Saturday, June 23rd 2012
Getting a Sony PS3 for next to nothing...
Lady C's mother bought a Sony TV earlier this year, and with it she received a coupon saying she could get a Sony Playstation 3 with Uncharted 3 for only 550 NOK (around $90 USD), which is a 75% discount in our high-cost economy. She was going to throw it away, but we got it instead, and so started the long journey towards an unsatisfied customer.
First, we had to register our e-mail address in the Sony online campaign. Then we needed a "complete printout" of the online registration form, the EAN bar-code on the TV packaging, and the SN of the TV itself, as well as a copy of the receipt itself. All of this we had to send down to a special address in France.
Let me add that we don't have a photocopier nor a printer at home, so I had to take a photo of the receipt, edit it in the GIMP, send all of that stuff up to Uni and print it out there using my precious printing quota.. The day I finally had the spare time to walk down to the actual physical post office, wait in line and send it, was a sunny, hopeful day. Alright, a little bit cumbersome, but at least we get the PS3 for a great price, right?
After a long wait until the campaign had reached its official end, we received the e-mail offer. I acted upon it as soon as I had enough money to spare, paid the money online and received a receipt. W00T!11!
At least that's what Sony Store had us believe. After a very long time I received an e-mail telling us that they had run out of stock, and was waiting for resupply. Shit happens, right? Okay, no biggie.
Then finally, we got the order confirmation and third-party delivery tracking ID. I immediately searched up the ID on their online tracker, but received a FILE NOT FOUND. Alright, be patient, wait a few days.. Then I searched again, but to no avail. What a shitty website, I thought, and called their customer support. I just wanted to get an ETA, how hard could it be? Apparently, very hard. Because the delivery guys had received numerous calls for non-existent packages, packages just like mine. I e-mailed Sony Store again, only to receive a "Please rate our service" e-mail in reply.. Thanks!
About a week and a half later I receive a PRIVATE phone call from an unlisted number. Since I was at work I couldn't answer, and since it was PRIVATE I couldn't call back. Must be a secret admirer, so many of those calling these days. No biggie. But then a few days later -- also at work -- I received another mysterious phone call. This time I dropped everything I had in my hands and answered the phone. It was an angry immigrant talking very fast;
- HELLO, This is sonycustomersupportIonlycalled to
- HELLO! Wearesorryforthedelay.
- We just wanted to know whether you'd still like your product?
- Oh, is this Sony?
- Whether I'd still like the PS3 I ordered like 6 months ago?
- No need to shout.. Yes, I'd still like it. Why?
- Okay, errors bindun, just needtoaddanotherorderhereanditshouldbeaway in A SHORT TIME!
- Okay thanks!
- BYE *click*
Five minutes later I received a brand new order confirmation for another PS3. But no shipment confirmation or ETA to be found... Great job, Sony!
We haven't even began using their device or their services, and I already feel abused and disgruntled. I'm having a bitter taste about the offer, and I'm beginning to question whether I'd like to contribute more to their empire. It's alright to fuck up, Sony, but at least own up to it. We just acted on your damn offer. When the PS3 finally arrives, we'll prolly play a few games and sell it for a profit. Hell yeah.
Thursday, June 21st 2012
I'm not sure if this is some international gangbanger collaboration or just an example of Norwegian self-satisfaction, but this morning on Official News Radio NRK Alltid Nyheter they touted the so-called Sex Hour, that preaches 1 hour of sex tonight to promote the use of contraceptives.
Contraceptives.. Ah, the sound of it makes you smell latex and alcohol, donnit? But it may very well be the only good reason you'll have sex before getting married, so I say: GO FOR IT!
In ye olden days of your grandfolks', people thought you could get pregnant if you kissed or sat on a dirty toilet seat. Today we know that you can kiss a toilet seat even WITH YOUR TONGUE without getting pregnant, which is a giant leap for mankind, as well as something you can do on your own private time without requiring a significant other.
Not my kind of thing, but who am I to judge you?
The foremost ENEMY of the blessings of contraceptives are FATALISTS who believe that contraceptives somehow trick the ancient ways of God Almighty. So these so-called conservatives think their God is outsmarted by some lubricated rubber, eh? But CATHOLICS are EVEN WORSE. The Pope preaches that AIDS in Africa is not so bad, because it must all be some beautiful part of Nature's plan.
There were means of contraception even before civilization, long before this God person showed up everywhere. Besides, we are talking about the Head of The Vatican State, where the age of consent is something like TWELVE YEARS. Actually, it's exactly twelve years.
If you're a catholic in agreement then, not only do you condone the proved prevention of a terrible disease that strikes thrice as hard in the third world, but you also prefer to bang your preteen without a dong....! And my website is the one that's filtered as tasteless?
As you can tell, I'm all for Sex Hour and I started early this morning to reach twice before breakfast. Lady C was at work so I had to turn to the Internet for companionship. Jerking off while playing World of Worldcraft is just weird.. But for a good cause! Then I had to pay a visit to the University and the dentist's office for my yearly, before Lady C came home only to announce that she was going away for the weekend in about an hour, and she had never seen someone gobble down grilled fillet of pork so fast in her life. Indoor BBQ is also not her favourite foreplay.. I dunno. Gets the job done.
So, I'm all alone at home, and by my calculations I still lack some 14 minutes before I've completed the full hour. How about you?
Tuesday, June 12th 2012
German Exams: All done!
6 Minutes and 32 Seconds ago the folder where you upload your German Literature Tysk 1300 exam was closed. Just 5 minutes before deadline I managed to slip mine in there as well. Phew!
I didn't plan on it becoming such a hectic experience, I was in fact finished at around half past eleven. But then I started thinking about der deutsche Zustandspassiv in a sentence that stood out, and in a flood of panic I used Google Translate to give me some clues. I'm not 100% satisfied, but it was better than the sentence I had originally planned to submit. Put it bluntly, Google Translate isn't better than a five year old. It has no context. Anyway! That's only 1 sentence in 10 pages..
For those of you who just came along; I have handed in my exams in German Literature today (Tristan by Thomas Mann and In der Strafkolonie by Franz Kafka), last week it was German post-WWII history (The Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989) and some time in May I submitted the mandatory German meta-grammar course.
So, now what? What now? What do I do, where do I go? Where's the bathroom? People bother me with these questions even more often than I do. The answer is simple; I don't know what's next. I doubt German has anything to do with it, which annoys me a little, given that I just started getting the hang of it. I will read Andorra by Max Frisch before the summer holiday just for the heck of it.
During the weekend I had the great opportunity to take in some communal wisdom from the Nordic Society of Phenomenology who had their annual conference on campus. Actually, I only got to see the last lecture, but it provided food for thought, not to mention a reminder about why I'm doing this.. The last couple of years have been so distant from what I actually study, viz. Existentialism, that I'm sort of floating around in academia while other people have lives. So meeting some serious scientists who are bright minds in their respective fields was a great eye re-opener. You could even say it was phenomenal!
.... alright, alright, I just murdered humor.
In my immediate day-to-day I must get back to work. There's a training course going this week that I'm required to do, even though I'm mostly overqualified on the subject matter (tech support). What I really need to know is What my tools are and How they work. I will also be troubleshooting systems I have no previous experience with, such as Xboxes and proprietary cable television setups. Always something you can learn.
Right this minute I must go read my e-mail and try to come down from the coffee high. It's time to let that big, scary emptiness fill the void left by MONTHS of German reading. And go to the gym.
Friday, June 8th 2012
German Exams: 2 down, 1 to go
Ten minutes before noon today I logged on our University system, trembling from the caffeine, carefully placing my Exam.pdf in the right folder. I took the dog out for a walk and made sure not to return before 12:05. It was too late to do any more last minute changes. Phew!
It was a hard one! I chose the following task: Analyze the most important reasons for the DDR Revolution in November 1989. What happened to the people in the DDR after the fall of the Wall? What options were available to State and Society on the eve of November 9th that year?
I focused my theories around the concept of isolation. The citizens of the DDR, die DDR-Bürger, were isolated economically, internationally, and within (separated from government by force and suppression). I think I made my point more or less clear, but just an hour before deadline, I realized I had written 1 page too many and so started a frenzy of running down unnecessary fluff.
This is what authors know as kill your babies.
In my preparation I had anticipated a political subject, and so I know a lot about post-war politics in Europe. So, I didn't get exactly what I had anticipated, but I managed to twist fate in my favour. Which is what survival in an unknown language is all about. Bending it to your will.
Anyway, I logged on a few minutes later to download the curriculum copies as a backup, a quarter after the deadline, when I discovered some poor soul's exam, put in the wrong folder and without the right credentials and templates.. AFAIK this is grounds for failure at the University. Made me sad.
So Lady C took me and Elvis for a walk in the forest, where we totally redeemed ourselves! It's nice to see some piece of nature that is untouched, even so close to Oslo, a real treat not common among capitals of the world.
Next and last one up - deadline 12th of June - is some adjustments of my Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka assignments, and then I'm off to suffer life somewhere else completely. See ya!
Sunday, June 3rd 2012
German Exams: Up at 9 a.m. tomorrow
I've been reading through our German history curriculum this last week when I wasn't working, 8 hours of reading poorly copied texts font-size 8 has rendered me a trembling wreck. Nosebleeds from stress and artificially sweetened gallons of coffee that weakens my nerve is beginning to take its toll. But then I probably have a better oversight over post-war German politics than most Germans my age do. Which is only a shallow comfort. I'll forget it all in about a year or so.
It's a home exam, everything is allowed, starting tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. to be delivered Thursday at noon. We receive and hand in the texts over the Internet, so why get dressed at all? Well? It starts with a German exam but it ends in Scottish Whisky smelling evenings in a trailer park, unemployed and shouting at the leaves in a tree until late at night. Gotta stay sharp! Take those showers, get those clothes on, roll on that roll on, you go girl!
People have no idea how much work it is to study, if you're doing it right. But when I'm at the University I see most people just obsessing about their degrees, ready to move on "into the real world". Maybe they're the ones doing it right.. I've been there, done that though. Had a good paying job and standing offers if I ever want to go back. For the time being, I'm a lot happier exercising my nearly comatose brain, get it back to shape.
I also received 3500 NOK from a horse race in May I didn't even knew I'd won. When I found out I wanted to head out to the nearest bank and withdraw them in cash, so I could roll them together and keep them close to my heart, like Tony S does. The cash flow in Oslo is drying out however, due to a nationwide Security Guard strike. Soon we'll all be at the mercy of thieves and con men that are the only ones still dealing in cash. And grandmothers. Pistol waving grannies with debts to pay... So for the time being I have to watch the winnings as pixels on my screen with not as much as an animated money GIF to comfort my sorry ass..
Oh well. No time for that now. It's time to get in the mood for some Nachkriegzeit kind of action here! Gute nacht, Lieblinge, bis Morgen!