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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sick Day

When I woke up yesterday, I had a sore throat. I thought it was just from sleeping with my head in a weird position or getting too cold Monday night, but it lingered on all day, and by the time I got home my sinuses were getting stopped up, too. I still think it may just be bad allergies, though. At least that's how I'm going to treat it, so we'll see how that goes.

This morning when I woke up, I felt truly rotten, so I called in sick and went back to bed. I finally got up about noon, at some soup for lunch, then slept until 5. I'm feeling much better now, but the real test will be how I feel after another night's sleep. We went to Wal-Mart tonight to get some sinus-allergy stuff, but unfortunately the old standby Tylenol Allergy-Sinus is no longer available with pseudoephedrine, even if you sign for it, and the new ingredient doesn't work nearly as well for me. Stupid meth makers.

In other news since my last post, the Arkansas-USC game turned out about the way I expected, and three games later we really don't have a good sense of how good the team really is. Yeah, they're 3-1, but they're a couple of good kicks away from being 1-3. The Auburn game should be pretty telling. Auburn may be better than USC this season, but I think we may not have the psychological disadvantage against Auburn that we did against USC, since we know Auburn. We play them every year, whereas USC had a bit of mystique that comes from the unfamiliar. I guess we'll see. Either way, though, being 6-2 at the end of October sounds really, really good after back-to-back losing seasons.

My knee is continuing to improve. Nearly all of the swelling is gone, and I'm back to about 90% range of motion. I've been able to make it to our past two softball games, so thanks to some rain-outs I really only missed one night. I wasn't too hot the first night, mostly hitting dribblers to third and short, since I was having trouble planting my right foot. This week, though, I was about back to normal, getting a couple of RBIs and even a triple.

Hopefully I can get back into blogging more regularly now, since I've kind of fallen out of the habit.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

T Minus 20 Minutes

Less than half an hour until the University of Arkansas Razorbacks kick off their 2006-2007 football season, so I feel obligated to make a prediction:

Tonight's ESPN game will be remembered as the coming-out party for the Razorback Renaissance.

I don't necessarily mean the Hogs will win, but they'll play USC close enough that it'll be a real game (unlike last year). And although it won't be obvious tonight (unless the Trojans lose), it'll also be remembered later this season as further evidence of a USC decline that started in last year's national title game.

In short, the Hogs will be better this season than critics expect, and I think USC will be worse than lots of people expect.

Either way, I'm ready for some football! Let the games begin!


For the past few months, things have been pretty busy and hectic around here. Not in a bad way, by any means, but just busy. Nearly every Saturday I've wished I could just lie around and relax, sleep in, watch some movies, surf the web, do whatever. Since my knee's hurt, that's about all I've been able to do today.

And it's driving me crazy!

Isn't it funny how something that sounds so enticing when it isn't an option is suddenly much less appealing when it's the only option?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bad, Cox, Bad! No cookie!!!

So, here I sit on a Friday night, trying to pay my stupid Cox cable bill. Why is that hard? Frankly, I can't imagine.

I've been paying my bill online for three years or more with no problems. When we got our DVR, though, something got messed up. Ever since we moved into our house, Cox had my driver's license number on file instead of my social security number. Frankly, that was fine by me, I just had to remember to give them my DLN whenever they asked for an SSN. When I went in to get the DVR, though, they "corrected" that. No problem, and no big deal.

Or so I thought.

The next month I went to their website to pay our bill, but when I tried to login, it said since there had been changes to our account, they needed additional confirmation in the form of our account number and my social. (Yes, I know that sounds like a phishing scheme. I manually typed in to get there, though, and even checked the IPs. Yes, I'm paranoid.) When I entered it, though, the form said it didn't match what was listed for that account. So I tried my DLN instead -- no luck. Then I tried Heather Marie's SSN -- still no luck.

"Great," I thought, "they must've mistyped it at the office." So the next time I had a chance to go by, I stopped in and explained my problem. The nice folks at the office double-checked my account info, carefully compared the SSN and DLN I provided to what they had on file, and assured me that it was all correct.


I'm still having the same problem with the online account info, so I took the time tonight to call their alleged billing support line. At least I think that's what I called. Here's a free tip to companies everywhere: If you're going to display a message on a web page for your customers to call a service representative, put the number RIGHT THERE! It's not rocket science! If I have to hunt around your site looking for a number to all in order to more efficiently give you money then the odds are really good I won't bother.

So I finally work my way through the billing phone menu until I'm told that I can press 0 to speak with a customer service rep. When I pressed 0, the recording warned me that my account would be charged a $4 "cost recovery fee" for helping me. Helping me pay my bill?! FOUL!!! Cost recovery? Where I come from, helping your customers give you money is called a cost of doing business, and you factor it into what you have to charge for those services.

Fine, I'll pay their stupid fee, just to get this sorted out! Wrong again, cowboy! Because they only provide that service during normal business hours! So it's hard to access, pointlessly expensive, and unavailable. Boy, that's a winner!

In their defense, I should add here that this is really one of the few problems I've had with Cox, either with net access or TV, while our previous DSL experience was nightmarish. It's still very frustrating, though, and even though our cable service has been good so far, I'll certainly remember tonight when AT&T starts calling to tempt me with the broadband service they're rumored to be prepping for our area.