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A day in an old interactive month.

These are my archived blogs.

Blog Archive: [ 2000: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2001: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2002: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]
[ 2003: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D |
[ 2004: J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D ]

September 3, 2002


I'm back!


I'm back from the cruise. But due to me having no access to a computer what-so-ever, I wasn't able to type up blog entries over the last week. But, I have my thoughts written down in a little book, so you'll see these blog entries magically appear between this one and the one a week ago.

Oh, and pictures on gallery.ardant.net, when I get around to it.


September 4, 2002


Those pesky salespeople...


My workterm hasn't started yet so I'm more or less moping at home. Working on beta.dune.net (hah, when am I not?!) and generally enjoying myself.

And then someone calls at 10:19 on a Wednesday, when I'm asleep.

*ring, ring*

Groggy Ardant: "Hello?"


*trademark telemarking pause* *trademark telemarketing click* Then this recording-sounding voice comes on. Hello! This is Bob calling from the National Post. Are you the head of the household?

"Sure, why not." [Ed Note: Legally I'm not. I guess the brain didn't start functioning until right now. Actually, I should have broomed him off right here, except my brain wasn't functioning and I wrongfully associated "National Post" with "Canada Post". So sue me. Or sue them for trademark infringement.]

Well, we have this new and exciting offer available. Do you read the National Post or get the national post in any way?

I'm thinking that this is a recording. The voice sounds tinny, he speaks in a high-pitched excited monotone commonly found only in informercials and on Larry King Live. It must be a 'virtual Bob', either a recording with smart voice recognition answers that adapt to you.

The telemarketing industry will go bananas over the latest and newest invention. You'll get calls all day from virtual Bobs, while you're trying to sleep, while you're trying to eat, while you're using the washroom; all at the low low cost of a few computers and a telephone line.


Would you be interested in receiving a special introductory offer of the National Post? Just 12 weeks for $12. And you get the top notch National Post coverage of sports, entertainment, and both international and regional news coverage. Just because the National Post is a national newspaper doesn't mean we don't cover local news in about Toronto.


Is it because you receive another newspaper?

Part of me was tempted to say "No, it's not because I receive another newspaper. It's because I live in a cage and I don't see the light of day. I get my information right away over this little copper wire, instead of a dead tree on my doorstep the next morning."


Well, we have lots of people who try the National Post with no obligation for 12 weeks! You'll find that the National Post is an excellent supplement to the other newspapers available; with an extensive financial section and financial news not found in any other paper!

I'm pretty sure by now virtual bob is virtual. He's sustained this high-pitch "I'm so interested in this I decided to call you and be all hyper about it" tone for much too long to be considered human. No one can be -that- perky.

I guess someone has now developed a reliable 'yes'/'no' answer detector. It's a matter of time before they have these telephone machines taking down our names, our credit card numbers... I decide, now, to play with the software. Throw it a curveball answer that it doesn't understand. See what it's trying to do. See what it can do. See what it can't.

"The cows are green."

Pardon me, sir? Same tone.

Must be a voice recording. Upon detection of a non-recognizable pattern, it would respond with 'Pardon me, sir?' to prompt the customer to re-state the answer. Sir. Hmm.. It must properly detect whether or not the customer is male or female. That one is harder. Let's see if I get the same response?

"The cows are green."

Pardon me, sir?

Victory! Now, what to test yet?

Cows aren't green, sir.

Ooops. Bob is on commission.


September 24, 2002


Google News!


I just find the new google news incredibly cool.

More later.


September 26, 2002


Would you like salad dressing?


He hands me a bag of takeout. "Would you like salad dressing?" he says, almost as an afterthought, looking me straight in the eye.

This after I ordered a caesar salad with my chicken. I'm at Nando's Chicken somewhere in Richmond Hill. It's late, almost 8 PM. I was at work much too long today. My eyes are tired, having stared at a computer screen for too long.


Yes, I'm now working on an open source project. Writing code, fixing bugs, testing things. Some days go well, where I actually close bugs, feel like I've accomplished something. Other days are like today. Things weren't going my way. Thank goodness for the signs with circles which say "For Stress Relief, Bang Head Here."

Things I learned at work today:

  • It is possible, and quite depressing, to go through an entire day without accomplishing anything.

So that's why I'm at Nando's Chicken. Not to bang my head against a wall but to maybe have some good food. Not to worry about cooking, or preparing, or anything like that.

I've ordered a quarter chicken with a caesar salad. I'm not sure if it's just my odd misconception, but caesar salads always come with dressing. That's what a caesar salad is all about. It's the dressing. So I'm caught off guard by this lanky employee and his dressing question.

"Uhh... it's a caesar salad."

"Would you like salad dressing?"

I'm very confused now. Maybe he means -extra- salad dressing. Like thousand islands, for your caesar [Ed Note: Now that I think about it, absurd. Go sue me. ]. So I use the even-potent escape.

"Uh, no, that's ok."

I go home. On the way home, I think of things other than caesar salads.

Things I learned today:

  • Make sure you get all the condiments you need before you leave the restaurant. This includes salad dressing.
  • Sometimes, salads don't come with dressing. This includes caesar salads.
  • Salads are just decaying pieces of vegetation in a container. It's the dressing that hides that from you.
  • Equal proportions of Miracle Whip and mayonnaise: although visually resembling caesar salad dressing, only marginally palatable.
  • Croutons always taste good, dressing or no.

Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

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