Thursday, July 27, 2006

The iPod Nano: More Fun Than Beating Your Head Against a Brick Wall!

For me, technology is a lot like love. It's frustrating, heartbreaking, and it makes you sick to your stomach just thinking about it, but just try living without it.

After the storm, I made the mistake of mentioning to D- that I had lost many of my CD's during the evacuation. This was a mistake. My boyfriend is a gadget junky. If it has buttons or glows or makes wacky R2D2 beeps and whistles, D- will make a bee line to the nearest Circuit City to see if it's on sale. He bought me the iPod Nano. He explained how this sleek little rectangular wonder of technology would hold up to 1,000 songs for me and that I wouldn't have to worry about carrying a bulky CD player around while jogging. He said I wouldn't have to worry about losing or scratching CD's anymore because it would all be there in my Apple library. Set up was so easy, even someone as technologically challenged as I could work this puppy out.

My boyfriend is very naïve.

Setting up the account was relatively easy, I'll give him that. The "easy to follow steps" were, in fact, easy to follow. Once the account was set up, however, it was all down hill from there. I could purchase music, but I couldn't figure out how to update my music onto the actual iPod itself. I would click on file and there would be the update button in grey. Unclickable. Okay. I went through help options. Help options were decidedly unhelpful. Either the things I had to click were in grey, or I couldn't find them. I would end up calling my boyfriend or my friend Tracy to see if they could guide me through the process. Why, I wondered, didn't my iPod automatically update once I purchased a song. As long as the thing is plugged in, it should update, right? Christ, I hate technology!

I would end up clicking on things randomly in a desperate attempt to get my music onto the blasted Nano. My iPod would get updated, only I wouldn't have a clue what it was I clicked to make it so. I went through this every time I purchased a song. To this day, I don't know what it was I clicked to make that damn update button clickable. Once it was updated, the Nano was everything my boyfriend claimed it to be. Light weight, easy to carry, and no bulky CD cases to lug around. I loved it while I used it, but there was always that nagging feeling knowing that eventually I would tire of my current music selection and be forced to go through the same nerve wracking saga again.

Fast forward to this morning. I'm sitting at my computer, beating my head against my computer desk wondering why the hell he didn't just give me something less frustrating like herpes or something. This time while fiddling around, I lost my entire music selection. MY ENTIRE FUCKING MUSIC SELECTION!!! Well, almost my entire music selection. It downloaded the last song I bought and some others I've never seen before. Oh, the wonders of technology!

I sent Apple two e-mails. One was a rather snarky note as to what I thought of their product. I wrote it shortly after I realized I might have to buy back every song I had purchased. The second e-mail was a little more calm, detailed the problem, and requested if it would be possible to get my selection back free of charge. I doubt this will happen (the snarky letter will undoubtedly count against me). I should be getting a reply e-mail in another 48 hours. Sigh.

In the meantime, I've decided to go back to my low tech roots and dig up my old CD player. Or maybe I'll see if my grandmother has an old record player that runs on batteries. I could strap it on my back while jogging. The extra weight would be great for resistance, but the constant skipping could totally screw up my rhythm.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Net Neutrality: The Silent Internet Killer!

Alright, I'm being a wee bit dramatic...I hope. Truth is, I just recently learned about this debate. I don't remember hearing about it in the mainstream media. Whether this is due to a media black out(grab your tin foil hats folks)or me just not paying attention remains to be seen. My take is that without neutrality, the big corps will abuse their power, not because they are evil corporations, but because it's just good business sense. I'm for net neutrality. Here's a link you might find interesting. What could a non neutral internet look like?

*insert ominous thunder here*

Friday, June 09, 2006

If I Had a Hammer...

I'm not sure if I should be worried, but I hate my customers. This in itself is no big shock. Hell, I'd be worried if I actually started liking the whiney bitches. But lately it's gotten bad. It's gotten real bad. It's gotten so bad that every time I have to deal with these losers, I hear Peter, Paul, and Mary singing If I Had a Hammer over and over again while images of me shooting blackjack players execution style in front of a quaint little Mexican church dance inside my head. If you have never watched Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, you won't get the reference on this one so rent it. It was very entertaining.

I'm not saying that I'm going to start picking off the casino clientele one by one with a rifle from atop a clock tower or anything, but I do worry that someday I'll say something that will get me fired. Something like the truth. I often fantasize what I'd tell my players if I didn't need this job. Like, to all those people that complain that I'm taking their FEMA money. I'd tell them they should be happy the government was stupid enough to give them a check in the first place and that I see taking their unearned dough divine retribution for all of those poor saps who needed money from FEMA and didn't get it. You know, people who lost homes and stuff and were actually going to use that money to-perish the thought-rebuild? If you think I'm exaggerating about this, you're extremely naïve. The first week the casino opened after the evacuation that's all we heard: "You're taking my FEMA money bitch!"

Another phrase I often hear is, "You take my money, the least you can do is smile when you do it!" This and its sister phrase, "You don't have to smile when you take my chips. You look so happy to see me lose!" which is usually uttered on the next table. Sometimes I'll tell my players about this and I'll get a good laugh and they'll go on to say they didn't mean to bitch at me, but it's been a bad night. These are the players I learn to tolerate and even come to like. It's the players who don't get the joke, who don't learn to lighten up and enjoy the game that drive me crazy.

I think the type of player I hate most is the player that is getting good hands, is winning, but gripes because the rest of the table is losing. This drives me up the wall. I had this one player. She was up by close to a thousand dollars. The rest of the table was losing their ass. This woman couldn't lose, yet she complained about every hand because the people around her weren't winning, none of whom she knew personally. She came right out and said what a crappy dealer I was for making everyone lose. One of the other players looked her in the eye and said, "I don't know what the hell you're complaining about with that big stack of chips in front of you, but if you feel that bad about it, you can give me some of yours to play with, sweetie." The other players broke out laughing and she gave him the evil eye for the rest of the shoe.

I realize to the average person, these little pet peeves must seem childishly petty. I'm sure there are worse jobs out there and a lot of people would say that taking a little criticism every now and then comes with every job. I would agree if this didn't happen every day. On every table. Think about it. I deal with people who come in, most of whom will end up drunk before the night is over(drinks are free as long as you play) and expect to get something for nothing. They are so surprised when they realize casinos stay open for a reason. I deal with people who have threatened to meet me out in the parking lot after I get off of work to teach me a lesson. If you think this is just big talk from a losing player, think again. One of our floor supervisors found this out the hard way when he got mugged leaving one night in a parking lot that is supposed to be under 24 hour video surveillance!

Oh well. Let 'em try to mug me on one of my bad nights. Who ever does better have a gun because when Peter, Paul, and Mary start singing, somebody's going down, man! Somebody's going down!

"Ask me for a Black Jack one more goddamn time!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hell On Earth...Happy 666 Day!

I grew up in the Pentecostal church. I was raised to believe that one day the big J-Man would come for all the good little Christian boys and girls during the rapture and leave all the bad little heathenish behind to experience hell on earth for seven or so many years. I forget. As a precaution, we were told if, God forbid, we back slid into sin before the big day, that our souls weren't necessarily lost. Not as long as we refused to take the mark of the beast.

Ah, my Christian youth! A lot of the crap they preached from the pulpit scared the shit out of me, but one of the things I remember fondly were the nights they would skip the preaching and show movies like A Thief In The Night. It was cheesy movies like this one that got me hooked on all those zombie/apocalypse/end-of-the-world type movies and books. Oh, if only my pastor knew Mark IV productions led me onto the path of sin and agnosticism.

Instead of going out to see The Omen, I think I might rent Thief for old times sake. Bell bottoms and bible thumpers, here I come!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hurricane Season is Here...Oh Goody

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Earlier than last year for the obvious reasons. At least this year I'm prepared. For one, when my mother makes that frantic call begging me to get out of Dodge 'cause a horror-cane is coming right for us, I'll be ready to pack a bag and go. I've threatened to hog tie my boyfriend if he doesn't follow suit. Last year when she called, I told her I was staying home.

"It's not going to hit us, mom!" I said in an exasperated tone. "Stop worrying."

Every year, me and my mother have the same argument. You see, my aunt works in emergency management so when she gets the skinny on an evacuation, she calls the entire family and tells them to leave. Every time she does this, I end up spending a hellish car trip evacuating to either Florida or Texas. This is followed by a couple of days of sheer boredom because my relatives live in the sticks. The hurricane doesn't even come close to hitting our area, and then I get to endure the enjoyment of another long return trip home.

Last year, my mother called me four times. She begged, she pleaded, and finally, when that didn't work, she cried. She asked me to give her my boyfriend's address so that she'd know where to look for the bodies after she returned from the evacuation. Then she hung up on me. I packed a bag and told my boyfriend I was leaving. He said he'd see me when I got back. The schmuck ended up leaving later that day when he realized his car might get flooded. We spent most of the evacuation in two different states. I love my man, but sometimes I don't know whether I want to beat the shit out of him or fuck his brains out.

I was never in the girl scouts, but I now know the value of being prepared for anything. I've got a good length of rope and a ball gag in the trunk of my car just in case.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

To Whome It May Concern: I am not dead.

This is not my first blog. A year ago, I started a blog with the same name. Ironically, I predicted that like the many diaries of my youth, I would eventually lose interest. I predicted it would last a week. It lasted close to three. No, I didn't lose interest. No, I didn't catch some life changing illness that kept me from my keyboard. No, I was not abducted by aliens-though I once used that as a tardy excuse in high school. The month of July I was busy moving in with my boyfriend. Then I was busy with work. Then I was busy with being stranded in parts of Louisiana and Texas during the evacuation. Then I was busy with clean up. Then the casino reopened, and I was working six days a week plus overtime. By the time things slowed down, I had totally forgotten I had a blog. These are all lame excuses at best, but there they are and here I am.

It's good to be back.

"Dear Diary, ...So...still have the white girl 'fro. And I'm still fat. How's things with you?"