Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014

This cat invented 'Cool'. Thanks for all the memories.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Diary of a Comcast Vigil

A friend of mine was experiencing difficulties consummating a residential service call with his ISP - Comcast. I decided to ignore any negative posts I had read and outlandish claims that Comcast might, on occasion, be hard to work with. I put on my Cloak of Nobility and offered myself up as a human sacrifice at the altar of Comcast service.

The call was scheduled with a window of 1-3 pm. I arrived at 12:45 (after having dutifully convincing the support rep on the phone to call my mobile number for all confirmations and updates). Since my friend had reported that several previously scheduled calls had ended in no-shows, I took extra precautions in advance. Armed with all the account information and Comcast phone numbers pre-programmed into my mobile (including the double-secret phone number of a local technical supervisor).

I planted myself in the entryway of the home with a clear view of the street and driveway. With my mobile and the home phone next to me I began the vigil.

As the afternoon progressed it became apparent around 3:00 pm that something was awry. I waited until 3:01 and dialed tech support - the call was intercepted by a recording that informed me that Comcast had missed the appointed time. The robo also told me that the tech would be onsite by 3:25. At 3:26 I began the process again - this time the robo gave me someone in appointments. I provided them with the pertinents and the appointment person (US based this time) started the process of locating the technician. I gently expressed my position that I would not hang up until a tech arrived.

At 4:20 I released my phone hostage and took my finger off the speed dial to the local manager.

I greeted the tech in the driveway and chatted him up about his last call. This guy was legit. He had just finished a call from hell. Having performed the same kind of work in the past, I knew he was telling me the truth.

The service at my friends home was complicated. Very large structure and parts and pieces of the RF distribution spread all over the house. It took a while. He fixed it. It was worse than his last call.

So what?  The technician can only perform his jobs sequentially. He doesn't create the schedule, and this dude worked very hard. So I couldn't blame the messenger - just the system.

My office is in an office park that also houses a couple of 3rd party Comcast service companies. 20 - 40 truck roll out every morning. I chatted with a couple of these folks recently and learned that they tend to do mostly new installations, not as much service as they did previously.

Perhaps Comcast should reconsider their resource allocation. It's not enough to install the service quickly, it should be repaired quickly. Just don't shoot the service dude (unless he's as bad as the the rest of the support system).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Note to self:

Stop asking for a pony. It's obvious no one is going to take me seriously. Ever. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Is anyone else frustrated with the state of television news?

First I admit that I have an insatiable interest in world affairs.  After many years of watching the demise of U.S. News broadcasts I'm finding it more difficult every day to get a half-way decent idea of what's going on on this planet.

I'll also admit that I believe (based on overwhelming evidence) that any news that is delivered to us is biased, censored, and edited to fit the time allotted. It's like watching Casey Kasem do the top 10 countdown - please note: Casey and team considered record sales and music charts to reflect the desires of his audience - I would love to meet the folks that pick our national news stories. 

There are about a dozen ongoing armed conflicts in the world today that result in 1,000 or more casualties annually. Some of those numbers reach into the millions.  Where is that covered? 

I've been forced to shift my news sources offshore. Foreign news sites and broadcasts have become a daily staple for me. Sure, they're biased - so I keep chasing the news across the web and streams until I can gather enough information to at least know what is happening (the WHY is a bit more complicated).  

It really shouldn't be this hard. 

Time for a Makeover

I've been ignoring this site out of sheer frustration. Tech blogs are plentiful, Fair use dump sites abound, maybe I can get my thoughts together and present something with some substance. We will see.