30 December 2009

hubble on the imax

i was sitting through the previews of avatar and caught the 3-D clip of an upcoming presentation of the shuttle launch serving hubble for the final time in may of 2009. nasa shot the presentation using imax 3-D cameras. this will debut spring 2010. (http://imax.com/hubble/)

this happens to be the shuttle mission which i got to witness the launch in person. not only did i get to see the launch with my own eyeballs but with this presentation i get to see the up close and 3-D personal of the entire mission on the really big screen. awesome!

27 December 2009

christmas avatar

christmas 2009 seemed shorter and less like christmas this year than in the past.  maybe it was because i felt like i was doing so much as soon as thanksgiving ended until christmas or maybe it was that i didn’t start my traditional christmas music until after our christmas musical, but it was different than past years.  we’ll see how christmas goes next year.

i am planning on seeing avatar tomorrow with some pals.  i caught this clip on the fox movie channel about the making of the movie.  it is actually ironic, i think, that the plot of the movie involves an avatar and the making of the characters as avatars was very similar to the same approach.  watch the video below to see how the cg animation is a direct modeling of the actors’ actual acting.

05 December 2009



on november 1, i rushed over to the sprint store to upgrade my phone from an lg rumor to a samsung moment.  i have been very pleased with this phone and with android.  my phone is only on android 1.5 (2.0 is the current version of the software with 2.1 coming soon).  when i get to upgrade this to the most recent, i look forward to some nice features.

pros:  the screen is very nice.  there are a bunch of apps that have been already built for android.  plus i can get an sdk to build app myself.  i like having a better browser to hit the net compared to a stripped down version on my rumor.  google maps plus the device’s gps is a great combo.  i found a nice secure shell (ssh) app which drops me right onto any unix/linux box for which i have credentials.  integrating my google calendar with my device’s calendar is a huge time saver.

cons:  the camera is a little delayed to taking pics, as i have read–still adjusting to that.  i have to get used to plugging in my phone to keep it active in the twenty-four.  i am still learning to be more careful with it since the screen is very important.

i am also hopeful that the change in plan to accommodate the new phone will resolve the billing issues i had with sprint last time i made adjustments.  at this point, i’m good with things.  all is finally good.  this makes me happy with sprint again.

some of the other things i find gloat worthy:  i had cut/copy & paste from day one.  i can run multiple apps at once…from day one.  have better coverage than, say, at&t from day one.

i’m happy with this purchase.

02 November 2009

prime time colors

bright colors

this weekend was the prime time for the trees turning their colors.  in an effort to get some photos of the trees in full turn before storms came and stripped them of their colors, i headed immediately out after work to shoot the scene before the saturday weather.

i had noticed highland memorial cemetery had some full, colorful trees while driving down sutherland one afternoon.  last year’s jackpot of vibrant trees had been in a cemetery off western avenue.  and like last year, i was not disappointed when i started driving the graveyard.  i found plenty of oranges, yellows, reds, and all the colors in between a combination of any two of those choices.  i took as many as i could before the sun set.

if i had taken the time, i could have set up my tripod and tried my hand at some hdr pictures.  i might make the attempt before it’s too late.  i love fall in this area.  there is no place better!

29 October 2009

shorter and darker

couldn’t decide what i was going to dress up as for halloween this year.  a couple of thoughts pass through my mind.  i decided to give the military/swat theme a go since i had the clothes.

my sis is in school learning to cut and style hair.  naturally, i asked her to shorten it up and give it some black.  she did a good job.  here’s a before and after shot of her work:


25 October 2009

waiting for a moment

if you know me, i avoid apple products.  i see no reason to spend extra money on devices which have the same (or fewer, in some cases) functionality than other products on the market just for cool design or because everyone else is doing it.

the videos below demonstrate the unboxing of the moment and an initial review of the phone.  the phone is reviewed having android 1.5 (cupcake).  there is integrated gmail and google calendaring support, youtube video application, exchange server connectivity (which i probably wouldn’t use), and an exceptional amoled display.  he does give the keyboard a bad rating, but this guy doesn’t seem to have used a phone with a slider keyboard before.  having the separate row of keys for numbers is way better than having to hit some shift key to type them.  having to do that currently is not convenient.

samsung moment for sprint (part 1 of 2)

samsung moment for sprint (part 2 of 2)

you can get some more details and some pics on engadget’s mention of the moment.  it comes out on november 1, next sunday.  outside dealing with sprint’s sales people and current contracts, i hope to make a smooth transition to this phone.

21 October 2009

fall morning sky

when i worked downtown way back in the day (when i first started working for scripps), i would see some rather awesome sunrises on my commute.  coming in as early as i do affords me this experience.  although i didn’t capture this when i first arrived, it is what i saw when i stepped into the office a bit later.

fog rolling in

11 October 2009

baby needs a new pair of shoes

recently, the pilot’s shoes have been showing some serious wear.  i knew they were in critical mode, but a dose of cold reality hit me in the face a couple of weeks ago when i was stepping back to my vehicle in the starbucks parking lot.  i caught the glimpse of a screw embedded in my front tire.  these tires are practically bald to begin with, and as i stepped forward to examine the screw i noticed also some of the belts exposed on the edge of the tire.  great.  time for new ones sooner than i had thought i could get away with it.

the bald tires had me already driving a bit more cautiously than normal.  i know what happens when tires like that hit some puddles.  it still made me nervous.  i had a pal tell me about a tire place in maryville, murell brothers, but that’s quite the trek if i need to have service done after the fact.  so, i checked out my more local tire choice, matlock tire.  i found a tire i had in mind and asked for prices.  it was going to cost me some coin, but these items usually do.  when i vocalized my plans to have my tires replaced, a guy i work with asked me which tires i was getting.  when i showed him the set at tirerack.com, he pointed me to general tire’s grabber hts.  these tires were at the top of the performance/review list at tirerack.  (my initial choice was just below it in the number two spot.)  but these tires were remarkably cheaper.

i called matlock back and asked about the grabbers.  they could have them in the shop from their warehouse in the morning.  i saved almost $300.00 total on my tire purchase.  adding matlock’s service package per tire still had me in a wallet-happy range.  wallet-happy is mock-happy too.

i’m getting the top-notch tire for a lot less that i thought i’d be spending.  good deal.  thanks to will for hooking me up with the general tire option.

10 October 2009

concert at hva

my eldest niece continues her practice and playing of the violin.  this past thursday evening, she played in her first concert at hardin valley academy.  the performance was outstanding.  she seemed to enjoy herself the entire time.  great job, k1!

kiersten enjoying the event team players

20 September 2009

punt-kin time

just two more days until fall is official.  last week, a friend posted on her blog about baking some pumpkin pies and having the spice smell fill her house.  i know that aroma.  since it was rainy sunday, i decided to whip up some pumpkin pies for that same fall sensation lingering in mock manor.

this was pie number one out of the oven.  pie number two was working as was a loaf of pumpkin bread.  and yes, that’s timmy the code monkey in the background eye-ing the spicy goodness cooling on the rack.

pumpkin pie time

09 September 2009


a few friends and i traveled over to wilmington to visit a friend who works in that town.  and speaking of, that town was very nice.  our accommodations put us in a great place right on the beach.  we left the sliding door open each night so the sound of the ocean filled our room as we slept.  the sea breeze was refreshing.  we ate plenty of seafood and did so much relaxing.  it was a great end to the summer.

of course, pictures were taken.  you can view them by clicking the image.

sand and sea

08 August 2009


just because this was a tax-free weekend doesn’t mean it has to be a bacon-free weekend.  saturday morning started with some bacon, pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice, coffee, and bacon.

mmm, bacon
  mmm, bacon

full plate
  full plate

06 August 2009

good sleep is cherry

i read in a health guide that cherries contain melatonin and help with sleep.  someone had given me a bag of them, so i decided to try it out.  it was the soundest sleep i experienced in a long time.  so, i went out last night to stock back up on cherries to see how well i could sleep last night.  i wasn’t tired or fatigued when i got home, but i tossed a couple of handfuls in my mouth.  less than an hour later, i was starting to nod off.  i slept soundly another night.

i had mentioned this to a friend of mine who did a little research on the web about this fact and found that there is a big deal about cherries and melatonin.  a simple google search gave me a site with this quote (source choosecherries.com):

Cherries are one of the few known food sources of melatonin, a potent antioxidant produced naturally by the body’s pineal gland that helps regulate biorhythm and natural sleep patterns.  Scientists have found melatonin-rich tart cherries (commonly enjoyed as dried, frozen, juice or concentrate) contain more of this powerful antioxidant than what is normally produced by the body.  Eating cherries can be a natural way to boost your body’s melatonin levels to hasten sleep and ease jet lag.

i’ll have to give this a try when i fly across time zones next time.  another article at msnbc.com says the same thing.  follow this link for the nutrition four-one-one:  www.nutritiondata.com/facts/.

as for regular sleep patterns, i am planning on trying this out for a while to see how my body adjusts.

03 August 2009

lock your machine

ryan punching and kicking

if you’ve worked in the tech field for any amount of time, you learn the importance of locking your screen when you are away.  my current company policy requires this action, but not all follow.  i learned at my previous employer to be wary of my colleagues when it comes to this principle.  even the most disciplined will give into the temptation to pull shenanigans on an open system.

the other day, i gave into the desire to post this tweet on @ryanberg’s open twitter account.  my hijinks are shown in the image to the right.  (for those not used to a twitter client, read from the bottom up.)  i almost got away with it but was quickly ratted out by his fellow designers.

i heard he was furious at this.  his reply tweet employing some cursing and assessment doesn’t quite communicate the level debauchery he felt this was.

and i can understand how he felt.  i’d be mad if someone invaded my computer like this.  indeed, i felt a little bad about it…until the next day when i walked into his area and saw his account left wide open again.  dude had not learned any lesson about security.  i no longer felt any remorse.  what’s the old saying?  “fool me once, shame on you.  fool me twice, shame on me.”  shame on him, right?

even though my regret had been (mostly) purged, someone else felt no inhibition to taking advantage of this situation.  so, sitting down at his workstation, he pulled up tweetie’s post box and typed the following under the guise of mr. berg:

ryan hacked again
ryan hacked again

LOL!  that’s pretty funny.  and what makes this worse is when someone else retweets your invasion.  you cannot remove that post since you do not own it.  @ericmoritz, at the suggestion of a couple of others,  ran with this:

ryan hacked again - retweeted
ryan hacked again – retweeted

the beautiful thing about this retweeting with hash tags is that more people will see it who keep up with groups, such as #drupal and #django.

he isn’t the only person to suffer from this.  felicia day’s twitter was taken over by her own brother.  read about that at mspixel.com.

i don’t believe @ryanberg saw this last hijacking.  nevertheless, i walked into his area again today to see his computer wide open still.  i didn’t feel the need to mess with it again as he has vowed revenge upon me, but my conclusion is this:  how can you justify your disappointment when you take no steps to correct a problem?

31 July 2009

coffee/donut friday

it’s coffee friday, or for those of you on twitter, #coffeefriday.  every couple of weeks, will “gonzo” hortman grabs some java and brings it in.  at first, he tried some starbucks.  then he moved to a local old city java for the bean brew.

as this tradition grew, i started bringing donuts.  krispy kreme, of course.  then with the addition of old city java came other goodies like bacon chocolate chip cookies and carrot cakes.  this has turned into something i look forward to.  right now, i’m sitting here enjoying the moment.  but come monday, the countdown to coffee friday will commence again.

here are a few vids of my acquisition of the donuts:

donut friday – the ordering from mark mcintyre on Vimeo.

donut friday – the receiving from mark mcintyre on Vimeo.

donut friday – the transportation from mark mcintyre on Vimeo.

10 June 2009

fedora eleven

f11 release

yesterday was the official launch of fedora 11.  tonight was when i upgraded a laptop to the new os.  i’ll save upgrading my work laptop until i have a few assurances first from my home lappy that things will be fine.  the main consideration is the open source nvidia driver set, nouveau, which comes with f11.  if that works with my work laptop video chipset, i might be happier than i have been in a while.

a few other features that are of interest to me:

  • another big bonus i’m looking forward to is the twenty second boot time.

  • how about individual volume controls for different apps?  yes, please.

  • gnome 2.26 is the default desktop.  kde 4.2 is available for those who need bigger buttons and more of a windows vista/7 feel.

  • and ext4 allowing for up to 16TB file sizes.  just in case, you know.

i have to say the artwork is looking pretty good too, good quality.

in all my dealings with fedora, i’ve had to content with several technologies a bit behind the release date, such as the 3-d effects.  everything i had installed worked out of the gate for this install.  were i to do an upgrade, it would have been practically seemless.  the team did a good job with this release.

20 May 2009

ocean sunrise

as i’m a sucker for a good sky shot, i forced myself up one morning while in florida to capture the sun coming around as the earth rotated.  as you might suspect, timing was of the essence.

hiding behind the palm tree

19 May 2009

ksc – day 2

the next day i watched three imax movies.  the first called “magnificent desolation” was about the mission to the moon, what it was like, what it took.  it was amazing to see the history of what it took to get men there.  it was fascinating to see footage (in 3-d) of activities on the moon.  the movie also postulated what might happen if there had been problems on a moon mission.  intentions to return to the moon in the coming years was communicated as a goal that nasa has.

the second movie (”space station 3-d”) was about the construction of the international space station.  from the beginning pieces constructed to the second crew who lived on the station, we heard from the astronauts about their experiences of living on the space station.  the movie is not current as many more pieces have been added in the past ten years.

next, i got to experience what it was like to be in the shuttle on a launch.  with the absence of the g-forces, it was exactly like a launch.  well, no, i don’t know that for certain as i’ve never been in a real shuttle launch.  they rotate you until you are sitting on your back facing upwards.  when you launch, they simulate the shaking and rumbling of the cabin.  it was a fun experience, even the last bit that leaves you feeling weightless.

i also visited a museum of the early years of the work to achieve the goal of putting man on the moon.  the mercury and gemini programs were the testing grounds for the aapollo missions.  each mission was progress toward the ultimate goal of what the apollo 7 mission finally reached.

i walked through the rocket garden of the titan rockets.

the final imax movie i saw on imax was the latest star trek movie.  it seemed so appropriate to see that movie at ksc.  that was the best conclusion i could have to three days of a space related vacation this has been.

18 May 2009

ksc – day 1

while in florida watching the shuttle atlantis head for the hubble telescope, i was able to visit kennedy space center and tour some of the complex close up.  i saw the vab (vehicular assembly building) where they now prep the orbiter for missions.  it once was used to prep the apollo crafts for the moon missions.

on tour the tour also took us out to view launch pad 39A, from where atlantis launched just the day before.  in the distance, you could see the shuttle endeavour sitting on pad 39B ready for a rescue mission if necessary.  the reason for the rescue contingent is that the hubble is in a higher and different orbit than the iss.  were a problem to arise, there wouldn’t be enough resources for the iss to be a rescue option.

we saw the landing strip, which is so long you cannot stand on one end and see the other end as it follows the curvature of the earth.

as part of the tour, we were dropped off at the apollo/saturn v center where the history of the apollo and gemini missions were explained.  we saw the mission room including the actual equipment as it was when they originally used.  a replica of the apollo vehicle which is the saturn 5 rockets, the lunar and command modules, and all parts in between.  each portion of the apollo system and mission was detailed.

another stop on this tour included information about the international space station.  we walked through portions of the modules and visited the ready room where new modules being sent to the iss are tested for compatability and assembled for delivery.  we saw some of the japanese engineers who were getting ready to leave after delivering their next installment for the iss.  we also saw them testing and setting up another module for a future addition to the space station.

17 May 2009

launching of atlantis for sts-125

atlantis lifts off i finally got to see the launch of a space shuttle.  this was originally the trip i wanted to take back at the end of 2008.  but a malfunction with the hubble in late september caused the october launch to be postponed to this past week.  according to the tour guide, there were two parts to the hubble, a primary and a back up.  the primary failed passing control to the back up.  since they had not yet made the trip for the maintenance, this opportunity gave them the chance to fix the failure and perform the upgrades.

along with a friend and her parents, we camped out on side of SR-528 about a mile from the banana river drive exit about three and a half hours to get a good spot, which we did.  we realized we had a clear view of endeavour while atlantis was hidden behind some trees on a small island.  (i shifted my location to get some pictures of the initial srb ignition.)  i was still quite a ways away to get some very detailed shots.

i found out while on the tours of kennedy that i could have purchased tickets for the launch which would have put me significantly closer.  if i decide to attend another launch, i will indeed purchase those tickets.

of course, the time it takes to leave the pad to reach orbit is just around two minutes (two incredible minutes), the launch was over very quickly.  two hundred and twenty hours for two minutes worth of watching.  yes, it was worth it.

i recorded the launch on my tivo covered by one of my high def channels.  not only did i get to be there to see the launch in person, i got to see all the close up shot provided by nasa in high definition awesomeness.  the only way to beat that is to actually be either in the launch control room or on the shuttle itself.

28 April 2009

astronaut twitter

i have a indifferent/hate relationship with twitter.  while it has suffered from the inability to handle scaling back when it first was launched to its infrequent outages to date, there is a bit more stability, and i don’t hate it as much as i once had.  in fact, i’ve been using it about as much as facebook in terms of posting my activities rather than updating my fb status.

my geeked interest in space/nasa has been hightened lately by the past several shuttle launches (and nasa tv) which provides great coverage of the launches, landings, and missions including activity on the international space station.  no news agency has better footage of the inner workings of nasa.

computer world - astronaut twitter

now, news from space can be feed directly to anyone subscribing to mike massimino’s twitter account.  in this computerworld article,astro_mike will be sharing his activities while on mission for hubble maintenance/upgrades.  he only has 64 tweets under his belt yet over 140,000 followers.  that’s a heck of a lot.  this twitter experiment/experience will be nice added coverage to the nasa tv coverage.  it also means that if you can’t stream the video, you can at least keep up with the mini-messages from time to time.

astro_mike - twitter

as gmoney, one of my colleagues, joked, we’ll see a tweet along the lines of, “it’s full of stars!”

13 April 2009

bacon explosion

when the bacon explosion first was seen on nytimes.com, i received countless pings to the link from everyone i knew.  (it was more like a blitz.)  i knew when i first saw it that one day i would have to try this wonderful recipe.  and last evening, that day arrived.

i used the recipe found at bbqaddicts.com for this endeavor.  as the author of this recipe is a barbecue connoisseur, he chose a barbecue rub for his weave.  i received a coffee rub from a pal of mine for my birthday which i thought would be perfect for bacon.  i chose jimmy dean sausage, a pound of regular and a pound of hot, for my loaf ingredients.  and the bacon…i don’t recall the brand, perhaps thomas.  it was a good quality bacon, needless to say.  my cooking time was about two hours, although another 30 minutes would have made it better.

everyone who tried it seemed to like it.  even pat was on board with a helping (or two).  since pictures are worth a bunch of words, click image for slideshow.

in the oven

06 April 2009

bacon birthday

my professed love for bacon was embelished this year as i received gifts for my birthday with the outstanding theme.  among the many items given were:  bacon jelly beans, bacon t-shirts, bacon toothpicks, bacon air freshener (for the car), bacon gumballs, a bacon cookbook, home made bacon candles, and a bacon pillow.  my sister even made a bacon breakfast casserole which i took to work today and shared with my fellow geeks.  (bacon is worth sharing…when you have enough.)  it was truly a good birthday!

bacon related

03 April 2009


in 2007, i had a physical for a driver’s license requirement.  my physician looked at my stats and made a comment about my weight not being in the right range for my height class.  when i told him i was regularly exercising, he wanted to check the pending blood work before finalizing his statements.  he did clear me, but that thought lingered.

at the beginning of 2008, i decided that getting in shape was a little more than just  exercising alone.  i am not one for diets or crashing my system to get to a goal.  in my personal experience, quick to go, quick to come back.  i started to make small adjustments to my regular eating, primarily focusing on how much protein i ate and how much per meal i was downloading into my belly.  it was a slow process.

i had made some soft goals to try to be at certain weights throughout the year.  little by little, i would get down to my three or five pound goals.  it fluctuated frequently and sometimes i would end up way above the upper limits i was resetting for myself.  (i thought i would put on weight going to greece last summer because they feed us very well, but i was shocked to see that i weighed less when i returned.)

my start weight in january 2008 was about 230 lbs.  my end of the year goal was to be at 205 lbs, a goal i did not meet.  i was still hovering several pounds above that.  but by the end of january 2009, i had reached the 205 lbs goal.  i continued to reset the goals and made the next achievement to be able to drop a pants size (from a 38 waist to 36) by my birthday.

in celebration for my birthday, i took this friday off.  i drove down early in the afternoon to old navy and looked for a pair of 36×32 jeans.  i found a pair.  i tried them on.  they fit comfortably with room.  i have actually returned to the waist size i was in college.

i have not yet reached the low number which i will consider my “normal” weight.  i believe the height-weight chart has me around 180 lbs for my height.  i think if i can reach 190 lbs and have the extra bit in muscle, i will be satisfied.  (my low point right now is 198.5 lbs.)  this is still a gradual process, so i don’t expect to his this goal until late in this year.

i did reach my birthday goal.  i downsized my pants.

17 March 2009

shuttle discovery launches

i caught the launch of the shuttle discovery on my new tv this past sunday night.  this was taken with the phone on my camera aimed at my tv.  i know, very stupid low-tech, but the launch itself was impressive.  the audio didn’t get converted correctly, so it’s best to turn that down while watching this.

shuttle launch (as seen on nasa tv) from mark mcintyre on vimeo.

09 March 2009

new tv

the television on the left has been at mock manor since about the time i bought this house. it has put in ten long, good years. it was starting to show some wear with odd green coloring on the right side of the tube after being active for a little bit of time. it was time for a change.

i had been planning a replacement for a couple of years. other things seem to get in the way, but the pricing on 1080p plasmas finally hit a price the tax return could help me out with.

now, i can enjoy “house” in a very large screen format!


07 March 2009


it took me a while to get up and get moving this morning.  well, not quite moving that much yet.  i feel so tired still.  but i was able to finally rouse myself after benig awake for two hours to make some breakfast of some blueberry/cranberry pancakes, eggs (over medium), and bacon.  i fired up the griddle and made the morning goodness.

the time change this evening will take its toll on me if i don’t get to bed rather early.  here is where planning ahead is key.

pancakes and bacon

06 March 2009

naming node 3

nasa is running a poll right now to take votes on the next node to be added to the international space station.  node three is headed up into space during a december launch and will add room to the earth-orbiting facility.

node one was named unity.  node two was named harmony.  as of this post, node three is running high on the list to be named serenity.  (all you browncoats get over there and vote!)

the poll can be found at the following link:


28 February 2009

where did you get that scale?

if you know me, i am a big fan of the centigrade scale for measuring temperatures.  (it’s 8°C outside as i write this up.)  it is easy to explain what celsius represents: 0°C is water’s freezing point at sea level and 100°C is water’s boiling point at sea level.  one hundred points between these two standard occurrences.  it’s easy and makes sense.

this is where fahrenheit came up with his scale:  fahrenheit put a mercury thermometer in a mixture of water, ice, and ammonium chloride.  when the mercury stabilized at a point, he marked it as zero.  he put the same thermometer in water just as ice was forming and presto, 32 on his scale.  the third point was putting the thermometer into the mouth or under the arm of a human to register 96 as the body’s temp.  as you an see, fahrenheit used two different sources for coming up with his scale instead a single baseline.

and the plot thickens.  later on, scientists noted that water boils at about 180°F and decided to make it exactly 180°F, so they adjusted the units to make that happen.  that’s why normal body temp is considered to be 98.6°F.  additionally, fahrenheit based his scale on that of one ole rømer. rømer’s scale shows brine freezing at 0 degrees and water boiling at 60 degrees.  (water freezes at 7.5 degrees on that scale.)  fahrenheit took that work as a starting point and increased the units to elminate fractions, which ended up back in the scale as the beginning of this paragraph notes.

today, the united states and a few other countries such as belize use the fahrenheit scale, and not every part of the united states.  primarily weather forecasters and non-scientific are those left who still put an F after their temperature numbers.

i don’t know about you, but celsius just makes logical sense to me.

information about fahrenheit and celsius came from wikipedia.com.

18 February 2009

bacon for valentine’s day

my parents know me very well.  what better way to say “i love you” than with bacon?

bacon for v-day! from mark mcintyre on Vimeo.

16 February 2009

why i will never switch to verizon

these are the people who charge you for phone service.  be afraid.

0.002dollar = 0.002cent

03 February 2009

snow finally

yay!  we got some snow yesterday.  i realized this morning that if i didn’t take any pictures of it, i’d regret not capturing the one moment we ended up with the white stuff (not the white stuff in the middle of an oreo).


a friend of mine took a few more pictures of the snow.  check out her shots at flickr.

24 January 2009

sprint screws up…and me

sprint logo
back in november, i decided to add a line (for my sis) onto my account.  it was thanksgiving afternoon.  i called them up and asked them what they could do for me.  the sales lady told me she could add the extra line for an additional $15.00 per month.  before i agreed to the changes, i asked her to confirm the total cost per month for me.  she gave me the amount as i understood it.  i ended up asking her to give me this total twice.  both times, it was the rate with only $15.00 added.

this past week as i was looking over my sprint bill, i found that instead of adding a line to share the minutes, sales lady had added a second phone plan to my account!  i was being charged over $75.00 for that particular line.  so, i found sprint’s chat feature and started conversing with a customer support representative.  when i told her what had happened, she checked on things, found we should have been sharing minutes, and told me she could fix this. my blood had started to simmer when i first saw the bill.  this turned down the pressure.  but then she told me that the best she could do was to adjust this amount down to $25.00 per month for the line, not back down to $15.00.  it seems the system they use won’t allow for those adjustments.  i asked for a manager.

i was transferred and proceeded to explain my situation to him.  he looked things over and told me the same story that the previous customer service rep had just told me:  the best he could do was $25.00 per month for this line and the system wouldn’t allow for any lower.  they will make an additional $120.00 this year if this cannot be changed because their system prohibits them?  in addition, they technically are in violation of the verbal agreement i made back in november.  and if they are technically in breach of this agreement, i could get out of my contract sans penalties.  the sales lady screwed up and screwed me.

he kept asking me if the reduction was something i wanted to do.  what i wanted sprint to honor the agreement they made to me.  since that wasn’t going to happen with these two employees i told him i’d accept the price adjustment down to $25.00 and the reimbursement for the overcharging and to put a note in the ticket that i was not pleased with this solution and would further pursue holding them to the promise.  having done this in a chat session, the whole conversation is logged.  my mistake was calling them to handle ordering the phone in the first place without recording the conversation.  from now on, i will either deal with the sales reps over a chat technology, in person at the sprint store, or using some recording method (like skype) when i must call over the phone.

19 January 2009

shattered contact

ever shatter a contact lens?  this was my random act of dumb for the weekend.

three pieces

14 January 2009

dog-free month

about a month ago, sir barksalot disappeared.  i don’t know where she (yes, sir is a she) went, but i have to tell you that it has been the best month of the the past ten months.  in fact, the past month has been so peaceful that it has felt like a it’s been a year since dog went mia.

i can only pray that this change is permanent.  of course, this whole move took its toll on me and required multiple calls to the sheriff’s department and to animal control.  and that will have to resume if doggy ever returns.

but for now, peace.  ahhh.