That Girl that Failed Sailing Around the World...

The big news story that is making its way through the media now is the story of Abby Sunderland.  She is a 16 year old girl that attempted the world record for being the youngest girl to sail around the world.  She left back in January, and failed to make it around the world.  Her boat hit a storm in the Indian Ocean and was rendered inoperable.  She required immediate rescue.  In an International rescue effort, she was found and is on her way to Madagascar so that the United States can pick her up. 
 
Here is where the story gets interesting.  Australia is going to charge the family at least $300,000 to recover the cost of the rescue.  The family is going crazy saying that they can't afford it, and "What price do you put on a child's life?"  But it doesn't end there.  The family has sold the rights to her story to be turned into a TV series AND a book, and they "can't afford it."  This is ridiculous.  The family should be held responsible for what they allowed their daughter to do.  I mean she is only 16 years old, so she is still technically a child.  Hello.  Child Endangerment comes to mind.  The family needs to be held responsible for their actions based solely on that ground alone.  France (the country that actually found her) has not decided if they are going to charge the family on some level yet. 
 
I have stated where I stand on this case.  What about you the Giant Bomb Community?     
 
Edit: Did I mention that she wants to go out and try it again? 

52 Comments

Getting Back Into It

After a year or so of not touching it at all, I have decided that I am going to get back into Lord of the Rings Online this evening.  I remember it being a blast back in the day, but I just sort of stopped playing for no real reason at all.  The story telling in it is to die for.  I would even go as far as to say that it has the best story telling in any MMO ever made.  I remember playing as an elf back then.  An Elvish Lore-master if I recall correctly.  Lore-masters are an odd mix between a mage and a hunter in typical MMO lingo.  Mage in that they can deal massive amounts of damage, and hunter due to pets. 
 
I am planning on starting over fresh from the very beginning of the epic tale as a wee Hobbit.  A Hobbit Minstrel I think.  Why?  Hobbit's are short, and I am short.  Minstrels are healers, and are amazing at going solo because they have some awesome attack abilities.  The only thing that I would need to know is if any Giant Bombers are still playing LOTRO and what servers they are on so that I can pick where I would like to play.   

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Worst...Morning...Ever

So this morning has sucked miserably, and its only 7:30 am as I am beginning to write this... 
 
First off, I overslept.  Not just 10 or 15 minutes, but a whole hour!!!  So once I awoke, I flew through the shower, threw some cloths on, and lastly hastily applied makeup.  I ran out the door and turned on my car and noticed...Shit...I don't have any gas.  Certainly not enough to get me the 25 miles to work this morning.  So I go to the gas station, swipe my card and begin fueling.  As the gas is pumping, I glance at the freeway.  It looks nice and smooth.  Thank Jebus for Friday light.  I might actually only make it in 20 minutes late.  Thats when I just so happened to look at the amount of gas that was pumping into my care.  As it approached the 9 gallon mark, I was wondering why it wasn't stopping.  It should have stopped by now.  Thats when I heard it and smelled it.  The damn pump didn't stop pumping when it was supposed to.  Gas was squirting out of my gas tank and all over the side of my car and onto the ground, and onto my tires.  I grabbed the pump and shut it off, but not before I stepped into the growing puddle of Gasoline at my feet.  Now my damn shoes (my favorite shoes) smell like gasoline and that pisses me off.  I didn't have time to clean up the gas that was on the side of my car as I was already super late for work, so I got in the car and prayed the entire way that the gas that was on the tire would not ignite from the heat of rubber on asphalt as I drove into work.  Twice I swear I smelled smoke as I was driving.  I have never been this scared in my entire life.  Never has the fear of my own car catching fire been so real.  Thankfully I made it into work. 
 
I will be spending my lunch break at a car wash today.  Lucky me.  But I NEED to get that gas off my car.  I only hope that everything will be ok.  Thaks for reading about my issues. 
 
-Ruby      

62 Comments

Idiots in the Workplace: The Scarlet Retard (Long Post)

Welcome to another riveting tale of Idiots in the Workplace.  In todays edition, we will explore what happens when a Partner does not follow office protocol and makes me look like an idiot. 
 
Let me open with our office tech support protocol.  We have a small tech support team that consists of the office manager at our second office, an outside consultant, and myself.  We have a special e-mail group that if an e-mail goes there, all three of us receive it.  Now if there is any kind of problem in any office, a user is supposed to e-mail their problem to this tech support queue and it will be responded to as soon as we can get to it.  Sounds simple right?  Apparently it is not. 
 
The partner in question has not e-mailed the tech support queue in well over four months when he got a pretty nasty virus.  Here is an e-mail that he sent to the member of the tech team directly and to all of the partners in the firm.  The only things that are edited are names. 
 
"  Sarah… am getting messages saying important windows updates need to be done, but they can’t be done…I now have 3 messages.  I assume something is wrong with my settings which prevent me from implementing these updates. When I try to update it says I can’t do it…it says get help!  Is this important?…we have no guidance from our computer person(s). Also I have a message saying my files are not being backed up. Is that true?  Do I ignore this?  I wonder if others get these messages and do they(we) do anything about them or do we ignore them  Again, it would be helpful to have some general guidance from our computer person(s) about how one deals with these kind of messages, what do we do, etc.  Thanks."   
 
This e-mail was forwarded to me by my direct boss who thought that I had just been ignoring this partner and was starting to get mad at me.  I told her about not receiving any contact from him and blah blah blah.  So I started to work on this issue.  I couldn't figure it out on my own (as I am still an entry level tech), so I e-mailed our consultant for help.  This was as I was receiving e-mail after e-mail from this partner wanting some kind of protocol in place when there already is (as outlined above).  
 
Around 3 PM, another partner had had enough of the complaining.  She sent the following e-mail to all of the partners and my little tech team.  Again other peoples names are edited. 
 
" Bruce,

As always, if you have a problem with your computer, you should contact tech.  My understanding is that the tech group is exploring the issues with your computer now so you should have a resolution soon.  Meanwhile you can feel confident working on your system, according to the tech team. Virus scans are all automatic – in this instance I would ask that you get with Sarah to resolve why his computer is not automatically running virus scans – the others in the system are running automatically.  Generally we would prefer that staff do not make manual changes to setting in order to avoid slip-ups like this.

Certainly we are attempting to improve our procedures, and have made significant headway over the past few months.  James is an excellent resource in this regard, and is working with us to create a good in-house maintenance program.  We have some problems that will no doubt be up for discussion tomorrow.  Also, admittedly, we have had large issues to deal with (bandwidth, Citrix instability, etc) that are close to resolution finally.  We all look forward to the day when we can ask the tech team to take the time to develop SOPs of all processes.  Some have been done; we look forward to continuing the process going forward.  I understand your frustration but ask for continued patience – I can attest that James, Sarah and Ruby are doing their best to help us get where we all want to be, and progress is being made within the confines of the resources available." 

 
So as you can see, this particular Partner is a thorn in my tech teams side.  All of the partners are at a meeting today, so my little team can attempt to solve is issues.  The fact that he decided to not include the entire tech team in his original e-mail and expect everyone to know whats going on with his computer while ousting the rest of the team really pisses me off.  Thanks for not believing that I am doing my job Bruce.  Your a stand out Partner.   
 
Thanks for reading. 
 
-Ruby
20 Comments

One Problem After Another = Anger!!!

O...M...G... 

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It just seems like right now my life is just one problem after another.  First of all, if you have been keeping up with my status updates, you would know that I have a very weak immune system.  I have been sick several times in the last couple of months.  Maybe its just painfully bad allergies or something that makes it so that I cannot operate in normal society at all, or maybe I am just literally sick of the bullshit that I put up with everyday...Who knows...   
 
A couple of very important things broke or are very close to breaking today.  First off, my phone doesn't charge.  Well...It does charge if I hold it in a very specific position...which is impossible to hold for the entire length of the charge cycle.  That means that I am going to have to get a brand new phone, of which the money that I am going to spend on it is going to come out of my vacation fund!  Anger!!  Another thing that I believe is busted is the gas gage on my car.  I am 99% sure that it is busted as it has hovered at slightly more then a half tank for over a day.  Its like God is punishing me for something!! 
 
Oh ya...And there is also the issue that I had with work tonight and this morning...I had work scheduled to go down at 8 pm last night when everyone was off of my system.  I go to log into Citrix to take care of my work and...Nothing...I figured that it was something wrong with my internet connection at first so I checked my router and wireless access point.  They were all green across the board.  I went back and tried again...Nothing...So I had to drive back into the office.  Now keep in mind that I was in my pajamas and ready to crash after what was only supposed to be a 15 minute job.  So I got dressed, drove 30 minutes to the office and went to look at our Citrix server.  It was down.  Like completely down.  It took a good three hours to get the server back up and working again.  So I went to my desk to check remote log on to the server and it worked...or so I thought.  I had already driven back home and passed out around 1:00.  I received an e-mail from one of the partners at 4:46 am stating that he could not log on to Citrix at all.  I got the email when I woke up an hour later.  My jaw dropped and I ran through the shower and got dressed in a record ten minutes.  I flew into the office again to check and see what was happening to the server...nothing...There was nothing wrong with it...I flew into work and arrived an hour early for no reason at all.  Turns out that he forgot to pay his bill at home and Comcast shut off his internet.  I was so out of it this morning that I didn't check to see if I could log on from home....Anger at myself... 
 
It has not been a very good day.  I need to punch something... 
 
Thanks for reading my rant 
 
-Ruby
13 Comments

Idiots in the Workplace: A Tale of Two Offices

 Note: I Posted this over on Tested back in March.  I thought that I would share it with the GB community as well.  Enjoy.

 Welcome to the first edition of Idiots at the Workplace. 
 
Let me open with a bit of setup.  I am the Systems Admin at a CPA firm.  We have two offices.  The one that I work at is the main office which is about a 30 minute commute by car when there is no traffic.  The second office (the office that we bought out and now own) is another two and a half hours from the main office.  Now.  My office has a very simple filing system on the network for all of our clients.  It is painfully simple infact.  On our storage server (I named him Hercules) there is a special place for clients called exactly that, Clients.  Inside that folder there are another two folders, one for each office.  Inside my offices folder, there is a folder for each client named in the following schema: Last name, First name XX-XXXX, with the X's being the client number.  Inside every client folder there is a folder for each year that they have been a client.  Inside those folders there are another two folders.  One for Tax and another for Audit.  Inside each of those respective folders, is the individual files clearly labeled with what form it is and when it was scanned or created.  Its a simple system that I might have made sound a hell of a more complex then it really is.  Now the other office (who was supposed to adopt our system when we bought them) could not figure out how to adopt our system and as such lost (read: misplaced) many important client files in their mess. 

 
It is due to Office B's neglence that the partners down there decided that they needed to purchase a filing program that cost a couple thousand dollars a month.  They started implementing this in late January, LESS THEN A MONTH BEFORE TAX SEASON!!!!!  I was aginst it in that there was no way I was going to implement and get everyone in the offices familiar with a new program.  Especially since my office doesn't NEED an expensive new filing program.  I was assured by the partners from Office B that they would handle just their Office without me as they needed the program so that they could work.  I said fine, washed my hands of it, and told them that the program is their problem if it breaks.  We do not have it installed in my office while office B has it installed on their local server. 
 
Fast foward to today (March 10, 2010).     
 
I get an "urgent" e-mail from the Office Manager of Office B.  She was frantic in her e-mail.  She told me that their filing program is freezing and crashing constantly and wanted to know if I could fix it.  I told her "There is no way that I can solve the issues that you are having with GFR.  As you recall, I was not invited to sit in the training sessions that you had down in your office so that I could learn the ins an outs of the program.  You didn't even have me install the program.  How can I diagnose a problem when I have no idea how the program works?  I don't even have our account information to be able to assist you with a tech support call.  Your best bet is to call the consultant that installed the program for you and have him solve it for you or you call GFR tech support."

 
It just blows me away that they would think that I have all of the answers for them when I told them that I would not.  Its not even on the main application server (I named him Apollo) located at my office.  It is all on their local server (named Poseidon.  They are a coastal town.), was set up by an outside consultant, and no information was given to me.  A filing program issue is trivial to me at this time as our actual Tax Program is having problems.  The fact that she made it sound like there was nothing else wrong and that this GFR thing should be priority shows me that the average intellegence of the everyday office worker has gone down the drain. 
 
Thanks for reading. 
 
-Ruby

19 Comments

Super Street Fighter IV + Fightpad Get!


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I'm so super excited right now.  I can't wait to beat some heads in!!!  Only thing that sucks though is that the only fightpad that they had was Ken's design.  But that can be overlooked while beatin up duders online.  I'm so excited. 
 
As they say...Get Hype!!!!
23 Comments

Lucky Break on Pokemon Soul Silver!

      As some of you may or may not know, I am addicted to Pokemon.  I own almost every version of the game, and own three versions on DS.  Soul Silver has become my main copy of the game, and is where I am playing my main quest right now.  Well I got the luckiest break ever today while I was playing.   
 
I got up this morning, took a shower, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and booted up my DS for 15 minutes like I do every morning.  I flew to Goldenrod city like I do every Friday to check the lucky radio number.  Guess what.  IT MATCHED.  It matched 100% one of the ID numbers of my Pokemon.  That won me my third Master Ball that I have in SoulSilver (I traded one with a Tyranitar over from my Diamond version of the game).    

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Only some of you know how rare it is to win that Lotto in the Pokemon with even one of the ID numbers matching.  I will probably never win it again, but damn if it wasn't an awesome feeling.  Winning that Master Ball also gave me the ability to be able to "waste" two of them to catch the wandering legendaries Raikou and Entei.  After some quick hunting, I managed to catch them both.  I named Raikou Thor after the Norse God of thunder, and I named Entei Loki who, while the Norse Trickster God, was also the Norse God of fire.  That brings the number of Legendaries that I have captured on SoulSilver up to three.  I am super excited for what else I will get luck with on my continuing Pokemon Journey. 
21 Comments

Lost...I'll be Lost without you.


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 Lost is pretty much the best show ever conceived by humankind.  It is my favorite show and now that it is coming to an end, I find myself sad.  Why this is, I do not entirely know.  I have followed Lost ever since the series premier on September 22. 2004.  I've followed the show and stuck with it through the ups and downs (first half of Season 3 anyone?).  I own seasons 1-5 on Blu-Ray (which left quite a large hole in my pocket).  Now that there are only less then a handful of new episodes, I feel like, no pun intended, a lost sheep.  My Tuesday Evenings will empty.  I'm at a complete loss of words over this.  The last time that I felt this empty inside was when my last cat died when I was eleven.   
 
I know that I cannot be the only one who feels this way.  Other people must be as addicted to the show as I am.  I feel like I will be going through massive withdrawals just like Charlie in Season 1. 
 
On the bright side though, the last three seasons have been fantastic.  Seasons 4 and 5 were phenomenal.  My favorite character. Ben, was really fleshed out in those seasons.  I'm kind of sad that since his central episode this season, he really hasn't done anything...  OH and Jin and Sun's reunion?  I cried.  Ya.  Thats right.  I cried at a TV show.  The mighty Ruby is human after all...
 
Anyways...I feel as though I have wasted everyones who read this time.  I apologize for that, but I just needed to get some things off of my chest.  For those of you who read the whole thing, thank you. 
 
-Ruby         
98 Comments

Rest in Peace Grandpa July 27 1938 - April 8 2010


 I love you Grandpa RIP 7-27-1938 -- 4-8-2010
 I love you Grandpa RIP 7-27-1938 -- 4-8-2010
My grandfather had been battling stage 4 cancer since November of last year, and this morning (4-8-2010), he said goodbye to this life and moved onto the next.  I was there at his side when he passed.  He was admitted to Kaiser Hospital here where I live on Good Friday.  He was put on a breathing apparatus on Easter Sunday so that he wouldnt pass away before his body was ready.  Late last night around 9, my grandma, my mother, my two uncles, and I went to the hospital for what would be my grandfathers last hours on this Earth.  We were there when the doctor removed the breathing mask.  He jerked for a couple minutes when the mask was removed, but the he relaxed.  The hours melted away as we all sat in silence and watched him.  My grandma started to sing to him.  It was the sweetest thing that I have ever seen.  She was holding his hand and his head tilted toward her.  He knew she was there.  I can remember tears rolling down my cheeks.  I can remember seeing my mom cry.  I had never seen my mother cry before and she is the strongest woman that I know.   3 am rolled around and the nurses brought us all pillows and blankets.  My grandpas vitals were very slowly starting to drop.  My mom looked at me and said that he was probably waiting for the sunrise to pass.  Sure enough, as soon as the sun started to come up over the hills, he breathed his last.  I felt him there in the room when his vitals flatlined.  Even through all of our tears, we all felt him there watching us in the room.  And then he was gone.  He was just...gone...My grandpa was a hero to me.  He was my best friend, and I will love him forever.  I was really glad that I was there with him for his last hours. 
 
I love you grandpa.  And Im going to miss you every day..... 
 
Edit: 4-9-2010:  We went to the mortuary today to talk to someone and see where my grandpa was going to be laid to rest.  Thankfully both my grandma and him had picked everything out over 20 years ago, so We didn't have to pick anything other then which plot we wanted for him and the poem that we wanted in the card and what day we are going to lay him to rest.  My grandma and I are going to write his obituary in the next week.  The guy who was there with us helping us fill out paperwork (did you know that the state of California makes you pay $8.50 when a family member dies????) had my grandpa in the viewing room for us.  My grandma, my uncle, and myself went to go see him.  He was so peaceful lying there.  He passed with his mouth open at the hospital because of the breathing mask, but they closed his mouth and he was smiling.  He just look so happy.  I had to go back and get my mom.  I knew that she would want to remember her daddy smiling.  We picked the day that he is going to be lain to rest as the 15th, Tax Day.  He would love that.  He was the person who stood in line at the post office and turned his taxes in at midnight on the 15th.  We drove up to the plot where he is going to be after that.  He has an amazing view of the entire county it seems.  He has a pure bronze urn that he is going to be buried in and when my grandma passes, she is going to be in the same kind of urn buried right next to him on the same plot.  I was so glad that I went with my family and got to say goodbye to my grandpa before they cremated him. 
 
Grandpa...I love you.
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