Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just the Axe Ma'am, Homeland Insecurity, -and- I'll Be Home for Christmas

In the News Today:
  • Just the Axe Ma'am - free climber scales mountains with just a pick axe
  • Homeland Insecurity - US serviceman arrested over alleged 2nd Ft. Hood base attack plot
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas - skeleton found in chimney ends 27-year-old mystery

    Technology in the News Today:
  • Apple iOS Vulnerability More Serious Than First Thought
  • YouCam 5 Lets You Log In With Your Face
  • MS-DOS Turns 30: PCMag's Original Interview With Bill Gates

    On this Day in History:
    July 28, 1957 - A C-124 transport plane carrying three nuclear weapons jettisons its precious cargo into the Atlantic, somewhere east of Delaware and New Jersey. The bombs are never recovered.

    Born on this Day in History: July 28, 1929 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929 - 1994) Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, Jackie Onassis married John F. Kennedy in 1953. As first lady, she promoted the arts, history and high style. The couple had two children, Caroline and John. After Kennedy's death, she married Greek magnate Aristotle Onassis. In later years, Onassis lived quietly and worked in publishing.

    Scripture of the Day:

    Video of the Day: - Submitted by Darin

    0 - 220 MPH in 24 Seconds

    Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene at Walmart while journeying to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

    The DirecTV Story:

    Regarding DIrecTV: I had been a subscriber to DirecTV since 1995 when I cancelled my service last week.

    Despite that, I was told when I called to cancel that the following would apply:

    1) I would be charged $200 for early termination--based on some arcane verbiage buried deep within the lengthy contract.

    2) I would be required to return all equipment.This, despite the fact that I gave the installer RCA and a Sony satellite receivers when he delivered and installed the HD DVR--although they had been purchased at a cost of around $1200 each from Sears. I had argued this point--imagining that paying $2400 for two satellite receivers constituted ownership. He refused to complete the installation until I gave him the receivers. Eager as I was to see programming on my shiny new 49" Vizio LCD HDTV, I gave him the receivers.

    3) My recounting of this experience fell upon uncaring ears--as did my espousal that the period of my contract--2 years--had been satisfied long ago. While I found it inconceivable they would take such a position, it gets WORSE:

    4. I said I had purchased the only receiver I had--a high-end and expensive HD DVR unit and that i found it ridiculous that they would consider it THEIR property! This was met with: "Why would you want to keep it if you have no service?" My reply to this was, "Should I decide to park my Dodge Nitro R/T, I would not expect that Chrysler would demand that I return it to them! This was met with an inane remark with which I shall not bore readers of this tale.

    5. THEN, the rep said, "Why have you been paying for two receivers if you only have one?" The tone suggested I was attempting to get away without returning yet another receiver that I had purchased at some point.

    My response was, "The reason I have been paying each month for a second receiver is I gave up two years ago attempting to explain to another of your ilk that when the installer set up the HD dish and HD DVR (and confiscated my RCA and Sony receivers!), I told him I wanted the Sony kept in the bedroom so would be able to use it in there. He said that wouldn't work because it would not work with the new HD dish. (He lied, of course.) He took down the RCA dual-feed dish at that time. So for months I telephoned to complain each time a bill arrived that I only had ONE receiver and was being charged for two! I assume you will be as unresponsive to that as have been those who have gone before you!"

    This met with a snort.

    At that point, I said, "This has been mind-numbing trying to communicate with an incompetent, minimum-wage, telephone creature who obviously is still well within the primitive learning stages of English as a Second Language. Please complete my request and allow me to return to the real world."

    THEN, she began on a course of attempting to dissuade me from discontinuing the service! She blathered for a few minutes. I could take no more. I used Ultra Voice Changer Deluxe to speak TO her. I chose the "possessed"setting, and the Android app produced just the atmosphere to cause her to give my call to her supervisor! I put her on hold without telling her and recorded the message, "I know where you've been...I saw what you did!" When I held my XOOM up to the telephone and played that message, she offered no response. Soon, however, a supervisor--speaking fluent English--said, "So you want to drop your service? I can handle that for you."
    I said, "Yes. Please." There was a brief silence of a few seconds, following which, he said, "Done. Is there anything Else I can help you with today?" I said, "No."
    He said, "Have a nice day."