August 11th, 2002


Lucky Greg

A few weeks ago, I won tickets to the local minor league baseball team. Then, the next week, I won another pair. You see, the building management at my old job was giving away three pairs of tickets every Wednesday this summer. I kept entering every week until I left my old job, but didn't win again.

Well, I've been working at my new job for two weeks now. But yesterday, in the mail, I received two more baseball tickets! There was a little post-it note saying that I had won last week's drawing. That's absolutely amazing, because not only did I not enter last week's drawing, I wasn't even employed there last week!

I guess one of two things -- either they're simply recycling entries (perhaps because they don't have enough current entries) or one of my buddies has been entering my name since I've left. The former is more likely as the latter seems to be too much work for the potential lack of a pay-off.
  • Current Music
    "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" on HBO

Digital Cable Woes

What is it called when your digital cable gets freaky? When the picture freezes or gets "blocky" and the audio skips? Well, whatever that's called, it's happening to my cable right now.

Here I am, trying to watch "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" (and not afraid to admit it, by the way), and the picture keeps skipping, making it almost unwatchable. I just called Time Warner Cable to report the problem and the lady said that she was "sending a signal to reset my box" and that I should give it "20 or 30 minutes to fix itself" and if there's still I problem, I should call back and they'll send a technician. I really don't know anything about how digital cable works, but is it really possible that this is a problem that takes 30 minutes to fix remotely? Or is it more likely that this is simply something that randomly happens and they hope it goes away in 30 minutes and I won't call back? This sounds suspiciously like the software developer's answer of "bounce the machine" and it'll work fine for the annoying bugs that we don't know how to reproduce or fix. That, coupled with the fact that they can never explain why this sort of thing happens or why "reprogramming the box" is supposed to fix it, leads me to believe that the people at Time Warner don't know what they are talking about. Is there some higher body I should be lodging my complaints with as well -- should I report this to the FCC or something?

This is very annoying. It happens occasionally, and I usually just ignore it. But I've been getting sick of all the Time Warner commercials I see on TV boasting about how digital cable is superior to satellite because the picture and sound quality is as good or better and you don't have to worry about losing service during inclement weather. OK, maybe I don't have to worry about losing service during inclement weather. Instead, I have to worry about losing service at random! The last time this happened was during the last 20 minutes of a movie I was watching on FX and it was extra-annoying because the picture and sound were terrible during the show and most of the commercials, but whenever a Time Warner commercial came on telling me how great Time Warner service is, everything cleared up.

It's already been 20 minutes since I called and there are still problems. I just might end up making them send a technician out here.
  • Current Music
    "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" (kinda) on HBO


I'm not the only person who thinks that Time Warner Cable sucks (or, alternatively, that Time Warner sucks).

I ended up waiting an hour before calling back to report that my digital cable is still broken. This time, the lady had me unplug the converter box and plug it back in. Still have the problem. She then booked an appointment to have someone come over tomorrow afternoon to look at it. Said that everyone had already gone home today and couldn't come out. OK. Fine. Whatever.

So I poked around on their website and found another number that pretended to be a 24-hour repair service number. I called it. Turns out it's just a number that you can call any time to report a problem, they don't actually do repair work 24 hours a day. So they're still on tap to come out tomorrow. I did ask the lady to credit my account since I'm not getting the digital cable service that I'm paying for and she at least agreed to do that.

One of the things I really enjoy doing on Sunday evenings is watching "The Wire" on HBO. Well, it looks like that's not going to happen tonight.
  • Current Music
    scrambled digital cable