Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

Now aren’t you glad you waited…

Original called “Codename Zephyr”

1966.jpg

XBOX 360 Elite 

It’s Black (if you want a black 360, just buy a can of Krylon Flat Black)

Has a Larger Hard Drive (not much of an improvement, easily upgradable)

Has HDMI Support (Now that’s more like it. Native 1080p for HD monitor owners)

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Geeks and Gadgetry, Science and Technology | Comments Off

United Despairlines

We’re still stuck in Chicago.  Our experience with United Airlines has reached epic levels of ridiculousness.  Here’s a rundown of our experience so far:
 

  • Sunday, 7/8 – The start of all the despair.  It turns out you have to check in at least 2 hours before your flight for domestic flights nowadays if you have luggage to check in.  Because we were 20 minutes late (though we were 1 hour and 40 minutes early), we couldn’t check in our luggage.  The eCheck-In Kiosk tried to book us on the next flight, but as stand-by passengers (read: 2nd class citizens).
  • We waited at the next gate and discovered that the flight was severely over-booked, so we got bumped off.  We were then directed to United Airlines Customer Service.
  • We waited in line for about an hour and fifteen minutes, through a shift change, before I gave up and called my dad for advice (since he works for United).  He gave me the customer support phone number.
  • After talking to a robot for 5 minutes, I found my way to a human being (call center in India).  Even though we were told by the local customer service that flights were booked through Wednesday, somehow this agent booked us for a Tuesday evening flight back.
  • Tuesday, 7/10 – A severe thunderstorm hits our area, so I began to worry about our flight being delayed.  I checked our flight online and everything was kosher.
  • Just for kicks, I called the customer support line again to confirm our flight reservations.  It turned out that the customer service rep (CSR) did not book us seats–she just waitlisted us.  I complained and got seat assignments.
  • We get to the airport and reach the gate an hour and a half early.
  • An announcement goes out saying that our 6:30pm flight out of Chicago (to LAX) is delayed by half-an-hour.  Considering that our connecting flight from LAX to SBP was the last of the day, our window of transfer was now 20 minutes.  I informed Myla of the impending sprint.
  • We board the plane at 6:45pm and get settled in.
  • Another announcement comes on saying that the pilots for the plane haven’t left Dayton yet.
  • We are asked to leave the plane and wait in the gate area for further instructions.  The flight is now updated to take off at 8:45pm.
  • There was no way we were going to make our connecting flight from LAX to SBP, so I complain to the staff.  They direct me towards Customer Service.  Seeing that the CS line had at least 150 people in it, I decided to call the customer support number.
  • After getting through some language barriers (even though we were both speaking English somehow), we get our assignment: Chicago -> San Diego -> San Francisco -> San Luis Obispo.  Learning my lesson from last time, I make sure to ask what our seat assignments are.  She reads me the entire flight itinerary again.  I ask again, she reads the flight itinerary again.  I ask once more and finally she understands.  She puts me on hold for a few minutes and gets me the seat assignments (I was waitlisted again I’m assuming).

We’ll have our 3rd attempt at going home tomorrow, 7/11 at 3:03pm CST.  I’m glad that our friends here are so understanding.  They live about 40 minutes outside of Chicago so driving back and forth through traffic to drop us off/pick us up is no small feat.  We are in their debt.

Lessons learned:

  1. If you can help it, don’t check in any luggage!  Try to go all carry-on if you can.
  2. If you can’t help it, check in your luggage at least 3 hours before your flight.
  3. If you have to deal with customer service, call them: United Airlines – 800-241-6522.  If you have to change your reservation, make sure that you get your seat assignments from the CSR.  If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll just be waitlisted.
  4. When planning a trip on a holiday weekend, you might just want to leave on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, to beat the rush.
  5. Also, try to book morning flights so you have more options should you get bumped off.

Wish us luck tomorrow.  I’m burning up all of my PTO because of this debacle (PTO I was saving for paternity leave in February ’08).

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Rants | 6 Comments

Jet Powered Kayak



It’s either brilliance or insanity
.  Either way, at least we know that this guy’s kevlar testicular enhancement surgery was a success.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Science and Technology, Video | Comments Off

Missile Command Evolved

Our friends here in Chicago have a PS3, so I had a chance to spend some quality time with the game machine (playing through Resistance: Fall of Man).  I’m pretty convinced that I’ll probably get one eventually, when they don’t cost a hojillion dollars.

What’s really appealing to me for both the PS3 and the XBox 360 are the small shareware games.  I am overjoyed that small development houses are getting back to the roots of gaming.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the “interactive cinematics” of modern games as much as the next guy, but you can’t really beat the old-school games like Missle Command for some quick-in-quick-out frenetic action.

XBox just cornered Missile Command.  Awesome.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Games and Gaming | Comments Off

Camera-based GPS

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  If TomTom can pull this off, we’ll be one step closer to enhanced reality GPS on our windshield.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Science and Technology | Comments Off

$19M Toilet

Those lucky astronauts get to pamper their petooties with these extravagant pieces of technology.  How cool would it be to have a toilet with stirrups and foot straps?

Then again, the thought of drinking water made from reconstituted urine makes me pause… but only for a bit.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Oddities, Science and Technology | Comments Off

Another use for your Nintendo DS

Now here’s an interesting use for your wifi-enabled Nintendo DS.  Sure, you can order food and watch replays, but what would really be cool is if you can tag an annoying fan with an attachable laser so that the collesium snipers can take him out.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Science and Technology | Comments Off

Hack an Elevator

Now here’s a cool trick that will definitely annoy other passengers in an elevator (but probably not so much as letting out a “silent-but-deadly” flatulence attack).

July 10, 2007 Posted by | How-To | Comments Off

Quicksilver for Windows

Well, not exactly, but close enough.  Quicksilver is one of those apps that should be included with Mac OS X.  I live by that launcher.  Now all you MS-fanboys can join in on the fun. :)

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Software, Windows | Comments Off

iPhone Nano?

We’ve joked about it, but now it looks like there’s actually going to be an iPhone Nano sometime before the end of the year.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, News | Comments Off

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