A 319 Day/ Ahoy!

Today was by my definition in the sidebar a real 319 day.  I took care of a lot of things as well as came to understand alot of bureaucratic garbage that had been dogging me.  The issues I solved today:

Mobile me

I switched to Apple’s Mobile me email service two months ago before we came to Hawaii.  It was brand new and had ALOT of bugs.  I basically couldn’t sync my computer with Mobile me.  Apple was horrendous to me.  I say this being an Apple super fan.  The service costs about $80 a year.  I have aol, gmail, and rocketmail accounts.  I didn’t really need Mobile me but their marketing campaign of all your ‘things’ happily coexisting together and accessible anywhere on a fluffy cyber cloud totally won me over.  So I paid the price even though I had just quit my job.  In the couple of days before we flew out I frantically tried to work out the kinks.  I had sent an exit email to all of my contacts using my me.com address as my new address. First of all mobile me only provides support through articles on apple.com and when you’re totally desperate online chat with a representative.  I was on hold for two days once for 2 hours another for 4 hours.  Granted Mobile me had just come out.  The representatives had no clue.  They referred me back to the articles and forums I had pored through that lead me to chat support.  After that I called Apple care and even went to the genius bar to no avail.  They all had no clue.  It was staggering.  After a few days the me.com website was operating properly and synced all my information.  I got an email while in Hawaii from Apple saying that they were crediting mobile me members with a month free service.   It wasn’t great but I could send and receive webmail and from my iphone.  The only remaining problem was the mail application on my computer.

I have Tiger which retained the .mac program which mobile me was an update to.  I could recieve mail but I couldn’t send mail.  I really didn’t want to deal with Apple so I just let it slide.  This morning I said ‘no more!’.  I decided to confront it head on.  And after screaming at people (not very Aloha) for about an hour I finally got a tech person to agree to help me without charging me.  Initially they insited on chrging me $50 for help because I hadn’t purchaced the extended Applecare warranty for $250.  I screamed so loud that I was worried the neighbors would come thinking that I was being murdered.  It took a couple of times calling them using this method to actually produce results.  When I would yell at someone they would put me on hold and never come back.  Eventually I got someone and said ‘let me preface this conversation by saying that if you don’t find a way to help me on this call I’m going to spend my whole day writing user reviews about how crappy your products are and how I didn’t get any help because I didn’t pay the extra money for Apple to be nice to me.’  This seemed to work.  I got a real tech person on the phone. 

I am a huge fan of IT people.  I love how they think and how they solve problems.  My admiration for them is similar to how I love film and theater production people.  They know their shit and they get it done.  Until Dustin, the tech support person at Apple that helped me, all the other people were flacks.  Do nothing, know nothing, bureaucratic, out-sourced hacks that speak in some indistinguishable accent and sound like a robot.  I HATE THOSE PEOPLE.  They rarely solve anything.  So Dustin got on the phone and stayed on the phone with me for over an hour–maybe even an hour and half.  When he couldn’t figure it out he told me so and he said he had to do research and call me back. Unlike the gentleman at the SOHO Genius Bar who was so obviously not a genius because he decided that it was my operating system and I needed to wipe it clean and reinstall.  Oh the Hubris!  I digress.   An hour later Dustin the Apple IT angel called me back, wiped the application clean and walked me through adding mobile me as an IMAP account which worked like a dream.  He’s a stand-up dude in a sea of people getting paid to do nothing.  NOTE to APPLE when you stink you really stink.

HEALTH Insurance

I’m on a COBRA health insurance plan.  The original plan was no great shakes so I have been considering switching to an individual health plan.  My boyfriend has great insurance through SAG which I learned is basically Blue Cross Blue Shield.  So after being lead around by the nose calling unhelpful brokers and a whole mess of numbers from different websites I finally found Gerry at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.  And he broke it all down for me.  What I learned is that unless you are RICH it is not easy to get a comprehensive individual health insurance plan in this country. He outlined three plans for me and though I’m not going with any of them I thought Healthy New York was the most interesting:

Healthy New York
state subsidized 263.86 a month
incoming gross monthly has to be under  $2167
must be able to prove that you worked one day in the past year

IPhone App TEXT GURU

I downloaded a new app the other day called text guru.  I find it to be really great.  It is a wireless filesharing application for the Iphone like Airsharing but you can edit and SEND documents from your IPhone.  Totally great.  So my problem was that my firewall was blocking the port that Text Guru was using.  The chat support walked me through how to make an exception in System Preferences and allow acces to a specific port.  I didn’t know how to do that before!  So basically for the other do-dos out there like me you go to: System Preferences>Sharing> firewall and from there you click ‘new’ choose ‘other’ and create an exception. It took 2 seconds and my text guru began connecting beautifully.

Mold on Concrete

It’s been raining like crazy here in Oahu.  Our patio which is made of concrete bricks was staring to get a gross green sheen which I can only imagine is mold or fungus.  I looked up some ways that you could clean concrete and found all kinds of concrete cleaning products.  I thought well I guess I’ll have to wait for a trip to Home Depot.  But it kept bothering me to an OCD level.  So I gabbed a bucket and clorox.  I mixed in hot water and just scrubbed the patio.  It didn’t work amazingly but it worked well enough.  At least I don’t feel like we’re living in a slimy aquarium tank’s pirate treasure chest.

Corn on the Cob

I made corn on the cob to go with dinner tonight for the fist time. 

  1. I husked the corn. 
  2. brought a big pot to a rolling boil
  3. added Salt
  4. put the corn in and let it cook for exactly 7 minutes
  5.  took a big pad of butter and coated the ears thoroughly before serving.

It was delish.

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