Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3

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Today Halo 3 was released, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably haven't been near a media outlet in the past 24 hours. Hopefully I'll be able to tear myself away from ensuring the survival of humanity long enough to post pictures from our trip to Chattanooga...but suffice it to say for now that I was successful in my kidnapping, and we had a great, somewhat relaxing weekend. "Somewhat" only because we did so much. And ate way too much good food.

If you're a gamer, send me a friend request, but make sure you tell me you're a blog reader, or I'll just decline it. I get random ones all the time. Yesterday I got one from "D3ATH KILLA" (pur-lease!) and the only game we had in common was Gears of War, which I played through once many months ago.

Halo 3's out...me, too. Somebody's gotta save the world.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Surprise, surprise

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If you're reading this, it means that I have successfully kidnapped my husband for the weekend. His birthday is on Sunday, and I have no present. You see, when you move, you suddenly realize how much stuff you have. And if anyone asks you, "What would you like for {insert random happy occasion}?" you reply, "NOTHING!! Not anything. Not now. Not ever. I never want another thing." (unless you are me, then you still want yarn, linen, overdyed threads and the like...) So, since we have been knocking ourselves out every weekend for the past large interval of time, I thought we deserved a break. And the only way to take a break from a place that's got stuff all over it that needs to be put away, assembled, or generally organized is to leave it. It's still possible (at the time I'm writing this Friday afternoon) that when I show up to pick up DH, he decides that he just wants to veg at home. And that's OK, too. After all, I've only invested one day planning....

My initial plan was to spend yesterday surfing, making reservations and finding cool things to do. Friday I was going to pack, meet with a realtor, clean up and head up to DH's office. This is before UPS decided that if you call "after the cutoff time" on Monday to reschedule package delivery Thursday, they do not, in fact, do the sane thing and process the request on Tuesday, leaving the local center two perfectly good days to kick the request around and figure out the logistical extravaganza of getting one more package on the truck for Thursday. NO, good readers. Instead, they immediately put the package in will call. Schwunh?? So, after calling all day Thursday and having the system tell me, "We are in the process of arranging to have your package delivered today," I finally demanded the automated system let me talk to a real person. (And, yes, that really is the verbiage they used.) When the representative told me that the package wasn't coming, and wouldn't be coming Friday, either, I burst into tears. Not sniffy, weepy tears, either. Full-out, sobbing, stuttering, scary crying. Poor agent. Entirely not her fault; it was the fault of the idiot I talked to Monday. I apologized to her. The happy ending is that the pickup center is not too far from here, and is open until 9pm, so when DH arrived home from work at 7:30 (and saw the look on my face), we went to pick up the modem. So today, I had to do the whole thing. And that's my excuse for still not having pictures, when I have a perfectly wonderful DSL modem that trucks along at 6Mbps (I checked at www.speedtest.net).

Heather has left the building...er, state.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, it's no Halo 3, but I'm wildly excited that I got an invite to Ravelry today! And let the record show that I was not, in fact, trying to skip line, but just trying to ensure that I would merit an invite. I think I needn't have worried; it looks like all comers got an invite. It's way cool; I've already added a couple projects to my queue that I found whilst wading through the knit pr0n that's oh-so-easy to access. Just click on a tag, and oh, my, the things you see.... Anyway, if you're in as well, send me a friend invite!! My ID is lottloft.

I'm in!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September's here, where am I?

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So, it's been September for nigh unto two weeks, and there's been nary a peep from me. Well, that's because BellSouth can't seem to figure out where my phone number went. Or, rather, they know exactly where it is, but, for some reason that is completely unfathomable to me, my spouse, and nearly anyone else I tell about it, they seem loathe to reconnect it. You'd think I hadn't paid my bill on time faithfully for the last ten years or something. (That was sarcasm. I've only been late on a bill twice that I can remember: once as a result of vacation, and once as a result of being in college, and I wired them money immediately. And those weren't even to BellSouth.) Anyway, no phone, no DSL. No DSL, no blogging. Or, very, very limited blogging.

Here's the story, as short as I can make it (In other words, you might want to grab a cup of your favorite relaxing beverage at this point and take a seat.) I have a longstanding grudge against AT&T. So since BellSouth is now part of "the new AT&T", I was chomping at the bit to switch my phone service over to Earthlink (who was providing my DSL). I called Earthlink before I moved. I told them I wanted to move my number to them, but that I was physically moving, and I wanted the old number at the new place, with DSL. This was too much for them to handle, even though I was only moving 100 feet. So, I said I would call them back after BellSouth moved the number. BellSouth had trouble with the move, because our architects are morons and didn't carry the phone wire outside the loft. The poor tech burned out three drill batteries, a drill motor, and sprained his wrist trying to drill through our brick walls, but he eventually got it done. Meanwhile, I've placed the order with Earthlink to switch the number to them. Since DSL takes "7-10 days" to switch, I had them disconnect it August 15th. It's now August 20th. I am not going to go into the blow-by-blow of Earthlink's abysmal customer service at this point, because I don't want to raise my blood pressure that high again, but let's just say that for a week, I got emails saying my address did not match, and it was because they had left out a hyphen. And they had my billing address correct, but could not see that the service address was one character different. I can't begin to explain the special kind of stupid they are. Add to this the fact that I was repeatedly lied to, and their most annoying habit of parrotting back your last comment to "demonstrate their understanding" of your issue. And the fact that even though "disconnection" of the old DSL takes 3-4 days, and the whole switching process takes 7-10 days, once they straightened out the address issue, connecting the new DSL was still going to take "7-10 days". This must be that "New Math" I've heard about. Wait, lied to, you say? Why yes, I say! Here's an example:

Me: I'd like to speak to someone in Atlanta, please. Earthlink world headquarters is one mile from me. I could walk down there.

Rep: Sure, hold on and I will get you someone from Atlanta.

[Pachelbel's Canon in D, which I fear I will now twitch whenever I hear, plays incessantly]

Rep 2: Hello, how may I help you?

Me: Where are you?

Rep 2: The Phillippines.

Me: I was supposed to be transferred to a representative in Atlanta.

Rep 2: I'm so sorry you were told that, but we have no customer service reps in Atlanta. They are all in the Phillippines or India. Maybe I can help you?

Me: That is highly unlikely....

I eventually (August 27th) decide that even though I've now figured out their address conundrum, and I'm due to be switched over on September 4th, with swanky DSL 8.0 to follow, that I hate them more than AT&T and I don't want anything more to do with these morons. Imagine if my phone line (which would be some bastardized VOIP) goes out. I'd have to talk to the passel of fools again! So, I called Earthlink and cancelled the phone service order. Here's how the DSL conversation went:

Me: So, my previous service was $49.95/month, correct? And what was my speed then?

Rep: That's right, and your speed was 1.5 Mbps.

Me: Well, I'd like to sign up for 6.0.

Rep: Let me check...that's not available in your area.
(NOTE: BellSouth can give me 6.0. Why can't Earthlink?? And, I do understand why I could get 8.0 with home phone service...it has to do with line provisioning...I won't bore you.)

Me: OK, what can I get?

Rep: 3.0 or 1.5.

Me: And how much is 3.0?

Rep: $49.95 a month.

Me: ... And how much is 1.5?

Rep: $39.95 a month.

Me: But I'd have to sign a year contract, right?

Rep: Yes.

Me: Keep me at my current 1.5 for $49.95/month, no contract.

I've since downgraded to email only, and, if you've visited my web site, that's why some of it is hosed right now. I'm planning to register my own domain and host it there, but I digress. So I look at the calendar, and realize, OH NO! September 4th is the day after Labor Day!! What are the chances Earthlink screws this up? Ridiculously good, it turns out. Even though I had a confirmation number for the cancellation, and called them three more times over the next few days, AND I called BellSouth and told them not to disconnect the number, on September 4th, it was disconnected. I've talked to BellSouth at least twice a day since then. They still haven't fixed it. Oh, today, I actually got a dial tone, but it was the wrong number. BellSouth has now lied to me WAY more times than Earthlink. These lies have been of the "your number will be working by midnight tonight" variety. And, I am starting to suspect the rep that told me BellSouth loved me was lying, too. I've spent about $40 in cell phone minutes trying to straighten the whole mess out. And now I'm terrified I won't have DSL before Halo 3 comes out. They currently have me down for October 8th!!! That's two weeks too late, people! I'm going to bring all kinds of hurt on them once I actually have a phone line. They will give me DSL before September 25th.

On a positive note, I have done some stitching, and it's even related to this month's theme. I've been stitching on the Quaker Needlecase, and I finished the pocket! I'm actually close to finishing the scissors holder now. Then I "only" have the needlebook (it's almost as much stitching as the pocket, which felt like it took forever), the lining, and the outside wool florentine to finish. I'm working on that in the car on the way to work.

I also had a nice knitting milestone; I finished my first sleeve ever! It's "just" Tubey, but as I modeled one sleeve with some stockinette hanging off it, DH told me I was cool, anyway. =)

Of course, I can't show you pictures of any of this...maybe I'll have to do something scary with a scanner, new computer and thumb drive this weekend....

I've been stitching. Knitting, even. But I can't show you pictures because Earthlink, and, to a lesser extent, BellSouth, stink. Stink, stink, stink. I'm surprised you can't smell them from there.

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