Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Losing battle? Not a chance!

On a soaking wet fourth day in a row, ordinary people may feel depressed. But not me! The rain and the deluge will stop, eventually. They cannot last forever, except now, I have an urgent incentive to get myself a new pair of comfortable sneakers because mine is, to my amazement, not water proof. This great pair of sneakers had the great inovative design that sports numerous tiny "breathing" holes to let my feet breath. Clearly the guys or gals who designed it only had dry weather in mind. Need to find time to get a new pair, but who knows, the weather may improve and get dry again. OK, deal with this later.

The Russians are getting more and more vocal and their incomprehensible messages keep coming everyday, comingled with the usual Viagra and Cialis calls, and the Nigerian barristers trying to get inventive. I do not know why other people get annoyed receiving these because they are very amusing and constitute a source of free distraction. But, yesterday, I had an intense time of anxiety when my one month old (and may no longer under warranty) 30 GB MP3 player locked up. What? Only a few drops of water on the side of it? This cannot be! The specter of spending another 3 days to refill another player with about 25GB of MP3 was daunting. Luckily, level head prevailed. I figured out that this is the behavior of the player when its battery comes to an unacceptably low level. Instead of just shutting itself off when exhausted, this one refuses to be turned off, locks itself up and stubbornly keeps playing the tracks under its grip. Great design, don't you think? Nothing a good recharge won't fix. That was a close call.

The longer one deals with modern life, the more one learns. I was reminded again this morning when I was trying to track a missing shipment from Amazon.com. Of the three separate shipments they sent me on June 2nd, two arrived the first week of June while the third one went AWOL, and now, the first day of Summer is arriving today. It is now June 21st and my third package is somewhere in neverland. After a few patient tracking inquiries, the package seemed to be stuck at the FedEx cyber place. To be in the know, FedEx now has a great voice service to solve all the problems their customers may encounter. This one seems to be a problem so it came to the rescue. Everything went great until it came to communicating the tracking number to this great lady robot with quite a limited vocabulary and restricted sentences. Obviously, FedEx is trying to impress the world's population with their monopoly of delivering every and all packages, so it uses tracking numbers that contain as many digits as the US' national deficit. Now, there is a slight glitch in their system because the ever so patient robot lady at FedEx keeps interrupting my reading of the digits when it came to about 4 or 5 more digits to go. But I know what to do! Overriding a lady robot is my specialty as I was trained for many years, so I tried: Help! Stop it, please! Help! Help! Help! Oh, please stop repeating your menu. Help! Help! Let me speak to a human being, please! Help! Help! Eventually, she understood and connected me to a real person, who was not as nice as the robot lady who left abruptly without saying good bye. But this new lady person was able to comprehend all the digits, and told me that my problem is with Amazon. Now, that's typical, don't you think? According to this lady, Amazon.com now has the "damaged" package.

Did you ever try to contact Amazon for a missing package? Try to see if you can handle that stressful situation. They have all options, except one that you can use to report that "Help! My package was never delivered. Help!" I managed to send an email message and an electronic promise was given (in writing) that somehow an answer will be given within 24 hours. I can wait, no problems.

OK. May be Amazon.com has water proof sneakers. OK. Let's go see.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Russians are coming...

I do not know about yours, but my email is getting more and more hits from messages that look mightily like MOCKBA type of characters. Since I have no idea what they say, I cannot even guess what they are about. No problems, I save all of them in a separate folder and will go back to study them after I learn the Russian language. Why Russian? Because I think that is what they are, in Russian. I may be wrong, but I will find out after I master the language, at which time, if I am wrong, I will try a different language. Eventually, I will learn what they are trying to tell me. Just because they have the courtesy to spend the time writing me these seemingly elaborate emails, that's the least I can do for them. It's too bad that they do not at this time have any beautiful graphics that I can use for my own needs, but I guess they will learn how to do that in due time.

You see, I am desperate to find the solution to my current seemingly insurmountable problem: there is something not flowing, or if it flows, it does not flow right. So I am hoping that some reliefs may come from these miraculous emails, because all my friends told me that may be so.

My neighbor, an expert astrologer has given me stern warnings over a year ago that I must watch out for my own well being, since I no doubt am suffering from a "Saturn return," and that is a three year affair! She's got to be kidding! Right? At first, I am skeptical about what she told me, so I went away to perform an arduous and lengthy calculation about the relative positions of the planets, using Newton's laws of physics. I figured that she may be wrong, because according to my calculations, carried out to 12 decimal places, there is not a chance in the universe that Saturn ever will return close enough to me to cause measurable discomfort or harm. But you never know, so I am taking her advice in stride.

To start out, I sought advice from another expert, a woman friend who knows all about flowing things. The trouble is that now, I must also learn Chinese, because what she told me sounds wonderfully strange. Something sounding like the sharp teeth of wild beasts.

This expert asked me: where do you work? I told her that I work everywhere, at home, in my office, in my car, during my sleep etc... At her insistance, although this is diametrically opposite to my instinct, I took a digital picture of one of my work places and gave it to her, having no idea what she wants to do with it.

Sounds Chinese to me!

Well, I now regret that I did something without knowing its potentially dangerous consequences. The photo almost gave her a heart attack. Of course, I received plenty of admonition and the order of the day was to clean up my work space so that whatever it is she told me that I could not understand can flow more freely. I don't think so! Everything is perfect the way it is, just like that.

After much reflection on my own without any interference from outside experts, it became obvious to me that what does not flow well is my playing of my saxophone. Since I am behind in my practice, way behind, the music I play does not flow well at all. That, I know how to fix. That's easy! May be that is the solution to my insurmountable problem. Yeah! That's it. Blow, Gabriel, blow, like Cole Porter used to say.