Our Interview with Felicia Day

The crops of our quiet labor are starting to bear fruit. Jeffrey Rosado, host/creator of “The Culture of Pop” and “DVD Marquee” landed a nice little interview with Felicia Day at DragonCon.

He’s posted the lovely tidbit here:
http://www.thecultureofpop.com/showarticle.php?id=178

Spread the word about the interview.  There’s more to come!

Special thanks to Felicia Day for the time.  We know she was INCREDIBLY busy and it was far cool of her to take time out for us.

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25 Random Facts About Me

I don’t want this to sound too harsh, but sometimes I get tagged by these Internet memes and it just grates on my nerves until they’re raw.

What I mean to say is, of course, I’m flattered that my friends thought about me enough to actually want to know random facts about me and include me in the meme.  The problem is when I’m tagged with something like this, it lurks in my Inbox with a follow-up flag that waves at me every time I open my email.  “Hey, guy.  Remember, there’s some folks out there that want to know all kinds of random shit about you.  Isn’t it time you ponied up?”  It’s about as annoying as those bouncing icons in the dock that want attention.  “Hey!  You!  Me!  Click me!  Hey!  Hello!”

Anyway, I don’t mean to say anything too harsh to Karen or Tony for tagging me on this one, but sorry, I’m going to combine your efforts.  Karen tagged me for 25 random facts at Facebook and Tony tagged me over the blogosphere for 7.  Not sure why the two memes have such an interesting diversity in numbers but whatever.  I’ll do the larger of the two evils.

Enough whining.  I’m starting with the list already.

  1. When I was 5 years old, I had one of the most terrifying nightmares ever.  I won’t describe it here, but I can still vividly remember the dream and plan to include it in a story someday to “deal with it.”
  2. I have recurring nightmares regarding tornadoes and frequent attempts to escape them.  I believe these usually occur during times of high stress and is somehow linked to the tornadoes of 1974 that struck Huntsville (I was two years old then and likely recorded some activity that still sticks with my psyche).
  3. I think I have far too many interests and hobbies and therefore really never start (or finish) any of them.  This actually bothers me greatly and it probably shouldn’t.
  4. Regardless of my ruthless and cruel sense of humor, I’m actually a sap on some things.  Particularly children.  Since I’ve had children, I get terribly upset when something bad happens to a child in a movie.
  5. I enjoy cold weather the most because it makes hot showers so much more interesting and soothing.
  6. I absolutely, positively cannot stand automobiles.  I can barely tolerate driving them and most certainly cannot stand doing maintenance on them.  I will always pay others to do even the simplest thing to maintain my vehicles.
  7. I am color blind on certain colors.  This is mostly wrapped around red and green but frequently discover that my eyes misidentify other colors as well.  My wife loves to point it out when I screw that up.
  8. It genuinely bothers me that I cannot see without glasses or contacts.  Sometimes it frustrates me so badly that it will instantly irritate me.  I often feel like I’m boxed up inside a container or trapped behind some kind of invisible veil if I dwell on this one too long.  The thought of Lasik or any surgery to my eyes terrifies me so badly that I doubt I’ll ever go through with it.
  9. Sometimes, things bother me too much.  When I was a teenager, I was terrible about dwelling on things and was unable to let stuff go.  These days I actually handle this much better unless it’s something that I believe can change and is worth screaming about.
  10. I think I have an absolutely terrible temper that is sometimes aggravated by severe lack of sleep.
  11. Once when I was a wee lad, I was invited to an Alabama public television show that starred a puppet.  I’m sorry, I don’t recall the name.  Unfortunately, something about the experience made me so sick that I yakked on set and it never aired.
  12. The one time I had chicken pox, the bumps were inside my organs.  Last theory I heard on that one was that my asthma caused the virus to do bizarre shit.  I was hospitalized for a week over that one.
  13. An ailment that struck me when I was little left me with a doctor informing my mother that there was little chance I would ever have children.  Through some miracles performed by a doctor, that turned out to be untrue.  Not long after being cured of this ailment, the doctor was killed in a farming accident.  Today, I have three wonderful, hilarious, fun and loving children with a thick skin and a seriously biting sense of humor.  (Note: this is one of those odd things that still gives me chills when I think about it.  It feels very fate-esque.  Perhaps why I enjoy shows like “Lost” so much).
  14. In general, I seem to relate better to women than men.
  15. My weight bothers me terribly and is the source of much consternation within the recesses of my brain but I often feel very powerless to do much about it.  That’s an ongoing war, let me tell you.
  16. Even though I constantly find out about new things regarding the culture, I find myself identifying with the Chinese more and more often to the point of wondering if I were Chinese in a past life.
  17. I don’t like to guess the endings to movies and people who try to figure that stuff out and talk about it in the middle of the movie should be fucking shot.
  18. People who talk in movies should be fucking shot.
  19. You will never catch any of my children talking in a movie because I taught them right (well, still working on the 4 year old).  They will not be shot.
  20. I barely missed being cast in “Space Camp,” a movie that was shot here in my home town.  It stars Kate Capshaw.  Just a week prior to this film coming to Huntsville for shooting, I was in a Space Camp commercial.  When we wrapped up shooting, the film folks were moving in.
  21. I miss acting terribly.  My acting “career” started at age 13 with a Fantasy Playhouse show.  The last show I did was in 1999 for Theatre Round the Corner.  During this timeframe, I did probably 60-70 shows, including musicals.  I’ve always hoped to get back to this one day when the children are raised and gone, if I’m not dead by then.
  22. I do not write enough.  I wish I could write more.  Sometimes I think writing is the only thing I was ever close to doing well.
  23. I was once fired for utilizing a CEO’s “open door policy” to explain to him that his management style sucked the sweat off of a hog’s balls.  Maybe it was a poor delivery.
  24. I think I’m actually pretty good at my own workflow and task management, but it has taken years and years to get to this point.  It’s rare that I forget an action or fail to hand it off to someone.
  25. I am always attracted to fiercely mean women and I’m not sure why.  Are all women that mean, perhaps?  Who knows.  But the cruel humor helps.
  26. BONUS NUMBER 26!  I’ve lived in this town all of my life and never had a reason to move (36 damn years).  In many ways, it’s because I feel like I cannot escape it and something is holding me here.  Not sure why.  People who are familiar with my writing may recognize this theme.

Alright, so that’s it.  I just started at the beginning and went through whatever popped in my head.  Hope it bored you to tears 🙂

I’m not going to tag anyone with the responsibility of maintaining the meme because I don’t want them to be pissed at me for tasking them with something they may not want to do.  Har!

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Dish Network finally installed

The installers kept the appointment this time around – as of today we have Dish Network added to our plasma box of glory.  So far it’s good.  We ate breakfast while watching bizarre shows from the other side of the planet.

It’s amazing how quickly the wife tired of it 😉  That was a quick Americanization.

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Dish Network Customer Service: A poor first impression

SuperDISH 121 mounted on a roof.
Image via Wikipedia

One of the fortunes I’ve had this year was to finally obtain a “real” TV set to replace the small dinky tube I’ve had since I moved out of my house.  In case you’re wondering, that’s about 19 years ago.

I had promised myself that once I obtained a home theater-type of setup, I was going to load it up with plenty of HD services.  When analyzing the bills, I realized that I was paying some fairly outrageous fees for Internet, cable and phone.  I could consolidate all of those services into Knology (added bonus: drop Comcast, which is not pro-consumer) for less than half of the monthly price.  I could then take those savings and get Chinese televsion for my family.

My wife has been here 7 years and has been quite tolerant of the lack of Chinese television.  As a matter of fact, the move is more to expose our half-Chinese children to the world of Mandarin rather than for her own enjoyment.  She really, really wanted to get ahold of YOYO-TV in particular.

Unfortunately, Dish Network is the only available option to obtain this channel.

I started off by calling the 1-888 number advertised on their website.  I wanted to add some HD channels to the package as well since, frankly, I’m a hair disappointed in the amount of HD offerings from Knology.  I wanted Sci-Fi Channel and Cartoon Network in HD and for some unknown reason, Knology does not offer them.  Dish Network, however, does.  I decided to go for the all-HD silver package and the Taiwanese mega-pack to obtain the YOYO-TV channel.

I called the number and was greeted by a very helpful young man named Alan.  Alan understood exactly what I was after.  He priced out a fabulous package, made sure the installation was completely free and signed me up.  He scheduled the appointment for 8am – noon on the following Tuesday.

Great, thought I.  I’ll just telecommute from work that day and it’ll all go well.

Tuesday comes and my wife runs the kids to school.  I stay home and join the regular telecons and whatnot (sometimes what I refer to as a job).  Noon comes and goes.  By 12:30pm, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to show up.

So I call the 1-888 number once again to get an idea of what might have happened.  I was flabbergasted at the answer.

They had cancelled the appointment.  Not only did they cancel the appointment, no one bothered to call me and inform me of the cancellation.  It gets better.  They rescheduled the appointment for the following Thursday from 8am – noon.  I presume they just assumed an adult would be available anytime they pleased, since they can apparently reschedule the appointment without notice.

I asked why the appointment was cancelled – especially since the day before they had called to confirm the appointment and verify someone would be there in the house.  I was told that this confirmation system was not tied in to the dispatching system at all – they had no idea if the appointment would be held or not.  Unfortunately, my appointment was not held because they did not have the required international dish in stock.

I was furious.  It usually takes a lot to get my blood pressure boiling this hot, but the incompetence was not only so appalling, they seemed to be incredibly indifferent about it.  I kicked into instant pushback mode.  “I work in the service industry too,” I growled, “and if I had given this type of service to my customer I would be fired.”

“I understand your disappointment sir but there’s nothing I can do.  We have no way to determine if they have the part.  We can only schedule the appointment.”

“So you’re telling me that I have to reschedule the appointment, take off of work to be home to meet you and you guys may or may not show up?”

“If the required parts are in stock the appointment will be kept.”

I was seething at this point.  There was absolutely no way in hell this could be true.  “You’re telling me that I have absolutely no recourse whatsoever except to just sit here and wait to see if you have the part?”  At this point, I decided to make it sound far worse than it really was.  I wanted her to think that I had devoted vacation hours to this appointment and lost.  “I have to take off work again and you may not show up?  Are you kidding me?

She wasn’t kidding.  Really.  She wasn’t.  Apparently, there is absolutely no way between appointment scheduling, inventory and dispatch for them to predict if they will be able to keep the appointment.  Due to their process, they cannot tell you if they will keep the appointment, confirmed or otherwise, until the day of the appointment.

This must be pure insanity.  I could not believe it.

After pushing back and arguing on this further, I finally gave in and made them reschedule the appointment for the following Sunday from 8am – noon.  I also asked for the manager so I could at least get a free month out of this.  I was assured that I would get a free month of service for the “inconvenience.”

Fast forward to Sunday.

At least this time they called.

That’s right.  At 8:30am they called and said that again, they didn’t have the required dish in stock and would not be showing up today.  It was my wife who took the call and the bad news.  She tried to reschedule the appointment and they refused!  She told them that since I was the one that ordered the service, only I could call back and reschedule the appointment.  Again, it was a crap shoot as to whether or not they would have the part – but I still had to reschedule.

While writing all of this, I wish I was making this up.

At this point I made another check with DirectTV to find out if I could get YOYO-TV from them.  Sadly, no.  I must just bend over and take this Dish Network abuse.

Anyway, so I call back in on Monday and get a very helpful rep who hears this entire story.  She apologizes profusely and decides to call dispatch herself and find out when they will have the dish.  Amazing.  Why didn’t the others bother to do this?  Dispatch confirms that “for sure” they will have the dish by Friday, so I went ahead with rescheduling the appointment.

So we’re 48 hours away from that.  We’ll see what happens.

My first impression of Dish Network?  Very unimpressed.  No wonder they hired a talentless comedian to try to pep up their commercials.  They obviously want to cheer you up before they put you through this ridiculous customer service racket.  Their process is so horribly broken that I wonder what I’m in for if I actually do get the service.

I guess we’ll see.  From what I see at dishnetworksucks.com I’m not in for a good time.

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