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August 9th, 2007

A lady's friend had a great sense of humor and always used to say that when she died she wanted a parking meter on her grave that said "Expired."  So her nephew got her one on ebay!

She said that her grave is right by the road so everyone can see it and many people have stopped to get a chuckle.





I called AAA for "remote battery service" at 10AM. I told the lady, "I want to replace the battery that's in my car."

"Sir, we'll have someone there within one hour."

Phone rings right at about one hour. "Mr. Martin? Has the man showed up for your service yet?"

"No."

"Let me check for an ETA...  Sir? They're really backed up on batteries this morning. It's going to be another hour."

An hour later, wash, rinse, repeat...

I said, "No he hasn't arrived yet. No, he hasn't called yet.  Another 40 minutes? Ok, thank you."

40 minutes later the exact same flatbed tow truck (not a battery service truck) arrives at my house, with the exact same guy driving it, who jumped me at NC State yesterday.

I said to him, "I specifically told them that I wanted battery service today, not a tow."

"AAA is all screwed up," he said to my surprise. "Let me see how long it will take to get battery service out here."

When it was all said and done, he said, "You know what I'd do? I'd take it right around the corner to Advanced Auto on Western Blvd. Their batteries are cheaper, and they're better batteries."

I thanked him profusely, while wondering his thought process with regards to his job security.

He jumped my car with that same jumper-attached battery he used yesterday, I skidoodled over to Advanced Auto Parts, got a $79 Titanium battery with a 3-year warranty, installation included, and was through with it all in about 20 minutes.

All I can say is that I was glad I was working from home during all this "waiting." If I had been stranded roadside, I'm quite sure I'd've gone ballistic when after 2.5 hours, service arrived that was not at all what I specifically requested, and on top of that, unable to help me would have just put me back "in the queue" for god knows how long.



The Internet's so cool. This morning I received an e-mail that said:

Dear Mr. Martin,

You don't know me, I am an undergrad student at the Free University of Berlin (Germany) and am writing a term paper on Gay Speech in Popular Discourse.  While browsing the internet I came across your survey results on "Sounding Gay".  I was wondering if you would permit me to use some of your data in my paper.  Of course, I would give you full credit.  I would also be interested in the conclusions you drew from your own research.  I understood from your entries on LiveJournal.com that you have written a paper answering specific research questions based on the data of the survey.  Is there any chance I might be allowed to read it? Of course I would understand if you would prefer not to send it out to someone you've never met.  As I am really interested in this topic I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
 
Best,
Joyce Verlinden

Before the day was over, we'd exchanged several e-mails, ending with one that said:

Hello John,

Yes, I'm up late because I'm working towards a deadline.  Thanks a lot for sharing all your data and for responding so quickly, that's really great!

Let me know if I can do something for you sometime :-).

Joyce

I also did a google search on "Sounding Gay," and made my data available to others who are doing research on this topic in the area of linguistics.



I had my 1-on-1 teleconference with my manager today, which included, at the end of the half-hour meeting, my "interim appraisal." So far, I am still employed.



Late in the afternoon, I jumped in my car, which started instantly, and saw the "ambient temperature" displaying, "114." After a 10-minute ride to Helios, it was registering, "104."

I spent a few hours there with both Joe and Kevin (av8rdude).

Kevin left at 6:30, and not too long after that, Joe and I went to The Raleigh Times for dinner. We had the damnest time finding the place, and after all that, we were both disappointed enough in our meals to rule the place out as a future dinner destination.

I had their Caesar Salad whose dressing tasted like straight-up mayonnaise. It looked like a Caesar salad, but it sure didn't taste like one. Joe had their veggie burger, which he just assumed, as would have I, came with fries or something.



I got home at around 8:30 or so, and read some Owen Meany until I fell asleep—at around 9:30. I woke up at 11:15, checked my e-mail, looked at my schedule for tomorrow, and devised this blog entry.

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