Thursday, December 28, 2006

Boffo Boxing Week

This Christmas season saw me contracting one of the most spectacular colds in recent memory, with stuffy nose, ear infection, a cruel cough, and to top it off, pink eye in both eyes. Taste and smell are offline for the 4th day in a row, and although I'm eating quite healthily (cravings for yuletide chocolates and candy fade with a loss of taste), a return to regular tasting sensation is definitely something I look forward to.

In addition, this Boxing Day season has provided plenty of stress for our new and improved tech setup. For starters, some Boxing Day sales at major electronics stores have an online advance period for their spectacular clearance sales starting Christmas Eve. Wendy ordered our notebook online and, after an hour and a half of frustrated page-loading, found out that the link for the free printer that came with the laptop resulted in an error page, and only several long calls to customer service over the next few days allowed us to actually have the advertised free printer sent separately in another order. The laptop that arrived yesterday was fine except for a defective pixel in the lower left hand corner of the screen, which although it doesn't change any of the computer's functionality, drives one crazy with a perfect screen except for a lone dot.

A half hour in line at customer service got me an exchanged laptop, this time without any visible flaws (so far), and then when the case arrived, we discovered to our horror that a 17' laptop does not in any way fit into a 15.4' case. After a full hour in line at customer service, the slightly small case was returned successfully.

A software program I bought for Wendy (foolishly thinking that an online purchase on December 10 would arrive in time for the big day) took 12 days to process by the company I bought it from. On December 22, it was sent express via UPS and took another six days to arrive, since it entered Canada three times in total, the first from California to Louisville, then Mississauga, where it promptly failed customs (duties were prepaid), then went to a customs broker back in Louisville, where it then shipped to Mississauga a second time, failed customs, was sent back to Louisville was sent back to Mississauga a third time, then passed and arrived with only a small but aggravating $3.22 brokerage fee. Thanks to the glories of UPS tracking, you can now cheer for your parcel as it makes its way to you. All that trouble, just for a small box containing a scrapbooking CD (an awesome program, I must admit) and a user's manual. Strange and enigmatic are the ways of the customs bureaucracy.

Anyway, the laptop and wireless router (set up by Wendy while I was in customer service purgatory) work perfectly, I can't taste the mint tea I'm currently drinking, and am looking forward to being healthy again.

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