Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fighting Back, Going to Pot, -and- Brave New Schools

Fighting Back - granny chases purse snatcher, hits him with her car
Going to Pot - Pasadena class teaches how to legally dispense marijuana
Brave New Schools - elementary blots out "In God We Trust" from student-made posters

On this day in history: March 4, 1991 - 1991 - The U.S. Army destroys an Iraqi bunker holding 7 tons of sarin nerve gas. It is later determined that 24,000 troops in the 82nd Airborne may have been adversely affected by this toxin release.

Born on this day in history: March 4, 1958 - Patricia Heaton (1958-) Born in Bay Village, Oh., actress Patricia Heaton made her Broadway debut in gospel musical "Don't Get God Started." In 1996, she landed the role of Debra Barone on hit sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," which won her an Emmy. Heaton has now branched out into film.

Scripture of the Day: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call." - Acts 2:38

Video of the Day: Burger King Outsources Its Call Center - submitted by Jay

Can you believe it? Man wins Georgia lottery on Wednesday, finds love of his life two days later. Talk about luck! Is America great or what? Click to enlarge.

Sometimes, my business day is routine and without event. Sometimes, it is fast-paced and exciting. Sometimes, it is frighteningly bizarre. For example, yesterday: A male and a female entered my office just after 11 AM. This exchange took place:

Male: You sell the Internet?
Me: If you are questioning whether I offer Internet access, yes, I do. Good morning. Please be seated.
[The female sits. The male continues standing.]
Male: How much?
Me: We offer dial-up at $15 per month, with a $15 one-time sign-up fee. We also offer DSL.
Female: We just want whatever's the cheapest.
Me: That would be dial-up. We offer dial-up at $15 per month, with a $15 one-time sign-up fee.
Male: Is there any charge to get it started?
Me: There is a $15 one-time sign-up fee.
Female: What all does that include?
Me: It includes a $15 one-time sign-up fee to cover sign-up. It is a one-time charge in the amount of $15.
Male: [Looks inquisitively at female.] Well, what do you think?
Female: [Looking at male.] Okay.
Me: Great. I will print an invoice for the sign-up fee. You will be billed quarterly for the monthly fee.
Male: What does that mean?
Me: To what are you referring?
Female: I think he means what does billed quarterly mean? When do you send a bill is what he means I think. Right, honey?
Male: Yeah.
Me: As the phrase might suggest, "billed quarterly" means that the $15 monthly fee for Internet access if billed four times a year. Each billing would represent a three-month period.
Male: Okay, now I'm getting confused here. What's it going to cost to get us hooked up today?
Me: In order to begin service, you must pay the $15 one-time set-up fee. You will then be billed quarterly for the $15 monthly fee.
Male: [Turns to female.] What do you think?
Female: Okay.
Me: Great. I will print an invoice for the sign-up fee.
Male: Now let me get something straight first. We don't have no credit card.
Me: That is not an issue. No credit card is required. You may pay the quarterly billing with personal check or money order.
Female: Can't we just give you the money every month?
Me: The billing is quarterly, and payment must be made to the Internet service provider.
Female: [Looks at male.] What do you think?
Male: Okay.
[At this point, the printer spews forth an invoice for the sign-up fee. I hand the invoice to the female.]
Female: What do I do? Do we got to fill this out?
Me: There is nothing requiring your input. It is simply an invoice for the sign-up fee.
Female: What do I do with this then?
Me: You may do with it whatever you wish.
Male: So we're all done then? That's all there is to it?
Me: You must pay the $15 one-time sign-up fee. Then, you may depart and install this software [I hold up a CD containing the Internet access software.]. It will take only a few minutes to install, and you will be able then to enjoy all the Internet has to offer.
Female: Okay. [She grasps at the CD.]
Me: There is the matter of the $15 one-time sign-up fee.
Female: That's okay. When do we got to pay that?
Me: [I am a very patient person, but it is quickly becoming unduly burdensome to continue patiently.] Now.
Male: We don't have that much money right this minute.
Me: That is no problem. [I grasp the invoice from the female's hand.] When you have secured the funds, simply return. [I turn to Outlook 2007, which I have neglected completely during this discourse. I begin replying to a client's email message.]
Female: But we got to have Internet now. We're expecting some email.
Me: And just what do you imagine this email holds in store for you? Possibly even more exciting than the very nature of the email would be the answer to the question of how this email was sent to you, since you do not as yet have an email address.
[The couple exchanged glances and muttered to one another. I continued the reply to my client. When I had completed and sent the reply to my client, I looked to the places previously occupied by the couple and saw that they had gone.]