Friday, December 22, 2006

When the sleigh is in the shop, Santa rides the Zamboni. Here's the proof! :o)

Finally, I think the saga of the cell phone is just about over. The *second* replacement arrived on Wednesday. (The first replacement was the NON-camera model of this phone, plus it wasn't quite working right -- it wouldn't write to the memory card.)

This time, the replacement phone is the CORRECT model AND it's writing to the storage card just fine. So why do I say the saga is "just about" over? For two reasons.

1. The good news is that this phone came with the upgrade pre-installed (Yay!) The bad news is that I now have to make a few tweaks to get some of my pre-upgrade stuff to behave properly. I'll do that over the long weekend, if all goes well.

2. In the box that I had to use to return the SECOND replacement phone to Verizon, there was a return form to fill out, to ID this device as having come from me. Unfortunately, the box for the FIRST replacement phone contained no such form. I wouldn't have even known the return form existed, if I hadn't had to send back another phone. So I'll have to talk to Verizon yet again, to ensure that they do, in fact, acknowledged that the first returned device came from me.

Eeeeee. There's never a dull freaking moment around here, what can I say?

In other news, today is my first day of flying solo with my job. Renee's maternity leave begins today. Fortunately, there's only ONE enormous shipment of medical cards that hasn't arrived yet. And we wouldn't even have THAT if the dodos who produced the original shipment had a clue how to proofread. This is Round Two for this particular mega-shipment. The first one, all 4000+ cards of it, came in fouled up; they had the subscriber's name where the ID number should be, and vice versa. (Think "NAME: 12345" and "ID NUMBER: John Doe".)

They should have caught that blatant error the first time they created a test card, and it should have been corrected before we ever set eyes on a card. Snafus like that make me nuts. And these pinheads who can't proofread their way out of a paper bag still have jobs in IT, while I got downsized. GRRRRR...

Oh, well. At least we had both Renee AND me for the vast majority of the Humongous Avalanche of Cards. That saved a lot of time.

We get out early today. :o) I love holidays.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Did I break a freakin' MIRROR on Wednesday or something?

The good news: I did, in fact, get *a* working phone from Verizon.

The bad news: They screwed up and sent me the model WITHOUT a camera. The original phone I had was the one WITH a camera.

Is it a bad sign that I have Verizon's 800 number for tech support, as well as the three menu options I need to enter to get the kind of support I need, memorized?

I called them back. They'll send me yet another replacement phone, WITH a camera this time.

At least this time, I actually HAVE a telephone that I can use while I'm awaiting the arrival of the next one. So I'll only be annoyed instead of seriously POed.

Gaah. Yet another example of the weakest link in the technology chain not being the silicone-based components, but CARBON-based ones. It was a human error that caused whatever bug made my upgrade fail. It was another human error that I never got a freaking door tag notifying me that there was an attempt to deliver the parcel. And now it's a human error that sent me the wrong kind of telephone. Hey, I realize that nobody's perfect, but do I have to deal with the mistakes of every person on the planet, all at the same time? Good thing I'm already nuts, because the past few days would've driven me crazy for sure.

I'm not only nuts, but I'm half asleep. Rather than doze off right on the keyboard, I'm going to sign off now.

HOO-freaking-RAY, the phone is here! I'm posting from it now.

Thank God *that's* resolved.

What a week! It appears that neither high-tech nor low-tech wants to cooperate with me.

Obviously, the saga of my original cell phone's demise is the trouble I've had with high-tech. But even the lowest of low-tech, a piece of paper with information written on it, has failed me when I needed it.

FedEx DID attempt to deliver my replacement phone yesterday, but no one was at home to receive it. When this happens, they're SUPPOSED to leave a door tag to notify the residents that they tried to deliver a package.

Did they leave a tag on YOUR door? That's how they left a tag on MY door. Apparently, we're supposed to psychically GUESS when the delivery person has paid us a visit. Like I said, even low-tech has its failure points, and apparently I've discovered where one of those points is. The written note actually has to EXIST, and you actually have to have it in your possession, before you're able to read it.

Long story short: I called Verizon to enquire after their shipment, got the tracking number from them, and found out that FedEx has the phone at their local facility. We'll be picking it up this afternoon. Thank God. The sooner this aggravation is done with, the better I'll feel.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I came home from the Phantoms game tonight to find that the replacement cell phone has not arrived yet.

I hope it gets here tomorrow. If I have to wait until Monday for an item that should have been sent overnight, there's going to be Hades to pay.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Someone at either Verizon or Audiovox needs to be smacked upside the head. I'm just not sure, yet, who it is. But I volunteer to knock some sense into the guilty party(-ies) as soon as they can be IDed.

Verizon murdered my cell phone. They required users with several different kinds of devices, including mine, to download an upgrade from their website and install it. They provided detailed instructions that DON'T WORK.

Why? Because their upgrade failed partway through and transformed my phone into a paperweight. Their recovery instructions are useless... they say "if the upgrade is interrupted, reconnect the device to the PC and resume from Step 6." But once the upgrade fails, the device is totally hosed and the PC doesn't recognize it as something it can talk to anymore. Since all the PC will do is provide error messages that boil down to, "What the heck is THAT thing you just hooked up? I can't communicate with it", you CAN'T restart the upgrade once it's been interrupted.

[insert long, colorful list of expletives in English, Italian, and ASL here]

I was on the phone with tech support from Audiovox and Verizon until the wee hours last night. Since I get up at 4 AM, it basically means that I've had about three hours' worth of sleep.

Verizon is overnighting me a replacement phone, which should arrive tomorrow. Not a freaking moment too soon, either.

Until then, I've set up the extended absence greeting on my cell phone number, alerting callers (what few of them I get) that for the next couple of days, my cell phone is out of order. They can leave a message on the cell phone voice mail (which I will check), or on the voice mail at my home telephone number.

I am so freaking aggravated. You have no idea. Or maybe you do, if you know how often I use the wireless internet on a daily basis. What a BORING commute I had today going to and from work! I usually use that time to surf and check email. Not today, I didn't! GRRRR...

The good news is, if Verizon keeps their word, then my phone will arrive tomorrow and life can go back to normal.

Oh, and I'm going to take the phone to the VERIZON STORE and let THEM do the upgrade next time. This is what I get for following their upgrade instructions on the same day I got the notification in the mail... mark my words, I won't be alpha testing their darned upgrade procedure again. Let them work the problems out first, and THEN talk to me about upgrades.

I'm going to take a nap now. I need it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Captain and Stanley, our two-year-old pair of stripey critters, are puzzled.

They can't understand why Meowmy and Paw would go to all that effort to set up a big, green cat toy display, right in the middle of the living room, and then refuse to let them play with any of the toys. I don't know if they remember that we did the same thing at this time last year. Judging by the way they're openly coveting the tree ornaments, my guess is that they don't recall last year's tree. Yet. By the end of Christmas season last year, they were aware that they at least had to employ some stealth when attempting to play with the tree decorations.

Fortunately, Mark and I have plenty of unbreakable Christmas ornaments. So even if the Kitty Committee does knock anything off the tree, the ornament probably won't be damaged. We left all but two or three of our fragile ones off the tree entirely.

I just hope they don't knock the entire tree over, in their zeal to examine every object in this time zone. That'd be a mess.

Since the squirt bottle and I have been thwarting their attempts to turn ornaments into toys, the cats are getting the frustration out of their systems by playing their favorite game, Chase My Brother All Over the House. I hope they tire themselves out and forget about the tree for a while.

P.S. The appearance of the squirt bottle seems to have jogged a couple of kitty memories, regarding not being allowed to stalk and kill the Christmas ornaments. Now they're being a bit more covert about it; they're trying to keep the tree between themselves and me when they get into mischief. Of course, the fact that the whole tree suddenly starts moving and rustling generally blows their cover. ;o)

I expect to make frequent use of the phrase, "You're lucky you're cute!" over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Captain thinks he's Cheerios... here he is in an empty, jumbo-sized cereal box. :o)