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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sleeze

Ever heard of The Gold Kit? They offer an amazing service. They'll give you honest to goodness greenbacks for all your "scrap gold". And they've really simplified the process: you just mail them all your annoying heirlooms and tacky gold items, and they'll send you a check. If you agree with how much they send you, just cash the check! It's as easy as that! One elderly woman in the advertisement positively beamed, "I got $600 for my scrap gold!!!"

After seeing the commercial during the Mariner's game, I googled the service and found others have already been similarly impressed. An endeavoring blogger posted this must-read about his experience with The Gold Kit here!

Thank God someone is out there really thinking about my needs. I was considering just throwing away all my scrap gold. Not only do I have another option, now a brotha can even get PAID!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Song of the Day

Even if she doesn't read this blog, this is for Erynnis.


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The Wages of Sin

The laws of karma are screwing with me. For years I've sat back smugly and chortled at the woes of other computer owners... Always complaining about their hard drives crashing or their precious Macs going belly-up. Meanwhile, I've never lost a single byte of data... never had virus issues... never had to sweat the whopping repair bill of the PC doctor. Until this week. My trusty rig suddenly stopped booting. Lights came on and the fans were spinning, but no startup. No amount of powering down, cleaning up the dust and reconnecting everything helped. Pride goeth before the fall. Deadly Sin #1 for today.

A very cool PC repairman offered me all sorts of troubleshooting advice for free over the phone. I tried powering up after first removing one of my sticks of ram, then again after swapping out the other, in case I was being done in by a fried ram module. No luck. Then tried pulling out each PCI card (first the Soundblaster, then the video card) one at a time... still no change. Disconnected the PC from everything but the monitor... same result. Then swapped out a jumper from some arcane part of the motherboard that apparently resets the BIOS, just in case I had somehow corrupted my startup configurations. Still nothing. Sigh. No easy solution for this hubris-monkey.

At this point PC Man suspects a motherboard issue, although he was amazed to hear that an ASUS motherboard had failed... apparently it's almost always something else. Sunday I take my baby over to his shop and hope for the best. If it is just the motherboard, at least that's a fairly cheap fix and all my data should be fine.

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I'm feeling jealous. Deadly sin #2 for the day. CC Rider has been accepted into the MSW program at UW. Come autumn, she'll leave JFS and head off on a new adventure. Two other coworkers are leaving this week... off to other jobs. My boss Steve is gone for three weeks to Spain and Portugal. A fellow counselor Carol is spending a week in Ireland. Meanwhile, my job has been haywire the last week... I've dealt with about double the number of cases of a typical week.

While toiling away, I've been indulging every escape fantasy I can think of. I'm jealous of people on vacation, people leaving for new pastures... I'm even jealous of the admin assistant that got laid off last week. Each morning I consider the repercussions of calling in sick for the next week. I hit snooze as many times as possible and only with great begrudgement do I force myself to shower and dress for work. Often I boycott applying deodorant, shaving or brushing my teeth in a plaintive protest against the world. By midday, I shake off my torpor and remember that I actually like what I do and even get to feel proud of the work I've done. But this feeling never lasts.

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One solution to these doldrums is to lust after consumer goods. (Deadly Sin #3)

This week, I've pondered throwing down $600-$700 on a laptop. It occurs to me that having a laptop would sure be handy for times when my desktop goes all Mac on me. Plus, the greatest thing about having a laptop is that you can set it up in the bathroom and watch movies while taking a luxurious bath. (No dummy, I put the laptop on a shelf across the room. I don't hold it over the bathwater!) If you haven't tried this... I recommend it highly. It's far better than the pleasure of eating crackers in bed.

I've also been thinking about one of these: A 42" hi-def plasma television. Why? Because they're under a thousand dollars now. Because I like watching movies and sporting events at home. Because I have an odd need to spend a lot of money on something so that I'll feel better about my dead PC and my dissatisfaction at work. Hmm... I guess those aren't really great reasons.

Lastly, and I'm loath to admit this, I've been looking at shoes. I know, I know. This makes me doubt my own y chromosome as well. But it's true. I spent an extra thirty minutes at work yesterday browsing the shoe selection on Amazon.com. I'm thinking about a pair of black or brown slip-ons suitable for work. Something like these:


The weekend can't come soon enough: dinner parties, softball practices, and a volunteer day for Habitat for Humanity with Andres.

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