Category Archives: Volleyball

AZIndex User Guide Under Way

AZIndex LogoI have just added the beginnings of an AZIndex User Guide to the blog.  The first installment is mostly a “Getting Started” guide for those who are just starting to use the plugin, but I hope to add full documentation for the plugin and all its many settings by the time it’s complete.  Unfortunately, since there are a lot of things to talk about with AZIndex, that is going to take some time — probably a few months — but I will continue to add new sections as I write them.

Feel free to comment on the AZIndex User Guide if you spot a mistake or if you find it too confusing in places.

Automated Customer Service: Satan Rides Again

Following on from my little set-to with United Airline’s automated non-service line last week, the flight attendant on the much delayed flight from Austin to Chicago suggested at one point (while we were waiting in the refueling area in Indianapolis) that we should contact the United 1-800 number to check on later flights and to help resolve our missed connections.

Like a fool, I listened to that advice, called the number, and selected the option to query flight departure times thinking I could find out when my London flight was leaving and perhaps reserve a seat on a later flight, if necessary.

“Please speak or type the flight number you are inquiring about.”

(Not being a complete fool, I typed the flight number)

“Your flight appears to have multiple stops, please say the name of the city you want the departure time for.”

(Uh-oh). “Chicago.”

“I do not understand. Which of these cities do you mean? Portland–” (a flight attendant walks by muttering, the voice recognition system picks it up and stops talking)

“Did you mean Detroit?”


“My mistake. Your flight appears to have multiple stops, please say the name of the city you want the departure time for.”


“I do not understand. Which of these cities do you mean? Portland–” (my neighbor coughs)

“Did you mea–” (a baby cries out nearby)

“My mista–” (a passenger walks by)


“Are you inquiring about a domestic or international flight?”


I hang up. Yelling down the phone in private is one thing. Doing in front of a planeload of tired and irritable people is quite another. Then about a minute afterwards, someone just in front of me (one of those going to Kiev) by some miracle got through to a live operator only to be told that nothing could be done about remaking connections until we all got to Chicago anyway!


Heel, Heal Thyself

I hurt my achilles playing volleyball at Aussies last Friday. I’m not sure how if happened since I was only a little sore during the game, but when I stood up after the obligatory margarita afterwards, I could barely walk to the car.

Monday night was indoor volleyball night, but I was still gimpy so was unable to play. I went down to the ARC anyway, just to say “Hi” and watch my team play against by far the worst team in the league (all GOP workers… go figure!). It was a good thing I did, since another team member was late and we would have forfeited the first game if I had not been there to stand in the corner of the court.

But I digress. During warm-ups, a member of another team (our arch-rivals) staying to referee our match, saw me limping around and asked me what was wrong. When I explained he asked me, quite politely, if he could pray over my heel. To be honest, that was the last thing I was expecting to hear, so I automatically said “Okay” and he bent down, took hold of my heel, and uttered a quick prayer (I couldn’t hear what he said). And that was it. I continued to limp around, played a couple of points and sat down when our latecomer arrived.

Now he had no idea that I don’t believe in the power of prayer (save as a placebo) and he didn’t ask me about my opinion on the subject afterwards. If he had done, I’d have probably explained my position to him, but I’m not going to go out of my way to get into an argument about something like that. It was a nice gesture, even if a bit misguided. And given the way he blushed bright red the couple of times we spoke afterwards, I suspect he felt a little embarrassed about having done it.

Needless to say, the heel is still sore, though getting a little better through the hours of RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation). It would be nice to believe that an injury could be healed with a touch and a prayer (why the touching anyway, what difference is that supposed to make?) but the fact that our bodies can heal themselves from such injuries is miracle enough for me, and there’s always the human touch, in the form of doctors, when all else fails.