Cher & her agent are an ass

Today is the launch of Apple’s iPhone. It’s funny, two guys from my office today are heading over to a store not too far from our office to try and get one later this afternoon. There’s iPhone stories all over the web today. But this one irked me. Check this:

Movie stars, who are accustomed to receiving the latest hot gadget in advance of its release in the hope that they’ll be photographed with it, have been out of luck when it comes to landing Apple’s new iPhone, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Friday). Famed publicist Liz Rosenberg, whose clients include Madonna, Liza Minnelli, and Cher, told the newspaper that she had been unsuccessful trying to get an iPhone for Cher. “Doesn’t winning Oscars, Grammys and Emmys entitle her to move to the front of the line?” she asked. But the Times report also indicated that Steve Wozniak, who cofounded Apple with Steve Jobs, was planning to queue up in front of an Apple store in San Jose, CA at 4:00 a.m. today in order to get one. (He did say that Jobs had offered to send him one but that it wouldn’t arrive until Saturday. “This is more a celebration,” he said.)

Doesn’t winning Oscars, Grammys and Emmys entitle her to move to the front of the line?”
Excuse me? You make more money in a year than I’ll probably see in my lifetime. Get to the back of the line, you freeloading B-list celebrity. Get out there and buy one like everyone else. In fact, buy me one. You know you can afford it. Besides, you can afford to pay some kid $100 to stand in line for you. Yeesh!

Cher - iPhone

Britney Spears

Well, it certainly seems like rock bottom. If it’s not, then yikes. Britney Spears has been the subject of a lot of media attention lately. Pretty much all of it for bad things that have happened in her life. Read something this morning I liked.
I don’t watch the show, but Craig Ferguson, the host of “The Late Late Show,” said he has chosen not to make jokes at her expense. “For me, comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it,” he told viewers Monday. “It should be about attacking the powerful – the politicians, the Trumps, the blowhards – going after them. We shouldn’t be attacking the vulnerable.”
He’s absolutely right. Unfortunately, words like that will get ignored by us, unfortunately.

My Xbox 360 Died

Saturday is the day my wife works, and Daddy gets to take care of Samantha. As that’s gone on awhile now, I’ve gotten better at it, and I find true enjoyment at spending time with my daughter, and watching her grow up right in front of me. Still, I do enjoy nap time. :) So today I made myself some lunch and sat down to play a couple of hands of Uno on Xbox Live before I had to get to some chores, and what do I see? The Red Ring of Death on the front of my Xbox 360. Ugh.

Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

Everything I’ve read about this says that it’s bad. If you see it, forget it, your system is dead. So I hop on Google, do a search for that, and find a decent article on TeamXbox.com about the ring of death. They offered a few suggestions, as some of the flashing light “codes” indicate something stupid, like loose wires. None of that worked, so I rather dejectedly called Xbox support. After wading through a really dumb computer front end (that tried to act like a person), I finally got a customer service agent. I think I liked the dumb computer voice first.

I knew I was in trouble right away, as I started the phone call with “Red Ring of Death time”, to which I got the response of “Excuse me? What is that?” Like an Xbox Customer Service rep has never heard that term before. This is not going to be good at all. It was obvious Mr. Agent was reading off a script. Now that I can deal with, even if I don’t like it when I get it. But to make matters worse, this guy was acting like he was the host of a local morning talk show. You know the kind, all hyped up on java. Anyway, anytime anything even remotely negative came out of his mouth, he’d follow it up with – DON’T WORRY! Excuse me? What kind of nonsense is this? I work at a games company, I bet you I’d probably spent more time playing my 360 than he did. It was seriously annoying, but given I needed my 360 fixed, I stuck with it for awhile. To make matters worse, this guy had a very thick foreign accent, and spoke way too fast. It was difficult to understand him in the first place. Then he gave me some twaddle about my address on file being in India. Nevermind he had the street address, city, and zip code right. The state said India for some reason. Oh boy – my mind was instantly transported to this cartoon about tech support people which makes me laugh every time.

The guy eventually said that I qualified for a warranty repair (which he later said was an out of warranty repair), and told me it would cost $129 to repair my 360. BUT DON’T WORRY – We’ll pay for the shipping. You cheap bastards, you should pay for the repair too! I had a 2005 model 360, one of the first made (the manufacture date on the back said Sep 2005). So I had just about enough of his happy “Don’t Worry” crap, and said “Excuse me? $129 to repair this? I was told that you guys were fixing all 2005 model 360’s for free – what’s this $129 charge”? I deviated from script, so I think he didn’t quite know how to respond – I didn’t swear at him, but I was obviously sounding agitated. He repeated the line, said something about offering me a case number, which at this point I was seriously mad, and probably wasn’t properly listening to him. I got one more “Don’t worry”, and down went the receiver. Jackass. I don’t want to hear this “Don’t worry” garbage. I almost said “Would you stop sayign that, and just talk to me?” I didn’t, it probably wouldn’t have helped anything anyway. I mostly hung up because I couldn’t take it anymore, but I also decided I should get off the line before I said something which would cause him to hang up on me, and probably enter it into my records as “pain in the ass customer”.

The kicker is that my warranty expired just about 30 days ago. Lovely. Additionally, the repair center is in Texas, so I would have been charged sales tax on that $129 repair fee.

So I cooled off for awhile, and when Lynn came home from work we talked about it a bit. Told her all of what happened above, and she actually brought up the concept of getting a totally new one, when I said that the one I’d get back would be a refurbished model. I hate refurbs, you never know what problem is hidden underneath there. Yeah, they “fixed it”, but something happened to that unit to cause it to need to be refurbished. Never like that, feels like I’m buying a used car. I originally bought a Core system 360, because I was impatient, and didn’t want to wait until I could find a full system. I got mine on January 1, 2006, and full 360 systems were hard to find then. So I have all the extra stuff (hard drive, headphone, wireless controller, remote, etc) that you would need to upgrade a core system into a full system already. We figure that the difference between “repairing” my current 360, and getting a used/refurb model is about $150. That $150 would buy me a new unit, with a more recent manufacture date (one would expect, given the supply problems 13 months ago), as well as a new full warranty, and some piece of mind. Yeah, I probably could save a few bucks, but we talked about it, and decided this is the way to go.

So tonight I ordered a new Xbox 360 Core system, it’ll get here Wednesday, ordered from Amazon.com, and as I belong to their Prime program, I get free two day shipping. No tax either, which is nice. But I’m a) annoyed that I have to even go through this at all, and b) for the doofus I got on the customer support line. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

The only real positive to this is that the original system which is now a brick was one I never paid for in the first place – it was a Christmas present from my company back in Christmas 2005. So I’m not “double paying”. I might have to look into an extended warranty, need to see how much Microsoft charges for that. Oh, and I know the 360 Hard Drive is still working, so I won’t lose all my save games and downloads and things like that. That is good.

UPDATE Mon Feb 5: I was seriously contemplating recreating the copier scene from Office Space with my dead 360 unit. When I mentioned that to a co-worker up here at my office, I was told to go look at Ebay, so I looked there for broken Xbox 360, and wow! Found out people are getting in the neighborhood of $100 for dead, non functional 360 units. That rather stunned me, and I decided to go that route, so tonight when I get home from work, I will list my dead 360 on Ebay, and use that money against the credit card bill for buying a new 360 core. That makes this a little more palatable. I’m still not happy about all this, but given the money for the repair is a wash, and then add this $100 to the mix, and then I’m probably paying in the neighborhood of $60 to receive a totally new unit, as opposed to a refurbished one.

Raping a Dead Guy

You’d never actually want to do that, but that’s what someone is doing to Jimi Hendrix. The best way to honor one of our best all time guitarists is to name some sort of energy drink after him, isn’t it? I mean why not dig up his corpse, and set what’s left on fire? Wouldn’t that be just as honorable?
Here’s the whole story. Sigh.

[Read more…]

Excuse me? Since when is that a sport?

You know one of the casualties of the National Hockey League lockout was their exposure on ESPN. ESPN decided that when Hockey returned that they weren’t going to pony up what the NHL wanted, and decided to go without the Coolest Game on Ice. Hockey already suffered from terrible ratings as it was, and the loss of exposure on ESPN (banishing ’em to OLN) won’t help that. That’s not my point here, really.
If ESPN was worried that Hockey wasn’t going to bring in ratings, what do I see tonight advertised on the channel? A friggin Spelling Bee! A spelling bee on ESPN? What is that nonsense? Since when did a spelling bee become somthing worthy of being televised on a national sports channel? I seriously think ESPN is heading down the same road to irrelevancy that MTV is at now.
Are they seriously telling us that they think a spelling bee would bring in more ratings and money than the NHL would? Course they’ve got their noses so far up Barry Bonds’ backside anyway, I can’t say I’m completely surprised by this, I guess.

American Idol and Survivor

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t stand TV shows like American Idol & Survivor (shudder) – waste of airspace, and I get dumber by even writing about them.
Unfortunately, the captain on my bowling team loves American Idol. While ragging on it yet again, I was asked what it would take to get me to watch the show.
My response was “Let me vote the show off the air”. I’d watch that episode, for sure. Same goes for Survivor.
Please – let each show vote the other off the air.

MPAA – FOAD

Read this and weep.
It’s scary how nonsensical the MPAA is. These people need to go away. I’m not advocating anarchy and no control, but if you read through all of what I link to above, it’s scary. Spend some time and read this.
It made me so mad, I can’t say anything about it, because every other would would be obscene.

The wrong people died in New Orleans

You know, an awful lot of innocent people have died in the Katrina storm. Too many lives were lost. I’m not going to point fingers like the mass media is starting to do now. There’s enough of that garbage in our country as it is.
The point I want to make is that a lot of souls are gone now, but total f’in jackasses like this live on. It’s too bad storms don’t pick out specific people for extermination. Like the moron in the story I linked to. He needs to go. (Originally I had a link to a story on CNN for the jackasses text about how a guy stabbed a baby to death – what the hell is with that shit?)
I know my religion tells me I shouldn’t be so hostile about things like this, but sometimes I can’t help it – people who go around doing things like that contribute nothing positive to society or humanity and need to die.

Gas Station Video Screens

I’m driving home from work tonight, and I pull into the usual station I fill up at. I had just gotten my truck washed earlier in the morning, so I didn’t need to clean the windows. So I’m just standing there killing a couple of minutes when I noticed that little lcd display on the gas pump.
You know, the one that scrolls by and says “Come inside – coffee – soda – sundries – We now have calling cards!”
Why are these things here? Is there anyone ever in the history of creation who was pumping gas and thought, “You know, I wasn’t planning on buying one, but now that I read this little screen I want to go in there and buy a 10x overpriced phone card!”
Honestly – who ever has bought a single thing from these stupid video screens? It’s moments like this that remind me of a passage from the book of Carlin..
“Take your average stupid person, and then realize that half of them are stupider than that!”
Joe’s line: The stupidity of the American public never ceases to amaze me.

Figures. It just figures

I just read that the Ultimate Electronics store is pulling out of the D/FW area. These guys installed my home theatre system, and I couldn’t have been happier with their service. This is a major annoyance to me. This past Christmas I had my eyes on a really good DLP HDTV system, but ended up not doing that (mostly due to $ issues). I figured I’d get it later this year, but I guess I won’t be doing that.
Thing is I’ve never found anyone else who has such good in home installation. I don’t want to be left with people like Best Buy and Circuit City. Bleargh! :(