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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mustaches of the 19th Century

Was poking around in blogs of note, and had to go here... It's actually pretty funny.

http://mustachesofthenineteenthcentury.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 28, 2010

Verizon FiOS Business Phone Support Nightmare!

Five days ago, we called and requested a reverse DNS entry for a client of ours, and we were told 24 to 48 hours. Today, it's still not there.

I called Verizon Technical support, and was disconnected. 

I called back and ended up in the wrong queue, even though I requested the Fios internet queue, I got to talk to a "Land Line support tech". She transferred me to another queue where I sat for twenty five minutes, and was told by the recorded lady, "Your call could not be completed at this time, please try again later" and I was disconnected.


I called back, spoke with Lawrence. He transfered me to the "Reverse DNS team", where I spoke to Travis. Travis told me I was on the wrong place, and I needed to call Fios support at 1-888-553-1555, which is the number I was calling.

I dialed the number, provided the information. At this point I was frustrated, so I kept hitting 0, until the recorded lady relented. She finally said "Ok, I can get you to someone, first, is this for home or business?" I said business, and she put me into the queue. I was in that queue for no less than 8 seconds, and I heard some kind of notification in another language I couldn't readily identify. After that, she recorded lady said "Your call could not be completed at this time, please try again later" and I was disconnected.

I called again, and once again I jumped up and down in the 0, told her I meant business, and got the funny notification and the brush off.

I took a deep breath, and called back, this time providing all the information again. Of course, they're experiencing high call volume, probably because there was some dead call of mine on at least a half dozen of their queues. Finally someone answered, and asked for information. I asked what department I got, and she said Land Line Support. She put me back in the queue after I expressed my dissatisfaction. My call was shortly dropped.

I got online and tried online technical chat. Unfortunately, due to high traffic, the applet would not load. "Try again later" they said.

I logged into twitter and queried @VerizonSupport. While I waited, I turned back to the phone.

Called, entered information, pressed the number for fios internet support, and was answered by a man who's name I think was Shaveed. "In tech support" he said. Turns out, this was DSL technical support. He said he'd transfer me to the right place. I stopped him and said I've been at this for over an hour, and I've been in several different queues. He took down my number in case we got disconnected, and told me he'd not place me in a queue, but he'd "Warm transfer" me to the person who could take care of this. I sat on hold for ten minutes, he came back on and said he was sorry for the wait, there was a lot of traffic, should only be another few mintues and put me back on hold. A few minutes later, the musak turned into a busy signal.

I called back, entered the information, and the recorded lady said she couldn't find my records, but agreed to transfer me to an agent. She played a couple seconds of music and came back to say "Your call cannot be completed at this time, please try again later". and she hung up again.

I called again, entered the info, and went once again to Land Line Tech support. I told the woman that this was by far the most difficult time I've ever had getting any level of support from any vendor I have every had to deal with. She said "Ok." and transferred me to who she promised was the right place.

While I waited, I saw that I had a tweet waiting for me from @VerizonSupport, suggesting that I email Business-support@verizonbusiness.com. I began writing the email, expecting that I would be disconnected or some such from this phone call.

A man answered, and I asked what department I was in. "Fiber solutions center" he said. I told him what I needed, he understood and said no problem. I then explained the calamedy that lead up to this call, and he took down my information, gave me a case number, and told me how to navigate through the phone queues to get to where I needed to go, should I ever need to do this again.

Edward in the Providence RI Fiber Solutions Center, you are the first competent person with whom I spoke at verizon in the last three hours, and that includes the recorded lady. Hats off to you.

If you need to have a reverse dns entry set up, and your ISP is Verizon Fios, Call 1-888-553-1555 tell the recorded lady "Agent" a few times, and you SHOULD go straight to the "Fiber Solutions Center". If you don't, just ask for that department. God willing, you will get Edward in the Providence, Rhode Island branch.

Underplayed songs by overplayed artists

It's no secret that I'm a big music fan/snob. There are bands that I will summarily ignore when they come on the radio, and these days I find myself changing the station (I know, I need XM. I'm a little behind. So shoot me) even when it's a band I like, just because the song is over played.

I find it a shame that people think "Oh yeah, I know Led Zeppelin, Stairway! Woo!" or "Queen, yeah, We will rock you!" While yes, these songs may be enjoyable, there is so much more to these bands than what people get out of these songs alone.

Here are some songs from such artists that don't get the air-time that they should, in my opinion. Feel free to disagree with me.

1. Because I'd mentioned Led Zeppelin above, I thought I'd start with them.

When the Levee Breaks


Tangerine


2. Lynyrd Skynyrd, again because I mentioned it above, and I think they're grossly misrepresented by Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama.

The Ballad of Curtis Lowe. Excellent sing-a-long-ability.


I Need You. Great wailing guitar.


I know a little (OK, so this one gets a little play time, but really... I don't do anything as well as these guys play the guitar in this tune.) If I were a fast dancing fellow, this is the stuff I'd be dancing to.


3. Jimi Hendrix. Everyone knows Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, and All Along the Watch Tower, but one of my favorites, though it may get some air time is a little less known.

Little Wing


4. Aerosmith. I am a big Aerosmith fan, but I get a little tired of the stuff that's played constantly on the radio. I like to reach back a bit to some of their first hits.

Mia


Seasons of Wither


Walkin' the Dog


Got any of your own favorite underplayed songs by over played artists??

Friday, June 25, 2010

Telephone Manners

A lot of my job is on the phone I am almost always calling someone to give support. When I call somebody, I believe in being courteous. When they answer, I always say hello, tell them who I am and ask how they are doing. There are a few different responses I get.

about 40% of the time, the person to whom I am speaking is receptive, and reciprocates. "Hi Matt, I'm well, and you?" This is a good sign. It means that they are generally in a good mood, or at least aren't letting stress or what have you get to them enough to direct any irritation toward me. I usually answer exaggeratedly. "I am, ah... Stupendous!" I'll say. I usually get a chuckle and a "Well good! What can I do for you".

Another 40% of the time, it catches the answerer off guard, and they're not sure what to say. It's like they believe that if they answer in a friendly manner, that they're showing weakness or something, or perhaps that because I'm being friendly, I'm probably selling something or at least I'm someone to be wary of. What is wrong with this world that the simple act of being friendly puts people on the defensive?

Sometimes right after I introduce myself and ask how they're doing, I'll get a moment of dead air. I have to assume that either they're taking a moment to assess themselves in order to give me an accurate report on exactly how they're doing, they're hoping I continue without waiting for an answer, because no one on this earth ever really cares how the person on the other end of the phone is doing, or they are considering lying to me, but they weren't prepared.

The last 20% are the people who just don't want to be bothered with the call. These are the people who answer "hullo." I made that "h" lowercase on purpose, don't gloss over it. Their tone just isn't even formal enough to capitalize the transcription.

Believe it or not, I actually kind of enjoy these calls. I always lay it on a little thicker on these guys. I'll introduce myself, and still ask how they are, knowing full well that they don't want to talk. They will wait for me to continue, thinking to get away with not answering. I wait. Invariably, I get "good" to which I reply "Well good, I'm glad to hear that!" It seems to annoy them. Perhaps it's sort of sadistic, but the idea that someone is so miserable that being nice to them is a source of irritation really kinda amuses me. Like, You really don't want someone to be nice to you? That makes you mad? What would you rather, I was rude, and then you wouldn't be obligated to talk to me? Heh, and give you that satisfaction? I think not.

I hope I'm not alone in being nice on the phone, am I? You guys are nice on the phone right? Which group would you be in if I called you right now??

Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Powers

It's been a while since my last post, there's been some crap going on in RL that's had me a little bit bothered, so my muse has been absent.

Anyway, I am a big fan of the comic book movies, like Batman (the first one was good, and then they were all pretty bad until Batman Begins), and X-men, and all the others in between.

As any real geek has, I have had the discussion of what super power you'd pick. Favorites are always Telekinesis, Invisibility, Flight, etc... I've got two possibilities, personally. I can't decide between the two.

1) The ability to control Velocity.
One of my favorite villains is Magneto, he has the ability to control and manipulate metals. In the movies, he's shown ripping the iron from a man's blood. He took that iron and made little balls of metal that he propelled like bullets. How cool is that!

I got to thinking though, what power could have that control over things in addition to metals? Well, everything has a velocity, be it negative or positive or what have you... We're all accelerating toward the center of the earth as we speak, it's just that the earth is pushing back. That's gravity.

So what if you could control velocity? Objects at rest could be sent flying around, objects in motion could be stopped. It could also be done on a molecular level. Everything has molecules that vibrate, what if those could be made to vibrate faster? Things would just come apart.

Anyway, that'd be my power if I chose the path of a villain.

2) Biological control
Imagine having control over bodily functions of all living things? Think about all the possible uses!

You're at the train station, and some jackass runs by to catch a train and bumps into you. As he's running down the platform, BAM! He experiences an earth-shaking orgasm mid stride! Now... I'm not really one for giving other guys orgasms, but picture it. You know there's nothing else a guy can do while that's happening... The body freezes. He's bound to fall right off the platform.

Or when you're in public and someone is talking ridiculously loud on their cell phones, and BAM! Suddenly they can't stop belching into the phone.

You could also make someone belch, sneeze, cough, vomit, fart, itch, sweat, evacuate their bowls and or bladder all at the drop of a hat, and from far enough away that you get to watch, but don't get hit by anything.

That would be a super power suitable for either hero or villain, if you ask me.

What are you top two super power picks??

Sunday, June 13, 2010

FOREVER ENDEAVOR

My "big" brother John is suffering from MS. (Multiple Sclerosis, not Microsoft which almost all of us suffer from).

He's a teriffic guitar player and an amazing artist. He's a north eastern resident, though he's got a good deal of the South West in his soul, having spent some time in Las Cruses, NM.

I've been helping him out with starting a blog, and I'd consider it a personal favor if you'd stop by over there from time to time. His Blog is Social-Obscurity.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Count Dentula

I've been in a contemplative mood lately, and feeling silly, so I'll try to keep this one short...

Seems like everywhere you look these days, there's a vampire movie or book staring you in the face. I'm not exactly sure what the sudden fascination with the undead is, but I find it a little unrealistic, and NOT for the obvious reasons.

Sure, I mean, the first glaring thing is that they're undead... Yeah, ok, I can suspend disbelief enough to entertain that sort of idea, after all I do run a Dungeons and Dragons blog (Shameless plug!).

I can understand them being immune to germs and disease (although it's supposedly a disease to be one, isn't it?)But how come you never see a vampire with bad teeth? I don't buy that their teeth wouldn't at least be all stained, I mean, I drink coffee, and mine get stained. They drink blood. One would think the same would happen. I don't see them gargling bleach or anything. I can't imagine all the random biting and what not, that they'd never chip a tooth or something.

I think it'd make a great movie, a Vampire with sensitive teeth. Can't bite someone if they're too cold, or like, only on the right side of their mouths. People would be finding bodies with just one hole in the neck, you know? Maybe the Vampire would have to carry around one of those can opener type things I always had to use as a kid to poke opposing holes through the ends of the cans of juice.

You'd think a Vampire would need at least a quarterly physical, they gotta have all kinds of problems from eating only red blood... Vitamin deficiencies, cholesterol... And what with no blood of their own, they must have pure lard in their veins. And how come none of them are fat, don't dead bodies bloat? Or what about some of the other things, like putting out the waste? You never see a vampire making a pit stop, but what goes in must come out. Another movie opp: The young Vampire child who grew faster than his bladder, which is a common problem among growing children, that causes them to wet the bed a lot. Unfortunately for the vampire, they sleep hanging upside down.

And another thing, they can't be out during the day, right? The sun light burns them up or something (at least that's how it is in every story except the "Twilight" saga, where it's just because they're sparkley. I think the writer might have thought of the same thing as I have) but the moon light doesn't seem to bother them. To quote Pink Floyd, "There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark." The moon reflects the sun light, albeit somewhat dimmer. But I'd think it'd give em at least a headache or something.

And while we're on the subject of fantasy, I'm reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy right now... I don't see the big deal, I have a gold ring that holds some kind of control over me, and makes me invisible to all women. Well... Not all women, I suppose. I'm willing to bet some of the more evil ones would still see me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids

Just a quick thought here...

I find it funny how differently people will react at being called a Kid. Growing up, I remember telling a female friend that she was "a good kid". Well! Boy, you would have thought I called her a slack-jawed, stupid ass clown, or something like that, and what's worse, I think we were only barely 15? We were definitely, by ALL definition, kids.

I remember a time when being a kid was a real pain in the ass, and all I could do was look forward to being an adult. Get my own money, spend it on things that I wanted, etc... (Yeah right!) The typical stuff a child wishes for, but I never included in those wishes giving up the freedoms and privileges I'd already had. I never said "Boy, I'd gladly pay taxes if people would stop telling me what time to come home...". I never wanted to STOP being a kid, I just wanted to do some adult things in addition!

Well, time waits for no man, and thus I am (I think?) technically an adult, though I prefer to think of myself as a little kid of thirty. I like to think we're all really still kids. After all, we're the same person we were back then, albeit a little older and hopefully wiser. We may walk a different path now, but by and large, we're the same folks, and at one time, we were a kid! I consider it like being the President... Even after you're done with your term, people still have to call you Mr. President!

After some thought, I think that when you get right down to it, most of us still enjoy having a good time, just like we did when we were kids. Frankly, I think the only reason we ever do anything is for the basic goal of Fun. Why do we work? So we can have money... Why do we want money? To pay for things... Why do we need things? Well... most of those "things" are not essential to be alive, but they sure make things easier... Cars, houses, etc... Very nice things, and I want them... but there are places on earth where people live without these things. It CAN be done. Maybe not comfortably, but it is possible. Personally, I'm not interested in living off the land, wearing a loin cloth, so... I prefer working, cause being broke is no fun! At very least, even if you don't agree with me (and I know some people won't!) you have to admit that the answer to any question about why we do anything we do can be "Because the alternative is less fun or desirable." Right?

I know there are people who enjoy their jobs and say they'd work if they hit the lottery, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority would stop working the day their employers stopped paying. The few who would still show up need their heads examined.

One of my favorite songs by Moxy Fruvous is called "The Kid's song". It does a good job of pointing out the things

Unfortunately my YouTube-Fu was not strong enough to find a video of it... So I'll cut and paste some of the lyrics from some other place...

We took the babies we knew and the toddlers we knew,
Said we'd like to get a slice of life from your point of view
'Cause you cry and laugh a lot more than us older folks do
It's a Spicer show especially for you.

The markers that I just got are non-toxic
And my sister says the lake is quite dioxic
I don't know what these words mean,
I just want to play where it's clean
But something in the backyard make my dog sick.

Is there something you like? (squirt-gunning my dog!)
Is there something you hate? (when my turtle ate my gerbil)
Is it fun to take a bath (yes, no, sometimes, yeah)
Should Quebec separate?
Well, we'll try and handle that for you
And make a better world, so you can have kids too.

My mom is French, and she's a candy striper
When my dad sings 'Save the Queen' she gets real hyper
She says "Douglas, keep your paws
Off my Notwithstanding clause"
And they argue, and forget about my diaper (gross!)

Is there something you like? (Jurassic Park)
Is there something you despise? (when I ate too many crayons)
Do you like to play with dolls? (not dolls, action figures)
Do you have a gender bias? (my sister is three....gender biases)*awkward silence... huh?*
Well, we'll try to handle that for you
And make a better world, so you can have kids too.

Hello, I'm Gabby and I just got here from Chile (welcome Gabby!)
I like Canada, except that it is chilly
I met Premier Bob Rae, and he ain't no Pinochet
My mother makes a spicy bowl of chili (three rhymes!)

Is there something you like? (squirt-gunning my Shreddies)
Is there something you reject? (food that isn't pizza)
What's your favourite colour? (fuschia...teal)
Is that politically correct? (tbhtbhtbhtbh!)
Well, we'll try and handle that for you
And make a better world, so you can have kids too.

Now the kids have held court, and we're glad to report
That from now on we'll take orders from the young and the short
In fact, adults should only speak up as a final resort
When there's a grown-up problem through which one must sort
Trust the people for whom living is a sport
If you need us we'll be backyard in our new treefort.

EDIT: Ok, so I explored my own YouTube-Fu a little deeper, and just created a video of this song though it's just a picture of the band's name, you can listen to the song at least.



I think the world would be a better place if it were run by those who think more like kids, and less like Business men... don't you?