plonq: (Cynical Mood)
One of the problems with Facebook (note that I say "one of") is the volume of stupid memes I see posted there from friends and family. Mostly friends.

I won't get into the maths ones because I have ranted here about those ones in an earlier post. Today's complaint is about the plethora of slightly smug memes that I sum up as, "Them young whipper-snappers wouldn't understand this." They all follow essentially the same pattern involving a picture of obsolete technology, and an invitation to like if you know what this is, share if you have ever seen/touched/used/licked one. What they are really saying is, "Respond if you are an old fucker like me."

I had a few in my time-line today, one of which was a picture of a column shifter with the legend, "Like if you know what this is, share if you have ever used one." Mercifully, this one did not include the usual long string of stupid "laugh until tears" emoji. I neither liked, nor shared it because I am acutely aware that I am getting older, and I do not need constant affirmation from friends that they are as well. For the record, I have also used a top-loading VCR, I have used a Rolodex, a Mimeograph, a chest-style pop machine, a slide rule... I get it. We're getting older.

If some of my family members on Facebook did not have such sensitive sensibilities, I would start sharing slightly more interesting memes.

Facebook Meme

I don't expect that I would get a lot of likes or shares though.
plonq: (OK...)
You let us down, Frankie. You said nothing about the snow.


Iin Frankie's defence, he was dead on with Sunday's forecast. It has been raining all day, and the wind has been howling since this morning. He missed the part about it turning to snow overnight though.

I sneaked outside with my camera earlier this afternoon to get a shot of how wet and drippy it is outside.
Drip

Belladonna knows that she's not allowed on the table, but that does not stop her from sneaking up there when she thinks we are not paying attention. This afternoon I caught her up on the table, trying to crawl into our good bread basket.

There is a cat butt in our good bread basket.

Naturally I scolded her and chased her down again, but not before I ran to get my camera first.
Bread Basket

I don't talk much about our current WoW guild here because there is not a lot to talk about. They are a good group of people who are all in this to have fun. We poke good hearted fun at one another, generally keeping it clean unless we know that we are in a group with no kids present. Even then, we can get a little lowbrow, but usually keep it respectful.

Here is a wonderful little video that [livejournal.com profile] pfcottontail recorded last week that really captures the feel of raiding with this group. He's the one who told the joke that ended up playing through the whole video. It's worth watching to the end to catch Headstone's little rant.


Lest one think that it's all happiness and paradise, there is one member who does not seem to have noticed the unspoken memo about not discussing religion and politics, and he takes great glee in voicing his thoughts in a loud, opinionated and moreover ignorant manner. I don't know if he is actively trolling, or if he actually believes the things that he yells out in Vent.

He's a really special case. He's our own My Little Limbaugh doll with no off-switch. It's like he has a button on his nose, and every time somebody pushes1 it his mouth opens and starts regurgitating stale right-wing talking points.

There are many ways to get him started - if he does not start himself - but one of the fastest ways is to invoke the name of Obama. For instance, after we wipe on a boss at 1%, a guild mate might ironically say, "Thanks, Obama." Then you can almost hear the sound of his nose depressing, because he begins spewing his loud litany of ignorance into our voice chat. [livejournal.com profile] atara and I have both had to manually turn his volume down just to make him less obnoxious.

*BEEP* YES, THANKS OBAMA YOU SOCIALIST SUCK. THANKS FOR FORCING YOUR SOCIALIST COMMIE MEDICINE ON ALL OF US. THANKS FOR RUINING OUR ECONOMY. THANKS FOR CAVING TO THE TERRORISTS.

*BEEP* CANADA HAS SOCIALIZED COMMIE MEDICINE AND IT WORKS SO WELL THAT THEY SEND ALL THEIR PEOPLE DOWN HERE FOR TREATMENT.

*BEEP* AL GORE SAYS CANADA IS GOING TO BE A DESERT NEXT YEAR.

*BEEP* AL GORE INVENTED THE INTERNET. THANKS OBAMA.

I wish I was making these up, but these are all talking points that he has shat out in voice chat at one time or another. Like I said, I don't know if he is trolling, or if he is just one of those people who takes everything Rush Limbaugh squeezes out as gospel without doing even a modicum of research or critical thinking on his own. Maybe he was raised by wolves, and when they brought him back to the human world, they taught him English by letting him watch an endless steam of FOX News op-ed pieces.

In any event, I am very close to just outright muting him in game and in the voice chat. The loud, intellectually-insulting stream of nonsense that pours out of his brain just make it an unpleasant experience sometimes when he is around.

1 Sometimes guild-mates will push his button to get him wound up, but usually he just presses it himself, over and over, belching out stupid right-wing schlock-radio echo chamber points.
plonq: (Punchy Mood)
I went all commie on Facebook earlier today, and I figured I would share my little rant here as well for those who don't follow me there.




Somebody shared this on here earlier today, but I am posting it fresh rather than sharing it to distance myself from the original chain.



I don't understand this picture. I mean, I agree that we are falling short in helping our seniors and mentally ill, and I guess we could give better stuff to our troops so that they can kill people more efficiently. But I just don't get the rest of this. Let me give you an analogy to explain why I don't quite understand the thinking behind it.

Let's say you buy yourself a large Tim Hortons coffee on your way to a meeting. It is a fairly big meeting, with 84 other attendees. When you get there, you discover that none of the other attendees could afford to grab coffee on their way in, and feeling generous, you decide to share your coffee with them. So here is what you do; you pull out an eyedropper, fill it about 1/3 of the way and then hand it to the rest of the room and tell them to share it among themselves.

Now instead of a meeting room, pretend that it is actually the world, and that the other attendees are the population of humans who are living in poverty, and that the coffee represents our annual wealth as a nation. For every one of us, there are about 84 people living elsewhere who live in poor to appalling conditions. Some of them live in conditions that are wretched and miserable beyond our ability to imagine. About 20 of the people in the meeting room would gladly trade places with our poorest seniors if it meant that they had a chance at a glass of drinkable water.

Have you ever heard of Kevin Carter? It's a shame if you haven't - he took some really stunning pictures, and even won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. There is one in particular that I will link here that is especially sobering.
https://i.imgur.com/JaI38CZ.jpg
If the image does not work for you, it is an emaciated child who is too weak to stand from thirst, hunger and disease. In the background is a buzzard, patiently waiting for her to die so that it can get a good meal.

The conditions that Carter encountered when he was taking his pictures were so horrific that he ended up killing himself at the age of 34, mostly because he was haunted by the things he had seen.

And this is where it gets to the part of this picture that I don't understand. We give about 3/10ths of a percent of our annual wealth every year to help try and improve the conditions of men, women and children who were born on the wrong part of our planet. What differentiates the poor here from the poor there, other than pretend lines we have drawn on the ground? I don't know if you have noticed, or seen pictures from space, but we are all sharing the same living space. Walk any direction long enough and you will eventually see horrors of human misery you can never unsee again before ending up right back where you started.

But according to this image, not all human misery is created equal. According to this image, the equivalent of ~20 drops of coffee out of a large cup of Tim's is too much if it means that we have to press "1" to talk to somebody in English. And this is what I don't understand: how could the person who created this picture be so ignorant and callous?
plonq: (Whatever)
It was an honest, if somewhat stupid mistake; somebody scanned in a personal document, then forwarded it to the concerned parties. Unfortunately, when he entered the email addresses, he accidentally included a company-wide distribution list with a couple of hundred recipients.

I like to think that I did what most people would do in this situation; I took a quick look,realized that it was not meant for me, and promptly filed it in the trash because mistakes happen.

Then the early shift arrived at the head office, and the first reply showed up. It was somebody who hit Reply All and said, "I just want you to know that I got this in error, and I have deleted the message."

Fair enough. IMO he did not need to do a reply to all for that, but this should have been the end of it, right?

"I deleted it too."
"Me too."
"Likewise."

This went on for fourteen replies before one of our superintendents out east jumped in and said, "PLEASE STOP REPLYING TO ALL WITH THESE INANE MESSAGES."

Whether it was because all of the really stupid people had finished checking their messages, or that they took his words to heart, this stemmed the flow of the messages...

...until the next shift came in to work an hour later and they started up again.

I think the "Reply All" button should pop up a disclaimer that they have to click away - something like, "Selecting this option may disqualify you from any computer-related jobs after this message goes out. Are you sure you want to reply to ALL?"
plonq: (Irked mood)
I just wasted 30 minutes of my life on a remote training session before I politely informed them that I was getting nothing from the call, and disconnected.

They were using a desk phone instead of a proper conference phone, all talking at once (half of them contractors with heavy Indian accents) and in the rare moments when the speech would have been otherwise legible, it was mostly drowned out by the sound of shuffling and typing.

While they had the screen on the initial computer shared with me, half of the windows that came up showed as garbage at my end because she had some privacy filters enabled. Finally the one contractor picked up the phone and said, "We're moving to a different computer." [click]

Wait... did she just hang up on me or put me on hold? That sounded an awful lot like a receiver being dropped back into its cradle.

I sat here and listened to dead air for a couple of minutes, wondering if they had hung up by accident, if I was supposed to call them back at a different (undisclosed) number, or if they were going to call me. I tried calling the first number again and it bounced to a generic voice mail after a few rings. I waited a couple of minutes and called again. This time same contractor who had hung up on me picked up the phone and said, "[livejournal.com profile] plonq, yes, they have moved to a different computer." [click]

When they finally called me back, they simply dialled me up from another speaker phone with no acknowledgement or salutation. My phone rang and when I answered it I found myself listening to a bunch of people in mid-conversation over a noisy background. In spite of repeated requests from me, they would not share the desktop with me on the new computer, so I was getting very limited benefit from the call.

"Try expanding that."
"Click over there."
"Okay, so why doesn't this formula look like that one?"

I don't know about them, but I value my time more than that (I could have been doing something useful like bitching to LJ about it) so I asked them to send me the crib notes from the meeting later and hung up.

This Father Christmas might not look that creepy in isolation, but imagine a whole bunch of lined up along the side of the hall, all of them with the same dead eyes, and no two of them quite looking the same direction. Also this picture does not give a proper sense of scale - these guys are pretty big.
Father  Christmas

It must be Christmas because the mall just got a little creepier.
plonq: (Brainfree mood)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] atara for pointing this one out to me.

Apparently Alexa Ray Joel (Billy Joel's daughter) attempted suicide back in December by overdosing on some of her medicine. I think the most critical part of the story is what I quoted below though, with parts of it rendered in bold for emphasis.

Fire Department officials said she told medics she had taken eight pills and was having trouble breathing.

"She is stable," said Claire Mercuri, Alexa Ray's publicist, hours after she arrived at the hospital.

Two law enforcement sources said the overdose appeared to be intentional, though a person close to Alexa Ray said she only ingested a homeopathic antihistamine called Traumeel.


You're doing it wrong, girl. If you really wanted to overdose on homeopathic medicine then you should have cut up one of the pills and taken 1/8th of a pill, dissolved in a gallon of water. Now that's powerful stuff!

[Edit]

Oh, and in other news...

Congratulations [livejournal.com profile] atara on receiving another scholarship - this time for scholastic excellence.
plonq: (Contemplative mood)
At some point the brains in our company decided that our support desk ticket management system should be applied to every work request that comes in. The system was not really designed for this, so it had to be retrofit. It is clunky, counter-intuitive and slow, but if filling out pointless trouble tickets makes our managers happier then we do what we must.

Yesterday I finished working on a project that had come to me via the ticketing system, and I left it overnight to make sure that it was working right. When I tried to call up Service Manager to update and close the ticket this morning, I got this:



Wait a minute; the problem reporting and logging tool is down! How do I report this? It's a shame that we don't have a tool for that... d'oh!
plonq: (Brainfree mood)
I made the mistake of checking my work email a couple of times from the road. Now I need to watch this video over and over again a few times to prepare myself for what I will be walking into when I hit the office in the morning. From what I have seen in my in-box it is going to be a horror show of epic proportion. I need to steel myself because I will have to deal with a few IT people who operate at about this level.

For the record, this is apparently Kelly Pickler, an American Idol turned country music singer. This girl confirms many of the assumptions I've made about that show...

plonq: (Plonq @ Work)
I don't need to struggle for future story ideas when I work here.  I fired off a report to an internal address today (om02017), and it returned with the following error:

Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: D&H Haulage Report to 23:59 20051031 01

This e-mail address is inactive.  Please redirect all operations Production Supervisor related e-mail to CS MPLS OPS PS (om02017)


Wait a minute.  I sent it to 2017, which kicked it back claiming that it's inactive and that I should forward it to... 2017.  I wonder how many people just blindly forward the message without reading the response?

[Edit: I forwarded this to the Problem Resolution group for that office. I quote his reply verbatum: "I just did a test to this address and it went right thru." Well, uh, good for you.]
plonq: (Little Stinker)
I thought I would be able to avoid work-related stupidity over the holiday long weekend, but I accidentally activated my corporate credit card today.  Technically this isn't work-related stupidity as much as it is American Express related stupidity, but here's a brief transcript (paraphrased slightly for brevity) of the transaction.

[ring][ring]
AE: THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING AMERICAN EXPRESS.  (Could the have made that any louder?)
AE: (en français) La même chose. (and something about pressing "2")
AE: THIS CALL WILL BE RECORDED FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE PURPOSES.
AE: YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OLD CARD AND NEW CARD PRESENT IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THIS PROCESS.
ME: (Hangs up and toddles off to fetch the old card.)

[ring][ring]
AE: REDUX
AE: TO BEGIN THE ACTIVATION PROCESS, ENTER THE 15-DIGIT CLIENT NUMBER ON YOUR CARD.
ME: [beep][beep].. etc.
AE: PLEASE ENTER YOUR MOTHER'S 4-DIGIT BIRTH DATE.  FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOUR MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY IS JANUARY 24TH THEN YOU WILL ENTER 0104.
ME: [beep][beep][beep][beep]
AE: [long pause] THANK YOU.  YOUR CARD IS NOW ACTIVE.

...

Wait a minute.  Which part of this call were they recording, and for that matter, at what point in the process did I need the old card?  Maybe they were just covering all of their bases in case the procedure ever changed. Why stop at asking for a card that you don't need, though.

"IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THIS PROCESS YOU WILL NEED A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF VOODOO."
"IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THIS PROCESS YOU WILL NEED A CURRENT, BINARY PRINTOUT OF YOUR FULL GENOME."
plonq: (Blah Mood)
If there is a loving god then he would smite my co-worker mute.  Now.  Please.

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