Saturday, July 30, 2005

Its getting bizarre in here... take off all your brains.

I am still going through Verizon hell. I called the other day to find out why my DSL sucks. At the time, the person on the other end, says it may be our end (Really?) and to wait an hour before I can get mail again.

So now, today, since I have unlimited weekend minutes, on my VERIZON phone, I call them again to see why my DSL sucks again. The first guy, who sounded like he was calling from Bombay, tried to send me to when my VERIZON phone dropped the line. I had to call AGAIN and go through the menu choices (aggravating) and this time, I got Monique, who was very nice, told me to power down and reboot my machine (which I HATE with a passion) and we chatted while I watched all my work get shut down. While on the phone, I told her to take down my cellphone number in case my VERIZON phone drops the line (it did). I was still running around half speed, (but fewer hourglasses) and she said she'd put in a ticket to have someone check my wiring. After that, I thought we were done and the line dropped and I walked away from it (it was charging in a wall socket). When I came back, she left me a phone message saying if I had another problem within 24 hours, to call them again. So, my question is, why didn't she just leave the ticket open?

I go out to get the mail, and I get not one but TWO bills from Verizon. Apparently they are trying to charge me for the wrong phone that they sent me, I sent back via FEDEX, by their instructions, went through 11 calls, 2 weeks, 2 calls to supervisors and 2 orders before I got this phone. The guy on the other end said there was nothing he could do right now, because the other department was closed on weekends. I was told during that idyessy that they received the phone I sent back (now they can't find it) and I told the guy I would NOT pay the second bill.

By then, I couldn't take it anymore so we went out to supper at Burger King. I bellied up to the register and asked for 'two hamburgers with ketchup and onions only'. Sounds like a simple request, right? I got to my table, and guess what I got: "Two hamburgers with ketchup and onions ONLY". There was NO BUN. I think this low carb crap is being carried a little to far.

Friday, July 29, 2005

So who knows for sure?

Before I left Vegas, I picked up a disposable 'digital' camera from Long's. It could only be developed at Longs and because I had only a few days to go there, I had to had it developed without using all the pictures.

I will be going camping in New Hampshire next week/weekend with friends, so I stopped in Walmart at the service desk and asked if they had disposable digital cameras. She said sure, go to our camera section. When I got there, the woman behind the counter said they didn't sell them.

Another Walmart employee chimed in and said that 'don't fall for the Kodak disposal 'digital' camera. Its just a 35mm one that they charge you $4 more for a CD, where you can get a CD with ours for the asking.

At the time I bought the one at Long's, there was thing on the news that they now had disposal digital cameras. And that they were available at Longs and soon to be at CVS. So who is telling the truth here? Can anyone clue me in? I will probably buy a regular disposal phone for next week.

If she is right, I appreciate the heads up and told her so.

I also heard that disposable video reorders were on the horizon for $30 and 5 hours recording time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Everybody but this company

I called Verizon today to find out why my DSL was running so slow. I tried calling them but now that I have a phone, I didn't want to waste valuable minutes on hold, so I kept calling back until wait times were down to about 10 minutes. While waiting I went to the DSL home page to find an email address for technical support. There ISN'T any. Now that's a switch. Most companies today do not want to talk to customers directly, they are often telling you (while you are on the phone waiting for hell to freeze over) to send them an email. This is one of those occasions when I'd RATHER send email than to be kept hanging but the person on the other line said we don't have email for technical support. But, right there on the main page, is a 'Buy Verizon' tab. The only address for technical support is to WRITE to them in West Virginia. In this day and age of computerized everything, this is bizarre.

I told her NOT to tell me to do the usual things like rebooting my machinee, check my system for viruses or empty the recycle bin. She told me to bring my system down, which I really loathe to do unless I am installing software, and, after its halfway down, she says 'Never Mind'.

It is running better now than before, but I have to check the status of my ticket.

So I went to see the Rob Zombie flick, 'The Devil's Rejects' and I was disappointed. I was expecting something more horrible, but what I got was Hillbilly Horror, and not a particularly notable one at that. An alternative title might have been 'Sick Home Alabama". Good southern rock score from the 60s and 70s like Elvin Bishop and 'FreeBird".

This is the kind of movie that you would go to for 10 movies and 5 bucks a car at a drive-in. Would go well with Last House On The Left, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Beast in the Cellar.

I'm disappointed, Mr. Zombie. And you put your wife in it, too. I assume its your wife or daughter (probably daughter, but you never know). Who else would have Zombie as a last name?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another consumer ripoff

During my last month in Vegas, I made plans to cut utilities that were in my name to the house. I called Nevada Power and they told be to allow for a seven day lag. So I called them more than a week before the cutoff date, and told them to shut off power on June 30. I get my bill and it is until July 7.
Obviously, they didn't mean GIVE them a week head's up. It means give us a chance to charge for another week. So, while I'm here, I'd had to pay $53 for the fact that it takes them a WEEK to get off their asses. It cost me money because they sit on their asses. At least when I disconnected cable, they told me that even if the cable was operating beyond the cutoff, they wouldn't charge ME for it. Isn't that a better idea?

Declarations of Independence from Microsoft

In my continuing effort at staying current and trying to improve my desktop, I have installed Mozilla's Firefox. I hate being a Microsoft clone. One of the sucky things about Corporate America is if you work in a "Microsoft only" shop, employees get denied better products as managers are so fearful of not being a 'sheep'.

I have always had an Apple computer as long as there has been an Apple Computer. It is the innovative company that Microsoft tries to eventually mimic.

I am running on a Compaq Presario, WIndows 2000 that is dual-bootable with Red Hat Linux. Why do I have a WIndoze box? Because in 2000 when I was last in the market for a PC, my then employer wanted me to log in from home and of course, they were a Microsoft-only site and they didn't support Mac OS. Because of security paranoia, they had only given 'approval' for Windows 98 and by the time I bought this, 2000 Pro was the 'new' operating system. It is still doing its job after 5 years so I can't complain, and now I can tell potential employers that I'm not a terrorist or anti-American because I do Windows. Someone told me the other day that Bill Gates said 'he can't find good workers" so thats why he goes to China and India for talent. Where the hell are you looking, Bill?

When I bought the machine from Compaq, I company I used to work for and before it became HP's indigestion, in an effort to cover Carlie's ineptitute, I told the sales guy that I had intended to dual-boot the amchine with Linux. He said it would 'void my warranty' and they would not support that. Why? Because Compaq became a Microsoft exclusive company as well. Even in the Dell catalogs, you never see a machine pre-loaded with an OS OTHER than Microsoft. But Its No Monopoly we are told. I said, "If I am going to pay 2K for a machine, I'll install whatever I damn well please. But because Red Hat Linux does not play well with Winmodems, I could never get to the outside world. So I used Linux to play with various system stuff, like getting more proficient with a Unix varaint, but the OS was of limited sue to me because I couldn't connect to the outside world. Now, thanks to DSL, I can, since i bypass the internal modem. My only problem now is figuring out when to play with Linux, because I HATE rebooting my machine. I am finally settling into some semblance of normalcy after my cross country trek. I can honestly say I nvver get bored on a computer.

After the introduction of the Ipod, however, I reconfigured my disk space to take back most of the space I had devoted to Linux, since my original plan was to use Windows only when forced to. To be fair, I haven't had many major complaints about how I have been doing things and I am a creature of habit, so as long as it works, I am happy.

But with recommendations from blogs andn others, I have decided to download and install Mozilla's Firefox as my default browser. I love learning something new. I used Opera for awhile, especially when my Temp folder was filled with the maximum number of files and I could view attachments in IE for the longest time. Rather than spend countless hours trying to figure it out, I knew I would eventually, but I have limited patience when my routine is disrupted.

One feature I liked about Opera and now Firefox is opening a new 'tab' or another window within the browser, which will help me keep desktop clutter down and hopefully, conserve some memory as well, because I had to keep re-opening IE. Expect tabbing to come soon to IE now that others already came up with the idea.

Opera had a 'free' version and a 'paid version' which contained no banner ads, but I didn't bother, but no ads with Firefox, so I like that.

I won't get rid of IE just yet, however, since some companies are and probably always be, 'Microsoft only' sites and won't do anything with any other browser. While I can't afford it right now, I would encourage people to contribute to their favorite software developers and other producers of things you use to encourage further creativity. Among some of the sites that will ger by financial support in the future would be Firefox (although I want to explore it features further),'s Ipodder software, a Podcast collector and PodcastNYC for good quality Podcast content.

So, if you don't want Corporate America telling you what THEY have decided is worth having, support your local and favorite software geeks...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ipod Revolutionizes Radio

One station in Boston (formerly STAR), now Radio Mike and another radio station in Ontario, Radio Jack has gone to a 'playlist format'. Taking a cue from Apple's Ipod, these stations have created playlists of hundreds of songs that play by computer. No talk, and I'm not sure how they do commercials, but listeners can listen to an eclectic blend of music without repeats. One common complaint that radio listeners have always had, in addition to the usual complaints about commercials was the fact that if you listened to the same station for a few hours, they'd start repeating their playlists again and the playlist rarely changed from day to day. Radio Mike has a playlist of about 2000 songs. I have a playlist of about 675 songs (including Podcasts) and since my Ipod has been returned and fixed about two weeks ago, I haven't listened to the same song twice. Live DJs are justifably nervous. Like anything that can be computerized, soon stations will be 'saving money' and 'becoming competitive' by showing human DJs the door. And while I feel for those who might lose their jobs, I got tired of listening to the same short playlists day after day.

Las Vegas vis Pawtucket: I went to the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox) at McCoy Stadium to see the Pawsox defeat the Ottawa Lynx 5-4. While in the gift shop, I picked up a Las Vegas 51s (as in Area 51) baseball cape. I hestitated at the price, because I have tons of caps, but this is another link to 'home'. It doesn't have any Las Vegas on it, just an alien. Most Easterners won't have a clue what its about, but I'm sure it'll be a conversation starter, like my "Go to Hell, (MI)" cap that a friend gave me. I got a lot of lines about that one, the best one being when I was in a fast food joint and the guy asked me "So, what's wrong with Michigan?" Nothing wrong with Michigan, there's just a town there called Hell, not far from Ann Arbor. Another good line I used to get was from Mormon missionaries who saw the cap and said to me: "Go to Hell? We're trying to PREVENT people from going there!" Another good use for the cap: When asked how I'm doing, when I was in a bad mood, I would just point to the cap. The Go to Hell cap is black and you don't wear black in the summer in Vegas, so its more appropriate for winter wear.

When I was up in Boston for the first time in a long time, before the Sox won the series, I was on the 'T' and I couldn't get over how many people had Sox caps on. I felt like I was in the middle of a cult.

Now that Verizon has finally come through with my phone, (I gave them till 4:30 PM Friday or shove it), it finally arrived at 2:15, so I have been busy calling friends here and in Vegas so I can keep in touch. I have gotten good reviews about the recption, although I got my first 'signal lost' when calling my friend Mitch "The pizza guy". When I'm outdoors, it works fine. I was on the throne when I called him, so I guess my phone has been 'flagged' like the Seinfeld episode.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Less than an 'F'

On Wednesday, the 14th day and the 11th call, one to a Supervisor, and a second order placed and a second phone number given to me, I told Verizon Cellular that if I don't have a phone by Friday at 4:30 PM, they can shove it up their ass. I have been without a phone (okay, I still have my Sprint phone, but I am over my minutes for the month and I don't want to use my old number) for almost two weeks now and this situation is unacceptable.

I will be checking out new phones at the Sprint website just in case I need them. My account with them expires on the 28th.

I got the box from Las Vegas that was lost in the shuffle. It arrived Wednesday and pretty mangled condition. The external CD Drive within didn't work as it did in Vegas and although it was 'insured' I threw it out. Why? In order to put in a claim, the box must be presented EXACTLY as it was packed to the Postal Inspector. This includes all items, including the things that are still useful and intact. Once presented, it becomes the property of the US Post Office. So why do I need to give up something that is perfectly good to get justice on what is not?

For future reference: If its in anyway valuable to you and you need to ship it, go UPS and let them pack it for you. Cost more, but probably worth it, especially if its breakable.

If the item is not breakable, like clothes or books, go with the Post Office. It is cheaper and if the clothes arrive mangled, you can always wash and re-iron them.

In the first damaged box, with my sentimental ceramics, in addition to bubble wrap, I used clothing as packing material. I am not going to turn over my clothes to the PO (I can't remember which ones they were anyway) to prove I packed it correctly. What will they do with the clothes anyway? Will I see my postman wearing my pants? Who gets my underwear?

I was told, after the fact of course, they boxes should be packed for a 4 1/2 feet drop off a conveyor belt? NOW they tell me.

So I had to go to Staples, spend $104 more dollars than I had intended to by a replacement CD Drive. At least I got a FASTER one. Remember the lesson: FAST has priority over DONE RIGHT.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Land of the Dead

In an attempt at getting out of the humid mess that has been the weather in Southern New England, I went to the movies. I went to the movies with a friend over the weekend, and I wanted to see Land of the Dead, but it was already gone from Boston area theaters. So we went to see Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds. I thought the special effects of War was excellent. I particularly liked it when the 'thing' came out of the concrete. The fact that Tom Cruise was starring only got the box office numbers up, because I think any half way decent actor could have done just as well. Poor New York. Its been the center of so many disaster flicks, including real life. It was frozen over in The Day After Tomorrow, crushed by Godzilla and made a monkey out of in King Kong.

So, since it was so hot and humid here, I went to the local mall to see Land of the Dead. I love horror movies, and zombie movies mainline the system with reckless, mindless mayhem. In George Romero's Living Dead series, there isn't even a plot. They are just there. I'm not sure if this latest zombie flick is a Romero progeny, but it will satisity the craving for blood lust.

The original Dead installment, Night of the Living... is a cult classic. Black and white, low budget and enough gore to make it a Halloween standard. It is to Halloween what Miracle on 34th Street is to Christmas. At least in that movie, you have a clue as to how the zombies came to be. Apparently, a satellite was sent to Venus which came back toEarth bearing a strange radioactivity which appears to be the cause of the undoing of the dead.

Subsequent sequels are ususally never as good as the originals, with the exception of last year's remake of Day of the Dead which was good enough for me to go out and buy the DVD of the Director's Cut of the movie.

In the latest deadfest, the world is already taken over by zombies, and of course, there is no clue as to why or when. But this is a zombie flick with a twist. The zombies are beginning to develop intelligence and communications skills. Somebody must have been teaching them flash cards.

The world is loaded with zombies, called 'stenchies' now, and here is an enclave of the living, clustered in a Donald Trump-like luxury tower, with an upscale mall on the ground floor and the common folk are kept complacent with drugs, booze and gambling. The enclave is surrounded by an electric fence and is cut off from the rest of the former city by a river.

But early in the movie, the stenchies know how to use an axe, as they use one to cut through wooden barricades. Their leader decides to lead them to the Tower. When they get to the river there are thousands of zombies at the bridge, frozen and powerless. Then the leader figures out, "Hey, were zombies, dammit! We call only be killed by decapitation or burning, so he jumps in the water, only to re-emerge on the other side, as do the zombie horde.

They make their way to the tower, where they disable the electrical system (these zombies are pretty mad) and the barbarians break through the gate. A bunch of construction workers flee, leaving their tools behind, which the zombies quickly learn how to use. The lead mogul, a Donald Trump like financier tries to escape with cellphone, chauffeur-driven car and cash. What good is cash in a world full of dead people?

If the metaphor for Dawn of the Dead is reckless consumerism, the metaphor for this movie seems to be the growing gap between the rich and poor. The rich live in an articifically created paradise, surrounded by a moat and an electric fence to keep the rest of us poor and lower class folks out. Sounds a lot like Haiti or the downtowns of many of America's most popular cities.

But I see another trend in the works and another sequel. Smarter and smarter dead people. What's next? Zombie terrorists? Will the zombies go nuclear? This movie was good, no where as good as Dawn of, or the original, but just wait, they are coming to get YOU. Its only a matter of time before they're in out schools...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sick Rik

The other day the up-for-reelection Rik Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvanis made the absurd statement that its no surprise to him that Boston and Massachusetts were at the center of the priest-child abuse scandal. I guess his point is that liberalism is at the heart of pedophilia.

I guess someone should tell this moron that the latest pedophile case where one boy was murdered was in Idaho, a very conservative pro-Bush styate. One case from a few years back was the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, where she was abducted from her bedroom by a Mormon bygamist who wanted to make her his bride. That was in Utah, the state run by a cult and the state that gave George Bush is second highest percentage of voters, other than Texas.

Then there was the Susan Smith case. The one where the mother drowned her own children. This was in South Carolina where they are very conservative, pro-military academies, the hotbed of the Confederacy and the state were Bush's Republican operatives got nasty with John McCain in the 2000 Presidential primary.

So, Santorum equates Massachusetts, the center of liberalism as the cause and blame for the crime of pedophilia, because it is the one state that offers marriage to same sex couples. This is his way of pandering to the exteme right wing for his re-election bid, while totally avoiding real issues like jobs, the mess in Irag, the astronomical price of gas, etc.

A few months ago, the Las Vegas Review Journal did an expose on the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) based in Colorado City, Arizona on the Utah line. Within this cult, several boys were exiled because they were in competition for the women. They now live in Vegas, where they have no life skills. Their 'job' was in construction, but they know nothing about banking, holding a checkbook or going on interviews. All they wer taught was fealty to their leader. Women are treated as cattle and are distributed as wives to the men. They have no choice in the matter. Their 'leader' has several children from multiple wives. They are not welcome in Coloroda City, so one group is setting up shop deep in the heart of Bush Country in Texas, where they are not welcome there either. How come we never hear news reports of the excesses of the radical right? Where have all the militia groups gone, like the one that spawned Tim McVeigh? Now that Clinton is gone, have all the militiamen got jobs working for Bush?

Santorum is Roman Catholic. Since the majority of the pedophile cases involve Roma Catholic priests, why doesn't he associate pedophilia with Catholicism? Are all Muslims terrorists? Do we profile Roman Catholic priests as all pedophiles.

The Massachusetts delegation demands an apology from Santorium. He won't give one because Evangelicals in Kansas are not insulted. The 'Rev' Jerry Falwell once blamed the 911 attacks on 'gays, lesbians and feminists'. Like Falwell, Santorium is not fit to represent the people of Pennsylvania or anyone else. This is a guy, after all who spent the night with his aborted fetus.

He won't apologize of course, because it is good fodder for the extemist Right. No issues, just attacks.

Santorum disgusts me and he should disgust any sensible voter. Pennsylvania, wake up and send them a message and dump Sick Rik next November.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Service Scorecard So Far

As of presstime, this is the service scorecard so far.
Apple Computer A- Although I didn't like having to get the extended warranty for my Ipod, and I even swore at the guy on the phone, and despite having to put in two service calls, the orignal and the one to cancel the ship to address because they won't change the address, I give them an A for fast service. I sent it out on July 5 and got it back on the 8th, far earlier than I expected. I still have to look up what was done to my Ipod, since I got the original back. But its working and I am happy.

Post Office C+ One box arrived smashed. It was insured. Have to go deal with the local guy to get my insurance claim in. They shrewed up in Vegas. The supervisor was excellent searching for my external CD Drive which apparently still in Las Vegas, but I did not get a next day call back from him. I did get a next day call back from the local office, but what he told me I already knew and I had to fill him in.

Verizon Local. A+ Despite not have my CD drive, the local office was courteous and quick amd the technical support staff helping me get DSL set up was excellent and easy. Local guy was on time when he saud he would be.

Verizon Cellular F - They screwed up and I am STILL waiting for my new phone. The wrong phone arrived the next day. The right phone ain't here yet although I was told it would be here on Friday. I had to use my Sprint phone which is not shut down yet. And nobody gave me a tracking number. I hope my billing period doesn't start until the day I use my phone.

Sprint - F. Two years with them and they want me on a contract. Bite me.

K-mart cafe. A for waitress. I went back there on Friday, although not at lunch hour.. I had coffee at Dunkin Donuts in Walmart on Thursday and ran into the waitress' husband, the guy I told my tale of woe to on Wednesday. On Friday, the waitress apologized to me for Wednesday's service, although it wasn't her fault. Just then her husband walked in again. I think he's trailing me.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Karl Rove

So Karl Rove, El Presidente's chief political operative is apparently the leak behind the expose of Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, the CIA Operative. I say 'apparently' because it ahsn't proven to be fully true, but quite possibly be true. Now, of course, Bush says if there is a leak in his administration, he wants to know about it and 'appropriate action will be taken'. If it turns out to be definitively Rove, what will that 'appropriate action' be? A slap on the wrist? If it were a Democrat, Republicans would be talking beheading.

But Bush NEEDS Karl Rove, the little Machiavellian who came up with the brilliant (and from the standpoint of getting out the vote, it was) idea of typing the issue of the Defense of Marriage Acts in red meat states as rouse to get out the sheepish Evangelicals to the polls. And while you're penning your hatred of gays, vote for Georgie, why dontcha?

But of course the Bush Administration was on the hunt for Joe Wilson, because he was a critic of the Saddam and Niger memo which if proven to be false, and it was, might have derailed Bush's march toward Baghdad in Operation Avenge Daddy. We all know by now that most of Bush's pre-war pronouncements were falsehoods. But again, in true Machiavellian fashion, the end justifies the means.

So it is fun seeing Mike Mc Clellen suddenly going tight lipped on the Rove situation. Suddenly silence. He is the brother of Mike McClellan, head of the FDA, Bush buddy and the group that bans seniors from excercising free market economics by buying their drugs in Canada, Maybe he should consider joining his mother as she runs for office in the heart of Bushland. Nepotism runs high in this government.

So if it turns out to be true that Karl Rove undermined a CIA operative and put her life at risk, will Herr Rove lose his job? Karen Hughes get ready for a call.

Wither Customer Service

After Sprint told me I had to sign up for a 2 year contract after BEING with them for 2 years, I told them to bite me. I decided to go with Verizon, due to the fact that if I was going to have to deal with a 2 year contract anyway, I might as well get a new phone out of the deal.

First of all, dealing with Verizon's local DSL and its cellphone unit is like dealing with different planets. The local people were nice and I had no hassles. I figured as long as didn't have to buy any additional equipment, it'll be worth it for me to get DSL so I can GO FASTER. In fact, the wiring guy is outside right now, turning DSL 'on' even though I don't have the router yet.

On the other hand, dealing with Verizon cellular was a nightmare. After dealing with the local people, they 'put me through' the cellular people. I told them I had shopped on the Net for a phone I like, so I am ready to do business. I got 'Adam' on Wednesday, who gave me his extension, so I called him back the next day after giving Sprint the heave-ho. When I dialed his number I got 'Mark'. Got disconnected, had to call again. We were all set to go, when there was a problem with my credit report. Back in my Boston days, I was a victim of ID theft and had a theft advisory flag put on my report. Usually these things last only 6 months, which forces consumers to continually call the credit bureaus if they want that extra protection. Surprisingly, mine was still on. After askeing a barrage a questions like your SS #, Morther's Maiden Name, (since they ALL use the same questions, how secure is this?), my driver's license number and a phone strip search/cavity search I had to fax them a copy of my driver's license and a copy of a credit card. Since they've nver seen me, how can they know its really me? I guess I should be happy at the extra protection, but I had to find a fax/copy machine. So I went to my local credit union, where my brother was treasurer and I had no problem with that.

Got on the phone again. Someone somewhere picked up my fax or otherwise got a hold. Gee, makes me feel real secure now, wouldn't you? So they gave me another number to call where the fax would go 'right into the Computer'. Once The Computer recognizes me, I'll be okay.

Exasperated, I decided to deal with them on Friday.

On Friday, I called them and they said I was good to go. No surprise there. I may not have much money, but my credit rating is impeccable. So, I got the plan that I wanted and I told him which phone I wanted (I'm not crazy about flip phones, but that's all they had. Mark sent me an email confirmation and I noticed it was the wrong phone. I left him TWO voicemails not to send that phone. I tried talking to someone else and as soon as I mentioned Mark's name, they immediately dumped me into his voicemail. I am apparently, Mark's customer and therefore Mark's problem.

I wasn't supposed to get the phone until Tuesday, but I got it today (what swiftness!), but of course, it was the WRONG PHONE. Of course, I could have taken the easy way out and just kept the phone (it was actually $10 cheaper), but that's not the phone I ordered, that's the phone they wanted me to have.

So, today, Monday, I am now on the phone for the 4th day in a row trying to get what I, the customer, ordered in the first place. I got bounced around to another number. Meanwhile, the message on the phone was, if I dare to break the seal on the phone box, I am bound by the contreact. They'll be ready to sue me for aasking for what i wanted, but I didn't open the cellphone box, just the box it came in.

The nice lady at the other end told me to put it back in the box and affix the return label on the box and she would call FEDEX for a pick-up. When she asked me for a credit card, I went ballistic on her. I told her that this was NOT the way to treat new customers. She pointed out that everything is SO FAST today, that it is difficult to retract things once they are in motion. This is exactly what Apple told me when I tried to get them to re-send the box to my new address. What good is fast, when its not correct in the first place?

After that fiasco, I went to the lunch counter at the local K-mart and ordered a tuna salad on white toast. One waitress on at lunch hour. After waiting over a half an hour, I got the sandwhich, minus the toast and I had her send it back. Wait 15 minutes more. I told her I was going out for a smoke and maybe when I get back, my sandwhich will be there the way I ordered it. It came while I was out there and I was sharing my tale of woe with a guy standing outside who happened to be the waitress' husband.

When I got back home, (I had to be there for FEDEX to arrive, and they haven't arrived yet), the Verizon guy wasn outside my door. He told me he was here to turn DSL 'on', which I wasn't aware they had to do. While I was happily typing this, I got disconected and had no dial tone, but He showed up at my door and all is well.

Meanwhile, I still have no phone, I have a phone number though, but at least I have my Ipod back.

Maybe I am better off talking to a machine after all.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

What's the deal with the damned contracts?

So here I am trying to get a good plan for a cellphone. I have set up a phone line and DSL with Verizon. I originally wanted to go with them for my cell phone service as well, but I would have to get a new phone (ka-ching, ka-ching) so as of yesterday I was thinking of staying with Sprint, so I wouldn't have to change phones. I had my number shut down yesterday, but they will keep the account open until the end of my billing cycle. So I called them today and they won't let me do anything with them unless I set up a two year contract with them. Mind you, I have been a Sprint customer for 2 years now. And this is how they treat customer loyalty?

Like Earthlink. I had originally which was bought out by Earthlink, so for all intents and purposes I have been an Earthlink customer for 9 years. I get offers in the mail for sweetie deals for NEW SUBSCRIBERS ONLY. Companies today encourage you to jump ship but offer NO REWARDS for loyalty. Since I'll have to get a contract anyway with the new provider anyway, bye bye Sprint.

We don't have to have contracts with Microsoft or Apple or Exxon or Chevron. So what's the thing with cellphones? Who did they sleep with in congress to come up with this idea?

We're all in this together.

Today's attack on London's subway and bus system shows that we are all in this together. It appears that it may be the work of Al Queda or some other sympathetic terrorist organization. It could possibly be a home grown British terror group (I don't want to come out and say that its the IRA, but I hope they've moved beyond that) but it is possible that the attacks could be because of Britain's support of the US's military action in Iraq.

But in any case, this was an attack on the civilized world. We are all at risk. Sympathies for all the families who have had loved ones die in today's attack.

This is my first post since moving back East. I am still trying to get (re)organized. My email addresses will change soon, but to commenters, it will be seamless. But, just like when I moved out West, and you couldn't take me away from the ocean, I've lived in the desert so long, the desert will always be a part of me now.

Number 1 goal in life: To move back to Nevada. Hopefully to the Lake Tahoe area this time.