Lots of stuff to get to today, so let’s get to Liaming with proper Rhodri verbosity. I did put a cut if you don’t want to get bogged down.
1. First, because it’s freshest in my mind, my experience with Best Buy today. This is not business stupidity on the level of Cooks Source, but I daresay my boss when I worked with computers would have killed me had I handled my problem like they did. The background: I bought a Sony Vaio from them in May or so, and it would not boot today, a problem I had experienced before. I had finally determined that the problem was either the power adapter or the battery, so I took it in to Best Buy to figure it out for sure. The problem was fairly quickly diagnosed, and it was, indeed, a faulty battery. We determined this by taking one of their display batteries and plugging it into my computer, which allowed it to work. The problem is that because I did not buy the Black Tie Service Plan ($150 or so), they would not help me any further. That is, they would not swap out a battery with me unless I went ahead and retroactively got the service plan. I offered to pay for a new battery, take one today, and then credit my card when the new one came in. I would get a working computer, they would be covered. Seemed a reasonable compromise given that they were not actually willing to swap out a battery. Nope, this was against policy. Their policy, and I asked to clarify, was that either I could pay the $150 now and get help, or I could walk out with a non-working computer that they had the means to fix with no risk to them. One option seemed like extortion to me, and the other is horrible customer service. I was shocked. I am fortunate that using their battery has temporarily recharged the BIOS battery so my system has booted up, I just can’t allow my current bad battery to completely drain, so my computer is not as non-working as we thought, but we did not know that. I wonder what Sony’s response will be when I call them tomorrow.
2. Well, last week was one of the worst sports weeks in my history. The Cowboys lost twice badly, losing Tony Romo in the process, and the Rangers got beat handily in the World Series. Baseball playoff series are far more about luck and streakiness because the real difference between the best playoff team winning and the worst playoff team is something like a 52% to 48% in any given game, meaning that there’s not much difference between that and a coin flip. So, I knew we’d lose when in Game 2 Ian Kinsler hit a ball that hit the top, yes the top, the 3in top, of the outfield wall and it bounced back in, and he was stranded at 2nd. Would that have ignited the Ranger’s offense? Who knows, but it is just the signature event of a series of oddities that went the Giants’ way. I’m not crushed, because, again, it’s baseball, but it did suck. The upside is that they have a good, young team with a good farm system and a lot more money to spend now that they have an actual owner and finally get ARod off the books, so I hope they’ll win one soon. Still…. And as for the Cowboys, they got real old in the offensive line quicker than anyone expected. I have high hopes for next year for them as well, as with a little luck, such as Phil Costa playing up to his promise, that they’ll be able to rebuild in the parity-driven NFL. Sadly, I’m finally convinced that they need a new coach. I’d like to see Brian Schottenheimer or Rob Ryan or some other young fresh energetic face.
3. October was, outside of the Rangers getting to the World Series, generally speaking a sucky month. I finally got rid of Mediacom because they never actually fixed my cable properly after it got cut in July. Yes, it was still laying on the ground despite repeated calls, and for that matter, repeated visits by technicians who assured me they’d contact someone to help. Finally, when a customer rep got snarky with me, I just said screw it. I now have Dish, which has gone well, and Century Tel for internet, which has not. It’s not too much to ask that I have working internet without have to think about it, is it? I also got a call that a friend of mine was coming out of mastectomy surgery. Bleah. I also had a couple of bad headache days. I don’t get the sparklies or the hallucinations of Hildegard von Bingen, so I don’t know if they’re technically migraines, but I do know about all I can do is crawl into bed with a pillow over my eyes. They seem to be happening with increasing frequency, once every three months or so instead of once every six months, and two in a month really bites. And oh, yeah, I got very little work done, as everything seemed to be falling apart around me. The dissertation will get done, eventually.
5. But of course the worst thing in October was finding out about Celegur. I’ve had problems with his death for a variety of reasons, and I haven’t been able to write about it until now. He was a great guy who never was blessed with the fortune that I have been blessed with, but kept on going smiling all the time. I’m bothered by this for two reasons. One, he died from natural causes and he’s only 4 months older than I. Sort of makes one feel one’s mortality. Two, he was a much better person than I, must stronger mentally, more honorable, and in better shape physically. The randomness of it all was shocking. Sigh.
7. Finally, I’m also disappointed with the election results. Not with the gains by the Republican Party, which I’m happy about given that I think historians will look back on the last two years as major steps backwards for the country, but because of several elections in particular. I was really hoping that Sean Bielat would upset the biggest rat bastard in politics, Barney Frank. Sadly, Frank won. I was also hoping that Carly Fiorina would upset Barbara Boxer. Actually, right now I would have nothing but sympathy for California residents if they hadn’t done this to themselves. Between Boxer and Jerry Brown, California is going to go down the tubes even farther. They have the third-highest tax rate in the nation and also one of the worst economies. I don’t think those two things are unrelated, nor did Meg Whitman and Fiorina, who should know since they ran businesses in California. Yet, despite their willingness to keep driving off the cliff, California voters did not vote to legalize marijuana, which would be a step against the War on Drugs, which has cost the United States billions, if not trillions while only really helping crime lords. We should remember that Prohibition didn’t work nearly a century ago, and it doesn’t work now. In general, this is a perfect example of that government governs best which governs least.
7. Thank goodness for Kate, or I’d have no sanity at all.