Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Six - August 25, 2012

1. When your're getting dressed, which shoe goes on first?  the right shoe
2. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it with a fork?  I twirl it.
3. Which single piece of jewelry do you wear most often?  my engagement ring
4. How many different cereals are in your pantry right now? 4
5. How often do you swear?  It depends on who I'm with and where I am.  
6. Which cartoon do you recall most fondly from your childhood? Scooby Doo!

These are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I rediscover that nothing good comes easy.

If you recall from my recent post, Goodbye DirecTV;  Hello Comcast, we now have Comcast cable television in our house.  By that I mean that we have been hooked up and that we currently receive some channels over the cable - including some of our local channels in HD - but... there is a problem.

We signed up for what I'd call the middle package.  Not all the bells and whistles such as HBO and such, but more than the basic and starter.  (It's called Digital Preferred, if you are familiar with Comcast)  Well, we currently can view our local channels - in HD, even - and all the regular channels in what they call the Digital Starter package but not the HD channels in that package.  We cannot view any of the Digital Preferred channels.

K called Comcast late afternoon Saturday to report this and was told that he should wait at least 24 hours for everything to load.  Alright.  So, we waited until Monday after work - over 48 hours - and called again.  The customer service rep said he was going to "ping" our box and to give it half an hour.  All should be fine.

It wasn't.

We called back and were told the same thing.  Tried again. Nothing. Called again - customer service rep told us to unplug box and plug back in.  Didn't work.  Called back and we now have an appointment for someone to come out to look at it today between 5 and 7.

I mentioned this situation to my daughter who informed me that they had to get 3 different boxes switched out before they got one that worked from Comcast.  I am not at all amused by this revelation.

I understand that Comcast re-uses the boxes that they get back from customers when they cancel their service. This makes sense, obviously. I have to wonder why they don't test all the boxes when they get them back. Wouldn't it save them time and money to do so?  So far we've made 4 phone calls to service reps and now a technician has to come out to the house a 2nd time.  If we had received a working box in the first place, we could have avoided all this.  Not to mention, I'd feel a lot better about Comcast, which is invaluable to a company I would imagine.

And I missing something here?

In any event, I hope by this time tomorrow our issues are resolved and we can enjoy the television we signed up for.  Wish us luck!

Update:  Our problem has been resolved!  Please read the comments on this post to find out the details if you are interested.

Image courtesy of 3bAaV6rnoc (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Seven - August 19, 2012

The 7 Oldest Films in my DVD collection

  1. Holiday Inn - 1942
  2. Arsenic and Old Lace - 1944
  3. It's a Wonderful Life - 1947
  4. Miracle on 34th Street - 1947
  5. Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse - 1948
  6. Rear Window - 1954
  7. North by Northwest - 1959

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Six - August 18, 2012

1. What is your traditional zodiac sign?  Either Libra or Scorpio depending on who you ask.
2. How often, if ever, do you read your horoscope? Extremely rarely.
3. Check out the Geek Zodiac. What is your birth year the year of? Year of the Undead/Slayer
4.Which of the merits listed do you think is most accurate to your personality? Knows value of all life, I guess.  The other two don't seem to apply at all!
5.Which of the demerits listed do you think is most accurate to your personality? Difficulty connecting to humanity - in that I'm a bit of an introvert.  Again, the other two don't seem to apply at all!
6.  Which single merit or demerit listed for your sign do you think is most inaccurate to your personality? Tormented.  I am definitely not tormented! 

These have been the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place! Stop over and play along!

Goodbye DirecTV; Hello Comcast

My boyfriend, K, and I have subscribed to DirecTV for several years.  We first became interested in the service when we heard about their NFL Sunday Ticket. See, both K and I are football fans but he's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan while I'm a St. Louis Rams fan. Living in central Pennsylvania, our local stations generally broadcast most of the Steelers games but we hardly ever are able to watch Rams games. When we subscribed to the NFL Sunday Ticket, we could watch our games the vast majority of the time.  The only problem cropped up when both teams were playing at the same time but we managed to work it out without bloodshed.

At first, we loved DirecTV.  We liked the range of channels that were available and we liked the fact that once we switched over to their service we were paying less than we had previously with Dish Network.  Then things started to change.

First, our old television died.  We bought a new one that was HD.  We called up DirecTV and told them that we had this new television and wanted to be hooked up to their HD service.  Certainly, we were told.  But... there was a fee of $50 to switch over and an extra $10 a month.  But, we argued, you currently offer HD to new subscribers with no extra fee!  It didn't matter.  If we wanted HD, we would have to pay a fee to switch over.  No, they could not make an exception and, frankly, I thought they were rather rude.  They acted like they didn't appreciate that we always paid our bill on time and were model customers.  We had even referred another customer to them!  So, we decided that we didn't need HD.  It was the principal of the thing. We would have cancelled our service with them right then and there but we had a contract with them so we decided to see that through.

Next, the NFL Sunday Ticket price started to go up.  And up.  And up!  Finally last year we decided that we simply couldn't justify the price and we told them we didn't want it. This year, we're told, they have brought the price down a bit - I imagine they had lost some customers over the years - but we still decided to go without.  Times are tough and we don't want to have an extra expense right now.

Then, we realized that our monthly price had kept increasing little by little and before we knew it, we were paying more than double what we had started out paying!  After the initial agreement, the price started to rise until now it is just absurd!

Enough is enough!

We called Comcast and asked what they could offer us.  We already use Comcast for internet as we have old phone lines in our area.  It's either cable or satellite.  We saved a little money by going with Comcast on our phone service, as well.  Well, it seems that we can get off much cheaper than what we are paying now for all three services combined if we switch to Comcast and bundle.

So! It's bye-bye DirecTV and I can't say that I'm sorry to see them go.  I think I'd feel differently if I felt like they appreciated our business but I never got the impression that they did. Perhaps they need to take a lesson from some of their competitors. It really does matter.

What do you think?  Have you ever felt unappreciated by a company you deal with?  What, if anything, have you done about it?

Image courtesy of User:Stannered (en:Image:Aus tv.png (among others)) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The special ones

I've noticed something and the more I think about it, the more I am troubled.  When something truly horrible happens- whether it is a natural disaster or a not-so-natural tragedy- and lives are lost but some people survive, there are survivors who will say that they were saved by divine intervention.

This is not uncommon. I've heard tornado victims spout this as well as survivors of shooting rampages. We all have.  The media just loves these people so we hear these stories again and again.

I understand.  When many are around you who have not lived, I believe it is human nature to try to figure out why you were spared.  I do get this.  The problem I have is this:  If you are saying that your god saved you, aren't you also saying that the same god decided to allow the others to die?

I'm sorry, but... what makes you think that you are so special that you were spared while others were killed?

What do you think the family members of those who died think of your special status?  I'm fairly sure they might not quite see it your way.  Think about it.  It just seems like such a vain statement and so hurtful to others.

I'm sorry, but how do you justify this?  Is this really how you think it works?