Monday


25
Feb 19

Hittin’ my stride

There I was, trying to do a duckface after a 10K … It snowed in the morning, but was sunny all afternoon. The wind was this series of ridiculous, swirling gusts. At one point, in a distance of less than 50 yards, I got 20-30 mile per hour winds from three different directions. Serious wind. So there I was, at the end of this little run, trying to make a duckface …

“Hey! You’re getting in the way of me trying to make a duck face so I can put that over Greek mythology jokes on social media!”

This evening was a speed workout. I don’t think I go any faster during it, and I have seen no cumulative effects. Not that I expect any, but still. It’s my second least favorite run. The Yankee is getting faster because of them. This is having a negative effect on me. Do you know how hard I have to work to get far ahead of her?

I need to be that far ahead so I can get my phone ready to shoot video. And I have to do that several times so I can make a little video project:

I’m telling you, she’s really benefiting from those speed workouts. Me, not so much.

Elsewhere, still more people who are better at athletic things than I am!

They said she wasn’t even trying to do much here, either, which is mind-boggling, and more than a little intimidating.

She’s looking to nationals, you see. So that, to the two-time gold medalist, is taking it easy. Unreal.



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18
Feb 19

Happy Presidents Day

I had a whole post here, and the computer, or WordPress or the ‘net ate it somehow. I had a Presidents Day joke and everything. So this will be brief and, probably, better. We have a Presidents Hall in our building at work. It is for university presidents, and when you run this place one day, you, too, can have a painting on the wall.

Today it is a giant banquet hall, more square footage than our house. It was once the grand reading room when our building was the university’s library, until 1969 or so. After that our building served in an administrative capacity and the grand reading room it became a testament to modern 1970s office innovation: cubicles.

Saturday, I was at work, this is our “living room.”

I didn’t go into Presidents Hall at all, Saturday or today. I’ll show it to you sometime. Saturday, though, was Direct Admit Day. Some of the fall term’s incoming freshmen sat in our giant “living room.” I put this on Twitter and …

Someone forgot I work here? To be fair, you never know who is running a group account. Maybe they didn’t read my Twitter bio. Or maybe someone thought all of the pre-frosh followed my account. At least there was a retweet. That’s about the extent of it.

Also this chilly weekend:

Today:




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11
Feb 19

The iPad story

Oh look, more snow and rain to run and play in …

That was at the end of this evening’s too-cold-for-a-5K neighborhood 5K. I’m now writing fancifully self-indulgent mini-essays on Instagram about it. The theme is: I’m ready for it to be warm. And, if we’re lucky, in six or seven weeks, it might be!

Yesterday looked like this, all day:

It was an almost-bitter cold on Saturday, but it was sunny, which was nice. And we took the day to take a trip to Indianapolis. Another trip, incidentally. Do you want the whole story? You want the whole story.

The week before last I finally said aloud that my iPad, which is now five years old and a refurb, was having trouble charging. We took it to a local place, where we have had the occasion to spend too much money for minor repairs. They looked it over and could not help.

So I called on Friday, a week ago, to set up an appointment at the genius bar at the Apple Store in Indianapolis. That Saturday was much like this one, cold, with stubborn snow piles everywhere, but dry, so it was a good day to take the 70-plus mile trip north. At the Apple Store we met a guy named Scott. At first he thought my iPad had died, so after I convinced him that it was the glare and the brightness turned way down, Scott ran his diagnostics. I’m having trouble with the charging port, but the battery was pretty much toast. He said as much, and showed us the diagnostic results. Scott said it is a batter problem, then, and not a charging port problem. The solution was a new replacement iPad, for $99. Same model, but a new battery and no charging port problems, and a 90-day warranty.

Great! Good deal! This is what I want to do. Of course they don’t have this particular model in the back of the store. It’s several generations behind and it would be unreasonable to expect they have it on the shelf.

So the solution, to avoid having to make another trip up to Indianapolis, is to have them mail one to me. This is how that process didn’t work.

On Sunday, right on time, someone from Apple Support called me. She consulted the file, and I had to explain everything. (Why do they maintain a file if it can’t be seen by others inside the customer service organization, anyway?) Kim was her name, and she was lovely. I was her first call that day, we talked for 40 minutes. She is a retired school teacher out west and was just upbeat about how this whole experience was going to set up her shift. She had an even better solution than the mail procedure. It turns out there is an authorized service provider here in town and only slightly removed from my regular route. She set up an appointment for Tuesday morning and I could go and do this whole thing. They’ll get the replacement iPad in, $99, I can transfer everything and we all go about our day. Wonderful.

On Tuesday morning, I went to the local authorized service provider. The time for my appointment arrives. They open my file. I have to tell my story again. (Why do they maintain a file if it can’t be seen by others inside the customer service organization, anyway?) The guy says “We can do that, but it will be $149 because our prices are — ” and I said I’ll just work with Apple instead then, thanks for your time.

So I call Apple Support again. I didn’t catch the name of the lady I spoke with on Tuesday, but she opened my file and I had to explain the whole story for a fourth time. Turns out Apple can’t do the mailing option in the way that was described to me in the Apple Store or by her counterpart at Apple Support. That’s if you’re under a warranty. I am not. The method she can offer me is for me to send mine in and they send it back. Well, that might fix only half of my problem. And why is it that every person in this take has a different solution? And why do I have to keep explaining this story to every level of the organization?

The lady on the phone asks if I’d like to talk to the senior supervisor. No, I said, but if you could give me a direct line to the Apple Store in Indianapolis that’d be great. I’ll just deal with them. I don’t want in the national system, I want the local store. She tries to forward me, but no one answers. OK, fine. I ask her if she could just give me that number. She can. I ask her if she can email that number, because I am walking across campus at this point and I don’t have a pen. She can’t email me the phone number.

You know what? I’d like to talk to the senior supervisor now. Without a fuss she says OK. And I’m put on hold until Wade comes on the phone. Wade has been briefed a bit. But I have to tell Wade the whole story again. (Why do they maintain a file if it can’t be seen by others inside the customer service organization, anyway?) Wade agrees this story is now ridiculous and should have been resolved.

So Wade gets me the direct Apple Store number, and after two tries, Amber answers. I explain the whole story one more time. She sends me to the repair shop in the back of the store, where I speak to someone who also wants to know the story, which is amazing because I’m bored with it myself now. This person orders my new iPad. So nonchalant was she that I spent most of this week wondering if they’d actually, you know, done anything.

Anyway, during Thursday’s tornado warning the Apple Store called. My iPad was in. They also sent two emails. And on Saturday we went back up there, the thing I was originally trying to avoid, for the second time in eight days, and did the swap. I made sure my machine was backed up. I met Randall, who was easily the least cheery person in this story, but maybe he was just having a long afternoon. Nevertheless, he got the new iPad, we restored my old device to it — like not missing a beat, after eight days of watching Apple miss beats all over the place — reformatted the old one and managed to not get emotional about handing it over. And it cost the $99, as I had been promised. (Take that, authorized service provider!)

Also on those two trips we stocked up at Trader Joe’s and failed at one other errand. On the second trip we saw Bohemian Rhapsody. On both days it was sunny and I was with The Yankee. Easily the best part of the deal.

Incidentally, my father-in-law bought a new iPad online Monday. It was delivered on Tuesday. The lesson? Buy new.


4
Feb 19

Twitter teases (I’m clever there, you should follow me)

Just some of the things you might have missed on Twitter this weekend:

Tossed biscuits taste better. Just saying.

Here’s another sports show my TV friends produced Thursday night:

There’s a story here:

I’ll tell you about it next week.

Just watch the video:

Saw this today. It made sense:

More on Twitter, and please check me out on Instagram as well.


28
Jan 19

But wait! It gets worse!

This was tonight:

And it wasn’t that bad, really. I’m running in tights and a t-shirt and over that there is a special lightweight running jacket. You wouldn’t think it would do much by appearances, but on the inside that jacket has some special material that basically turns you into a baked potato.

Once you get your heart rate up you’re basically running 20 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature anyway, so that’s about 38. And that jacket is good for another 15-25 degrees I figure. Look! I’m sweating there at the end of that brief little run.

Also, after a time, you don’t even notice the frozen fog anymore which is a concept as alien as an alien coming down to the planet’s surface, running a quick evening 5K with me and saying “This frozen fog isn’t noticeable like it is on Kerplax 7.”

Which is precisely the sort of thing the alien would say. Between deep gasps, because the oxygen content isn’t exactly perfect for him, and there’s some gravity issues relative to other planets this alien athlete is accustomed to. But he’d say that, maybe, and none of this would be nearly as weird as me thinking Huh. I didn’t even notice the frozen fog..

So the weather wasn’t that bad for an evening run, really. But it is going to get worse.

If you need me I’ll be on Kerplax 7.

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