Not So Creative?

Anyone that knows me also knows I have done some dumb things in my life. Most of them are blissfully concealed by my sheltered personal life. Some of them are amazingly dumb and public, especially when it comes to work.

So you can imagine my surprise when I see my former employer doing really dumb things without me causing them.

To be fair, press releases and public posts are rarely what they appear to be. However, when you see commentary like this from your press release partner, you have got to step back and know that the public will smell something fishy.

This is one time where I’d bet my inside contacts can’t even tell me what is going on. I hope that John Carmack finally gets his other venture off the ground so that he can leave the PC world behind and tell us what really happened.

I think that is the most links I’ve ever put in a post. Wow!

Fixed 4Runner?

I had an interesting “outside the box” experience today with the 4Runner. For reasons unknown, I listened to a buddy of mine and took it in to another service center to have it looked at. The prognosis on first glance looked grim: this truck looked like, acted like, and smelled (yes, it actually smelled) dead.

Then something miraculous happened: they called me today and said that it was mostly fixed*. How could this be? Surely it was a mistake. So I zip over to the garage, listen to the whole story skeptically, pay my roughly $530 and take it for a test drive. And it works! I don’t know how, but this little garage just took a $7500 repair job and replaced it with about $600 worth of work.

I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but is seems like the Toyota dealership screwed me on the last service visit. It’s not like this doesn’t happen often (this is me we’re talking about) but in this case the screw up was so bad it could have ended with the 4Runner destroyed or in an accident. As one co-worker puts it, “this sucks rocks.” Looks like a rant session at the dealership is in order soon.

*Long story just a bit longer is, with one more service visit (and another $400 out of pocket) the 4Runner should be back to normal. It was some sort of combination of shot timing belt, broken cog/gear thing at the front of the engine/transmission, and a whole lot of misfiring that caused the truck to act dead. Now it’s running as good (if not better) than it ever did. One more part replacement should take it off the critical list. Moral: never believe the dealership, ever. Lesson relearned again.

Test Drive: GMC Envoy

I spent a few minutes driving around in a 2004 GMC Envoy today and found it to be not to bad as far as SUVs go. It was a pretty smooth and quiet ride compared to the 4Runner. The inline 6 cylinder engine was smooth and felt peppy. The space inside seemed pretty good, with plenty of usable space in the back. The only downers were the price at around $34K for a decent set of options and features and it felt a bit cheap on the interior quality to me. I also felt a little claustrophobic by the oversized dash and hard to see out of the window areas. But, maybe I’m just not used to the car. More test drives should help me determine what is good and what isn’t.

Right now this gets my “ok” vote.

Losing at the Luggage Odds Game

It is inevitable that this will happen, thanks to my heavy travel schedule. The airline (Alaska) has “temporarily misplaced” one of my pieces of luggage. What makes this sting all the more is that its a roll aboard bag that I never check. I was just lazy today so I checked it.

This must be some sort of psychic message to me to fly less. Or at least travel lighter.

See the World, Pick-up the Miles

I’m off on yet another business trip this week. This time around it’s a visit to Microsoft, then on to Canada for another LAN gaming show. With any luck I might spend a huge 10 hours in the house this week. On the other hand, I’ll have another 2000 miles on American Airlines.

I wonder what will kill me first: the job or the airport food?

Bad 4Runner, Bad

I just found out that I have about $7500 worth of repair work needed on my $9000 valued 97 4Runner. Unbelievably, the dealership found nothing wrong when they looked at it before. Now they are telling me the engine has to be torn down and the transmission needs to be replaced.

Guess its time to go car shopping. What a pain. Aren’t Toyota’s supposed to last forever?

Browser-Jacked

Well it had to happen sooner or later: my browser got hijacked. I’m not sure if it happened at the LAN party I was at for work this weekend, or on some web page I hit today, but I can’t seem to get rid of it. “It” is the following:

    – Some sort of redirect that takes over the browser window whenever I hit a dead link
    – An aggressive search engine that pops in whenever a web page has an error of any kind
    – A constantly accessing the network item in the background

Worse, I can’t kill it. IE doesn’t seem to have the ability to clean itself and Google Toolbar can’t re-assert control. I’m stuck and this laptop is getting really, really slow because of it all. Guess there’s a HD format in my near future. Sucks to be me.

Crappy, Broken Web Pages

I have just had one of those days where none of my web page construction seems to work. First I had some dead scripts. Then a voting poll was busted. Now I can’t get a panel to work to allow a login to get email. Some might say I’m in hades. All I want is a little cooperation from my friendly server.

I’m betting that cooperation is not to be. Stay tuned.