Tales of a Tesla Ranger

Posted on November 5, 2014
Filed Under books | 5 Comments

Tales of a Tesla Ranger

I just preordered Tales of a Tesla Ranger. This anthology is a tribute to the late great PG Holyfield. I am looking forward to getting it on December 1st and reading it. It’s a very small gesture to buy a $5 Kindle book so I urge anyone with a connection to PG and his work to do it. Do it for the children! In this case, literally.

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LG G2 Odyssey Continues

Posted on November 4, 2014
Filed Under handhelds | 12 Comments

LG G2 Teardown

I called LG about my still broken phone late on Friday October 17th. They sent me a prepaid shipping label and I dropped it in the Fed Ex box on Sunday October 19th. The phone had finally made it back to me earlier today. I watched the Fed Ex truck pull up to my house while I was in a meeting with customers in Europe so I couldn’t jump up and answer the door (which I never heard a knock or bell, only saw the truck.) Despite having previously filled out the pre-authorization for Fed Ex to drop off signature required packages, they didn’t do it this time. I still don’t have my phone.

I basically begged LG customer support to just send me a new phone and let me send this one back to be refurbished, which they did not do. Bear in mind, I sent this off having gotten it back the weekend prior from sending it to the same facility for the same problems which were not at all fixed. From Fed Ex inexplicably not checking the box on Monday to then weirdly not delivering it today, from LG making me send it back twice, every step of this has been painful. It’s early November and the last time this phone was able to be used was the last week of September. Considering the average lifetime of a smart phone, that’s a good chunk of its expected life to be out of the game.

On September 20th, I was extremely happy with LG and this phone. Now I am strongly leaning towards avoiding LG in the future. Perhaps I’ve been trained to have a high bar with Amazon level support and their “we’ll send you a new one, you send us the broken one and we’ll sort it out” strategy. In the brochure, everyone touts the quality of their warranty and service but wait until you actually try to invoke it. That’s when the real test begins, and LG is failing this one for me.

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LG G2 Coming Home

Posted on November 3, 2014
Filed Under tweets | Leave a Comment

My LG G2 is in transit from the repair facility, due tomorrow. I have owned this 11 months and 1 full month of that has been multiple trips back and forth to that facility.

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Halloween Email

Posted on October 31, 2014
Filed Under tweets | 2 Comments

Within an hour this morning, every restaurant chain with my address sent me “No Tricks, Just Treats” emails.

WTF FedEx?

Posted on October 21, 2014
Filed Under tweets | Leave a Comment

So in the chronicles of the LG G2 taking a dump: as if having to send it back to the factory for repairs one week after I got it back from repairs didn’t suck enough. I wanted them to just give me a new one, they refused. They did give me a prepaid shipping label for FedEx, which I packaged up over the weekend and dropped in the FedEx box downtown on Sunday. I have been sweating for the last 24 hours how the tracking information wasn’t there. Turns out the box didn’t get checked until Tuesday. WTF FedEx? This whole phone fiasco remains painful at every point I deal with any aspect of it, across three corporations now.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 16 2014 – Just Saying Goodbye

Posted on October 20, 2014
Filed Under audio | 8 Comments

In this episode, I spend a long time talking about the casual cruelty imbedded in the way people use the word “just” as in “just don’t work there”; I mention the video that made me stop eating regularly at Jimmy Johns; I talk about PG Holyfield’s memorial service weekend and publicly mourn him and Thomas Peake; I finish by talking a little about Tiny Tiny RSS and why finding RSS feeds to follow was surprisingly difficult for me.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 16 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Posted on October 17, 2014
Filed Under tweets | Leave a Comment

Look for my next short story, “The Poot that Wasn’t: An Underwear Horror Story” in better magazines near you.

Last Chance

Posted on October 17, 2014
Filed Under handhelds | 6 Comments

LG G2 Teardown

OK, LG G2. You’ve been to the repair facility in Fort Worth and back. You disappointed me immediately out of the envelope and then kept your nose clean for days trying to lull me into a sense of security. I’m giving you the benefit of a doubt, setting you back up and using you normally. But I swear the very next time you lock up or reboot without provocation, I will call customer support again and this time not hang up until they promise to melt you down and give me a new phone.

Are we clear?


Nerdist in Kansas

Posted on October 17, 2014
Filed Under misc | 6 Comments

Nerdist 573

In this Nerdist episode where Chris Hardwick talks solo with Robert Patrick, towards the end they talk about driving alone across the country. Patrick is talking about doing it on motorcycles, and Hardwick mentions a drive where he found lots of great little towns like … Hays, Kansas.

This is not news to any of my high school friends, some chunk of whom went to Fort Hays State University. It is a cool little college town. I think of it as a big city, due to the relative size of the small towns I grew up in. When I look up the data, its population in 2010 was around 20,000 people. The town I live in now, which I think of as a small town has a population of 16,000.

Hays is where my mom went back to college to get her teaching degree. In the summer of 1980 my brother and I lived on campus with her, and had a great time of it. We rode bikes all over the campus, we found the stores with the best comic books and went to the summer film series at one of the theaters where we saw Steve Reeves Hercules movies and various Ray Harryhausen swashbuckler films.

The whole reason I know it is 1980 is because I remember watching David Letterman’s morning show in that little married student housing apartment. One of our neighbors was a psychology student and I remember her administering the gifted test multiple times as she tried practiced giving it. I suggest that one reason I always score high on those kinds of tests is regardless of what natural aptitude might be there, I have more experience taking them then most people.

Hays is a nice little town, and western Kansas still holds a warm place in my heart. Also a cold place in my heart, is it is both the hottest and coldest place I’ve ever been. I was glad I went back to Norton for my 25th high school reunion a few years ago. Kansas gets a lot of guff when people talk about driving cross country. True, it is a wide state, most of the width of Texas, and will take a day to get across. If you do drive through, you could do a lot worse then spend some time in Norton or Hays or both.

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Goodbye to Absent Friends

Posted on October 16, 2014
Filed Under life | 13 Comments

PG Holyfield and Thomas Peake

Last weekend I drove to Charlotte to attend the memorial service for the late great Patrick “PG” Holyfield. It was a nice time and I’m glad I went, as nice as it could be for an event I wish with all my heart didn’t exist. I saw friends and met Kimberly, PG’s “special lady friend” for the first time. I listened to the eulogies and sniffled. I played tickly banjo with Patrick McLean’s son and ate chips with pesto. Later I hanged out with the remaining friends and ate Vietnamese food and generally soaked in the presence of people I enjoy.

I freely admit that of everyone in that room, I had the loosest personal connection to PG. He was a guy I always liked, enjoyed talking to every time I saw him and never had a bad time in his presence. I know and could always have told you that my life would benefit from having more of him in it, but it didn’t and now it won’t. I drove to Charlotte primarily to say goodbye to a guy I wish I knew better and to support the people who helped him as he died. Goodbye, Patrick.

Right around the same time, we noted the sad occasion of five years since the passing of Thomas Peake. He died in 2009 while hiking in the Grand Canyon, just shy of his 40th birthday. After a several year hiatus, Chris Campbell and I began preparing new episodes of the Peakecast. We knew him from college radio and he left behind a lot of tapes of him doing that brilliantly, so we put those back out into the world. For all I see podcasters interested in gaining traction, I put a lot of time in a podcast primarily aimed at 50 to 100 people, his friends and family who want to hear a little more of him.

I miss both of these guys and wish like hell I could talk to them again. I wish I didn’t meet both of their significant others for the first time at their memorial services. I didn’t keep up with either as well as I should have. I will try going forward but I will fail. The next person I lose I will feel the same way. I am sorry if it is you. Give me a call sometime, okay?

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Fie on the Olympics

Posted on October 15, 2014
Filed Under sports | 4 Comments

One of the upshots of living in Atlanta in the early 1990s during the run up to the Olympics is that I no longer care anything about them. It is an out of control, decadent celebration for plutocrats with limited access by the people paying for it. The price tags climb ever higher, and the burden shouldered by the ordinary citizens of the host regions climbs with it.

This article about the troubles the IOC is having finding a host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics seems about right to me. I like that the whole word seems to have suddenly woken up and understood that hosting an Olympics isn’t necessarily a gift. I learned from Atlanta that the best day in the whole process is the one when the winning bid is announced. That’s the last fun one before the bullshit begins.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 3, 2014 – Stacks and Heavyweights

Posted on October 6, 2014
Filed Under audio | 4 Comments

In this episode, I talk about systemic failure in life; I talk about the POSSE system that I am using to post and receive activity from my blog to social networks and back; I discuss adding Piwik stats to my websites; I talk about migrating vs starting things fresh; I mention GTD, Evernote and The Secret Weapon method of using them together; I close with a discussion of Extreme Programming, Agile, and heavyweight processes.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 3, 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Oh, AT&T

Posted on September 30, 2014
Filed Under tweets | Leave a Comment

Wow, AT&T. Calling the wireless customer service number at 11 PM at night gives you 20 minutes on hold and counting? It’s bright and early in India, this should be easy.

Rock and Roll Twitter

Posted on September 30, 2014
Filed Under music, podcasting | 4 Comments

Steve Conte NYC

Yesterday was a big day in my intersection of rock and roll and Twitter. First, I listened to Rock and Roll Geek Show episode in which he did a track by track of the Steve Conte NYC album. I really loved that episode and the album. It is now my all-time favorite of his track by tracks. My previous favorite was the one where he and Berton Averre went over Get the Knack.

Funnily enough, I tweeted to Steve Conte yesterday and he retweeted it.

I think that is pretty cool that I got a retweet from a New York Doll. True he is not an original Doll, but 60% of them have passed on so I’ll take what I can get. This album is truly terrific. It is good solid American rock and roll, and I highly recommend it. Go to the Amazon MP3 page for it and just do the preview. A few seconds of each song will be enough to let you know if you want it. (Spoiler alert: you will.) Steve Conte, you rock – figuratively and literally.

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Access code

Posted on September 25, 2014
Filed Under tweets | Leave a Comment

The vendor says:

Please note it may take up to 24 to 48 hours to receive this email with the code.

So in other words, it may take 48 hours. The 24 is really there as a decoy, right? If it takes “up to” a range, the early part of the range has no meaningful contribution except to make you think it might be sooner. Which is also what the “up to” part is doing.

Back To Work Squeamishness

Posted on September 24, 2014
Filed Under podcasting | 7 Comments

Back to Work

I am a listener of Back to Work on the 5 by 5 network with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. In general I enjoy the show and sometimes get some real profound insights from it. However, they have a recurring topic on which they lose me. It feels in recent episodes they spend a lot of time talking squeamishly about the dirtiness of environments. They had multiple episodes talking about what they will and will not do, will and will not touch in hotel rooms. On episode #184, the one I am listening to right now, they are talking about public bathrooms.

I am leaning hard towards just hitting skip anytime this kind of topic comes up. This may be that fatherhood has inured me to grossness, although both of these gentlemen are fathers of similarly aged children. I know things are gross in my environment. My personal goal is to avoid the relatively-rare health and life threatening situations and to actively ignore everything else. Gross but benign – put it out of my head. Life is too short to think about this too much, especially when you consider the ubiquity of the things that trouble them.

Mileage may vary. Cataloging neuroses is like talking about dreams: yours seem important and everyone else’s are tedious.

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Top Shelf Comix $3 Sale for 2014

Posted on September 23, 2014
Filed Under comics | 4 Comments

Top Shelf $3 sale 2014

Every fall, Top Shelf Comics has a massive blowout sale on their inventory. It works out that these comics are enjoyed by not only me but Punkin as well. It is fortuitous that the same company puts out From Hell, The Essex County trilogy but also Owly, Korgi and Johnny Boo. It is literally fun for the whole family.

Until Friday September 26th a lot of their books are on sale for $3. Some are as low as $1 and even the high end stuff is 50% off. This is a great time to go impulse buy some stuff, either for the adults in the house or the kids. Just make sure you know which books are for whom.

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Posted on September 22, 2014
Filed Under tweets | 8 Comments

I want to see this on G+, Facebook and Twitter but not the blog. Like/+1 if you see it.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 19, 2014 – Dunbars Number

Posted on September 19, 2014
Filed Under audio | 4 Comments

In this episode, I talk about how Dunbar’s Number is misused frequently and from there, I discuss the way specific claims are broadened, how quotes get mis-attributed to people more famous than the real originator.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast for September 19, 2014.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Posted on September 18, 2014
Filed Under socialmedia | 21 Comments

Bitchin' Rest Face

For some reason that I don’t understand, I went from never experiencing the term “resting bitch face” to seeing it dozens of times a day on social media in, like, a week. I can’t speak to it, but here is a picture of my “bitchin’ rest face.”

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