Thursday, May 14, 2009

Surnames

I'm a Junior, and that has caused havoc with last name misspellings for as long as I can remember, especially since computers became popular. At my current employer, the Rather Large Airline, they originally entered my last name into the HR system as MANNJR (even though they do have an option for surnames!) It took complaints to the HR people multiple times to finally get the issue resolved, and there is still one system that shows my name as MANNJR there.

Any time I list for a flight on the Rather Large Airline, it pulls me up as CHARLES MANNJR in the reservations system. I have tried to get this corrected but the people I have spoken to about it told me that they have to leave it like that to distinguish between me and my father. I've tried explaining that he is deceased, and thus not likely to do much non-revenue flying, but it's been to no avail so far. Sometimes correcting this problem is like banging your head against a wall.

My favorite experience with the surname was when some phone solicitor reading from a script kept referring to me as "Mr. Mann Jr." on the phone. I hung up pretty quickly but it was kind of amusing. And of course, since my full name is Charles Mann, Jr. it allows me to make lots of "Charles Manson" jokes. (Well, to some people that's disturbing but I always get a kick out of it.)

While I appear to be a confirmed bachelor for now (although I never say never) if I do ever have a son of my own I can guarantee I will not continue the naming tradition, even though that's popular here in the South. Plus, I think having a full name of Charles Shelton Mann, III, would just sound too lawyer-ish. I suppose Trey would be a cool nickname, but I'd rather that whatever offspring I have has a name of their own.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Back in Texas

Greetings. I've been back in Texas for a while now, actually...I've just been busy working, etc., and haven't written any since I got back. My trip back went amazingly smoothly...we had torrential rain here that lasted into the morning hours the night before my trip, but by the time I got here everything had cleared out, and I got an aisle seat for the flight back, which was nice.

I took my Mom's old (and very SLOW) laptop home with me. While it is slow, it does have WiFi capability, so I'm writing this post from my patio. I activated the wireless part of my home connection so now I can surf the net from anywhere within my wireless router's range. (I also just got a cool laptop mini desk thingy called the Lapinator so I can make sure the CPU stays cool and my legs don't get burned if I am, in fact, using it on my lap.) I don't think this computer needs to stay this slow so I am going to get some more RAM for it when I have the time. However, I've never worked on a laptop before, so I will need to proceed cautiously there.

I also returned my Samsunng Omnia once I got back here, which I decided wasn't so awesome after all...I got sick of its touch screen. I decided to get a Blackberry Pearl instead (and that was free with a contract extension, unlike the Omnia.) I'm pretty happy with the Blackberry so far, even if it's not a full HTML browser. I discovered with the Omnia that the internet doesn't look good on a tiny screen, and zooming in and out is a pain even when you have a touch screen. The Pearl can also act as a wireless modem if WiFi isn't available, a feature it shares with the Omnia. Anyhow, enough tech stuff for now. But my phone does tie into the rest of this story...

When I was in Albuquerque, I decided to have a few things shipped here from my Mom's house. Nothing major, I just wanted a couple of things to remember the old house by...and one of those things was a small desk that had been in my old family room since before I was born. I'm sure I could have found a new desk (or a gently used one) for cheaper than the total cost of shipping this desk and a few other things here, but I went ahead and splurged, and it arrived here yesterday. The shipping company packed it extremely securely...I thought it was just going to be wrapped on a pallet, but they crated it, probably because I was shipping a couple of framed pictures along with the desk.

I'd been playing with my Blackberry that morning, trying to get it to play video clips, which it is capable of doing but does not do very well. I only got one clip to play, and another one evidently freaked out the phone so it wouldn't send or receive calls or data. I didn't discover this for a couple hours, so when the freight guy showed up, he couldn't get through to me on my phone. He went by the apartment office, and ended up tracking me down in the laundry room (I'd put a note on my door that was where I was in case he came by.) He was not in the least bit upset, though, and was very helpful with the shipment...although perhaps not as helpful as I'd figured originally.

I had no crowbar, and I discovered that the freight guy didn't have any extra time to assist me with unpacking (originally, I'd thought I could just ask him to help me carry it up the stairs when it got here, but that's before I knew unpacking it would be a Major Job.) At this point, I discovered my phone was acting up when I tried to call a friend to come over and help me out, so I ended up deciding to carry the desk upstairs myself, since I needed to get everything into my apartment before I left for work.



It was probably not the smartest thing I've ever done, and my muscles are definitely feeling it today, but I did manage to haul my new old desk up one flight of stairs without damaging it too badly. (I did scratch one of the legs a little but I covered it with scratch cover and it looks fine; since the desk is older than I am, I'm sure it had a couple dings on it already.) I think the crate was over half the weight of everything that got shipped. After everything was unloaded, I dragged it over to the dumpster.

Looking back, I should have scheduled the delivery for my day off, asked the freight company exactly what was included with the move (loading/unloading, etc.) and arranged for a friend to come over to help out and bribe them with beer and pizza for helping with the moving effort...but I did manage to accomplish everything myself. I was kind of proud of that, even if I was a rather exhausted, Motrin-popping fool later that afternoon at work. I'm not sure how much the desk weighed exactly, but I would estimate over seventy pounds. I know it's an easy carry for two people and a very awkward one for one person. I also know that old furniture was built SOLIDLY. It fortunately isn't too big, so once I got it into the apartment I was able to drag it across the carpet and get it into position in my bedroom fairly easily. One thing is for sure, I definitely got my workout in for the day.



Today I was taking the crate apart and putting it in the dumpster, and someone inquired about the pallet base...they thought they could use it for their upcoming move. I don't see how that would be a help (that base was heavy, a regular wood pallet covered with a sheet of particle board) but I told them I would leave it out for them if they wanted to take it. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I suppose. I don't think it would be very useful for moving unless you had a hydraulic pallet jack, though.

The carpet guy just finished cleaning my apartment carpet (after two years or so here, it was due for a shampoo) so I may not get this posted until tomorrow, when I can add on some pictures. He was suppose to come yesterday but after the debacle with the desk, I'm rather happy that he didn't show up until today.

I'm glad to have the desk where I can see it...it's in pretty good shape for its age, and will add some much needed drawer storage to my bedroom. So even though getting it here was not cheap, and getting inside my apartment was not easy, I think it was worth the end result.



Hope everyone is having a safe, non-furniture-moving weekend, and I'll talk to you all later.