MC Spoo
29Feb/080

Imbeciles can't comprehend deafness

FACT: Telephones are useless to deaf people. COMPLETELY. UTTERLY. USELESS.

I know of no one with a TTY, so I don't have one. I don't pay for a service that doesn't serve me.

Therefore, I have no telephone.

Now, if you ever do anything that involves being involved with the phone company (say, AT&T's U-Verse and DSL) the phone company will run around like chickens with their collective noggins lopped off and go to the wrong address because they simply cannot comprehend that ANYONE on this planet has any reason NOT to have a telephone.

For the second time this month, I've scheduled AT&T to install their U-Verse service at my house simply because it's MUCH MUCH cheaper than the Brighthouse service I've been paying for ($40/mo cheaper!).

The guy they sent the first time ended up spending 8 hours here trying to install it.
The installer said the wiring inside was inadequate so a new wire needed to be run.
They sent the line installers to the wrong address: My PARENTS HOUSE!
The line installers show up, and then they say "yep, let's run a new line". They call the condo assoc for permission... and then the Condo Assoc said NO. AT&T packs up, and I'm left with overpriced Brighthouse until the situation is resolved.

Well, they also said I had to make sure a condo assoc representative was here for the next install attempt, so I was given... a PHONE NUMBER by the condo assoc to call. Yeah.. that helps me. In any case, AT&T arrived here at 10am this morning, and there's still here. In fact, they have not installed a thing. You'd think they would have learned from the first attempt, but NOOOOO.

The installer this morning determined that there is, in fact, NO PHONE SIGNAL in my house. The phone box had been hijacked, by AT&T itself, to extend a line to one of my neighbor's condos. Therefore, there was no signal in my house. So, he had to, once again, call the LINE INSTALLERS!

And then, for the umpteenth time in a row... they sent the installers TO THE WRONG HOUSE. They sent the line installers to my PARENTS HOUSE AGAIN! They even told the installer here "You must be at the wrong address". DUH HUH!?

Why does this happen? Because I *HAD* to give a phone number to complete the order request. Therefore, I gave them my parents phone number. Therefore, when an installer is sent out... despite clearly and completely filling out the address the service would be installed at... they send the installers to THE WRONG ADDRESS.

Now, we've been waiting for 3 hours waiting for AT&T to send out a secondary unit who... WENT TO THE WRONG ADDRESS.

Left Hand says: Hello... Right hand? Where you at?

Right Hand doesn't answer because no one knows where the hell Right Hand is.

I'm still waiting for the line installers to show up. The line installer assigned WENT OFF THE ROAD AND IS STUCK IN A DITCH trying to get from my parents house to here. The primary installer has been sitting outside in a pickup truck on the phone with those idiots trying to get them to the right address.

It's times like this... I hate being in a world so not made for me. Can't you non-deaf people PLEASE PLEASE stop proving this statement:

I may be deaf, but I'm not dumb... however, being deaf sure makes a lot of people around me dumb.

(Addenum on AT&T U-Verse install)
In any case... More detail on the installation:
At some point, after the original Tech slid off the road, AT&T called another technician, who then called my parents house again. He asked my mother "Where's Northville?"

My mom tells him, well.. you know... West Surburb. Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Walled Lake...

The Tech says "I've never heard of these cities... I'm in Addington"

Obviously, My mom says "Where's Addington?"

Tech: "Illinois"

D-O-H! AT&T called the wrong freaking STATE to assign a tech. Thus, that resulted in another delay as they called for a tech with a bit more geographical continuity.

The technicians finally arrived at 4:30pm and completed a patch line and installed the primary network circuits outside. They used the existing Coax wiring to tie everything together. Apparently, not having a phone is just so weird that barely anyone had ever heard of it. I must be in them there stone ages, yuh huh?

Then, the installer got to work... but nothing would work correctly. It turns out... the boxes he was given to install were keyed for another customer in the condo complex, yet they had MY name on them. The boxes were already pre-assigned to the other customers circuits. Therefore, he had to obtain a second set of boxes to install, and THEN call AT&T support to re-setup my account in accordance with the new boxes. Midway through this process... his cellphone died. This apparently was major because he could not just call back the support person he was on with. He had to use a second cellphone and call the support center again and restart the ENTIRE PROCESS with another support person. Midway through that call, they found out the circuit was not properly setup, so the circuit had to be reset up for the support guy to enter the account information, so they reset up the circuit again. All in all, this process took almost 4 hours.

At 8:45pm, both the network connection and TV worked at the same time. The guy worked from 10am till almost 9pm that day on the installation, and almost all of the time was spent waiting for other people to do their jobs.

However... the installer did NOT give me my account login! We set this stuff over the phone, so I had my "security" questions. However, I did NOT have the account. I fiddled around with the box and found my account was listed while trying to play "Yahoo Games" through the box. Specifically, Chess. It listed my AT&T account/email!

I was able to use that as the login, go through the security questions and reset the password. Viola! Now I can access my billing AND access the web guide so I can set the DVR to record online. Cool feature, but I still had to essentially crack my own account to access this stuff...

The aftermath is that the U-Verse service is pretty snappy. I like the way it's working, and I can DVR 4 programs at once. It's slick, but I fear for it's stability because apparently it's running Windows... The Internet connection is reasonably fast, and doesn't lag like the Bright House cable did. Bright House handled by equipment return well (i.e. no hassle). I have no problem with the company other than their exorbiant prices.

Filed under: Deaf No Comments
25Feb/080

Top Gear

I've come to the conclusion that one of my favorite shows on TV right now does NOT originate from the United States. Instead, I've become quite fond of "Top Gear", which is produced by the BBC and rebroadcast in the US on BBCA (BBC America).

The hosts are just freakin' hilarious. They get to drive some of the coolest cars in the world, and get involved in some of the goofiest, most ridiculous shenanigans possible. I would love to be "Star in a Moderately Priced Car", even though I can't drive a stick worth a damn.

The rips on the "Stig" every episode are usually extremely creative. "Our tame race car driver. Some say his testicles have their own micro gravity field. All we know is that's he's called.. the Stig".

I may not agree with their anti-Americanism. The episode in which they tried to drive from Miami to New Orleans is hilarious both in how misbegotten their opinions are as it is for the ridiculouslness they engage in (they had to eat roadkill and then try to get hillbillies in Alabama to attack them... which they did quite well.)

I think I've already said I'd like to be a Mythbuster, cause that's a job that just would RULE. But being a host on Top Gear has got to be a close second.

Filed under: General Stuff No Comments
22Feb/080

Survey

Survey.

1. How old were you in 1980?
Eleven

2. How old were you in 1989?
Eighteen

3. Were you a Toys R' Us kid?
Yup. And I still am.

4. Did you watch Transformers?
Of course, but I couldn't tell what they said because you just can't lip read Optimus Prime.

5. Did you see E.T. on the big screen?
Yes... and I was afraid to see it because I thought it was about a floating blow torch that burned holes in people.

6. Did you own a Lite Bright?
Yep. It blew up.

7. Who is your Favorite Golden Girl?
Never watched it.

8. When someone says " Who you gonna call? " You think?
Bob Barker?

9.What was your favorite toy?
GI Joe. But I always used to have a Gamorean Guard fall from the skies and squash someone. Someone would then moan "Oh, No! Poor Joe has been killed!"

10. Did you have a Pogo Ball?
No.

13. Did you play M.A.S.H?
I could play the theme on cornet. It was corny.

14. Did you watch The Care Bears?
I recall torturing Care Bears with sharpened sticks and sewing their feet together.

16. Did you have a charm bracelet or necklace?
Yes, I had a necklace I wore for years that had the hunk of junk robot from Black Hole on it. I can't remember the robots name.

19. The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles?
Commando.

20. Did you have a crazy hair style?
In High School? I went helmet haired for awhile with the hairspray...

21. What was your first bike?
Some type of HUffy with hard rubber wheels and training wheels. Or do Big Wheel count as a bike?

22. Name one thing you still own from your childhood?
GI Joe are still in a container at my parents. We gave most of them away to Jack and Daniel, tho...

26. Did you watch Miami Vice
Even as a child, I despised this crap. I saw the new "Miami Vice" movie and it was atrocious, fit only for lined the bottom of elephant cages... cause it was that crappy.

28. Did you own a Trapper Keeper?
No one who attended grade school in the 80' did NOT own a Trapper Keeper.

29. Atari or Nintendo?
Atari 2600. We had one of the originals due to Dad and box top program. I'm sure I set a record by playing Defender once for 9 hours without a single death.

30. Did you play Pac-Man?
Tried, but it always made me hungry...

32. He-Man or She-Ra?
Ram-man.

33. What movie scared you the most?
Nightmare on Elm Street used to scare the hell out of me, but I grew out of that once I taught myself lucid dreaming.

34. Did you try to dance like Michael Jackson?
No. We would breakdance in the park...otherwise known as "kill the guy". It involved a football and brutal tackling.

Filed under: General Stuff No Comments
22Feb/080

Too many changes

Too many changes in my life, man. I got fired from TLN, thereby losing a job I'd held for almost 12 years.

Thus, I was forced to make changes. I have to change my cable TV. I had to change my car.  I had to drop my gym membership. Who knows what other changes I'll have to make?

Now, I've lost MC Web Design, the company me and Charlie ran since late 1997. 11 years of work. Unfortunately, it's so lean right now business wise, and Charlie's so busy with work and family, it just wasn't in the cards to continue.

So, I guess the saying is... it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down. It matters how many times you get up.

So I'll answer the bell again and work on forming another company.  I'll form a new bank account for my new company, get cards printed up, and convince people that they need me to do work for them. Argh.

I realize none of these are "major", really. But these events are just changes to things that I have grown to rely upon. Like knowing I could always help TLN with anything they need. Like I know I could always get side jobs and work with Charlie. These are changes, and I have to adjust to them.

Not all changes are bad... I'm rather liking the idea of being an uncle. I don't see Tima enough. I like my new Mazda CX-7 quite a lot. We'll see how I like my new Uverse cable... and we'll see what I can do with my new company. I guess it's all vaguely exciting. It's just different, ya know?

18Feb/080

Heee-larious

This is one of the funniest things to happen in wrestling in... a LONG time...

Floyd Mayweather punches a kneeling Big Show in the face, and then runs like he got scalded with hot water.
Just made me crack up... I'd run to if I hit a man 3 times my size in the face like that...

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14Feb/080

Vehicular Mayhem and Other Fun Stuff

Well, my vehicle search has come to an end. I found a new vehicle.

My new vehicle is...
Mazda CX-7 in Brilliant Black
So far, I think it's brilliant. 2.3 inline 4 cylinder engine... turbo charged. 244hp, 258 lbs torque. Gas mileage should fall around 18 to 20 combined (I hope!) 2008 Mazda CX-7 AWD.

It was cheaper than the Mustang, Patriot, Liberty, Nitro, and Milan.

I'm going to admit to being slightly weirded out by my own decision. Basically... well... I remember my Grandpa, and I remember he did not like the Japanese. He fought them in WW2, and I imagine him, in the faint whispery memory of a boy who remember someone from long ago, saying "How the hell could you buy something made in Hiroshima?" It's funny the things that remind you of people, I guess. Made me remember a point about 2 years ago, when I was in the midst of the condo disaster, whereas I was standing in line at Subway and someone walked in behind me and triggered serious sense memory. My grandmother Smith had a smell... well... she liked to drink and smoke. And someone walked up behind me and smelled like my grandmother, and I darn near wheeled around thinking "What the hell?" Alas, it was not my grandmother. In any case...

The condo came out and patched up some cracks that re-occur EVERY single year. My attempts to patch these things have never held. So, I gave them a shot at it. I presume if the cracks re-appear in the next several months (like they normally would) then the condo assoc might have to consider that something is serious amiss.

Next up: AT&T will try to install U-Verse again... on the 29th.

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4Feb/080

My Last Newsletter, and other random thoughts

Other stuff First...

I continue to try and lower my monthly bills. I wanted to switch to AT&T, but the Condo Assoc put the kibbutz on that. AT&T found that the wiring in my condo was no good, so they wanted to run a new wire into the house. The condo assoc flat out said: NO. Now I have to schedule both AT&T AND the Condo Assoc on the same day because apparently only they know how to run a cable into my house. Fo' sure. Which means I keep paying Bright House's exorbiant fees for awhile longer.

Also, my vehicle search has been riddled with oddities and pushy sales.

I test drove a 2008 Ford Mustang Premium V6 Coupe, Windveil Blue with a Black "Mustang" stripe along the bottom... Awesome looking car. However, Ford wants WAY WAY WAY too much for it. They won't deal on it at ALL. Thus.. no Mustang. The numbers came in so high, there wasn't even ability to bargain. The salesguy suggested a Ford Fusion (which he said I could get a lease on at $250/mo easily) but I was a bit turned off by that idea because the Fusion looks kind of dull to me. It will require some thought. Maybe if the interior is blinged out with leather seating, Sync, etc it would work for me.

I test drove a Jeep Patriot 4x2 (I wanted to drive 4x4, but there were none on lot). The ride is nice, and CVT transmission really isn't that bad at all. There's no shifting sensation. Just... zooom. It also feels HUGE inside (except it's not). The dashboard is so big (and made of hollow, hard plastic), and I had to lean forward to adjust the rear view mirror. However, the salesguy, instead of getting me pricing, tried pushing a new Jeep Liberty or Dodge Nitro on me. He even insisted that I test drive his own Dodge Nitro (which was nice). They're nice vehicles, to be sure... but I want better gas mileage. It also makes no sense to me that the Liberty or Nitro, both with have higher actual prices, will lease for MUCH less. What's up with that? So I didn't even get pricing on a Patriot due to "end of month specials" unless I was willing to buy THAT DAY. So... I'm not gonna end up in another Jeep. The dealer turned me off.

So, my first 2 tries have struck out. Now, I think I'll have to test drive a VW Rabbit (which I've had to do some soul searching on, because I can barely comprehend the idea of walking into a foreign car dealership with the express concept of actually purchasing a foreign car!) and I believe I will also test drive either a Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan (with blinged out interior). Hopefully I can set those up this week or next.

My Last Newsletter
I just published my last Newsletter for TLN. I can't explain how monumental it feels to me. It's an era bygone. Nor can I really explain that I am not happy that this has come to an end. I really wish at times I was still working every day with Mark and Johnie.

I wanted to say that it's not my idea to leave TLN. I have not quit. There was not a contract to be canceled. I was fired without being given reason, and it plain doesn't sit well with me (as past posts have illustrated well enough).

I also just wanted to put it on record that I will absolutely remain available should TLN find need of a webmaster, newsletter editor, or traveling tech again in the future. Why? I just like the work. Plain and simple. It doesn't pay well, but I LIKE the work.

I have enjoyed working for TLN for a long time, and I have to admit I am not happy to be dismissed from my position. I believe I have given them nothing except the best of my capabilities, and do not believe I have done anything to warrant dismissal. Heck, I haven't even been able to express all of my capabilities. Eileen crammed us into an extremely toned down site design. There were way more bells and whistles there before she chopped it up.

If my firing was budgetary, I could actually understand that, as it's obvious the state librarian of Michigan wants to drive TLN (and all other Library Cooperatives) out of business. I'd like to know if this IS the reason, because then I can tell the State Librarian "Your draconian ways lost me one of my jobs. Shame on you." However, I have never been given any reason for my firing. There were several emails to the membership with statements about "moving services back in-house" that were erroneous, as I absolutely was an employee, and NOT a contractor. I appreciated the thought behind these messages, but the statements about my position were a bit disingenuous.

In either case, I accept I have no power to change this situation. I simply wanted everyone to know that I will be available to come back should the situation warrant TLN needing a webmaster again in the future. Unless, of course, someone takes advantage of the big space in my time and hires me for different part time job :)