Saturday, November 25, 2006

A tale of two phone carriers

In the last couple of months both my wife's trusty cellphones (hers and her parents') went toes-up (well, Jane's was lost, her parents' phone was broken). So we re-upped both contracts and got replacement phones. Nothing fancy, just the cheap stuff.

Now, this past week she was out in New Jersey taking care of her dad. One day at the doctors office, the phone apparently fell off her wrist and was forgotten - only to be found later seemingly undamaged. The catch was that it had gotten some kind of wallop that left the outside fine, but the battery and screen both broken inside it. Cingular has been less than helpful, and directed me through some skullduggery involving insurance to try and replace it. Instead of a replacement, I am now awaiting a package in the mail consisting of an affidavit I have to notarize and send back with documentation, a bill copy, and a photocopy of my ID. Then, maybe, I will get a replacement phone.

Meanwhile, my Verizon Treo 700p also started having problems this week - turning off seemingly at random and requiring battery removal to reboot. It's battered, mind you - I wear it daily on a holster and go everywhere with it. But last night I called Verizon customer service. She sent me to wireless data support, where after a pleasant conversation I now have a replacement unit winging its way to me via two-day air. No muss, no fuss, no hassles, no deductibles.

I have to buy another phone in the next couple of weeks - a Treo for my employee. Guess which carrier I'm going to use?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And so it begins...

I started my Thanksgiving turkey preliminary work tonight (making a brine) - in a couple of minutes after it's cooled a little more I'll put it in a container in the fridge until tomorrow, and then the 12 Hours of Brining begins!

I did this once before, in 2002. It was a yummy turkey.

(Recipe available on - "Good Eats Brined Turkey")

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Events continue

I've worked a zillion hours the last couple of weeks - minimal blogging time. We also had two birthday parties for David to go to, one last Sunday and one yesterday, and we all went down to Connecticut overnight a couple of weeks ago for a surprise birthday party. This weekend I've been pulling solo duty, because Jane had to go down to New Jersey (her dad's having some health problems again), so David and I are holding down the fort.

Yesterday, we went to the Aquarium with Greg and his three kids before driving up to the birthday party. That was entertaining, and amusingly we ran into Woodge and his two kids there. David's also done a bunch of work for me this weekend, stopping at Apple Friday, going to an account Saturday (in between the Aquarium and the birthday party) to install an antenna, dropping off a Mac this morning and picking up another one this afternoon. When Jane's not around, I tend to do work things on the weekend.

Finally for now, I'm not sure if the Pats have fixed their problems or if the NFC just sucks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


And it's now official - Republicans have been swept out of both the House and Senate, giving Democrats control of both houses for the first time since 1994 (they had the Senate for two years - 2000 through '02). I'm giddy.

It's about time the buggers got their comeuppance! On a more serious note, I was a Weld Republican back in 1990 (I haven't missed an election since I turned 18), and my preferred candidate has almost always been a liberal Republican - at least when I had a major party candidate worth voting for (otherwise I voted Libertarian). What I hope happens ultimately is that the more extreme religious elements in the Republican party get marginalized again, so that reasonable adults can take over and I can again vote for them someday.

Change number 1, my fear of any more retiring Supreme Court justices just eased a lot. No way will another Alito be forced down our throats with Democrats running the Senate. And that's a great place to start.

Memo to Deval Patrick from Massachusetts

We voted for you this year. Don't take it for granted. We were so sick of Republicans in this state taking the governorship and then forgetting us that we probably would have voted for damn near anyone. But we like you. You're a good, effective speaker, earnest, and charismatic. The un-Healy, if it were. We think you'll be a pretty good governor.

But if you screw us by running for Vice-President (or anything else) before your first term is even over, we'll turn on you like a pack of jackals. Don't make the mistake of every governor since Ed King and immediately start looking for a new job. The one we just gave you is not too bad.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Two weeks later

Here's what my old car had that I miss a little in the new one:

- Backup sensors (you get used to them)
- RDS support in the stereo
- A cassette player (I don't have any tapes, but it gives me more iPod playing options)
- Better cupholder locations up front
- A more useful sunglasses holder - the one in the Kia can't hold an oversize lens
- Four more gallons of fuel capacity (at roughly the same gas mileage, it was effectively another 90 or so miles of highway driving
- A more useful trip computer

What I have in the Kia that makes me not care about the Chevy:
- Much better visibility
- More useful storage in the front seats, and a better glove compartment
- Auto-dimming rear mirror, and heated side mirrors
- Foglights. They can really come in handy.
- Thermostat-based climate control
- Better ergonomics

Not to mention, of course, that the handling and pickup are way better. But that's almost a given. We took it down to Connecticut on Saturday for a surprise birthday party for my buddy Scott (making a work call for my wife on the way down), and everyone was most comfy. My only qualm at the moment is that I've racked up so many miles over the last few days that I'm pooped out. I could really use a week of local stops for work - but until at least tomorrow that's not going to happen (I'm headed down the the South Shore today).