Saturday, February 27, 2010

Huzzah for Google Voice!

So, we've all heard that Hawaii has been under a Tsunami Watch because of an earthquake in Chile. As devastating as the whole idea of everything is, I'm not going to continue to feed into that. My blog isn't a news feed. And being in Georgia, I don't have any of the details.

But, I DO know someone who lives in Hawaii. My wife*. Except, we learned we can't live together, and it's a good thing we're not attracted to the same men.

Anyways, she lives in Honolulu, and works for an oceanfront hotel. When the Tsunami Warning officially started, I hadn't heard from her after sending a text message in the morning. So, I tried to call.

I used my cell phone (provider not mentioned because I don't think it matters), and was either getting the fast busy signal, or an automated message saying "Your call did not go through."

CNN was showing interviews via cell phones, so I figured coverage was still going on. Especially since nothing officially hit at this time, so I imagined it was just a lot of network congestion going on.

I also have a Google Voice account. So, I attempted to call her with my Google Voice account. Amazingly enough, it went through!

I don't know if it was pure luck in timing, or whether it's the fact Google Voice is VOIP and ends somehow directly in Hawaii, but the couple times I called using Google Voice, I got through, but using my cell provider**, I didn't.

So, not only am I singing the praises of Google Voice for the fact people can call me with one number and connect to a bunch of numbers I'm on, and I can text people using a website, but now Google Voice was the only network I have access to in order to call a network-congested area! :)

Also, nobody is leaving me calling me from my link to the right. Seriously people, you should! I understand I have like 6 readers, but that's not the point! I should have at least six calls!

* No, I'm not really married. She's my bestest friend and we share everything a married couple should.

** Technically, I'm still using my cell provider as I still have to connect to Google Voice. I'm just not using my cell provider to get to the call to the endpoint.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I am so deliciously evil!

As you may or may not have heard (I'm told it made national news, so it HAD to be a slow news day), a zebra escaped from the circus last week.

That's not the awesome part about it. Before I start to read the massive tweets of a runaway zebra, I get a call from a coworker. She said "You're the only one I can tell this to who'll believe me... but a zebra escaped from the circus, and I was stopped over by the Mac-Donalds over by Five Points and it comes running at me and almost hits me!"

Yes, that's right -- a runaway zebra almost hit my coworker as she was leaving the office. Apparently there was like 20 police cars chasing after it and one officer on foot.

She became a pseudo-celebrity on Friday at work. Everyone wanted to hear the story of how she came face to snout almost literally with a zebra. The only thing I could imagine is the conversation had it hit her car: "Hello, State Farm? Yes, I need to file a claim. A zebra hit my car...... Yes, I live in Atlanta..... Yes, the incident happened downtown Atlanta..... No, I'm not on drugs...."

Of course, I enjoy finding the humor around me everyday. Not that what already happened wasn't funny, but I like making things better.

So, I went out Saturday and found a zebra.

The thing is zebras are apparently very difficult to find.

I couldn't find one at WalsMart. I couldn't find one at Target. I finally went to Toys R Us. I asked the poor guy and inquired, "do you have any zebras?" (pronounced "zeh-bras") -- dude looked at me and said "any what?" -- "Any zebras? Z-E-B-R-A" (pronouncing Z as Zed like every other english-speaking country does) -- he was all confused, but it was worth it.

Finally, we went to the stuffie area and found the following:

Granted, it's not the bestest zebra in the world, but it was gonna hafta do. (And for $5, it wasn't a bad deal)

This morning, I came into work and went up to her and said "Does this look familiar?" and tossed it at her. She jumped until she realized what it was and began laughing.

It's now on display in her cube (she's the one who took the pic), and she's having way too much fun with it!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Going Green

Ok, don't get me wrong. I'm all for saving energy to help the planet. But, I have a few problems.

1) Recycling. It's not easy. It requires a separate trash receptacle in your house. I have a TIGHT kitchen. Which means I barely have room for the one trash can I have, much less having a second. I DO have recycling, but the only time it usually happens is when the recycling bucket gets full from the freebie newspapers that show up on my driveway I don't read.

2) CFLs. Yes, they are AWESOME when it comes to energy savings... 11 watts versus 75 watts. I'm all for that... Except for the warm-up time. I went through a phase where I shifted all the bulbs that weren't on dimmers to CFLs (as most CFLs you can't dim, but they're getting those in the market now). It happened as bulbs died and I replaced all in the set. But, it gets annoying when I turn on my kitchen light during the day and start something and a minute later try to turn it on again, only to realize "oh yeah, I already turned it on... it just hasn't warmed up yet."

3) Priuses (and other hybrid vehicles). I once thought about wanting a Ford Escape Hybrid. I admit it. But, seriously... Prius owners... You DO have a bit of get-up-and-go in your vehicles, USE IT! Sure, you'll kick on your gas engine, but YOU'RE ON THE FRIGGIN' INTERSTATE!

4) Saving money. Have you noticed how much more it costs to go green? Have you actually done the ROI on some of those? Most of them are generally 2-3 years (if not longer). I bought six 60-watt bulbs at The Home Depot the other day for 35 cents for the pack. One Philips CFL is $10 at WalMart (Sorry, I'm going for the bulb that looks like a bulb and not a squiggly.. those are ugly.. I have SOME taste). How long does it take to save $9.95 difference? My electric bill says I pay about $.09 per KWh. Now, this math is fuzzy (especially if I did it right), but for $9.95 in electricity you can get either (rounded) 1850 hours of a 60-watt bulb (aren't they generally rated for 1000 hours?), or 10000 hours of the 11-watt CFL. How many people run a light bulb for 10,000 hours? That's 416 days straight. Seriously, I'm now back on a move back to incandescent bulbs and putting everything on dimmers (which provides energy savings in themselves).

5) Jesus Chicken cups. I know they're probably not green. Whether it's an "environmentally healthy" styrofoam-esque product or not, they best not change their cups. They're probably the bestest fast food cups out there as they keep your beverage insulated awesomely and don't sweat.

6) You Can't Do That On Televsion. The original "Green" show... Green slime that is. I REALLY want it on DVD because that was a huge part of my childhood. It was an awesome show!! I don't quite understand why I wanted to be on that show and say "I don't know..." (although, it explains a lot about me now... and SHUT UP!) And, it basically made Nickelodeon... Not that Nick is really worth much now...

Yes, I moved from being environmentally friendly to not to a random childhood television show. Sue me!