Thursday, April 29, 2004
Okay, just one last post.
Can I just say that I've had it up to frickin' here with all of the so-called "privacy" issues and "concerns" that businesses have lately? It's one thing if I called a random number, said I was someone, and didn't have any of the "password" info correct (birthdate, mother's maiden name, etc.), but when I call my insurance company for which I am the primary policy holder and ask for information regarding benefits for the upcoming C-section, what I don't want to hear is:
And has your wife given her consent to release this information to you?
Newsflash assholes, I'm the one paying the fucking bill, so if I have a question about said bill, you better bet your sorry ass that I don't need her permission to release payment liability and insurance benefit information to me over the god-damned phone. Even if we were estranged, or separated, or whatever (which we're not!), the bill's still coming to me, so I have a right to this information.
You might think I'm being a bit overly cranky about this, but when I called the Doctor's office to ask for just simple general information about what's involved in a C-section (questions like "will you lower the surgical screen during delivery so she can see?" or "will I still be allowed to cut the umbilical?" or "how many days is a standard hospital recovery?"), I was told that Illinois state law required that they release that information to no one but the patient. I mean, I'm going to be in the operating room anyway, so you'd think they'd give me answers to these questions.
On a side note, I think I could have been less cranky if the person on the other end of the line spoke English, or didn't ask me to spell my first name. It's Steve. It's not like there's alternate spellings of Steve. If you didn't hear it because I mumbled, just ask me to repeat myself. There's no diving save for "can you spell your first name, please?" when it's something as simple as mine. We all know now you're just an idiot, thanks.
This will probably do it for quite some time, as the baby's almost due (this Tuesday!), and I think I'm going to lose this space as we're supposed to be updating to the big full website. Hopefully I can move this stuff over as an interim thing, or just put something simple up this weekend.
At any rate, the new site is www.fivethirteen.net, so I guess you can add a bookmark now, and hopefully I'll surprise you with something there eventually.
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Liz decided to start reading a bunch of online reviews for NBA Ballers, to see what everyone has been saying about that game I most recently worked on.
By far my favorite quote is:
For those assuming this is just another NBA Street, please visit your doctor, because Ballers has a quality that puts it in a class all of its own.
Maybe I've just got a case of the literals, but I'm trying to imagine how this works.
Person: Excuse me, Doctor, but I have a feeling that NBA Ballers is just another NBA Street...
Doctor: Nurse, get me 50cc's of Ballers, stat!
Please, feel free to leave more interesting and/or funnier doctor quips in the comments section. I implore you.
Saturday, April 10, 2004
A Tale of Two Asshats, or Rant in B minor
It Was the Best of Buys...
So I'm at Best Buy, wanting to buy the new Nvidia 5900 card for my PC, so I can run a dual monitor system to get some motion capture done on at home (and be able to run Star Wars Galaxies without it crashing every thirty seconds due to graphical lockups).
I pick up the Nvidia 5900 box, and notice that it has a VGA, S-video, and DVI output. This is bad, as I have only VGA monitors at home to hook up to this thing; I'm going to need a DVI to VGA converter.
The first tech, while attempting to be helpful, was from the Video department (I guess he was just passing through the PC department, but he had a shirt and tie on, so my Manager! instinct kicked in), so even though he had "tons of experience using DVI and VGA," he "didn't think such a device existed." I assured him it did, so he brings me to one of the PC "techs."
This guy decides to flex his extremely vast yet still somehow miniscule knowledge of computer peripherals, by telling me "I don't think that's even possible, as the DVI output signal is twice the strength of VGA," and that he "didn't think such a device existed, and if it did, we certainly wouldn't sell it at this store."
I assured him that such a device does in fact exist, as my friend actually owns one.
Again, he assured me that there "aren't any in this store," and that maybe I should try Global or someplace else.
I decided to try calling my friend who I know is the proud owner of a DVI to VGA converter, and asked him how he came to such heights of ownership. This is what I love about cel phones. I can call him while I'm still right there in the store. As it turns out, his came with his video card, and as he bought the Nvidia 5950 (insert Van Halen joke here), I decided to check the 5900 box just one more time.
Scanning the side panels, I found the "included in this box" section. At the bottom of the list?
One DVI to VGA dongle
It Was the Worst of Banks...
The scene: Me panicking because my bank card is one dayfrom expiring and I haven't yet received my new card yet.
I call my bank's "Bank by Phone" system, and try to find out why I haven't received my new card yet. Turns out they sent it to the old house, and it neither got forwarded to the new address nor sent back to the bank. I had assumed that since I changed my credit card address information (which is through the same bank), that it would update the bank account mailing address. Silly me. There's my privacy security to think about!
So to get my address changed, the idiot on the phone told me the following:
"To change your address over the phone, we'll just need you to fax in your signature or sign something at one of the branches."
Um, that's bank by phone HOW?! How in the fuck is sending in a fax or going into a branch banking by phone? Sure, the fax uses the phone lines, but uh, not quite the same thing.
Screw the fact that my name and current address are actually already on file at the bank in question through the credit department, that's "not how we do things here." The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, as it were.
So off I go to walk into the branch as I don't own a fax machine (and while I can send faxes from my PC, I can't really receive them so good). I explain the situation to a personal banker there, and she has them expedite a new card to my current address. FOR FORTY DOLLARS. Yay! I love spending money due to the incompetence of others. (And yes, I admit my own incompetence in not getting my account info squared away when I moved. Please make jokes about asses and me in concert with the term "assume.") But here's the kicker: While I was panicking about having to go without a bank card for about 2 days or so (they told me that it would take 4 days for me to get my card, and there were still 2 days left 'till the card expired), I vaguely remember the personal banker saying that since the card they sent to the old address hadn't been returned, they needed to cancel that card. I heard this as "that" card, as in, the card they mailed. But what I didn't realize is that it had the same bank card number as my old card. So WHAM. There I am trying to buy twenty bucks worth of groceries just ten minutes after walking out of the bank, and my card's being declined. And now we have four days to have to live without a bank card!
Three cheers for asshats!