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Poof-da hair

I woke up this morning with the nastiest morning hair ever. It don't matter if you're male or female (unless you're bald) -- there are some mornings when you get up, look in the mirror and just go "gad dang.. that's some screwed up hair." But anyway..

Yesterday I got my new Sony SDM-S73 17" LCD Monitor - FINALLY. Before I write about that, the adventure (if you can call it that) of getting the monitor is worth telling.

This is a really long story so I'm going to make this an extended post. (grin)

I bought this monitor from CDW. My reason was because I like their return policies better than NewEgg's. I think I've said this before but I don't feel like going thru my old blog entries at the time I'm writing this (grin).

When I bought it I decided to call in the order rather than place it online. I did that because I wanted to ask about the return policy as I said a second ago.

The order is placed and I specifically told the sales dude "WAIVE the signature on the shipment". He said "no problem." Then I asked the sales dude when it would arrive. He said "3 to 6 days." Okay, no big deal. I placed the order on a Monday - and it would probably arrive Friday or the next Monday. That's fine, I can deal with that.

I receive the order confirmation (with order #) in my e-mail, so I go online to check the order status. When I go to cdw.com and click "Order Status" on the left, the system reports "Order Not Found." Hm. So I call CDW back. Support tells me "Oh that happens with DHL shipments sometimes. It did ship." Really. Like an idiot I believe them.

The next day, figuring the order would be in the system by now, I go to cdw.com again and check the order #. Again, the system states "Order Not Found." Hm (again). I call CDW because I want to know where this thing is - I want my tracking number. They tell me "We can't give out that information on the phone, but it will most likely arrive by Friday or Monday." Like an idiot, I believe them.

Friday comes. No monitor. I call CDW again and told them "Listen, I have to find out where this damn thing is so I can track it, WHY does it show 'order not found' on the system still and WHY can't I see my order status with tracking information online?? Hm??" The reply was "Well, sir, you need an online CDW **ACCOUNT** in order to see the tracking status." I told the guy very bluntly "How come no one told me this before??" He basically had no answer except "I'll set up an account for you now." Gee, thanks.

The account is set up over the phone. I log in, get my password squared away and check the order status. Turns out an attempt was made ON FRIDAY but the driver didn't leave it(???) I asked the CDW guy on the phone "Is there a signature on this #$*& package?!" The reply "Every package has a signature required on delivery." Funny, I specifically ASKED to have the signature waived. So I told the guy "Can you please call DHL and have the signature waived." I basically got the runaround and they weren't willing to do that at all - very crappy maneuver on their part. Finally after repeatedly getting fed a line of crap I just said "I will call them and straighten this out myself" and hung up.

I call DHL with tracking number ready. Bear in mind this is still Friday around 5pm. I told them what happened and asked if the driver was still on the road. The response was "Oh.. well your package is out of our local delivery area. We had to hand it over to NextAir." WHAT?! This is done completely without my knowledge.

After calming myself down, I asked "Can you please provide me the number so I can call them?" The response was basically "No, we'll take care of it." So I said "fine" and asked when the next delivery attempt would be made. They said Monday. I said okay - and proceeded to tell them verbatim that if there was ANY trouble whatsoever getting here to have the driver CALL me and I will visit him at another location to pick it up. I said this because if you read my previous post there was snow on the driveway at the time I made this call. We all agree that "Okay.. the driver will make another attempt next Monday." Fine.

Weekend goes by, Monday comes.

The guy never showed up.

At this point I'm really steamed.

At around 4pm, I called DHL again and basically said "Where is it".

Their response: "It's in transit and will be there by 5pm." They did say that directly.

5pm arrives, I wait until 5:15pm. No package.

I call again. "Where is it?" They once again said "It's in transit - we will call the dispatcher and get you a callback within one hour."

An hour goes by, 1.5 hours to be exact. I call again: "Where is it?" This time they started to stumble a bit and were getting nervous. "I will call the dispatcher again right after I get off the phone with you and get someone to call." Okay.

20 minutes goes by. I get a call from the dispatch center for DHL. Me and her have a 15 minute conversation. I tell her the whole story. She asks me "Didn't you ever receive a note on the door each time that a delivery attempt was made?" and I said "Nope. The guy never even tried."

She (of course) apologized for the inconvenience. Yeah, thanks. Anyway, she finally said "We will get a hold of the driver directly and have him call you tomorrow." Okay.

The driver calls tomorrow morning (Tuesday) and says when he's coming. He actually does arrive when he said he was going to.

I get my package. Hallelujah. But then he said something weird "You know, we never got this package until today." Um, yeah, right. You assholes sat on it for two days - but I wasn't about to argue with the guy. I just said "Thank you", signed the pad and took my package inside. Phew. That was finally over.

---

Or was it over? I cracked open the box and unpacked everything. All the time I'm thinking to myself "For all the SHIT I just went through to get this thing, it'd better work."

I set it up and turned it on, everything worked. No dead pixels, everything is fine. Phew.

The monitor is great. Vibrant colors, much easier on the eyes - definitely a good purchase.

But like hell if I'm ever having anything shipped from DHL ever again. And I doubt I'll purchase anything from CDW again. Well.. maybe. Now that I know what -not- to do when ordering from those guys I should be able to take care of the unpleasantries ahead of time in the future. (grin)

..and the Blizzak's reign supreme!

Small note before I tell this story: I live in Connecticut on a paved driveway that is 900+ feet long, goes uphill and is at an almost 25 percent grade at its steepest point.

Today the snow didn't come. The ice did. We got hit with some freezing rain just before I got home.

About 10 minutes ago, I looked outside and said to myself "Okay, let's see if these tires live up to their name." Bear in mind there is a layer of ice on the driveway. Also bear in mind that steep crest near the top.

I back up, turn around and start off - then I purposely give the car gas and mash the brakes. Car stops. Completely. Without hesitation, on the crest. WOW.

I go on down the driveway and purposely mash the brakes a few more times. The car stopped on a dime every time. It was as if there was LIGHT SAND under me, not ICE.

I get to the bottom, turn the car around and go right back up. No problems whatsoever. Unbelievable. Totally un-frickin-believable(!!!!!)

My Blizzak's are worth every single penny I paid for them. Ice don't mean a thing to these slicks and neither does snow when it comes. I know now that even when going DOWNHILL on ice, the car will stop, not "maybe" stop, it will stop.

Awesome.

Seven the hard way

Over the course of the next week I am going to try (emphasis on the word 'try' there) to complete an album of my music. I have been putting this off for a very long time and I just have to get my nerves together and do it.

I have two completed albums previously. One was a new age thing, the other a techno thing. But I've never done one of the music I'm best at: rock/hard rock/metal/whatever you want to call it. So.. this week I'm going to try.

I cannot sing worth a can of beans.. but as they say you can "fix it in the mix". Besides which, lots of bands out there like Helmet don't necessarily place huge emphasis on vocals but still sound great.

So.. I'm going to give it a go. Maybe something great will happen, maybe it will be crap. I dunno. But it will be fun trying. (grin)

[--edit--]

Helmet link was wrong - fixed.