FDIC – Throwback Management?

September 23, 2010

I know a person who works as a contractor for the FDIC.  They have some real “progressive” rules for contractors.  I’ve been told that, if you are a contractor for the FDIC, you can’t leave anything on your desk at the end of the day.  You can’t attend any staff meetings, parties, celebrations, outings, etc.  An FDIC employee cannot buy you a meal.  But here’s the kicker…you are not allowed to have coffee or any other items from the break room.  Gee, didn’t we go through something similar to this in the 60’s?  I guess, as a contractor, you are a “non-person.”  This is our government at work…party on at Capitol Hill, but cut off the coffee for the worker class. 

I guess the FDIC can pour out billions to save banks run by ill-equipped bankers but can’t spare a dime for a cup of coffee.  From what I’ve read the FDIC was intended to be a “temporary” government corporation created by FDR.  Another example of the re-defining of a word by the federal government. 

Tea Party On!


Sorry, I Dropped You. I’ve Got AT&T Cell Phone Service.

August 6, 2010

I find myself uttering these words on a regular basis.  I didn’t use to, but over the last year the service in the D/FW area has become pretty unreliable.  Wonder if Verizon is any better?

Another Poll on Arizona’s Illegal Immigration Law

July 9, 2010

Just another poll to add to the mix.  This one is from CNBC.  Interesting that many polls I see quoted in the press are not quite as lopsided, but it still says something about what the majority of people are thinking.  Something like, "Please, federal government, do your job and enforce the few laws you are constitutionally bound to enforce!"


Dell. Technology. Made Responsible?

June 7, 2010

Is it just me, or am I left with the feeling of "Technology.  Made Responsible…for what?"

Maybe this Dell ad makes sense and I’m just not reading it correctly.  To me, they are trying to convey the thought that they make technology responsibly.  Not that they are holding technology responsible for something.

Whatever happened to adverbs, anyway?


Spelling Error? Or an Alternate Spelling for an Alternate Universe on Fringe?

April 24, 2010

Lots of people caught this “error” on Fringe.  Is “Manhattan” misspelled?  Or, is it the way that Manhattan is spelled in the alternate universe.  There is plenty of discussion on this topic.  You decide.


It’s so obvious, I can only hope they didn’t let this get by the spell checker!

Army to Court Martial Lt. Col. Terry Lakin

April 15, 2010

NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski and Mark Murray reported that Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is being court martialed because he does not believe that Obama meets the constitutional requirements to be president and commander-in-chief.  These NBC reporters write (and it take two of them), "…because he believes (incorrectly) that Obama wasn’t born in the United States."

Mr. Miklaszewski and Mr. Murray, please point me to the place where I, as a United States citizen, can review Obama’s birth records so I can believe your parenthetical and unprofessional remarks.  Don’t give me any lip service about how "it’s been proven," "it’s on snopes.com" or there is a "certificate of live birth" (yes, I can see he wasn’t still born).  If it’s so simple, let’s see the proof.  I can produce mine…can you produce yours?

And, while we’re at it, let’s see his college records.  I’m guessing he wasn’t a straight A student if he’s spent well over $1.5 million (I’ve recently read $1.7 million, but what’s a couple ‘hundred thou’ between lawyers) to keep them hidden.  So, we elected someone who graduated from the bottom half of the class…just like half the doctors out there.  Or, is there something else Barry Soetoro is trying to hide?

Our press and government try to deflect questions such as these by "reporting" without substance, using hearsay and lines of reasoning like "he has to be a U.S. citizen if we elected him."  Yeah, right…

So I ask you Mr. Miklaszewski and Mr. Murray, "If you had to prove you were a U.S. citizen, could you do it?"  I can.  And it won’t cost me or the U.S. taxpayers a million dollars.

Training Facility for Rent in the North Dallas Area

February 5, 2010

If you know of anyone who would like to rent a training room/classroom for a 1/2 day or longer, please let me know!  I have a nice one that I don’t use all the time.  It has some great technology, but can also be used whiteboard style.  Check it out here!

magicJack Limitations

January 7, 2010

I’ve been using my magicJack for over a year and have found that, while the audio quality is usually just fine, there are some significant limitations that prevent it being “ready for prime time.”  Here are my findings.

  1. Call duration limitation.  Do you get on a conference call with co-workers and customers?  Do you stay connected for over 2 hours?  I do.  I’ve found that at the 120 minute mark, my magicJack call simply terminates.  That’s not how a production-ready voice service should operate.  UPDATE 2010-02-05 – I was on a call today with a guy from the U.K.  He was calling me on my MJ and, while the connection was very good (like he was next door), it kept dropping about every 5-10 minutes.  For our two hour call, I finally had him call my cell phone as he called me back about 5 or 6 times on the MJ.  NOT a good experience!  UPDATE 2010-05-12 – Again, on a call with a guy in the U.K. and the call dropped every 5 or 10 minutes.  Possibly due to network latency?
  2. Calls to conference call services diverted to magicJack’s free conference call service.  Has someone invited you to a conference call using one of the several free conference call services?  If so, plan on not being able to participate.  Some time in 2009, magicJack decided that the termination charges for these type of calls were more than it could afford so it unilaterally decided to intercept the calls to these numbers and redirect them to their free conference call service.  To hell with you if you were invited by someone to the conference call and have no control over what service is being used.  Can you imagine if AT&T started looking at the numbers you were calling (perhaps a store) and redirecting them to a number of their choosing (perhaps a store they own)?  Do you suppose the FCC would let them get away with that?  This prevents magicJack from being a useful business tool.
  3. Software stability.  After some software update at some point in time, my Windows XP SP3 machine and Vista machine both started freezing up after using the magicJack for 20 or 30 minutes.  There’s some magicJack process that starts hogging the processor(s) on my machines until they become unresponsive.  I noticed today that (2010-01-07) “Lucky You” was getting another upgrade.  Maybe this will be the one that makes it stable again.  With the instability in the software, this makes magicJack nothing more than an interesting toy.  This is the most serious issue (and may be resolved) preventing it being “ready for prime time.”  I’ll be providing an update here after I use it again with the new software update. UPDATE 2010-01-07:  I have been using my MJ today and haven’t experienced the software instability.

When it works, it works well.  I used it while I was in Cancun and everyone wanted to borrow it to make calls back to their friends in the U.S.  Audio quality for me has always been outstanding, until the software instability destroys it.  I’m really hoping I can get more business value out of the device in 2010.

Proposed 28th Constitutional Amendment

January 4, 2010

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.  Many citizens had no idea that Congress members could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn’t pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws.  The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered…in all of its forms.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical.  We do not have an elite that is above the law.  I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever.  The self-serving must stop.  This is a good way to do that.  It is an idea whose time has come.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law that  applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to  the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies  to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the  citizens of the United States .”


MagicJack Call to Free Conference Call not Placed to 218-339-2500

August 26, 2009

Just trying to call in to a free conference call number from my MagicJack. Trying to call 218-339-2500. I’ve done it before. Get a recorded message that says to call 305-848-8888 (which appears to be a free conference call service controlled by MJ). So, I can’t call in to the original conference call…my phone call has been hijacked!

Get on a chat with MJ “customer support.” Here’s the chat log. I’m thinking I’m going to have to register a complaint with the FCC or something. I doubt I’ll ever get a return call on my problem. What do you think?

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

You are now chatting with ‘Garnet’

Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075471946X

Garnet: Hello, how may I help you?

Russell Wright: Why can’t I place a call to a conference call number? Magicjack hijacks my call and prevents me from dialing in.

Garnet: Hi Russell.

Garnet: May I know if you are the host of the conference call?

Russell Wright: No, I am not the host. I am just trying to dial in.

Garnet: I see.

Garnet: May I know if the host is a magicjack user?

Russell Wright: MagicJack seems to want to direct me to their “free service.” I’ve never had a phone call hijacked before.

Russell Wright: Have no idea if the host is a MagicJack user. How would I know?

Garnet: One moment please…

Garnet: May I know if you have tried joining a conferece call before?

Russell Wright: Yes, I have joined conference calls before. That’s part of my job. I get on conference calls all the time.

Garnet: I see.

Garnet: One moment please…

Garnet: Dial 305-848-8888. A Voice prompt will say ” Welcome to the magicJack Free Conference Service. Press 1 to join a conference room

Russell Wright: and…?

Garnet: You may use the access code for any future conference calls as well.

Russell Wright: Hold on! Have you answered my question? Why will my call I’m placing to a conference call not be completed? How do I make it work? I have no need for another number to call. I want my original call to go through as dialed.

Russell Wright: I hope that’s not too hard to understand…

Garnet: Okay

Garnet: One moment please…

Garnet: After dialing 305-848-8888. A Voice prompt will say ” Welcome to the magicJack Free Conference Service. Press 1 and please follow the voice prompt.

Russell Wright: Are you a person or a machine? You just repeated the same thing without answering my question.

Russell Wright: How do I get my call to go through to the number (218) 339-2500? Can you answer that question?

Garnet: Yes, I am.

Garnet: May I know if you were able to hear the voice prompt?

Russell Wright: Only if you will answer my original question. How do I get my call to go through to the number 218-339-2500?

Garnet: One moment please…

Garnet: Thank you for your patience. I will transfer you to a higher level of support. Please hold while I transfer you.

Please wait while I transfer the chat to the best suited site operator.

You are now chatting with ‘Yvonne’

Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK419075471946X

Russell Wright: Yvonne–How do I get my call to go through to the number 218-339-2500?

Yvonne: Hello, I am Yvonne. I will be assisting you.

Yvonne: How are you, Russell?

Russell Wright: Not very good, thank you.

Yvonne: I can understand your frustration with the issue. I am here to help. Let me just make a clarification. YOu are trying to join a conference call on this mj phone number: 218-339-2500?

Russell Wright: For the past several months, I have used MJ to join conference calls for my work. Most of these conference calls are set up by others using a free conference call service not of my choosing. Today, when I tried to join a conference call using my MJ to dial in, I get an “Important announcement” message that Magic Jack cannot dial in to the call and re-directs to a magic jack conference call service. I am unable to join the conference call through this MJ service. Since I do not set up the conference calls, it is impossible for me to change the service used for the conference call and I am unable to use my MJ to join the conference as I used to be able to do.

Russell Wright: Yes, I am trying to join a conference call at that number.

Yvonne: Thank you for telling that to me.

Yvonne: I just escalate your issue to our engineers. Please rest assured that your problem is being looked into even as we chat. We appreciate your patience. I will mark it priority for the concerned department. We hope to resolve the problem as fast as possible. We will resolve this on our end. We will update you at your email address as soon as we have this issue resolved. Is the best email to contact you?

Yvonne: Contact Email Address xxxx@yyyy.com

Russell Wright: Yes, that email is fine.

Yvonne: Thank you for the confirmation.

Yvonne: We will work on this as fast as we can.

Yvonne: Thank you for your cooperation and patience. I really appreciate it. Would that be all for now, Russell?

Russell Wright: Yes, will you send me a record of our session?

Yvonne: Thank you for asking.

Yvonne: I am afraid I cannot send you our chat transcript. May I suggest that you copy and paste it and save that to MS Word document or to notepad.

Yvonne: .

Yvonne: Thank you for stopping by to chat, I hope I did a good job at addressing your concerns. Please take a second to answer a one question survey about the service I provided. Please click the “close” button on the top right of this screen and the survey will appear. Thanks again!

Yvonne: Have a great day to you and your family, Russell. Take care always 🙂

I have since filed a complaint with the FCC (Complaint #09-C00151199) using this form https://esupport.fcc.gov/sform2000/new_complaints.action?request_locale=en