Monday, May 20, 2013

Here's the view from my chair


Away from official Institute business for a while, I am now safely ensconced back in the FTI Command Center and have retaken command of the good ship, Nutso.  But first, a few random observations and experiences during my absence:
  • Having dispatched of DickieSkiltskin in a recent golf grudge match, (and continuing reining holder of the ceremonial thin quarter prize purse) I am rapidly beginning to think that, perhaps, my game would improve  if I were to ramp up the level of competition which I play.  The little miser is a worthy opponent, but, quite honestly,  I am thinking about checking the local rehab center to inquire if any patients want to improve their mobility by playing golf.

  • While out of town recently, I needed to get some gas for the car.  Pulling all the way to the front pump  into an empty 2-island, 3 pump each, service station, I am greeted by the attendant running up to the car saying, "Whoa, Bud! You just came in my exit! There's the entrance; you have got to turn around. This is a one way station."  I had no idea what the guy was saying, but, he is pointing to the entry point on the lot.  It does indeed say "Exit Only" as I did not observe it when I pulled in.  I simply was aiming for the easiest route to get gas congruent to the side of the car on which the gas cap is located.  "One way station?", I ask. "What does that mean?" "You have to pull in there and exit through that way," he says, smiling with a smug little grin. "You've got to turn around".   I look at him, look behind him to the other island, look back at him, and then swivel  to look behind me.  There is nobody there.  "Turn around? There's nobody here!   I just need some gas."  "I know, but, you have got to turn around.  I can help you on this side", as he walks away to the other side of the island ready to do his job.  I hope he is still waiting for me.

  • Mrs. Kfred greets me upon my return reporting that the sound system in the FTI Executive Living Quarters appears to be not fully functioning  and asks if I can investigate.  Normally a task assigned to the FTI IT Department (the most reviled department here at FTI), I decide I will save the hassle and check it out myself.  "It just stopped working", she tells me.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  This is not the first time this description of service problems has been used and seems to be a go-to reason when determining the basis of service work provided here at the compound.)  Sure enough, the damn surround sound has crapped out and only functions after I unplug and reset the system only to fail within about 45 seconds. The system is a 15 year old proprietary Bose  system which means only Bose stuff works through it.  Calling the Bose customer service team, I am cheerfully told that, yes, it does appear to be in need of repair, and no, you can't run anyone elses equipment through their system.  The good news is that Bose will gladly  sell me their latest system if I want to trade in all of my current equipment at a steep 50% discount to current pricing.  That, my friends, is still over 1200 bones.  I am currently scouring Amazon for top rated non-proprietary  systems  for approximately 500 bucks.

  • Saturday night was a perfect night for a backyard fire.  No wind, pleasant temperatures, good company, and plenty of ceremonial sacraments.  It was perfect.  It doesn't occur nearly often enough.  
And like a bad habit.  I am back.  Badder than ever.  


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