flotsam, peeves

So basically, I have no problems in life

At this rate, I’m never going to complete this course.

Camera Tripod
Image via Wikipedia

The photography course requires that I get a tripod. But they are really firm about this being something we should see and touch before buying. My local photography store appears to be out of business.

This is the same course that was so insistent through the entirety of Unit One that I NOT run out and buy ANY equipment. And then, in the last section of the last lesson in Unit One, just before we got to the “assignment” portion, they sprung “tripod” as a requirement. If they had mentioned this a little sooner I’d have been looking for somewhere to get one. But they didn’t. That assignment is due before I can move on to the next Unit of the course. I’m already two units behind now.

I’m sure I can borrow a tripod from someone. It will all work out.

The cable company SO does not want my business.

A female HDMI connector
Image via Wikipedia

I came home from the car dealership on Saturday, after my appointment that was supposed to be just a state inspection and hopefully get me out of there before the snow got serious, but turned into several hundred in repairs and nearly 6 hours in the dealership. I got home, pealed out of the jeans that had gotten soaked between the parking lot and the front door, took something for my headache and turned on my TV to unwind.

Error message on the screen indicated that there was a problem with the HDMI. The next message told me to try to connect with YPrPb. Do you know what YPrPb means? Neither did I.

So I called the cable company. And called and called and called and called, because the lines were busy. Yeah, OK. It’s a snowstorm, I get it. FINALLY I get a person on the phone, and he tells me that the message I’m getting means the system thinks I’m stealing cable, or infringing on copyrights, or something. Um. I’m not. Why would it think that? What do we do about it?

So we play with this setting and that setting, and nothing clears it. Finally he tells me that probably my HDMI cable has just gone bad, and I should switch to using the YPrPb cables.

I’m sorry, that still doesn’t mean anything to me.

Oh, those are the red-blue-green cables that are the system default. The ones the technician used to set up your system…

Um. No. I had tons of problems with my system disconnecting previously, and I was told (by the cable company) that I needed HDMI cables to avoid those problems. So the last time the technician was here, he put in a new cable box, and he hooked me up with the brand new HDMI cable that I had bought just for the purpose.

OK, but he should have left you with the other cables too.

OK, well, he didn’t.

Well, if you want to come into the office here, we can sell you the YPrPb cables. They should get credited back off your account on your next bill.

You do know there’s a snowstorm right now?

Yes, right. Plus that office is about to close for the night, and they aren’t open on Sundays. You can come in on Monday. Or you can go out and buy your own replacement HDMI cable, and see if that solves the issue.

So, you’te tellling me that because I was not given whatever I should have been, I now need to run out in a snowstorm to either buy the connectors I should have received but didn’t from the cable company, or go elsewhere to get another HDMI cable, and hope that solves the problem, and that in either case I’m probably without TV until at least Monday?

And then this wizard of customer service gives me some baloney about the quality of the HDMI cables I chose (about which he knows nothing) and how these things do happen and you know, if you buy a good computer like a [not a brand I think is so terribly great either] then it lasts longer than if you buy a cheap one… And while he’s blathering about the quality of the HDMI cable I purchased and I’m trying to see if the red-yellow-white cables are the same thing as YPrPb (apparently not) I’m getting more and more irritated and thinking, Are you seriously blaming me for this? Because it sounds a lot to me like you’re implying to a customer that it’s their own fault that they’re not going to be receiving services they pay for. Which in another light I might agree with… since after all I have stayed with the company all this time despite consistently terrible service… MY BAD. Oh, you’re still blathering about the quality of cables like I care. Are you going to offer me tips on which brands of HDMI cables are less likely to fail? No? Are you going to offer me a discount on my cable bill this month in light of this problem? No? Then you have nothing to offer me in this situation, and I’m done talking to you. (Click)

Interestingly, I have disconnected every cable back there (they’re in a pile in front of the TV) and suddenly everything works. I have no idea how it’s working, since right now the TV and cable box have no relationship to each other, so I am going with “miracle.”

I thought the hill would be the problem.

Road Closed Ahead sign
Image via Wikipedia

There is a hill – not quite a mountain, but a Very Big Hill Indeed – that sits between where-I-live and where-I-work. In inclement weather, the routes over the hill become impassable, and are closed. This is my indicator, in general, of whether I’m going to the office or working from home. Can’t get over the hill = can’t go to work.

Usually I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get over the hill until I get to the hill but there was actually a road closure and re-open announcement online, so I knew there was a route over. And if the hill isn’t a problem, it’s all fine, right?

Um, no, that’s where I would be wrong. One road closure on my side of the hill was no problem, but on the other side, it’s like a tornado blew through, there’s so many trees and power lines down and roads closed. After my third detour, I needed to get out the GPS to find any way through. And just as a PS, any day that starts with needing a GPS to get to the office is not really the best of days.

Of course, I did have a GPS, and I did make it in. Ahead of a lot of other people, too.


Image by midnightcomm via Flickr

Before I left for work this morning, I checked in with the corporate emergency line, just to make sure the office was open. No sense in driving hither and yon only to discover the office is without power or something, right? Well, the offices were all open on their normal schedule, so I came in. And got settled in and booted up.

I still had my coat on — it tends to be freakishly cold in the office, especially after a cold weekend. Just as well that I left it on; within minutes of arriving, we were notified that the facilities team was working to resolve heating issues in our building.

And by “heating issues” they meant, we didn’t have any heat.

At all.

I ran out for lunch today (to get something hot) and it was exactly the same temperature outside as it had been in.

They got the heat on around 3:30PM. At 5PM the system went back into nighttime mode. Meaning: cold.

I am really glad I bought the heated mouse last year. It was a life-saver today. Plus… some of my colleagues had no heat or power at home. Might not for days.

And all that to say…

I have found a lot to complain about today, but I have no real problems when I stop to think about it.

4 thoughts on “So basically, I have no problems in life”

  1. I guess you really are stealing cable, since nothing’s connected yet you still have a picture! Something would be screwy there, if you weren’t actually PAYING for a service you’re not getting. Hmmm.


    1. Yeah, all kinds of things are screwy about this. I don’t actually understand how they come off suggesting that I’m stealing cable, when I’m a paying customer. (Heck, I’m the customer that calls up and informs them when they’ve turned on channels I’m not supposed to get, and makes them turn them back off.) Nice. Accuse a customer with an account, and a cable box, and everything. Further to this mystery: if the message is meant to indicate “you’re stealing cable” why does it only appear when I’m correctly connected to my cable box, for which I have an account on file?

      The whole thing is bizarre, on so many levels. Not the least of which is… why am I still a customer?


    1. Yep. Mine is a ValueRays, which I found at Amazon a little over a year ago.

      The downside is that it needs to be wired. The upside is that my fingers aren’t so cold that they hurt anymore.


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