Post in the 'Rants' Category

Thanks For Conserving Water, Here’s The Bill!

Dry DrainLike many regions across the US, the Charlotte area has been experiencing a drought. The city and surrounding counties imposed mandatory water restrictions including no watering of lawns, no car washing and no fountains or pools. Residents were also encouraged to take shorter showers and run less loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. Residents complied and due to recent rains, the drought status will soon be downgraded.

There was another effect of residents using less water in the past few months. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department made less money, leading to a whopping $20 million deficit. Charlotte City Council is bailing them out by approving a 15 percent hike in the water and sewer rates starting next month.

So, our prize for doing what the city mandated? Less water for a higher price. How no one at the Utilities Department or City Council foresaw this is mind boggling. Perhaps they were dehydrated…

Respect: The Honker

This morning I awoke early to an annoying noise. It wasn’t my incessant buzzing alarm – I still had 20 minutes to sleep. This was a car horn. I ignored it, but it happened again and again and again, for 10 minutes damn minutes! Finally, I got up to see what the hell was going on.

Low and behold, here is a lady sitting in her car on the cell phone, honking at the building next door. Apparently, she was picking someone up who was not ready yet. So did she call the person? No. Did she walk 10 fucking steps up to their apartment and knock. No, she honked every minute for 10 minutes. Great idea… Did she ever consider at an APARTMENT COMPLEX there might be other people living there ASLEEP? No, because she has no respect.

I mean, who honks like that for 10 minutes? She must have been friends with whoever she was picking up. What a dick! The person she was waiting for should have popped her in the face when they finally got out there. But, oh no, that would be disrespectful…

You know that commercial where the guy picks up the kid’s toy on the street and some other guy notices and the kindness cascades through people until someone is nice to the original helper. I hope that shit goes the other way. I hope by this lady being rude, somehow karma tags her good!

Non-Nerd: PS3 vs. 360 vs. Wii

Whew, I’m glad you’re actually reading this… I know if I saw another one of these I was going to scream. So, I decided to break it down for everyone who is not a big nerd.

  PS3 360 Wii
Color black white white
Weight your dad can carry your mom can carry your little brother can carry
Technology advanced advanced yes
Online Gaming uh huh if you pay of course
Cost rob a bank rob a credit union rob a 7-11
NCAA 07 in HD in HD in your dreams
Availability yeah, right yup nope
If you buy… you might go broke you might be supporting the devil you might be a japanese schoolgirl

Yawn… It Must Be Summer Sports

This is the dreaded sports void known as Summer! It’s the time of year that no real sports are in season. Don’t try to convince me baseball is worth watching. There is no basketball or football. Hell, I’d watch Hockey at this point, but no dice. At least we had the World Cup for a month (not the most exciting game either).

Instead of watching SportsCenter in the mornings I now watch The Daily Show and/or The Colbert Report rerun from the night before. They are on at 8am and 8:30am, respectively, on Comedy Central. They are much more entertaining than baseball “highlights”.

Check out SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays during the Summer:

10. Guy catches baseball (whoopty do…)
9. Guy hits home run (this is baseball, right?)
8. Different guy hits baseball (see above)
7. Guy fucks up fielding a baseball (dumb ass)
6. Guy doesn’t fuck up fielding a baseball (so…)
5. Guy from #9 hit another homerun (holy crap! two home runs by the SAME guy!)
4. Mascot does something (best play yet!)
3. Pitcher strikes a guy out (yawn…)
2. Guy catches baseball near edge of playing field (isnt’ that what he’s supposed to do?)
1. Pitcher catches ball hit right to him (so, he almost allowed a hit? bench him!)

The first NFL Preseason game is August 6th, if you can stay awake until then…

Duke Basketball Network

Duke Basketball Network LogoAs I turn on DBN tonight, I see the familiar sight of Duke basketball. Tonight they are taking on Georgia Tech, a middle of the ACC dweler. Probably not a great game, but it is the Duke Basketball Network. Oh, you haven’t heard of DBN? Maybe your cable provider doesn’t have it. You should call them and ask about adding it to their lineup. Or maybe you are mistaking DBN for ESPN. You know… the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.

It seems ESPN dicided to screw Entertainment and other Sports in general in favor of Duke basketball. They are on every night. Check this stat: 20 Duke men’s basketball games are on ESPN or The Duke – Oops, I mean The Duce. Duke only plays 30 regular season games. So that’s two thirds of their games. I’d say that makes them DBN. And this isn’t by accident. These games are scheduled well before the season even starts. CBS tried their best to become WDBN (Weekend Duke Basketball Network) by picking up 4 games on the weekend.

As a Florida basketball fan I have to suffer through FSN Flordia and Sun Sports. And half the games are tape delayed. Who still does that? Don’t even get me started on Craperson Pilot Sports!

So, enjoy the rest of the season on DBN. Oh, and if you are wondering what network is carrying the ACC tournament. You guessed it, Duke Basketball Network!

Why Is My ISP COX Blocking?

First, some background… My company and many of our clients host websites with a company called Mediatemple (MT) in Los Angeles. My ISP is Cox Communications.

Tuesday Night: Bad things started happening. I coudn’t connect to our company mail server. I couldn’t load our company website. So, I tried to login the admin side of our server. Can’t do that either. Figured I’d give it some time.

Wednesday Morning: Still no dice. Client who hosts with MT and lives in the Florida panhandle says he can’t check email or load his website (his ISP is Cox also). Okay… so I tried going to Mediatemple’s site to put in a support request. Guess what? Can’t load their page either. I know what you’re thinking, my internet connection is down. Nope! I can reach other websites, check email from other servers, etc.

Wednesday Night: Having worked in tech support I went through the normal checks and fixes. Restart computer, clear cache, check other browsers, try without firewall, restart router, restart cable modem… All to no avail.

Luckily I had Mediatemple’s number and called tech suppport. I explained the situation in detail. After holding for a minute the support guys asks, “Is your ISP Cox?” Well of course it is… “Ya, they seem to be blocking all our IPs.” Supper! So I call Cox Support. I spend 50 minutes on the phone with this absolute moron lady who has me do all the checks I did before. I explain what Mediatemple told me and she says Cox would never block anything! Yeah, right! Four times she tells me she can not help any more and I should call my PC maker or Microsoft or Norton or Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny ’cause maybe they can help more than her. She doesn’t understand we had the same problem on a Mac and at different locations. The problem is not my computer and not the server, damnit!

Finally, I get to second level support and he has me ping the domains and IPs that I can not reach. Obviously, I can’t ping them. He eventually gives me a ticket number and I go to a higher level support. Once I reach them and explain the situation in detail, the tech says, “Did they not tell you we are having DNS problems?” No, they didn’t. But that would really make sense. He kindly adds the domains to the list of problems.

Thursday Morning: All is well. So, what have we learned. First and second level support are not only untrained monkeys, they are not informed of these outages. And I never got an answer as to how all IPs hosted by Mediatemple got blocked/lost/messed up. Sounds fishy. I later learned other sites including MySpace had the same problem. What a bunch of COX!

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