Category Archives: burning man

in other news…

i started the day with a phone call to verizon wireless, to check to see if there were any specials for my “new every two” plan. i checked it out online last night, and determined that i can get a LG VX9400 and as a result of it being my “new every two”, i would only have to pay $30 for it. the nice lady on the phone checked, and said that, yes, it would, in fact, be only $30 for the VX9400. so i decided that instead of waiting the requisite 2 to 4 business days for delivery, i would go down to the verizon wireless store at the supermall and pick one up in person.

when i got to the store, a nice young man named jayson (or something like that, i was too distracted with anger to remember details like that very clearly) asked me for my customer ID (which is my wife’s cell-phone number) and looked me up and said that a VX9400 with no accessories would be $98.50 before tax. i said, no i looked it up online, and it was only going to be $30, because this was my “new every two”. he said, no, the “new every two” only applies to the primary number (which is my wife’s cell-phone) and my number is an “add on” number, which doesn’t apply for the discount. when i offered to look it up online for him, he said, in a very condescending tone, that it doesn’t matter where i look it up, nor who i called, it was going to be $98.50, not $30, and there was nothing i could do about it.

at that point, seething with anger, i walked out of the store, and walked around the supermall. while i was walking, i called moe, and then i called verizon wireless, and by the time i got back to the verizon wireless store, i had bought the phone (i went home and printed out a receipt for $30) and everything was taken care of. i went back into the store and told the guy that i got the phone for $30, and that he sucked. then i walked out.

it’s my recollection that we went through exactly the same thing at the verizon wireless store in the supermall, two years ago, the last time i got a “new every two” phone. it really makes me wonder about what they teach their sales associates in training, if they really teach them that the rules don’t apply when you’re actually in the store, and that they are free to charge whatever they want (the non-discounted price for the VX9400 is $70 if you already have existing service, or $95 if you don’t already have service), or if they just assume that people are going to be stupid enough to believe whatever some nice man in a verizon wireless uniform tells them, just because he’s wearing a verizon wireless uniform. if people really are that stupid, we’re in deep trouble, and there’s no sign that things are going to improve for those of us who still have part of a brain left.

the only reason it hasn’t affected me more than it did is because i went from there to the post office, and while i was there, a old, local guy asked me if that was my car, and wanted to know how much it had cost me to paint all that stuff on it, and when i said i had done it all myself, he said “cool!” – which i took as quite a compliment, seeing as how he was in his 60s or 70s, and seemed really interested…

camp cirque de flambé post-burning-man party tonight at 7:00. it’s possible that moe will be there as well, which would be nice for me. i hope to give out the remainder of my “I Survived Burning Man 2008” buttons to the people i haven’t already mailed them to. BSSB at the Kenmore Oktoberfest tomorrw.

a sigh of relief… and then back to work

080924 new computer/keyboard workstation

things are starting to get back to normal after the battle of the computer. although i really hate having to re-create things like my calendar, which has already screwed me up and forced me to contact a person to say that i wouldn’t actually be performing at his event because i had already made arrangements to be a performer at another (paying) event. i also really hate that i have to re-create about 100 hours of database entry, which was just beginning to take shape when the computer died last month.

on the other hand, once i get the chaos sorted out, i will actually have a fair amount more room in my “workshop” that isn’t being taken up by computer/keyboard stuff, and now that my computer and keyboard stuff aren’t in the same room, i can do more stuff that involves my band saw and drill press – the former of which is visible in the lower right hand corner of the photo, having not been moved to its final location due to the aforementioned chaos – because of the dust which i didn’t want to infect my computers and keyboards… which means that, potentially, i may get my pipe-making back on track again, and i’ll certainly have more room for musical instrument repair as well.

of course that doesn’t mean that the idea of putting my workshop in a dome is dead. i have already planned the dome and done some work on pricing out the constituent components, and some figuring out of where i can get some more esoteric building materials such as star plates. i want to build a 16-foot diameter 2V Icosa Alternate dome, because it has more space at the level of a workbench than a standard icosahedron. i believe that star plates would still work, except for where the equilateral triangles come together. i still have to work out how to connect 6 points, which means i still have to figure out whether to use lumber or metal for the edges. if i use metal, i can just flatten the end of the tubes and bolt them together, which is an effect i saw used at burning man, but if i use (cheaper) lumber i may have to figure out where to get – or figure out how to create – star plates that have six slots, rather than five. i talked with the people at stromberg’s chickens, and they said that they were marketing a device that was left to them by the original engineer when he died, and they don’t want to mess with the design out of respect to him, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out what they should look like, the hard part is getting them manufactured.

a long rant about burning man

all in all, burning man was a toss up, and i’ve pretty much decided that, given the lack of a good reason to go (like the last performance of Cirque de Flambé EVER), i will probably not go again, for the simple reason that if i’m going to go camping for a week i want to go to a place where i can relax, not to a place where it’s oppressively hot and dry and you have to worry about how much water you’re consuming because there isn’t any, anywhere else for 100 miles in any direction. the following is bits and pieces from a recording that i made every night before going to sleep.

Continue reading a long rant about burning man