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Guess I'll be calling Cox again tomorrow.

Stegosaurus #4 is coming along -- the body is all knitted and partially sewn together. I'm not sure if I will have enough yarn for the legs, but we will see.

Attempts to get the 'Pirates!' books have been unsuccessful. I'm starting to feel kind of ravenous, so I think I might get some food downtown, then go to Borders at the mall to see if they have them.

I had a nice walk with [livejournal.com profile] cgoldfish and [livejournal.com profile] wazroth earlier, although it ended with a lot of rain. Brrr.

I ordered a bunch of yarn, some of which I plan to use for a suit for the Penfold I'm knitting for [livejournal.com profile] katylady74. Unfortunately it arrived while I was out of town, so I will be going to Warwick after work Monday to pick it up. Hopefully it will be suitable!

Worked on a secret project today; not entirely satisfied with it, but I may feel differently tomorrow.

There is an article in the New Yorker (which is also online) about a guy who fell for one of those Nigerian 419 scams. I have wondered who falls for those things and why, so I was interested to read the article. I found this to be a clue early on:
Mbote elaborated on the story to say that Worley’s name was one of ten that he had been given, and that it had been pulled from a hat after much prayer by someone named Pastor Mark. (A more likely possibility is that his e-mail address was plucked from an Internet chain letter, which he received and passed on, that promised a cash reward from Microsoft to anyone who forwarded the letter to others.)
If you don't want to read the New Yorker article, you might prefer MC Frontalot's song about a Nigerian scammer. [lyrics]
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Just got off the phone with Cox.

They disconnected my phone because my phone payments were credited towards my cable bill. They sent me a note a few weeks ago saying that they were going to consolidate my phone and cable accounts, so I sent in my payment for both accounts with my cable bill, but in fact they didn't do this, because they don't consolidate bills for accounts that are delinquent, and my account showed up as delinquent because they hadn't consolidated my accounts.

The woman I spoke to said that she would request that the fee they charged for disconnecting my phone be waived, and this request would probably go through, but that this couldn't be guaranteed, because the fee is technically valid, because they did, in fact, disconnect my phone, and there is a fee for that.

Does anyone know when Cox hired Raymond Smullyan?
jwgh: (arrrr)
At around 5:50 I called US Airway's phone line again to check on the status of the baggage. I was told that it would be delivered in 4-6 hours as usual. In a new twist, I was told that this was the latest status as of "ZERO SIX".

So I hung up and simmered for a little while, then called back and hit zero a bunch of times. While in the past this didn't accomplish anything other than getting me put in the phone queue for eternity, this time it actually put me through to someone.

He informed me that they didn't have an address on file to deliver the baggage to, so the delivery company returned it to the airport. The baggage supposedly will be there waiting for me when I return to the airport tomorrow evening for my flight back. If it isn't I guess at least I will actually be at the baggage claim office, so it will not be possible for them to hide from me.

Email #2

Jul. 26th, 2005 02:17 pm
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Coming in to the home stretch, hopefully )
'4-6 hours' is a time period which now has special meaning to me.
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Here's what they say:
It appears your email address has changed. If we should use this new address, please update your contact information here.
I click on the link and it asks for my email address. I type in my email address and am informed:
Login Failed
The login ID and password combination you provided is invalid.
If you believe you may have mistyped either value, use the browser Back button to return to the login page and try again.

If you believe you have forgotten your password, use the browser Back button to return to the login page and request that your password be emailed to you.
Of course the original screen didn't ask for a password and also it doesn't have any instructions for getting the password emailed to me.

I typed in a different email address and it worked. This is pretty outstanding.

email sent

Jul. 25th, 2005 11:44 pm
jwgh: (arrrr)
long )
And now I go to bed.
jwgh: (Default)
Perhaps I should give the sandals I bought yesterday another few days before I try to go on another extended walk wearing them again. ow ow ow

Right now I'm trying to decide between having some pie, doing some knitting in front of the television, or going to bed. I will probably opt for plan D, which is mucking around pointlessly on the Internet until it's far too late.

A story or two while I'm thinking of them:

Last month I had my first physical in a long time. As it happens this was also around the time for me to give blood again. Now, I have been giving blood regularly for a few years now, and there is no really rational reason for me to put it off now, but, still, I felt like I might as well put it off until all my tests and stuff came back so that if it turned out there was something horribly wrong with me I would know not to bother going in to the blood center.

So I went in for my physical like a month ago, but what with one thing and another I've been putting off getting my blood work done. Finally, yesterday morning I went in and got it done, so now I'm just waiting for the results.

But for a couple of months now the blood center has been calling me every couple of weeks to try to get me to come in, and each time I've asked them to call me back later as I wasn't sure &c &c, and it's gotten a little annoying. Most recently they called me Sunday afternoon (when I was expecting another call), and when I told them to leave me alone the woman I talked to seemed to be a little annoyed (it may have been my imagination), so I hung up a bit annoyed myself, and I thought to myself, "Jeez, why won't they just leave me alone? They're such bloodsuckers!"

And then I realized what I had just thought and had to laugh at myself a little.

So that's story #1. Story #2 is related but is more Rhode Island-y.

Monday Morning I finally went in to get my blood work done, which involved driving to Cranston through a construction zone. As has been known to happen in this state from time to time, I got into a minor traffic altercation (not an accident); I was turning left into a parking lot, but I think I didn't make it very clear as to whether I was turning into that lot or into the next one, so a woman behind me decided to try to scoot past me on the left and turn into the parking lot herself, and when she realized that I was actually changing lanes she honked at me, resulting in me giving her my patented 'What the hell?' look. (Perhaps I will get someone to take a picture of me giving this look sometime.)

So then I went in to get the blood test and, lo and behold, the woman who had honked at me was the one assigned to draw the blood.

She was quite apologetic about our little run-in and she didn't take it out on me when she was poking me with needles (it was quite painless, whereas I was picturing fifteen minutes of 'Whoops! I missed the vein again! Sorry! Let's try that again, shall we?').

And that's story #2.
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Let's see, where to start?

Last week, after I got my new powerbook, I ordered a couple of pieces of software from Apple: a copy of iWork (their new office suite) and a copy of the latest version of Mac OS X (which is named Tiger). Apple sent them to me in two separate shipments, one via UPS and one via the United States Postal Service. Of the two, I was much more anxious go get Tiger. Rawr!

So I kept my eye on the UPS tracking and yesterday I noticed that UPS claimed that the package they were delivering had been delivered. To someone named José. But I hadn't gotten my copy of Tiger! What gives?

I called up UPS and explained the situation, and that there was nobody named José in my house, and that I hadn't asked any of my neighbors whether they had received the package. The woman I spoke to told me that they would check into some things and someone would call me after about an hour. As I thanked her and hung up, I had the sudden, sharp realization that I was an idiot.

Because, you see, earlier that day someone had rung my doorbell. When I answered the door, a Hispanic gentleman was there with a package. He explained apologetically that it had been incorrectly delivered to his apartment and his son had opened it before they had realized the mistake. Inside the package was the copy of iWork I had ordered.

And come to think of it, the Tiger package was the one that had been shipped via USPS and had nothing to do with UPS at all.


When UPS called me back an hour later I told them that the person the package had been mistakenly delivered to had come by and given it to me and so I was all set. The person I talked to asked me a bunch of questions regarding how difficult it was to find my house (it's right on the street, the house number is pretty visible, and I've gotten a bunch of packages delivered without incident in the past, so the answer is not very) and said they would talk to the driver.

Today I was walking from my apartment to the corner store, a trip which involves crossing a one-way street which is at a strange angle to the street I live on, and I noticed a UPS truck driving down my street. When I came in view it changed direction to intercept me and it seemed like it accellerated a little. "What the hell?" I thought and scampered to the side of the road. The UPS truck pulled over and for a moment I thought, "Oh, maybe it's my Tiger package! Wait, no, that's stupid."

The driver leaned out, grinned at me, and shouted, "Hi! I just wanted to apologize for yesterday! I just had a lot of things on my mind! Sorry for the mistake!"

I shouted back, "Oh, thanks! Well, it all worked out, anyway!" and he drove off.

So that was reassuring.

(Alas, there is still no sign of my copy of Tiger.)
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I went to the post office today.

Me: I'd like some stamps. Do you have the Buckminster Fuller ones?

Clerk #1: What?

Me: Buckminster Fuller?

[Clerk #1 pulls out the Big Book o' Stamps and shows me which stamps she has. The Buckminster Fuller one isn't there.]

Me: Oh. Well ...

Clerk #1: Hold on. Maybe we have some in the back.

[Clerk #1 stalks off towards the back room, great purpose in her stride. After a few minutes she shouts, "Does anyone know the combination?" to no one in particular.]

Clerk #2: (to Clerk #1) What are you looking for?

Clerk #1: (uncertainly) ... Buck ... minster?

Clerk #2: What?

Clerk #1: Buckminster?

Clerk #2: Oh, are those the ones with the head? (to me) It kind of looks like Epcot?

Me: Yup.

Clerk #2: We don't have those yet, and I don't know the combination anyway.

Me: Oh. Do you know when you'll get them?

Clerk #2: (laughs maybe a little derisively) ... No.

Me: OK, thanks.

[I left at this point.]

I highly endorse this experience.
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I have basic cable as an essentially free add-on to my cable modem. For a long time, a lot of my cable channels haven't come in, from roughly channel 30 to roughly channel 70. (Those of you who now know what the rest of this story will be about can skip to the end.) However, I didn't really care, because all I watch is Comedy Central (channel 72) and occasionally local news. So I never bothered to report this.

However, my cable company recently reordered all the channels, and Comedy Central is now like Channel 56 or something, so I can't watch it. This stirred me from my slothful indolence and I actually called Cox to try to get the problem fixed. The person I spoke to took my report and, after some negotiation, we settled on this morning between 8:30 and 10:30 as the time the cable guy would arrive to look at things.

This morning the cable guy arrived at 11 (half an hour late, so I get $20 off my next bill -- yay!) and told me that with basic cable I'm not supposed to get any channels above about 25 -- the only reason I can get channels above 70 is that the thing that is supposed to block those channels doesn't work very well. So there's nothing to be done (unless I want to spend some extra money to get the other channels, which I don't).

So what will I do now that I no longer have The Daily Show and Reno 911 to distract myself with? If the past few days are any indication I'll catch up on my Asimov's subscription (the stack of back issues was beginning to pile up a bit) and will be going to bed slightly earlier. O cruel world!
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My doorbell just rang. It turned out to be a Verizon repair guy. I told him that everything was working and that I was all set. He said, "OK, good. I'm just going to go around to the box on the side of the building and do some tests, then I'll call you to make sure everything's working." I must have looked confused, because he said, "I have to do that while I'm here." Well, OK.

A short while later my phone rang and it was him asking if all was well. I said it was, and he left.

My hope is that none of this will cost me any money.
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I was having a problem with my phone service, so I called up Verizon's repair line. There I encountered an automated voice mail tree. Unusually, I was pretty impressed with how it worked ... it asked reasonable questions and was able to understand my responses. It told me that a service guy would be sent out sometime before 7 pm.

A little while later, I got a call on the affected phone line. It was another automated system from Verizon, saying that they thought they had fixed the problem and asking me if I agreed it was fixed. Since the problem was with outgoing calls I had no idea if it had been fixed or not and I said "I have no idea." The little computer voice said that it was glad to be of service and that the problem would be marked as closed. I hung up and discovered that the problem was still in effect. Bad!

So I called the service line back and talked to the automated phone system again. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be an option to say 'you called me and told me the problem was closed but it still needs to be fixed'. I tried navigating the tree, then hung up and called back to see if there was a way to talk to an actual person.

I tried pressing '0' at strategic points and listened carefully to the various options, but to no avail. Finally I yelled into the phone, "I NEED TO TALK TO AN OPERATOR! PUT ME ON WITH AN OPERATOR!" The system responded, "I believe you just requested to be connected to a technician. Is this correct?" Slightly dumbstruck, I said, "Yes," and was connected to a technician, who explained to me that I hadn't asked for touch-tone dialing when I set up the account and that's why my outgoing phone calls weren't registering.


Aug. 15th, 2003 09:03 am
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I went to drop off my suit at the dry cleaner's today (I have a memorial service to go to on Sunday and, true to form, put off getting the suit cleaned until the last minute). The following dialogue transpired at the dry cleaner's place:

Counter guy: OK, it will be ready on Tuesday.

Me: Oh ... Tuesday? It's not possible to get it back Saturday sometime?

Counter guy: No. [Here he gave an explanation of why which I omit.] Although ... it could be ready for Monday if you need it then. Should I put you down for Monday or Tuesday?

Me: Neither is of any use to me.

Counter guy: OK, I'll put you down for Tuesday then.


jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

October 2015

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