Monday, June 28, 2010

Hi Tech- Low expectations...

So, here I am stuck on hold waiting for tech support... again.  It's my own fault.  I yelled at the woman's voice on the automated phone service- demanding person... Person!... PERSON!!!
So now, I'm listening to elevator music.
A couple of hours ago my e-mail service stopped working.  When I tried to restart it a very helpful box appeared promising to run me through the self-repair service.  When that didn't work a new box asked me to sign in with my password.  The repair system claims (incorectly) that my password is incorrect.
So, it's been five minutes on hold.  While I'm waiting I started fiddling around with some incomprehensible (Japanese?) comments that keep getting posted to my blog.  Surprise- they link to real PERSON'S!!  The comments lead back to Japanese phone sex web pages.  If I call I can talk to a LIVE PERSON!!  Very tempting but I'm now on hold for 10 minutes and I don't want to lose my place in the (HELP!) Line queue.
More elevator music.
Really not good elevator music.  Rock music that sounds like remixes of really bad songs...

I wonder what all the girls at the Japanese Chat Line are doing?
Hello.  A real person.  He's with the phone repair people.  Must... transfer... to... internet.... sector.

Yeaaa! I'm back on the automated phone line.
Customers on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan are having trouble accessing the internet.
Thanks for that.

"Do you have DSL, Broadband, or some other service?"
"Press 1 to speak to a representative."
"Your call is important to us.  Your approximate wait time is less than five minutes."
Yeah, I'll bet.

More bad elevator music.  Sounds like the Pointer sisters gargling river rocks.
Wait.  I hear something.  It's a person!  A person who's first language is not English.

Her: "I need you to tell me goodly about your address?"
Me  "You want me to tell you where I live?"
Her  "Yes, that would for maybe be agreeable."
Me:  "sigh..."

After several attempts I am able to crack the code.   The servers are broken and could "maybe absolutely be back on working order" by midnight.

Me: "Can I get a partial refund since this kind of thing seems to happen a lot?"
Her: "Yes, this is effecting many customers."
Me:  "Money.  I want money."
Her:  "Right now it's 10:00am."
Me:  "Yes but you live in Bangkok."

After several more minutes of verbal non- communication I am victorious!  I am awarded an $8.00 credit!    I sure hope that's in dollars.  So by midnight you might be able to e-mail me, but I may be busy.  I think $8.00 is enough to call Japan....

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Film at 11:00

      If you're like me you hate cable TV.  It's gotten too &%$&&%@@$ expensive!  And the bleeping service stinks!  Good luck trying to get someone in customer service to help you out.  That's why I pulled the plug and switched to satellite television.  What a difference!
     I'm now paying even MORE money for the same lousy service.  And now, when it snows, rains, or the wind blows- some channels won't come in at all.   My TV screen looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.  I won't name names because I don't want to get sued.  But my satellite TV provider is NOT Dish TV.  You figure it out.
     About the only reason I even have TV is so I can watch sports- especially the Yankees.  Over the winter I added the YES network- which costs an extra $10 a month.  I couldn't wait for spring training.  But on opening day I find out that Yankees games on YES are blacked out in my area.  That's right.  Yankees games are not shown on the YANKEES Entertainment and Sports network.  I live 250 miles from the Bronx and the games are blacked out.  Needless to say, I canceled YES.
    A couple of months ago, in a fit of maniacal idiocy,  I talked my mother into getting the same kind of satellite TV service.  Shortly after the satellite dish was installed on her roof- it came loose- and still tethered to the cable- blasted through a bay window in her rec room.  The satellite TV people came by, inspected the damage and said they would pay for it.  Later we got a letter that Mom had to sign.  It also had to be co-signed by two witnesses.  The letter specifically stated that Mom couldn't ever tell anyone about the "settlement".  They broke HER window- then demanded that Mom sign a legal document-promising never to tell anyone about the crappy installation job.  And get this- When I called to complain- they said I'd have to send a formal letter to their legal department. You can't make this stuff up.
    Did I mention that the remote control they gave us is falling apart?  Even though we've only had it since August.  Trina is ready to throw the remote and the satellite dish right through the satellite company's window.
    So tonight was the last straw.  A Yankees game on ESPN was blacked out.  On ESPN.  The whole country gets this game but not me.  I called up the satellite Nazis and spoke to a supervisor.  She told me there was nothing she could do.  I asked about the broken remote control.  The supervisor said she'd gladly replace it- for $15.  I asked about the picture that turns to snow every time it snows.  The supervisor offered to sell me an extended warranty!   I asked how much it would cost to cancel the service.  $280.  Fortunately, I'm a big fan of Jackson Pollock.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

By the Numbers OR We're Number 2!

How about that pesky oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?  At first,  BP said its runaway oil well  was only spewing out 1,000 barrels a day.  That doesn't sound like anything to get all worked up about to me.  I'll bet we lose that much oil just from the stuff that dribbles out of the pump nozzles at gas stations.

  But now, some experts claim the worst case scenario could be 100,000 barrels a day.  That comes to 4.2 million gallons of texas tea every 24 hours.  So class, how much is 4.2 million gallons of crude? According to the Associated Press it's enough to fill 102 school gymnasiums to the ceiling with oil.  I sure hope those are small gyms.  That much oil could also fill about 16 and one half olympic-sized pools.

The Live Science web site puts it this way- it takes 570 gallons of paint to paint The White House each year. So 4.2 million gallons would be enough to repaint the President's home annually for the next 7,368 years. 

Now, considering the vast size of the Gulf of Mexico, 4.2 million gallons is just a tiny drop in the bucket.  But still, it appears the Gulf is getting to be a pretty dirty bucket.  Judging from the video I've seen of the beaches it looks like BP has got us by the tar balls.  And there's no end in sight.

This oil leak might not get plugged for months- or even longer.  But BP claims a lot of the escaping oil is now getting vacuumed up into container ships hovering over the fractured well head.  So that's something we can all feel good about.  But the best feel good moment is coming from Exxon corporate HQ.  The Exxon guys are celebrating because the Exxon Valdez spill isn't the worst oil disaster in US history.  Not anymore.

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