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May 2007 Archives

May 8, 2007

Canon CCD Advisory

If you have a Canon PowerShot camera affected by the CCD Advisory (which has been expanded a couple times since its initial announcement), be aware that the turnaround times Canon's offering may be a little optimistic.

Based solely on my own experience, you're looking at upwards of a month's turnaround. I was told 2 weeks on the phone, 7 days in my letter, and 10 days when I first checked my repair status. With 3 days left until it's been a month, my camera is still "Accepted" and "Not yet shipped".

Good, Bad, and Ugly

It's just been one of those months, where nothing works out right. Well, frankly my whole year has been that way so far.

Let's discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly, shall we?

The Army
Bad. Repetitious paperwork! 3 different takes on things from 2 different people! And deployment (albeit thankfully not overseas) a week before final exams!

My brother's first semester as a university student is off to an awesome start courtesy or your armed forces. He's annoyed, but taking it like a champ, and is already working on ensuring it doesn't happen again.

Canon USA
Oh Canon, what is going wrong inside your big concrete buildings?

You're still making gorgeous lenses and industry-leading digital imaging sensors. But it seems like everything around them is wonky. My trusty old PowerShot has been gone for nearly a month now. Will it ever come back? I can't say as I'm holding my breath.

And then there's your professional printing division, who are slapping together hardware that should make your imagePROGRAF printers awesome for photographers. Too bad they can't be trusted, they're a pain in the ass to use, they're essentially undocumented, and you don't stand behind them with a reasonable warranty or support channel.

We want to love your printers; Why don't let us?

United States Postal Service
It's been two weeks since I mailed my membership application to ASMP. My check still hasn't posted, and I still haven't heard anything back. Have you eaten my outgoing mail now, as well? I have to admit it's a nice change from losing my incoming mail, but unfortunately I can't just run out and get another proof of enrollment for my student membership since I'm finally, you know, graduating.

And on top of this, I had a thrilling time this morning trying to send an Express Mail envelope. Your counter clerk insisted I was not using official USPS labels, but ones for shipping centers. Despite the fact it was printed from the USPS website and had USPS branding all over the damn place, complete with "USPS Employee" instructions. Will my submission package make it to the gallery by the deadline? It's a mystery!

Citibank
Replacement card I was supposed to get in March shows up in May. Card that was supposed to have no annual fee is set up with an annual fee.

I'm required to create a second Citibank login account to pay the bills for the replacement because you can't add a card to an existing login. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to have separate logins for each account at your bank? Apparently Citibank can, and liked it.

I have no idea how I'm going to pay my bill next month, because I've already forgotten my new User ID. Yeehaw.

Arizona State University
I've received a good education.

Unfortunately everything not directly related to the education has been tirelessly aggravating.

Take, for example, filing for graduation. "Congratulations, you passed your degree audit," I was told when I filed. What do I get in the mail 5 days before graduation? "Oh no, you failed your degree audit!" On the up side of things, someone I was talking to said a friend only got their bad news letter after they'd already taken part in the ceremonies and started job hunting. Nice.

Let us not discuss tuition, parking, or the run-down state of the entire campus that isn't Michael Crow's office.

Professional Photographers of America
Ah, the PPA. Claiming to support the industry of photography as a whole.

Except, oops, they've allied themselves with Microsoft for Microsoft's latest photo student contest... which his a rights giveaway no sane person should sign. Supporting the industry by devaluing it, God Bless America!

I was going to give you money, PPA, but this is ridiculous, and instead you're getting a letter about why you won't be getting my money.

May 11, 2007

Dr. Rugs

We rented a Rug Doctor for the day to see if it would do anything to clean the horrendous, 20-someodd-year-old carpet (which hasn't been shampooed in about 10 or 15) here.

Answer: Yes and no.

In low traffic areas, where there's not a buildup of nasty people oil grossness, it does a pretty decent job getting the carpet to look nice.

In high traffic areas, where there is that kind of buildup, it doesn't do as well. They do, however, recommend pre-treating such areas with their High-Traffic Pre-Treater. We opted not to.

Regardless of how well it does overall, it does pull up a lot of disgusting crap from the carpet and the pad. What I've been dumping out of the machine isn't so much "dirty water" as "liquid milkshake." So even though it hasn't brought the color of the carpet back to showroom new (which honestly wasn't the expectation), it's doing an admirable job at least making things cleaner (albeit still discolored from years of use).

At any rate, the carpets look nicer in general.

There's also one thing Rug Doctor says I feel I need to address. In their marketing materials, they say the machine is light to load into your car, and easy enough for anyone to use.

It's a little optimistic. Pulling the machine along your carpet requires a good deal of energy and force, as it uses a high-powered vacuum to perform the extraction of the liquid. Yes, just about anyone could go pick it up at the rental place. Actually using it, though? You'd have to be in reasonable shape and have a solid back. And if you aren't already doing regular abdominal exercises, you'll know after cleaning a room.

About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Middle Grey in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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