Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun with Zach.

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Chat.
We hope that your session with Technical Support was helpful.
Below you will find the chat transcript that you requested. We recommend you keep this for future reference. Our Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! - if you need to contact us again, please visit for any questions relating to your Time Warner Cable service, or for Road Runner specific assistance please visit

Julian Rebello: Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Julian. Please give me a moment while I access your account.
Julian Rebello: I appreciate your patience.
Julian Rebello: I will certainly be glad to guide you to the right support.
Julian Rebello: I need to escalate this request to our Sales Department. I will transfer you to that support group. Do you have any further questions before I transfer you?
Matthew: How do you transfer me?
Matthew: Through chat?
Julian Rebello: Yes, please stay connected.
Julian Rebello: Again, my name is Julian. Thank you for chatting with Time Warner Cable. We value you as a customer and are here to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like to take a brief survey, please click on End Session and the survey will load.
Matthew: we really didn't do anything
Matthew: should I still take the survey?
Julian Rebello: Please wait while the problem is escalated to another analyst
Matthew: is that one of the survey questions?
Zach: Welcome to Time Warner Cable s SALES Chat; now featuring Roadrunner Mobile .

Navigate the internet whenever you want, wherever you are! With Road Runner Mobile TM , your favorite Internet service now goes wherever you go. No more searching for hot spots your entire town becomes one. Connect anywhere in the 4G Mobile service area at super-fast mobile broadband speeds. Experience the same internet speeds and quality of service that you are used to having at home, away from home. Lightning fast speed on the go!

My name is Zach. How may I assist you with your order?
Matthew: my parents are coming to town and my mom,dad, and cats want to watch more cable.
Matthew: I would like to increase my channels to include the animal networks
Zach: All right. I need your address related to the account please.
Matthew: *** Collington drive. They will be her tonight with all the cats.
Zach: Are you closer to Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, or Wilmington?
Matthew: Greensboro I believe. 27302. My parents are coming from Rochester.
Matthew: I don't really care for the cable box though, the remote is hard for everyone to use
Matthew: Is that ok?
Zach: ok to upgrade your cable package it's normally an extra $30 a month before tax. I have you at just $27 a month after tax.
Zach: You can downgrade the cable back to local channels anytime.
Matthew: ok. are the animal channels included. My mom and the cats like to watch the animals
Zach: Correct.
Matthew: ok what about the cable box?
Matthew: the remote is difficult to use
Zach: The cable box is required.
Matthew: my dad has fat fingers and Brixies paws are too big for the buttons too.
Matthew: Can I use our special remote?
Zach: You can program it so that your remote works.
Matthew: Ah nice.
Matthew: do you know if it's shark week?
Zach: This week, I am pretty sure no.
Zach: We can send the technician out there as soon as tomorrow.
Zach: We have a 3:30 to 5:30 time available.
Matthew: Good because socks gets scared and hides under the couch and is a pain to get her out.
Zach: Also, a 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. time is available.
Matthew: Ok. Will i have to put the cats in their carriers?
Zach: If you feel that they might not be friendly, then yes.
Matthew: 10 are pretty friendly but there are 5 that can be snipy
Matthew: I'll put those guys away
Matthew: Tomorrow will be fine
Zach: What's your best available contact phone number for the technician tomorrow?
Matthew: ##########
Matthew: That's the home number
Zach: ok I'll put you in for 3:30-5:30 if that's ok?
Matthew: that's purrrfect.
Zach: ############# is the work order number.
Zach: You're all set!
Matthew: Thank you.
Zach: Thank you for allowing me to assist you on Time Warner Cable Sales Support. Have a nice week!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hanukkah the festival of lights.

Although the Bay Field has many awesome features, and we love them all, it's missing lighting is some areas of the house. The closet under the stairs has zero lights and zero outlets. We store a lot of stuff in that closet and trying to find anything is difficult without a source of light. Jen was trying to get the Christmas decorations out using a flashlight. How awkward? I put on my Tim "the tool man" Taylor hat and went to work.

Monday, November 30, 2009

New kitchen light fixture.

While the turkey was roasting I replaced the light fixture in the kitchen over the island. The one that the builder installed was not giving off enough light.

We got this nice unit from Lowes. Jen and I figured that we could get some light over to the sink. If this doesn't help getting more ligth over the sink then I'll have to install a light there too.

This unit does put out a lot more light. It uses xenon bulbs.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Brined

This was one of the best turkeys I've ever made. It was very juicy and tender.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Even More Garage Mods

Over the weekend Jen requested that I make some shelves in the garage to help organize the place better. I wanted to make a space for the outdoor furniture cushions. I am fortunate enough to have a good amount of wood that I scavenged from the work sites' waste bins in the development.

As you can see, everything fits nicely and the cushions are out of the way. Pretty soon we'll be able to park a car in there. :) Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More garage mods

The other weekend I had a gentleman install and mount my HD (UHF) antenna on the roof and run a cable into the living room. I had planned to do this myself but for the price it was worth paying the gentleman to do the work. Plus I'm afraid of heights.

My goal in this project was to move my router, cable modem, and VoIP phone unit to the garage. This has allowed me to clean up the area behind my TV in the living room. The "cable guy" ran a separate line for my cable modem to the garage.

He also ran my Ethernet cable to the living room to accommodate my HTPC.

I wired my home phone lines to a block then connected my Power Phone unit to feed the house lines the phone connection.

Once the cables were connected I was able to scan for channels and with my antenna I found 30 channels. I installed a 2 gang electrical box on the wall. The four plugs are just enough for the units plus a feed to strip on my work bench. I mounted the strip in front of my bench which makes it easy and accessible for my power tools, etc.

My ultimate goal is to run my HD antenna into the TV tuner in my HTPC. Then run MythTV. I'll be able to record TV in HD and watch from any PC in the house. Then I'll run the cableTV line into the TV for live TV watching.

Monday, November 9, 2009

MUTEMATH weekend

The long awaited MuteMath weekend has come and gone in a flash. Jen and I had the best time seeing our favorite band on Friday and Saturday. Some thoughts: Rush has a song called Limelight where Neil Peart writes "I can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend." That may be true for Rush but not for MuteMath. I have never seen a band connect with their fans on a personal level before like MM does. Of course it's smart marketing to get to know the fans and be accessible, further solidifying the bond that is already made through the music. In my opinion MM is the type of group that doesn't patronize us. They really do want to meet and get to know the fans. We have seen the group more than a dozen times over the last 3-4 years and they have gotten bigger and bigger going from driving from venue to venue in a van to traveling in a tour bus complete with roadies to setup and break down. Each time giving the fans face time after the show to sign autographs and answer questions. I'm not sure how long it will last, as they keep moving up a notch but we'll definitely take advantage if it while we can.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Pictures

This year Collin wanted to again be Link from the Legend of Zelda video game. The last time (2yrs ago) I used that seaming tape that you iron together seams. It came out awesome but Collin wanted a costume sewed so he could wear it after Halloween too. (Cosplay?) The Shield and sword were made at my friend Brian's house because he has a ton of awesome tools for woodworking. The sword has a laminated handle and a piece of lattice wood for the blade. Collin helped design and sand the pieces. Conner drew the graphics on the shield and Jen painted it. I was impressed with Conner's ability to draw the Ocarina of Time shield from memory.
Katelyn and I sewed the the tunic. Yes, I did use a sewing machine. I'm surly secure in my masculinity.

Conner went simple this year and was a pumpkin. There's not much to say about C0nner's costume but I'm glad to only have made one this year.

Jen's just pretty. Did anyone notice the pumpkins there on her chest? I did.

Katelyn was Marilyn Monroe and won a contest for best costume. She starte to sew her own with a pattern but that was getting too involved. She got this dress from one of Jen's coworkers. It was an old wedding dress. My Mom and Kate modified it. She looks awesome. I'm glad JFK wasn't at the party she went to.

Jen is my little sunflower. Hot glue guns are awesome. What a fun costume.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Katelyn Rocks

Now that Kate is 15 and has her drivers permit, she needs to know some basics about auto maintenance and repair. This weekend Kate and I changed the front brake pads and engine oil. When I told her what we were doing this weekend she wasn't very excited. She's smart though, and knows who's boss. And who has the car keys. She did very well with some coaching. I believe she learned a lot and it was nice to spend time with her doing this project. In case anyone doesn't think that a girl can work on cars, here's proof.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Garage Clean up

I finally got the garage cleaned up with some help from Jen and Collin. I made a base to an old entertainment center to give me something to put my tools in. I have pictures of the progress.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm a mac and I'm a PC.........Apples and Oranges

I was just thinking about the advertising spot that Apple (Mac) has been running where the cool hipster (Mac) is compared to the geeky guy (MS Windows). This is very misleading to uninformed users. To me, it's comparing apples to oranges. A Mac is a computer and Windows is an operating system (OS). When the regular Joe goes into a store and asks to buy Windows they are escorted to the software section of the store. Frankly I don't think that its fair to compare the two. I'm definitely not a Windows follower. I prefer the value that Linux brings to the table. After getting frustrated with Vista I've installed 2 Linux boxes at home.

If you look at what Mac has done then you can see that they've created a Unix base OS (Mac OS X) to run on specific hardware in which they sell. If you get the hardware married to the OS and only sell that combo then you'll have an immensely stable system. To get that in a Mac you have to spend an immense amount of money. Windows doesn't have that luxury since it runs on so many different hardware components. I'm not sticking up for Windows but just showing the poor comparison.

I'd like to see Mac and Windows try to compare themselves to Linux. Some might say that Linux is hard to get set up and administer but that's just not true. Get the right hardware and you'll have a very stable system with everything a casual user needs.

How much does Linux cost? Try $0.00. I like that price. The real price I pay is the time it takes to tweak the OS to work with my crappy hardware. I've got all the software that I need available to me for free, from the open source community. I even heard that Mac OS has access to the same free software. Wow. You can pay $0.00 for an OS and for the same software that Mac users can get? It's sounding better and better. If you want software for Windows you'll almost always pay for it.

For me it comes down to price and for my money I prefer Linux.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Blow Out Haw River 38 Air Cavs 0

Conner's game went well. In 55 seconds HR kicked off, recovered the on sides kick, ran an offensive play for a touchdown. The boys are developing more and more confidence and skill. With the score 30 - 0 at the half, Conner got more playing time. Here is a good play he had.

Collin's game was the opposite. They lost 38 - 0 against Gibsonville. Collin is getting more contact and is starting to understand better what to do. I'm proud of both the boys and enjoy watching them whether they win or lose. Here is a play Collin was in on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I just read a really good review of Armistice

I'm posting this review that I read on MUTEMATH's newest album Armistice.

You can find it here or you can read it below. My favorite line is "it's like Muse playing over Rush with Phil Collins writing the songs."

MUTEMATH - Armistice Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8.75
Production 9.5
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 91%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.13
Musicianship 9.46
Lyrics 8.42
Production 9.33
Creativity 9.67
Lasting Value 9.42
Reviewer Tilt 9.13
Average: 92%
This review was written by an staff member.

MUTEMATH - Armistice

Reviewed by: Chris Fallon (09/22/09)
MUTEMATH - Armistice
Release Date: August 18, 2009
Record Label: Warner Bros.

For the follow-up to their self-titled 2006 debut, caps-happy MUTEMATH not only changed up their typeset (who'd they let vote on this change? Kanye West and Travis Barker?), but the Louisiana quartet set it upon themselves to "embarrass" the very album many people claimed was the return to progressive pop music bands like Genesis and The Moody Blues brought to mainstream audiences years ago. Keeping their Cajun-flavored soul intact, MUTEMATH is a glossier band than any jazz musician could ever imagine pursuing, more hook-friendly than Radiohead and never as monumentally lavish as Muse. However, Armistice wants to be all said styles.

There's not enough Twilight-approved songs to get MUTEMATH onto MTV's radar, yet there isn't enough indie moodiness to speak to those who enjoy neatly-trimmed beards and Ben Gibbard. MUTEMATH walks down a lonesome road, and in-between Paul Meany's smooth vocals and a mammoth wall of sound lurking behind him, what makes Armistice so damn captivating is how it's a collaborative effort that proves MUTEMATH changed that typeset for one very important reason: they are a unified front. No, I said front, not font ... although, to be fair ... that would have been funnier.

Working with producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Counting Crows), the band has taken their creatively complex and overwhelming sound, gone all Spinal Tap with it and used their own dramatic inner-forces to reconstruct the very record they first released. Littered with songs that are vividly spastic and feel like Meany is defiantly belting out hymns for his own insecurities ("No Response"), MUTEMATH is bigger than whatever momentum was garnered through "Spotlight," featured on that hip teenage vampire film about ... hip teenage vampires and ... that one girl who looks stoned all the time ... and Paramore or something? I should probably IMDb that movie for a plot synopsis, but damn it, there's simply no time! But I digress...

Herring has, oddly enough, assisted the band by breathing new life into their frontiers, and given them the tools to build something that any fan of dark pop music will feast upon. "Clipping" might be the band's biggest reach, scattering Meany's soft vocals with heavy distortion, and with "The Nerve" kicking things off with a jolt of electric boogaloo (okay, it's not quite that funky), there is hardly anything that will instantly reel listeners in with sincere immediacy. Yet that seems to be the intent: Armistice plays like Coldplay's X&Y without the lush choruses; it's moody, it's dark, and it's more of a moth than a butterfly. Now, due to it's severe distance from their debut, it appears as a sophomore slump, but slow down, my avid little cynic: Armistice could not be any brighter; it's like Muse playing over Rush with Phil Collins writing the songs.

On the album cover for the record, the band stands in front of what appears to be gates to their own world. For each of us, it's easy to spread out the metaphoric language and pick away at what it could all mean. However, it might be better off to the individual to decide where they would prefer Armistice to take them; it isn't a record that caters to a nationwide "kid-tested mother-approved" taste test -- no, this is an album that will speak to everybody in different ways, and may take an investment to really get into. You see, despite all the easy comparisons one can draw this album to, MUTEMATH are staking a claim in pop music for the advanced music fan, embarking on dark-pop that is far from the Cure and more complex than Jimmy Eat World. Some of the best albums you'll ever hear are ones that you have to spend real time with, and Armistice just might be the most challenging pop record you'll ever find yourself listening to several years down a road that MUTEMATH paved themselves.

Recommended if You LikeColdplay's X&Y; Genesis' Abacab; Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank; Muse's Absolution; The Postal Service's Give Up
Choice Cuts"No Response," "Backfire" and "Armistice"

Track Listing1. The Nerve
2. Backfire
3. Clipping
4. Spotlight
5. No Response
6. Pins and Needles
7. Goodbye
8. Odds
9. Electrify
10. Armistice
11. Lost Year
12. Burden
Band MembersPaul Meany: vocals/keyboards
Greg Hill: guitars
Roy Mitchell-Cardenas: bass
Darren King: drums/samples

Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3

Monday, September 21, 2009

My garage is a dump!!!

Since moving from NY I have not had the motivation to tackle the huge project of organizing my garage. When I look at my buddy Brian's garage I get slightly envious. He has a ton of great cabinets and work benches to store his tools. I just have plastic totes. Needless to say I can never find my tools without spending an enormous amount of time searching through bins and boxes. Falling over piles of stuff that hasn't been unpacked yet.

What a dump this place is.

Well this weekend I got a little initiative and started organizing my tools. This is looking better. I don't like that gap there but I would have missed the stud on the opposite side.

This is a start. I'll work more on it this week if I have time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Haw River 44 - Eli Whitney 0

Last night was Conner's first football game. It must have been cold because Conner wore his helmet from about 5:50 till after 9:00. I kept asking him to take the it off but he didn't want to. He was the only kid on his team walking around before the game with his helmet on, and mouth guard in. On the way home he commented on how sweaty his head was. Well duh...........

I helped run the chains on the side lines. That's a trick my dad used to pull when I was playing so that he could see every play. It's the best seat in the house. It got dark and our camera doesn't do well taking pics at night. I had to put a massive fill lite on this one.

Even though Conner is the smallest kid on the team, he was around the same size as most of the opposing players. That mad me feel better. I'm very proud of him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Football season is starting

Football season is upon us folks and it is a little more special this year. Why? You ask. Because my boys have started their first year playing football. It has been fun getting out in the yard to teach them how to hit and tackle each other.

I got some video of Collin doing blocking drills. Conner was too far away and parents aren't allowed on the field so I didn't catch any of Conner

Labor Day Weekend Ribs

Since starting a huge debate on the smoking meat forum about whether to foil ribs or not I decided to smoke some ribs on Saturday. I've got family in town and wanted to give them a treat. I got some pork spare ribs from my favorite meat market, Kenyon's, and made a little magic.

I did use the 3-2-1 method which is 3 hours smoking, 2 hours wrapped in foil in the smoker, 1 hour un-foiled in the smoker. This is one way to get fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meat-in pics

Bacon cheese cake , Bacon ice cream, Flank steak, ribs, Pig pick'n, chicken wings, meat loaf cake.........and more.

The meat-in was an awesome time of indulging in savory meatness. I met a lot of fun people and some not so fun. I must admit that I was out bothered. I was demoted from the King of Bother to a mere serf of bother. My throne was taken from me.

The headliners for me were the bacon cheese cake, waffle fatty, flank steak.

I think that I would like to start a meat eating day for my cronies here in NC.

Meat in

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Debocle of a trip

1530: Leave work en route to airport
1610: Arrive at Chapel Hill pediatrics to catch a ride by Jen to airport
1620: Leave CHP
1650: Screen through security checkpoint in RDU
1745: Board plane
1910: Take off from RDU to CLT (Charlotte)
1946: Miss connection to ROC
2000: Land at CLT
2030: Eat bad airport Chinese food
2150: Board aircraft en route to BUF
2352: Land in BUF
0015: Meet Clint in front of BUF
0030: Buy Caffeinated beverage from gas station
0135: Arrive at Walmart in Henrietta
0225: Arrive at Clint's
0245: Start fatties
0350: Finish fatties and bantering with Clint's guests
0400: Sleep on couch
????: Let the cat out because it's dumb
0551: Put fatties on smoker
????: Let cat in because it's making so much noise
????: Punch cat
0830: Woken up
0850: Take off fatties to enjoy


Monday, August 24, 2009

Random pics from vacation

Look no orange.....nice chicken though.

This is dangerious without a life vest. You can drown in a teaspoon of water.


My pretty girls.

Wednesday we took a break from cooking

The adults went out to eat in Bryson City on Wednesday instead of smoking/cooking. It was a good day because the sun was out quite a bit. Most of the week we had rain at least once a day. I took a nap and relaxed.

We had some Italian food which was very good. A nice change of pace food wise. Clint and Julie enjoyed it too. Clint found a boyfriend out front.

Nice mountain view from the campground.

More Vacation posts

Now that I got all the pics uploaded from my camera I can put up some more posts about the vacation. The chicken on Monday turned out amazing. Clint commented that it's the best chicken he has ever had. He also mentioned that it had a good balance of dry and juicy. Whatever that means. Maybe he could leave a comment explaining that paradox.

Now that chicken was awesome. We had so much meat and made so much food it's no wonder I gain a ton of weight.

Once the chicken came off, on went the chuck roll. This is like making pulled pork but with beef. This one was 12 .lbs again way too much for 9 people.

Clint may have a picture of the finished product. This was an awesome smoke. We will have eaten it on Tuesday at around 5 after tubing down the creek.

The creek runs quite a ways down the mountain into the the Tuckaseigee river. We loaded everyone up in the van, tubes and all.

Nine people and nine tubes. It takes about an hour and a half to ride from the top to our campground. There were a few nice rapids but most of us got hung up on the way down on rocks in shallow water. Very fun. I don't have pics because we couldn't ride the tube down with the camera without getting it wet. Duh!!. BTW I tried to wear orange all week.


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