Archives for February 2008

The Story of The Three Cellphone Chargers

A few weeks ago we took the family down to San Diego for a quick weekend getaway. It was quite an adventure. We enjoyed a three car pileup on the freeway, the death of an aunt and the hospitalization of my grandmother, and that was on day one.

Anyway, that is background for this story. One of the beauties of the modern age is that a cellphone and a laptop provide you with a mobile office. It is a great time saver/ball-and-chain. So I rarely go anywhere without my electronic leash. This trip was no exception.

The day came and went and we returned to the hotel. As the sun went down I dutifully plugged in my cellphone and cellphone charger into the outlet in the bathroom and went off line for the evening. On a side note I should add that there was a nice sense of relief from not feeling like I had to check my email every five minutes.

The next morning came and I smiled as my children enjoyed the hotel breakfast buffet. Following our sumptuous meal we headed back upstairs to grab our things and checked out. Having had plenty of travel experience I expertly tossed the room to ensure that nothing would be left behind. However, I expertly forgot that a 3.5 year-old girl who wants to see Shamu can be quite distracting and as a result I forgot to take the both the cellphone and charger from the wall.

Twelve hours later on the road back to Los Angeles I realized what had happened. I took a quick look at the freeway and decided that I didn’t want to backtrack 18 miles. Why go back when I could use my cellphone to call the hotel and have them mail the charger to me.

The first indication that my plan was flawed came during the initial call to the hotel.

“Sorry Mr. Jack, housekeeping has gone home so we don’t have anyone to check your room for the charger. Please call back in the morning.”

It didn’t really faze me. I figured that I had a car charger, no problem. The next day comes and a very nice lady tells me that housekeeping has found my charger and that they will mail it back to me. I thank her and figure that within a day or two I’ll have my charger.

But that is not what happens. The charger doesn’t show up. Another call to the hotel to ask about it explains that they are sure it was sent. For the next couple of nights I spend chunks of time in my car using the portable charger. That phone is a business line, I can’t let it not be charged.

After more time than I care to think about listening to late night talk show hosts prattle on about politics, sports and UFOs I decide that I am going to just buy a new charger.

What I don’t know is that apparently my cellphone provider thinks that $50 bucks is a fair price for a replacement. I am irritated by this and decide screw it, I’ll find a better source and so begins the quest for fire, err replacement charger.

Amazon comes through with an amazing deal. I can purchase the replacement for a penny. The only downside is that it costs $8 bucks to ship it via ground. But I don’t want to pay more than $20 for a unit that costs a penny so I say screw it and order it. After all it shouldn’t take that long to reach me, what is a couple more hours sitting in the car.

That couple more hours turns into excruciating pain and finally I can’t take it any longer. I decide that the next day I am going to do what it takes to find a charger.

Once again I resume my quest. My steel clad steed and I drive around and locate a vendor at a local mall. He has a cart from which he sells all sorts of generic cellphone accessories, better yet he has a charger that works on my phone. For twenty bucks and change I have a replacement.

The next two nights feel like heaven. The end of the day comes and I don’t have to live in my car. It is a tremendous pleasure to just relax. I kick myself for not thinking of this earlier. Don’t forget that I have already ordered a replacement via Amazon. Even though it only cost a penny I got nailed on the shipping costs so technically I have two chargers for about $30 bucks.

For an additional $20 I could have saved myself the aggravation of hanging out in the car and had a charger the entire time. Or had I been willing to commit to an extra hour of travel time I could have just turned around and gone back for it. Between you and me I never liked that idea. I was afraid that I would drive back and find that for some reason or another I wouldn’t be able to get the charger and then where would I be.

But I didn’t do those things. I didn’t spend $50 bucks for a new charger. Instead I spent the majority of three or four nights in the car waiting for the damn phone to be charged.

Yesterday I came home and found two packages on my door. The first was the charger from Amazon and the second was an envelope from the hotel containing my charger. Great, now I have three chargers for my Treo.

And I didn’t even mention that in a few months I intend to switch over to a BlackBerry. Fark!

The Fear of Failure

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.’
Thomas A. Edison

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison

I suppose that sounds rather New Agey, but anytime I am feeling like I have failed to succeed I try to take a look at these two quotes. Actually there are a bunch of others that I like to read, but I didn’t have time to include all of them.

And that leads me to my next point/comment. The moments that I find that I am most disappointed with myself are tied into the fear of failure, not failure, but the fear of it. It is much easier to live with knowing that you tried than to say that you never did.

Most Popular Videos At The Shack

Updated to include Treppenwitz’s Favorite Dance Song/Video;



One of these days I have to share my thoughts about luck and timing, but for now you’ll have to settle for a partial list of the most popular videos of the last 18 months or so.

Here they are in no particular order:

Jimmy Kimmel’s Blanking Ben Affleck
Does Size Matter?
Spontaneous Subway Dancing
Japanese Toilet Humor
Confession of The Moment

Children Watch as Snake eats family dog

I don’t know about you but I’d be more than a little concerned about this.

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A 16-foot python stalked a family dog for days before swallowing the pet whole in front of horrified children in the Australian tropics, animal experts said Wednesday.

The boy and girl, aged 5 and 7, watched as the scrub python devoured their silky terrier-Chihuahua crossbreed Monday at their home near Kuranda in Queensland state.

Stuart Douglas, owner of the Australian Venom Zoo in Kuranda, said scrub pythons typically eat wild animals such as wallabies, a smaller relative of the kangaroo, but sometimes turn to pets in urban areas.

“It actively stalked the dog for a number of days,” Douglas said.

“The family that owned the dog had actually seen it in the dog’s bed, which was a sign it was out to get it,” he added.

I am not trying to pile on, but if I found a 16 foot python in my house I’d call someone sooner rather than later.

“The lady who was there threw some plastic chairs at the snake, but you’ve got to remember that this is about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of aggressive muscle,” Rose said.

A plastic chair? If you are going to try and do something that might antagonize the snake and or save the dog it better be more than that. Here is a blurb about this from another news source.

Sydney – An Australian man whose pet dog was eaten by a giant python as his family watched in horror is afraid to leave his children alone at home in case of another snake attack, media reports said on Wednesday.

Can’t say that I blame him. I feel badly for the children, that can’t be easy to see.

Tuesday Night Tunes

A really odd mix of music, but I like it.

I Like It, I Love ItTim McGraw
Swing– Trace Adkins
A Country Boy Can SurviveHank Williams Jr.
All My Rowdy FriendsHank Williams Jr.
Monday Night Football
Hank Williams Jr.
Knights of CydoniaMuse
Cherry Cherry– Neil Diamond
Sweet Caroline– Neil Diamond
I Alone– Live
Lightning Crashes– Live