asher553: (asher63)
... Rosetta Stone, for this gem:

"Make up for every Mother's Day you missed"

Guilt approach, much?
asher553: (asher63)
So I finally caved and filled out the forms for a new Safeway card, after the old one got destroyed and I spent a few weeks righteously defying the corporate Man by refusing to present a card at checkout.

You know, they make SURE that it takes you longer to check out without a card than with one! "Do you have a Safeway card? Did you lose it? You know you can enter your phone number ... do you want to apply for a new card? You can save lots of money ... are you really super-sure positive you don't want one? Well okaaaaaaay ... "

So my desire to get-it-the-f**k-over-with-already finally overcame my paranoia about corporate data mining and I am now the proud owner, or at least the no longer resisting owner, of a new Safeway card. And anyway, I'll save some money, right?

I'll just tell myself, "Sometimes you have to pick your battles."
asher553: (asher63)
True story: The portable DVD player I ordered via Amazon took four days to get from Maspeth, NY to San Pablo, CA - and another three days to get from San Pablo to San Francisco. (About 20 miles, or a half-hour drive, according to Google Maps.)

March 16, 2013 10:08:00 AM CA US Delivered
March 16, 2013 08:07:00 AM San Francisco CA US Arrival Scan
March 15, 2013 08:42:00 AM San Francisco CA US Tendered to local postal carrier for final delivery
March 15, 2013 02:23:00 AM San Francisco CA US Arrival Scan
March 15, 2013 01:40:00 AM San Pablo CA US Departure Scan
March 13, 2013 05:38:00 PM San Pablo CA US Arrival Scan
March 9, 2013 01:25:00 AM Maspeth NY US Departure Scan
March 8, 2013 07:18:00 PM Maspeth NY US Shipment received by carrier
March 8, 2013 06:05:39 PM US Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit to carrier

The funny thing is, it was nominally shipped by UPS and I get my mail at a UPS mailbox downtown. The curvy, red-haired gal at the UPS station confided that UPS sometimes hands off packages to the Postal Service, and that's what happened here. (See line 2 above, plus the box had a USPS sticker on it when I picked it up.)

So [ profile] baron_waste, maybe I should start having things routed through the center of the galaxy!


Dec. 1st, 2012 08:44 pm
asher553: (asher63)
I love the new LJ UI. Especially the HTML screen, now I can get edit buttons without WYSIWYG! Yayz.

Yes, when LiveJournal introduces new features, it's almost always an improvement. Unlike SOME social networks I could name ...
asher553: (Default)
In response to the new Facebook guidelines, which are barely distinguishable from the old Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is utterly invalid, because by the mere act of posting my personal details in a public forum, I have long since accepted that my right to privacy is worth less than a bucket of warm spit.

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under no protection whatsoever, but some people still believe in the efficacy of zinc-based cold remedies, and there's even less evidence for that.)

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is free to do anything it jolly well wants to do on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned waving of a white "surrender" flag also applies to employees, students, agents, henchmen, assassins, and/or any zombies under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is no more private than the contents of a mobile phone call as the caller shouts to be heard over the roar of the city bus's engines. The violation of my privacy will be punished by nobody, no one, and nothing (4Q2 PDQ and the Rome Statute, whatever the hell that is).

Facebook is now, was then, and always will be a rapacious capitalistic overlord to which I have traded my privacy in exchange for a pleasant social service. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this if you have nothing better to do; or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will publish it more than once, or never. There are no other choices.

How I wish I'd written this.


Oct. 6th, 2011 09:05 pm
asher553: (Default)
For when it absolutely positively has to get there sooner or later.
asher553: (asher63)
Apparently it was a mistake to order "The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself" from Amazon with overnight shipping by FedEx. I normally get my Amazon deliveries (and most of my mail) at my UPS box downtown, but on this particular day the UPS shop opened late, and apparently the idiot FedEx driver wrote "Wrong Address" on the delivery form. Then when FedEx called me and I explained the situation, the idiot FedEx rep said "Oh, is that one a' those lil mailboxes you guys rent? We don't deliver to those." (Apparently this person believes "we guys", the customers, belong to a separate class whose affairs are of little practical concern.) In any case, that's factually untrue, and (as I confirmed with the manager of the UPS shop), FedEx delivers there three times a day.

I then went to order the book from Alexander Book Company, and hoo boy has that place gone downhill. What ever happened to the tall guy with the earring who used to flirt with me? This character who was at the register looked at me like I was spoiling his break. When he did the computer search for the book's title, he couldn't spell "modern", couldn't spell "Hebrew" (even after I spelled it for him), and three times ignored my suggestion to enter the full title (" ... Poem Itself") so as to avoid a lot of irrelevant results with "modern Hebrew" in the title. Grrr.

Anyway, I finally got the book ordered - I think - and they're supposed to call me when it comes in.
asher553: (Default)
No data service all morning. Remind me again, why did I find all those pretty little buttons so enticing?
asher553: (Default)
Well, I don't know, but hopefully after escalating my last call to the call center supervisor, something might get done. Maybe these phantom phone calls will finally stop.

Somewhere there's a parrot named Albert who finds this all very amusing.
asher553: (Default)
Apparently some lady named Amanda left a whole ton of medical bills at the Kaiser Permanente center in Bellflower, California. Oh, and Amanda left them my number. Wasn't that nice of her? And so the good folks at Kaiser-Bellflower are calling little old me - or rather, their computer is.

I understand that creditors are sometimes going to end up with bad phone numbers for debtors. But the thing is, there is NO WAY to get through to the people at Kaiser that I'm not Amanda, I don't know who she is or where she's gone to, and I have nothing to do with her unpaid medical bills.

I tried calling them back at the number on my caller ID but no one in the business office is answering my calls.

I've already filed a complaint with the FTC, but they say it's not their department because Kaiser isn't using an outside collection agency.

So I don't know what to do next. Should I write a letter to the president of Kaiser, or try to contact the appropriate agency in California?

EDIT: Success ... maybe. I finally got through to a live CSR who tried to give me the "you need to call this number" routine. I responded with the "let me talk to your supervisor" routine. Said supervisor was helpful and apparently "got" the problem, and she took my name and number and promised she'd get back to me.

So, here goes nothing.
asher553: (Default)
So I splurged a little and bought a Citizen. And it's a beautiful watch. It is elegant, stylish, comfortable, and functional. It keeps time dependably, which is the main thing I ask of a watch. And it has a host of other useful and ingenious features which will undoubtedly come in handy one day.

If I can ever figure out how to work the frackin' thing.

It comes with not one but TWO instruction books, numbering 30 and 126 pages. They contain, respectively, six and eighteen pages of English. One also features Spanish instructions and a warranty form (with a space for "Owners Name") and a list of Citizen service centers around the world. The other includes instructions in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Chinese.

So I have acquired a veritable Rosetta Stone of watch instructions, which will surely be helpful when I decide to teach myself all of the above languages. But it's of no use whatsoever in understanding how the watch works. Because the instructions - the English ones, at any rate - go exactly as far as setting the time (1. Pull the crown out to the time setting position. 2. Turn the crown to set the time. 3. After setting the time back in to the normal position.) and then go on to discuss battery replacement, cleaning, and water resistant properties. So as far as using the stopwatch, alarm, or any other advanced features, I'm left to sink or swim.

Good thing it's a water resistant watch.

So today I finally admitted defeat and went to the drugstore to buy one of those cheap plastic watches. I got suckered in by the good looks of an Aspen, which has hands as well as a digital display, and even comes with comprehensive instructions in English! My lucky day.

Well, I took it home and peeled the Made In China sticker off and went about setting the digital part to tell the right time - that went smoothly enough. Then it was time to set the watch hands, which I did ... but a couple of hours later I discovered that the watch hands don't work! (They did in the store. I guess I screwed up when I made the mistake of trying to set it to the correct time.) So I now have a fully functional digital watch with a purely ornamental pair of clock hands attached to it.

"Made in China," I grumbled. " **** **** **** Communist engineering."

But my humiliation was not yet complete. Turning the watch over in frustration, I spied the following words engraved on the back of the case:


So it's come to this. Now I ask you, what kind of a world is it where the Japanese can't even make watches anymore?
asher553: (Default)
As most of my regular readers already know, I am officially Evil, so it should come as no surprise that I have been an AOL user for a number of years.

The other day I got an e-mail from AOL saying my account was in danger of being suspended, and would I please get in touch with them either thru the website or by phone. I chose the phone because I have a strong bias in favor of speaking to a live person. Well, I dialed the toll-free number and the recording said I could expect to wait ten minutes. Grrr. It turned out to be more like twenty. Grrrrrr. Now I don't know about you, but there are few things I find more annoying than calling a customer service number, being put on hold, and then being forced to listen to a recording that says, "Thank you for calling. It's really too much trouble to answer your call, why don't you go to our website instead. Please go away."

Well, a live person (Angela) did finally pick up, apologized for the wait (thank you) and then got right down to the business of my account. I noticed that the information I'd provided at the beginning of the call was actually sent on to the phone rep - don't you hate having to give your name and zipcode several times over? So they got that one right too. Angela brought up the payment problem - the last debit hadn't gone through, perhaps I'd changed my bank account number? Sadly, no, I said, I'm just broke. I explained that I was out of work and had no income, was looking for work and had a possible interview next week, and could I possibly get a few extra days to pay the fee? She did better than that - she said she'd request that AOL waive my fee for this month, and next month too.

Well, heck. Can't complain about that. So AOL is officially off my sh*t list for the time being.

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