Monday, February 26, 2007

PPD 68 - Ice Fishing

An icelocked sculpture in Breckenridge.

Edits: Cropped, brightened, sharpened
Taken: Saturday, February 3rd

Best Buy's "Geek Squad"

Glenn's post Lies Heard At Best Buy reminds me of my own experiences there early last year.

I had purchased a laptop there, and for some reason sprang for the extended warranty. I know, it's a sucker bet, but it actually paid off for me when the sound hardware went bad. Physically moving the laptop could cause the sound to change volume or cut off completely, so it was clearly a hardware problem. Just in case, I had spent a couple hours messing around with settings and surfing Google for solutions.

I finally dropped off the laptop for a motherboard replacement. Two days later a member of the illustrious "Geek Squad" called me and told me that rampant spyware was causing my problem. I decided to skip over the idea of how or why spyware would cause sound volume problems. Instead I just pointed out that I had virus and spyware scanned it right before bringing it in, and in fact had never once had spyware on that machine. But she was not to be shaken in her convictions. What was her reason for this confidence? Why, because the processor was constantly at 100%. So I dusted off my phone tech support skills and walked her through disabling my Seti@Home client. Apparently the "Geek Squad" hadsnever heard of the oldest and possibly most popular distributed computing project. Or even bother to look at Task Manager to see what application was using all the processor time.

I figured that was it, they would finally replace the hardware. But no, two days later another "Geek" called up to explain that they needed to reinstall Windows to fix the problem. He couldn't explain how or why that would help, but he was adamant in his insistence, as only the terminally stumped and/or lazy technician can be. Despite carefully explaining why that couldn't be the case, he refused to be budged. I finally had to go back to the store and explain to pretty much every tech in sight what was actually going on. I finally got one that had half a brain, he agreed to finally send the machine in for repairs, a mere week after I first dropped it off. He even offered to get a broken key on the keyboard fixed at the same time.

Three weeks later I finally got my laptop back. The key was fixed, which was nice. Oh, but the sound? No, they hadn't done anything about that. Yep, great service. I needed by laptop back at the time, so I just dealt with until the next year, when I finally managed to get it repaired two weeks before the warranty expired.

Thanks Best Buy!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

PPD 67

During a long walk on a rare, warm day in February I walked around the back of a bar. There I found this shot into the Flying Dog Brewery.

Edits: Cropped, saturation up, sharpened, histogram adjusted
Taken: Saturday, February 12th

Skiing SLC

I just returned from this year's annual ski trip with my college buddies. This year's trip was to Salt Lake City, which I had never been to. It's always a blast going on that trip, but I usually come back beaten half to death, because I'm by far the weakest skier of the group. So I tend to get myself into things that are tough to get out of, but that's how you learn, right?

On our last day of skiing we got some really great powder, that "champagne powder" stuff that you can get chest deep into. Which is really fun stuff, but it does slow you down some, so it's good to carry a lot of speed into any flat areas. Well, I discovered that I have a talent for getting going really fast and then wiping out, much to the detriment of my poles. Ah well, they're only $15 to replace anyway.

That same day I rode a lift with a fiftyish woman. As we passed over a 40 foot dropoff some brave snowboarder jumped off it full speed, and even stuck the landing, which led to this conversation.
Me: Damn, that was pretty awesome.
Her: Yeah, that reminds me of my son.
Me: Oh yeah, he does that sort of thing?
Her: Yep. He did that yesterday, but he landed on a rock.
Me: Oh, that's no good. Is his board ok?
Her: Oh his board is fine. He hit the rock, not the board.
Me: I hope he's ok!
Her: (casually) He's got a two foot cut in his back and fractured four vertebrae.
Me:. Um... ok then..

Now if that's not a shining example of motherly virtue, I don't know what is!