MC Spoo
7Jul/090

How Well Do You Know Me?

Recently, I made a quiz for Facebook using the popular "How Well Do You Know Me?" application. Almost no one tried it, and no one passed.

One of my friends called Shenanigans on my quiz, stating that I don't know myself well enough to produce a realistic test.

Is he right? Who knows... Your cheat sheet follows (Correct Answers in BOLD and Explanations, if any, in Italics):

1) How many slices of pizza did Mike eat during a HS band pizza party?
a) 9
b) 3
c) 27
d) 42
I realize this sounds ridiculous, but it's true. They threw a pizza party for the marching band after a football game and almost no one showed up. The few of us that were there munched down on pizza. I remember having a ball, and counting the number of pizzas I ate... I ate 3 whole large pizzas. 9 slices each. 27 slices of pizza. I had a BAD week after that.

2) What did Mike state was his ultimate work goal while in college?
a) Making LOTS of money
b) Becoming the next Steven Spielberg
c) Directing the Late Show with David Letterman
d) Managing computers in a public library
e) 40 years of unemployed bliss
This was actually part of a questionnaire when I agreed to go to Madonna University. We were asked what our ultimate career goal would be. I stated that I wanted to direct the Late Show with David Letterman. Remember, my major was VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS, not FILM. D, of course, is where I've ended up.

3) What is Mike's middle name?
a) Tralfaz
b) Scott
c) David
d) Lawrence
e) Laurence
Cheap trick question. I included the alternate spelling. Sorry. Tralfaz is Astro's real name. That always cracked me up...

4) What year did Mike graduate from Madonna University?
a) 1992
b) 1993
c) 1994
d) 1995
e) 1999
Technically, I would have accepted 1992 as correct. I completed all my course work in 1992 except for 3 credit hours. I actually had to waste 2 semesters after wards attending conferences that I have no memory of to pick up 3 credit hours... So I finished my Bachelors' in 3 years. Yes I did.

5) Mike's Cat is named Fargo. What inspired this name?
a) A visit to South Dakota.
b) A visit to North Dakota
c) The movie "Fargo"
d) His desire to visit frigid climates
BS was called on this question because I deleted an important detail... when I got Fargo from the Humane Society, he had a name applied to him already (as they are wont to do, because naming the pet makes it more personal to them). The name was: Chipper. So, one of the more famous scenes from the movie Fargo involves the disposal of bodies in a wood chipper... see? Fits like a glove...

6) Mike lives in a condo. He calls it the...
a) Fantasy Wonder Sex Land
b) Loft
c) Hellhole
d) Condo Rice
The reasoning here is obvious. Read some back entries on my blog. I hate this place, with all my soul. It's just a hole in the ground I dump money into and sleep. I hate the place because I distrust the Condo Association. They're worthless, money grubbing, crap-faced liars who deserve whatever bad things come unto their existence.

7) Mike's current side business is called...
a) McGeeks for Hire
b) MC Web Design
c) McEvoy Technologies
d) Techiance
e) NotAGeek
Mildly trick question. Until January this year, I DID have a business called "MC Web Design", which I ran with my cousin Charlie. However, Charlie just doesn't have the time on his hands to devote to a side business proper. I respect that. I wish I had a great wife and 2.5 kids to keep me busy too. Otherwise, Techiance was one of the business names I considered before McEvoy Technologies. It stood for "Technical Brilliance".

8) What was Mike's handle on BBS's?
a) Whadda
b) Sponge
c) Spoo
d) Spultz
e) Fartbreath the Farthest
Supreme Premier of UnListed Time Zones. That's what Spultz meant. It was also the sound effect for dropping dead bodies off a building. Either way, it was unique on BBS's. I technically also used Whadda on 1 or 2 BBS's, but those only lasted a month or so. I NEVER used "Spoo" on a BBS. That was a nickname because "spultz" was "too hard to type" while "spoo" was easy.

9) Mike ran a BBS with his brother and friend. The BBS was called...
a) Frontline
b) A Touch of Class
c) Power Outlet
d) The Other Side
e) Solaris
Ah, those were the good old days... of Punter protocol, and ASCII graphics. 1541/1581 drives to max out storage. Uploads and Downloads that took 3 to 6 hours to complete... (which would take about 25 seconds now!) Thousands of floppies worth of fun and late night pizza from wonder bread, spaghetti sauce and cheez whiz. Hanging out all night with my brother and friends... good good times.

10) Mike has a physical impairment. Can you name it?
a) Blind
b) Has no Toes
c) Has no Nose
d) Deaf
e) Can't smell
I have no idea how anyone I know could possibly NOT answer this correctly.

11) Mike considers this to be the greatest sci-fi book ever written. Name it.
a) Neuromancer
b) Rendevous with Rama
c) Snowcrash
d) I, Robot
e) 2001
I re-read this book over and over. It just always works for me. It's not uplifting or anything. It's just utterly, triumphantly fascinating and imaginative. I want to play Raven in the movie.

12) How many scripts (80 + pages) has Mike written?
a) 1
b) None
c) 3
d) 6
e) 2
This one is easy to find out: just go to http://mcspoo.com/creative and read them. See? That was simple.

13) Michael likes to write...
a) Notes and such
b) Short Stories
c) Screenplays
d) Poetry
e) Manuals
On the back of the last question, this was definitely me being funny again. However, I have written more poetry than... well... most dead poets. The pure posted number of poetry (which is just a fraction of what I have at home) should have been a dead giveaway. You'll find some of it online at http://mcspoo.com/creative. I have no idea if any of the poetry I've written is any good. Its never been read by anyone who could give me an honest critique.

14) The first rollercoaster Mike ever rode was...
a) Gemini
b) Blue Streak
c) Wildcat
d) Corkscrew
e) Magnum XL
Junior High Field Trip for having a 3.25 GPA for the year. Rob Lambert and I walked in the park, and ran right to the middle, got in line and managed to get the front of the coaster. I then told Rob "I've never been on a roller coaster before".

15) Mike watches professional wrestling. Who was his favorite?
a) Hulk Hogan
b) Ric Flair
c) King Kong Bundy
d) Randy Savage
e) Ultimate Warrior
I hated Hogan after Wrestlemania 4. Flair, I hated him until the late 90s. Bundy? Hated him. Ultimate Warrior? Liked him, until Jim Hellwig legally changed his name to "Mr. The Ultimate Warrior". That leaves the Macho Man. Oh yeah!

So... does this still sound like I don't know myself?

9Jan/080

Annoyances and More

I am so annoyed right now. I was sitting here trying to work, and people kept ringing my door bell. Some guy from Clean Water Act wanting money from me (Sorry, I'm broke) and then 2 guys with AT&T jackets and badges showed up on the porch almost right after wanting me to switch IMMEDIATELY to AT&T for all my services.

Twice I told the guy: I don't HAVE A PHONE and don't NEED A PHONE. Didn't get through. Duh huh.

Regardless of which, the idiots would not get off my porch in timely manner, and attempted to pressure sale me... including flat out lying to me. "Oh, you have to switch soon because all analog is switching to digital!"

Umm... okay... umm... No. Wireless signals are switching to analog. Maybe phones are too. Either way, I don't use a stupid phone, nor care about phones... in a perfect world (for me), all phones would be thrown out in favor of text messaging.

I was considering the AT&T U-Verse service, but the pressure sales just piss me off. They took my address... just pissed me off. They literally forced me to sign something which supposedly said I wasn't ordering their service now, and that better damn well be what it is. Sure, the prices are better, but their salesmen suck donkey balls. If they show up trying to install in my place... I won't be responsible because right now, I wish I weren't so damn nice. Because right now, I wish I punched those 2 idiots in the face and broke their already crooked noses. Seriously. I feel taken advantage of. I can't believe I signed something... WTF? I'm smarter than that... or at least I thought I was.

I wanted to write a complaint letter out to AT&T in regards to these tacties, but apparently they have no means of doing this on their website. Isn't it against the law to make it impossible for deaf people to contact a company? What the hell? So I scatter emailed them at postmaster and support. Doubt it will amount to anything.

Just a piss poor way to make sales, man.

23Sep/070

Non-Hell Hole Post (Sorta)

Other things happen in the world besides the Hell Hole... even though it feels like my entire summer was eaten by the Hell Hole... I was going to paint inside, but as my house was under "construction" for the entire summer (actually, maybe 4 hours total... the rest was the "threat" of construction), I was unable to get it done and have little or no time to do it now. Crud...

In the mean time... I took some vacation time, but the weather never cooperated with me. It rained at Charlie's cabin, so we didn't get to fish or take the jet skis out... but I love spending time with the family. If I close my eyes, I can hear Lucas saying "Michael... Michael..."

I also spent a few days in Mackinaw City, but it was cold... like 40 degrees on the lake, but was awesome watching the freighters get washed over with giant waves coming under the bridge. VERY cool... and I got to eat at my favorite restaurant (Scalawags! http://www.scalawagswhitefish.com/) but not at Clyde's (Big C 1 lb burger... which sounds like it'd flatten me now)

I drove down to Indianapolis to see Dan, which was way cool because it was a place I have never been. Driving down I-69 is like... corny. REALLY corny. There's corn fields literally all the way down. There was a giant ear of corn in the capital building. It was HOT (99 degrees, 90% humidity), so it was abnormal weather. The papers said "Hottest Summer Ever" or something. I saw the Indy 500 Speedway... which is really quite impressive, but it's one of those things you don't realize how commercialized it is until you're there. I liked Dan's place, but he's already moved on to bigger and better positions in Virginia. I hope he has more luck there than in Indy (only 3 months in a job that required he move cross country. Wow.)

The rest of the summer... I watched the Tigers, and hoped they'd do it again... but now they've gone and blown it to the Frack Danged Indians of Cleve Land. Stupid Cleves... What do I have left now? The Lions? The Detroit Almost Dead Things? (the team is old enough to start thinking about adding fiber to their diets...) For a sports geek like me, it's sad and confusing?

I also lost one of my Aunt's (Aunt Norene) last month. I really worry for my Uncle Mike, who's one of the nicest people I know, and can only hope everything goes well for him, Frankie, Cathy and Genie.

The biggest part of the summer to me was Chris and Kim's pursuit of Parentdom. I am in awe of what they have to go through right now to be parents. The strength it must take to subside through this (with all the other obstacles life brings, like leaky roofs) is amazing. I constantly wish there was something I could do to help, but it's all about the baby.

They will bring home a son from Russia, hopefully SOON, and I will be one of those disgusting uncles who spoils the crap out of his nephew. That kid will come home to more toys and clothes than most people have their entire lives.

Now the fall is coming...
I hope the baby arrives in great shape and ready to be spoiled.
I hope I have a nice fall vacation.
I hope I can deploy 18 new computers at work without major incident.
I hope my friend Jeannine recovers from cancer and returns to work. I miss her singing "Good Morning, Michael" so I can sarcastically ask "Is it?"
I hope all my family, friends, and the whole world make every day better than the last for all of us.
As long as I can say 'I hope' and mean it... there's hope.

20Sep/070

The Hellhole NEVER ends

It never EVER ends... it never goes away...

The pain the pain the pain.

I came home from my parents house on Wednesday night, and found that they had finally finished painting the front door. Of course, they did this COMPLETELY WITHOUT PERMISSION... which means they opened my door, and went into my house WITHOUT PERMISSION.

I quickly realized I could NOT FIND MY CAT (FARGO)! I became extremely upset, went into a little hyperspaz, quick breathing thing with adrenaline smashing into me... I was freaking out. I ran out the front door, expecting to be spending the next few hours running around the area screaming "FARGO!" and turned around... and there was Fargo, hiding under the porch steps.

Pathetic or not, I almost cried in my freaked out state. I grabbed Fargo, who was perfectly content to be picked up outside (and the last time I picked him up after he escaped at my parents, I bled). He was shaking, and clearly freaked out of his fur. I got him inside, and he looked up at me and meowed. I just sat down and breathed for a little bit... then composed a lovely complaint to the condo association. I considered going to the Police station and filing a B&E report, but I knew the condo assoc probably felt I'd given them permission to enter by asking them to finish the damn painting...

I am now completely, totally, illogically, ridiculously fed up. I have been entirely professional and extremely patient in dealing with all this stuff this summer. My entire summer is a series of screw ups by the condo association... they put holes in my water pipes, the put nails in my electrical and refuse to fix it, they spend over 2 months fixing the holes in the wall that shouldn't have taken more than a week to do... and they spent almost a month putting aluminum siding on a place that's barely 950 sq ft! I pay $250/mo for THIS?????

I don't know what to do now. I feel so completely lost and confused... and completely without any way to defend myself. I have to sit here and take this. THEY BROKE INTO MY HOUSE, DAMMIT! I just changed the locks on my house as a result of this situation. I see no need to allow them any access into my home if they won't even admit they entered without permission or emergency. They completely side stepped when I pointed out no one had asked to enter my house yesterday... and told me the Supervisor for the painters would be at my house to investigate the issue BUT SAID SUPERVISOR NEVER SHOWED UP... I have no legal recourse, do I? These people have the right to stomp all over me because... what? Why? I don't get it. I am SO unhappy with this place right now, and it has nothing to do with the "condo" itself and EVERYTHING to do with the complete and total failure of the Management Company to TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING, deserving of timely service and respect. If I treated people like this... my boss would fire my ass so fast, my ass would fall off.

Why is it so hard to be treated with respect? Why the hell is ANYONE allowed to run a business like this? Is it just ME? Am I doing something wrong that causes them to treat me like this? Is there something about me being patient and professional that immediately causes them to treat me in the exact opposite fashion? What am I doing wrong? Should I even be asking myself that question? Is it really so horrible to contact me and say "Hi, we're going to paint your door today at 3pm." Well, of course it is... I'm DEAF and it's SO FREAKING HARD to CALL MY WORK to LEAVE A MESSAGE!??!?! OR EVEN AN EMAIL! My GOSH, it's SOoOOooO hard!

I'm totally, utterly confused. This summer doesn't even make sense in reality... my sense of reality is turning upside down and inside out. It's like... why should I even bother to be nice to anyone anymore? Obviously, nice guys DO finish last, and nice guys get treated like crap, stomped on, and used as toilet paper. Having said all this...I don't think I can change that part of me. I'm always going to be nice... which apparently means that people will always be kicking me and using me as their own personal lavatory. And that's just not right. Doesn't anyone care about what's RIGHT anymore?

Filed under: Deaf, Hellhole No Comments
27Aug/070

I hate the Hellhole

I hate this place. With all my heart. I do not like it here, and it has nothing to do with the place.

I simply do not trust the management of this condo association in the slightest. Witness the atrocity that has sprung DIRECTLY OUTSIDE MY FRONT DOOR:
Horrible Pink Paint

I don't know what else to do. All their work is destructive. This place is SO UGLY now, I swear, it has to lower the value of my house 10k. What am I supposed to do? I feel completely POWERLESS here.

Right now, I'm waiting for them to continue painting *MY* place. They're slapping on an awful, pastel green on my front door. Here's what it looks like after 1 very streaky coat:Pastel Green Door

To me, this looks like it belongs in a baby's bedroom... not my front door, nor the 5 garages under me.

They punch holes in my house.
They take forever to fix their holes.
They paint my house ugly colors.
The lower the value of my home by painting nearby houses even WORSE colors.

AND... They broke my garage door. The handle broke off.

You can't make this crap up. What kind of bad karma do I have to be pounded like this?

13Aug/070

Hellhole: Another Sequel for your Enjoyment

The Hellhole shall never be defeated. Just when you thought it was safe to move back in... LEAKING PIPES SHALL HAUNT YOU!

Plumbers will be here tomorrow. I have to take time off work, because the washer/dryer water isn't working properly. Rather than wait to do things at 'condo speed', I contacted a plumber myself to address the matter.

(Note: It cost me $350. The problem was they did not properly tighten the faucet. Duh HUH. I'm a plumbing idiot. It just needed to be tightened up. Also, they had to replace the fill valve and flapper on my toilet. I also have "service" plan in place now to take care of the plumbing down the line)

Also, they're painting the exterior of the Hellhole now. As if to intentionally look like the phrase "Hell Hole", the trim is being painted a terribly horrible shade of light pastel green. It reminds me of... well, nothing in nature takes on this shade of green. It's bad. It's so soft, it looks like it's actually intended for a baby's bedroom. Instead, it's on MY HOUSE!

They also painted my garage door shut. The paint had literally glued my garage door shut. What the hell is going on here? Why is is that all the service folks hired by the condo association apparently don't give a dang about common decency for their fellow man? It's my house, don't I deserve to be treated like it? Like, hey, wipe yer damn feet, don't track mud, don't bad mouth my beliefs, and just plain be decent. Don't WE ALL DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE HUMAN BEINGS RATHER THAN WALKING BANK ACCOUNTS TO RANDOMLY RAPE CLEAN OF MONEY!?!?!

In other, slightly more pleasant news... Here's a Simpsonized picture of myself. Enjoy!
Simpsonized Mike

Lastly, I just want to say I'm excited and scared for Chris and Kim, as they're going to Russia to meet my probable future nephew. It's such a weird concept to me that my little brother is going to Russia. We're children of the 80's, when Russia was the big bad "Soviet Union", and we cheered as Rambo blew up random Russian soldiers in violent matter on TV and at the theater because we didn't know any better. How oddly frightening the bad guys of your childhood remain well after you're old and wise enough to know who the real boogeymen are. Regardless of which, I'm worried sick that someone will scam them. Like, they meet the child they are planning to adopt, fly back to the US and then someone calls them and says "We have your child. Pay us $50,000 or we ship you his kneecap overnight".

It's not even funny how hard it is to adopt a child... you have to work so very hard for it. You have to prove it beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. And then there's morons left and right on the planet who keep having children "accidentally", proving that potential for being good parents has absolutely nothing to do with reality.

1Aug/070

Hell Hole Three: Your A$$ is MINE!

The Hell Hole still continues. I'm stumped as to what constitutes "repair" now.

In this brand new episode of "Hell Hole Rapes Man of Innocence"... Following the wily Siding companies attempt to imitate a jack up bull in a china shop, they not only put holes in the hot water pipe... but they also put holes into ELECTRICAL CABLES!

It took me over a MONTH to get the condo assoc to take responsibility for this and send an Electrician out. They only did so grudgingly, and with threats about how I'd pay for it when the electrician found a problem inside. Idiots...

In any case, the electrician showed up, and within 10 minutes agreed that the siders did something... after another 45 minutes in which some discussion was made of "DON'T TOUCH THE TILE, DAMMIT!", the electrician convinced the condo assoc to allow him to cut a hole in the wall to fix the wiring. Lo and behold... Not one, but TWO nails were embedded into the wiring for my stove hood. The stud to which the wires were stapled was SCORCHED... meaning my house may very well have nearly burned itself down.

Now, 3 weeks AFTER that event... they're now JUST ABOUT getting around to finishing the hole from the electrical problem. It took (AGAIN!) convincing the condo assoc to do something about the lousy work habits of the company that's doing the siding. They either refused to do anything, or "didn't have time" to do anything about the hole for 2 weeks. Finally, the condo assoc threatened to withhold money from the siders for failing to effect repairs in timely fashion.

Now, the hole in nearly patched... and I don't know if they'll finish it (painting). In either case... I still have the SAME CONTRACTORS in my house since JUNE and they NOT DONE YET... because they still have to attach shutters (more holes in my house...), paint the trim, AND they have to re-attach the gutters.

Tell me... how the hell does it take THAT long to do what we did YEARS ago with Sal and Wendy's garage in less than 2 days? I'm flabbergasted, and disgusted by the damage they caused... it's all fixed, but why the hell did they cause the damage in the first place and THEN take so long to fix it???

Filed under: Hellhole No Comments
15Jun/070

The Hellhole Returns: Part 2

So... the Condo Association finally resided my condo, but at what price?

Let me start by describing Bloody Monday...

At work, I was putting a fan in my server room because the AC is not functioning in there. The Server Room was a dry sauna, and I suspect temperatures around 95 to 100. So, I propped the door wide open and put a fan down there. As I walked by the entrance to the equipment room (my server room is in "concrete bunker" located next to the HVAC units) a ladder fell off the wall, fell across the aisle and slammed into a refrigerant line on the AC unit. Thusly, I was blasted with Freon. It was a glancing blow pretty much at my face. I ran upstairs to informed the Admin Asst (Judith) that we had a major problem and needed the Heating/Cooling guys here immediately... went back downstairs, showed the mess to Judith and the Janitor from Allied. They went back upstairs. I walked around the computers to try and calm down. By this point I was scared shitless and my heart was beating llike a jackrabbit. I went back into the equipment room and there was a huge cloud in the room. The Freon had filled the room up. So I put my shirt over my face and went through the room to open the doors outside (so the room would vent). I then ran upstairs (heart beating like hamster) and told her that we may want the fire department to check this out because the room had filled with a cloud.

Then, I went downstairs and checked on my email and found I had an "Urgent!" notice from the Condo Association stating "Water is pouring out of your house. You need to come to the clubhouse immediately!"

Naturally... I bolted out the door, drove way too fast through Downtown Northville and left a little rubber behind all over the city, walk in the house and find there's water in my kitchen. After a few plumbers showed up, and a guy from the condo association, they found... the siders had put a NAIL through a HOT WATER PIPE in my kitchen. They drove a nail through the outside wall and it just flat out perfectly, dead center pierced the pipe.

Pictures of the devastation are below:

Not only have I had problems with more water leaks, they've also blown fuses in my house about 5 times over the course of almost 3 weeks of re-siding project. My Stove Hood no longer functions, meaning I have to bring an electrician in... and I'm hoping the stove hood isn't blown.

I do not know when they will fix my kitchen. Supposedly next week. Until then, there's a huge gaping hole in my kitchen... I had to move Fargo out of the condo because I cannot risk him getting into that hole and getting stuck in the walls or the attic. Thus, because I'm such a sap, I've spent the last week at my parents house.

To top ALL of this off.. at some point on Monday, I chipped or cracked a tooth (third molar from the back on the lower right). ARGH!