Month: July 2008
One of my favorite toys as a child (and yes, even as an adult), is Lego. The bricks are great fun for stress relief and they require at least some amount of imagination. I have sets back from the early 70s all the way to a pristine, in-the-box collection of all of the Harry Potter-related sets (I don’t know why I’m keeping them in the box, other than to say I have them… maybe I’d let my kids play with them?).
But the toy villain from my youth has got to be the Rubik’s Cube. They musta’ released a billion versions of that thing in the 80s. And if 9 squares/side wasn’t bad enough in about 10 different sizes (from microscopically small to desk-size large), the 12 square/side version (Rubik’s Revenge, I believe it was called) was awful. Then they released them in ball-shaped versions, triangle-shaped versions… even a thing called the snake.
So I’m quite happy to see that someone took the time to build a Lego Mindstorms (computer-controlled Legos) set that is designed to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It works by color-reading each side, generating a solution set and executing it. Check it out:
Flashpoint TV Show
There’s a new show on CBS called Flashpoint. It’s about hostage negotiators and snipers.
Now… I’m into negotiation, so you’d think that I’d love this show. I mean sure, the technology is cool – I wouldn’t mind having someone assist every now and again with a voice in my ear while I’m in the middle of a negotiation… but the rest of the show just drags on.
To be honest, I was hoping for a little less talky-talky and a little more shooty-shooty.
Miss Universe Pageant Curse
So, tonight I was watching the 2008 Miss Universe pageant on TV (don’t ask, it was the only thing on). Apparently, tonight was near the end, so there were 8 or so women left – evening gown competition time. Miss USA tripped down the initial step and fell flat on her butt. She was poised, got back up and kept moving as if it never happened.
Tina immediately wondered aloud how long it would take for video to appear on YouTube. So I went to look. Nope… not yet.
UPDATE (7/14/08): Video is now posted:
BUT, there WERE other videos of Miss USA 2007 at the Miss Universe 2007 pageant also falling on her butt.
So, two years in a row, the Miss USA contestant falls at the Miss Universe pageant during the evening gown portion of the event. Doesn’t this qualify for some sort of curse, chant or other superstition?
More on Apple and customer service
About 2 years ago, I wrote a story about getting my PowerBook G4 fixed as a result of a hinge problem. At the time, I was indignant that Apple had a known defect in their product and wouldn’t repair it for me. I spent some time in the AppleStore in Durham, NC (this was before the one in Raleigh opened) trying to see if they would assist under warranty… and they didn’t. So my post was a result of my frustration at trying to get help for something I thought Apple should’ve taken care of, yet didn’t.
However, I didn’t lose my cool at the AppleStore, on the phone with Apple or anywhere else. If anything, I was mostly upset with myself and sad that I was going to have to pay a few hundred dollars for something I knew I was going to replace relatively soon.
Today I saw a post on Gizmodo about another guy who “Lost his S#?!” at the AppleStore in DC. It linked to a comic he wrote about the experience. (The comic is safe, but the comments afterwards are a little NSFW, so view this at home and away from young eyes).
Essentially, the guy had a very similar machine that I used to have… and he wanted to install a wireless card in it after purchase. He was upset that the screws on the machine weren’t “standard” (they’re TORX, which are, as you’ll see from reading the comments, standard) and that he says he had trouble finding them at various stores (which people in the comments refute). He was upset that Apple wouldn’t give him a screwdriver in the AppleStore to fix his own machine (for the same reasons that your auto mechanic won’t let you use their tools to fix your car).
He ultimately lost his cool at the AppleStore and wrote the comic as a way to vent.
Now, per my other missives above, I do understand venting. I also understand being frustrated by a situation that I believe is somehow unfair.
But I do NOT take it out on others (Tina may disagree, since she hears me at home). So let me clarify… I don’t take it out on the customer service person who really doesn’t have much control over the situation.
[Update – about 3 seconds after hitting Publish]: OK… so I realize that by posting this little story, I’m probably perpetuating something that should just die. And, as Tina reminds me (man, I really love this girl) arguing with everyone I ever disagreed with isn’t productive. Which, in turn, reminded me of one of my favorite comic artists of all time. So I’m converting this post from a semi-rant to a positive suggestion for you all to read XKCD.com on a regular basis. Here’s one of Randall’s drawings, completely on point.