Monday, March 30, 2009

The Sunday Where Nothing Happened

This last Sunday was one of those rare days where both The Husband and I had the day off together, and because I worked a half day on Saturday it feels like I had the whole weekend off. You'd think it'd be a nice chunk of time, but I just came to realize that I'm probably the most boring person alive. Seriously. My Dad came and stayed with us on Saturday into Sunday, and we literally had nothing to do. We went to Wal*Mart, The Husband cooked dinner, and all we did is watch movies and play games. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun... I love when my Dad comes over to stay... I just feel so bad that we can't think of anything beyond parking our butts in front of the TV. It makes me want to take up an interesting hobby, but really that just takes too much work.

I am seriously a boring person, it's embarrassing.

What's funny is that there was plenty of opportunity to not be boring, and I'm so boring (lazy) I couldn't even do anything about it. Noob and Mrs. Noob invite us over for dinner, we turn them down. My Dad hangs out and we could do something interesting, we don't. The Husband's work calls because he needs to do some quick, urgent training, he says no. I go to find new music to listen to, but I hate it all. Tried to find a good movie, but all that we had available I'd seen a thousand times or didn't want to see at all.

Please tell me I'm not one of those people who has become boring and lazy... I swore I'd never be that person. What happened?

I'm blaming it on winter. Stupid winter. I hate you like I hate Nicholas Cage.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

People and Things I Want to Smack

We all have a list like this. Some people admit to it, some people don't, but we all have one. And it feels like my list is just getting longer and longer, and people and things that haven't been on the list in awhile are now finding their way back on...

Here's my "People and Things I Just Want to Smack" list for the week:

1. My scale. I think it's horrifically unfair that when I first step on it, for exactly 1 second, it flashes a weight that's .2 pounds lighter than the weight it actually gives me. It makes me want to scream. Especially when the lighter weight is XXX.8 and when it goes up, it goes XXY.0. It gives the illusion of losing a pound and gaining a pound in a second. So infuriating.

2. My co-workers. Yes, most of you are fine, but a few of you... And you know who you are... Are douche bags. Sometimes I think a good smack to the head is what you need. Seriously. No, your irritating antics aren't as profoundly affecting my life as you'd like to think they are, but still, I have to deal with you and that just bugs the crap out of me. And now I have to deal with a co-worker who quit a year ago, who was an obnoxious pain in my butt, because she came crawling back for a job. And we're dumb enough to give it to her. Ugh.

3. That guy who argued with me over $3. Yes, I get that it's $3 and you want it back. Yes, I get that you're very special and important. Yes, you still have to wait in line to get your $3 back. And I don't care that you make so much every hour that waiting in line for $3 means you're undervaluing your time. You still have to wait in line.

4. Valve. Give me my damn "Left 4 Dead" content already.

5. My husband. Honey, you know I love you, but you make me insane sometimes. You have a week off and the only day you can go out with the boys is on my first day off in 7 days, the only day I have off this week, and the last day off we have together for 2 weeks? Really? And no, I don't want to watch anything on the Military Channel. Ever.

6. Nicholas Cage. Stop doing stuff. I don't like you. Please go away.

7. My hair. Please, please, PLEASE, for once do something besides be a limp, stringy mop on my head. You're killing me. Why can't you be interesting and pretty, like other people's hair? What do I have to do? Just tell me, I'll do it. I actually am taking this one off the list. My haircut seems to have cured my boring and limp hair issue... I now have very cute, maybe even incredibly hot and sexy hair. Now to refresh my color, and I'll look even hotter-er and sexier-er, both of which are now officially words because I say so.

8. My husband's insurance company. You suck. The whole idea behind insurance is that eventually, after all of the paying in, you occasionally pay out when we need you to. Not that we just give you money that you take and keep. And would it kill you to return our calls within the same week we called you? I just don't understand... Do you operate out of a basement somewhere? PS... A dislocated kneecap? That does qualify as "emergent and urgent care." If you dislocate your kneecap, going to the emergency room is the appropriate response, waiting 3 days to go to your PCP is not. Kneecaps belong on the front of your knee and if it's not there, you should probably get that checked out right away.

9. My Blackberry Storm. I love you, I really do. And I realize that the reason you're not working is because I stupidly left you on the floor of the forklift cage and dirt and dust got underneath the screen. It was a dumb and poorly thought out action on my part. It really was. I'm truly sorry. I really am. So please, please, please make the right side of my screen work again. Please? I'm lost without you and when you don't work right, my day is a mess. How can I properly supervise without my Blackberry? It's not possible.

And thus concludes the airing of my grievances. For now, anyway. I have faith that someone or something will eventually piss me off again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

E74 = Epic Fail

So just when you thought it was safe to own an Xbox, a new error rears it's red-ringed head.

The so-called "E74" error is apparently on the upswing after Xbox's big LIVE upgrade back in November, and a massive upswing on both older units and newer units after the patch released last February. This error stems from one of two issues, the first being a defective A/V cable (easy fix and obviously the reason you'll root for if you ever see the error), or broken video hardware in the Xbox itself. Be prepared if it's the latter, because this error is that it isn't covered by your extended warranty... Which means to fix it, you could pay between $95 - $120. You'll know you're one of the lucky ones who suffers from the E74 by the single red flashing light in the right lower section of the Xbox button on the unit itself, and an error message on your screen that looks like this:

Microsoft's solution to the error, which stems from a video hardware failure of some sort, is to have people who experience it to contact customer support for further assistance... A solution which has gotten Xbox owners all over the place all in a crank, because Microsoft isn't doing enough to fix the problem.

Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones since I haven't had any of these issues with the Xbox so I'm less jaded and pessimistic and maybe I'm just playing on borrowed time and, eventually, my Xbox will crap out like so many other people's have. I know two people in my immediate gaming circle who got the infamous "Red Ring of Death," and maybe I'll be next. But at this point, I'm not going to get up and arms over the E74 and Microsoft's response to it. With the Red Ring of Death, people were upset at how Microsoft handled it initially but after realizing the problem was widespread (and the negative press was horrific), they came through and took care of Xbox owners. If this upgrade to the new Xbox LIVE experience is the root to the E74, I'm sure Microsoft will come through again.

And if they don't, maybe the name of my blog will turn from "Xbox Maven" to "Playstation Maven." No, I'm just kidding. PS3 sucks. ;)

In the meantime, if you're playing on your beloved Xbox and you notice your screen is snowy or distorted, there's major pixel lag, or things aren't as crisp and sharp as they used to be because of the vertical white lines all over the TV... Get out your favorite game, play one last round or two, and give your Xbox a big hug, because an E74 error is in your immediate future.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Case of the "Blahs"

So I'm driving home from work (or was I driving from home to work?) with my trusty Zune in hand, skimming through my music library in hopes of finding songs that make my 24 minute drive more musically entertaining. "The Kill" by 30 Seconds to Mars? Next. "Just Dance" by Lady GaGa? Next. "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis? Ok, that sounds good. "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rhianna? Nope, next. "Gives You Hell" by All-American Rejects? Pass. "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake? Oh, that's one I want to hear... But not "So What?" by P!nk... How about "Sober" instead? And I'm more in the mood to hear Gwen Stefani's "Early Winter" than her "What You Waiting For," so I'll play that too.

Then it occurs to me, my musical choices of late have been pretty darn depressing... And you know what? I feel pretty depressed, for some reason. Either I've been just too generically busy, or just too generically dumb, to realize that I have been feeling down in the dumps lately. No particular reason, I guess... Work is fine, marriage is great, life is as it should be... I'm just... Blah. And it's not just me, either. One of my closest friends (hereafter and forever known as "Noob" for the purposes of this blog... Since I've decided if I'm going to talk about these people as they are a major part of my life, they should probably have names I can refer to them by so you people can follow along) is acting weird too.

So, I did what any person would do... I made rash decisions, with little thought or planning. I went to Noob's house and played games and watched stupid movies, went out to lunch and ate like a pig, then went and got all my hair chopped off because obviously changing my hair will change my life.

Amazingly, the only thing I regret doing, at this point, was eating like a pig. We went out and got Chinese food and I ate more greasy fat-laden food then I've had in months, but figured it was OK because I've never had a problem with Chinese before... But apparently 3 months into Weight Watchers and the Chinaman's food (excuse me, apparently that's not the preferred nomenclature... Asian-American's food*) doesn't sit well with me anymore.

The hair, I think, came out cute. I went from about 6 or so inches below my shoulders to just slightly longer than shoulder length. My old cut is the same one I've had for over 10 years, while this one is cuter and more up-to-date, and exactly the same, though slightly longer, than Reese Witherspoon's hair in "Sweet Home Alabama." I was dreading the husband wouldn't like it since he claims to have an irrational dislike of short hair, but he actually seemed quite happy with it. And get this... When my hair is long, it's as straight and stringy, but when it's cut to my shoulders, it has a natural curl on the end, so it's bouncy and perky and interesting... Who knew?

Of course, after the original excitement of having new hair and an afternoon of pigging out on Chinese food, the "blahs" returned... So I'm sitting on the couch with cute hair and indigestion, moping about nothing in particular. I don't know what that's all about. Maybe I'm antsy for spring? Maybe I'm tired of working so much? Maybe I have nothing better to do? Maybe it's all of the above? Who knows.

* If you haven't seen "The Big Lebowski," stop reading this blog and go rent it now. Funny stuff. Stupid, "WTF?" funny, but still funny. Unless you don't find movies like "Fargo" funny, in which case you won't find this movie funny either... Probably because you have no soul. No, I'm kidding... You have a soul (probably), just not one with a sense of humor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Um... Excuse Me...

This last Sunday was a beautiful day... It was kind of cloudy and overcast with a light breeze, but it was 42 degrees, which might as well be a heat wave around here. I heard a very loud robin in the morning, and there is a lot of bare ground... Ok, it was brown, bare ground... But still, it's bare ground. Anyway, it really felt like spring was on its way.

However, when I came out of the shower and looked out the window, I saw this:

And this:
All I have to say is... WTF? Enough with the snow, already. And it's in the 40s! It's not supposed to snow when it's in the 40s!

I am so over winter. If spring won't come, I'll inject spring into winter:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Have to Wait HOW LONG??

So Valve has finally announced that it's L4D DLC (nicknamed "Survival Pack" by somebody) will be released on April 21st.

April 21st.

Are you kidding me? I don't think I can wait that long. Though I do think I get major credit for assuming that in and around April 21st was going to be when the DLC would be released.

I'm dying (pun not really, but kind-of, sort-of intended) to play "Survival Mode." It sounds like profanity-laden, un-winable frustrating fun.

Personally, I think this event calls for a ticker of some sort:

On a somewhat related note, needs more zombie-related ticker themes. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Surviving Inventory

I promise, this is my last inventory related post. I swear. It's just that this event has been the center of my 50 - 60 hour weeks at work, so it's really the only thing going on right now... And you people will have to deal with it for just one more post.

So I did it, I survived inventory. I even got to go home 45 minutes early, which is a miracle. Right now, I'm happily laying on my couch, fantasizing about how I don't have to worry about inventory for another whole year.

Surprisingly, being put in a tiny cage in a forklift and raised up about 30 or 40 feet so I could lean out and take down paperwork wasn't as terrifying as I'd psyched myself up for. I think part of the reason was because I asked (begged) that my driver be one of two people, both of whom are friends of mine. Another part had to be that the person in the cage the row opposite of me was one of my close friends, and he felt it absolutely necessary to shout things at me to try and make me laugh. I won't lie... I was hanging onto the bars on the side of the cage for dear life, and I did have one freak-out moment, but other than that it wasn't so bad. Dare I say it? I actually had fun...

As always, though, actual inventory night was a controlled debacle. Do you know how frustrating it is to spend an entire week cleaning, organizing, and counting only to have a group of illegal Mexicans and people on supervised work release come in, tear everything apart, and count things wrong? My "I'm-going-to-punch-you-in-the-face" moment came when I was counting in the freezer and I had a series of 3 coolers where the person doing the counting had under counted inventory by like 40 to 90 units. Seriously, I looked into one cooler and saw 4 boxes of 12 units, another box with 10 units, and 5 boxes of 6 units (for the kids counting at home, that's 93 units), and the counter, an obvious rocket scientist in training, put the total of units in the freezer at 38. I'm looking at the freezer, just staring and wondering WTF? How can you mistake 93 units as only 38? Is that even possible?

So I call the department head (who's also the close friend who was shouting at me while I was in the cage) over to verify, and we were both dumbfounded. They were obviously counted wrong. After standing in the section for awhile, we realize the error was probably because the delinquent they had counting the case couldn't have cared less about the job she was doing, and she was far more interested in flirting with everything with a penis as opposed to counting. Our department head ended up calling over their supervisor, who was as stupid as these counters only he had a title, and he went on and on about how we had probably counted wrong, how most of the time their counts are right, and if there's an issue, it'll come out during the verification process. I just wanted to punch the guy in the face... Obviously I was there doing the verification and obviously the case was counted wrong... He just didn't want to do his job and adjust the inventory count. Freaking idiot.

All and all, aside from the morons in the freezers, the whole event wasn't that bad. The two zones I was in charge of both were managed by my two good friends, which meant I didn't have somebody riding my butt the whole evening, and the Home Office sent over somebody from another branch to help us with the count and he ended up being a riot to work with. Wouldn't you know, he's an avid gamer too... So my friend, the transfer guy, and I ended up screwing around a lot more then we probably should have. And we walked away from the night with a new Xbox buddy, which is always wonderful.

When all was said and done, I was finished by 11:15 (which is better than the 1am I worked until last year), in bed by midnight, and I didn't have to worry about work until 1pm. I don't know how long the department heads had to stay, though. I'm guessing until about 1 or 2am. Nice thing is the later they stay, the less of them there will be at work the next day, which means I have a built in day of screwing off.

And it's exactly 1 year before I have to worry about having to do inventory again. Freaking awesome.

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