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I Hate Linux

Friday, June 23, 2006

33 points? Wraaaaaag!

After putting it off since mid Feburary today I went in and took Microsoft exam 70-300 "Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures" and failed it... by 33 points.

This kinda ticks me off as I thought I was doing quite well throughout the entire test except for one question that I couldn't fully settle on the best answer for... so just picked one.

Lucky for me I signed up with Second Shot so I will try this test again in a week or two, in the mean time I guess I should do a little more studying and reading.

Despite this failure I am in some respects happy with my score as it at least says I've got some idea when it comes to the topic... or that I am a really good guesser. My money is on the first option in large part because when going through some of the study material I was using I ended up paging through it pretty quickly as it was just a rehash of what you learn in any kind of systems engineering course... like several I had as part of my recently completed Masters degree.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


This morning on the way to work I had a track on my iPod have some troubles and eventually skip to the next one and a quick (~20 min) hard drive scan of the unit later with it’s built in diagnostic tools reported the always fun 0x00000070 error code.

Sure it was recognized by Windows and could have files copied to/from it... the HD seems to be going out on it once again, and this only 7 months or so after it’s last trip in for a HD replacement.

So today over lunch I ran it into the local Best Buy to have it fixed under warranty and now I get to have a week or three of tuneless (and Love Lineless) commutes until I get it back.

Grumble grumble.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shrinkage and the Pizza Ranch

On the second Tuesday of the month a group of engineers at the company I work for takes a short drive to the city Brandon and have lunch there at the local Pizza Ranch.

Last week when we were there I noticed an unfortunate... problem. Fullness.

After a second medium filled plate of pizza and potatoes I felt my stomach saying “no more, please, no more!”... an unusual feeling for me to say the least.

I realized then what it was... a side effect of a my recently trying Nutrisystem to drop a few lbs. One thing I discovered on day one of eating the Nutrisystem food was that it was all quite small and in the process seems to have shrunk the size of my stomach a bit. Ordinarily I might dislike that but over the last 6 some weeks I have lost about 30 lbs so I’m not really complaining, just an interesting development.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

FedEx Take Two

After a nightmare of a time on the phone with Dell yesterday as outlined on this Channel 9 post I found myself with yet another replacement monitor on its way to me, fearing that it might suffer from the same FedEx problems I had last week I decided to be preemptive on the issue and call FedEx to see what could be done.

After starting with one customer service person I was told that all Dell packages require a signature in person to release and that I could not pick up the package in Sioux Falls (their office is just minutes from where I work) until there had been a delivery attempt unless the shipper gives the ok. Given the amount of time I was on the phone last night... I didn't even want to consider the Dell route so I decided to climb a bit and asked to talk to someone above him... and after 5 min on hold I got hung up on.

Calling back I spoke with another person who this time claimed the higher ups office closed at 9 and that everything the first guy told me was true... I laid out my case to her again... she held the party line of "our contract is with the shipper."

Funny how folks like her don't realize that unless I receive the package tomorrow, I will make it a point to not allow any package coming to me to be shipped via FedEx. Yes I know, that will show them.

Finally getting to speak with this second representatives ‘floor supervisor', I went through the whole dance again... only this time, she confirmed something that the first two people wouldn't... that unlike virtually every Dell shipment, none of mine (the 2 last week or the 1 this) had an in person signature requirement attached.

Unfortunately my victory was short lived as I was told that even without the requirement it is up to the driver whether or not to leave the package... so we came up with a bit of a solution based an ultimatum of mine, I told her:

Let me make this perfectly clear, unless I receive the package tomorrow, either as a result of the driver leaving it at my door or me being able to pick it up at the Sioux Falls FedEx center, I will have no use for this package and will refuse any and all delivery attempts of it.

At which time she suggested adding a note to the package that asks the driver to leave it if the in person signature requirement wasn't on the package, and that the Sioux Falls office should give me a call when they open if they would be able to keep it off of the truck and let me pick it up sometime during the day.

So now we wait and see.

Will the call me in the morning... I doubt it.

Will the driver leave the package? He best... otherwise I will be... angry, which as we all know doesn't happen much.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What is 'L'?

While watching the poor check in person try to find my name on the voting roster this morning (as well as try to make sense of my middle name) I got a brief glance of the party column and saw a fairly even mix of R's and D's, with my L being the only one which didn't conform to that standard and believe it or not, that caused a problem.

After my name was found and she confirmed my address, she asked of the general area "What is 'L'? Is it independent?" I replied "It's Libertarian, one of the two '3rd parties' recognized by the state of South Dakota."

Of course this explanation wasn't enough, that or she didn't hear me and asked the two woman sitting next to her... and before waiting for a reply called someone over from another table as one of her tablemates replied "Libertarian."

Sure enough the woman from the near by table confirmed that it was ok and that I should be given an Independent ballot as there were not candidates of my party were on the ballot for the primary.

Call me crazy, but in a state when that letter can either be an D, C, I, L, or an R, knowing the limited meanings of Democrat, Constitution, Independent, Libertarian and Republican shouldn't be too hard.

Oh well.

Friday, June 02, 2006

FedEx Incompetence

Last week I received a couple of packages from Dell via UPS, a pair of monitors that turned out to be defective and after contacting Dell about the matter they sent out two replacements via FedEx that were scheduled to arrive to my home on Wednesday... unfortunately, this was not to be.

Arriving home on Wednesday I found the typical "sorry we missed you" tag on my door with a pair of stickers saying that my signature was required in order for them to release the packages.

Traditionally when I am expecting a package I hang a sign on my inner door that requests that any and all packages addressed to me be left regardless of if I am home or not... and include my signature and my cell phone number in case of questions. Apparently this method which has been accepted by the likes of UPS, Airborne, DHL, and Fedex (just to name a few) in past was not enough.

My next and obvious move, was to sign the "sorry we missed you tag" on the appropriate line... unfortunately it was not to be found. Why? Because the two large stickers informing me that a signature was required took up the bottom 2/3rds of the tag, completely covering the oh-so-small sticker that I am to sign my name on... finally discovering where it was I pulled back one of the larger stickers and signed it. Problem solved I thought.

I was wrong.

Returning home on Thursday with every expectation in the world that my replacement monitors would be here... they were not, instead, yet another "Sorry we missed you" tag was to be found next to the previous one, this time only a single sticker on it and the words "IN PERSON" penned in after the circled "SIGNATURE REQUIRED".

Nice of him to tell me that.

Being quite angered that my replacement monitors had already been delayed by 2 days by this incompetent driver, I called the FedEx 800 number to file a complaint and see how else I could get my packages.

I should pause real quick and mention that both notes did have an alternative way to get them... to pick them up in person, in Sioux Falls (an hour from where I live), after 6:30 PM (I leave work in Sioux Falls at 5)... so I am not about to do another 2 hours on the road to make up for the drivers failings.

While on the phone, the customer service person was to say the least... puzzled. According to him, virtually all packages they handle for Dell require a signature in person in order to be released... and yet mine didn't, in fact according to him, there was no reason that the driver shouldn't have been able to release the package to me on Wednesday, and yet that didn't happen.

That's right, rather than actually double check the specific notes for handling my package... the driver decided make an assumption that was quite clearly wrong.

Finally I decided enough was enough and asked that the packages not be put on a truck for Friday delivery and told them that I would pick them up in person at their Sioux Falls center. To confirm this request, a woman at the Sioux Falls office called me 5 minutes after getting off the phone with the 800-customer service person to also apologize and agree that the driver should have left the packages at my door on Wednesday and could not explain why that didn't happen.

It is kind of sad really... of all of the delivery companies I've dealt with over the years for receiving packages... FedEx is the only one I've ever had any problems with or gripes about, in fact part of the reason I started leaving the note to delivery drivers on my door was because FedEx more often than not wanted a signature... something no one else did as often, and yet this time the note wasn't enough for them.