Posted on April 30th, 2021
Not much happened today... but everything happened. Do you know what I mean?
As I mentioned, my incredibly expensive Samsung television died after 5-1/2 years. I couldn't afford to buy another top-tier television, so I opted for something 1/3 the price, but still highly rated. Because I live in a small city, mail order is pretty much my only option. Last time I bought with Amazon because they offered installation at $119 which I was happy to pay. This time I went with Walmart because they offered installation at $79. Same price on the TV, it's just that Walmart had the total cheaper cost by $40. And I'm all for saving my $40.
The company that was supposed to do the installation dragged things out for a week. My requested appointment was literally ANY day and ANY time, but no installer apparently wanted the job. When I asked "HelloTech" what would happen if nobody took the job, they assured me that they would then contract it out with a local installer, no problem. So I waited and waited. Then this morning they canceled the install. Made me wait a week and two days, then just outright canceled. And of course Walmart didn't bother to back up what they sold. So now my option is to pay a local company $250 plus tax... or get a friend to help me do it for myself. I can only afford Option B.
Then I went to work. Then I had a doctor follow-up. Apparently I'm going to live. For now.
After my appointment I went to pick up a new vaccination record with all the various shots I've had for my travels over the years. While I was there, I went to the pet store to pick up more kitty litter for Jake and Jenny to do their duty in. And it was here... in the parking lot of the pet store... that I noticed a T-Mobile store was on the other side of the parking lot.
And so... I took a slight detour.
20 minutes later, I'm a T-Mobile customer.
Ultimately it feels like T-Mobile wants your business.... AT&T just wants your money. I switched from Verizon to AT&T in 2004 because I had to in order to get service for the brand new iPhone. The customer service was better at Verizon, but AT&T was just fine. At the start. Things steadily declined with AT&T… then went into a complete nosedive after they bought DirecTV. They went from being an okay company to an outright awful company. Always making promises. Always breaking them. Quote you a price, then charge you something different. And somehow it’s all your fault even when you’ve got the receipts. They lost such a huge amount of money with DirecTV (which I eventually canceled because it got so awful after being acquired) that they’ve been trying to make up for the lost money by making the mobile division get less for more. And failing. In the past 3 years I went from being ambivalent about AT&T to outright hating the company, mostly because of the billing problems... but also because of the cellular service.
So now I am gone.
T-Mobile has a $50 flat rate for those 55 years and older, and it's a better plan than I had... WITH taxes and fees included. They waived the bullshit activation fee because I got my iPhone through Apple and they didn’t have to give me $650 to pay it off. So I'm chalking this one up as a win.
There is ONE thing that bothers me about T-Mobile, however. If you have two lines, you get free Netflix SD. If you have one line, you get NOTHING. That’s shitty. I pay more per line than somebody with two lines, but get less? And how does that work? A man and his wife sign up, get Netflix, then the man dies and T-Mobile is all "Sorry your husband is dead, but fuck you… we’re yanking your Netflix!" Is that really how it works? This is gross and highly unfair. I pay more for my one line than somebody with two lines on their plan pays per line, but I don’t get Netflix because I’m single? Do better, T-Mobile!
Then I got my kitty litter.
Then I went to Burger King because they had a "Buy One Impossible Whopper at Regular Price and We'll Give You A Second Impossible Whopper for $1" special going on. And my two meat-free burgers were GLORIOUS! We're at the time of year where lettuce and tomatoes are perfect, onions are tasty, and you're guaranteed a good meal. I was not disappointed.
Then I went back to work when what I really wanted to do was go to bed. That was quite a day I had.
Hey, we're in the middle of a pandemic. Every day you don't end up with COVID and are out of the house is quite a day.
Posted on December 24th, 2014
Merry Christmas to me from AT&T!
When I signed up with them, there was no mention of restrictions on my "Unlimited Data" plan. Now, for the first time ever, I'm approaching 5GB of use, so they're going to throttle my data speed.
No credit for the years of months I've barely used any data at all, I guess...
Whatevs. I've pretty much come to expect treatment like this any more.
It's only surprising now-a-days when you don't get screwed.
Posted on September 9th, 2012
Save your pity over my being stuck at an airport for four hours... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Know. I so rarely just toss a link up on my blog... that's what Twitter and Facebook are for... but I read an article titled "25 Things I'd Like My Sons to Know" and was inspired to do just that. Much of it applies not just to sons, but to people everywhere...
Photo from Tom Matlack's wonderful article.
• Sleepless. Any attempt to get some sleep last night was futile seeing as how there was a party going on down the hall until 2:30am. As background noise, I probably could have ignored it is not for a screaming cackle by some drunken hag who could just not shut the fuck up. Absolutely everything was funny to her, and I had to listen to her continuous screeching laugh for hours. This alone would have made my final night in Chicago unbearable, but when I got up two hours later there was no hot water at the Hyatt. I don't know what it is about me, but I seem to attract hot water failures.
• Aero. But there was good news from my travels today... when I got to the airport, I was totally psyched to see that, ZOMG!, I would be flying on the Mickey Plane!!
And just when I thought things couldn't get much better? UPGRADED TO FIRST CLASS! As a Delta elite flyer, this rarely happens on Alaska Airlines, so it was a complete surprise. As always, the best part of flying First Class is the warm nuts...
Yes, I know, I TOTALLY WIN AT LIFE!!!
• Livery. This trip was lucky for planes, because my flight to Seattle on Thursday was on the Horizon/Alaska Air Huskies Plane...
Alaska Air has so many cool liveries on their fleet, but the one I'm most dying to fly is their "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon"...
Has to be one of the coolest planes ever made. One of these days I need to see how I can track it down for a ride.
• 'Cago. As Chicago is one of my favorite cities on earth, it sucks pretty hard to go there and not be able to spend any time exploring the place. And since I've been there dozens of times, seeking out the frivolous non-touristy stuff is where the fun is at for me. And the only frivolous thing I made time for was visiting the new LEGO store at Water Tower Place...
Kinda a disappointment. I mean, sure, they carry a large line of wonderful LEGO products, but it's kind of a boring layout compared to the old one. Oh well. It does have the benefit of being located next door to that obscenely popular American Girl store that makes those creepy little dolls I want to burn with fire.
• Coverage. Every time I get to Chicago, I can't help but marvel at the shitty data coverage AT&T has there. Seriously, it's so bad as to be unusable. If you manage to get anything from the internet at all it takes fucking forever, but most times the connection just times out...
How in the hell can the third largest city in the United States have such embarrassingly bad cellular service? At least I can make a phone call here. In Las Vegas (one of the largest tourist attractions in the country) not only is the data shit, but every call I make gets dropped. Every. Damn. Call. I have no idea why AT&T doesn't get off their stupid asses and fix this shit, because it's frickin' embarrassing. If I didn't have to travel outside the US, I'd switch to Verizon. I dunno. Maybe Verizon's international iPhone coverage is something I should look into.
• Limits. And lastly, from the "It's About Damn Time" file, Texas is raising the speed limit on a 41-mile stretch of highway between Austin and San Antonio to 85 MPH. Yes, I know that this is a real cause for concern when it comes to safety. Yes, I realize that there will still be idiots who drive 45 and hold up traffic. Yes, I understand that there are few roadways straight and flat enough to handle 85. And, yes, I get that there will still be people that will only use this as an excuse to go 95. But, dammit, I just don't care. Upping speed limits is something I approve of...
Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell from AP Photo/Statesman.com
Mostly because I think it's fucking insane that you can get pulled over and ticketed for going 10 miles above the speed limit when there are murders running around free. Yes, dangerous drivers should be stopped and fined. No argument there. But is ticketing someone going 65 in a 55 really the best use of police resources if the driver is handling the speed safely? I'd argue the moron driving 40 in a 55 is the bigger danger. In any event, There are stretches of highway in Eastern Washington that could really benefit from an 85 MPH speed limit, I'm just sayin'.
And... my flight starts boarding in 15 minutes, so I guess I should wrap this up. Good thing too, I'm just about out of bullets...
Posted on January 11th, 2011
And so... to the surprise of nobody possessing an internet connection, Verizon announced that the iPhone will be available on their CDMA network on February 10th at long last.
As I usually do when faced with a difficult decision, I decided to make a PRO vs. CON chart in order to figure out whether switching from AT&T would be a good move for me...
|Might actually be able to make a phone call that doesn't drop!||Would have to pay out my contract with AT&T plus buy a new iPhone. $$$|
|I get 3G coverage instead of shitty EDGE in my podunk home town!||3G may be more widespread, but is slower than AT&T's 3G.|
|Data might actually be usable in my podunk home town!||No coverage outside of the USA for most of the countries I usually travel to.|
|Possibly don't have to pay for tethering to data I'm already paying for?!||You can't talk and surf at the same time, which is VERY handy.|
|MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL THAT DOESN'T DROP... I MEAN, SHIT, IT'S A FUCKING PHONE!||I've had pretty good customer service from AT&T, but had HORRIBLE customer service when I was with Verizon Wireless.|
When I first switched from Verizon to AT&T, I was actually very happy. I rarely had dropped calls, and the data service was pretty good over their EDGE network. Then something terrible happened. iPhone became a raging success, and the AT&T network couldn't keep up. The release of the 3G made the problem even worse. By the time I upgraded to the 3GS, things were so bad that I thought my new phone was broken because I kept dropping calls. The 4G came out and I actually got better signal than I ever had (despite "Antennagate")... but AT&T's network was still so shitty that it didn't help.
Because I stil have a year on my AT&T contract and Verizon has shitty coverage outside the USA, I am not ready to switch just yet. And if AT&T wants to keep it that way, here's three steps they could take...
Ultimately, this announcement doesn't affect me all that much. But, if AT&T doesn't DO SOMETHING over the next year in order to improve the shitty state of their network, it could very well be a very big deal in 2012.
Posted on January 11th, 2010
And so I had an unexpected day-trip to Chicago come up. But it's not really a day-trip when it takes a day to get there and a day to get back. And, when you have to start your day at 3:30am after staying up past midnight, it feels very much like a four-day trip.
So yes, it sucks... and yes, I feel like death... and yes, I know I promised myself I'd stay home the month of January... but we don't always get what we want, do we?
But there was something to look forward to. New stamps to add to my Gowalla Passport!
Or so I thought.
Between the weak GPS in my iPhone and the shitty state of wireless service from AT&T, using Gowalla is more a frustration than a fun scavenger hunt...
Yes, I can't get a 3G signal IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING CHICAGO!
And even though I get EDGE with full bars, there's NO data connection! AT&T FAIL!
And it seems like just yesterday that I was bragging that I had only had one bad experience with AT&T's wireless. It was when I was in Las Vegas calling Jenny. And now I'm in Chicago, and it's WORSE. Coverage SUCKS! My iPhone gears down from 3G to EDGE so often that you'd think Chicago didn't even have 3G. And even when you DO manage to get online, you've got a very real chance of not getting any data linkage AT ALL.
So this is what everybody has been bitching about!
Though, I am now thinking that it's not AT&T's fault. Because Jenny lives in Chicago. And the last time I had problems in Las Vegas, Jenny was in Las Vegas. And since I haven't had problems anywhere else on earth, I'm thinking that clearly the problem here... is Jenny!
Though that doesn't explain the myriad of problems I've had with my iPhone GPS lately. Like trying to check in at a Chicago Landmark, The Bean, only to find the GPS has me outside of check-in range...
When clearly I am there. What do I have to do, sit on top of it? I mean, I understand that sometimes tall buildings and trees can obstruct GPS signal... BUT I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF OPEN SPACE!! WTF?!? It leaves me standing in Milennium Park wanting to scream NO! I'M HERE YOU MORON!!
Oh well. Tomorrow after work Jenny and I are going to go see Avatar in 3D IMAX over at Navy Pier. It's apparently so good that people are becoming depressed when they wake up the next day and find out that the world is not a beautiful as the fictional world of "Pandora" in the movie...
Heaven only knows I need more depression in my life!
Posted on September 27th, 2009
Sweet! It's the 150th edition of Bullet Sunday!
• AT&T FAIL! I am quickly becoming disenamoured with the AT&T mobile service for my iPhone. At first, everything was swell and I found the service to be on-par with Verizon, my previous mobile provider. But as more and more people jump on the iPhone bandwagon, AT&T's service keeps getting progressively worse. When I was in Las Vegas, I tried to place a call to Jenny across town (who also has an iPhone). We could not get a call to connect for more than a few seconds no matter how many times we tried. Then when I was in Alaska, I was barely able to make phone calls or use data over Edge in any port. I can only guess that the service is overwhelmed whenever cruise ships pull into port (which must really suck if you're a local). You'd think AT&T would build more capacity for these obviously high-use areas, but no. They don't even have 3G. It's as if AT&T is totally shocked over the massive success of the iPhone, and never bothered to prepare otherwise. Dumbasses. If Apple is smart, they'll choose NOT to renew their exclusive contract with AT&T and spread the congestion around on other networks. Which is where I'll be if AT&T doesn't get their shit together.
• Ghosts! I like Halloween for a lot of reasons, bit the biggest? THE CANDY! In addition to Candy Corn, which is one of my favorite sweets, I like all the "fun-sized" versions of my old favorites. Even better is the "special edition" items that are released just for the holiday. Like GHOST DOTS! It's one of the best candies ever...
Awwww... cute! And delicious! Even though the pieces all look the same, they are actually flavored just like the original DOTS candies. The package says "Which Flavor? Which Ghost? IT'S A MYSTERY!" which just makes a fun candy even better!
• Bears! After going through the 317 photos that were worth keeping from my trip to Alaska, I've come to the conclusion that I love bears. Of all the images I took, the pictures with bears are far-and-away my favorites...
One day I've got to plan a vacation that revolves around bear-watching. That would have to be one of the best trips for a photographer ever.
• Search Me! Today is Google's 11th birthday! Amazing how in all these years that no other search engine has come along which can touch it. I had hopes that Microsoft's "Bing!" would at least pose a challenge and up the search game, but so far I've been unimpressed. Here's wishing Google more innovation (and a little luck!) for another 11 years.
And now I suppose I really should finish unpacking so I can start re-packing for next week. Life. She is a viscious circle, no?