ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Rosemary focaccia for @farmandfable Cookbook Club. L-R: tries 1, 2, 3.

Thinking Difficulties

Jul. 26th, 2014 08:15 pm
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
My living space is awful now and I need to think of contingencies, which is extra difficult because it's hard for me to think in a messed up living space. Also I'm spitting mad at my landlord and also the world.

I spent hours today playing The Sims 2 and not even really enjoying it very much. Really finding it hard to attach my mind to a positive constant. It would be nice to have a smoke gene scroll on Flight Rising, is what I'm saying.

Eating is extra hard because the leak situation is centered in the kitchen corner and not exactly encouraging me to think positively of food (which I have).
mm_writes: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] mm_writes

So in my last post I touched on how a Comcast general contractor coming out last week to lay RG11 claimed he didn't have any on hand so he laid RG6 cable instead. We already had RG6 cable but he figured it might help to lay new line down since our old line was never buried properly and has therefore been getting run over by cars and trucks in our north driveway for over a year now. I couldn't really argue with his logic but the tech who came out the next day to establish why our HBO/Streampix/OnDemand package wasn't working certainly could: he was mad the guy wasted Comcast's money laying down line we didn't need.

To make up for the fact that the new line fixed nothing as far as our poor TV signal was concerned, the tech gave us a plug-in signal booster/amplifier and dialed it in to make up for the 5db of signal loss we incur for every 100 feet of line we're running to the road. We're running 330 feet total so he dialed the amplifier in to make up for 15db in signal loss; we tested it out and the TV picture went from jagged across the bottom third to perfectly clear throughout. It's stayed that way ever since so I figured that though it's a shortcut which the tech told me Comcast doesn't normally want their techs to take, it fixed the signal problem without Comcast having to send another contractor out with RG11 line when it finally became available.

All went well until 2 days ago when my fiance took the garbage out to the bin by the road at the beginning of the south driveway. He came back bearing this little gift from Comcast's contractor:

Binned: a partial spool of brand-new, unused RG11 COMMSCOPE cable
The thinner line on the left is probably RG6 but it was not ours (I don't know what the GC did with it, but our line was black); the line on the right is the RG11 he claimed he didn't have on hand.

A closer look at the binned RG11 cable - forgive my shitty phone camera
This shows what I suspected was a spool of RG11 in greater detail. I peeled the product code sticker off the spool and looked it up online. And, sure enough...

So. Does Comcast STILL look like they were just "out of RG11"?

I looked the product code up online that's on the spool and lo and behold, COMMSCOPE Product Code 4846103 works out to exactly this fine stuff right here: RG-motherfucking-11.

So the contractor lied about what he had on hand (or else - and this is the only possible explanation I can conjure up that might save this guy's ass - he simply didn't have the full 330 feet of RG11 we required on that spool - but I don't see how he could possibly know that without at least unwinding what was on the spool, which obviously he never did) but that's just another day, another Comcast line-laying job done for nothing, and another spool of RG11 that bit the dust (or more precisely, the bin) without getting buried in the ground where it belongs.

What do y'all think about that?

Gen Fic Swap: Dear Author

Jul. 24th, 2014 10:36 pm
fenellaevangela: text: Kirk & Spock & Bones & some guy in a red shirt. (Default)
[personal profile] fenellaevangela
Hello! I want to start this post by thanking you, anonymous author, for offering to write a story for me :-) Below I've included some general information about my tastes and some musings on my requests, in case you need inspiration.

I dislike: Excessive violence, gore, and sad endings. Angst isn't really my thing unless it's a stepping-stone on the way to everything working out.

I like: Both plot and fluff. Casefic is great, interesting AUs are great, one thousand words of characters bantering over coffee? Awesome! I like worldbuilding, if you want to go in that direction, and you'll probably note from my prompts that I enjoy reading about characters developing family and pseudo-family bonds. I'm also cool with crossovers between any of my requested fandoms, of you have an idea.

Orphan Black (Charlotte Bowles, Helena, Sarah Manning, Cosima Niehaus, Tony Sawicki)
I love the themes of family and identity in this show, and how those two intersect when the clones being thinking of each other as siblings. This has been really obvious in Helena's storyline but we get to see it with all the clones once they spend real time together.

I'd like to see some interaction between clones that reflects their developing relationships with each other, especially including the new clones introduced last season, Tony and wee Charlotte. I'm excited to see Charlotte maybe meet more clones next season (and the clones' kids!). Other clones are welcome to be involved, too, including clones who are already dead on the show.

Supernatural (Anna Milton, Gabriel, Mary Winchester, Ellen Harvelle)
I'm not up to date on the show anymore, but I really enjoy what the show used to be and still rewatch old eps (especially seasons four and five). What I particularly enjoyed in this show was the worldbuilding and longer story arcs. For example, I liked when we got insights into hunter culture outside Sam and Dean's individual experiences.

You'll note that all my requested characters are no longer among the living. What I'd really like is for them to not be dead, if you could? Maybe they never died like they did in the show (for example, I love a good Mary Lives AU), or maybe they help each other return earthside? If you find yourself struggling to bring all four characters together within the confines of your story, please feel free to skip one or two of my requested characters.

Teen Wolf (TV) (Allison Argent, Cora Hale, Danny Mahealani, Erica Reyes, Kira Yukimura)
I first started reading Teen Wolf fic before ever watching the show. It was during the hiatus between season one and season two, and there was a lot of fic about the pack coming into its own and figuring out how they relate to each other and to the rest of the supernatural community as a whole. That stuff was amazing and while I do enjoy the show well enough as it is, I would enjoy it better if it was more that sort of stuff and less about people dieing. You feel me?

I would love if you could manage a story where most or all of my requested characters are alive and part of the pack. The fic does not have to delve into why they aren't dead/absent, but if you have a story in you to explain how Allison, Cora, and Erica returned to Beacon Hills I would definitely read it.

For reference:
[tumblr.com profile] lnich is my tumblr
[archiveofourown.org profile] fenellaevangela is my AO3
mm_writes: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] mm_writes

It seems the vast majority of our Comcast problems are finally resolved. I could write a post that would take me days to finish describing the 15 or so hours we've collectively spent on the phone in the last few weeks trying to straighten out everything from signal to converter box to billing issues, the fact that for three different TV converter boxes they've sent out they've had to replace all but the last one at least once and had to replace the next-to-last-one twice, that I've had over $120 credited back to my account in the last few weeks for everything from $45 service calls (I can't be billed for service calls because I pay $3.95 a month for a Service Protection Plan - and thank God I do, because there's been a tech in my house every week for the last month now to straighten out everything from shipped-broken converter boxes to the day multiple techs falsely accused me of no longer having Internet because our privately-owned cable modem was broken - which turned out to have nothing to do with our modem and everything to do with a downed above-ground line at least a mile away from us!) to charges for shipping us converter boxes to replace the broken crap they sent out in the first place (I have a general rule that you won't be charging me shipping to replace anything YOU sent out busted in the first place, but nice try, guys) to overcharges for all kinds of channels I don't want and don't get to...my God, it's been endless.

I could write that post in all its gory details; how bad the customer service was at times would shock anyone. For instance, after sending us a new DVR/HD/DVD converter box yesterday they told us last night it didn't work so they'd have to send us out another tech to fix it. That would be the fourth tech I've had here in a month. My fiance was on the phone call and went ballistic: "I'm sorry ma'am, but with all due respect that is BULLSHIT. How come every time you send us a box we need a tech out here? How come every box you've ever sent us has been broken right out of the box? How come even after you send us new boxes to replace the broken boxes we STILL need another tech out here to make the box work or to get another box that does work? I'm sorry but this company has been nothing but problems since the day we signed up for service with them." Of course that tirade resulted in the box working no more than - I'm not kidding - 30 seconds later. That's the sort of customer service we get: perfectly unreal.

Upshot is that for all the bad ('bad' mostly in the range of unhelpful to falsely accusatory) customer service we've had, we get, despite what the body of the following email calls it, Internet Plus (25MBs) with Expanded Basic (77 channels), HBO, Streampix, and a freshly added DVR/HD/DVD converter box for just $44.99 a month, base charge (this is the replacement makeup offer for the one I rejected after multiple techs accused us of having a broken modem: that offer, which I turned down immediately, was for them to add a phone line to our service for "just" $10 more a month. I don't want their damn phone.) There is a modem rental they're still charging us for, but they've already credited my account $50 for renting it for nothing each month for the last year - simply because we never used it nor even took it out of the box it shipped to us in - and they claim they will back credit all additional monthly modem charges by next month when the returned modem is finally fully processed on their end.

This is the account as it stands now:

XFINITY Bundled Services
Internet Plus Includes Limited Basic note: that's Expanded Basic, HBO, Streampix, a standard definition digital converter note: that's an HD/DVR/DVD converter and remote for the primary outlet and Performance Internet Promotional Rate.
Promotional Rate for 12 months $ 44.99

Additional XFINITY TV Services
Addl Outlet $ 0.00
Digital Converter $ 0.00
Digital Adapter Additional Outlet $ 0.00
Digital Adapter Additional Outlet $ 1.99

Additional XFINITY Internet Services
Modem Rental $ 8.00 note: this charge will eventually be credited
Additional Products & Services
Service Protection Plan $ 3.95
Other Charges & Credits
In-Home Service Visit $ 39.95
note: this charge got credited
Install Fee In-Home Service fee $ 0.00
Broadcast TV Fee $ 1.50
Taxes, Surcharges & Fees $ 7.24

Grand Total $ 107.62 67.67

The reason the account is listed as Limited basic is because in my area of Florida Comcast has not yet added rate codes into their computers that allow me to have the actual package they offered me on the phone, so I had to spend yet another afternoon with a service tech last week to straighten that out. After he determined the problem was not with the converter box (for once!) nor with our lines nor cables (though while he was here, he did give us a much needed signal amplifier because our cable runs over 330 feet from the house out to the nearest tap across the street, which causes us to lose 5dB for every 100 feet of line we're running, or something like that, which was messing up our TV signal big-time) I had to spend another few hours on the phone with reps who ultimately claimed the problem could not be addressed until the following Tuesday because 'weekend' and 'go screw yourselves', apparently. It was Friday night by then. So I got my fiance on it that night and whaddaya know, the reps he spoke to got it straightened it out within minutes. Sometimes...I'm not trying to be sexist, but sometimes I think female call reps take men's complaints much more seriously than they take the same exact complaints when they come from women. So when things go south for me with Comcast - which, on average, is once a week - I'll just sic him on the reps and bam! Damned if everything I could not get through with them because it was like an endless morass of bullshit just smoothes right out with him on it.

So yeah, I could go on and on (the day they accused of us of trying to connect with a broken modem - about two weeks ago - was the worst thing I had to go through; literally exhausting and very frustrating every step of the way; we spent four hours collectively on the phone over that and had maybe six so-called techs swear that they could see no Internet signal on our end simply because our modem no longer worked - the damn thing still works fine to this day and the problem, as I said, turned out to be a snapped cable line at least a mile away, but we now own - not rent, own - an Xfinity modem that my fiance found on the job a few weeks ago, so it supports DOCSIS 3.0 and all that good stuff so we don't have to worry about using a non-supported modem anymore) but I can't because I don't really hate Comcast. Or big companies, as a matter of routine. To get me fired up enough to make the rest of you think it's a terrible company by way of simply describing how bad it's been to be their customer, I'd have to feel that way very deeply (thus my anti-AOL and anti-Google tears over the years: I feel that way very deeply, so much so that to this day my feelings about AOL remain completely unchanged). But Comcast is more mismanaged and misguided than truly a threat to anyone's pocketbook or peace of mind so I just can't muster up enough 'give a damn' to go on and on about all the problems we've had with them - I've given a lot of thought to it, but I just don't see the point.


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