What's on for and tonight? This!
It's a bad sign when you wake up thinking “I should play hooky today.” That's been my week so far. I can't though, just can't. Too much to do, too many fires to put out. On the plus side, it's now all downhill for the weekend.
I ran across a blog entry today that mentioned that our cell phone numbers are soon to be in the hands of telemarketers and urged people to put their cell numbers into the National Do Not Call Registry. Since we pay by the minute for cell phone usage, something didn't sound right about this, especially since I hadn't heard about this before, and this is normally the kind of thing that has consumer rights proponents grabbing all the TV time they can to talk about why this is a Bad Thing. (To be clear, I also regard telemarketers calling me on my cell to be a Bad Thing.) So I did some googling.
In short, my results found that this is an urban legend, based on an announcement that the major wireless companies (with the exception of Verizon) are planning to establish a 411 directory of customers' cell numbers beginning in late 2005. They do not plan to “publish” said directory for any and all to read. Participating companies say the numbers will be made available only with customer consent and only via telephone to users who dial directory assistance and pay a fee. The companies also swear the numbers will never be available to telemarketers.
Not everybody's buying that. Hence, our urban legend *and* a privacy protection bill that's been introduced in Congress which would modify the plan to allow 411 callers to be directly connected to requested parties without the latter's phone numbers being given out. At this point, though FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from calling cell phone numbers using automated dialers, which is the standard way that telemarketers use to call people. (That's why occasionally you'll get a call and nobody's there. The automated dialer calls a number of people at once, and the first person that picks up gets connected to the telemarketer.)
In any case, the Federal Trade Commission does allow cell phone users to add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry — the same one already in force for landlines — either on the Web or by calling 1-888-382-1222. So, I'm adding mine and 's today.
Man, when I get dissed for blogging, I really get dissed. Intercontinental dissing, as a matter of fact. Madchen is extremely sad about my lack of blog, and both she and are giving me a hard time about it. Protests that there's been a lot going on at work, and that I try not to talk about work on my blog, have fallen on deaf ears. Whining that my inspiration runs in spurts got me nowhere. Proclaiming that I had figured out how to blog from my Treo 650 got me no plaudits.
Fine, fine! You want blog, here's blog!
I've made some changes around the house, with regards to our sound system. Part of the plan for the wedding is that we will be running our own music setup, with a set of six strategically placed wireless speakers, a wireless transmitter and a laptop running iTunes providing the tunes. 's putting together the music list and my job is to figure out how to make it all work together. I've acquired the speakers now, since Geeks.com had a great deal on refurbished RCA 900MHz wireless speakers, and I've managed to get all six speakers talking to one transmitter. So that's now done. If only everything was that easy….
I'm also working on refinancing the house, since rates are starting to edge back up again. Fortunately, 's uncle is a mortgage broker, so we're locked in with a good rate. I'm meeting with the appraiser on Friday so that he can say that the house is worth a lot more than we paid for it (yay!) and I'm meeting with Uncle Broker on Monday evening. Hopefully, everything goes well so that we don't have to worry about rising mortgage rates after this.
I'm testing how well blogging from my Treo works. I'm near this thing a lot more often than I am to my laptop, which is saying something since I'm never really that far from my PowerBook either.
That's what the situation was this morning, when my darling started pounding on my bathroom door this morning and saying I had to get out of the shower RIGHT NOW. I did, being the ever obedient person I am, and went out to discover from her that one of the pipes in the laundry room had developed a leak. Actually, that understates it. It had developed a crack in the pressure valve that steps down the water pressure from the street water connection to a pressure that you can take a shower in and not have to worry about having your skin flayed off. So, there was a small hole in the pipe but the thin stream of water coming out was shooting extremely far across the room and soaking everything in its path. Not good.
Thinking quickly, I tried to ameliorate the problem somewhat by turning off the water to the rest of the house. The only problem with that plan was that the pressure valve was “before” that shutoff and the water kept spurting. I tried the other shutoff valve, but that one would not move.
At that point, I decided trying to fix the problem in an underdressed condition helped nothing, so I took a couple of minutes to a) get dressed, b) let work know I was going to be a little late and c) figure out what the heck I was going to do.
I wound up Rube Goldbergering a way to at least keep the water spraying contained. I hung a plastic Target bag's handle over the shutoff valve above the leak, then manuvered the bag so that all the spray went into the bag. Next, I fastened the other side of the bag to the drywall with a small nail. Then, after figuring some heights and angles, I put the laundry room trash can below the leak, put a board on top of it to act as a shelf, placed our large capacity mop bucket on the shelf and poked a hole in the bottom of the Target bag. Success! All the water was now going into the Target bag, and all the water in the Target bag was now draining into the bucket. I needed to empty the bucket every hour or so, but that was an hour I could now use to call the plumber. I struck out with the first plumber, as nobody was available, but they gave me a couple of other numbers to try instead, and the second plumber was out by 9:30. They had the problem resolved in about an hour and I now have a much stronger pressure valve installed.
You may wind up getting it. That was the case this morning, where myself and stopped at Burger Thing for breakfast after picking up the X-Ray films that her doctor needed. We'd been mercilessly mocking BK's new Enormous Omelet Sandwich ever since it came out, and we were determined not to ever order it. So this morning, when we pulled away from BK, we rooted around in our bag and discovered that instead of the Western Omelet Croissan'wich and French Toast sticks that we'd ordered, we were the proud possessor of French Toast sticks and the object of our mockery, the massive Enormous Omelet Sandwich. Poor La was quite astonished that this, of all things, had snuck into our bag. Since I'm a gallant Flounder, I offered to trade her my breakfast for hers. When I took it from her, I nearly dropped it as its substantial weight caught me off guard. (It's a half pound sandwhich, I learned.) I ate about half of it, due to its completely whack nutritional value. Frankly, I was underwhelmed as the taste was nothing to write home about. For 730 calories and 47 grams of fat, I wanted heaven on my tongue. I didn't get it, and I'm not going to get it anymore.