Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last year I posted this account of my dealings up to that point with Qwest and their heartfelt dedication to incompetence. Well, recently we were able to dump Qwest in favor of Comcast, in a "the enemy of my enemy" kind of situation. So here's an update of the dealings with Qwest since the last post.

I detailed the situation with our two accounts; after I finally convinced Qwest that we didn't need two phone numbers, we got them to cancel the temporary account. However, in what was admittedly our bad, we inadvertantly paid three months worth of bills to the wrong account, after we forgot to update our bank's autopay. This meant another round of calls between myself, Qwest and the bank; the bank had to send Qwest records showing that the payments had been made (even though they were showing in Qwest's system, just on the wrong account). Qwest swore that they would simply redirect those payments to the correct account. After another month worth of twice-weekly phone calls, they did.

For the most part, we were happy with our satellite and DVR service. Oh, sure, there were fewer HD channels, and I missed the Video-On-Demand that Comcast offered, but at least...wait, what was the appeal again? Oh yeah, saving money.

Then came the day that the local HD channels stopped working. ONLY the local channels, mind you (not counting the local HD channels they didn't offer), the other HD stuff came in just fine. So I did some Googling and found our how to reset the receiver. When that didn't work, I finally bit the bullet and called.

I explained to their CSR what the problem was, and what I had tried to correct it. So naturally, the first thing she did was to start talking me through the process of resetting the receiver. Well, whatever, maybe this person at the company knows something the internet doesn't. Why do I still fall for that idea?

Just like before, the resetting didn't work. After I convinced the CSR that resetting the receiver a third time wouldn't work, they agreed to send out a technician. Imagine my surprise when the tech actually showed up on time, and hey presto, got the problem (whatever it was) solved. So once again, we were able to watch CSI, Lost, My Name Is Earl, and additional CSIs in glorious, bandwidth-throttled, artifacty, high-definition.

Until the channels went out again a month later.

This time I didn't bother with Qwest, I just went ahead and bought an antenna. Yes, it was a specially designed, high-tech piece of machinery, designed to offer the best HD signal available.

But it was still rabbit ears.

In the 21st century, when I'm paying a buttload every month for HD satellite service, I still gotta put a pair of rabbit ears on my TV. And they never worked right. I'd get NBC perfectly, only to find that CBS is now fuzzier than my head after a night out.

(in our next installment, I detail why the satellite dish sat inside our apartment for months, and how Qwest proved to be a sore loser)

Your paradox for today: The Gawker.com network hosts a lot of very enjoyable sites. And yet Gawker itself is completely fucking useless. Discuss.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Context Is For The Weak

And why don't you read Scans Daily?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I want to talk to you about the worst thing that's happened to me in the last few days.

Let me tell you what it's not. It's not the laptop problem. I was working at the office last week, using both my office desktop, and my agency-issued laptop, when the laptop suddenly gave me the ol' blue screen of death. UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME, it told me. Some Googling confirmed my worst fear: I would have to have Windows reinstalled. No rescuing for me, no sir, my files were wizziped.

That's not the worst thing that happened.

Nor is it the situation with my computer here at the office. At some point monday, it started rebooting. I'd be working along, computing my ass off, and suddenly, BEWZZZZP...sudden reboot. It would happen every three hours or so, and without the laptop to work on, I had to work carefully and save constantly.

After some discussion with MS's IT guy, guess what was decided? I had to reinstall Windows on this one too. Worse, my office computer runs *sigh* Vista. So I did that this morning, and hey, whaddaya know, there's a glitch, and I'm currently in the middle of the SECOND Vista installation today, so that I can get it working long enough to roll back to XP.

So you might think that having to install Vista twice in one day (or indeed at all) is the worst thing that happened to me this week. You'd still be wrong.

No, the worst thing that happened to me this week was yesterday, as I was in the men's room here at work. I do my business, I finish up, I put things back in their proper receptacle, and I go to zip up, not realizing that the flap on my gonch is fairly loose, and therefore the Li'l Chieftain is still exposed. And right in the path of the zipper.

Don't talk to me about childbirth. You women don't know pain like this.

Still, it helps to have something like this happen. When you have to go through three Windows installations in a week, there's nothing like getting your tallywhacker caught in your zipper to put it all in perspective.

Snuffy Smith, y'all.

UPDATE: The one plus side is that I finally was able to get XP back on my work machine.

Hey, you take your victories where you can get 'em.

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