Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

I had the privilege of visiting one of the main shindigs here and as is the customary Army way there are the invaluable reflective belts EVERYWHERE! As I was walking around I was reminded of when the new PT uniform came out. As some of my friends and I were reviewing these new uniforms someone commented on the fact that it includes reflective material on it. A comment was made about the fact that the uniform was being pitched as precluding the need for a reflective belt due to the reflective material. It's just funny and very Army like that despite the presence of reflective material we still wear reflective belts with the PT uniform. I am convinced that if the Army had a PT uniform with a yellow reflective stripe across it or even if the whole stinking thing was made of luminescent material we would still be wearing that stupid reflective belt. Maybe it's a conspiracy? PXs are frequently out of stock on numerous essential items but they never seem to be out of reflective belts, at $7 a pop. Coincidence? I think not. Could it be....................Satan!?!?

Some of you may or may not remember from before my hiatus but I am a musician. I play three instruments now and am in the process of learning a fourth. I have written and recorded a few songs but haven't done anything with them, mostly because I'm just not satisfied with them. I have a handful of half written songs laying around my computer, some partially recorded, some not. I have some simple recording gear here with me but it's of sufficiently low quality so as to only allow me to get something down so as not to forget it. The problem is that I feel like there is a really great song inside me and I just can't figure out how to get it out. Some of the stuff I have written I like but I know that it's not "it." They are not what I know I am capable of. If only I could figure out how to let it out. I talked to my brother who is an artist and ten times the musician I am and he has the same experience in all of his creative ventures. Must be all musicians.

I just downloaded the new Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy (piracy, guilty, arghh.) I have only listened to it once and haven't really gotten to know it yet but my first impression is that it's not bad, not bad at all. Now I want my Dr Pepper.

I just discovered 30 Rock. Filed under intelligently funny shows that I easily get addicted to.

Ditto for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you haven't discovered that show then do so now.

This is simply brilliant.

Again, as some of you may remember, I am a big fan of Britcoms. I have recently discovered one called Green Wing. It's like an over the top Scrubs that would never be allowed in the states. It's awesome. However one thing I've noticed is that most British TV shows seem to only last a few seasons. Like two or three. Whereas American TV goes for eight or ten. I find Brit humor so much more intelligent and witty. Too bad they seam to burn out fast. Then again I'm not sure anybody could keep up Fawlty Towers type antics for too long.

When I went on hiatus I saved all my posts from my blog before I deleted them. I was thinking about re-posting some of them. Preferably the more profound (hahaha) ones. Your thoughts.

Friday, November 07, 2008

AOL Redux

So I get an email the other day that says my XBox live membership is due to automatically renew in a month. Huh?!?! So I go online to the page for my account and what do you know there is no option to not automatically renew or to cancel. According to their FAQ to do that you need to call. Well here is the dilemma. Believe it or not I have internet access here but no phone access. It's only every now and then that I get to a phone. So I fired off an email explaining my situation. I was very polite and expected some kind of help. Here is the reply I got.

Thank you for writing to Xbox Live. We are sorry to hear that you want to cancel your Xbox Live subscription. As much as I would like to help you over email, all cancellation problems are being addressed through our phone support line. We at email support line do not have the capabilities to pull up your account, since this issue has a degree of sensitivity. Be advised that by canceling your subscription, you will lose any remaining time on the service in addition to your gamer tag and game rankings.If you still want to cancel, please call our Xbox Phone Support. We may require personal information for verification which cannot be divulged over email. When you call, immediate action will be given to your inquiries or request.

My response

Did you even read my email? I am in Afghanistan! I DO NOT HAVE ANY MEANS OF USING A PHONE. If I can bank over the internet you can cancel my lowly little xbox live account over the internet. Thousands of businesses are capable of identifying me over the internet, I'm pretty sure Microsoft can.Your website will even let me add another credit card or change any other aspect of my membership but it won't let me choose not to automaticly renew or cancel. Yea right, I'm sure that has to do with "personal information being passed over email." While you may not have the ability to help me you need to forward this to someone who can. If my membership is renewed and I am charged for xbox live when I have no means of using it then I will never ever purchase another piece of Microsoft software again.

Their response

Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am (Name) and I will be helping you today with this issue. I apologize for the inconvenience. I understand that you are from Afghanistan and need to call Xbox Customer Support to cancel your account. You may call any of the numbers listed below that is nearest your region:

My response

Apparently you did not read my message either. I am not from Afghanistan. I am an American serviceman deployed to Afghanistan. I HAVE NO ACCESS TO A PHONE. DO NOT RENEW MY XBOX LIVE MEMBERSHIP!!!!!!!! I AM GETTING TIRED OF REPEATING MYSELF. This is all strangely reminiscent of the whole AOL cancellation debacle. You all have no security issues with me changing a credit card or any other sensitive aspect of my account online yet for me to not want to automatically renew is too sensitive to pass over email?!?! So, (Name) for the last time, pretty please with a cherry on top let me make myself perfectly clear, I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PIECE OF MICROSOFT ANYTHING IF MY XBOX LIVE MEMBERSHIP IS AUTOMATICALLY RENEWED!!!

What is wrong with people! So frustrating.