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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Great Seattle Gum Wall

I'm not sure why, but there is a wall that is completely coated with wads of gum just below the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Some people have been pretty creative with their gum, forming it into little sculptures and pictures. Disgusting as it sounds, it is really kind of fascinating.

Or click here to see a 360 view of the Glorious Gum Wall.

Friday, November 25, 2005

AT&T Wireless will live again!! (sort of)

For those of you who haven't been playing along, John Zeglis, the astoundingly ignorant CEO, also known as the Redmond Rapist, sold AT&T Wireless to Cingular, which is a 60-40 partnership between, respectively, SBC and Bellsouth. For those of us who transitioned from AT&T Wireless to Cingular, the past year has been a nightmare of re-branding and re-coloring. Now that SBC has closed the deal to buy AT&T and taken over the AT&T name, USA Today is reporting that they intend to re-brand Cingular as at&t [sic] Wireless. Even Bellsouth, the co-owner of Cingular, says that they are okay with the name change, since they will probably make more money that way. I'm starting to get the feeling that 2006 will be another year of re-branding and re-coloring, but I'm actually okay with it this time. The name "Cingular" could never be mistaken for anything but an evil marketing abortion, and I will definitely not miss the corporate color, which is a god-awful orange.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

so tired

There's a scene in every made-for-TV drama I've ever not been able to avoid watching where some little kid cowers pathetically in a corner with his hands over his ears while his parents brutalize each other in some way or another. I don't feel much filial love towards either political party but, since the latest supreme court nomination, I'm definitely feeling like that pathetic little kid cowering in the corner, and I know it's not going to end anytime soon.

I don't know why this particular batch of bitching, moaning, lying and insults that pass for political process in this country seems worse than anything else that has been going on for the past 5 years, but this week I can't even listen to NPR without being overwhelmed with apathy and depression. I'm as liberal as anyone I know, and I care deeply about the rights that are currently at risk, but I can't help but dread the next several months of incessant, overwhelming partisan bitching at least as much as I dread the possibility of the next several decades of oppression.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Leave me ALONE!!!!!

I have a silly idea for a business which, if successful, will make me almost no money. Nevertheless, being the law-abiding, tax paying individual that I am, I got myself a business license from the great state of Washington. Even before I actually received the license in the mail, the unsolicited calls started rolling in. I have not had a day in the past month where I did not receive at least three calls from companies offering me free credit card terminals. If my home (Vonage) phone number were not so awesome I would change it right now.

So here's my new plan. I am going to keep a list of all the bastards who call me in this blog entry. My hope is that some of those other bastards who mine for spam information in blogs will come upon this entry, and therefore these phone numbers, and start pestering the fuckers who are pestering me. Please feel free to call the below numbers with "Hi, is your refrigerator running" types of prank calls all you want.

Evil blog miners, please feel free to contact these legitimate, if obnoxious, businesses for whatever specious purposes you can think of.


801 486-6112

661 310-7980

801 466-6749

8/1/05 (yes, I forgot about this for a while)

614 652 2997

405 603 7076

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


The robber-baron former-CEO of AT&T Wireless, who I hope someday will follow his moral peers at the Enron and Worldcom corporations into the land of striped jump suits, closed the deal and made his hundreds of millions in November of 2004. At that point the company wisely decided to try to keep employees from fleeing the sinking ship by stating that no one who quit before the end of the year would get a bonus. Since the bonus payout in February of this year, however, the "Blue" (AKA AT&T Wireless) side of Cingular has been hemorrhaging employees at an unsustainable rate. At the beginning of the year some high-up person announced in the Seattle Times that there would be "significant" lay-offs in the September/October '05 period to reach a specific employment goal by the end of the year. Apparently we reached that goal at the beginning of June, seven months early, due to attrition, with no slowing in voluntary employee departures.

One of the people who built our network up from scratch, who worked with Craig McCaw to create the company before Craig sold out to AT&T, had a going away gathering last night. The attendees were a who's-who of the engineers and technicians who consolidated hundreds of Ma-and-Pa companies into the first international wireless network that set the bar for all of the networks that were to follow, the very best of the best of the wireless industry. Actually, sadly, they were a pathetically small subsection of the best of the best of the wireless industry. It was unbelievably depressing seeing how many of the original group have moved on to other companies in the past six months.

It will be very interesting to see how long a company can survive after it gets rid of its brain.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Unitarian Jihad!

Even Unitarians are a bit too dogmatic for my taste, but it's a nice change of pace anyway:

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Pepper Spray of Patience.

Get yours.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Saving the world

As a regular Tuesday feature on my blog from now on I am going to solve one of the world's great problems. This week, I choose poverty. I can't decide if I should do global warming, the Middle East or AIDS in Africa next Tuesday, but I'm sure I'll figure it out over the next few days. I actually came up with this week's truly brilliant solution for poverty a long time ago, but I can't help but admire its amazing genius every time I drive past a homeless person.

Everyone has some skill. For many homeless people, this skill seems to be standing beside freeway onramps holding signs saying something about having multiple kids to feed or working for food or something. I can't pass one of these people without feeling guilty, even though their situation is most definitely not my fault, so they must be pretty good at what they do.

We've all seen the idiots standing at intersections, often dressed in bizarre costumes, usually waving signs, always extremely annoying. I pass at least three or four every time I drive through Monroe, WA, usually trying to sell crappy pre-fab houses. Just yesterday I saw one dressed as a pizza, holding a Papa John's Pizza sign. There are giant chicken people out side of fried chicken restaurants (I'm thinking of Family Guy, but I'm sure they exist in real life too), giant tacos holding signs outside taco stands and giant latte people outside latte stands. During election years I can't drive the two miles from where I work to where I live without passing at least a dozen people, many of them getting paid, standing around holding "vote XXXX" signs, where "XXXX" is the name of someone who almost certainly shouldn't be in office or some bill that definitely should not be enacted into law. Yes, there really are lots of people gainfully employed in this country of ours in a career that is generally performed more efficiently by a pole and a sheet of painted plastic.

So here is my idea in all its brilliant simplicity:

On one hand, a group of people exist who are in dire, tragic need of money, with highly developed standing-around-holding-sign skills. On the other hand, a group of extremely stupid merchants and ineffective politicians exist who believe that the best way to get customers to buy their merchandise or vote for them is to hire someone to stand around holding a sign. So why not get the two groups together? Give the giant hot dog costume and the "Eat John's Weiners" sign to a homeless person and pay him to do what he does best! He's doing it anyway, so why not pay him for it and do society some good? Why not employ a group of supposedly unemployable people for doing exactly what they are doing anyway? With the added benefit, at least during winter months, that as part of their employment they will get to wear what I'm sure are very warm costumes!

This works on so many levels.