Bill Gates and the House Contractor (G)
The following is a conversation overheard as Bill Gates was moving into his new house...
Bill: "There are a few issues we need to discuss."
Contractor: "Ah, you have our basic support option. Calls are free for the first 90 days and $75 a call thereafter. Okay?"
Bill: "Uh, yeah... the first issue is the living room. We think its a little smaller than we anticipated."
Contractor: "Yeah. Some compromises were made to have it out by the release date."
Bill: "We won't be able to fit all our furniture in there."
Contractor: "Well, you have two options. You can purchase a new, larger living room; or you can use a Stacker."
Contractor: "Yeah, it allows you to fit twice as much furniture into the room. By stacking it, of course, you put the entertainment center on the couch... the chairs on the table... etc. You leave an empty spot, so when you want to use some furniture you can unstack what you need and then put it back when you're done."
Bill: "Uh... I dunno... issue two. The second issue is the light fixtures. The bulbs we brought with us from our old home won't fit. The threads run the wrong way."
Contractor: "Oh! That's easy. Those bulbs aren't plug and play. You'll have to upgrade to the new bulbs."
Bill: "And the electrical outlets? The holes are round, not rectangular. How do I fix that?"
Contractor: "Just uninstall and reinstall the electrical system."
Bill: "You're kidding!?"
Contractor: "Nope. Its the only way."
Bill: "Well... I have one last problem. Sometimes, when I have guests over, someone will flush the toilet and it won't stop. The water pressure drops so low that the showers don't work."
Contractor: "That's a resource leakage problem. One fixture is failing to terminate and is hogging the resources preventing access from other fixtures."
Bill: "And how do I fix that?"
Contractor: "Well, after each flush, you all need to exit the house, turn off the water at the street, turn it back on, reenter the house and then you can get back to work."
Bill: "That's the last straw. What kind of product are you selling me?"
Contractor: "Hey, if you don't like it nobody made you buy it."
Bill: "And when will this be fixed?"
Contractor: "Oh, in your next house -- which will be ready to release sometime near the end of next year. Actually it was due out this year, but we've had some delays..."
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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