Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yes, Yes... I Know

I know I haven't posted anything here in quite some time. This is mainly due to my throwing all of my blogging energy to Shakesville for the time being. However, we are finally getting our act together in terms of wedding and honeymoon photos. So, stay tuned as I'll be getting them up on the photo site in the near future.

In the meantime, please enjoy a nice photo I took this morning of Moon and Feather, both content after breakfast.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Lifehouse Method

The Lifehouse Method is a website that creates an original piece of music for you based on your supplied input, like your voice, a picture, and sound. As this is an extension of his Lifehouse vision, Pete Townshend helped develop this site with mathematician/composer Lawrence Ball. Each piece of music that is created is identified as a musical portrait. Each portrait that is created has the chance of being elaborated into a bigger piece if Pete and his composers find that it works.

If you're interested in sitting for three musical portraits, then use their signup form. Access to the website, as well as the portrait creation, is free until July 31st.

Also at Shakesville
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Monday, April 30, 2007

Rush Meets Floyd

Via Brain Damage:
We know many of you are interested in that great Canadian band, Rush. They are just releasing their new album (supposed to be superb) called "Snakes and Arrows", and we hear that amongst the "thank yous" in the credits is one for our own David Gilmour.

We've done some digging to find out why, and apparently David chatted with Alex Lifeson about writing using acoustic guitar. Alex then used that conversation to encourage himself to use acoustic in writing the new S&A songs.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Incompetence: We Have A Winner!

A few days ago, I had quite a rant about the hoops I've been jumping through to renew a passport, via a passport rush service. I'm happy to say that today, April 24th, I've received the passport via Fedex.

Upon examination of the original priority mail envelope, it's now blazingly clear what the problem was. The US passport agency had the address completely wrong. It was addressed to me and the local rush passport service, the street address of the passport rush service, and the city/state/zip of my work address. That would explain the return-to-sender, as there is no such street address in the town where I work.

Subsequently, I extend apologies to the USPS and A Briggs, as the wacky, yet original, addressing scheme used by the passport agency was clearly something out of everyone's control.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Goodbye Sue

I think Brian in Atlanta summed it up perfectly:
A moment's silence for Sue Bundrick. The wife of John "Rabbit" Bundrick, keyboardist for The Who since 1977, has succumbed after a long battle with cancer. Thoughts and prayers go out to John and his family.

More from Pete:
Rabbit (John Bundrick) says good bye to his wife Sue today at a funeral in the West Country. Sue had two daughters, Jackie and Cathy. Sue was born in 1944 and married Mike Vickers of the Manfred Mann group who had a string of hits in the UK in the '60s and early '70s. Rabbit and Sue met in 1978 and got married when their respective relationships fell apart. They have been together through many ups and downs ever since. Sue didn't have a bad bone in her body and everyone in and around the Who loved her very much and will miss her. Our hearts go out to Rabbit, the girls, and the grandchildren this afternoon.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Incompetence: A Case Study

Hello, dear friends. Today, we will take a look at several levels of incompetence that arise from one single task: renewing a U.S. passport.

Having booked some honeymoon travel plans through Orbitz, I received a promotional e-mail from them which contained a link to a partner of theirs, A Briggs. This partner's claim to fame is the ability to expedite the processing of passport and visa applications, for a nominal fee. The instructions on the site were very clear and intuitive, so I went to work. I got some beautiful passport photos at CVS, filled out and signed a bunch of forms, and sent everything, including my current passport, via Fedex to A Briggs for processing. Note at this point, that I paid for round-trip Fedex service just to be on the safe side. During the first week in April, I checked their status page, and they had an estimated shipping date of April 11th. Fan-bloody-tastic.

Timeline: April 17th
I bring up the status page again and notice that the estimated ship date is still April 11th, with no further information available. Strange. OK, I'll check the status on the State Department's website.
We have finished processing your passport, and it has been mailed to you.

You requested delivery by regular mail. Passport Agencies use Priority Mail. This means you should receive your passport on or about 04/16/2007.

Say what? Well, um, no I did not request delivery by regular mail. I paid for Fedex service both ways. Wev. Let's see what the USPS tracking website has to say.
Status: Return to Sender

Your item was returned to the sender on April 16, 2007 because it could not be delivered as addressed.

Now you're just fucking with me. There is no way that while sitting in my office the entire day, the mail carrier decided to return my fucking passport to sender. No way. I call the local post office to find out what's going on, and they confirm that the package has left the building and is already on its way back. The supervisor informs me that he has no idea how this happened and is planning to take a couple of his employees to task for this. Oh yea, he also hopes I'm able to get my passport in time. Well, I would have gotten it on time if it was sent via Fedex in the first place like it was supposed to! ARGH!!

Next up - phone call with A Briggs. Where's my passport and where's the money I paid you for an expediting service that clearly failed? The answer: "Well, sometimes these things happen where the passport agency will send passports back directly to the customer instead of back to us." Funny, I don't remember seeing that disclaimer on the website that states return service via Fedex may, or may not, happen. So now I have to wait for the package to get back to the passport agency for A Briggs' courier to try and intercept. Keep in mind here that the intercept is not a certainty; it's a possibility. That means my passport could end up lost in the shuffle, or even better, mailed via the great USPS again, probably using the same incorrect address that the passport agency used which doesn't match what I entered in the website. ARGH!!

So there you have it. I'll update further when more details about my traveling passport surface.

Timeline: April 18th
Checked in with A Briggs at around 9 AM and 5:30 PM today. No news to report, as the passport agency has still not received the returned package. Supposedly, the agency has been instructed to immediately turn over the package to A Briggs' courier for shipment to me. The fact that I now have to act as A Briggs' manager to supervise this entire process makes me want to hurl in seven different colors.
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Monday, April 09, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 5900

Originally uploaded by palm0014.

Getting drunk to the point of unconsciousness while standing, Dan was unaware that someone made off with his drink rather easily.

Originally uploaded by The Fox Brain.

Trisha showed off her uncanny ability to Photoshop her face in front of a live camera.

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