January 19, 2019
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The Skies Have Opened Up...

...and a heavenly light has shown down. A mighty voice has said.....

"Your G5 has shipped!!!!!!"

Yeehaw!!!! I can't wait until I get my dual 2.5/Nvdia 6800 goodness!!!! :D Monday seems so far away.......

Posted on October 16, 2004 at 7:57 am
Why I hate UPS

Disclaimer: I first need to say, that I have nothing against the people who work for UPS. I'm sure there are some nice folks that work there, but I have just had enough annoying experiences with them, that I avoid using them. I also apologize for the length. That being said, on with my rant...

OK, so I ordered the latest Jam Pack's from Apple. I picked the Standard Shipping option, knowing that this would mean UPS. I have had poor experiences with them in the past, but I didn't want to pay the extra shipping for this. Normally, there is someone in my apartment building who signs for my stuff when it is shipped and leaves it outside of my apt. door. That's when things work, and that's what I thought would happen this time around. Well, I was wrong...

I checked the tracking and knew that my package should have arrived on October 12th. Being at work, and not at home, I of course missed the delivery. On the 13th, I hopped on the UPS website and marked my package to be held. The website told me that it would be available for pick up and gave me the hours that I could pick it up. So after work, I drive to UPS. I don't know if this is the rule, but the "Customer Service" area is an absolute pit at my local branch. I gave the "slip" to the UPS person and showed my ID. She went in back to check for it. She came back empty handed and said "It was out for delivery that day. Did you call to have it held?" I responded, "I went on your website and had it held. It told me it would be available for pickup today." She suggested that I call the toll-free number and talk to a human being and have it held. Hmmmmm....I thought I was talking to a human being at the moment who I think would have had a better idea of my package status than some telephone operator located in a different part of the country.

So I leave and head for home. When I get home, there are two messages on my answering machine. One is from the central UPS office (at 11AM) that they had received my request to hold the package and that I should get a call after 5pm. The second call (at 12:30) was the driver notifying me of his second attempt and that he'll be back tomorrow to try again. While I can understand that the driver would not be up to date on the status change, it just seemed rather comical hearing these two conflicting messages back to back. I called the 1-800 number to find out exactly what was going on. The person on the line (and it took awhile to actually get to talk to a person) stated that my package would be held and a third delivery attempt would not be made. She did apologize for the confusion, but given my previous experiences (stated below) it fell on deaf ears. Well, around 7:30PM, I got a call from the local branch of UPS saying that my package was ready to ready to pick up and that they would be open until 8:30 (which oddly enough they state on the website and on the window of the store that they close at 7:00). I said in a rather disgusted voice that I would have to pick it up tomorrow.

So Thursday came, and after work, I went to pick up my package. Happily it was there, ready to be picked up. While nothing in the box was fragile or heavy, the box was rather beat up. I had visions of the opening scene of the first Ace Ventura movie and figured that there was a reason why he was parodying UPS. Funny enough, I had received a package the same day (sitting outside my apt. door) that went through the normal postal service. Approximately the same size and weight. the box was in prestine condition. I could only just shake my head. I could only just dwell on the fact of the amount of effort I had to go through to get my package. If I had waited through the course of 3 attempts, I would not have seen this package until the following Monday.

If this were just an isolate incident, I wouldn't be ranting and posting about it, but it isn't. Previous experiences with UPS have been just as bad or worse. When I got my current computer over three years ago, the monitor shipped first. It arrived at my apartment and my apt. manager signed for it and took it in. There was a foot print on the box. I shuddered to think that someone had been standing on the box that held my monitor. I quickly called Apple and had them switch the shipment of my CPU to FedEx. Eventually, my CPU arrived (with no trouble). Funny enough, I had ship my monitor with in the first couple of days because there was something that was causing a green tint. I don't know if this occurred in shipping, but it makes on scratch one's head. Another experience was being told that I had to wait through the delivery attempts before I could pick it up (which would be 3 business days after the scheduled ship date). I tracked a package that had come to my local office (in WI) and then got rerouted through Illinois, then Iowa, back through Illinois and then back to the local office, for no reason what-so-ever!!! Needless to say, that added a few days and it ticked me off. There are more, but I think my point has been made. Of course, one could argue that maybe it is my local distribution center, but I have heard similar anecdotes from family/friends who would have different distribution centers.

As a result, I avoid UPS whenever I can, but there are time when I can't. My experience with USPS's Priority Mail and FedEx (Overnight or Ground) has been far better. With FedEx, I don't have to put in a request to hold my package. I can come the same day as the attempt and pick it up from their much more efficient and cleaner service area. I pay more for this, but believe me, it is worth it. My current G5 (which just shipped yesterday!!!!!!) is coming FedEx. I'm paying $72 for it, but hey, at least I know I'm going to get it when I want it. UPS wants me to go with "brown," but I can think of something brown that stinks just as much as my experience with them.

Disclaimer Reprise: Again, these are my experiences and also experiences of family and friends that has caused my distaste. I welcome any positive experiences to balance out my rant. If you work for UPS or know someone who does, I'm sorry if I've offended. I'm just not satisfied after numerous attempts.

Posted on October 15, 2004 at 12:49 pm
Back from Colorado

Well, last week, I went on vacation for an extended weekend to witness my good friend from college get married. My previous experience in Colorado was basically changing airplanes in Denver airport. This time, I actually was able to SEE Colorado.

While in Milwaukee's airport, I heard a news story that the area around Denver had gotten 17 inches of snow the night before. I gave it some thought, and when I arrived in Denver, I decided it would be a good idea to upgrade my car rental to an SUV. While the Ford Explorer would have been the route to go, they didn't have any available. The nice lady at Hertz decided to upgrade me to a Lincoln Navigator for no additional cost! Holy buses, Batman!

Well, I started to head west on I-70 from Denver for what was to be about a 4 hour drive. I did run into some weather, but the roads were fine, so my Navigator wasn't really needed, but it was cool! It had Sirius satellite radio and a GPS "Never-Lost" thingy which eliminated the need for a map. The GPS was quickly dubbed "Blinky" and the Navigator was known as the "Bling-Bling." That was all very nifty. The downside was the lousy gas mileage (topped out at about 16mpg on the highway) and huge gas tank. $$$$$$$$$!!!!! Anyway, the drive on I-70 and eventually Hwy-133 were absolutely fabulous. The scenery was fantastic. The freshly snow-covered pines and the color-changed aspens made for a wonderful drive. I must have stopped about 15 times on the way to take pictures (at least it seemed that many). I'll probably be posting some images on my website sometime soon.

But I arrived, and I met my friend who I actually hadn't seen in about 3 years. The next day I met the bride and her family for the first time. Very nice people. And they use a Mac! :) There was a grape iMac sitting on one of the desks. After some errands (pictures, marriage license, etc), my friend and I went to have a look at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Apparently this was made into a national park only within the past few years. It was quite the impressive site. It is a very deep and relatively narrow canyon. The scenic overviews were quite impressive. (Again, I'll probably be posting pictures soon, but no picture could do it justice).

The next day brought the typical tuxedo pickup and later the rehearsal. We also did some setting up of table for the reception. I found it rather funny that the hall where we we going to have the reception was formerly a roller-rink. One gets rather spoiled in the big city. I have to say though, that there was something very quaint and warm about it all. The rehearsal dinner was very nice. It was held at a bed-and-breakfast which had a very southwestern adobe theme to it. The owner was originally from France and was an excellent chef (probably not unexpected). The dinner was gourmet to say the least. I actually consider anything that is in a microwave for longer than 5 minutes to be gourmet, so I guess anything impresses me. :)

At last, Saturday arrives, and my buddy takes the ultimate plunge. Since the wedding is later on in the day, we actually do all the pictures prior to the ceremony. Happily the bride is a Methodist, and therefore the ceremony is short (as compared to the extremely long Catholic mass). Having to stand the entire time proves to be a bit of a challenge for me. Having to deal with a bout of vertigo, as well as some dehydration (due to the altitude and a rather warm tuxedo), and general nerves provided some fuel to that challenge. But things turned out OK. The reception hall actually looked rather nice for something that was a roller-rink before. The lights were turned down and there were candles on each of the tables. It was simple and cozy. Funny thing is, the groom's father handed out cigars. Lots of the men in the crowd took one and went outside to smoke. This actually significantly reduced the number of dance partners for the women. I actually tried lighting up a stogie, but alas, it just wasn't for me. After cutting the end (which I must have done wrong) I ended up with tabacco particles in my mouth....ugh! Whatever happened to the simplicity of Swisher Sweets? I was never a big fan of cigars anyway, so I wasn't missing much. Also, my tounge didn't feel like it needed to be shaved the next day, which was nice.

Well, Sunday arrived and it was time to get back home. After a brief brunch and a few farewells, I headed back to Denver to catch my flight home. I had looked forward to the drive again, since it was so nice coming in and there was more sun which brightened up the aspens. Unfortunately, all the altitude changes reaked havoc on my sinuses and my inner ears, so I actually felt like crap driving back. It was still a nice drive, but my body just wasn't into it. I got back with a couple of hours to spare in the airport (good thing because security was backed up quite a bit). On the flight, the guy sitting next to me pulled out an iPod. The original 5Gig model. I, of course, had my 30 Gig 3rd generation. He chuckled saying he wished his iPod would break so that he could justify getting a new one, but his is still going strong. He was also another avid Mac user, so I was actually pretty happy that I had met two Mac users in such a PC dominated world.

Well, I'm back...I stood up in my friends wedding, got to see a beautiful part of my country, and share in the glory of being a Mac user. If only I hadn't gotten this damn cold that plagues me now, it would have been perfect!

Posted on September 30, 2004 at 2:06 pm
The Waiting Game

Well, I just checked the order status of my G5, and it has moved from 9/23 to 10/22. Reading some of the forums on Apple's website, this change wasn't a huge surprise. What kind of floors me is that I didn't receive any notice of the change from Apple. I recall in the past that they sent out an email with the usual "we are sorry for the delay," "high demand," yaddayaddayadda. Now....nothing. While I understand the delay, I am a little disappointed that I had to find out by myself. When I ordered, the estimated ship time was 4-6 weeks. My order status faithfully read 9/23. Well, now it is more like 10 weeks if not more before my computer will arrive. Nearly twice the original estimate. Apple needs to have a little more customer service...even just an automatic email to notify the customer of the delay....something.... Considering that I'm dropping $5000+, I think I might deserve as much....

Again, I understand the delay. I even expected it. Hopefully issues that Whaleman and others are having with the G5's will be solved in the next month....hopefully....

And now...the obligatory...DOH!!!!!!!

Posted on September 20, 2004 at 1:17 pm

...and I'm not talking about ketchup. The wait for my new G5 is killing me. Currently, the status says "On or before 9/23/04." ACK! I'm just hoping for before!

Posted on August 24, 2004 at 9:28 am
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