Boring Report for Sunday

Today has been less productive than I had hoped, but it was a pretty good day, all the same. I had planned to go out and run some errands, do some housework and review the writing samples I have for this week. Instead, I never left the house and I watched entirely too much television. Can’t complain about that!

When I got up this morning, I fixed myself some breakfast and sat down in front of the television to eat and watch recorded shows from my DVR. After I ate, I played some Fish Wrangler, taking care of my daily tournaments and stuff, and I made the mistake of scrolling through my on-screen television guide to see what was on. When I got my new DirecTV service, they gave me three months of all the premium channels free. Of course I have to remember to cancel them later or they’ll charge me. I will definitely cancel them because I “never” watch premium channels, or even have a need/desire to watch them. Why would I need premium channels when I have this?

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But it just so happens that HBO Family was running all six of the Star Trek (original series) movies and I got sucked into them for a little while. I watched the second half of the first movie and then turned off the TV, but I realized I wasn’t really finished with the computer so I turned the TV back on and watched the second half of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. I set the DVR to record The Voyage Home because I really did have things to do.

I did put my laundry away, take a shower, and heat and eat left overs from last night’s dinner at Red Lobster. I watched The Voyage Home while I ate dinner and ironed some clothes. Now I need to read my samples, but it’s almost 10 o’clock and I need to turn on the Grammys so I will be up to date with the rest of the world tomorrow morning and before anybody can spoil the results (not that they’re that important).

Since I am one of the three people whose work is being critiqued this week, I only have two submissions to go through, so I’ll do one tomorrow and one on Tuesday. It’ll work out fine.

So there’s your boring report for this Sunday. Hope you had a more adventurous week-end than I did.

 

 

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It’s All Fun and Games

Another quiet day here at the Riggledome.  I haven’t even left the house today, which is nice.

You’ll recall that I had my appointment today to get my new DirecTV installed so I didn’t go to work today.  My appointment was between 8 and noon this morning.  I got up around 7:15 so I could make sure I was showered and dressed before the possibility of the installer’s arrival.  However, with so much on my plate this week-end, I didn’t get the cleaning done I wanted to before I went to bed last night, so I was counting on The Rule of Installation Windows coming into play.  What’s that you say?  You don’t know what The Rule of Installation Windows is?  Well, silly! The Rule of Installation Windows says that if your appointment will be between 8 and noon, the installer will show up at 11:50.  That would give me plenty of time to get my TV stand and dresser dusted, pull the TV stand out and sweep behind it, and clear a path to my dresser so the installer could get to the second TV with minimal risk to life and limb.

My installer showed up at 8:10.

At 8:40, I received a phone call from the installation company.  Since I don’t answer the phone when I don’t know who’s calling, I waited for the voice mail.  I was informed, at 8:40, that my appointment was today and that my installer would arrive between 8 and noon, and that he would call me 30 minutes before he arrived.  The installer was outside getting something from his truck when I listened to the voice mail, but I was sure to let him know I’d been reminded that my service would be installed sometime between 8 and noon.  We both had a good laugh and he said the dispatch guys at his company are good for that kind of reminder call.

When I had DirecTV installed at this house almost four and a half years ago, the installer that came out was on his first day out of training.  I was his first job without supervision.  It took him nearly five hours to install my service.  When the installer came today, he arrived at 8:10 and was gone by 10:00.  I have to say, it may be the rose-colored glasses, but I think the picture is clearer.  I know the DVR is more user-friendly.  I was a little dismayed to realize that I can’t record as many shows at once as I could with AT&T, but so far I haven’t found any conflicts that can’t be resolved with DirecTV’s ONE THOUSAND TIMES BETTER On Demand features.

Otherwise, it’s been a pretty quiet day.  I watched a little TV.  I watched a Doctor Who original series DVD from Netflix.  I read a bunch of blogs (and I still have 39 unread posts in my reader right now.  When I hit publish on this, I’m going to go make some dinner and then eat while I watch the pilot episode of Smash On Demand (one of those programming conflicts that prevents me from recording it when it’s on the air.)  And then I’ll do some of that dreaded ironing I always want to put off as long as I can.

Yep.  Nothing but fun and excitement around here!

Time Keeps on Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’

Today is not such a lazy Saturday around the ole Riggledo homestead.

I slept late, because I stayed up late (where have we heard that story before), because I stayed at work late, because I got there late, because….  Well, you get the idea.

Actually, I stayed later than I would have, because I had a couple of things I wanted to do and I had a huge chunk of my productivity time stolen away when IT came to my office to try to install my new printer, only to have the driver not work and the printer and computer not talk to each other (except for the printer to spit out 20-30 pages of error messages – six separate times) and not get resolved.  The IT guy has to try again on Monday, with the in-house Lexmark technician in tow.  (Karin, you’ll be glad to know the IT guy kept putting the papers back in the tray so he didn’t waste as much paper as he could have.) 😛

Anyway, I’ve been behind on my blog reader, spending more time on the writing than on the reading recently, so I was trying last night and this morning (afternoon) to trim that number down.  But I’ve also got four and half hours worth of TV shows on my DVR that need to be watched with another 90 minutes scheduled to be added tomorrow and those all need to be watched before bed tomorrow night, because on Monday, I finally have an appointment to have new TV service installed.  I’ve absolutely had it with AT&T U-verse and it’s finally going away.  If you’re one of the very few people who were around here long enough ago to remember my rant/diatribe about my previous attempt to replace U-verse with DirecTV and how I swore I’d never use DirecTV again…  Well, let’s just pretend that never happened and be happy for me that I’ll be having DirecTV installed in my house and all will be right with the world. (Hypocrite.)

It’s only 3:15 in the afternoon, so that probably doesn’t really sound all that stressful, but it is.  Here’s why:

Today is my friend and Michelle’s sister, Monique’s birthday (you might recall she’s the one that made this)  and there’s a party in two hours and fifteen minutes.  I have to buy cat food today and I have not yet bought her a birthday present or even a card.  I really wanted to got to Target today to make a semi-significant (to me – and probably only me) purchase.  Also, I have yet to take a shower or brush my teeth today.

Plus, tomorrow is my day to hang out with Lil’B.  Much of the day is taken up with that, not that I mind in the least.

AND, I need to clean (organize, dust, sweep around) my entertainment center, and my dresser, where the second TV is, not to mention clear a path to the dresser…

Crap!  I’ve got a lot to do.

Gotta go!

Catching Up

It has been much too long since I’ve written here.  Part of the reason I haven’t written is because I’m  not good at short and sweet, to-the-point posts and so what ought to be a quick few minutes to write, ends up being a couple of hours to write, edit, read, preview and re-read, and re-edit a crazy long-winded post, and I just keep putting it off which only serves to make them longer.

I’m going to try to be brief with this post, though I make no promises…

I’m not even sure if I had decided on this when I wrote my last post, but I am now on vacation not to return to work until Monday, August 30, 2010.  I put in my request to my manager for my vacation and he approved it and then sent me an e-mail telling me that he wanted me to be very involved in this month-long event in September that would require me to do all my planning and purchasing and compiling in half the time that everyone else has to get ready, all the while dealing with the group who is actually hosting the event but didn’t want to share any of their information.  It came down to the wire, but I believe I have everything ready now…  I hope.  If not, I’ll have two days when I get back to work to take care of it.  No pressure there.

I decided to take this vacation, really a stay-cation, because I have been exhausted for weeks, staying up too late, having to get up early in the morning, and upon learning of this event, staying much too late at work.  My life has gotten out of kilter and I desperately needed to right it again, and with my class start date looming, I really wanted to get a handle on things before hand.

I never made it to the gym all of last week, with the pressure I had to have my work in order before my vacation.  I was surprised to see how much I missed that.  I have to admit that while there was so much pressure and trepidation about the locker room when I first started going during the day, I now enjoy it and having a break from my work while I take care of myself.  Except for last week, I have been more consistent with going to the gym since I started the mid-day routine than ever before.  And I even enjoy taking a shower in the locker room there.  It’s a refresher in the middle of the work-day and it’s liberating to have gotten over my fears.  (Plus it saves on my water bill at home.)

On Friday, I did finally take a little break from the work craziness to have coffee with my friend John (John H).  Saturday was laundry day and Sunday I hung out with Lil’B.  It was still rather chilly and I had designs on going to the movies.  We haven’t yet seen Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.  I’m a BIG kid and I love those kinds of movies so I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw the first previews.  When I arrived at Lil’B’s house I asked him what he wanted to do that day and he said, “Miniature Golf.”  Hmmm.  OK.

So we went to play miniature golf while I was dressed/prepared for a chilly movie theater.  Green “painters” pants (green pants with deliberately laid out paint spots on the front) and a black t-shirt.  The jean jacket got left in the car.  There was no sun screen.  One of these days I’ll learn to bring along the sun screen just in case.  The weather was actually quite nice where the mini-golf place was.

After I dropped Lil’B off, I went over to my friends John H and John M’s house.  I think it’s cute that they both are named John, but John H says they always know who is being addressed.  (I have to admit that I once had a passing crush on a guy named Kevin and thought it would’ve been funny if we’d ended up together.  Then again, I was also engaged to a girl named Kerri and she thought it was “too sweet” that we would be Kevin and Kerri.  She meant “too sweet” in a bad way.)  The John’s and I had a wonderful dinner of Baked Ziti and Sourdough bread with an incredible blueberry and cherry tart that “John threw together while I was in the shower,” John H told me.  I left at about 10:30 and called it a night.

One of my objectives for this time off work is to get my body clock back on a decent schedule.  If I plan to continue to go to the gym during the work day and still work 8-ish hours, I’ve got to do better about getting to work “on time-ish”, especially on class days.  So I wasn’t too dismayed by having scheduled DirecTV to come and install new service at my house “between 8 and noon” on Monday.  Much to Mischa’s dismay, I pretty much went straight to bed when I got home and got up at 7:30 Monday morning.  Not early enough, but it was a start.  I won’t spend too much time harping on this, but DirecTV quite successfully managed to turn me from being a big fan/major proponent of their service to a stark hater who will tell everyone I ever meet (where the subject comes up) NEVER TO USE DIRECTV SERVICES, EVAR!!

Very quickly, I was a DirecTV customer for 5 years and canceled my service 6 months ago in favor of AT&T U-verse because of cost.  I don’t really love the AT&T product and will still maintain that the actual product offered by DirecTV is better, but I will never use them again.  Three years ago when I moved into my current home, the same day as my downstairs neighbors in this duplex moved in, I had the DirecTV service installed.  My installer had been here and at work for about an hour before another installer showed up to do the installation for my downstairs neighbors.  The two installers made the determination that they could provide both of us with service using only one satellite dish and splitting the signal between the two units.  This made everyone (most of all, our landlady) happy.  I explained this set-up to the operator when I placed the order to re-instate my service and he said it was great.

When the installer showed up here on Monday, at 11:55 he informed me that he could not do this but instead he had to install a second dish on the house.  I told him that was not an option and he said he couldn’t do what I was asking.  After speaking with the installer, and his supervisor, via telephone, and then a dispatcher in his office, I got conflicting answers about code regulations and DirecTV policy (the installation company is a third party) and various other, conflicting and contradictory reasons.  Finally I called DirecTV directly and after explaining my situation six times and being told that they needed to transfer me to “The right department” I finally got one very pleasant young lady who took the time to investigate properly.  After 52 minutes on the phone with DirecTV I was informed that they absolutely can do what I’m asking them to do, but that it’s at the discretion of the installation tech whether he will do it.  The best advice she could give me was that I should call the installer back and tell them this.  I was waiting for a call from a supervisor from that company anyway and when it hadn’t come in over 90 minutes (I told them I needed a call “right away” about what they planned to do because “my entire day is now on hold waiting for you”) I called them again.

I called the install company back and was disconnected right after they answered the phone.  I called again and the phone rang twice and then there was nothing but static and crackling on the line.  I called a third time and got an answer but the person sounded like he was across the room from the phone and the static and crackling were still there.  I explained that I was expecting a call from the supervisor and he insisted on knowing what it was about before sending my information on.  I explained the information I had gotten from DirecTV to him and then he seemed to disappear for a moment.  When he came back I couldn’t understand what he was saying and the best I could come up with was that he was e-mailing the supervisor this information.  After giving the operator an earful about how horrible their service is, how terrible their phone system is and how they’re making me question my decision to come back to DirecTV I told him that I expected the call from the supervisor within one hour.  If I did not hear from him within one our I was going to cancel my order.

When one hour ended, I called DirecTV back for one sole purpose.  I explained my entire situation, yet again, to “the right person” and I explained to her that I was just about finished.  I told her that I was calling to cancel my order, but before I did, I wanted to give them one last-ditch opportunity to try to save my business, because based on my own experiences, I was of the opinion that DirecTV has the best product on the market and I had once been a satisfied DirecTV customer.  She confirmed that everything I had been told was true but that it is up to the install company whether they would do it.  She said that she could not order them to do the install the way I wanted.  I made it very clear that if they didn’t I was going to cancel my order and she wasn’t going to budge.  Finally, I said, “OK, well then let me give you my order number so you can cancel my order.”  Without a flinch, or a hint of apology, she said, “Sure!” and put me on hold.  A few minutes later she came back, told me the order was canceled and asked if there was anything else she could do for me.  I said, “No!  I’m just really disappointed to find that you don’t care any more than that to keep your customers.”  Again, without an apology she said, “OK, have a nice day.”

I guess that wasn’t so brief, but you know me, once I get started…

The one bright point to that story is that while I was waiting for the installer and arguing with the people on the phone, I also made a huge dent in the mess that is my apartment.  I went through a bunch of papers and disposed of what I could, separating the rest to be filed away (which I still need to do).   I did a little bit of organizing and putting stuff away.  I really made a good start.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get started again since.

Tuesday, I got up with a plan.  I was out of bed by 6:45.  I spent the morning, taking care of some computer stuff I needed to do, while mentally planning my day.  I was going to leave home by 10:30 to go to the gym, spend 45 minutes doing cardio, take a shower (I wanted to compare the locker room and showers to the gym by my office) and then head toward my therapists office in Berkeley for our 2:00 appointment, getting lunch along the way.  I got a late start leaving for the gym.  I was all ready to go when…  My coffee kicked in.  There are few things I hate more than pooping at the gym so I was late heading out.  I got to the gym at about 12:20 and by the time I found a locker, and unpacked my gym bag, I really only had about 20 minutes for my cardio before I had to take my shower.  I went back into the locker room at about 1:05 and was dressed and leaving the gym by 1:30.

When I got into the car, I noticed I had a voice mail on my cell phone.  It was Deb, wondering where I was since I was 15 minutes late for our 1:00 appointment.  I called her back, but of course there was no way I was going to arrive before our hour was up.  I mentioned something to her about how I had it at 1:00 in my calendar, but in my mind it was “at our regular time of 2:00.”  She pointed out that 1:00 is our regular time, which, of course, it is…  Vacation brain fart!  One hundred dollars down the drain.

I headed to Berkeley anyway, because I had other plans for after our appointment.  After a quick stop off at Taco Bell, I went to the tattoo shop where I got my last piece done to look through their books for inspiration and to ask about piercing.  They don’t do piercing and I didn’t find any inspiration in their books, but they did refer me to another tattoo shop a mile up the street that does piercing, and with only a minimal amount of trepidation, and after many months (years) of consideration, I had this done:

Somebody needs a shave!

The upper one.  Obviously my lobe has been done for a while.  They said this will take 2-3 months to heal, but once it does, I’ll replace the stud with some sort of hoop.  The piercing itself really didn’t hurt, despite what I’d been told by some.  It was a little more tender after I left the shop, a kind of delayed reaction, but that didn’t really last all that long and then it was fine.  It’s a little ouchy while doing the cleaning routine, but for the most part I can’t even feel it, unless I bump it accidentally (doesn’t even hurt to lie on it at night.  Even the back of the post doesn’t poke into my head, which I thought it would.)

Today, I–  Well, I ended up sort of wasting the day.  I got up at 6:30 and putted around the house for a while, taking care of social networking stuff and doing my daily Fish Wrangler tournament.  I watched an episode of Glee and then I headed out around 10:00 for a…  personal grooming appointment… followed by a small amount of shopping and lunch.  Even less shopping than I had planned since I had the good sense to check the status of my checking account before I spent too much money.

So that gets us all caught up.  Sorry my vacation stories aren’t more exciting….

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and, somehow, soak my ear in salt water (part of the cleaning regimen.)  This should be entertaining!