The Logical Philosopher

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coke is (still) it

I’ve had a headache and anxiety, both entrenched within a terrible case of general bitchiness for an entire week now…you know, that sweaty, anxious feeling you get when you’re in the middle of watching a great porn flick and the 78 year old Chinese neighbor abruptly shuts the blinds thereby ending the free show? Yeah, that kind. Those who have visited my house late at night know exactly what I am talking about.

“So how long has it been?” she asked. I think she had seen my shakes and the bleary eyes, along with the desperate look I gave as I glanced at the brown bottle from across the room.

“Monday….last Monday at 1:32 pm,” I flatly responded. No trace of emotion… I just didn’t have the energy. Although indoors, I still had my sunglasses on to block out the lights. From a distance I could have passed as Bono, but up close things were different … it wasn’t the cool factor, but rather the survival factor. They were just too bright to handle. Many things were just too hard to handle.

She continued on: “It’s probably good for you….all that sugar and caffeine. The doctor said it’s the caffeine, right?”

“Yeah…caffeine. But you know , there is a distinct difference between knowing it’s good for me and actually being on board with the realization.” Yes I launched the boat, but I am not really on board with this evening sail.

One of my friends knows I’m not supposed to be having caffeine now so when he opens a Coke he makes sure he’s next to me so I can hear the pfffft sound. The really cruel part is he now attempts to waft the smell of the sweet, caffeinated scent of the bottle towards me. Pure Evil. There is no other words.
As for the reduced caloric intake, I’m just waiting to pull a Hurley moment from Lost: “And for the record, I'm down a notch on my belt. I'm a big guy. It's going to be a while before you're gonna wanna give me a piggyback ride, okay?"
If I don’t go down a notch soon, I’m heading straight back to 7-11 for a large coke slurpee. Damn the caffeine! If weight loss isn’t a side effect of this experiment, then I’m outta here and back on the Coke wagon.

Just one day at a time, but between you and me, I have a feeling by the end of the week my wife will find me bell-up on a couch at 3am, eyes wide open and my pupils fully dilated. I will be surreptitiously surrounded by empty Coke bottles and thinking about just staying up for the rest of the night. Will it be worth it if when I get busted? Without a doubt.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, or the start of Lent. Since I don’t observe Lent I normally don’t worry about it however, it does happen to neatly coincide with my caffeine intake being abruptly cut off.

This brings me to the point of my post. What have I learned from my Coke reducing diet so far about:

  1. I’m glad I don’t observe Lent any other time. Going without, on purpose, really does suck.
  2. I wish I would have observed Lent for this. Why? Because I’d get my caffeine back in about 40 days, but with no questions asked by the end of it.
  3. I never could have been a Mormon. Sorry…I’m just a caffeinated kind of guy. Now I know what Dooce was rebelling from.

And now that I’ve taken one for the team and provided these insightful lessons, I’m going to find some caffeine in the form of liquid coke or copious amounts of chocolate.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What I'm goo(gle)d for

I was shocked by my statcounter results this week. And not a good shocked at that: in an almost dark and nefarious type of way, as opposed to my usual pleasure type shock. No Ohh baby for me.

It brings great pains to my literary soul that when you search "calories" + ikea + "cinnamon bun" on Google I come up as the top search. No top results for "great blogs to read" or "up and coming writers" or "what people blog about when they are off work". I suppose that leaves me something to still shoot for but still, I couldn't believe it. The entire world is a playground for my blogging imagination, and I am known in google for my buns. Reflect on that thought for a moment.

I'm not 100% sure what my goal of this blog is but I know it isn't to be googled for my buns....or perhaps that is the real reason you are here today?
Nonetheless I will continue to feverishly write by the flickering light of the evening fire, or fluorescent glow of public transit - whenever the moment moves me. And, mental note for the future: if I am getting moved to write a story at the exact same time as my 1.5 year old is pining for attention, I should not wait a few minutes and continue to write, but rather pay attention right then and there. Why? Because I now know just because you are 1.5 years old, it doesn't mean you don't know how to turn off the computer to get the attention you want. Now that I can't remember it, nor did I save it, I'm trying to convince myself that the story wasn't funny anyhow.

To escape my current google karma I will now start to write like I am trying to extricate myself from some digital nocturnal conventicle....the conventicle of Obscure Google Searches. I can just envision the 'made for TV' movie on this blog - In a Monty Python-esque moment the "Knights who say Ni!" are replaced with the Knights who say "Ikea Buns" to passing readers, and then turn and snicker to each other. Woe is me.

Over the past few months I have settled into two main types of posts:
  1. Anecdotes about my daily wanderings: Interjected with humor (or so I'm told) they cover the fields of public transit encounters, interactions with my three year old and callipygian affairs. Who would have thought riding the bus could produce so much blog material?
  2. Contemplative social based thoughts as I watch life swirl around me. This is where I take my time away from my work to reflect upon what I never noticed because I was too busy working, schooling and parenting. My personal favorite so far is my quasi-mathematical theory of Patience, referred to as the S-Factor. My academia aspirations bubble up to the surface during these posts...

I have a feeling that you readers come for the first kind of posts, but it's the combination of both that inspires me to keep writing. I aspire to write with imagination that, like when reading Thoreau, it envelopes you like a thick fog, bringing you into the moment. A far cry from my Engineering days, as such I find it surprising which posts attract comments (like the I Really Don't Like Eggs) and which ones don't.

In the process I have attracted a small, but somewhat consistent readership spread from Cincinnati to Phoenix and back up to Toronto. Who'd ever thought.

So, as I continue to blog and and bring a weekly digital diversion from your work my readership will (hopefully) grow. And when that happens and you're all still around, you can say you knew me when I was googled for my buns. Oh how far we will have traveled.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Haiku to the bus driver

I see you smiling,
as I run for the bus stop.
Then you close the door.

I see you smiling,
as I hold out my arms wide.
"What the hell?" I mouth.

I don't see you smile,
as my taxi cuts you off,
racing to catch up.

Now open the door,
because I'm here now you dick.
And you thought I'd lost.

- Inspired by Jim, who I met on the bus this week. He said the cab fare was worth it just to cut the driver off.

...and all those days I that thought were completely lost in English class. Mrs. Laing would be proud of the haiku heights I have attained, all rooted in her teachings.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sexy new look?

Yeah baby! Inspired by an eclectic mix of Rabsteen and Stephen M. Nipper I've done some minor template tweaks for color and spacing. I'd really like to move to Wordpress (mostly for the category listings) but can't rationalize the hosting cost (yet), so if anyone knows how I can get free wordpress hosting let me know.

As for the changes: the main one now lets you get Logical Philosopher via email! Like a fat kid on a smartie, I know *exactly* who will be all over that. Yes Ed, I was thinking of you.... So, for those RSS challenged (or get too many to read) you can now use Feedblitz to aggregate for you!

After a month of stimulating reading I have put Beth's College Dating Diary up on my top 10 blog list. Feel free to stop by and check her out (metaphorically of course) as in only a few short months she is starting to match the entertaining combination of part cynical part litterateur, like Opinionistas, but on dating life not legal afterlife.

Hope you like the changes....stay tuned for more stories this week.

Up next: I've been googled for my buns. How sexy is that?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Doctor's visit gone bad

There is no polite way to say this: I'm fucked.

I love a good fact I love it at least once a day, preferably in the form of a slurpee. If it's liquid, then include lots of ice and pour over a wedge of lime.

During my MBA Coke was the elixir of academic success - allowing me to do papers until 4am and still make it to class for 8:30 am (with a small Coke slurpee no less) while coherently presenting case studies. It was around 2am when my classmates would begin to show signs of fatigue. As if on cue they all would slowly shuffle out of the computer lab, the bags under their eyes melting into the dark of the early morning. Instead of following the crowd I would crack open a coke, quench my desire to sleep and then get back to writing.

I was a true regular at the slurpee store. Jaz, the owner of the 7-11 store close to campus, got to know me so well he stopped counting my change out and would just toss it right into the till. I think if I had gone another semester of daily visits I would have been invited over to his house for Christmas morning the day the store was closed. I think he thought I had nowhere else to go.

But today it all changed - My doctor wants me to go off caffeine for awhile. I don't drink tea, coffee or other caffeinated beverages so the slogan really is true: Coke is it. That puts my situation in the "I'm screwed" category. The unfortunate part is that my wife was present when he said this. THAT moves it up a notch to the "I'm Fucked" category. There is no middle ground on this platform.

There is a distinct difference between your doctor telling you not to do something in private, and having your spouse present so they are there to remind you about it when you want to indulge.

By late evening I was already in withdrawal. I was sweating and getting the shakes just looking at the Coke in the fridge. "Can I finish the two cokes we have chilling in the fridge?" I asked anxiously.

"No Coke!" she flatly stated. There was not even a trace of sweet suggestion in her voice. She was bound and determined to keep me on the coke up-and-up.

"One is a Coke Zero, no calories!" I pleaded.

"NO! It's not the calories, it's the caffeine!" By the escalating tone I'm pretty sure it was one of those non negotiable statements.

"Arggggghh!" I would have laid on the floor and pretended to have a seizure if it would have helped. However all I would have gotten is a "if you're going to foam at the mouth like that do it outside. I just finished cleaning." This was not an argument I could win in one evening.

About 20 minutes later she headed out to do some shopping...and as she left I heard from the front door "And NO COKE!"

At this rate I'm going to have the DT's by tomorrow. It's going to be a looooong month....and I'm sure you're all going to hear about it. So wish me luck, and if I go off the air for awhile, it's because I'm trying to get some kid to boot Coke for me outside the local 7-11.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Four perspectives of reality

People aren’t always what they seem to be.

“The Banker” sat there with a smug look of superiority. Dressed for success, whatever that was in his mind. In reality he was no different than the rest of us. He snapped orders to the waitiress. “Bring me my bill, I have an important meeting to go to.” Wanker, I thought.

A Rastafarian with dreadlocks sat to his left while the executive to his right finished up a call on the cell phone. I could see by the way he looked at them both – down to the left and up to the right – where his perceived values where. The waitress was a hippy in disguise – she dressed the part but was still holding onto her identity with the silver rings and a subtle hairpiece. It was no biggie from most everyone's view; she was fast, efficient and friendly, and had another round of drinks on every table with a smile, even before anyone hit bottom.

I hear her talking to the executive about her “home” on Saltspring Island. He had asked where she was from as he was making Valentines day plans for him and his wife and wanted her input on where to go. He was making conversation, but he was genuinely interested in what she had to say.

Next she was giving tips to the Rastafarian as to where to go to stretch his budget longer during his trip out west. “Come to Saltstpring,” she coaxed. “My boyfriend needs some help with is landscaping business this month, it can get you some extra cash to keep you traveling.”

I had the same order as the Banker for lunch, so I knew what it cost. He counted his bills out, adding some small change as an afterthought. It was a shitty tip, there was no question about it. I could tell by her expression she was disappointed, and rightly so. I so wanted to say “Dude, 7% when the food was good and the service was beyond great isn’t cool. If you’re that cheap don’t’ wear a Tag Heuer and go to McDonalds instead.”

Most (read: all) of the time still I dress like a student. I will cave, when needed at work to ensure proper representation for the firm for visitors or meetings, but that’s really it. Some blame it on my inner need to hold onto my academic utopian fantasies but in reality utopian is comfortable! Shorts, hikers and t-shirt – sun or rain, day or night. In winter I add a hoodie or a biking rain jacket but that’s as far as I go to dress for success. What can I say: I am me.

I could see she didn’t expect a large tip from the dreadlocked gal, or the semi-homeless guy in the corner, but nonetheless she treated us all the same: amazing service with a great Julia Roberts smile.

“What a prick” I said to her as she brought me another refill. Coke with a wedge of lime. Bring me that again without asking and you’re in line for a great tip, regardless of the rest of the service.

“Yeah, well in my experience some people just dress the part but their personality can’t keep pace with their outward projections. Too many of those downtown to worry about…” she trailed off. “Whatever. Not worth worrying about. Have a great day.”

As I paid my bill and departed I left a good tip. It was the best service I had in a long time, but for her it was what she gave to everyone, regardless of how they carried themselves. As I headed out the door she must have saw her tip because she turned back and mouthed “thanks” from across the restaurant. She then flashed a Julia Roberts smile that Ed would have been jealous of (More reasons to visit more Ed!).

Four visual walks of life intersecting at a bistro: The Executive, The Rastafarian, The Student and The Banker. In a picture you would never guess which one was rude, cheap and artificially inflated with self importance.
"Perception is reality" I always say.
This leads me to today’s lesson: Perception may be based in reality, but don’t serve all your judgments on it or you’ll get a shitty tip in life. The waitress understood that and got good tips in the form of conversation and cash from the unexpected that day.

So, have a nice day and y'all come back now.

…and for this post only, the comment box will act as the tip box of the blog ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

How to deal with Telemarketers

This is one of those posts you may want to forward to all the parents of young children you know!

ring ring ring

Having a 3 year old answer the phone when telemarketers call is my best parenting trick yet.
I was in that zen almost-asleep-but-still-awake state where you can still hear sounds, but your body can't react at all. "I'll get it!" he yelled, jumping off the couch where I was trying to get some rest. Should I even try to get this? Heading him off is usually the best course of action when he attempts to get the phone. Whatever...I was too tired to care who it was. Besides, if they really wanted to talk to me they would try to muddle through what my 3 year old said long enough to persuade him to pass the phone to 'mom or dad'.

I didn't hear the other end of the phone call but here's how it went from point of view:

"hello?" he asked with obvious excitement in his voice. Did I mention he really really likes to answer the phone?


"I'm ok....what? I mean pardon?" Good to know he's got his manners down. Must be a grandparent correcting him on the other end.

another pause

"nope....ok....where are you?" By this point I was assuming it was some sort of relative that had hung onto the call so I probably should get it. I did the 'pass the phone' motion and he handed it over to me.

me: "hello?"

Guy on phone: "hello, is Mr. Philosopher there?"

me: "who is it?"

Guy on phone: "It's Bruce from CIBC card services. We are calling to let him know he's been approved for a new credit card." A telemarketer. Great. Since I don't bank there, or have a card there I am pretty sure I don't have anything to lose.

me: "Ok, just a second. Let me get him for you." At this point I put the phone on mute and called my 3 year old back. "Hey buddy, it's for you. It's Bruce and he wants to know all about your day at preschool!". In one swift movement I unmuted the phone, handed it over and turned back over to continue with my rest. If you're going to disturb my rest with a credit card offer I don't need, then I'm going to waste your time as well.

I'm not sure how the rest of the conversation went, or how long it lasted. About an hour later I asked my 3 year old who was on the phone.

"It was some bank guy...." he said matter of factly. "But he said he had to go and hung up."

A parenting tip worthy of passing along to all your friends with kids: the best way to deal with telemarketers is to get your 3 year old to answer
the phone.

All of a sudden, at this very moment in time, I realized the unlimited potential of having kids: no more telemarketers. How cool is that.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Egocentricity of Communication

I ran into some old friends of the family last week. After meeting them it was quite obvious they knew about my accident. When they saw me I was greeted warmly...and loudly...and s l o w l y .

"Hi how are you?" He yelled over the defeating silence of the empty street. "I heard you were in a bike accident and hit your head. Is .. everything .. ok .. now?"

"Well," I started, only to be cutoff by his wife as she pulled my arm down to her. "Do . . you . . remember . . who . . we . . are . . dearie?" WTF? Did they think I got obtuse as well? When real facts get passed through about six different old people, things tend to get garbled. Actually, it usually only takes one but the story gets better when going through six. Last month someone saw me and heard I was in ICU. Emergency Room for 6 hours vs. ICU for 6 weeks. I could see where people could get that confused. They didn't react too positively when I asked why they neglected send me flowers or come and visit. Screw-em if they can't take a joke, especially when they didn't send flowers for real.

The brain is a complex organ - processing millions of bits and bytes of information every nano-second. It has been explained to me that one's mind is like a gargantuan filing cabinet, everything in it's place and easily referenced upon demand. However, when your head hits the ground and your brain continues to shoggle around like Jello, all the files get mixed up. So, through some cognitive retraining and rehabilitation one can either relearn the new location of the files or reorder them back to normal. In the mean time one does tend to call things the wrong name, take a few seconds to find the correct word or use just plain weird phrases. My favorite I heard this week was instead of saying "thunder" for the weather term, "noisy storm property" was used instead. In the moment frustrating, but in retrospect actually very comical.

Just because I don't say what I mean, how I meant it, or how it actually happened doesn't mean I don't know what the hell I am talking about.
"It's okkkk" I responded slowly, with a slight slur in my speech. May as well give them what they were hoping for. At least it will keep the rumor mill going for another month.

"Well .. take .. care .. you .. hear. Give .." They shuffled off, oblivious to how far off the mark they really were. Damn, I thought after. I should have drooled a little to play it up, or faked a seizure to see how fast their reaction times were to start CPR.

N e x t . . t i m e . . I . . w i l l . . b e . . m o r e . . p r e p a r e d. Definitely I will save the seizure for when I'm feeling like spicing up things, but mental note: don't use it on old ladies unless I am prepared to do CPR on them if I scare them too much. I'd hate to try to explain that one to the paramedic.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jackpot: I've hit it big time!

"I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world"
- Walt Whitman

Holy yawp! I won! Finally, after 5 months of blogging I have finally turned my blogging trade into a pretty profit. Well, technically that would depend on how you define profit, but I'm not that picky now a days.

Last week the Phantom Professor (one of my semi-daily reads on the right side) issued a word nerd challenge - Write a 10 line play. Feeling some literary friskiness in my fingers I scurried away into my library and spent countless hours writing, drafting, editing and re-writing. It was a very Dead Poet's Society-esque type experience for me, but unfortunately really didn't elicit any manuscript I would want to pen my Logical Philosopher nom de plume title to.

With an impending deadline and my creativity slowly being crushed by a monumental chunk of writers block, I did what every engineer was taught in first year: copy what you did on the last assignment! Who knew 10 years later my engineering undergrad would give me skills to actually write something! With the quasi-orgasmic creative burst only a seasoned litterateur could muster I redrafted my previous "Proof Evolution can go in Reverse" post to make the 10 line cutoff. With that a weight was lifted like no other I had felt before.

For all my efforts I was picked in the top 3 and will receive my prize of a journaling book - perfect to use as an analog blogging journal while on the bus. A new, stealthy book will be welcome because all my friends have started to figure out which book I write my blog drafts in and seek to hide it when I come to visit.

As an aside I would encourage each of you dear readers, and with my statistics tracking I know there are a few regulars now, to have a look at my "daily read" links. Some of them are quite humorous and enjoyable to read. Honest, I just don't link for the fun of it - they are vetted through a rigorous supreme court like conformation program, just with less media attention.
My recommended top 3 reads of this week! If you have little time to read make sure to at least checkout Dooce, Grumpy Teacher and Mini Proportions. I am sure you will agree Grumpy Teachers story of his first massage and the accidental boner is quite riveting....
Thanks Phantom Professor, I am looking forward to my journal so I may continue my blogging drafts wherever I may be in my daily travels.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Weed inspired cinnamon buns

As promised - results of the 1st annual cinnamon bun taste testing tour! I'm surprised you didn't hear our screams of culinary passion last week, wherever you were!

I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon. - Ellen DeGeneres

Task: Find the best cinnamon bun
Location: Vancouver
Reason: Gluttony for a day. Why not? I'm not sure what started it....actually perhaps I do. I'm pretty sure it was the guy at the Coldplay concert the night before, seated two rows in front of us, who felt it was his right to toke up on weed all night. WhooooO! I think we all still had the second hand munchies the next day. Combining this feeling with a trip to Ikea, our sinful cinnamon bun fate was sealed.

Consider the average cinnamon bun has about 400 calories - about 1/4 of one's recommended daily intake, yet almost none of the recommended healthy intake. This was going to be fun! Realizing this we decided to limit ourselves to four. Or at least I did, my taste testing partner limited herself to much less than four, but in retrospect that was her loss.
What's wrong with eating your daily caloric intake just on fresh pastries?

So, in our tour we hit four places to try out the buns, with a goal of two local fare and the remaining two "corporate" buns.
  • Ikea (Richmond). Light with a croissant -like fluffy body and a hit of industrial icing on top. At $1.25 we had enough money to get a side of sweedish meatballs. How cool was that.
  • Local french pastry shop (Downtown). Heavy but with thick, black icing layered in the folds. At $3.85 it was the priciest of the day and didn't leave room for anything else. Good thing french pastry shops don't sell meatballs or I would have felt obligated to try them too.
  • Starbucks (Robison Street). What can I say - they are consistent everywhere I go! Tightly rolled, light on the actual spice yet heavy on the sinful caramel-constancy spread on top. Sinful can be a good thing in this case...
  • Local corner store (Downtown). Can't remember what it was. Probably because I was too upset to have wasted 400 calories on this bun. Note to self: don't buy cinnamon buns from corner store that have them warming by the hot dogs and melted velveta nacho cheese. It was a good idea at the time...
End result: Hands down go to Ikea if you have a Cinnamon Bun craving. Light, fluffy and cheap! And best of all, available with some lingonberry mousse if you desire. Those Sweeds, they like their lingonberries!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Epiphany of the S-Factor

I seem to have settled into two types of writings: humor oriented and contemplative. As I sat and thought about some recent experiences, today’s post is on the latter. For those looking for my other humor posts, regular programming will commence later this weekend.

Patience. Anxiety. Stress. Happiness. Joy. Optimism. Euphoria.

The common theme: All emotions that can make or break our day, week or even month. But what drives these? Our experiences and environment – both internal and external? How can we leverage the good and suppress the bad? As an amateur social scientist, indulge me as I digress to with my thoughts on this.

I have been postulating how to reclaim the gift of patience. Apparently at my accident a few months back several of my emotions spilled haphazardly onto the sidewalk. Unfortunately for me the ambulance crew forgot to pack them up with the rest of my possessions for the ride to the hospital. Whoops. (They also left parts of my grammar & spelling skills in case you were wondering). So, somewhere on at the side of the road on the rainy west coast lies a small box of patience, ironically, waiting patiently for me to reclaim it. I can just envision the Lassie plotline for this: what’s that boy? Patience is stuck down on the frozen river? Let’s go get help!

Too bad Lassie didn't know how to ice skate, because then if she was in Holland on vacation in winter and someone said "Lassie, go skate for help," she could do it. - Jack Handey

Being the Logical Philosopher I will endeavor to explain my epiphany on how patience can be reclaimed by using a mix of mathematics and social philosophy. My premise is based on an understand of the “scope of the moment”, of which I will explain below. I hope at least one person can follow me….

“Scope of the moment” can be thought of as a mathematical function based on four influences, resulting in our emotional response to the situation:

f(Physical, Cognitive, Social, S-Factor) = emotional (in)stability.

  • Physical includes both fatigue and physical stress emotions (which may, for example, show up in ones Fight or Flight response)
  • Cognitive includes your emotional intelligence, mental state and ability to deal with situations.
  • Social includes internal situational awareness (are you prepared for this to happen?) and your ability to manage the external social environment.

These first three influences can be controlled or managed by us individually at some level, but the fourth has the ability to overshadow all of them. I call this dominating influence the S-factor. Further, I suggest that the S-factor can outweigh negative influences and enhance positive influences, regardless of if the influences are internal or external.

So what is this S-factor? It is our ability to refrain from viewing things in the “scope of the moment”. Like a mental hit of Ativan: simple, yet powerful.

Experience local. Respond Gloal.

I have come to realize that in irritable and low patience experiences one’s life our cognitive processes suddenly focuses on the narrow, defined moment. Viewing the situation through such a small, tight lens is equivalent to getting upset at the five minute delay on your intercontinental flight. At the moment – irritating. In the trip of live – insignificant. So, how do we influence our scope? After all, by understanding our influences we can more easily adapt and overcome. To do this we must view situations more globally in “the scope of life”, and not the “scope of the moment”.

In our instant, “I want my MTV” generation we have become too accustom to the rapid fire rise and fall of our daily emotions. Viewing this lifestyle from the outside once can see it probably isn’t emotionally healthy to have our emotions linked to the speed as witch the information superhighway can provide our instant gratification. But, we still engage in it.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. - Ferris Bueller

So where to we go from here? How do we apply this? Understanding how to leverage our S-factor is key to this. Re-evaluating things from “must do” to “should do” will help minimize and bring relevance to “scope of the moment” situations. I think once we do that, perhaps we may shift to a less stressful lifestyle.

One request: In your travels if you happen to find my box of patience in an emotional lost and found box somewhere, let me know. In the mean time I shall continue to re-scope my local experiences with a global perspective.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Proof that evolution can go in reverse

Now I know how identity theft happens - really moronic customer service agents. The following actually happened to me today when I called to cancel one of my cell phones:

ring. ring. ring.

"Hello, my name is Lisa. How can I help you today?"

"Yes, I'd like to cancel one of my cell phone accounts."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. What's the phone number you want to cancel?"

"It's 555-1292"

"Ok...let me pull you up in the system here." pause "Ok Mr. Philosopher, it appears you don't have a PIN on this account so I'm not sure how to verify who you are."


"You will need a PIN number to do anything on this account."

"Ok...can I just make one up now?"


"How about 1234?" I wonder if I offer a penny for her thoughts I will get change back?

"That's great. Thank you very much. I will have that account terminated at the end of the day. If you call back on the account, please remember your PIN account so we can verify who you are."

click. Get rich quick plan foiled: no chance to get some change from the penny for her thoughts.

WTF? Nice security! I think I'm going to call the cell phone company as some people I don't like and cancel some accounts. That should fill my afternoon...