Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just Friends

It's tough to really say much about what happened last night with Karina.

In summary it was just two friends catching up over dinner.

Near the end of the night a slight reference was made to our last meeting, but it was more of a remark than a "please explain".

So yeah, it was... just... normal.

There was one instance where she cracked up laughing. What initiated it was another trip she was thinking on doing...

K: I'm thinking of going to South Africa and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
ME: [I began chuckling to myself - first it was Bolivia, then it was Yemen, now it's South Africa!? What next? Mars?]
K: [noticing the chuckle] What??
ME: [laughing at my own thoughts] You couldn't just be a normal tourist by going to South Africa and just looking at Kili? You're just like a bloke! [I then looked to my right and acted as though I was in a large tour group who were travelling past Mt Kili. After taking a few photos I turned to the fictitious tour guide and said...] "Can you please hold my camera and bag. I'm going to climb this sucker. Back in an hour."

I then started laughing, and oddly enough she joined in!

But yeah, I kinda felt as though she was trying to ignite some smouldering embers. But I'm not going to analyse anything because obviously I was totally wrong before.

(Riiight.)

Anyhoo, I'm just taking the night at face value (i.e. two people catching up) and that's all I'm ever going to do with any outings we may have again in the future (if any).

If she ever grabs me, gropes me, or even tries to kiss me again then that's it - I'm outta there. If she starts stalking me I'm going to up and flee to the only place she wont go: the States (Karina admitted that she never really liked it there - something about Americans handing out business cards all the time that annoyed her!?)...

Or Mars!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Call Centers

It's crazy how many cold callers I get in a week (at work mainly) who offer to provide some better new service to either my mobile phone or land line.

Take for instance today's "lucky" caller...

HIM [Indian accent]: Hello sir, how are you today?
ME: Good. How are you?
HIM: I am very well thank you so much asking.
ME: [pauses - thinking Ok, is that all you wanted to know?]
HIM: Is your number 0000 0000?
ME: Ah, no.
HIM: Your number isn't 0000 0000?
ME: Ah... yes.
HIM: Yes it is, or yes it isn't?
ME: Yes it is.
HIM: Okay, sir we are just transferring your account to a new phone line service where we will be able to save you some money.
ME: Ah... okay!?
HIM: How much do you currently pay with your current provider?
ME: I don't pay anything.
HIM: You don't pay anything?
ME: Yeah, I don't pay anything.
HIM: Why don't you pay anything?
ME: [thinking Because I've illegally tapped into my neighbours line and use his service... probably not the best answer] I don't own the land line.
HIM: Oh, ok. Can I speak to the owner of this telephone line please?
ME: I don't know who that is. [it's owned by a company so do I get all the shareholders?]
HIM: How about the owner of the house?
ME: I don't know who that is. [it's a rental property I have no idea who the landlord is!?]
HIM: How about the person who pays the phone bills?
ME: I don't know who that is. [is it the bank considering they're the ones who physically send the money? Or the person who signs the cheque? Or the person who writes the cheque to be signed?? I know, I'm being difficult Fiona will kill me.]
HIM: Is there anyone else there I can talk to?
ME: [looking around the office - everyone has gone out to lunch] No, nobody else is here but me.
HIM: So what do you do?
ME: [getting a little agitated now] I'm just the buglar. I've come to steal stuff.
HIM: [pauses] Ah, okay sir, have a nice day.

*click*

Speshul K - The Return?

Uh-oh.

Not content with the slap I gave her last time Karina has asked us whether I'm available tomorrow for a chat.

Girl are you serious?

Maybe she is. Maybe she wants to slap me back?? Or perhaps finish the remainder of her purging? (You're probably thinking "Huh?" allow me to explain...)

One thing I haven't mentioned in here was that a couple of weeks after Easter she sent me a small message saying something to the effect of: "Hope all is well and that you had a good Easter." I replied with a message telling her about my little cycling accident and ended with a polite "Hope you had a good Easter at Coral Bay" (I knew through our previous meetings that she had planned to go with friends up north to Coral Bay during Easter).

Sure enough she soon responded and said that her Easter was good, but, and I quote here, "a tad cathartic".

HUH???? "Cathartic"??? You had a purging of the bowels?? Aah. that's. nice. to. know.

I didn't respond to that. And it was the last I heard from her, until today.

I've got no idea why she persists. I know my mind's already made up and if she just wants to catch up as "friends" then I can handle that, but I tend to think that either one of two things will happen: 1) she will try to change my opinion about her (maybe I should expect some forced laughter) or 2) she'd like to defend herself.

As I believe Karina has a bit of an ego problem (as you would if you're hot, got a top job where people look up to you for advice and have sooo many hot athletic guys chasing after you) I'd probably guess that she'll lay on a bit of charm... with possibly the start of the conversation being about our last encounter.

Girl, I'll give you credit for your athletic body and your Christianity, but leaving your laugh on mute and not being able to laugh at yourself unfortunately fails to ignite any chemistry.

Maybe the lesson I've got to learn is that you just can't have it all!?

Some People Take It Waaaay Too Seriously



Some people love their motorbikes waaaay too much, don't they Dan?

And to the hot blonde chic who walked in and stood beside me while I waited for Dan to buy his Pepsi in the cinema last night...

If your blind date stood you up you could've hung with us... or me, ('cause Dan's married).

If I happen to see you again I'll be more polite and present you with such an invite (rather than shyly looking away wondering why you're staring at me).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Let's Fly Away, Let's Fly, Let's Fly..."

I've finally booked the remaining part of my trip - London and New York!!

Yay!!

Okay, here's how my itinerary looks (as I was doing this I wondered to myself: how much flying time will I be doing? So I added the flying times as I went along):

Sunday 23 September 21:35 Leave Perth
Monday 24 September 02:35 Arrive Singapore
Flying Time: 5hrs 15mins

Monday 24 September 06:40 Leave Singapore
Monday 24 September 10:20 Arrive Hong Kong
Flying Time: 3hrs 40mins

Wednesday 26 September 00:50 Leave Hong Kong
Wednesday 26 September 06:40 Arrive London/Gatwick
Flying Time: 12hrs 50mins

Friday 5 October 10:30 Leave London/Gatwick
Friday 5 October 13:20 Arrive Newark
Flying Time: 7hrs 50mins

Monday 8 October 18:50 Leave Newark
Monday 8 October 06:55 London/Gatwick
Flying Time: 7hrs 5mins

Thursday 11 October 20:40 Leave London/Gatwick
Friday 12 October 15:30 Arrive Hong Kong
Flying Time: 11hrs 50mins

Friday 12 October 20:15 Leave Hong Kong
Friday 12 October 23:50 Arrive Singapore
Flying Time: 3hrs 35mins

Saturday 13 October 15:50 Leave Singapore
Saturday 13 October 21:05 Arrive Perth
Flying Time: 5hrs 15 mins

That makes a total of 57 hours and 20 minutes on a plane! Oh how I wish that was all first class.

Note to self: by some super-duper jet lag pills.

More later.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Disney Here I Come

So far I've booked one leg of my trip: the Perth to Singapore to Hong Kong leg. Next week I hopefully would've booked the Hong Kong to London to New York legs.

I've also decided to arrive in Hong Kong a day earlier than expected as I found out at church on Sunday that a couple of other guys are going to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks and wanted me to arrive a day earlier so that they could take me around Disneyland (and Hong Kong).

Well I've never been to Disneyland before... so hey why not!

Miss Unapproachable

Perth is a small city.

It's even smaller because of a river that divides it in two. Those who live north of the river rarely know much about the south, and vice versa. This makes Perth an even smaller city and if you live on the same side of the river all your life you'll probably bump into the same person several times even though you'll never know their name.

Take the year I went to college and studied accounting.

I was 19 years old, a relative spring chicken, fresh out of high school, and I was studying something I never really knew anything about.

During my first year of college I parked my car a fair distance away from the main carpark at a local oval. To be honest I only just had my driver's licence and carparks scared me, so I parked somewhere safe... albeit a walk away from where classes were usually held... but I didn't mind - the walk was good exercise (even when it turned into a sprint when it used to rain).

Anyway, one day I noticed another car had taken MY spot, and initially I wasn't too happy... but I got over it pretty quick as there was plenty of parking space at the oval.

As the days passed the strange hatchback and I swapped spots depending on who's class was first during the day. I was curious about who else had such a "great mind" as mine ("great minds park alike"??), but I saw no one for about a week or so.

Until one day studies in the library with my peers kept me behind and I left later than usual. When the day ended I made my way towards my car and noticed the hatchback parked beside. It wasn't until I got into my car that I saw a tall blonde haired chic walking across the oval towards me.

I think I'll just... umm... try to... umm... get... my... car... started... sooooon.

Slowly I placed my car key into the ignition as the blonde continued to walk towards me. I noticed her look up and then look back down.

It was the look, and then her left hand moving into her bag slung over her right shoulder that made me think that maybe, just maybe, she was walking to her car... the very hatchback that was next to me! I noticed no other cars nearby... or maybe I dropped something and she was delivering it to me?

My mind raced, but I didn't want to seem like I was stalking her or anything so I quickly started the car and scooted. As I slowly drove away I looked in the rear vision mirror and saw the blonde chic hop into her car - the hatchback!!

Are you kidding me??

I think for the first time in my entire schooling life I actually rocked up early to class the next day and from that day forward I wanted to see who this chic was.

Weeks passed and eventually I found out that the mystery hatchback chic was studying marketing.

(It seemed all the hot chics studied marketing at college... well at least compared to those who studied accounting.)

Anyway, the more I saw this woman the closer I got: she was this tall hot blonde chic and I a lowly pile of ooze bubbling on the floor whenever she passed. In fact, I remember one time nearly fainting when I used the lift to get down to a lower floor and she just happened to pop in!

She even smiled and said hi.

I think I turned bright red which just made the smouldering bubbling ooze look like blood on the floor... not a pretty sight.

I couldn't say anything to this woman. Throughout that one year of college all I ever mustered was... a wave. How lame was that? A wave. I remembered when I jumped into my car one day she was only meters behind and kept her eyes on me. So what did I do? Just wave. Wow. How pathetic.

Anyway, after when I graduated and upgraded my accounting diploma to a degree of commerce at university I didn't bump into her until my final year. I was working at a stockbroking firm in the city and as I wandered the streets during lunch I noticed a familiar figure.

It was her.

I shyly looked away as she passed, and I caught her slightly smiling... she probably enjoyed my oozing. I saw her a couple more times, and with her arm wrapped around a bloke once.

Each time I said nothing. I did nothing. Not even a "Hi".

Fast forward again to yesterday and I saw this same chic again... in Subway.

But this time I didn't ooze. In fact I couldn't stop smiling... and I was mainly smiling at myself, laughing inside at the amount of times this woman made me squirm... and yet I didn't even know her from a bar of soap (I never even knew her name!). As she walked through with what seemed like her father and a friend ordering her lunch, I kept smiling as I ordered my chicken-teriyaki-Subway-6-grams-of-fat-or-less sandwich.

When my sandwich was made she stood with her friend near the drinks fridge and when I went to pay I told the chic behind the counter that I'd like to buy a juice, so I made my way towards the fridge.

And as I did she stopped talking to her friend and noticed me. I think she remembered. And as she stepped aside I STILL didn't say anything... not even an "Excuse me"... or "Thank you" for moving.

When I paid, and made my way to the door, I looked over at her, and noticed her looking at me, and I smiled.

Yeah I think she remembered.

But I wasn't going to break tradition.

LOL

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Poo

I couldn't believe it when I saw it on TV during dinner tonight.

I was in shock, but then again... I was in shock that I was in shock! I mean, should I have really been that surprised??

I saw an article on TV about infamous Australian tennis "star" Mark Philippoussis in a reality TV dating show similar in style to "The Bachelor".

I shook my head in disbelief.

If the "Poo" didn't stoop to all time low with his constant whinging and complaining about his lack of tennis success, or that he dumped singing sensation and Australian sweet-heart Delta Goodrum because of some fling with Paris Hilton then he's definitely down it now.

I had to laugh out loud when the NBC show started the series by setting up the "Poo" with women aged 40 and over (the look on his face was priceless!), and oh how I wished that that was the entire show, but alas 20-something aged chics soon came on board.

(For those who don't know Mark has really only dated women MUCH younger than himself)

If I could say something to all the American ladies who get evicted on the show (if it's done Bachelor style): getting evicted was the best thing that could've happened to you! He really isn't worth it.

To the "lucky" woman who "wins" the Poo: I hope you know how to clean a toilet... you may find yourself flushing the Poo sooner than you think.

To the Poo: you're an idiot.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Around The World

At the beginning of the year Dan was excited about a trip he was planning on doing to London. He asked whether I was interested and initially I wasn't and responded with a flat "No".

A couple of months passed and he cemented his trip by paying for his flights. Again he asked if I wanted to go, but I made up some lame excuse about how hard it would be to get time off work.

Fast forward to Thursday night and again Dan talked a little more about his trip. After he talked a little about the places he was going to travel to in the UK he asked when he had finished, yet again...

"So, do you want to come?"

"I don't think I'll be able to afford it," I replied (again).

Dan then added that I wouldn't need to pay for accommodation and car hire as we were going to be staying at some of his family's place, which made me feel even more awkward about going as I hate to intrude on already established plans.

"Nah it wont be a problem at all. They'll definitely have room for you, and we're only staying a night or two at each of my family's place anyway."

I still wasn't satisfied so I asked how much his flights cost, knowing that I definitely wouldn't be able to afford it.

"Well I paid around $2,000."

"Huh?? That's one way right?"

"Nah! That's return."

"You're telling me a trip to London via Singapore and Hong Kong is only $2,000 return??"

"Ah no, I forgot to tell you..."

Aha! I knew there was something wrong.

"That price also includes a 3 day return trip to New York!"

*klunk* (that was me falling off my chair)

I was still a little skeptical though, so on Friday I surfed to the websites Dan bought his tickets from and found that prices were indeed around $2,000!! Wow.

"So are you coming?" Dan asked again... via email.

Well I've always wanted to go to London. I remember when I was young my father returned from a business trip there and told us about the museums... I was in awe. Since then I've always wanted to go and check out the British Museum (getting in touch with my inner geek)... and I was happy to know that this was something Dan was going to do on his trip!

It was the perfect opportunity.

And then there's New York!!! Wow. I don't think we'll have enough time during our 3 days to even pinch the city, yet we'll give it a bash!

"Yeah I'm going," I said.

Okay... to do list this week: get paid and buy flight tickets.

Wow... London... New York!!

(I just need to make sure I don't ask for directions in NY... don't want to end up in jail, right D? lol)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's Just A Game



Some people love their motorbikes waaaay too much, don't they Dan?

And to the hot blonde chic who walked in and stood beside me while I waited for Dan to buy his Pepsi in the cinema last night...

If your blind date stood you up you could've hung with us... or me, ('cause Dan's married).

If I happen to see you again I'll be sure to mention the offer.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Un Kin

The dentist yesterday wasn't much fun. Firstly, "Un Kin" - there was no Kim. When I entered the complex one lady asked my name and the other, upon seeing my confirmation, told me to come this way.

Nooooo.

I didn't want to go this way. I wanted to wait in the waiting room for Kimmy. I was even going to hold breath and stomp my feet until Kimmy came... but thankfully I didn't - otherwise I would've passed out - as Kim never came. She didn't even work today. *sigh*

Having been escorted into the "cleaning room" (aka torture room) I sat down on the chair and had the evil torturess "clean" my teeth. I suppose she felt that if she plucked out all my teeth I wouldn't have to worry about cavities ever again. Although eating through a straw for the rest of my life wouldn't be much fun!

Yep, I was prodded, drilled and then sawn in two with "floss" (aka torture wire).

In fact she enjoyed "flossing" so much that she shared the "joy" and had me hold a mirror while she showed me how to properly use the "torture wire".

By the time my gums had eroded to the bone she had had enough.

"Okay Ryan, now we are going to check for cavities."

"Eruay."

And off she went. More prodding.

"1RU2," she said.

"Uuh?" I expected an R2D2 like robot to come walking in, but alas she kept using her force.

"2MM," she said again.

Eminem? This conversation was getting weird, or maybe it was a new torture technique!?

By the time she had finished she had spoken some strange dentiff dialect that was just blowing my little analytical mind.

"You have a few cavities."

I wasn't surprised.

Dianne walked in and surveyed these cavities. It was then that I had a tought,

If I have to come back to get some more fillings I might be able to see Kimmy again!

"Ou an fine sum or." (translated: Go and find some more of these buggers!)

I was then x-rayed and probed some more, in the end they found 6 of these little critters.

"Oooool." (translated: Cooool!)

6 more chances to see Kim again!

Dianne and the torturess were a little surprised by my reaction. The torturess grabbed the sharp hook-shaped instrument and wanted to inflict more pain, but Dianne had had enough... my "cleaning" was done for the day.

After being given a gummy flouridated paste that looked and tasted like bruised strawberries (which I think was solely used to cover their barbaric acts) I was given my next appointment: July 4 (Independence Day!). Even though I felt as though I had bungeed off the Empire State Building with my teeth I skipped out of the dentist a happy smiling man.

6 cavities.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Bike Is Trying To Kill Me

I think my bicycle is trying to kill me.

On the weekend we had some beautiful sunny weather, so I decided to go for a little ride to Perth (about 50km round trip).

Everything was going fine, until when I was only a couple of kms out of the city, going at a rate of knots and approaching a bend that my front tyre collected a sharp thorn.

No real dramas there, right? Oh, except for the bend bit... and the rate of knots bit... and the tiny little sharp thorn bit. You put them all together and believe me when you're going around a corner with a flat front tyre you don't have the same control anymore - even with both hands on the handlebars!!

As I quickly (yet not too quickly) applied the brakes it made the turn all the more worse, the bar wobbled and sharply turned into my waist area... what was going to be an easy bend to negotiate around, now turned into a bend where I tried my best to negotiate avoiding crashing into the fence!

Thankfully I alighted off my chair and did a strange tippie-toe dance into the fence that saw me come to a sudden stop. If I'd gone a tad faster I probably would've flipped over the waist-high fence. (Now that would've been funny!)

Phew! No bleeding from the head this time, I thought to myself after backing away from the fence.

But now I was in a bit of bother - my front tyre had gone completely flat and I was pretty much close to the furtherest point from home (why do bad things always happen when you're at the most furtherest point from home??).

As I collected myself and walked to try and find a park bench a bloke no more than 100 meters from where I stopped was repairing his bike tube.

When he saw me he asked, "Did you get a puncture?"

I said I did and pointed to where I got it.

He came over and began surveying my tyre and we both saw the little culprit. As we pulled the sucker out I sware I heard it laughing an evil laugh.

"You shouldn't get punctures with a tyre like that," said the bloke pointing to my hybrid mountain bike.

I had to agree with him. I never once got a puncture from riding around down south, yet since moving north of the river I almost always get a puncture every few rides.

"Do you have any patches, or anything?" he asked.

I said I did but I needed glue.

"Oh, you can get patches that don't require glue anymore," he said, "in fact I've got some if you like."

And he went and checked his repair kit. It ended up being his last one.

Initially I refused to accept it, but he insisted...

"Where do you need to go?" he asked.

I sheepishly replied with, "Ah, Joondalup," knowing that it was probably just a small hop-skip-and-a-jump away for this bloke who was decked out in proper cycling gear and rode a racer.

"Whoa, dude, you're going to need this more than me," he said, "I only live just over in Mount Hawthorn." (A place that indeed was only just a hop skip and a jump away from where we were.)

So with that he gave me his last patch and I began applying the super-duper-sticky patch over the hole. As I did this he warned me that it might not work. He had applied a similar patch on the puncture he had and it did not work. After patching it up, I held my breath as I began to inflate my tyre.

Oh please work!

A 25km walk home is never something enjoyable... especially once the sun goes down because things get pretty cold pretty quick... and if you're clad in bike gear you don't have much fabric to keep you too warm.

"Everything good?" asked the bloke as I put in a few more punches of air into the tube.

"Yeah, it seems like it," I said testing the pressure with my thumb.

"Take it easy on the way back then," he said as he picked up his bike.

I thanked the bloke for his genoristy and kindness and we soon went our separate ways.

On the way back home I went slower than usual as anything that looked even remotely like a prickle I viciously swerved to avoid. It probably looked a little funny too, but in the end I made it.

So thanks dude. I hope you made it back safely too.

I owe you a super-duper patch.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Er Wenwiss Wen Eallie Eallie Well

No, I'm not speaking in tongues... although I sure sounded like it when I left the dentist today!

Upon entering the dental surgery I told the lady behind the desk that I had an appointment for 12pm.

"Ryan?" she asked.

"Yes, that's me."

"Okay, if I can just get you to fill out your details..." she said placing a new blank form in front on me and motioning me toward the waiting room, "and return it when you're done."

I then proceeded to fill out the form and when I handed it back the lady set about entering my new details into the computer. After several keystrokes the same lady asked from her desk,

"Ah, Ryan you don't seem to be on our recall list. Would you like me to put you back on?"

Oh no, not the recall list!

Every 3 months you get a letter in the mail saying that it has been "some time since your last visit" and that it's "important that you have regular check-ups to prevent plaque build up" (etc etc). All they really do is drag you in, open your mouth, point to your teeth and go...

"Aaah... look another cavity!"

So I sheepishly replied with a...

"Ah no thanks. I'll be fine."

As I sat there waiting for Dianne I found an interesting magazine on exotic Australian destinations - it was really quite bizarre. Some of these places I had never even heard of yet they looked remarkable and some were so close they were like even in my own backyard!!

Enjoying the spectacular beauty of the outback in this magazine a soft voice from above asked,

"Ryan?"

Mesmerised by the voice I closed the magazine, looked up, and saw this chic smiling down at me.

HELLO!

My mouth failed to find the appropriate "Yes" answer and as I stood up I let out a squeak!

"Dianne's this way," she motioned pointing to Dianne who was waiting in the hallway.

As I approached Dianne and moved into the room I wanted to ask Dianne if it was possible that... umm... maybe we could just try have her dental assistant... umm... kiss me better! I'm sure we'd save a lot of time, effort and money... yes?

Ah... no.

Upon sitting on the chair Dianne couldn't have put the bib on me fast enough. I was already a bumbling mess and had to use it several times to clean myself... and Dianne hadn't even started yet!

In fact Dianne didn't even need to ask me to open my mouth... it was firmly agape, although I did feel sorry for Kim (the dental assistant) with that sucking thing she was using on me - trying her best to quench my drool. ;op~

The process took about an hour and a half, and I would've requested Dianne to possibly find other cavities, but Kim had left for the day.

Drat.

After paying for the work the lady behind the counter asked if I was interested in coming again next week for a check-up.

Although I had difficulty talking my eyes were bulging and my head was nodding furiously (more drool flung itself across the room).

"Ok then, so Thursday next week ok for you then Ryan?"

I didn't stop nodding, in fact I even added:

"An cou u pleef poot ne on de lecall liff."

"You'd like to be put onto the recall list?" she asked knowing all to well the dentiff dialect.

"Fank-oo."

And with that I leff.

(Now I shouldn't be all that surprised about Kim. I mean of course she would have a lovely smile - she works at a dentist!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm Done

I know it hasn't officially been a week in winter yet, but I'm done.

I've had enough of the cold already.

Yes I'm a wimp when temperatures get below 10 degrees.

So if everyone on the northern hemisphere could please jump up and down so that the Earth tips upside down allowing me to enjoy summer again that would be great.

Don't make me stamp my feet and hold my breath until you do!

Crunchy

This morning my muesli breakfast just wasn't quite the same.

After putting in a spoonful of muesli into my mouth I immediately crunched on something hard.

My tongue then began doing it's solo break-dance moves trying to find the mysterious hard object in my mouth.

And believe me it was tough - especially if your muesli has hard things in it anyway... such as nuts!

In the end I gave up trying to find the perpetrator and spat out all the contents into the bin.

It wasn't until after my muesli when I began cleaning my teeth that I noticed a chunk out of one of my molar teeth!

Damn!

Now was it the piece of tooth that was the hard object? Or some other hard object that made my tooth crack? I tend to think it was the former as it's been awhile since I've seen Dianne my dentist.

I'm not a big fan of dentists, especially with all that stuff they put in your mouth like drills, annoying-sucking-tube-thing, flouride, and amalgam (a "safe" mixture of mercury, tin and lead!).

Just give me that stuff that makes my lips go all numb.

;-()

Saturday, June 02, 2007

"You're Not Allowed To Smile"



Last weekend I was frantically trying to find my passport. As I couldn't find it in my usual places I thought that maybe I had lost it forever. However, during my search I kept telling myself that I KNEW I had put it somewhere safe.

Real safe... 'cause now I couldn't find it!

Eventually though I found it - tucked away in a side pocket of a leather bound folder that was stored with my certificates... makes perfect logical sense! (?!?!)

I needed my passport as ID for completing an "Application for working with children" form which is compulsory for anyone working with kids under the age of 18 in W.A. - which has to do with me helping out with the youth at church.

After arriving early Monday morning at the Post Office the lady behind the counter took my papers and ushered me around the side to take my photo (apparently these "working with children" IDs needed to be accompanied with your photo).

When I walked around the corner I noticed a hot blonde chic having her passport photo taken. As I stood there looking on while the Post Office lady got the camera to work we both looked at each other and smiled. It was obvious she had dolled herself up for the photo shoot... hence the hotness.

The lady behind had now readied her camera, and after noticing our little smile together she said,
"As this is your passport photo you're not allowed to smile."

Unfortunately my smile grew and the blonde chic tried her best at NOT smiling, but with me beaming in the background it was a little difficult... so I turned away. It reminded me of the days when my brother got a smack for doing something wrong, for some strange reason I'd either smile or laugh. Laughing never helped because the wooden spoon would soon find its mark on my backside... and then I wouldn't be laughing at all... and the occassions when someone would angrily tell me to NOT laugh, but all I could do was continue laughing!! (Is it just me??)

Anyhoo, when the blonde had finished she took my spot and I took hers on the chair. I was trying to quash my smile as I readied myself for the photo shoot, but I was having some difficulty.

Noticing that I was trying my best to get serious the lady behind the camera said,
"You're allowed to smile in this photo."

*phew*

And then I began to just stop smiling.

*click*

Friday, June 01, 2007

Extended Warranty Anyone?

Last weekend Willo mentioned that he wanted to purchase a notebook computer and asked for my advice.

Unfortunately for Willo was inundated over the next hour with complete geek talk...

"Oh, you've so got to get a notebook that's got bluetooth connectivity so you can send stuff to your mobile phone. And you'll want one with a fast processing chip - preferably an Intel Core Duo 2 processor... oh, and be sure they give you plenty of RAM - maybe a gig would suit... or 2. And get one that has wide-screen ultra XVGA screen resolution, maybe 17 inches if you can afford it, because you can never really upgrade your screen... unless of course it's got an HDMI port, or maybe an S-video cable would suffice... and then you can jack it into your widescreen TV at home, but... then you're probably going to need to purchase some cable. Oh, and don't forget you're going to need to get a router with a modem inbuilt, preferably one that's got VOIP capabilities in case you ever want to move providers and get cheap local and national calls... which means we're going to need to upgrade to broadband..."

Yeah, I got a little too excited... had to even go to the toilet a few times. (LOL!!)

After talking for what seemed like an eternity I finaly came up for air and asked, "So what do you think?"

Willo was a little shocked by my "inner geek" and on Sunday we went into the city and saw a salesman who pretty much gave Willo the same treatment I did... just MUCH worse.

Heck, this guy was even ticking me off and I wasn't even being sold to!!

After Willo pointed to the notebook he wanted, the salesman knocked off a lousy $50 off the price (well, ok, it was already reduced, but still he bought a heap of other peripherals). It was then that our salesman went into SALES-NINJA mode...

"Now I can't let you leave with this wonderful piece of equipment without an electrical surge protector," our salesman, Corey, pointed to a rack of cheap surge protectors selling for AU$169.95 a pop, "you'll *definitely* need one of these to protect your stuff, because I'd hate for anything bad to happen to your equipment."

Willo turned to me and asked, "Do I really need one of these?"

I replied, "Well I don't have one and have never used one since I've had a computer!"

Corey knew his sale was slipping, I got the evil eye as he turned back to my friend and asked, "Name your price. Tell me how much you'd be willing to spend on one of these?"

Oo Oo, ask me, ask me.

I almost raised my hand like a kid in class, but Willo was too busy eyeing off the useless contraption.

"Probably $90."

NO! Say a dollar. I sighed.

I could see Corey smirk, he had his fish, "Well I don't think I could do it for that cheap, maybe $97..."

"No, $90," returned Willo.

Corey did his frantic forehead wipe, followed with a few deep heavy breaths... with the way he was acting I was expecting his boss to come out and fire him right then and there for selling an item too cheap.

"You know what, because you've bought so much stuff, I'll give it to for $90."

Oh how kind Corey. He's spent over $3,000 and you couldn't even throw in a freebie!

But wait! There was more...

"Now I really can't let you guys go without telling you about getting an extended warranty for your notebook."

Oh no, I sighed, not the extended warranty sales pitch.

"You know I have a sister who bought a computer last year," began Corey, I started rolling my eyes knowing all too well the innocent-customer-who-blew-up-her-computer-but-had-it-miraculously-saved-because-she-had-extended-warranty pitch was coming, so Corey continued, "and one day she was using her computer and then out of nowhere her screen flickered and died."

Oh no, now he was getting animated - making sure every other customer heard.

"Her computer had just carked it. She even had an assignment due next week and when she called me for help she was in a panic."

Really?? gasped the crowd who now thronged around us.

With the audience around us I almost added (in similar animation to Corey)... "And not only that, her husband needed to pay his credit card bill online THAT night otherwise their house was going to get repossessed by their finance company for failing to pay his overdue credit card debts! But that's not all! Their sick son was running on life support by the very SAME computer! He had only days to live!! And if you thought that wasn't bad enough the SAME computer had top secret access codes installed on it that would help the human race win against any future alien invasion!!!!! *GASPS* And this was all now gone in a flicker of a moment!!! *SNAPS FINGERS* Can you see why they were in such dire straights??..."

But Corey continued the drama in his own silly way...
"So my sister gave me a call that night and in her panicked state over the phone she told me what had happened," Corey used his hand as a phone and began speaking into it.

Oh please... not the hand.

"I told my sister to hang in there and that I'd check her purchase details. So early the next morning I raced into the store and what would you know..."

Corey paused... adding for effect... waiting for Willo to respond.

The crowd was silent.

I cracked the silence with a flat response of: "She didn't have extended warranty so you fudged her details on the computer."

Corey ignored my sense of humour and waited for Willo to respond.

"She had extended warranty," whispered a small child to Willo.

"She... had... extended... warranty?" Willo limply replied.

"THAT'S RIGHT!" erupted Corey congratulating Willo with a slap to the shoulder. Now they were chums.

Oh no, here we go.

Corey then continued on a tirade about how important it was for his sister to get her computer back up to speed, to save her marriage, keep her house, save her son, and prevent the world from ever losing to alien scum.

"Now?" heaved Corey looking squarely into Willo's eyes.

Oh no, please don't propose.

"Would you like extended warranty?" Corey asked. It felt like an hour had gone by.

Willo began to look over at me, but Corey caught his gaze with what sounded like a hissing noise. Willo fixed his eyes back on Corey, and then when he moved his head towards me a slight grunting noise emanated from Corey. By the time Willo looked over at me enough noises had emanated from Corey that I thought maybe he had swallowed an iPod!

"What do you think?" asked Willo.

Before I could answer, Corey grabbed Willo's gaze and asked him again, "*YOU NEED* extended warranty?"

"No, extended warranty's only for immature idiots who don't know how to use a computer," I added in yet my consistent flat tone... I really wanted to laugh, but I was too tired (shopping takes it out of a bloke).

Corey sensed his opportunity gone and moved on to insurance.

I began to get the feeling that because we weren't in any hurry to leave Corey was going to try to sell every product in the store before we left.

"Willo let's go," I said pointing to the door, "maybe we can try the store next door."

"I need to go," Willo said.

Corey's opportunity for finalising his sale was slipping fast, so he quickly moved on over to the cash register and began scanning in all the items Willo had purchased.

Corey tried a few more times at upselling, but I had had enough and just walked out the door. Willo was on his own, but when he emerged and saw me he began laughing.

We both did.

"So, Ryan, would you like me to tell you about extending your warranty?" Willo imitated.

"Don't you start."