Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's All Right Now

It seems this rather studly guy, aka Stanford quarterback, is ranked #1 in the country!

So, this is a blog that will be relevant to NONE of my happy readers, because I'm sure none of you care whatsoever about Stanford football. It's possible I don't care. But, since I did yesterday, and it's my blog here we go.

An old friend from college was in town to see the Stanford vs Huskies foootball game (Actually I guess that's Cardinal vs Huskies, we are the Cardinal and yes, that is Cardinal the color not cardinals, the bird - because we're uber intellectual. Our mascot is the tree of learning. I'm just sayin'.). I don't think I have seen Stanford play football since 1992, so it was probably time to check them out again. Back in the day, well anytime I have checked in in the last 20 some years, UW ALWAYS beats Stanford. But, despite that assumption, I jumped at the chance to go to a game.

So, game day rolls around and it happens to be POURING. Yes, all capitals. It was not drizzling, or raining, or pouring, but POURING all day long. And guess what, at Husky stadium it seems the visiting team gets very bad seats that have no cover. So, we sat in the pouring rain watching Stanford kick UWs butt. Hello, it seems in the last 20+ years, Stanford has gotten good and UW, not so good. 41 to 0. How you like them apples. Go Stanford GO!

And yes, it was 3 very very soggy, cold hours, but we won which made it just a little warmer, and as our 'theme' song goes, It's All Right Now. (I am pretty sure you have to be a Stanfordite to get that, sorry.)

Wet, but happy Stanford fans. (Don't they look happy?)

Millions of very cold high school cheerleaders provided half time entertainment.
Dancing to ABBA!!??

These weren't the final stats, but it was close to the end of the game.
First downs, UW 5 - Stanford 19, passing yards 44 to 192, running yards 10 to 218, total yards 54 to 410.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Horror

You may all have noted and perhaps objected to, my occasional use of hyperbole. However, in this instance I am sure you will all agree any strong words and negative sentiments are entirely justified. So, I have two phones. I have my cell phone which would be the one I would use if I ever actually spoke on the phone and I have a 'land line'. (Actually, it's not a land line, it's a VOIP, but who cares.) I really don't need my home phone (VOIP), but I have not been able to cut the cord. It does come in handy if my phone ever gets run over by a bus (see post from last year) or there is some other phone emergency. And, I have this terror, that someone from my past will want to reach me and only have that old number (this does actually happen once every 3 years or so).

In reality, my the home phone doesn't actually get much use. About once a month community services for the blind calls me to tell me they have a truck in my area (and then don't actually stop by when I leave stuff out for them). About once every 3 months, someone calls with a survey or to sell me something obnoxious. And then, every October, it starts ringing off the hook, as every politician, referendum supporter etc calls me to 'get out my vote'.

This October it hasn't rung once, but I have slow realized something horrific has happened, my cell phone has started to ring. At first it was a few hang up calls. I called one back and it was some referendum supporter. Then, I got a few computer generated messages, 'famous' people trying to influence my vote. And worst of all, I have gotten a couple calls from Dino Rossi's campaign. (Uhm, really? I can't imagine any data floating around this universe (internet, voting registration, political groups etc) that would support a chance in hell of my voting for Dino Rossi.) And today, the coup de grace, Community Services for the Blind called my cell phone!!! Yes, I am now officially getting all solicitation calls on my cell phone.

This is a very sad day.

Oh, but don't despair, VOTE, early and often, but not for Rossi.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


So, before starting this blog I searched 'investigations' to see if I'd ever discussed my job before. I've mentioned it once here - It turns out to be a brilliant blog, though warning, it might be a bit of a tear jerker.

On to the current blog. Titles. So, I started a new job this week. I still work for the same company, but I have changed departments, areas of the company, jobs, and TITLES. For 10 years I have been an investigator, now I am an auditor. And with that change comes my current issue. I love(d) being an investigator. For years now, I have thought of myself as an 'investigator' and defined myself as an investigator. For me it is like being a lawyer or an architect, it's something more than just a job, it's part of who I am as person.

And it was fun being an investigator. Fun in terms of what one gets to do - search the internet, be nosy, find out what you can find out about someone, research crimes. It rocks. And it's a good conversation starter. If you're at a party and tell someone you're an investigator they are intrigued. They want to know more. And when you talk about it, they think it's cool (read 'you're cool'), dashing, exciting, should I say sexy.

Auditor? Not sexy. You tell someone you're an auditor and they get brief flashes of numbers and accounting, thick glasses and pocket protectors. Their eyes glaze over and suddenly they need another drink. Who wants to talk about auditing? It's already started, my first stranger asked me what I do yesterday, when I told him 'auditor' he didn't have much response. It was essentially a conversation brick wall. So, I quickly told him that before Monday I had been an investigator for 10 years. He got all excited by that, suddenly I was, well you know, sexier!

I think some pictures will illustrate nicely. Here's what pops up in google when you search 'investigator' and 'auditor'.

My new look!

The old me (hot!)!

Even when auditors are trying to dispel expectations that they are boring, dull and frumpy, they (we?) can't quite sex themselves up properly.

An auditor being sexy.

An investigator being sexy.

Hopefully my blog will stay sexy and won't be bogged down with my new auditor brain. If I start boring you, my loyal readers, sorry! At least Otto will always love me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Just Sayin'

These two wall posts were juxtaposed on my facebook page today. I thought it quite fitting. (No these two people do not know each other. Only a very select group --about two of us--would have seen both these posts.) But, really, all of Carla's friends might have appreciated the sentiment! Actually, Mark's comment came a minute or so before Carla's, almost as if he were anticipating someone might be about to cross a boundary.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sometimes things are that good!

As an antidote to my previous post, I will now mention that sometimes you assume things are too good to be true, and it turns out they are that good.

Allow me to illustrate with a little story. About 5 years ago I bought one of those inflatable double beds to use when I have company (I know, luxurious accommodations!). I bought it at a garage sale and it came with this annoying foot pump. For 5 years I have been blowing that thing up with the foot pump and it SUCKS. The nozzle doesn't fit properly and keeps slipping. Invariably it slips out at least once, I lose all the air in the mattress and have to start the process over nearly from scratch. It takes forever and it's exhausting. It involves many many swear words and usually sends the cat and dog running in terror!

Today, I knew I would have to do this when I got home and I've been dreading it. Then, when I pulled out the mattress I looked for the first time (in 5 years) at this little plastic funnel thing that was in the bag. I tried to attach it to the mattress somehow, thinking that this would make the pump attachment fit better. That didn't work at all, but it made me remember that some kind of battery pack had come with the mattress. So I dug around in the bag and found this small battery operated pump. I had never used it, never even tried it, assuming it was broken or the batteries were dead or something. Anyhow, I thought, hmmm, maybe I should go buy new batteries. Before jumping in the car, I plugged the little plastic funnel into the battery pack and the next thing I know, the battery pack is blowing out air!!!!!!!! Hello!!!! I attached the pack to the mattress. Cooled my heels for about 5 minutes and the mattress was full. FIVE YEARS OF HELL gone.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Cloud

This picture is in my cloud.

If you've been looking at the sky you may have noticed one more cloud. Well, at least in Seattle (from what I understand the rest of the country may be cloud free). But us, lots of clouds. And now, one more.

My last blog detailed the events of the week. The events that were necessitated by purchasing a new phone. It made me consider all the data I use daily and how fragile it is. A system upgrade, a computer crash, or a bus running over my phone and I could lose it all. So now, not only do I have everything backed up on an external hard drive, but I also have my very own cloud. I can keep anything in my cloud and access it from any where at any time. Of course, at the moment I only have this stupid picture, but I am sure momentarily my cloud will be filled with vital data!

And then it will get hacked.

I'll put this in my cloud too, it will be important to access in an emergency.


I guess I could entitle this blog, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" (hence the yes).

In my last blog I was very excited about the possibility of getting a new iphone 4 virtually free. And really, who wouldn't be. I did a bunch of research and found out who would give me the most for my old phone (Radio Shack, if you can imagine). So, first I had to put my name on the list at Radio Shack because I guess when they get a new shipment in, they sell them right away. So, a couple weeks later, when I finally got the call, I rushed downtown on a Saturday to get my new phone.

It all started out well. They were happy to help me, they wanted to give me $197 for my old phone, they assured me if my old phone had been synced (sunk?) with my computer I could just plug in and get all that info on my new phone, we deleted all the data off the phone and started the process. At the very end, as I'm signing the bill, it turns out the new iphone is $400 not $200. The nice sales associate called ATT for me and it turns out that an early renewal is $200 off not $200. At this point everything is done, my old phone is empty and I threw caution to the winds and said okay.
$250 + 1 hour

So, glowing with the purchase of my new phone, I head home. Immediately, I run to my computer plug in the phone AND................ boom, hit the wall. So, it turns out that iphone 4 is not compatible with the 'old' mac operating system. So in order to sync my phone or to ever plug my phone into my computer and save the data, I need to upgrade my entire operating system. Phone call to Apple to buy Leopard.

A week and two days later the disc containing the new operating system arrives in the mail. I'm ready to slip it in and go. And then I listen to the niggling something in back of my brain that says 'new operating system = new computer' and I do some googling. Yes, I will lose ALL data on my computer. So I spend 5 hours that night researching how to back up data. After some hits and some misses I finally decide on a backup system called superduper (how could you pass that up) and try to back my computer up to various places, none of which are large enough. In a fit of frustration I ALMOST just installed the damn operating system, but I talked myself down and saved the life of my data.
$29 + 5 hours

The next day I enlisted the aid of a cautious (ie regularly backing up data kind of a guy) mac owning friend, and we headed off at lunch to buy an external hard drive. Well, of course, the MAC one was out of stock, but now I knew what I needed. So that evening I went to two more stores couldn't find a MAC only drive but finally found a sales associate who would actually help me and got a hard drive that was not MAC compatible, but left with semi decent instructions on what to do. That night was another 5-6 hours of figuring out how to reconfigure hard drives, downloading data, uploading a new operating system........
$90 + 5 - 6 -7 hours?

The previous night I'd fallen asleep while all the above was happening, so the next day I flew home from work, excited by my new operating system and the possibility of actually syncing my now 1.5 week old still naked phone (no contacts, no calendars, no apps etc). That night I learned all about the MAC, transferring data, uploading old stuff, some of it involved google searching to figure out how to do things that weren't working. I almost lost every contact but was able to pull through in the last minute. I did lose my calendar and all the pictures on my phone.
4 hours + some lost hair and teeth enamel from too much pulling and gnashing.

Happy ending? $500 and countless hours and swear words later, my free phone wasn't so free! Would I do it again? I'm certainly older and wise and, I know MUCH more about my computer and data saving that I did two weeks ago.