Back to the Bay
Going out on another business trip to San Jose in a couple days. Flying in Monday afternoon. I'm off Monday so I'm going to run to the hotel, throw my stuff in my room and jump onto the CalTran and head to San Francisco. I got me a ticket to the Giants game that night. That should work out well I think. I'll be a bit tired the next morning but oh well.
We've been slowly transitioning working on some newer eqipment at work. Most support quests come in via e-mail rather than phone on these products. I'd say 90% of the time when an "OMG URGENT!" request comes in I don't get a response to my e-mail sent to the customer for at least 24 hours. Maybe half the time it is 48 hours plus. Also a good 30% of my time working these cases is just following up on cases asking the customer what is up because again they haven't responded for days.
The equipment my group usually works on just seems to work with different people. I belive because the contacts are mostly done over the phone rather than e-mail and the fact that our group is way small means we've established a certian amount of familiarity and responsevness from the customers. If I ask for something with our usual customers, they get it, if they don't know, they find someone who does. If I ask for stuff from the customers on the new eqipment we're supporting they stall, don't respond, respond innacuratly, deamnd to know what the next 12 steps will be because again they don't know. It doesn't help there are a good chunk of cases where everything is thru an OEM.
Dux: We need X, Y, and Z informaton to address this issue.
OEM: Um, well can't you do it with A and B? (A and B being thrid hand guesswork by an OEM who doesn't know ####)
Dux: No. We need X, Y, and Z to address this issue. We'll have a better idea where we stand then.
OEM: I don't think we can do that. I think the customer will be quite upset if we ask them for that info.
Dux: Why would that be? (they never answer this question, usually because the OEM is the reason they're upset) Gathering the information is entirely non intrusive...
OEM: Can you work with the information you have?
East Coast Customers vs. All
For whatever reason we've had fewer contacts with folks from the East Coast than in the past. Sepecificly New England and New York. I like these people and I miss them.
Being from the Midwest we're very indrect and less blunt as the good folks on the East Coast. There is often a bit of culture shock with the Midwestern vs. East Coast folk situation. However, I find it is all in the presentation. The folks in the east are just a lot more direct, loud, and so on. They're not necessarly pissed off. Hell they might be having a great time and sound mad as hell.
I find the east coast customers far more likely to get stuff done in my experence. dux: "Hey I need X." East Coast Customer: "Ok I'll get dude A to do it." Five minutes later East Coste Customer: "Where the fuck is dude A??!?!? We want to get the hell out of here sometime today!" I don't even have to raise the issue.
West Coast, they seem more likely to ignore your request, make up excuses why they can't do what you want, add managers to the conference call, and say they're going to do it and don't, and so on.
I had a great conference call recently, conf calls with the folks from the east are awesome:
Dux: Well I'm seeing-
East Coast Dude A: Hold on! Hold on! Whoever has the fucking dog that is barking in the room with them on this call mute your phone. Ok go ahead.
Dux: I'm -
East Coast Dude A: Whoever is making godamn dinner on this call mute your phone! Go ahead.
Dux: I'm seeing X. Not sure what this means in this case, has this ever worked before?
East Coast Dude A: Ok hey Dude B, has this ever worked before?
East Coast Dude A: Ok hey Dude B, are you even there!?!?!
East Coast Dude B: Yeah we're here, why the hell does that matter?
East Coast Dude A: Cuz I want to know that's why and I'm troubleshooting this fucking call!
East Coast Dude B: FINE, yeah it has NEVER worked.
And the call then just goes on like normal. Everyone lets off steam, nobody takes it personal. It is awesome, and I get a good laugh in my cube in the meantime. Dude A and B will even swap stories about drinking it up or whatnot and so forth.
Even More Work Stuff
Having a meeting with my manager man sometime soon. Looking for some sort of a promotion or so forth. No threats on my part or anything silly. I work for good people (well the immedate people I work with) and have been putting in the extra effort. I think they've been noticing but think it would be best to meet to ask "how am I doing?" and so forth.
I'm Done with Video Games
Well not entirely, but I'm done for the most part. I've not touched a major console game in ages and just once in a while fired up Sins of A Solar empire. I also canceled my Gamefly account. Tightening the budigtary belt, wanting to spend more time on photography, and the baby on the way just left the video games out in the cold. Not that I don't WANT to play them. I've played some awesome games recently, Fallout 3 (well crappy ending) and so on. I just don't want to cram them in there.
What is out:
360, PS3, major consoles, full priced console games. Too expensive, too much time taken up. The 360 will just sit in the basement and hold the excersize videos.
Upgrading the PC for games. PC games had gotten so buggy and PIA anyway that was already happening but it is offical now.
What is still in:
A few TBS style games once in a blue moon. I'll still pickup the Civ games of course.
The Wii, still some good games to waggle about with other people.
What should still be in but is out:
Playstation Store, XBLA, and Wii Virtual Console Games. All just seem to be priced a couple bucks too much, and the quality is insanely variable. Too bad because some quck fun games like that should be right up my alley. Then again I wasn't going to buy a newer Xbox or PS4 when they come out for just that anyway.
Been working on removing the wallpaper from what will become the baby's room. The previous owners put up wallapaper on one wall, and then a wallpaper border at the top around the whole room. So wallpaper on top of wallpaper at some points. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?!?
Mrs. duxup has been visiting garage sales picking up this or that along the way. Additionally the first pile of diapers were purchased, car seat, stroller. We've been watching episodes of Bringing Home Baby too just for fun. Mrs. duxup is looking quite round in the tummy and we have a few months to go still. Several visits to the Doctor have gone well.
True Stories of Crime
My 14 year old Honda Accord was broken into. Got to work at 8 am, off at 4:30 so they broke into it in broad daylight. The cop who came by noted a bunch of older model cars were hit. Cripes the lot is just a surface lot and I was parked right by the building. I guess they knew how to get into that type of car or something because nothing of any value was in plain sight.
A leatherman like tool.
About $10 - 15 in spare change.
Car jack from trunk (weird)
Movie Talk: Four Films
I rewatched (time at work while on the night shift) The Age of Innocence, Blade Runner, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and Gattaca all four films that I think I enjoy more the more I've seen them.
Movie Talk: Unbreakable
I was chatting with some folks on another forum talking about how much I think the M. Night Shyamalan films I've seen stink. In general I've find them painfully contrived and sort of self important. I hadn't seen Unbreakable and thought I'd give it a spin.
Much like the other Shyamalan films so much of it just seems overplayed and contrived. Yeah we get it this guy's life is a bit rough right now, ok I get it, yeah, ok, come on we get it already. The contrivances like the kid who seems a bit too old to still think Dad is a super hero, and the painfully predictable weight lifting scene are classic Shyamalan to me. So this kid can't do math and add up the weights he is putting on the bench press? The father never bothers to look at the weights? Maybe another director could have played it out in a way I would have bought into.
That said I enjoined it more than most Shyamalan films. It could have / maybe should have ended a scene or two earlier than it did. It all would have been much more cohesive and poetic had they done so IMO. The tacked on scene at the very end also raised and issue I have had with some comic book films or at least films inspired by comic books. Like the Batman Begins movie Unbreakable does a fairly good job balancing reality with the comic book / super hero world, and then they take that one step over the line and IMO ruin it all, both films did it at the end. I know in Unbreakable they hint at the final scene but heck it would have been more interesting to hint at it and let the audience wonder about that detail rather than play it out IMO awkwardly.
I give it a 1.75 out of 3.14 stars. Shyamalan is in rare mostly tolerable form here and despite the ending and a bit of an overload on Bruce Willis staring into the camera sadly, I'm glad I saw the film.
Movie Talk: The English Patient
Dear gord this film took forever. An ok film but a few things didn't work for me. Some character lines, choices and actions felt like they were just a mechanism to get the story from point A to B rather than a natural progression. Willem Dafoe's character doesn't seem to act like some dude looking to avenge himself on some various folk as the movie claims. I'm sure the film had to fit some scenes into it and cut others out and it isn't always going to conform to the film format still that isn't much of an excuse. I give it a 1.51 out of 3.14.
Movie Talk: The Great Happiness Space
A documentary about a male Japanese host club (sort of a male geisha). Those interviewed for the documentary are surprisingly frank, well that is assuming they're being honest. There is a bit of a surprise about half way thru. The documentary goes from fascinating to heartbreaking and even disturbing quite quickly.
I give it 2.92 out of 3.14.
Movie Talk: Hancock
As I mentioned before I like the idea of a superhero film with one foot grounded in reality, but they always seem to only go thru the first few motions. Additionally I'm not a fan of Jason Bateman. Rather than a character I always find him to be more of a caricature and distracting. There is a twist that happens in the last half or third of the film. It seems that is where you'll either like the film or not. I did not. In short Hancock finds something interesting out, and then the climax of the film is just sort of an inexplicable decision by a villain combined some unfortunate timing... Additionally the rules that are laid down for the plot twist that occurs are seemingly ignored in the final scene if for no reason at all. It has a good start but the last third just asked for too much faith without giving back much. 1 out of 3.14.
Movie Talk: Taken
Former government agent's daughter is kidnapped to be sold into white slavery. Action time. Liam Neeson stars in a B grade action movie. His presence brings it up to a B+ but not without a few really low grade B movie scenes. Liam must have invested heavily in mortgage backed securities. A big jeer to the scene where someone is driving quickly along the river in Paris and is chasing a boat and you keep thinking "Oh man he's going to jump the car onto the boat!" and he doesn't. WTF? 1 out of 3.14
Movie Talk: Revolutionary Road
Responsibility and the 1950s kick the asses of some white folk. In my experience mildly good movies based on a books always gives them self away with one or two inexplicably well written scenes. This isn't a bad thing, just always something I notice. I've never read the book but I enjoyed the film a great deal. There were a lot of moments that I thought the film could have just ended, and had it just been a Hollywood script from the start I think it would have ended rather than taking things a step further. A solid 3 out of 3.14, but with the note that this is not the feel good film of the year. The last scene that involves the character John r0x0rs the big one!!1111.
Movie Talk: Seven Pounds
Will Smith does some stuff, it isn't supposed to make sense until the end of the film but you'll figure it out pretty quickly. I'm not sure why it is but the independent small films always do a better job hiding a secret in a film. Rather his is one of those films that sort of wave's its finger at you saying "oh you just try to figure me out while you weep at every scene we've got here!" when it is just sort of annoying because it doesn't take much to figure it out. The 123 minutes Netflix says this movie runs feels like a good 180. If it wasn't for Smith I would have hated the main character even more than I did. He has all the altruism of a 15 year old who just had his girlfriend dump him. "Oh woe is me! HEY! I SAID WOE IS ME ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME!?!?!?"
1.22 out of 3.14
Movie Talk: 3:10 to Yuma
Well acted western, but it was just too implausible for me to buy into. Too many scenes where the "bad guy" seems to all to easily sympathize with the good guy. Rather than a bad guy who does some inexplicably good things the the whole premise is just inexplicable by the end.
|< Something just ain't right. | And The Seventh Brings Return >|