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I need to work on the picture link pages for this blog. I might even be able to remove that annoying banner from the Geocities page! Someone said something about TOS violations, but I don’t know what TOS stands for, and I don’t really feel like looking, so I am just going to violate away. Oh yeah, and those guys that hooked me up, here are the stories:

Story One: When you are invited to places in China, it is customary to present gifts to the hosts (but these gifts can’t be too expensive, otherwise the host is forced to offer his first born son), so I needed some American trinkets to bring over, because I think that I’ll be a pretty popular guy over there. So I ask my dad if there’s anywhere I can go to get something like this in bulk. He makes a call to Paul at (shameless plug) Port City Graphics, and I am immediately hooked up with 250 brass American flag pins and countless flag stickers. Paul and my dad know each other through Rotary. Sign me UP!

Hookup Value: $50 to $75 dollars

Story Two: When I was looking for that PC card yesterday (I need this PC card so I can get online when I am in China because I don’t think the international telephone rates are that favorable at this point in time), I couldn’t find one anywhere for under $120, I couldn’t buy one online because I wanted to be absolutely sure that it worked with my computer (because I bought one for $180 before, and it’s sitting in my freakin’ laptop case since I don’t have cardbus compatibility, which means just about dick to me). Anyway, the guy at Staples sent me to this random computer service/repair place and when I got there, they didn’t have one either. So I am about to go give up, and I start whining to the stereotypical teen computer repair store kid about my predicament. In the back of my mind, I am thinking “Why don’t I just leave this store. I came in, I asked if he had it, he doesn’t have it, what am I doing . . . what else is there?” And just then, a bearded seraphim decends from the heavens, alights upon a shelf of CD-RW drives and says “My son, do not fear, for I am the light. Shall bestoweth both a 10BaseT ethernet card and a PCMCIA modem upon you for the low, low price of fifteen dollars each, if your soul be pure. Aside from offering spiritual purity, I E-bay. I hath received a great bounty of used PC cards from a failed dot-com.” He gives me his number, and address, and I go to meet him at the gates of heaven. . Not only does he make sure that my cards are installed and working correctly, but he gives me a Windows 98 CD (I broke mine. I used to play frisbee with AOL CDs and one day, I guess I got a little carried away) and a broken ‘parts card’ that I could use to fix my modem if the jack on the other one ever broke. Turns out I was a counselor in his kids’ day camps. Talk about serendipity, baby.

Hookup Value: Priceless (my credit card is maxxed out and I didn’t have enough cash to buy the $120+ cards. My credit card’s actually a Visa, but who am I to not use trite commercialism to get my point across?) + the cost of phone calls to my friends and family for the next five months

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