Monday, December 7, 2009

Let me run it bayou again.

New Orleans, where do I start. Ah yes how about here. It was pretty chilly when we got here, around 36 degrees and the wind was blowing. My light jacket was there for ascetics – it really wasn’t built to be a weather deterrent. At least the thought was there. The hotel was nice, the staff was friendly and the rooms were what you’d expect at a business orientated establishment.

The hotel had some power issues in our conference room, the “engineers” were trying to figure why only part of the room had power. Well one bright fellow saw a large plug (220 volt to 110 volt converter) in the wall which happened to be powering all my networking equipment and apparently thought that if he unplugged it and plugged it back in magically it would somehow solve the power issue. Before I could pronounce the “F” in DON’T he pulled the socket and all you could bear was the faint “clicks” of the equipment powering off followed by the cooling fans spinning to a stop. I slowing inhaled and created a handmade fist. Standing straight up and still as a metal piece of mysterious art deco I glared at the “engineer” – he looked back at me holding the pin of the “oops grenade”. I wasn’t quite sure how to express my displeasure, all I got out was, “No.” He slowly grabbing his walkie-talkie clicked the transmitter creped it up to his face while keeping eye contact, then said “where’s the food for the Poydras meeting room, they need beer and wine too – lot’s of it!” Placed his transmitter back on his shoulder and quietly walked out of the room. Being a fan of uncomfortably surreal moments I was impressed how he made his get-a-way. None the less I had to make the call to his supervisor. Thankfully the equipment survived the spontaneous shutdown, they found out the power issue and we were back in business. It’s been three days now and I still have not seen that “engineer”. Now I wonder if I can disable the motion sensor in this room. Every four minutes the lights turn off if they don’t sense any motion. So, I either flail my arms like a bird or get up and walk around a bit until the lights turn on. It’s one of the more frustrating exercise I’ve ever experienced.

Until Next Time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Over Diagnosis Syndrome and the Antidepressant Happy America

It seems that these days there is a “syndrome” for everything that could be wrong with us. I view it as an excuse for our shortcomings and lack of personal responsibility. Why is it no one’s fault anymore? If I don’t practice my golf swing and my game is horrible does that mean I have GPAD (golf performance anxiety disorder)? Typically I treat GPAD with some eloquently chosen vulgarity followed by several beers; it seems to work for most flare ups. Where did all these disorders come from? If we put a name of a disorder on every fault does that one feel better? Its like a built in isopathic mechanism that leads to abandoning ownership of ones inability to take the steps to improve the situation. Don’t we need to place some responsibility on ourselves and take control of our own lives instead of raising our hands in the air proclaiming immunity to our own actions? To put simply; bad beginnings usually equate to bad results. There are plenty of people with disorders that truly need help however I think there are a lot more people who proclaim their affliction and diagnose themselves by means of a convincing daytime talk show and or a stylish pharmaceutical ad campaign. It’s so much easier to blame your tardiness to morning traffic then to admit you actually got up too late. One my favorite tag lines for a diet pill commercial is “it’s not your fault that you are fat”. Just think about that one for awhile. There has never been a time that we have had access to antidepressants with such high efficacy then now. So why is it that we have more depression cases reported per capita in history? Over 190 million prescriptions for antidepressants filled in 2007 alone. Ever wonder what we did before anti-depressants? It’s called, dealing with it (life). I’m off to the driving range - with my mini-keg, Until Next Time.

force feedback

Just another day at LAX; waiting in line to get screened and pushed through the metal arch of the detecting kind. After showing my ID to the impressively board TSA agent I noticed there were about a dozen preteen girls that must have been part of some sort of cheerleading squad. Either that or they were really enthusiastic about almost everything shiny while wearing eerily identical attire. I knew I had to make it to the “Arch” before they did or the wait would be extended to a point of a gnome crafted treadmill. Besides I’ll be stuck with the bluetoothed Texan and his over caffeinated aviatophobic wife – that much longer. They were entertaining at first but then the annoyance helicopter landed. It was time; I was released to go to my gate free of pink pony tails and suspended hyperactive neurosis - free at last…to wait in another line. The flight was smooth, a little turbulent during approach, I was thinking maybe the plane is afraid of landing. Then the mind wondered off probably due to the astounding nutrition two bags of peanuts and a shot of ginger ale brings. What if a plane was afraid to fly, how horrible would that be? So, it started to make sense – I think turbulence is caused when a plane realizes he or she is flying and then freaks out.

After stretching a bit I placed on the headphones leaned back all 4 1/2 degrees (thanks coach) and fell fast asleep. I had yet another onslaught of crazy dreams and subconsciously created worlds that swirled visions and mattress sale propaganda throughout my head. My own snoring woke me up like a fart in church – I quickly looked around like a prairie dog as if by exaggerating my awareness would soften the unorganized embarrassment. Ahhh alas, maybe no one heard, what time is it? Oh great, we are not even off the tarmac. The stewardess seemed too happy to alive, she smiled showing her outrageously white, perfectly squared Chiclet teeth. I could almost see an anime rogue glimmer spin off her smile into the sky making a metallic high pitch sound that echoed through the planes cabin. I can’t recall last time I was that startled and entertained at the same time.

We landed safely in New Orleans. For now I thought the adventure was behind me; I had NO idea what was going to happen next.

Until Next Time.

- d