What I'm Doing

Friday, November 30, 2007

Great Headline

Scrolling through news feeds today, I came across what may be the best headline I've ever read:

Delta Plugs Hole With Former Krispy Kreme Chief

The story, which you can read here, was less interesting. I much preferred the story that immediately formed in my mind:
Delta flight x was saved from disaster today, thanks to a quick-thinking flight attendant and a former Krispy Kreme executive.

According to passengers on the flight, they felt a loud thud, and a sudden drop in pressure. Somehow, a hole had been punched through the wall of the passenger cabin, just near John Doe, a former executive at Krispy Kreme.

Although nearly everyone on the plane panicked, flight attendant, Jane Smith, kept her cool, grabbed Doe out of his seat, and stuffed him into the hole. His considerable soft mass was able to seal the hole long enough for the plane to make an emergency landing.

Doe is currently recovering from minor injuries sustained from the event, but says that he is glad to have helped.

Smith has faced mixed reactions of praise from the passengers and their families, and criticism from the NAFP (National Association of Fat People).

"While we appreciate what she did for the people on the plane, we believe she chose Mr. Doe specifically for his weight," said Glutius Maximus, head of NAFP. "We believe this constitutes discrimination against a fat person."

Investigators have not yet discovered the cause of the hole's appearance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Computer Bugs

The case for my PC has a temperature display on the front, which alternates between two temperature sensors inside the case. One of the sensors is near my hard drives, while the other is near the processor (and I don't remember which is which on the display).

A day or two ago, I noticed the temperature display blinking at me. One of the sensors was picking up a temperature of 133°! I decided to shut the PC down overnight and let it cool off. When I booted back up in the morning, the temperature was still high. This evening, it was still pushing 130°, so I decided to open the case and see if I couldn't figure out where that heat was coming from.

Upon opening the case, I noticed cobwebs in the bottom of the case. Now, I had just gone and blown the case out a couple weeks ago when I moved, so I don't know where all these cobwebs came from. Well, obviously, they came from the spider corpse that I found in them. What's worse, I found some evidence that this spider had, in fact, caught something.

Yes, that's right, I found bugs in my computer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How Addicted to Apple Are You?

I just came across this quiz, and thought it would be amusing:0%How Addicted to Apple Are You?That's right: I am one of the apparently few that have resisted the brainwashing of the Cult of Apple. I have never owned an Apple product. Ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Internet Access!

Well, as of Monday evening, I finally have Internet access set up at the apartment! Hooray!

And, of course, the cheap router I bought at OfficeMax a while back is set up, and the Wii and DS both have WiFi connections. So, what have I been doing as far as computer use goes this evening? Other than playing with the new Check Mii Out channel on the Wii, I've been playing...Portal. A single-player game.

Yes, I enjoy it that much. This makes the third time through (second time was with developer commentary turned on).

But, hey, now I'm posting to my blog...from my apartment! Yay for Internet access!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 5 Without Internet

Yesterday was day 5 without Internet access at the apartment. So far, things haven't degraded to this...

...but it is getting close. Of course, in my case, it would be less like Survivor and more like Castaway, since I'm the only person there.

Anyway, fortunately, I've not missed it too much, since I've been busy. I've still got plenty of unpacking, which I've been doing slowly. I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the bathroom at my former place (I had promised my roommates I'd get it cleaned). I've still got to get another bookshelf and a CD/DVD rack, as well as some other stuff. It's amazing how much stuff you need that you never really think about until it's not there.

In addition, it's a good thing right now that I prefer single-player games. I finally finished Bioshock the other night, and got started on Portal. I've also got Half-Life 2: Episode 2 to play, and I still have yet to beat F.E.A.R. Of course, if I get really desperate, I could always load System Shock 2 back up (never actually finished that; now I really want to). Then there's my games on the Wii and the DS...

Of course, I've also got a number of books to read. So, as long as I've got the Internet at work, I can manage, I guess.

All that said, I do still feel like I'm going crazy without the Internet. Yes, I have plenty to keep me from being bored, but I just feel...disconnected. The apartment will, I think, continue to feel more like a hotel suite or something until I have Internet access.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Really Don't Like AT&T

This is going to be a long one, so I apologize in advance. As I mentioned in my previous post, I moved into an apartment recently. One downside to this is that, in the apartment, my only choice for Internet access is AT&T's DSL service. So, I call AT&T to get DSL set up last Wednesday, and thus began my ordeal.

Grievance 1
It all started when I asked to set up a DSL account. The lady I was speaking with looks up my area on the computer, and comes back, telling me that there are no DSL ports available in my area at the moment. I was somewhat stunned, as this was totally unexpected. "What?" was all I could say. She explained that there are only so many ports available, and they were all taken. So I asked if she could tell me when a port would become available, and she didn't know, but she could put me on a waiting list and they'd call me. I pressed a little, and she checked some other system or something and said that "they" were working on it, and there should be more ports available in two weeks.

At this point, I began thinking that I should cancel the phone line I had just set up and call the apartment complex to see if there is any way I could get Internet access with another company. It seems to me unacceptable for a company to make an exclusive agreement with a property, and then not be able to support that property. With this in mind, I explain to the representative that I would like to cancel the phone line, get put on a waiting list, and get everything set up when DSL is actually available. She says that she doesn't think she can put me on the waiting list if I'm not a customer (nevermind that I had mentioned earlier in the conversation that I am already an AT&T Wireless subscriber). So, I decide to forgo the waiting list and call back in to weeks (assuming I can't get the leasing office to let me use a different provider).

When I tell her that I'll just call back in two weeks, she finally decides to check something else, and puts me on hold. I wait for 5 or 10 minutes, and she comes back saying that, for some reason or another (I forget exactly why), they do have a port available. I decide to jump on that, and I set up my account. She explains that my DSL modem will be shipped UPS and should arrive on Monday, and that my access should be connected then, as well.

Grievance 2
Fortunately, Monday is a holiday, so I didn't have to take off of work. I did have a couple things I needed to do, but I made sure to be in my apartment as much as possible so as not to miss UPS when they came with my modem. However, that afternoon, instead of my modem, I get a call from another AT&T rep. explaining that my order has been delayed, and they won't be able to get my access connected until Wednesday. Also, my modem will not get shipped until Wednesday, and it should arrive at my apartment on Friday.

I'm a little annoyed by this, especially because I'll have to take the day off of work to wait for the modem. So, I ask if there's any way to send my modem to my office instead of the apartment. Apparently, there isn't. The order was already in the system, and they couldn't change the address. What the rep said they could do was send a second modem to my office, and when I got the first one at the apartment I'd send that one back. Given that the second modem would likely show up later than the first (since they'd have to process the order), and I still have the problem of a modem being delivered to my apartment when I won't be there, I decide to just plan on taking the day off to wait.

Also, because I didn't really trust AT&T to actually get the modem to me on Friday (they'd already failed to do what they said in not delivering it Monday) I ask if I can get the order tracking number, so I can track the order. The rep said she didn't have the tracking number yet, but if I called the next day, I could get it.

The next day (Tuesday, aka yesterday), I call to get the tracking number. What I didn't realize, though, was that the automated system only knows how to look up information based on the home phone number, which I don't know and didn't have written down with me at the office. Of course, the automated system makes it difficult to just speak with a person, but when I finally got to talk to someone, he also couldn't look up my account without the home number. So he forwarded me to another department where they could look up my home number, from which I would have to be transferred back to the DSL department to get things taken care of. However, I was on hold there until I didn't have any more time and had to hang up.

Granted, I'm not counting the above as a grievance, since I should have had the number with me.

Grievance 3
When I get home last night, I check my mail, and am slightly excited to see the first piece of mail addressed to me (as opposed to the various previous tenants). It so happens that this mail was "detariffing" policy information from AT&T, which is rather boring, but it's my first mail at my new place. When I looked at the address again, however, I noticed something: my last name was spelled one letter off. Now, this would normally be something I would laugh at, and happily call the next day to get fixed. However, thanks to the issues I'd had up until this point, this was, instead, yet another annoyance added on top of everything else. Icing on the cake of customer disservice, if you will. This was yet another problem I have to deal with, and more time I have to spend on the phone with them.

Grievance 4
And that brings us to my phone call today. I call up the customer service number given on the letter I received (this time, I wrote down the home number and brought it with me) and explain (kindly; I really try to be patient when first talking with a rep, since I know this person isn't at fault for whatever is wrong) that my last name was spelled wrong on the letter, and I'd like to get that fixed. The rep fixes the problem, things go smoothly and I'm happy. When he asks if there's anything else he can help me with, I explain that the situation with the modem shipment. He doesn't have the tracking number, but he's happy to send me to the DSL service department where they can help me. I thank him for his help, and he transfers me.

When I reach a person at the DSL service center, I confirm my number for him, and explain to him that my DSL modem was supposed to be shipped, and I would like the tracking number. He looks up my account, and says that the modem has not yet been shipped. Beyond that, my Internet access has not yet been connected. What?

He explains that they are having "technical difficulties" or something, and they won't be able to connect my account until the problems are fixed. Since they haven't been able to connect the account, they haven't shipped the modem. I ask about the ports to make sure that it's not that they lost my port, and he confirms that I have the port, the account is set up, it's just not connected yet.

So, I ask for a timeframe when the account will get set up. He doesn't know, but there's apparently a work order for a few days from now, and if I call back on Monday, they should be able to tell me when the problem will be resolved. Notice that he did not say, call back Monday, and the problem will be resolved, he said, call back Monday and we'll tell you when it should be fixed.

In other words, for all I know, it could be 2 more weeks before I can get Internet access, but I won't find out about that until Monday.

To Be Continued...
At this point, my patience is wearing thin. I have until Monday to decide what my plan of action is, in case the answer I receive is unsatisfactory. Right now, I think that, at the least, I am going to insist that I not be charged for any service (including the phone line, if I can, since I've been very clear that I'm only getting that for the DSL) that I've not been receiving. I also, if necessary, will escalate my call as high as it needs to go.

Right now, I am finding this service unacceptable. What makes it worse is that, because of the apartment situation, I don't have any other choice. If I were in a house, I could drop AT&T and move to another provider. I don't have that luxury. On the upside, I only have a 6 month lease. God-willing, by then, Kristen and I will have found a house, and, at this point, I know that, once I have a choice again, I will not be using AT&T.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moved In...But No Internet

I moved into the new apartment on Saturday. I think I counted 10 people that came to help me move, and I'm grateful for all of them, especially since I had to move stuff from 3 places (Chris's house—where I've been living—, my parents' house, and Kristen's house). Of course, I couldn't help thinking the whole day, "In six months, we get to do this again" (my plan is to find a house after the wedding and move in there when the 6-month lease is up on the apartment). Fortunately, in 6 months, everything will be getting moved from one place to one place...I hope.

So, since Saturday afternoon, I've been going through the long process of unpacking my stuff and getting things set up. I had Kristen and a friend, Todd, helping Saturday night, and Kristen helped Sunday, too.

My parents got us an HDTV (since we needed a decent-sized TV) as an early wedding present, which is set up in the living room. I decided to opt out of getting cable, since the only thing I really watch on TV is Heroes. So, I've been playing around with an antenna off-and-on the past few days trying to get a signal from NBC. I'm hoping they have a HD channel, which would be cool. Unfortunately, reception isn't the best right now. But I refuse to give up.

The computer is also, of course, set up. However, I still don't have Internet access (I'm posting this from work). I'll write more about that in another post sometime, since I don't want to ramble on too much here. Suffice to say for now, AT&T is the sole Internet provider in the apartment, and I'm thinking when I get a house, I'm getting Comcast. I was supposed to get the DSL modem yesterday, but instead I got a call yesterday saying that the order was delayed, my Internet access won't start until Wednesday, and the modem probably won't get to the apartment until Friday. And I can't change the delivery address because it's already locked in or something, so I'm going to have to take Friday off and wait around for a modem. >:-O

Anyway, the apartment is slowly starting to feel like home. The weirdest part about it is having all that space to myself. At Chris's house, my computer was downstairs with the others, but everything else I had was stuffed in my small bedroom. I slept on a dumpy, old twin bed for the 2 years I was there because my larger bed wouldn't fit in the room.

Now I have my computer, digital piano, bookshelf, etc. in the "office," and my game systems are in the living room. I have a huge walk-in closet for my clothes (as opposed to the tiny closet at Chris's). My bedroom is bigger than it was at Chris's, and all I have in there are my bed, a small bookshelf, my dresser, nightstand, and a floor lamp. I think it'll be a while before I get used to having so much space.

I'm also getting used to having an "empty" home, and that's just about as weird as having all that space. Up through college, I lived at my parents' house. Then, after graduating and getting a job, I moved into Chris's house, where I lived with 3 or 4 roommates (including Chris). Kristen's been over a lot this weekend, which has helped, but during the week she's going to be busy, so I'm going to have to get used to spending the evening at home without anyone to hang out with. I'm sure I'll get used to it; I've got video games, books, movies, etc. to occupy my time. And, of course, I'll be busy continuing to unpack everything.

I just hope I can make it to Friday without Internet access...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Something I've heard before is that you don't realize how much stuff you have until you move. Well, this evening I've been packing up my stuff in preparation of my move on Saturday (moving out of my friend's house, where I've been living the past 2 years, and into an apartment) and I've been discovering how true that is!

The biggest surprise this evening has been the books. I've ended up with 12 boxes stuffed as full as I could get them with books. I'm sure some of you who read this will probably look at that and say, "only 12 boxes? You don't read enough." However, for me, and given how small my bedroom in this house is, that was surprising. Fortunately, with the extra space in the apartment, I will have room for another bookshelf or two to actually store all these books...

Of course, I've also thrown out a lot of stuff, too. Unfortunately, I could be throwing out a lot more stuff, but I've waited too late and don't really have the time right now to go through everything and separate the chaff from the wheat. Hopefully, I'll get around to that once I'm moved into the apartment.

So, one evening of packing down, three more to go. I've still got a lot to do here, although tomorrow I'll be at my parents' house packing up stuff there.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Photos

Sky Through Branches
Originally uploaded by coderforchrist
Pulling into the driveway after church today, I noticed how brightly red the tree in the front yard is. So, I pulled out my camera and start taking some photos. I uploaded the best ones to my Flickr account.

By the way, the photo I've included in this post is probably my favorite of the bunch. My second favorite would have to be the one with the tree and the house both in the picture (Chris, the friend I've been living with, just got his house repainted, and it looks very nice).