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I will probably be unreachable electronically for an indeterminate amount of time following the 30th.

Dear Stabby #1

…makes its now hilariously belated debut over at IndyPlanet.  Big hi-five ‘twixt its writer Nich and I.

 To my infinite dismay there is a typo in it.  I’m not going to say where because that’d be a spoiler.

They’re always the ones who love you most.

You ready? I don’t think you are.

Mattresses GET!

Received defective merchandise later than promised shipping date, despite paying rush fees, on 11/19/2008. Contacted merchant’s tech support center and was repeatedly promised a callback over a period of a week with no response.  Contacted merchant’s sales department, also repeatedly, with the same results. Attempted to utilize merchant’s 30-day money back guarantee and return merchandise before 30 days had elapsed since invoice date of 11/10/2008 per merchant’s policy.  Could not obtain RMA despite numerous phone and several electronic attempts.  No response of any kind from merchant.

Remember when I was talking about computer issues the other day? My BIOS, my RAID, etc., etc..?  Well when I wrote that I wasn’t yet ready to admit that I’d been had by a fly-by-night custom computers outfit that I only minimally researched because, let’s face it, getting taken for a shitload of money is embarrassing and makes you look like an ass.  Today I’m too irritated; too thoroughly fed up with this company and its shenanigans to forgo warning others at the expense of my pride.   They squandered my charitable willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt and so fuck. them. 

… Let’s back up.

Before any of that BIOS noise, I received this shitpiece late, with a completely unseated video card rattling around the inside of the case.  Opened it up, went to reseat it, only to find the heatsink on the card was physically interfering with a heatsink on the motherboard and it could not be secured in place. This card should not have been sold with this mobo.   Still, it could be shoved down far enough to make good contact, so I fixed and forgave this and moved into the new computer, which, as implied in my previous post, ran fine for awhile.

Then the BIOS started sitting there during POST for literally about 5 minutes every boot prior to even thinking about loading an OS. Trying to enter the BIOS setup was another 5-minute wait.  I searched the issue, found nothing conclusive, and put in a tech support request via this merchant’s website.  No response.  Called tech support.  Held forever before the phone was answered by a woman assuring me I’d be called back and I should wait by my computer. I never got a call back; I checked my caller ID when I came home from work.  Called again. Held again.  Repeat.

I visited this site’s forums, chiefly its tech support forum.  I read a lot of very sad stories.  Generally stuff in the vein of school teachers trying to get a decent computer for a decent price for their families receiving totally DoA machines and getting no response for weeks before having this vendor claim their 30-days-from-invoice return window had expired.

Suddenly very conscious of the days remaining me before my 30 days were up, I requested an RMA # lest I get rooked out of a restocking fee at best or stuck with this monument to my poor consumer habits at worst.  After all, if I’d wanted to pay ever so slightly less than Dell prices for a slightly more custom machine that never quite worked the way I wanted I’dve just built my own.

I bet you see where this is going.

No RMA#.  No response.

I called again and again. Nothing.  I called Sales, and told them my story. They transferred me, purportedly, to tech support, and after holding half an hour I got someone else in Sales.  SHOCKER: he told me he’d have tech support call me back.  I expressed skepticism, and joked that it’d better be within the next few hours as I had to leave for work.  He seemed wounded and assured me he’d personally see to it I got a speedy callback.

Two hours ticked by and I left for work.  Again, no calls and no Emails while I was out.

What in the fuck…? As I understand it, the economy is in something of a fix, just at the moment, isn’t it? Where companies ought to be courting the rare jerkoff still willing to drop a grand or two on a computer rather than refusing to speak to them? 

Fuck you, CyberPowerPC.  I should have let your name serve as warning enough and disregarded your handful of rave reviews from magazines I don’t read.

Unfortunately for you, my financial institution seems to have sided with me, and with any luck I will have my money back shortly, RMA or neaux.

Not much; a lot.

That’s what’s been going down.

I’m writing this from a mostly-new computer I just rebuilt the RAID for after a BIOS catastrophe that has it slated for return as soon as I get an RMA, so I’m not exactly making myself comfortable.

But I thought I’d say hello — it’s been awhile. Again.

I’ve just started working on a new, solo comics project, although it’s sort of stalled pending me getting this brick off my hands and settling into a replacement.  I don’t, as I said, want to get too comfortable; the external hard drive I’ve got all my stuff on, including, like, everything I’ve ever written or drawn ever, is a volatile little cocksucker that has started sputtering disk errors before wiping its contents in the past.  I don’t even want to turn it on if I don’t have to.  I don’t want to tempt fate.  The two most expensive things I own — my car and my computer — have both failed me in the past few weeks, to the tune of my financial solvency. 

So let’s talk about mice.

There was blood all over the baseboard in the hallway a few days ago.  I couldn’t find anything bleeding or figure out what from.  Later, while driving into Madcity, I noticed George’s knuckles were bloody.  He was mutually surprised by this, and with no other theories we decided his hands were chapped from the cold weather and his skin was just cracking at the joints.  It happens. It’s Wisconsin.

While in the city we decided to finally see Quantum of Solace, and George goes for his wallet, adjusting his shirt sleeve inside his coat as he does so.  I see something appear in the palm of his hand, like a trick ace, but before I can make it out he goes “Oh God” and claps that hand against his chest.  Handing me his wallet with his opposite hand so he can hide whatever he is now clutching, he tells me to pay and says he will be right back.  This is not sufficient explanation for me, and I ask what the hell he’s got, and he turns, away from the ticket lady, to carefully show me.  It was like that one scene, in Fawlty Towers.  The one where Fawlty starts to turn back with what he thinks is a rectified plate of food and Manuel screams “Nooooooo” and they turn around again.  You know the one.

In George’s hand was a dead mouse, evidently put there by the cat after beating it up and down the hallwaybaseboard.

… Yes, I have better stories from the interim, but I have to go to work.

Oh yeah


(click for full comic)


Oh hey. Sef’s moved in.

Checks & Balances

Saturday I bought a new car — well, a somewhat less used car, anyway. Today the driver’s side mirror got shorn off by someone’s Pontiac.

My awesome new chambers near completion and I attempted to take photos, but my ancient digital camera seems finally to have shit the proverbial bed and I haven’t been able to download them. Also, there are wasps everywhere.

I applied for an illustration job, got an interview, and then just didn’t go. Meanwhile, despite me having just requested an outlandish 6 weeks off work, they are asking if I want to move into management.

A hot-blooded & sexy young gent, as I understand it, is rather keen on me, but he is in a box.

I’m really not sure how I ought to be feeling these days.