My thoughts on the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001

My heart and thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who were victims of 9/11.  I’ll never forget that day (or the whole week that followed).

I was on my way to work when I learned of the attacks.  I was at a bus stop, waiting for the bus, when I called my mom about something on my cell phone.  She just assumed I was calling about the attacks.  Then she told me. It was about 90 minutes after the 2nd plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I remember thinking and saying that it was  like something out of a movie.

When I arrived at work (was working a 11-7 shift), they had TVs on and tuned to CNN. The office was unusually quiet.

I was a Travel Agent in a call center then and it was weird not getting any calls for days.   I remember a group of us in the office (about 15 of the 80 or so that worked there) gathering to pray (I’m agnostic, but joined them anyway). We were all crying.

I also had a preplanned flight (several days later) for myself that was almost canceled (well all flights had been canceled but the question was, would mine be reinstated – it was for the Saturday following 9/11).  I got a call the night before from the airline stating it was and to arrive at the airport 2 hours early.

There were armed national guard troops walking on the tarmac and standing on the roof of the concourses and terminal.

I remember the captain thanking us for flying @ that time. And saying a few words about 9/11.  The cabin was 3/4 empty and deathly quiet for it’s 2 1/2 hour duration.

I also had no TV at home that week. I couldn’t afford to pay my cable bill at the time so my cable had been cut off.  I lived in an apartment where rabbit ears would not work.  So I missed most all of the TV coverage for days.  It was 2 weeks later that I got my cable back.   I had to wait a year for the first anniversary, when networks replayed the tape of several hours of coverage that day.  I remember crying all over again.  It was just amazing to me that this all happened.

With that said, the next person who says “never forget” is gonna get bitch slapped! Trust me, I won’t forget!

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Google’s Brilliant Super Bowl Ad

I’m taking this opportunity to write my first blog post in many months.  I guess I’ve not had much to say (at least not that anyone would find interesting anyway).

I’m one of a handful of Americans that did not watch the Super Bowl yesterday. But one of ads from the game caught my attention even before it aired..

Google had he most brilliant (yet simp0le and heartwarming) ad of all. 

I first heard about it by accident the day before the game and decided to check it out.

It turns out it’s an ad that was first Internet-only and had been up since November as part of Google’s Internet Only marketing campaign known as “Search Stories”.

I must have watched the ad 20 times by now. I’m a sucker for romance, what can I say (yes I’ve been known to watch chick flicks and like it)?

It actually made me cry.

Romance aside though, it does a great job of demonstrating what that little search box can do.  I’ll be a lot of people who watched had no idea that they could use Google to quickly translate, get flight arrival/departure information or it’s use it a a combined Yellow Page/mapping function (and all from the home page).

Overall a very effective ad. 

Tom Maurstad of The Dallas Morning News summed it up best when he named it the best of the Super bowl and wrote:

….No flash, no special effects, just a love story told (and told really well) through a procession of search questions, The arc from the unentangled beginning (student questions about programs in France) to the final "how to assemble a crib" is just beautifully, sweetly done. It deepens your appreciation of the Google brand and what it does. You know, like advertising is supposed to and Super Bowl ads almost never do.

Anyway, enough already. As of this writing, I’ve been gushing about it for hours.

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My Sleep Clinic Visit (followed by the mashed up car).

My doctor thinks I may have sleep apena.  I sleep 2-4 hours at a time around the clock (I’m up 4-8 hours in-between).

She sent me to a sleep clinic. I was there last night.  It’s a very interesting procedure.

They hook you up to lots of wires (EEG, EKG, blood oxygen level, REM, breathing rate) and monitor your sleep for 5-6 hours.

It’s too bad it doesn’t last longer.  They actually let me sleep in an extra hour (I arrived at 10:00 pm and left just after 6:00 am).

I found it very difficult to fall asleep as I’m normally either already up, or just waking up from one of my many daily naps.

I estimate it took 2 hours to fall asleep.  During the night I managed to pull one of the sensors off one of my legs (EKG) and they came in and put it back on.  I also woke up twice during the night and I guesstimate it took me around 20 minutes to fall asleep afterwards.

Nevertheless, the experience was very interesting.

When you check in they give you a notice on the risks of driving while you are tired. Unfortunately it’s geared toward someone heading out on a long trip and not just 2 miles away.

After leaving the clinic, I stopped at a Sonic that was just a few doors down the street for breakfast.

As I was pulling in to the parking spot I managed to scrape the front driver’s side door against the menu stand. I heard this combined scraping and crunching sound as I did so.

I then backed the car (borrowed from my mom) out and noticed three vertical scratches that were (more or less) parallel to one another on the door.

But the worst part is, that when I got back into the car I found that it was very difficult to roll up the window and that I could only get it up to the point where it was still a 1/4 inch open.

The side mirror also needed to be re-adjusted and I fond that when I did so, it lurched at one point as it was moving around (it is power operated).

So I pulled back into the space, ate my breakfast and headed home.

I went straight to bed as I was still quite tired and slept till about 11:00 am.

Now I have to figure out how to break the news to my Mom (she will go apeshit I’m sure – not that I blame her). 

Apparently the door is also bent. I hope to god it’s just the door and not the frame.  You would never know it’s bent by looking at it.  It otherwise seems normal (save for the scratches). I was barely moving when this happened. I can’t believe the fame itself would be bent.

I suppose she can say she was driving the car for insurance purposes. I have no idea what this will cost, but I’m also flat broke at this point.

I’ll try to post some pictures here at some point.

I’m a nervous wreck right now.

UPDATE: She was surprisingly cool about the whole thing. She’s not sure if she’s going to live with it for now or not.

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Amazon.com & Wasteful Packaging.

These are photos of a box and it’s contents shipped to me from Amazon.com The contents consisted of two CDs and a Magazine. The box was big enough hold this 100 times over. Can you say absurd? I knew you could….
The box right after it was opened.

Part 1 of 7: The box right after it was opened.

A closer look
Part 2 of 7: The box right after it was opened. (A closer look)

Starting to remove the massive amount of bubble insulation
Part 3 of 7: Starting to remove the massive amount of bubble insulaton

Here’s the massive amount of bubble insulation after I had unfurled it.
Part 4 of 7: Here's the massive amount of bubble insulaton after I had unfurled it.

Contents of the box after all the bubble insulation was removed
Part 5 of 7: Contents of the box after all the bubble insulaton was removed

 

The big envelope had bubble wrap on the inside and contained the Playbill Magazine you see here.  A slimly bigger envelope could have held that and the two CDs combined.
Part 6 of 7: Contents of the box after all the bubble insulaton was removed (Part deux)

In the end, this is what I (got sans insulation and envelope).
Part 7 of 7: In the end, this is what I (got sans insulation and envelope).

Someone suggested to me that Amazon.com uses "standardized packaging" to save on costs.  However, I often order 2-3 CDs at a time and that same amount of merchandise has arrived from Amazon.com in small (almost form-fitting) boxes, big envelopes with bubble wrap insulation, medium sized boxes with some bubble insulation like you see above and lastly the box as shown above (that one takes the cake).
I’m glad I didn’t pay for shipping. 🙂

P.S. If you are curious as to what I ordered, you will find it here and here.

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Mother’s Day HDTV Adventures

For the past 2-3 years my Mom would often drop (not so subtle) hints that she’d like me to get her an HDTV.  I put her off because I felt that if I waited a year or two, the prices would drop to make one “reasonably” affordable.

To make a long story short, I just ordered her one this past Saturday with the hope that it would get here by Mother’s day.

Unfortunately, it’s due to arrive the day after, but I figured I had an “out” because I also ordered 2 HDMI cables at the same time and they were to ship separately.  I ordered all from Amazon.com which just happens to have a warehouse here in Phoenix.  The cables came from that warehouse and arrived yesterday.   The TV shipped from their warehouse in Irving, TX.

IB_S_BASIC_COPYRIGHT =

Anyway, I figured I’d just tell her that the cables were “part one” of a two-part gift (or something to that effect).

cables

This is what actually happened:

Mom: “Gee Scott, thanks for the cables. Just what I always wanted” (sarcasm)
Me: “Oh you’re welcome, glad you like them”.(sarcasm)

Mom: “So why did you get me cables?”
Me: “Well these are HDMI cables. They are for combined digital audio and video signals over a single cable
Mom: “OK, but why did you get them for me now”?
Me: “They’re for your HDTV”
Mom: “I don’t have an HDTV”
Me: “You will soon”
Mom: “C’mon, you’re not getting me an HDTV”
Me: “OK then, I’m not.”

End of discussion.

I have no idea what she’s thinking, but things have since gone on as if the cables never arrived.
I’m not going to bring up the subject again unless she does or when the TV arrives (which ever comes first).

My mind has been blank lately.

Everything I’ve thought of that seemed (to me) worth saying has shown up on FriendFeed, Twitter, identi.ca and/or Facebook.

But since you’re subbed to my RSS Feed (and you are, aren’t you?) it doesn’t matter,  since you’ve not had to come back every so often to look for something new from me. 😀

Fear not, I’ll find something to bore you with here before too long…

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Blog Redecorating

If you’re reading this directly on the site, you might have noticed some major changes.  I decided to put a little time and effort into it and remodel.  It’s much better than before. I hope you like.

If you you’re reading this from a feed then please stop by the site and check it out.

It’s still a work in progress.  I’m considering adding a few more pages.  Stay tuned.

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