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Onkroes loves these list things and I just took the time to read an enormous one, and I was, in my mind, trying to see if anything on his list would match with me:

Onkroes -Seven Things I Can’t Do
1. Stomach Soap Operas or Reality TV
2. Tolerate stupid people
3. Stop worrying
4. Promote myself (I never get promoted or recognised at work because hard though I work I’m not good at making sure people in my company know about it, I focus on getting the job done for the customer)
5. Refuse good food
6. Go to bed early, or get up early in the morning
7. Can’t stand arrogance
Oh, and I can’t write snappy, memorable, or cool answers to memes.

My big match, number 5, refuse good food. Heck, depending on the mood, I don’t even refuse bad food… =)

I can’t stomach reality tv either (as I have blogged before), but soap-operas I can watch 15-20 minutes here and there, depending on which one, what characters, etc. It’s like when you go to the mall or the beach and you people-watch. In addition, I’ve always found it fascinating how so many of soap-opera actors are very beautiful/handsome, but totally insipid as people/actors. It’s such a striking clash of outside/inside.


Clayton has written several excellent posts on a series of serious subjects (almost a tongue twister, eh? 😉 but, alas, I haven’t had even a second to blog here and add links and comments. So I just added the links at the bottom.

However, his tip to this great customer response to total lack of service hell must be posted 🙂 Before that, I’ll show you Livewire’s self-description, which I enjoyed! 😀

I have no idea what I am doing, but I sure do a bang-up job at it. Explaining me is like going outside and trying to catch every third raindrop. In the dark. While running backwards. Read: futile. Hell, I can’t even do it. The lithium, on the other hand, makes me somewhat focused. I have the fascinating ability to place both feet in my mouth in record time. Sometimes I even have enough charm to get myself out of it. I do firmly believe that well behaved women rarely make history. That being said, I should end up in alot of history books. Even if I have to write it in by hand!

Voilà, “the” customer complaint letter of the year

Dear Cretins,

I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for your 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions. Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional prerogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties – or more likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website….HOW?

I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes – an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept. The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools – such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived… six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it.

I estimate your internet server’s downtime is roughly 35%… hours between about 6pm -midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the weekend. I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock jugglers.

I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone
will call me back); that no telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman…and several other variations on this theme.

Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to. Frankly I don’t care, it’s far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustrations in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue.

I thought BT were sh*t, that they had attained the holy piss-pot of god-awful customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That’s why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn’t anyone else is there? How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum incompetents of the highest order.

British Telecom – w**kers though they are – shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver – any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage. I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit – they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and its worthless employees.

Have a nice day – may it be the last in you miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twats.

And on the serious side (from Clayton):
The ACLU’s Drive To Legalize Pedophilia

Denmark Sets A New Standard In Welfare Statism

Obscenity Prosecutions

You should read the previous entry first and then this one.

Finally a little test that says nothing but the total and profound truth about me:

Veggie Pizza

Upscale and trendy.
You’re the most likely to go for a gourmet pizza.
You have impeccable taste in everything.
You truly enjoy the finer things in life.

Thank you. About time the pizza oracle (and the world) recognized it. 😉


OK, I needed a break, time to blog!!! 🙂 So I went for a stroll and came upon one more of Onkroes passtimes – doing little online quizzes 🙂

Like him and chickenlittle, I decided to try the world’s shortest personality and…

Couldn’t have been more disappointed with how terrible the results were in terms of not matching. Ugh! Can’t I even be under the illusion that something clever was done with this test?

Guess not. This is the pathetic unmatching result, with my comments:

You are nurturing, kind, and lucky. (all these are very variable in me, they can go up and down and all over the place depending on the moment and situation)

Like mother nature, you want to help everyone. (true – well, almost everyone – some people we just hope will get run over by a truck for justice to be done)

You are good at keeping secrets and tend to be secretive. (I can be good at keeping secrets, but don’t necessarily do it as often as I should 😉 and I am kind of schizophrenic regarding being secretive – I get a kick out of being secretive with some things and blabber about regarding others 😉

A seeker of harmony, you are a natural peacemaker. (I am a strong seeker of harmony, but I am afraid I am incredibly talented to start World War III)

You are good natured and people enjoy your company. (well… some people do at least -hahahah)

You put people at ease and make them feel at home with you. (only after they put me at ease – hheeeheheheee)

So you see – can this gibberish even be called a test? I’m sure even the word “test” is appalled to being applied to this sham questionaire.

So then I peeked at most of the results and I guess I found one a bit more like me:

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant. (I’m too stressed to be elegant at the moment. A little withdrawn but hey, if I had better options… well, brilliant, no comments – hahahah)

Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle. (some puzzles better than others, but I have my strengths – nice to have a reminder about this from reading this test)

You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs. (yes!!! and there is nothing that leaves people more uncomfortable and upset than if you do this to them)

For you, comfort and calm are very important. (Perhaps this is the greatest match in all these statements about me, myself, and I)

You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection. (NO!!!! Can’t live without and I die for affection 🙂

You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong. (Yes, indeed! but not in the sense where I want to repress them and become like a robot)

Now we have a better set of results. 😉


I have a major workload crunch these days, probably won’t be blogging much for a couple of weeks, but… you never know when that blogging fix will hit you (even in a workload crunch…) 🙂


Clayton asks:

The older I get… the more miserable a common cold makes me feel–and how quickly it does its dirty deed. This one took me from feeling okay–yesterday afternoon–to the “must sleep, even though my son is playing drums two rooms away” state–this afternoon. (He didn’t know that I had come home sick, and I was too weak to get out of bed to tell him that I was here.)

Maybe once the new house is built, I will become a full-time telecommuter, so that I am not exposed to everyone’s germs. Howard Hughes’s obssession looks less and less silly all the time. Or does that indicate that I am getting more and more silly with time?

The latter. 😉

Thanks to tip from Telendro – delightful (and totally relates to my previous post):

Google Announces Plan To Destroy All Information It Can’t Index

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—Executives at Google, the rapidly growing online-search company that promises to “organize the world’s information,” announced Monday the latest step in their expansion effort: a far-reaching plan to destroy all the information it is unable to index.

“Our users want the world to be as simple, clean, and accessible as the Google home page itself,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a press conference held in their corporate offices. “Soon, it will be.”

The new project, dubbed Google Purge, will join such popular services as Google Images, Google News, and Google Maps, which catalogs the entire surface of the Earth using high-resolution satellites.

As a part of Purge’s first phase, executives will destroy all copyrighted materials that cannot be searched by Google.

“A year ago, Google offered to scan every book on the planet for its Google Print project. Now, they are promising to burn the rest,” John Battelle wrote in his widely read “Searchblog.” “Thanks to Google Purge, you’ll never have to worry that your search has missed some obscure book, because that book will no longer exist. And the same goes for movies, art, and music.”

“Book burning is just the beginning,” said Google co-founder Larry Page. “This fall, we’ll unveil Google Sound, which will record and index all the noise on Earth. Is your baby sleeping soundly? Does your high-school sweetheart still talk about you? Google will have the answers.”

Page added: “And thanks to Google Purge, anything our global microphone network can’t pick up will be silenced by noise-cancellation machines in low-Earth orbit.”

As a part of Phase One operations, Google executives will permanently erase the hard drive of any computer that is not already indexed by the Google Desktop Search.

“We believe that Google Desktop Search is the best way to unlock the information hidden on your hard drive,” Schmidt said. “If you haven’t given it a try, now’s the time. In one week, the deleting begins.”

Although Google executives are keeping many details about Google Purge under wraps, some analysts speculate that the categories of information Google will eventually index or destroy include handwritten correspondence, buried fossils, and private thoughts and feelings.

The company’s new directive may explain its recent acquisition of Celera Genomics, the company that mapped the human genome, and its buildup of a vast army of laser-equipped robots.

[read more…]

El Telendro: Lo comenta Hoboseo en Xeoweb. Según parece, algunos datacenters de Google están devolviendo el doble (incluso el triple) de resultados de los ofrecidos hasta ahora. Hace bien poco hubo una buena polémica con el anuncio de Yahoo sobre el aumento de su index, y quizás esta sea la respuesta de Google.

I knew it. That’s why I hate Google. Cheapshots who think they can stick the public with a bad service and there will be no challenge or complaints. Even a mild monopoly brings out the worst in people providing lame services and riding it all so comfortably.

On the good albeit greedy side, as always…

Google se dit prêt à numériser les ouvrages français

Le géant invite très officiellement les éditeurs français à rejoindre son projet controversé: “Google Print”

Google Print débarque en France. Au grand dam des détracteurs de ce projet pharaonique: numériser plus de 15 millions d’ouvrages pour créer la plus grande bibliothèque virtuelle mondiale. La France en particulier critique vivement Google Print, craignant une main mise du groupe américain sur le patrimoine littéraire mondial.

On le sait, un contre-projet similaire, a été lancé avec le soutien du président Jacques Chirac. Mais Google veut garder son avance.

Le géant attaque sur deux fronts: les bibliothèques nationales (le projet le plus critiqué) et les éditeurs. C’est évidemment cette seconde cible qui est aujourd’hui visée en France.

Dans un entretien à Libération, JL Needham, responsable de Google Print pour la France explique:
“Les éditeurs français peuvent désormais nous confier leurs livres à numériser, comme le font leurs confrères anglo-saxons depuis octobre 2004.
Depuis six mois, nous avons multiplié les contacts avec les grandes et petites maisons d’édition en France, nous avons déjà signé des accords avec certaines, nous sommes en pourparlers avec d’autres. Nous avons fait une présentation de notre offre au Syndicat National de l’Edition. La littérature générale n’est pas la seule concernée, puisque nous discutons aussi avec les maisons plus orientées vers les sciences, le droit…”

Et les choses semblent bien avancer: “Nous avons été bien reçus par les éditeurs français. Le seul obstacle c’est le fait que la plupart préfèrent passer un accord soumis à la législation française sur le droit d’auteur. Nous sommes en train de terminer un modèle adapté. Ceux qui ont déjà signé dans une douzaine de pays, dont la France, ont paraphé notre contrat global soumis au copyright anglo-saxon. Par ailleurs, nous avons ajouté d’autres fonctionnalités depuis six mois pour mieux assurer la sécurité des titres dans notre base. Dans chaque chapitre d’un livre, une page au moins n’est pas visualisée”.

De quoi encore plus agacer Jean-Noël Jeanneney, le président de la Bibliothèque nationale de France qui tente de lancer un contre-projet mêlant les entreprises privées et les pouvoirs publics de certains pays européens. Et chez Google, on reste très sereins: “Nous supportons bien sûr le projet de bibliothèque européenne et espérons que ce sera un grand succès. Nous travaillons aussi à ajouter de la valeur en ouvrant à toutes les cultures”, explique au quotidien JL Needham.

Quant à la date d’ouverture du service aux internautes français, Google reste discret: “Nous devons avoir un corpus suffisamment riche pour permettre d’afficher des résultats à la requête des internautes. C’est moins une question de chiffre que de diversité”, poursuit-il.

On croyait pourtant les ambitions de Google revues à la baisse compte tenu des réactions plutôt négatives à son projet – même aux Etats-Unis où le groupe se heurte également au droit d’auteur. Numériser des ouvrages tombés dans le domaine public ne pose aucun problème. Mais pour les autres… Le 14 août dernier, le géant annonçait la suspension de la numérisation des ouvrages protégés. Mais pour combien de temps?

La position de Google sur la gestion des droits est en effet pour le moins ambiguë. Le moteur de recherche développe les outils de stockage, de recherche et de consultation des ouvrages numérisés, mais reporte le risque de faute pour violation des droits d’auteurs sur leurs détenteurs, les bibliothèques!

Pour contrer ce risque, Google a donc adopté une nouvelle stratégie, dérivée des pratiques américaines d’opt-out, à savoir d’inviter l’ayant droit opposé au projet à se faire connaître. Au même titre qu’aux Etats-Unis l’internaute non satisfait de recevoir un courriel non sollicité doit se désabonner volontairement a posteriori…

“Nous pensons que la plupart des éditeurs et auteurs choisiront de participer au programme afin de présenter leur oeuvre aux innombrables lecteurs de par le monde mais nous savons que tout le monde n’est pas d’accord et nous voulons faire de notre mieux pour respecter les opinions aussi”, a déclaré Adam Smith, chargé du programme chez Google.

Plutôt que de chercher à obtenir l’autorisation préalable des ayants droit, Google part donc du principe que ce droit lui est acquis, et que c’est au détenteur de s’y opposer s’il le souhaite… avant novembre !

Une attitude très critiquée, même aux Etats-Unis, en particulier par l’Association des éditeurs. Mais Google estime que ce problème est un détail… “Ce n’est qu’une petite partie de notre programme que nous avons suspendue jusqu’en novembre, celle qui concerne les livres qui ne sont plus en circulation mais qui sont toujours couverts par le droit d’auteur”, souligne à Libération, JL Needham.
“Nous nous accordons ce délai de trois mois pour laisser aux éditeurs le choix de nous les communiquer ou pas. Nous considérons que c’est l’aspect le moins important. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de monde qui passe du temps à consulter des ouvrages qui ne sont plus disponibles, même si cette possibilité peut avoir quelque chose de révolutionnaire. Des chiffres indiquent que seulement 15% des livres publiés depuis le XVIIIè siècle sont encore accessibles. Dans les 85% restants, 30% peut-être seraient couverts par le droit d’auteur. La proportion reste importante, mais la plupart des internautes veulent avoir accès à ceux qui sont en librairie”.


More reflections spunn off Fractured Memories:

Their major downfall was/is being below sea level – it magnified everything. The city and surrounding areas are ruined. How do you even go about rebuilding? Every time the Mississippi floods the media interviews people that insist they are rebuilding because their family lived there for generations. Personally, I don’t get it but maybe it’s because I don’t have those sorts of ties anywhere. After something of that magnitude, I’d be gone. No dicussing it.

You know, that is an interesting point. For some people this feeling of being rooted in a place is so intense and they just hang on no matter how bad it is.

I think poverty sometimes makes it more intense maybe? It’s what you know, it’s the little ties you have, and you may find something even worse if you try to go somewhere else with no support or adequate means. So people root down and stay.

It’s not so much on a rational level, but on an emotional level of security.

If you are so poor that evacuating a flood for a day is a problem, total relocation is no small move.

On another completely different note, I came across one more article, cant remember where, talking about how obesity, as a health problem, is growing among poor people in a way that had not happened before in human history. In the past, poor people’s main problem with food was always the lack of it, going hungry, and not having excess of food. It was one of the things that you could clearly see in the photos of the left behind in NO, how many people were very fat.

And I still can’t block out of my mind a photo of a dead elderly person just slumped over in their wheelchair. Just left there.

Probably not any more abandoned in death than they were before Katrina struck. This is why I get very angry at people who think they are these major do-gooders *just* because they make a ten dollar donation now.


Another gem from Scrappleface, announcing that the President will the opportunity provided by Katrina to solve a longstanding problem in New Orleans:

(2005-09-02) — President George Bush issued new orders today designed to deal with hurricane victims trapped in New Orleans and the gangs of looters roaming the city’s streets.

“I’ve directed FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers to take two immediate actions,” said Mr. Bush as he stepped off Marine One after his helicopter tour of the ravaged region. “Our plan is simple, and can be expressed in just nine words: Rescue the refugees, then fill it to the brim.”

The president explained that he had great compassion for those stranded at the increasingly unsanitary New Orleans convention center without food and water.

However, he has “no sympathy or tolerance for the gangs of brutal thugs who rob, rape and terrify.”

“The moment we get the last legitimate refugee out of the city,” the president said, “I’ve instructed the Corps of Engineers to dynamite the levees and let Lake Pontchatrain completely cover the snakes and fire-ants and their kin, if you know what I mean. Hurricane Katrina has provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rid New Orleans of a chronic plague.”

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