Saturday, July 30, 2005

Blue Teeth and Black Berries...

I am so sick of being on hold and dealing with "customer service" that I could puke. It all started with a curious glance at a phone at a kiosk in the mall.

I have had the same old phone for 2 years and I was ready for an upgrade. I didn't want to pay too much for one either. My contract with AT&T, taken over by Cingular, was about to be up. The phone on display that caught my eye was the Motorola V330. I could switch to T-Mobile and get 1000 anytime minutes with unlimited nights and weekends. The best part of the deal was that the phone came with a free Motorola blue tooth wireless headset. Sign me up.

I got all of my paper work and walked away a happy man. But wait, where is the headset? Oh, it's a mail in offer? OK. Wait. Where is the paper work for it? I go back and sure enough, she sold me a deal that didn't exist. I handed my phone back and asked to undo everything. The same phone was on sale for less dough. The girl wanted her commission, so she promised me that she'd buy the headset at her dealer discount and get it to me. I said that if I didn't get it, I'd take it all back. She was find with that, so was I.

After two weeks I followed up. She wasn't there. But she was supposed to be there the next day. I came back. She had forgotten. I was about to turn in my phone when she promised me she'd have it then next day when she worked. I said I'd give her the one more day. I then went shopping at other places. One stand promised me a brand spankin new Blackberry 7100t for only $10 more than I already paid for my V330.

The next day I came back and sure shootin, she had called in sick leaving me bluetoothless. I was blue, however. I told the dude that was working there for her I was returning the phone. He then asked me if I would be happy if he gave me his headset. I took it and ran. But then I couldn't get it to connect to my phone. I took it back. He couldn't either. Once he did, he couldn't remember the passkey to make them paired. The dude called the girl and she was bringing it in that night. I was at the end of my rope. But I gave them one last chance. I went back that night and there was nothing there for me. I was in the act of returning my phone and going to the other place when this place offered to match it. I wasn't happy with the place, but the same deal as the other place without another endless pile of paperwork was good enough for me.

I took my bright shiny new Blackberry. I called T-Mobile to see how much the extra features cost for the e-mail and such. While doing that I found out that the dumb blonde also gave me the wrong contract agreement. I was getting charged $20 a month more than I agreed to! Now I was seeing black. The deal I got was only good for Arizona. I had a Hawaiian area code. I had to either get way less minutes or pay the extra moolah. After kavetching enough, I managed to get my offer with my number. I also took the chance to throw that stupid sales rep girl under the train. The customer service person at T-Mobile apparently had already heard of her. Good news for me, bad for her.

After 24 hours of using the Cell Phone/PDA hybrid I came to the conclusion that it was highly over rated and I didn't want it. I went to my computer and placed it on eBay. I took my earnings from it and bought the Audiovox 5600. That phone runs on Windows Mobile and has Windows Media Player 10 on it. It is exactly what I really wanted in a phone.

I have made a call every other day to this kiosk since. I am always promised a quick call back. I have learned not to expect it. The girl has been transferred and then fired. I am thinking I might just not get my Bluetooth - unless grinding your teeth will eventually turn them blue.

I never did get my Bluetooth headset. I had to go through several phones and sell a brand new Blackberry for half the value, but I finally got the phone and plan that I wanted. Long story short, what a headache!

Good news is that on the bottom line, I got a better upgraded plan for the same cost and a better phone for less than the cost of a new one. What would I change if I did it all over? Well, I would beat that sales chick black and blue from the beginning. Other than that, all's well that ends well.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Dark Side Over The Rainbow...

My life is now 35% more complete as of today. This time I have done something momentous. I have fulfilled a dream that many only...well...dream of.

For the first time I checked the theory that Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" perfectly coincides with "The Wizard Of Oz".

Last semester I was in Hot Topic in Ala Moana Mall and I saw a reprint of the album in vinyl. I couldn't resist. It was great, came with all of the stickers, art and inserts as the original and a 20th anniversary sticker in addition. I knew then that I had to explore the rumors of "The Wizard Of Oz". The problem was that I didn't have a record player or the movie.

I came home and added "The Dark Side Of The Moon" to my already flattering vinyl collection. Just a few days ago, I got a copy of "The Wizard Of Oz" from the library. Before I rushed into the event I did some online researching. I thank Al Gore every day for his gift to the world. After a few minutes on the world wide web I had discovered that there are many versions available as to the proper way to set this up. After all of my research I decided the most trusted and accepted theory is known as "the third roar" theory. This says that you start the album just as the MGM lion roars for the third and final time. I went to my stereo now donated to my father's family room. It is hard to time it when you use a record, but I managed.

Sure enough, it does actually match up. Just to see what we were missing from the movie audio I turned on the captions. Pink Floyd sings about balancing while Dorithy is balancing on the pig fence. Bells ring, Dorithy looks up and along comes the wicked neighbor soon to be a witch. The song "Money" (first track on side two) starts just as you walk into color. The representatives from the lollipop guild even kick to the beat. They sing about "the lunatic is on the grass" as the Scarecrow is sitting on the grass talking to Dorithy about his plight. As the album ends you hear a heartbeat. This is while Dorithy is listening to the tin woodsman for that heart beat.

The album ends shortly before you are halfway through. There are also a myriad of theories as to what to do at that time. The most convincing to me was to use their album "Animals" then followed by some other of his repeating tracks 2-5 until the movie ends. It has also been said that you can just repeat "The Dark Side Of The Moon" again. I only had that album, so that is what I did. Again, it still seemed to have some good coincidences. "Money" starts up again as you enter into Oz. That fit well for me. Also, the movie seems to end just as side one ends for the third and final time. It all fits too well.

All I have to say is that Pink Floyd had WAY too much free time on their hands. What kind of acid trip inspired that? I admit it's kind of cool, but was it really worth the time it took to do?

Still, I don't think the coincidences come close to matching up with what happens when you play "Barney's Favorite Hits Vol. 2" with "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (the Gene Wilder version, of course). And if you think that is something, wait till you time Ace of Base's "The Sign" album to "Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure". That's a trip...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Hot Enough...

Sorry to be delaying again on the story of my Disneyland trip. I have used up the limit of picture uploading to my free account and have to wait till Aug 1 to do it, but I don't want to pass up on good ideas for posts. Be patient and it will all be told. Now, on to the post:

I may be speaking too soon, but I guess I don't look that bad after all. I have had my picture posted on Hot or Not for about a year now. It's a picture of me on vacation last year in The Netherlands. That picutre has maintained a remarkably high score for men at a solid 9 (as of this post). I know that some people just go through and click "1" to move to the next or for fun, and some people click "10" for the same reason. Still, you have to admit that's a good rating. If you want to contribute to my self esteem you can see the pic here. I don't mind if you give me a low score as long as you are honest. I still would like it even more if you rated me higher.

If I get a 9.5 or so I can use it as leverage when trying to convince some unfortunate girl to marry me some day. If your "10" helps me get married, I will not even ask you to bring a gift to the reception.

If I land a modeling deal, I promise not to forget you, the little people, who made this possible.

If I wind up the host of a wildly popular reality based show, I will not let my fame or money to go my head.

If I get voted as President Of The United States Of America by popular demand, I will end all war and hunger world wide.

If I actually DO get married as a result of this, you will likely never hear from me again. Sorry, but a man has his priorities...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Vacation Interlude...How Gay Am I...?

I know that I am in the middle of a travel log, but I had to interupt for this fine bit of blog fodder. I got one of those spoof emails today. It was similar to the ones that say that someone has died related to you in Pakistan and all you have to do is send half of you life's earnings and you get millions of dollars. I have only met one person that fell for that, and none of us who knew was that supprised.

This one is of a different vein:

Dear Sir,
I am Zulfiqar Ali From PAKISTAN.sir I like gay.but my country is not like to gay.But sir i am not a rich man i am very very poorman.Can you help me and sponsor me sir.Sir Are you like i am to like i am not minde sir.plz sir help me.plz believe. I wish that . I give you love so much,You have never in imagine.I am all over life is you and your family and your company and your country is very very thanks ful sir.plz plz plz.
Zulfiqar Ali

The phonly dialect is so annoying I would not have even finnished reading it if it wasn't so amusing. The question begs: What the heck makes this guy think that I would be interesting in giving a guy some money on the merits of being gay alone?

I guess I should go down this road. Why do people think I am gay? This is not the first time that I have had this issue. The problem isn't that I am wavering on my morals, but everyone else seems to be wavering on mine.

In high school I was horrible when it came to getting any girls. My best friend once asked me, "Seriously, though, you're not gay, right?"

A year later an aquantance asked a friend of mine when I was "going to come out of the closet?"

When I first came to school at BYUH a closet homosexual made subtle implications to wanting to know if I was also homo and in the closet. I made no question about it.

There have been other occasions of accusations, but that is all that I will share for now. If there is any doubt, I invite any of you to ask my ex's. They can tell you how "gay" I am. Still, what is it about me that makes people seriously wonder if I am gay? Am I too in touch with my feminine side? I'm pretty sure it's not my fashion sense. It's not my grooming habits. I only started scrapbooking two months ago, so that ain't it. What is it?

Any information from anyone would be interesting. Also, what do you think? Should I give this gay pakastani money? I'm teedering on this one...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Horray For Hollywood...

Hollywood Sidewalk and Anna
Hollywood anna

After I published my "Magic Mountian" post at my Aunt's, Anna and I left to grand ole Hollywood. We used Mapquest to get to Grauman's Chinese Theater. This is the famous theater where stars leave hand and foot prints in the concrete as well as where movies premier. The new "War of the Worlds" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" debuted there. Since it's an old theater it makes sence that old rehashed movies premiere there.

Grauman's Chinese Theater - Anna Close

Grauman's Chinese Theater

On the way we got rerouted due to an award show going on. It was only the ESPY's, so no one, including the stars in attendance, could care any less. We got past the road blocks and saw all of the stars in the sidewalk that we could stand. I will only post a small sample here.

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Ray Charles

I'm like a white Ray Charles

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Marlyn Monroe and me

I didn't have a skirt, but I rolled my shorts up a bit - does that count?

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Tom Cruise

Man! Even his star gets more chicks than me!

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Liberace

If only I had some of Liberace's famous outfits, too!

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Pee Wee Herman

This picture looks more effective if you picture me with white platform shoes on.

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Dolly Parton

Unfortuantly, I was more well equipted to pose for this picture than Anna.

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Arnuld Swartz and Anna

Just look at those famous Govenator guns she sports!

Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Anna's Star

Ok, we found an "Anna" star, but we never found mine. I feel so jiped.

While walking around we saw the "Hollywood" sign on the hill and the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. We took many pictures of everything. While gawking at the Chinese Theater Anna saw a Mickey Mouse dressed up as a Jedi. We were going to Disneyland the next day so she had Mickey on the mind. She got a pic then the guy wanted to take one with me. I didn't want one so much, but he insisted. When he leaned next to me for the picture he whispered to me, "Hey, I usually pose for tips, is that OK?" I knew it. I should have said, "Hey, I usually don't pay people to take pictures with me, is that OK?" I gave the guy a few bucks.
Mickey and Me

Then a guy who looked like he was panhandleing asked me if I wanted some free tickets to the Late Late Show. I did, but they were not filming until too late. I also got offered ticked to The Jimmy Kimmel Show. Makes me want to go back.

As we were walking back to our car I could tell that Anna was slightly dissapointed. I'm sure she was expecting some glitz and glitter. There was grease and gutters, though. After all of this, we were definatly ready for Disneyland!
Hollywood Sidewalk Stars - Walt Disney

Next stop: Disneyland!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic Pics...

Just a couple of pics of Magic Mountain for ya.


This is Anna's very first rollercoaster ride. I didn't know at the time that it goes 90mph from one of the tallest rollercoasters in the world and pulls 4G's in the spiral. Way to go Anna!

Mr Six and anna

Anna just ran into his arms. She was dissapointed to find out he was not single. She was even more dissapointed when she found out he was cardboard.

Sorry that's all for now. Keep an eye out for Hollywood pics.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


As I was celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and their home, I had a milestone of my own.

Over this past week my blog, Menace Of Mesa (formerly and futurely known as Lost In Laie), has had over 10,000 hits since I have been counting it. I did not add the site counter until the blog was about 9 months old.

Thanks to all of you for making this possible. I know that many of you say, "Oh, well all of those hits are from me anyway." I know that if all of you say that, I must be doing pretty well. I guess I could make more and better blogs, but this mediocrity is still exciting enough for me.

When this blog hits it's 50th anniversary, you can say you knew me back when there was only 10,000 hits. Lucky you.

Comming soon: Hollywood and Disneyland pics and stories.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic, You Know...

I spent the day yesterday at Magic Mountain Six Flags in California. My guest was Anna. This was her first time going on a rollercoaster of any kind. So starting at Magic Mountain was a good start.

We arrived first at "Goliath". I wasn't aware that the ride goes up to 90 miles an hour down hill. Neither was she. She was screaming non stop. I just kept hearing this loud repetitive noise in the distance. For a time I thought that we were being followed by an ambulance. Once we arrive I had to pry Anna's eyes back open. We then went to "Batman: The Ride". The line was so short we literally walked right on to the ride. And I'm glad we did. Any time she saw the ride before she got on she would psyche herself out so much that I had to pick her up and put her on the ride.

When on "The Riddler's Revenge" I had to help her out. On this ride you stand. You have a bicycle style seat under your legs that moves up and down to adjust to your height. Anna is so light that she didn't weigh enough to push the seat down. I had to push her down until they locked the seat. When we were on the ride she made noises that reminded me of MiniMe from Austin Powers when he gets blown into space. If you have seen it, you know what I mean.

We went on a few more easier rides for a while and then watched the new Batman action show. It was not just cheesy, it was horrible. Were all of those action shows this bad when I was a kid? I sure was jipped easily when I was a kid. Anyway, at least they had a reasonably decent looking Batmobile.

After that we used Mapquest to find the way back to my aunt's place in Barstow California. It should have only take about 1 and 1/2 hours but I think it routed us through Spokane because it took a lot longer than that. Right now I am at my aunt's house using her new laptop and eating a good home cooked breakfast getting ready for a day of dropping sweat on star's names down Hollywood Blvd.

If I ever get a chance to post some pics for you I will. Tomorrow: Disneyland!!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Costly Habits...

Not having as many work hours as expected, I have had to find other things to pass the time. One thing I have started doing is archiving DVD movies. I have acquired some software that makes it possible to record any movie regardless of copyright and encryption restrictions. I have since burned about 150 movies. I feel like I am spending more money on the blank DVDs than the cost of the actual movie.

And as I have mentioned earlier, I have also started to scrapbook my mission. The slow progress is actually starting to pay off. Just the other day a good friend of mine, Beth, sent me a care package. It landed at my feet via my dad just as I was in the thrall of scrapbooking. It was full of great stickers, pictures and sheets. I was happy. Then I realized that I was happy about getting stuff that girls usually clamor for. I was sad.

I think seeing what kind of cool stuff I can get for scrapbooking sunk in. The next day I went shopping. Everybody always told me how expensive this hobby was. I thought they were exaggerating about it. They weren't.

After buying some more much needed plastic sleeves and rich indulgences in stickers and rubb-ons my wallet slipped into my pocket all too easily.

Watching my money ebb away faster than it can come in has helped me decide to finish up with this stuff as fast as possible and move on to something cheaper. I'm leaning toward crack cocaine. It’s far less addictive and will save me hundreds of dollars a week.