Can I hear me now?


Sunday morning I awoke to a phone that said "Activation Required".  When I swiped the phone all the way on it went on to say "Insert SIM Card".  This was all 8 hours after I plugged the phone in by the bed and received 2 text messages from Keith & Jerry.  Somehow, in the middle of the night, unmoving, my phone broke.

The rest of the morning was spent Googling how to fix my problem. My problem could not be fixed by Googling.

Out of the proper mix of pissed & frustration, I ordered a new phone from Verizon. My phone is 2½ years old and I've been wanting one of those snazzy, oversized phones that would better fit my beefy man hands since they came out. Sunday morning I placed the order and I had 2 shipping options - Next Day by 10:30 for $30 or Next Day by 8:00PM for free. I'll pick free because I'm not in that much of a hurry! Order placed and I get ready for Monday.

Monday morning I get an email that the phone has shipped and will be here by 8PM Tuesday. Verizon doesn't know they don't ship on Sundays. Well #$%! you Verizon. Or I guess #$%! me. Fine, I'll wait an extra day. And this is being shipped by FedEx. To my house. Those packages seems to make it half the time. Oh, and I have to sign for it. My chances of getting this thing Tuesday night have slipped to around 10%.

I spend Monday frustrated. And pissed. I really should have looked into getting the phone fixed. It should be a problem with the SIM card or more likely some internal component connected to recognizing the SIM card went bad. I decide PLAN B is to see if the broken phone can be fixed IF FedEx doesn't show up for me to sign for the new phone. I make an Apple Fix It appointment for Wednesday morning as my backup. If I read things right it will cost $265 for Apple to fix my phone - I guess that's a minimum cost. Cheaper than a new phone, but I was splitting the new phone into monthly payments included in my Verizon bill.

I've got a lot of aggressive passive aggressiveness built up. For somebody who claims not to use his phone nearly as much as everybody else this has been bothering me a lot more than it should.


Only 1 Fridge


When I went to order my replacement refrigerator, I got a little carried away. On Friday I went on to the Home Depot site and started an order with the refrigerator and all the sundry items that would go with it (water line, haul way my old fridge, 5 year warranty) so I could see the price. On Sunday I went through the process again and picked a delivery date. When I got to the order summary, after paying, I noticed the total was double what I was expecting.

Crap. I looked at the order I placed. Yep, two of everything. My cart from Friday was still active when I added stuff on Sunday, and I wasn't paying enough attention to to notice.

A "Chat with Us" box was still on the page, so I opted to see if I could handle this with someone I hoped wasn't in India. I ended up having a nice chat with someone going by Michele who removed one of the refrigerators from my order and told me it would take 7-10 days for the credit to show up. I double checked that I was still going to have 1 refrigerator delivered Saturday, and she said I would, along with a smiley face.

Saturday comes and I'm first on the delivery list. (A single) new fridge arrives and the guys hook it up. I notice on the delivery sheet it says at the bottom:
@ haul away
@ haul away

Haul away is listed twice. This sheet has no prices. When Michele removed my extra refrigerator, did she remove all the extra stuff that went with it?

The delivery guys wouldn't know, so I went back to Home Depot Chat. Today I got Paul. I explained what originally happened with the multiple fridge order, how I got 1 fridge like I should have, but since haul way was listed twice I wanted to double check what had been credited since my lone invoice from my original order still showed what I had originally ordered (2 of everything).

Paul was helpful. More helpful than I would have thought ahead of time. He was even chatty and personable. In the end he told me that everything had been taken care of (as it should have been), and he would try to send me an updated invoice but their system had some limitations in what he could send. As someone who deals with nice and pretty front-end systems vs the hacked together parts of the back-end, I understood where he was coming from. It sounds like everything is just as it should be, I've just been a little paranoid since I initially screwed up and don't have anything documented that it's been fixed.

Mainly I've been pleasantly surprised by how well chatting with customer service has been. I think I (we?) have be conditioned to think any type of online/technical support will be a form of torture, where the person on the other end won't understand me or whose sole goal in life is to the exact opposite of what I want. But it's not that way. I need to not be so hesitant and belligerent-ready the next time I have to use customer service in that way.

Even better, I just checked my credit card account and Home Depot properly credited my account!


Getting colder, in a week.


Last week I lamented my refrigerator not refrigerating. Do I go the route of most sane people when their refrigerator gives them a problem for the first time and call a repair service technician to come out and take a look? Hell no. I go buy a new refrigerator.

My current (non-working) refrigerator is almost 8 years old. It's a low-end fridge, an any life span beyond the extended 5-year warranty I consider bonus time. The problem with the fridge is the compressor, and or things connected to the compressor. The most likely culprit is some type of computerized controller board since my problems started after the power had gone off (power surge?). A replacement compressor is $350 on the internet. Add in the cost of an out of warranty service call, labor, etc, I'd be lucky if it was fixed for $500. Even then it's still an 8 year old refrigerator that I know I'm going to have more problems with. I don't have good luck with refrigerators.

This is a good time of year to have appliance problems. Many places are starting early Black Friday sales. Home Depot has an early Black Friday sale. They even have (yet another) low-end refrigerator that has just what I want, along with not having things I don't want. So I took advantage of the sale and placed my order, because the Home Depot appliance department is just a showroom - everything is delivered from a centralized warehouse. In theory the refrigerator should get here this Saturday. In the interim I've dug out, cleaned, and plugged in my old 3-ft tall refrigerator that I used the last time my refrigerator died.

I could have gotten a better model refrigerator. The one I got comes with a 5-year warranty. The salesman was really pushing a better model that has a 10-year warranty and has been one of their best sellers for the past 3 years. It cost twice as much as the one I bought. Plus it had all kinds of extra stuff I didn't want. Last twice as long for twice the price VS get what I actually want, and likely to buy it again in 5 years. Although I generally dislike the hassle of buying appliances, this time I'm going to not talk myself into getting something fancy that will last longer due to (basically) peer pressure.

We'll see how all of this works out starting this weekend.

random maintenance

Not cold enough


2 weeks ago, or so, my freezer stopped freezing and spent a day or so going to ~50° before bouncing back to 0° overnight. I thought at the time that I may have just not shut the door all the way.

Last night I noticed more moisture than normal in the freezer, and the IR temp gun measured it at 40°. Today after work it's at 50°.

I really don't have time for a broken freezer right now.

random maintenance

The Hoard


I've joked a lot about how much boardgaming stuff I have, especially minis to paint. This past weekend I was moving things between various storage spots, trying to make a little room and cull those things that have been sitting around for years. One of the reasons I haven't painted as much as I want is that the minis are hard to get to/find. I'm excellent at storing things, I pack things away with the best of them. Getting to something specific after I've stored it - not so easy. With that in mind, part of my storage rearraging was not to maximized what I'm storing, but to make it easier to get to those things I may want to [paint] while still keeping them out of the way.

Things to paint made their way to the garage utility closet. The closet was reclaimed over the summer, previously being "that door in the garage I haven't opened in 15 years". The bed I slept in from ages 3-30 - gone to my aunt in Rogersville. Jer's Soloflex he acquired when living in his Madison townhouse, which I think I got when he married Elaine 17 years ago - gone (to a dumpster, over the course of 2 trips). Other miscellaneous crap which for some reason was in there - trashed. With a bleaching of the floor (damn mice) and moving in some of my handy dandy wheeled wire shelving I was good to go.

The rack pictured above is 4 ft wide, 18 in deep, and (I think) 7 feet tall. The top and bottom shelves have games that I'm still trying to decide if they'll stay there or end up somewhere else. Most are oversized boxes so they don't fit well where I'm storing most of my other games.

The 4 shelves in the picture, though, can best be summarized as "where did all this shit for me to paint come from?" Most of the top shelf is 2 Kickstarters worth of generic plastic scenery to glue together and paint. There's Robotech robots, zombie survivors, Star Trek fleets, Firestorm Armada space ships.

On the bottom right is a box of 3D printed models from Shapeways - mostly GI Joe themed. That bottom shelf isn't so bad, as everything else is cardstock scenery (and the stack of 2 white boxes is yet another Kickstarter).

It's hard to see, but the black mesh boxes have individual minis, actual people, to paint. I remember counting the Reaper minis (on the right above the 2 white Kickstarter boxes on the bottom shelf mentioned above) and there were 103 packs. That's ¼ of a shelf. What am I thinking?

I am a gaming hoarder. Games. Stuff that goes with games. I've cut back on accruing as much ...crap... over the past year, thanks in large part to being out of work for 4 months last year. During that time, seeing all the games I've had for years still in their shrink wrap has helped quell my need for getting more games. Hopefully the above will convince me that I just don't need anything else to paint.

Now that I can get to this stuff to paint, we'll see what kind of progress is made.

Seriously though, how did I end up with that much stuff to paint? I know of at least 3 Black Friday sales with stuff sitting on those shelves. Got to remember that next month.

gaming miniatures

Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

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