I sit in a amazement at the last three weeks of my life. It seems everything is busted in its own beautiful way.
Three weeks ago, our phone started buzzing every few times we tried to receive a call. I called the phone company – 8 times – over a two-week period trying to get this fixed. We had to buy caller ID to help them figure out what the problem was. Every time they would say it was fixed I would find that it wasn’t and would have to call them again. Every call can take up to an hour to wait in a queue, and every time I talk to someone it would be like starting from scratch. Enter information about your account, wait in a queue, get someone online, tell them the same information you just entered, verify your identity with security questions, run down a menu of standard questions you answered the last time you called, finally get down to them checking your phone for problems – again, scheduling a service call, and then HOPING that this time it would be fixed. Then you get the automated phone call that says its fixed, then the automated survey call to tell them how they did, and then the discovery that the problem is still there! Repeat 8 times and your done! Whalla!
Then last week our internet exceeded its bandwidth – which kinda shocked me. I checked out our usage and found that there is no detailed breakdown of bandwidth usage via domain or IP or protocol – which would be a darn helpful thing to have! My guess is that my bandwidth overrun was caused by some software I installed last month for a network node based backup drive which insisted on also backing up my data to the cloud. I found that the backup drive had a busted file system that would prevent me from updating the last-touched time on files so that normal backup tools like robocopy cannot work efficiently. My guess is that this bug was on purpose to force you to use their backup utility. After installing that, I found that it hit my hard drive constantly – it would literally wear it out over time, so I uninstalled it and returned the product to Costco. Unfortunately, I think the cloud backup app was not uninstalled and un-known to me, it was sending my entire hard drive to the cloud – which is likely why my bandwidth limits were exceeded! AMAZING. To fix this I had to call my ISP only 4 times with the same queueing, menus and security questions like my phone company has. Response here was better and today I am finally connected back onto the internet. YAY!
Then today I tested my hot tub for the first time. I managed to finally wire it up yesterday and it appeared to be working great this morning as I enjoyed a soak and watching the sun rise. But by mid afternoon when I was checking my chemistry I found it in OverHeat mode with it reading 113 degrees (but the water was only about 104) so I assume the temperature sensor was bad. I called the guy that sold me the hot tub and he had me call Sundance who then told me not to call them and then both parties called me back bitching about how unreasonable the other party is – and that I would eventually have it fixed next week sometime.
So this afternoon my caretaker and I started working on replacing a water valve buried 5 feet underground that broke. It isolates my garden sprinkler system and was made of cheap plastic and the handle finally broke off on the valve. Since this system has to be isolated for winter, we had to get it fixed before then. So Tom and I are working on this and wouldn’t you know, our attempts to replace the valve resulted in PVC leaks. (We were told by the pool guy – see below – that we needed to get the good glue to make PVC connections consistently work – “that ACE hardware crap just doesn’t work good enough.” We are now waiting for come resin to dry around the joints in the hopes that this will stop the leaks. Hope this works, because if it doesn’t, well… we have no water now!
Oh did I mention that I am flattening my main dev machine again today now that I finally have internet (which ironically needs lots of megs to download all the updates needed for install). It seems on that one machine I cannot sync my Windows Live Main client to either my msn or gmail accounts – even though other machines using the exact same client and accounts work fine. It also cannot record audio in my Sonar Cakewalk Home Studio software and I am out of ideas of why – driver and software reinstalls don’t seem to help.
Oh yah, my truck is in the shop because it keeps vapor-locking when it gets hot – this is the second time we have taken it in to get fixed because the mechanic couldn’t reproduce the problem but it happened again last week after their first service. Hopefully we will pick it up tomorrow but he still can’t reproduce the problem which has happened to me 3 times now.
We currently have a contractor re-siding my house because most of our windows (with lifetime warranties) have fogged up between the dual-panes and because woodpeckers appear to be looking for bugs in my current wood siding. This will probably cost me over $30,000 to fix – but hey, that’s what I live for!
I could probably list more problems – like we just got the automatic temperature controller for the pool fixed today – it was fixed supposedly last year but never worked. Our pool guy takes about 3 months to finally respond to a call request and just came by today to fix it – he said the pool is already pretty warm and so the system isn’t coming on but “it’s probably ok”.
So I am supposed to be retired and enjoying the good life but it seems I spend most of my time dealing with fixing stuff – constantly and forever!
I heard we just entered a new era – temporarily named by the modern art folks as post-post-modernism. I hope this becomes the “fixed it right” era – I am running out of time and money to fix everything that constantly breaks.
Maybe man was simply not meant to live in a care-free state with complex technology.
I may end up a simple shepherd if this keeps up much longer.