John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Monday, July 25, 2005
Customer Service Hell

 Directway Support Sucks
Despite being digitally-deprived for the month of July, I have had some limited time to post entries on Dark Skies and even few on the new group blog, Brilliant Weeds.  I've even had to carry a few entries on floppy over to a neighbor's house to post them.  I guess I could have mirrored a few Dark Skies entries here this past month, but I didn't because I've always maintained Thunderstorms as more of a graphical blog.  Finding or creating new graphics for entries here takes time online that I haven't had.  My ISP, Direcway satellite, has been pissing me off for weeks.  First, their customer support staff is somewhere in India.  I went through a half dozen hour-long phone calls with them -- over the course of weeks -- which obviously fixed nothing.

After insisting that they send someone to me to fix their dish, my trouble was finally referred to another contractor here in the states.  After weeks of this fracking merry-go-round, I was finally happy and hopeful, except for one problem -- the contractor never called me.  After more long phone calls to Direcway and tracking down the actual contractor's phone number, I found out another problem.  The contractor never called me because Direcway gave them the wrong telephone number for me and the contractor had been calling the wrong number, and getting no response, they finally gave up and cancelled the service call.nbsp; Thanks, Direcway, for your further incompetence has compounded an already dismal display of customer service.

It's truly unfortunate that it is against FCC regulations for me to climb up the fracking eight-foot pole and re-align the satellite dish myself.nbsp; Unlike the more common small satellite dishes that simply receive television signals, my dish actually transmits microwave signals back up to the satellite.  I imagine the FCC thought it might be wise not to let angry people mess with it.  I don't know the actual strength of the microwave signal, but there's no need to allow people to accidentally aim the dish at their neighbors and sterilize them, or cook their cat, or something.

The good news is that Direcway did finally get its act together enough to refer my case to the contractor.  The bad news is that the contractor and Direcway have absolutely no co-ordination between each other.  They can't even refer to each other's working case numbers, but instead assign their own internal numbers for tracking progress.  So, when some tech support guy in India finally capitulates to the customer's wishes and refers a case, but gives bad information, like a wrong contact phone number, I get to sit around, wait another week and wonder why the hell nothing is happening.

After tracking down the U.S. contractor and discovering how absolutely useless Direcway customer support has been for weeks, I finally got an appointment for service.  I'm very happy about that, but I'm not too confident about the whole thing.  When I asked if the service guy will be bringing a spare DW6000 satellite modem, the contractor told me that don't do that.

What the fracking hell?!  There are only two parts to this problem -- the dish or the indoor unit.  So, apparently, if it is the indoor unit, I get to go back to square one with these fracking idiots.  I'll find out Tuesday.  If I have to start completely over with Direcway customer service in India, you might just get to hear my voice on one of those infamous screaming customer service audio files.

[Headphones] :: Free Will - Akira3099

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Tag Board Archive - June 2005

Everyone!  Into the pool!!
So ... why?  Well, I go through the TAG board periodically (or when asked) and delete entries.  Mainly I delete your entries because it reloads the page periodically or when you add a new entry for chatting and when it gets too large, it takes up bandwidth loading constantly.  My general rule was this: if you put an annoying little smilie emoticon on the TAG, that entry was the first to go when I cleaned house.

The second rule: if the entry was older.  But the second rule bummed me out because I hate to throw away memories, so, some entries were deemed to be classics and had to be preserved (like Hygelic reading my blog in the bathroom on his cell phone).

Then the first and second rules unfortunately clashed when it came to old school phreeks who might put an ascii emoticon at the end of their sentence, like Skennedy (et al).  These people were violating my first unstated rule through no fault of their own, and, because the programmers of the TAG board must have thought to themselves, "how handy-fucking-dandy would it be if we just translated every ascii emoticon to a different happy little yellow face?"  So, they dropped another few hits of Exstacy, patted each other on the back and went back to coding the TAG board.

So, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing -- I've decided to archive the TAG board here for all to see -- and still be able to delete older entries (and keep the TAG.html small) with a clear conscience.  I normally archive halfway through the month.

Read 2005 Archive: [May][April][March][February][January]

Read 2004 Archive: [December][November][October][September][August][July]
[Prior to July 2004]

Akira3099 That picture reminded of an eletronic Oscar the Grouch that use to freak me out as a child. For some reason you aren't so scary, now. Heh.. just kidding.
Jude *gropes JfZ when he's not looking, chortles*
JfZ thinks aloud <-- The Democrusader speaks again tonight: shebang!
dennis Or is it left-right? (Who inserted the happy face? I didn't
dennis First, I'd eliminate gov't funded blogs about Seseme Street (kiddn" PBS got re-funded today - children's programming still in air. Just discovered-smart stuff on right side of page -the rest, left!
J f Z Sorry about the lack of contact lately ... I've had some ISP woes.
Kristi Well, you know who you are and have not said hi yet? lol
Robert Hi. Looking for JFZ... please check e-mail just sent to directway
7one I always enjoy reading your stuff.
Static Brain Hey one more thing. Would you please tell me how you did the 2004 archive calendar? That is pretty cool.
Static Brain The Komando site is pretty informative. Great entry.
Xaos xaosrising is now sorry for the change, it was a necessarily evil and shall likely never happen again. *looong, slooow lick from hips to neck*
Mirror Ball Cool blog, John. Thanks for visiting mine....
blueskelton what have you been up to man?
JfZ thinks aloud <-- In between ISP outages and tropical storms, I efforted a few things on Dark Skies. Please, feel free to comment at will.
J f Z *Khan: FYI: I've made all of my Bad Dog Karaoke MP3s with the demo version of FL Studio, so far. *Rich: Good thing you cleared that up. Not that there's anything wrong with being gay, of course. Heh.
J f Z *Jude: LOL. You're a naughty grrl! *Wolfie: Yeah, I've had a bit of ISP issues, lately. When I finally got back online, I was cleaning up web-litter, but wanted to save it here. *Khan: Look around.
Rich Heh heh Thanks for stopping by today. Although I did not list it on my profiles I like chix too. Yeah.
canis lupis Hey JFZ, it's been a while. How's everything, dude. Interesting bit of poetry/eye candy on your blog there
Jude *raises hand*
Name Message
J f Z Wail, I'd rather have nipples-on-chin. Wanna volunteeer?
wailfulrhyme howdy, balls-on-chin.
Sinja <--- Hup!
~Ams Peek a boo. Just checking up on you John. Looks like your doing alright for yourself. As always an excellent entry. Not to mention your the featured blog. Congradulations!
J f Z thinks aloud <-- Everyone: Thanks for your Memorial Day comments, especially you, Foo3. Also, check out Foo3's new blog by clicking on his name. Foo3: Again, welcome home, Marine.
Rita Hey Congrats, You're the featured subscriber!!!
Parisian15 Just ... blog hopping take care.
Foo3 Hey J, kind words
ssprite Congrats on making Blogdrives featured blog of the day
Kristi Hello again

[^ TOP ^]

[Headphones] :: BaD DoG Karaoke v1.0 - JfZ

Posted at 09:39 am by John Furie Zacharias

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Saturday, June 25, 2005
Big Bird's big gay agenda

Republicans complain that NPR and PBS need fairness or balance to their liberal bias in public broadcasting.  Social conservatives don't feel they should fund television programs that don't project their right-wing political world view.  Whining about political bias in PBS television programming is about as lame an excuse to slash funding as can be imagined.  The fact is that from 6am to 6pm, PBS broadcasts children's programming.

[snark] Maybe I missed the episodes of Sesame Street that outraged the socially conservative right-wing nutbags in America where Bert and Ernie must have revealed their homosexuality and promoted gay marriage, or when Miss Piggy got knocked up by living in sin with Kermit the Frog and promoted abortion, or when the Cookie Monster or Oscar the Grouch promoted drug use to toddlers. [/snark]

I must have might have missed those controversial Sesame Street episodes that surely must be behind the "not with my tax dollars!" mantra of these compassionate conservative nutbags.  I admit I haven't watched daytime PBS television shows since Kimba and Speed Racer were new cartoons.  I'm an adult now.  I thought I'd check out what the right-wing nutbags want to abolish. I use the term abolish because $100 million cut is just the start of their funding cuts, if they get their way with it.  The "not with my tax dollars!" mantra does not mean "not with some of my tax dollars."

Switching over to my local PBS station in Central Florida (WMFE) as I write this, I realize why I don't watch daytime PBS programming.  Children's television programming is like some over the crib auditory and visual stimulation for infants that can only be enjoyed by adults who still drop hits of acid.   To the murbled objections of my cat -- I had to turn it off -- after only ten minutes of perusal.  I don't feel I have any need to stimulate a psychodelic flash back by watching Teletubbies, today -- thank you very much.  Besides, everyone knows that Tinky Winky is an agent of the vast gay agenda.  I wouldn't want to be brainwashed and I certainly don't need to deal with a brainwashed gay cat.

PBS television shows that I do enjoy in the evening are things like Nova, Frontline, and the News Hour.  Perhaps it is the professional investigative news journalism or science programming that somehow offends right-wing social conservatives.  Go figure.  Nutbags wouldn't want to help fund anything that disagrees with their political or pulpit propaganda, I guess.

At the end of the day, however, my Libertarian medulla oblongata makes me think it might be a great idea to slowly wean the federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the non-profit corporation that then helps fund PBS and NPR.  Despite my fondness for Mister Roger's Neighborhood, I think CPB will find other sources of funding.

But, fair is fair. If the government cuts the funding for PBS and NPR by 25% -- something that all people enjoy -- I think we should cut other federal budgets by the same amount.  For example: let's take a broad budget axe to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and other useless federal law enforcement and social engineering bureaucracies, whose annual federal budgets suck down billions (not millions) of tax payer dollars faster than a cop on crack.

If you were in charge, what program or agency would you eliminate in your government?

more ear candy

[Headphones] :: Boys and Girls (lo-fi stream) - RX

Sunday, June 19, 2005
Digi-Chix: Vixen Voices

My first Digi-Chix entry included two truly digital chicks -- Hunter, a real bitchy bot from the video game Quake 3 Arena and sexy Six of One from the animated Sci-fi TV show Tripping the Rift.  Mainly, I was just having some fun.  I had cleaned up and digitally manipulated images of these two characters and thought I'd play with the mouse over animation possibilities of them.  It was just something to do on a rainy day.  More accurately speaking, it was something to do when I was totally unable to walk and leave the house on my own, regardless of the weather.  My second Digi-Chix entry, about six months later, was not so literal.  I thought it might be fun to highlight some of the woman on the web or in the media that I thought were cool.  Media is increasingly becoming digital anyway, so I figured I could keep the name.  This time, I decided to write about two interesting author/journalists -- Annalee Newitz and Mari Marcel Thekaekara -- both of whom do some great writing with 'tude.

This is my third Digi-Chix entry, which makes me think that I should make Digi-Chix a topic about which I should write more often than twice a year.  This time around, I decided to highlight two Digi-Chix in the radio business.  I listen to both of them on streaming net radio all of the time, and you can too.

Digi-Chix v03

Kim Komando does have the offical title of America's Digital Goddess.  Every computer geek in North America has probably heard her computer tech help call-in radio show at one time or another.  She is also quite the hottie.

However, Kim has more than just a pretty face and pleasant voice.

Kim Komando is friggin' smart and talented.  She graduated high school earlier, moved out, and started college earlier than most kids.  One of the things Kim attributes her drive and love for computers on is the fact that her mom worked on a UNIX dev team at Bell labs in New Jersey.  She would go with her mom to work on occasion.  On Kim's bio page, she remembers playing "Hunt the Wumpus" on UNIX.

Now, when I finished reading about her early years, I was freaked out about some of the similarities between Kim and myself.  I graduated high school earlier, moved out, and started college early, too.  I remember I had to take a day off of work in order to go to the graduation ceremonies of my class.  Another similarity was her childhood experience with her mom's work place.  My mom worked in the fish bowl at Ford's Product Development center.  I remember playing a logic game called Cows and Bulls on a yellow paper teletype terminal to their system.  Cows and Bulls was just a game where you tried to deduce a random 4-digit number.

Another game that the programmers hid from their bosses was like "Asteroids" and played at a CAD workstation on a monochrome green $500,000 cathode ray tube. This was back in the day when they actually saved programming in data library boxes of IBM cards or on disc packs the size of truck tires. I'm not certain about the storage capacity of those disc packs, but I imagine they were about the same as a floppy, or two.  You're sitting in front of more computing power right now than Ford likely had in their fishbowl at that time.  I do remember sitting on the print arm and riding the full scale drafting printer as it inked out car prints on mylar.  That was fun, but enough about my happy childhood.

Kim Komando is not only the creator and host of a top ten rated radio show, but also a syndicated columinst and author of many books.  Check out her very cool web site at where you can find a live net radio stream to hear her show.

Randi Rhodes is one of the jewels of the airwaves on Air America radio.  She is political wonk, like me.  And she can be sincere, yet sarcastic and funny.  It's a rare gift.  Sometimes, when the issues of the day are very serious, the best possible tone in which to communicate those issues is humor.  When humor fails, only outrage is left.  If you can temper the message of the outrages by the current state of monopolistic political affairs in the U.S. with a little humor, you get sarcasm.

Witness the "Targeting Elmo" topic.

Since I am a political blogdriver, I won't go into the Randi Rhodes Show very deeply here, but rest assured I will be tossing links to her website into my future entries for your perusal and entertainment.  Entertainment belongs to those who follow my off-blog links.  Remember that.

I just watched a scooped news item Randi Rhodes is breaking about the Patriot Act.  Despite Dubya's staged speeches in front of bleachers of law enforcement, there are sections of the Patriot Act which need some scrutiny, not permanent status as law and practice.  From the time I listened to it on the show to the time I wrote up this entry, Randi Rhodes' website congealed it into an understandable topic and issue.  Previously, I had gone through ten searches to the Florida Rep's site to find it.

I love smart babes. Yes, I do.


[Headphones] :: Psycho Sarah - JfZ

Saturday, June 11, 2005
Truth and Pleasure


Naked before your knowing gaze I kneel
Eyes cast down in respect
Head high with pride of serving you
I plead to you with my moans
That I might be allowed to serve you
To please you, to touch you
In the way that you deserve
I long to tell you so much
To thank you for granting me this
To offer my utter devotion to you
Your reply comes swiftly, unerringly accurate
Driving into my core -- the Truth
That nothing fulfills me as you do
That life was lacking before you
And would be endless without you
I yield to these truths
Knowing it was you I seek
These lessons don't come easily
But they are teaching me thoroughly
That I belong to you completely
And just how much I've needed you

marc collins photography

JfZ sexy blogs list


I will prove my truths to you

Lying in your arms where I belong
Oblivious of anything but my desire for you
Venturing affection, I lick your chest
Embracing you with my tongue

You harden, swelling with your lust
Offering to me the needed worship of you
Undulating slowly in passion, I do

Moving smoothly to please you
Yet with enough intensity to thrill you

My lips wrap around you
As I accept your stiffening flesh
Swallowing deeply, it moves in and out
Taking ownership of its warm dark hole
Entering and withdrawing from wet caress
Releasing your ambrosia to me

marc collins photography

Poems by:

[Headphones] :: Jessica: Pleasure Club Mix - JfZ

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