Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, all over the place

Folks, you really don't want to read a post from me today.

No, seriously, you don't.

It is very, very likely that I'm going to snap and start shooting things this morning - afternoon now actually and that pisses me off even more.

I went to get a cup of coffee this morning and run a few errands. Big mistake. Every damned moron in the valley is out today and to top it off the temperature warmed up last night, it's about 40F at the moment. Good, right? Wrong. 40F is above freezing, which means the roads are glare ice. I finished my errands, got my coffee and was on the way home and turned onto my street very carefully.

Not carefully enough, unfortunately. Despite new tires and manual 4-wheel drive and low speed, the truck slid and caught the edge of the snow. Which swung the rear end around - into the ditch. Because the conditions were so slick, I couldn't do a damned thing about it and slid backward over the edge, towards a fifteen foot drop into the trees. Fortunately, the truck stopped just short of the drop off (about 6 inches short actually) and missed the trees. I set the transmission for low-range and locked the transaxles, but I couldn't get enough traction to get it out. I didn't dare try too hard for fear of sliding the rest of the way down the hill. I could probably have rigged a tow cable and winch, which I keep in the cargo box in back, and pulled it out with an hour's worth of work. Screw that, I'm insured, I called the tow truck instead - and stood there hoping the damned thing wouldn't decide to suddenly slide down the hill while I waited for the wrecker to show up.

He came along 30 minutes later and had me out pretty quick. No damage to the truck, which, you know, makes me reasonably happy considering. I took a few pictures, figuring you all would be interested and maybe a little amused.

Unfortunately, I took the damned pictures with my cell phone. Where they remain. Because Motorola has the absolute worse fucking piece of crap interface software in the history of shitty-assed piece of crap programming. Their stupid phone software doesn't work, has never worked, is unlikely to work anytime in the future. Motorola does not understand basic communications device standards and wouldn't know how to implement a USB interface if it crawled up and bit them on their corporate ass. Which is pretty fucking sad when you consider that Motorola is supposed to specialize in communications systems. After twenty minutes of screwing around with this piece of crap I give up - it's either that out take the phone out to the shop and smash it into a million pieces with the biggest sledge hammer I have, wrap it in C4, and mail the resulting surprise to Motorola's CEO as a Christmas gift - which means I'd have to go to the post office and frankly I'm already having a bad day and the USPS would be the final straw. Really, I'm not sure anybody would surivive it.

I'm about due for a new phone - and I can tell you that it will not, ever, be another Motorala. In fact, I'm pretty damned sure that unless somebody holds a gun to my head, and maybe not even then, that I will not ever own anything made by Motorola again. I don't spend money on shit, and Motorola has decided that instead of building the quality they were once known for, they'd rather build shit. Therefor I will take my business elsewhere. Piss off, Motorola, you've lost yourself a customer. And if the bitching I'm hearing from everybody else who owns your shitty products is any indicator, well, we'll see you in bankruptcy court, assholes.

Anyway, if you were expecting something witty, amusing, deep, or even vaguely interesting - well, you're going to need to look elsewhere today.

Me, I'll be out in the shop, probably screaming and smashing things until I feel better.


  1. You know, Jim, I just realized I work with a guy who reminds me of you. He's with the construction company I work with on a daily basis and is aggravated nearly everyday by the bozos he has to manage.
    Anyway, I found his ranting comforting, and I just realized he reminds me of you (he's smart and funny, too, but definitely a less action-hero version of you).
    So ranting now gives me warm fuzzies.
    Awww... isn't that nice? :)

  2. Ah yes. Alaska.

    Once, in the early 90s, I was driving back to Fairbanks (I was in school at the time) from Wasilla with my cat, on reasonably clear roads with a bit of snow dust drifting over it.

    On the road, it started snowing. About 90 miles outside of town, I'd slowed to about 45, as fast as I could reasonably see, but there was more snow now. Much more. How much more was made evident when the semi whizzed past me doing 90.

    Instant whiteout. I couldn't see anything, tried to slow down, and left the road.

    I don't know how the cat got between me and the seat, but very shortly afterwards, I was hanging upside down in the car from the seatbelt, with my cat sandwiched between my ass and the carseat.

    Ah. Not good times. It's one of the many reasons I hate to drive. Passionately hate. Hate. Hate.

  3. When we were shooting Iron Will, I was driving around in the boondocks with the producer in the car when a serious snow squall came out of nowhere. I decided I'd pull over on the shoulder and wait it out because I really couldn't see squat.

    What I discovered a moment later is that a nice solid shoulder looks exactly like a deep ditch with the snow plowed smooth over it.

    The car (a Ford Explorer) pretty much tipped on its side and I had to help the producer climb 'up' out of the driver's side. Ooops!

  4. Blackberry "Storm"

    Anon GF

    And, on another subject, thanks for your advice/info. Making progress.

  5. I hate to be all warm and fuzzy on you - but I'm kinda glad you're ok and didn't go over that 15' drop.

    Because you wouldn't be able to rant nearly so eloquently from the ER.

  6. I'm glad you aren't dead in a ditch somewhere.

    4.5 hours until Monday is over here.

  7. I'm glad you aren't dead in a ditch somewhere.

    Or a headline/newsclip...

    Good to hear you're just cranky and not broken.

    Warming up here too - can't wait to see what roads are like after class...

  8. Oh, I'm glad you and your pretty truck are ok.

    My friend Christine was house sitting up on Chena Ridge off of one of those steep hillside roads with no shoulder that as winter progresses becomes a one lane.

    A house up the hill from where she's at catched on fire. The firetruck comes, and gets stuck. Close enough that they can respond, but the truck is stuck. Blocking the road. And it's the only route out of the subdivision.

    Second truck comes to help the first get out.

    It gets stuck.

    Well, eventually with some professional assistance (our local big rig tow companies deal with Haul Road problems, they have skills) everyone was freed from the grip of the evil snow. Christine came to work the next day, and we still refer to that incident as... The Clusterstuck.

  9. Is the Blacberry Storm that great? I'm getting a new phone in December, and was thinking I'd like something with Windows mobile so I could synch my work calendar.

  10. Also Jim, it could be worse.

    My aunt just called to tell me my cousin is having surgery tomorrow. He wrecked his bike and shattered his elbow. They probably can't put it back together and will have to give him an artificial one.

    But otherwise he is okay. So in the grand scheme of things, it's good.

  11. "catched on fire"

    I has an advanced degree. I is been an editor. I go now.


  12. I was just pretending it was a colloquialism Tania.


  13. Yeah, I thought you did it on purpose. Not that I can talk. The other day I was literally puzzling over the word "bizzy" and trying to figure out why it looked strange. Med school wrecks your handwriting and spelling...

    As for you Jim, MEEP! I am glad that you didn't have to visit your local ER.

    Natalie -- things are a bit warmer and calmer here in the DC area.

  14. Things are mostly better now.

    I spent the last couple of hours making perfectly good wood into sawdust, so I'm a bit less irritated and less prone to gratuitous violence.

    Thanks for the thoughts, all.

    No BB Storm though, it only works on the verizon network and I don't want to change carriers at the moment. Give it a couple of months and see what my carrier comes up with. Not a priority at the moment.

    And Tania writes (and speaks) much better than our Governor, so, you know, there it is.

  15. Oh, one thing I left out of the post - there was one bright spot to the ditch diving routine this morning, To wit: I didn't spill a single drop of coffee.

    And that, my friends, is the mark of a true Sailor. I may be retired, but I've still got Chief reflexes. We used to say that you weren't a real chief until you could go through a hurricane standing up in a canoe with a cup of coffee and not spill a drop - and apparently I still can.

    Ask me sometime about how you take a "full" cup of coffee to the Master Chief of the Boat on the sail of a surfaced submarine...

  16. Just for some excitment in your life, you should have strapped a JATO bottle into the bed, dropped the tailgate, lit if off, and let Newton help you out of the ditch ;)

  17. Because it's all about the coffee service.

    Also glad your truck decided that ditch diving wasn't in the forecast. The resulting cuss storm would have caused a forest fire, even with the snow covering.

    We know it's winter here already because I've passed three cars in the ditches last week. One that looked like it had rolled.

  18. Butt-ho, Moto! (meant to imitate the incomprehensible Motorola commercials)

    (insert suitably graphic disgusting ass pic, with incomprehensible music and silhouettes of frowning cool peeps)

    If they're going to make shit, it ought to be advertised scatologically.

  19. Reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me after a midshipman's summer cruise. LST in a typhoon. Only 3 people standing. Captain. Engineer. Midshipman.

    My friend spent a couple of days running around with a ship of seasick sailors and marines, doing whatever the loudspeakers told him to do.

    He said he showed up in a galley and asked for some food, and the crew threw up at the thought. (grin) Self-service it became.

    I guess LST's don't do well in typhoons. (double-grin)

    Dr. Phil

  20. Oh don't get me started on Motorola's USB interface. The reason they fucked it up so bad was to try to get you to use only their chargers, which work via that USB port (another WTF- they don't put in 3mm jacks on their phones anymore so you have to use a damn dongle to get a normal headset to work...).

    My work-issued BB will charge on a Motorola USB charger, so why TF does my personal Razor give me the "Unauthorized Charger" message when I use the BB charger on it? What, does half a millivolt difference mean that much to the sensitive Motorola innards?

  21. Or else the Moto charger has an embedded code in it. Talk to the hand(set).

    Dr. Phil

  22. Monday is over - Happy Tuesday has now commenced, with, I hope, 100% less suckage.

    Glad you made it out of Monday alive. And with nary a drop of coffee spilled. Me? I can barely walk across a calm, flat surface without some coffee sloshing out. Obviously I didn't inherit my father's sea-legs.

  23. Dr. Phil, an LST (landing ship, tank) is basically a big rectangular flat-bottomed box. Their lack of sea keeping ability is the stuff of horror tales.

    Only thing worse is a surfaced nuke sub - which is basically a long round pipe with no keel. Yeah, pretty much exactly the same as a sadistic carnival ride.

  24. Dr Phil - the Motorola phone works with non-Motorola car chargers, so I assumed that they just stepped the voltage down a wee bit and programmed it not to accept a millivolt higher. But maybe both the BB and Motorola AC chargers have chips, and it's programed to accept a charger without a chip in the car...

  25. Yup, Jim. You described an LST exactly. (I have several editions of Norman Polmar's Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet in my reference collection.)

    John, car systems are notoriously bad for frying electronics with high/low/surging voltages, so if Moto was using a chip in the AC chargers, they might not have chanced in with a car charger -- plus how do you tell what's low voltage from the charger or the car? (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  26. Hmmmm, I just took apart my old car charger that I broke while flinging a heavy load into the passenger seat.

    There's a chip in it.

    Maybe the fine folks at Motorola just programmed their phone not to accept BB chargers. Because heaven knows no one is a customer of both companies...

    Motorola can join GM in the dust bin of history for all I care.


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