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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.


8
Feb 19

To help you ease into your weekend …

Here are three sports programs the sports crew produced in the studio last night. This first one is the weekly talk show, four people sitting around talking about sports:

This is a highlight show, which features various Indiana sports and the crew is showing you the highlights and telling what’s been going on with each program:

And this is a condensed highlight show, for those people who are interested in IU sports, but can’t watch a full-length program:

You are too busy and you should watch more programming, really. They are having a lot of fun making it:

I was back in the studio this morning for a take on the old Dating Game show. That should be out early next week.

A game I’ve been running on Twitter has concluded:

What do you think? Did the voters get it right? What should have made the final round? Even if you have an entirely different set of songs, at least one of these is now stuck in your head. You are, of course, welcome for that.


6
Feb 19

Video things

Time in the studio last night. We’ve started experimenting with a one-anchor desk. It could become a great thing. Allison Zeithammer is holding things down this week:

Also, National Weather Person Day is apparently a thing. I know a lot of meteorologists and weather people, and we had two of them hanging out in the studio last night. So they did a little thing with them:

This is my favorite thing of the day:


31
Jan 19

Oh it is much warmer now, thanks

We hit the double digits mid-afternoon. The teens, even. Why, it doesn’t even feel cold anymore … indoors. My lungs, which I complained about yesterday, are better indoors. It feels like an irritation, similar to some other kinds of complaints of irritation, but different. It isn’t debilitating, but it is a bit uncomfortable. I’ll be fine tomorrow, no doubt.

Six new images to see today in the books section. Click the book cover below to jump right in to today’s additions.

See all of the interesting bits from this book here. If you’d like to check out all of the stuff I’ve posted from my grandfather’s books so far, start here.

We produced sports shows in the studio tonight:

They also recorded two other programs which will be rolled out later this week.

And at home tonight, I learned that there is no bottle Best Before date:

Interesting things I found elsewhere today:

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


30
Jan 19

Quite certain I’ve never felt cold like this before

I went into the office because, at least it is sunny?

The feels like is the important part in that chart.

I park in a parking deck precisely one block from our building on campus. The 30-or-so feet from the parking spot to the interior stairwell in the parking deck were my first real moments of being outside this morning. The stairwell exits to the street corner as close as possible to our building. Most mornings, like today, I can cut that intersection on the diagonal and walk one block, cross one more two lane street and be inside. It probably takes only slightly more time to do it than it did to formulate and type this paragraph.

And, I’m not kidding: my lungs hurt. It is so cold I think that that bit of exposure — and I was wearing an Irish sweater under a long coat, gloves, knit cap and a scarf wrapped around my delicate, Deep South-raised face — actually physically hurt me. I felt better inside, going back out in it later in the day, that same irritation.

It is cold.

So I spent the day indoors. But at least it is sunny! Check this out:

And also these:

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Status update: 🚫🚴🏻😜 #INwx

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