages. If you want to run it, select that option, otherwise click Finish.

Now you're done. You can use this procedure to create many different rules. Be sure to test it so you'll know it works.

These rules can be pretty effective and I'd like to share with you a perfect example. I started getting a lot of mail from a user who had added me to a distribution list he had. I politely asked to be removed because the emails talked about stuff I was no longer involved with. Kept getting the email and kept asking to be removed. Nothing happened, so I thought "let's create a rule". The rule would automatically delete his email, then send him an email in return that said, "Please take me off your distribution list". I was off the list by the next day.

Have fun.

Posted at 09:59 AM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

The Sounds of Email

Like most of you, I get too much email each day and most of it is worthless drivel. In my case, that drivel is compounded by the fact the we have an automated system to warn us of impending "doom". The system emails us with failry meaningless items like "C: drive is now normal", "critical threshold reached", and my all-time favorite, "an error has occured. Please investigate". All of this email drives me insane. I used to spend most of my days deleting the BS email and pitchin' a bitch about it. Then I got smart.

Outlook allows you to setup rules to handle different types of email. My rules place Spam in one place, good email somewhere else, and non-spam BS to a third. The only downside to all of this is that Outlook's email notification icon (the little envelope) appears in my system tray for EVERY email I get, no matter the type. I still ended up pitchin' a bitch because I had to open Outlook to see what kind of email it was. Then I got smarter.

Outlook also allows you to set the type of notification sound it plays for each rule. So I devised the following system:

Good email message: Mr Dean Implodes

Automated System notification message: Homer

Non-spam BS containing specific words: Bart and Lisa

Sure, it screams "GEEK". But only when I say so.

Posted at 03:14 PM | Comments (4)

Is it hard being beautiful?

Does a woman ever get tired of being beautiful?

I thought about this today as I was helping one of the women in my office. To me, she is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She's tall, with dark hair, a beautiful face, and a great body. As I was following her back to her office this morning, I happened to notice how some of the guys were looking at her. They were in town for training and had apparently not seen her before. Several of them gave her the full-body once over, and I'll admit, it even made me uncomfortable. That's when I started to wonder if being beautiful could get tiring?

I appreciate a beautiful woman as much as another man, but I try to be discreet about it. Part of it is because I get very shy around them and part of it is because it just feels rude to give them the once over. Now don't misunderstand, if the woman is wearing something designed to draw attention to them (like Britany or Paris or Pam Anderson), then I'm all eyes. In this case, I'm talking about someone "normal" that I see around town. I’m talking about a woman who looks as good in a baseball cap as she does in a dress. I’m talking about naturally beautiful women, not the surgically enhanced kind.

I wonder if any of these women think, “Would you just stop looking at me”. I’d have to imagine it would get irritating after a while or am I just being naïve? Never having been in that situation, I can’t accurately answer the question. I'm more like the gristle you cut off before getting to the good stuff. What do you think?

Posted at 01:40 PM | Comments (6)

August 16, 2004

Olympic Commentators Suck

I happened to catch part of the Olympic Women's Bicycle race yesterday morning and realized why I quit watching many years ago. The commentators suck. No, really. These guys were freaking awful. Imagine watching reruns of America's Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget while having your eyelids propped open with cinnamon-flavored toothpicks.

The race itself was good. These women were cruising and it was a pretty exciting race. I caught it with about two laps to go. There was a breakaway rider who started to get killed on the big climb...then the commentators started in. They were making up the worst analogies, "the peloton is like a big elastic band that's going to snap back and eat up the breakaways". Then they started referring to the racers as "The Heads of State" as in, "the heads of state are climbing that mountain like Hera climbing Olympus". It only got worse. It's as though these guys were trying to outdo the other.

"You know Todd, the magnanimous magnanimity of the temerity of the Heads of State is only outweighed by the petulance of the breakaway riders of Olympic proportion."

"Hahaha, you got that right, Bill. It's amazing the exuberant admiration I have for these two-wheeled chariot racers as they plunge downhill like Anna Nichole's cleavage".

"Right you are Todd. That Anna, whooboy, has she got a set of lungs on her..."

"Uh, Bill, you're drifting. HOLY COWABUNGA! We've just had an accident. Oh, that's gotta hurt. I imagine that's how Achilles felt when he tore his, uh...when he tore a tendon."

"Yeah, Todd, that Brad Pitt is one fine actor. If we watch the replay, you'll notice how Anna Kirkamopilos was looking behind her and caught the wheel of the rider in front of her. It doesn't look like the fall hurt her too bad, although the other 4 riders that rode over her might have caused some damage."

"Right you are, Hippocrates, hahahah."

You get the picture. However, I want like to add that you can watch an entire day's worth of women's beach volleyball and never hear a word the commentator says. Hmmm...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Comments (5)

August 10, 2004

Fantasy Football is here!

Those of you that are new to 3leggeddog might not be aware of the fact that I participate in a Fantasy Football league with some guys I work with. The live draft takes place on August 17th and the first game is shortly thereafter. I'll be providing weekly updates since I know several of you followed the teams progress from last year.

For those of you that want to know the name of the team, read on. This was originally posted in October of 2003.

My team is named "Morning Wood".

Now I'm sure you're thinking "Morning Wood"? Why would someone name their team "Morning Wood". There are many reasons, Dear Reader, besides the fact that I have the brain of a 14 year old boy. The guys and girls in this league talk a lot of smack and what better way to cut them off at the knees than with the following responses:

If I lose: Oh man, your boys gave my Morning Wood quite a lickin' this weekend.
If I lose badly: Congrats, Bro, you smacked the crap outta my Morning Wood.
If I lose really bad: Son, I have not had anyone beat my Morning Wood like that in quite some time. You are to be congratulated. My Morning Wood salutes you.

If I win, it's something along the lines of:

You got spanked by the Morning Wood!
My Morning Wood tore your ass to shreds this weekend.
Bow down and worship the Morning Wood.

See? Even if I lose, I win. So, Dear Reader, sit back, relax, and keep your eyes on my Morning Wood. I predict good things this year.

*Note: If you are unaware of the "morning wood" phenomena as it relates to the male anatomy, please ask the nearest male. When he stops laughing, he'll tell you.

Posted at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Stupid, f*in' Mondays

It's only 9:30 and I'm so fucking mad I can't see straight. I'm going to grab our inventory project manager and our SQL DBA and bangs their fucking heads together. AHHH!!!

According to the inventory manager, none of us knows how to use the PDA's we have for inventory. No, fucknuts, the problem is that you constantly manipulate the Access database that contains the inventory. If you'd keep your freakin' hands off of it, it'd be fine. It's not like this stuff is rocket science. You point the PDA, click the button, read what is says, and if it's fine, then leave it alone. If it's wrong, then you change it. It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to fuck it up because you're so limited in the amount of information you can change. This is the 2nd time in two weeks that we...Hang on a sec...damn....someone brought Krispy Kreme donuts...3 dozen....Be right back.

Hmm. Imagine that. I'm not mad anymore. Two Krispy Kreme donuts and my problems just melt away. Maybe we should open one of these in Iraq?

Posted at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

August 06, 2004


I was going to write about what a clusterf* our inventory process is, but it just came out boring. Now I have nothing to write about. Boring sucks.

Posted at 03:08 PM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2004

The Village

So I went to see "The Village" last night.

Spoilers have been warned.

And I'm torn. I wanted to like the movie, but when you bill something as a scary movie and it's not the least bit scary, then I get annoyed. I thought William Hurt was really good, as was Bryce Dallas Howard (daughter of Opie if you didn't know), but overall I thought it was pretty weak. The dialogue seemed forced and it just didn't have much to it, in my opinion.

I had two thoughts early on in the movie, 1) they made the monsters up so people wouldn't leave the compound and, 2) they lived in modern times, not the 1800s. Turns out I was 100% correct. Guess that makes me the next M. Night Shyamalamadingdong.

Last night also reminded me of why I hate going to the theater. The movie is almost empty and Mr. and Mrs. Shit Forbrains has to sit right in front of us. Not one or two seats to either side, but right in front. That, my friends, pisses me off to no end. Stupid, ignorant F*CK heads like that just irritate me. Then, to top it off, they start making out when the movie starts. Now don't get me wrong, Dear Reader, I like porn just like everybody else, but not when the woman's beard is thicker than mine. That's just gross.

My advice? Wait for the DVD.

Posted at 03:26 PM | Comments (3)

August 03, 2004

Various and Sundry

If you take advantage of a broken vending machine at work, is that stealing or making the best of a bad situation?

I think Florida has more old people per capita than Heaven. Hopefully, Heaven makes them take the bus.

If you ask the Disaster Recovery coordinator if he needs your travel information and he says, "I should have a logistics summary available for everyone tomorrow at our final DR Exercise meeting on the 1st floor." should I take that as a "no"?

Is it bad to order pickles on-line?

Posted at 10:21 AM | Comments (7)

August 02, 2004

I'm back

I'm back in town and at work. The trip was more successfull than I'd hoped. We were able to get Mom a Home Health Nurse three days a week to help get her up and going every morning. She's got a physical therapist coming by as well. Her mood seems to have changed for the better and I hope it stays that way.

Thanks to all of your for the emails and comments. I appreciated them very much.

Thanks to Deb for putting the dog back in 3leggeddog. You rock.

Posted at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)