January 12th, 2006

krazy koati

Before you wash 'em up, wash 'em up, wash 'em up

With mild trepidation I went to the maintenance office to complain about the washing machine. I also said I had a burned out light in my living room, which I do, but they explained lights aren't their responsibility and referred me to a document I never heard of. They said they'd call me for a washing machine appointment, and that turned into a story on its own. The summary is I didn't get a call from them, so I went back at the end of the day and found they were laying technical support on me: ``You have to turn the selector to the start of the cycle.'' Yeah, picked up on that. ``You need to put detergent in.'' Yeah, had a feeling about that. They'll see me tomorrow.

When I got back from lecture -- which went well, except the lecture hall microphone had no clip and my attempt to weave it around the buttons in my shirt was iffy, and I was interrupted about 45 minutes in by a call to the phone on the lecturer's table (I told the caller he had the wrong number, to a great audience laugh; granted I played up my facial expressions for the comic value) -- I saw on the IP Telephone I had a voice-mail message. The phone wouldn't accept the access PIN given as the default which I hadn't changed because the system won't accept the PIN I wanted to change it to; it kept reporting ``Invalid entry. Please enter your password, then press pound.'' I called telephone technical support, and was guided to requesting a new PIN from the web site, which the person on the phone granted when she saw my hitting the web site button.

Only the new PIN didn't work either. I called again (getting a new person) who needed to study the problem a while, and who eventually reset the password again. And that worked, although it deleted the voice mail message, which the guy I'd been talking to the second time said was impossible. On the guess that only maintenance would have called me, I called them, only to get an unpleasant tone whose meaning I don't precisely know (phone sounds are different here and nobody explains them to you), although I got the point that I wasn't going to talk to them.

Trivia: At the height of the 1849 Gold Rush Scientific American publisher Rufus Porter planned a steam-powered dirigible service to California (at 100 miles per hour). Source: A Crack In The Edge of the World, Simon Winchester.

Currently Reading: The Romans, Donald Dudley.