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I hate you ATT Wireless (and Apple)

This is a cranky post. Sorry. I'm pissed.

Earlier this week my phone stopped working. Parts of the touch screen no longer responded to my touch. My wife still responds to my touch, so I assume it's a phone problem, not a touch problem. Conveniently, my buddy davexoxide let me know about a $50 refurbished 3G phone.

Today I decided to do something about it.

My experience so far today:

1. Log on to ATT Site, Get a Free Upgrade!

Turns out, the ATT site says I qualify for a free upgrade.

I click to do it and see the error message below. So I called that number.

2. Call the number

I called the number. They suggested I go to a store.

3. Go to a store

I went to the nearest store. It says AT&T all over it. It is not an "AT&T Core" store, though, so they don't have the iPhone and can't sell it. They suggest I go online. I mention that the website gives me an error. They suggest I call. I ask for an entry in my customer records.

4. Go online, try again

IT STILL DOESN'T WORK. SURPRISE!

5. Call the number suggested by the website

While I'm waiting on hold I hear:

Please keep in mind you can always visit any of our retail stores to view any of our latest product offerings and phones.

Not "any one" only "AT&T Core" stores. assholes

Talk to Adam. Adam is friendly without wasting my time. He suggests:

"To get the iphone you have to do the upgrade in stores."

I suggest that I did that. He suggests that it has to be an "AT&T Core Store." If that is an important distinction, as it is in this case, shouldn't they always make that distinction?
He apologizes and says that he can't do anything, but Alyssa will.

Alyssa says

"Hold on a second, OK"

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Fun With Wood: How to be a "woodworker" and make furniture without wasting time

When I was a kid I spent a fair amount of time with my mom, dad, and papa working on various projects. We would build things from bare wood up to something fun (go kart! fort!) or practical (furniture!). But I would never consider myself to be a "woodworker" or really good with wood. Wood is fun - the tools and techniques for handling it are fairly cheap and easy - but it is also really tough to do "well." So, here are my secrets to having fun and making decent wood projects, in an environmentally friendly way. I've listed the secrets as part of narration of a little counter that I built for an empty spot in our kitchen. Our stove left an 11 inch gap going to the wall. Given that we lacked counter space, gaining that 11 inches of extra space became a welcome improvement to cooking happiness.

1. Start with Scrap Wood

It's not just good for the environment, it's good for your bank account and your creativity. Start with scrap wood!

These are leftover pieces of wood selected from among the rotten pieces we tore down when we replaced our fence. We're giving life to something that would be trash. It also gives a fun feeling to the end result: weathered and full of character from the first minute. If you don't have your own scrap wood, go to a construction site and scrounge from their dumpster. They'll be happy to let you do that because it's less waste for them to pay to haul off. Other great sources include your local dumpster, the alley, fence replacement projects(!), any business that deals in large goods delivered in crates, wooden sign companies (they have to take them down too...).

Dealing with scrap wood also helps with secret number two.

2. Measure twice, cut once, but only if necessary

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Touring Breweries in Fort Collins

We went up to Fort Collins this weekend and had a great time. Here are some tips to make your trip up there even better:

1. get tickets to New Belgium early

We started the day with lunch at coopersmiths. Good food, good beer. Not bad. Unfortunately, we should have started the day around 11:30 at New Belgium getting tickets for the afternoon tours. Then we could have gone to lunch and then O'Dells and finished at New Belgium.

As it was, we took the "self-guided" tour of New Belgium, which was great, but not as good as a full tour.

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