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Goodbye Embarq January 24, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Home.
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****Another Update****

Well I called and cancelled my service.  Sometime on Wednesday the dial tone in my house goes silent and my land phones shall ring nevermore.  The customer service rep was a very nice lady and she was very apologetic about the whole thing so no hard feelings Embarq.  See you around.

****UPDATE****

In response to Joey from Embarq’s response to this post I did some more digging on what was specifically done to my account.  I eventually figured out where they have .pdf versions of the paper bills they used to send that really details all the charges rather than just “Embarq Solutions” and “Local Services”.  By comparing the last two bills I figured out where they messed up.  They were supposed to drop my long distance plan where they automatically charge me $13 per month and just straight bill me for minutes I use (which I didn’t have).  But they didn’t.

If the customer service rep had done what he said he was going to do then my bill would have indeed gone down by $5.87 and this whole situation would have been avoided.  Eh, they still padded my basic service with more crap than I needed so my bill was still more than what I should be paying considering what I actually use.  So, it was just incompetence rather than evil intent.  I’m not nearly as ticked off as I was before.

Your irking me out of my slothfulness was a costly mistake for you Embarq!

****Original rant below****

So sometime last month I got a call from my local telephone company Embarq.  The guy tells me that they were reviewing their customer’s records and noticed that I wasn’t really using my long distance service very much.  Verily so – since my Parental Units moved back to my neck of the woods I don’t make many long distance phone calls.  I just never got around to doing anything about it because I’m lazy.  Anywhoodle the guy talks me into changing my telephone’s service package to one that is more optimized for my usage habits.  I figured this was a very proactive thing for them to do considering the stiff competition for phone services these days and I was looking forward to my new reduced phone bill.  By now you’ve already guessed what happened – my bill went up! Bastards.  Up by seven stinking bucks.  I was already paying more for phone service than I should have been paying considering how little I use it and they had to go and do that.

This is a situation up with which I will not put so I went down to the Verizon store and signed up for a cell phone.  My monthly cell bill will be even cheaper than what I was paying before they screwed with me.  Monday morning I’ll call Embarq and tell them where they can cram their new phone bills from now on.  I hope they really enjoy those seven bucks.  Fuqqers.

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Behold January 19, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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My new car stereo/reciever!!  This is the Alpine CDA-9886

Awww yeah!

Awww yeah!

 The factory system in my Rav-4 has been dying for a while now so just after Christmas I went down to a local electronics store and picked out a nifty new stereo to replace it.  I was told that it was a very popular seller over the holidays and that they right out of them.  The guy also said that they were on back-order  and they expected to have new ones in stock in “about a week or so”.  I’m a patient man so I said “Okee dokee” and paid for the stereo and the installation up front.  The salesman assured me that he would call me as soon as they came in and arrange the appointment for the installation.

For the next three weeks I get versions of “Sorry, no they’re not in yet, but we’re certain they will be soon.”  Until finally “Ah, sorry Mr. Yorl but Alpine has discontinued production on that model you bought.  We’re going to have to do some sort of change-order.”  Sigh.  So this Saturday I went down to the store to see what else we can do.  Long story short I upgrade to the next model above for 55 bucks with 20 bucks knocked off for my trouble.  I finally got it installed this afternoon and I am well pleased with it.  I must say that I am somewhat baffled with the remote control that came with it.  WTH??  I guess it’s for the people in the back seat.

I Don’t Need This January 15, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Billiards.
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I got an email today from the online store where I bought some pool stuff earlier this year (pool as in the billiard game, not the splashing/swimming/Marco! Polo! kind).  They have a Lucasi break cue on sale.  Get out of here!  I don’t need no break cue.  I’ve never had a Lucasi cue but I played around with some in a store recently and they’re pretty nice.  Again, not that it matters – I don’t need one anyway.  Of course, some of you probably don’t play pool all that much and don’t know what a “break cue” is do you?  It’s a cue specifically designed for the opening “break” shot in a game of pool and it’s reinforced at the joint and tip for that really heavy powered shot.  Yup, it’s a cue you only use once per game.  That’s crazy!  Who needs that? 

 

And I don’t really care that the sale is for 60% off.  Really?  A $395 pool cue for $158??  Come on – I’ve got better things to spend my money on.  Heck, I still have to pay for Christmas stuff!  Well, no not really I guess.  I already paid those bills.  But still – I’ve got other bills.  Besides the shipping is gonna crank up the price on that a fair amount I’m guessing.  Let me check.  Aha!  See, there ya go – free shipping included.  Hm.  Well I’d need an extra case to go with it too, and who wants to go around carrying two cases?  Not me.  Of course they offer a free case to go with it.  Or I could upgrade to a two cue case for like 39 bucks more.  That’s actually a pretty good price.

 

Not that I’m really interested.  No sirreee.  Not.At.All.

CrapWorld of SuckCraft January 10, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in World of Warcraft.
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It’s near 1 pm on my third day of WoW ownership and I’ve yet to play a single nanosecond of the actual game.  I can click on the Play button and I’m taken to a gloriously awesome looking login screen that tantalizes me with what is sure to be even more amazing stuff and all I have to do is type in my user name and password.  Alas, every attempt is a miserable puddle of failure.  I cannot connect.  The user name and password is fine.  I can easily access my account information (the part where they take your money of course) and everything is fine.  I went through all of the troubleshooting stuff they suggest.  There is no problem with the firewall.  There is no problem with the modem.  There is no problem with drivers for the computer or modem.  Everything is as up-to-date as possisble.  I even did a trace route from the Windows CLI.  It is clear sailing all the way from my PC to Blizzard’s servers. I have checked EVERYTHING.  I.Can.Not.Connect.  This is utterly maddening and I’m near the end of my rope.

Maybe it’s a Sign.  Maybe I shouldn’t be trying to play this game anyway.

Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Frankly, I think I have every right to.  So there.

World of Patchcraft Day 2 January 9, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in World of Warcraft.
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Still downloading patches – now with extra slowness!  One of the major big-big patches refuses to run on the WoW patch downloader program.  It keeps insisting that my firewall is being an asshole and that it’s not allowing it to run.   That’s total bull though – it is expressly letting it do whatever it wants.  I read through Blizzard’s help stuff online and not much of it seems relevant to my problem.  Finally I had to go with downloading a zip version from another file hosting site called FileShack.  I’m about 2 hours into the download and still have 11% to go.  Ah crap.  I don’t think I even have winzip on this thing to unzip it with.  That will be another download I believe.  So far this hasn’t been very fun.  The pictures on the packaging look really cool.  I just wish I could actually see them in the game itself.  Oh, and both of these days count as part of my “free month” of online play.  wheee.

On the plus side I think I’ve leveled up my real life character as a human patchidin so there’s that.

Pray for Me January 8, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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I have led myself into temptation.  I have brought something very dangerous into my house.  Something that has been known to Destroy Lives.  It is – well, I should back up a bit.

The thinking machine is here and I’ve set it up pretty much like I intended to.  It’s hooked to the big-assed hdtv and the home theater sound system.  I had a problem with the internet connection for the first night.  The computer could see the modem but not talk to it for some reason.  None of the diagnostic stuff worked and there were no further suggestions.  The next night I swapped out the standard modem for the wireless one I had upstairs (It has inputs for wired access too) plugged it in, installed the software and BAM I was in like Flint.  This is so very, very cool.  I have picture in picture capability so I can still watch tv while mucking around on this thing.  So I’ve been involved with setting up housekeeping, getting to know the new operating system (the Dreaded Windows Vista) and generally having fun.  Tonight though I bought my first game for a PC in years…the  notorious World of Warcraft. I even went ahead and bought the battle chest set that has the first expansion pack.  I’m trying to talk my sister in Indiana into playing too.  She is interested.  I may be dooming us both.

Happy New Year! January 2, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Home, Science & Technology.
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Actually I’m still Christmas shopping for mice elf. Last week I bought a new Alpine stereo for my car (on backorder alas), 75 dollars worth of tea (on a gift card) and $200 worth of new towels. Today I’m going out to shop for a new thinking machine. Here’s the one I’m interested in: the Titan.  No, I don’t know how much it costs though.  They don’t put their prices online which probably means they cost a lot.  We’ll see.

Anybody made any resolutions for the new year?  I’ve made some and I’ll post them a bit later but I’ve gotta run for now.

***Update***

I got a computer!  Well, I don’t have it yet – they still have to build it.  I didn’t go with the Titan after all – it was a little too $Ka-Ching$ for my budget but I did go with the next one down – the Atomic.  Here’s the rundown:

CPU – Inetl Core 2 Duo E7300 2.53 GHz
2 gigs of RAM
500 gig hard drive
eVGA 9600GT 512MB video card
Sata DVD RW drive
And the basic keyboard, mouse and speakers, Windows Vista OS and antivirus / spyware.

My plan is to have this hooked into my big-assed HDTV and home theater sound system with wireless keyboard and mouse.  Oh man this is gonna be AWESOME!   Truly we live in amazing times.