Monday, September 20, 2010


I hate em. I hate hate hate hate hate em.


When I refer to scalpers, I'm not talking of American Indian trophy hunters. I speak of the evil bastards that scour the toy aisles of America looking for rare toys to by in vast quantity only to put them on Ebay at a greatly marked up price. I am a toy collector. I buy them, open them and display the items in my collection. I have never purchased rare items for resale, or at least not in a great quantity. I bought 2 GI Joe exclusive figures at a convention. One to keep and one to sell. I sold one and made a good amount off it so I sold the other to pay some bills.
These scalping bastards would have bought EVERY figure at the convention and sold them all on Ebay. Scalpers make it difficult for the average collector to complete their collection. Whether it be GI Joe, Hot Wheels or Barbie. If there is a store exclusive, variant, or rare one figure per case (also called Chase figures) the scalper will hunt them down, buy them all and sell at mark up. So instead of paying retail cost, a collector must go and pay the higher prices on the 2ndary market.
It doesn't even have to be an exclusive or chase figure, if the figure or toy is of a popular character, the scalper will scoop them up and head the the register.
Yeah I know it's a free market and they are just toys and what not. It still ticks me off when I'm looking for the new Arch Angel figure to complete my X-Men display and I see a Fat Beard with an armload of the winged X-Man, not to mention all the Havoc's, Kitty Pride's and Juggernauts in the store headed for the checkout. (all he figures mentions are rare. I've found a few but still can't locate the Arch Angel variant or Havoc)
It's frustrating. Eventually I'll find what I'm looking for. Luckily I have friends around that help me in my searches and I in theirs.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Next Friday (9-3-10) I get to go to the hospital to have a cyst removed. Woohoo. I also have to house sit for my dad that week and we have a friend coming in from out of town.

Everything seems to happen at once. Plans have been made and things should work out.

I hate hospitals...

online registration for anything

Got my XBox 360 a few weeks ago. I finally remembered that I have to register the 2 yr protection plan online. After 3 attempts with the damn web page timing out and making me re enter all the info, I've given up for the night. Tomorrow I'll try the toll free number which I'm sure will be at least 3 times as frustrating. If that doesn't work, I'll go back to the store with all the info and make THEM register it for me.

If you have a site in place, make sure it works!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Linksys Fail part 2

Last week, the day I left for a vacation, my Wireless Bridge replacement arrived, while I was at work. A week later I get the package from my apartment office. I've just spent 3 hours with my friend Mike, trying to get the new bridge working. After 1 1/2 hours we get the router to recognize and sync with the bride, another hour to get it updated. Then we plug it into my Blu Ray. FAIL!!!
It alternates between saying there is no signal and saying there is no Ethernet cable attached. I am so ready to smash the router and bridge with a hammer. No Netflix this weekend...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've been a customer of AT&T wireless for several years now. Last December, I noticed my service was getting worse. Multiple dropped calls each day. I called and their customer service told me that they would send me a data package upgrade to my phone to see if that would help and that there were repairs being done to a nearby tower.
Several months later, my service has gotten increasingly poor. June, I call again. Again another 'software update' is sent. Again, my service does not improve.
I call last week in the middle of trying to get my wireless bridge fixed. They tell me they would send out a technician to my area to check signal strength and would get back to me within 72 hours. A week later they call me and say that the tower is working fine and that I must be in one of the areas that doesn't get coverage within their coverage area...What the hell?
So...I'm in your coverage area, yet I don't get coverage since there are areas of no coverage within your coverage area. Yet you advertise 99% of the US is covered? And it states in the users agreement that I signed when I signed up for AT&T service that there are no-coverage ares within the coverage areas.
My ONLY options are, a. suck it up and live with crappy service, b. buy a $150 microwave repeater for my home to boost signal strength or c. switch carriers and hope Verizon has better coverage.

Thanks for nothing AT&T!

(the tech did give me a few hundred rollover minutes to compensate for my dropped calls and a $25 credit for my troubles...)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Non American Tech Support

We'll call this Event 0. The event that started the most recent explosion of frustration and anger.
It all started with a plan. Not even a grand plan in the scheme of things. I just wanted to create an entertainment set up that included my HD TV and blue ray DVD player to be connected to the internet. Simple, yes? I purchased a Lynksys router and wireless bridge from It arrived on Friday July 17. I tried to install it but realized my current cd/dvdrom was broken and I had never replaced it. No problem. Back to to order a new one.
It arrived on Monday the 19th. About an hour after it arrived, I had it installed with only a mild amount of frustration. I was actually pleased that my temper only flared a bit and nothing got broken.
Then I tried to install the router...I called my brother for tech advise and then called my buddy Mike over and after 2 hrs of fiddling we got the router install and communicating with the bridge which I had connected to the Blue Ray player. Tres Magnifique!
That night I made dinner and Mary and I watched a Jeff Dunham Xmas Special through Netflix on my HD TV. All was good.
The next morning (Tuesday the 20th), after having lunch with my dad, I decided to watch some Netflix through the new set up before I went over to Mike's for some XBox 360 goodness.
I sat down on my couch, remote in hand and pressed the power button for the TV, Blue Ray, and then the Netflix button. I selected the movie I wanted t watch. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I watched the 1st five minutes when the the image froze and the whole system locked up. I spent the next 30 minutes unplugging and replugging, Shutting down and powering up and rebooting all the components of the set up. Nada. I kept getting the message of Not Connected to the Internet. By this time my anger level has gone beyond Code Red. I call Mike who gives me a suggestion of trying to reinstall the wireless bridge software to reset the connection between the two components. Nothing. The router failed to recognize that the bridge was connected. My brother suggested I call Linksys Tech support.
I will no communicate that I have no issue with Indian or Pakistani people. They have a beautiful culture, fantastic art and delicious food. They have some of the most beautiful and exotic looking women. They have produced many talented people. I only hate two things about Indians and Pakistanis. I had trying to sell them things when I worked retail (they always want to haggle over the price) and I HATE dealing with them for tech support. Americans should always have Americans for their tech support and customer service support. Not because I am ethnocentric but because Americans are used to getting a certain quality and type of customer service and support that non Americans can't give us. Plus there is the difficulty in understanding the thick accent.
All this was compounded by the fact that my cell service, AT&T, is crap in my home and I get disconnected a lot.
So I call and I get Indian Tech Support #1. She attempts to help. I advise her that my phone my drop the call so take my # to call back. She says ok. She remotely connects to my computer and after 20 minutes my phone drops the call. Anger is rising. She types me a message in the chat window stating I need to write a service support trouble ticket # down so I can call back and begin where I left off since she has to take another call, THEN EXITS THE REMOTE CONNECTION THEREBY ERASING THE CRITICAL INFORMATION I NEED!!!
Call #2 with Indian Tech #2. lasts about 2 hours where I drop my call once and try unsuccessfully to allow the tech to remotely connect through my laptop which is on the wireless network. Lappy no likey the wireless. I ask if the tech can fix it without the Laptop. He says no. I say that I basically have a useless piece of broken equipment. He says it isn't broken. I say well it isn't working so that means it it broken. I then ask if there is any way to fix it WITHOUT the laptop since the 1st person was fixing it with my desktop. He says he has to get someone else. Enter Indian tech #3. Anger Code Red becomes Rage Code White. Something is going to get broken. I can feel myself losing control. I have spent nearly 3 hours of my day off trying to fix something that worked fine for 1 1/2 hours the day before. Tech #3 says for me to shut everything off for 22 minutes and then turn it back on and it should work, if not, call back and they can issue a replacement. I know a brush off when I hear one. I also know a load of bulsh!t. So I go, 2 hours late to Mike's and play Transformers, War for Cybertron and the 360. Mike looks up info on my wireless bridge. After I finish playing, we go back to my apt. and try a few more things based on the info he gleaned form the internet about my specific bridge. Apparently it likes to lock up while streaming video if you don't have the newest firmware update. Nada. Nothing works.
Wednesday the 21st. I call Tech Support again and tell them I need to exchange my bridge. He says I can't since I didn't buy it directly through Linksys. I tell him that the tech last night said I could. He says he'd like to try to fix it since he's a level 2 tech. OOOOOOOO! Level 2!!! Whatever. I tell him about my cell phone issue. He tries to fix problem, phone drops call, he calls back, tries to fix problem, phone drops call, he disconnects from remote access. I call back, talk to a new tech. She can't even get my phone number correct. Phone drops call. I scream. I call AT&T. An hour and a half later they say they'll send out a tech within 72 hours and that I should receive and email with the results of their check of service in my area. (note it has been 6 days and no email). I get off the phone and log into Within 5 minutes, I have a prepaid UPS label and tracking info so I can send the damn wireless bridge back for a replacement. Hopefully I'll get it before i go out of town on Friday...

Luckily though all this, I didn't get mad enough to actually break anything. I just felt hopeless that the problem couldn't get resolved and fatigued that things like this keep happening to me.

Newegg received the package last Friday and I've received no word on the replacement...yet