Saturday, August 30, 2008
Yesterday, after presiding at a very successful MA defense, I took this snapshot of the flowers in my office. Then I tried to use the BlackBerry to post the photo to the blog: no luck. Can anyone tell me how to do this?
As it turned out, that was only the first of the day's frustrations with Caprica Curve, who, alas, turns out to be a much more expensive date than I originally realized. But first, the important news: My father's still home on antibiotics. Yesterday he got more moving estimates, and he's found a company he's happy with. When I spoke to him this morning, he hadn't gotten much sleep and said he felt pretty lousy. He certainly sounded it, with a terrible rattling cough. But he had enough energy for a lively debate about biomedical ethics, so I figure he can't be doing too badly!
Right. Now back to Caprica. So: it's 2:00 on the Friday before a holiday weekend, and I want to get my work e-mail synced to the new phone. I call our IT Department, thinking that they'll tell me to see some tech on campus who'll push a few buttons, and that everything will be easy.
First, IT tells me that I have to pay a $60+ licensing fee to get my work e-mail on the phone, even though I get it for free on my home computer. And no, they don't take checks or credit cards; they need a purchase order from the English Department, and the money has to come out of a departmental account.
This is nuts, since the university's having such a huge budget crisis that the department can't even buy new toner cartridges for our printers. But I go upstairs and talk to our secretary, who's willing to fax the IPO through when I offer to pay the money to the department myself.
I hike up to the student union; the new one's abut a ten-minute walk from our building and is next to the new library. Both buildings used to be two seconds from the English Department, but not any more, and it's hotter than blazes out. But I have my sunhat. I'm set. I get cash at the student union to pay the department, and then I go to the library to meet with the tech person who'll set up my machine (and who's sweltering in a room without AC, which seems ironic for a tech person).
She gets my work e-mail synced to my phone. But when I try it, it doesn't work. It tells me that service is blocked. She makes a phone call and learns that I need a fancier data provider, an Enterprise server, but that if I call Verizon, they should be able to switch me over easily. It will be more money, but I have my state discount, right?
I go home. I call Verizon, where the perky sales rep informs me a) that yesterday's sale rep was incorrect in telling me that I get a state discount; my calling plan doesn't qualify me for one, and upgrading the calling plan would be more money than I'm paying even with the discount, and b) that the Enterprise plan is $15 more per month than the old plan was. The upshot is that I'll now be paying about $65 per month, although that's still less than I thought it would be based on the prices on the Verizon site.
Grumpy but resigned, I settle down to my next task: trying to transfer music from my laptop to the phone.
No go. It doesn't work.
I do some research and learn that I need to buy a media memory card, something I really should have been told when I got the BlackBerry. Gary thinks they assumed that everyone knows that, but I didn't.
Now really grumpy, I take a break for dinner. Then we go to PetSmart to buy catfood. Then we go to our friend Jim's house to visit his new flamepoint Siamese kitten, Petunia.
Petunia's a darling, but as you can tell, the flash on Caprica's camera makes her look like Radioactive Devil Cat. Since she's a Siamese, her eyes are actually a beautiful light blue. Despite photographic appearances, she's a very sweet kitty.
She hung out peacefully in Jim's arms for most of our visit, purring like "an idling truck," as Jim puts it. In this photo, you can see her pretty tail.
She let us pat her and didn't seem afraid of us at all. I grew up with Siamese, so spending time with her made me nostalgic for the cats of my youth.
This shot avoids radioactive-eye syndrome (by virtue of not including her eyes at all), and also lets you see the markings on her head. They'll get darker as she gets older.
Having been delighted and refreshed by our visit with Petunia, we decided to venture to Office Depot to try to find a memory card. When we got there -- it was now 8:30, and the store closed at 9:00 -- the sales rep advised us to go to the closest Verizon store, where the card could also be installed and initialized. The closest Verizon store, which also closed at 9:00, was about ten minutes away on a road we don't know well.
We managed to find it, though, and there I had my first break of the day: a 6-gig card was on sale for $25, not a bad price at all. And when I got home, I could download music without any trouble. So I now have a working iPod. Yay!
Caprica's now configured in all the important ways she needs to be, which means that I can stop fussing over her and get back to the rest of my life. Yay!
Oh, actually, there is one more glitch I'd like to iron out if possible, although it's not essential. I downloaded Google Maps, which indeed provides handy driving directions when I enter starting and ending points. But when I ask it to find my location, it consistently believes that I'm in Seattle. Does anyone have any clue what to do about this?