Archives for December 2004

I'm An Uncle!

Posted on 12/29/2004 to Family & Friends

On Monday I became an Uncle. I now have a beautiful niece named Eliana. She is more perfect than the most perfect niece I could've imagined. I think every dad should have a little girl. Hmmm...

Posted on 12/9/2004 to Education

While channel surfing this evening, I caught an interview on MSNBC with Charles Best, a high school teacher in the Bronx and the founder of DonorsChoose.

From the How it Works page of the DonorsChoose website:

The DonorsChoose model of citizen philanthropy begins with a teacher who wants to provide his or her students with an activity that school funds would not cover. At this website, the teacher can describe a student project and list the materials needed to make it possible. is not a bulletin board where teachers can directly post their proposals, however. Before accepting a proposal, DonorsChoose staff and volunteers verify the teacher's identity; confirm the existence of requested materials; negotiate discounts and attach a cost to the proposal; and, finally, review the proposed student project. If anything is unclear, staff email follow-up questions to the teacher.

Next, civic-minded individuals can browse teachers' submissions. A donor can make a tax-deductible contribution that fully or partially funds a chosen proposal.

In this, the season of giving, this site makes it easy to help out the future of our country.

Sprint PCS Customer Service Sucks

Posted on 12/9/2004 to Companies That Could Do Better

I was going to give you all the details of my recent two day ordeal in dealing with Sprint PCS Customer Service, but I've decide it was too long a story. Instead, I will warn you about them. If you having billing issues that are anything other than the simplest of issues, expect a nightmare. It is likely that the first person won't be able to help you, and it is possible that their supervisor will fail miserably as well. Our situation involved changing phone numbers and getting new phones. Our problem was being billed for the same period of time on both the old numbers and the new numberss (old #'s were disconnected and replaced with the new #'s, at no time did we have all the numbers active). The problem was made even more complicated due to the billing errors being spread over two billing cycles.

All I wanted was an adjustment for the errors. I've got no problem paying what I am supposed to pay, it isn't like I was seeking customer satisfaction credits (the first rep asked how much credit I was looking for when I asked for her supervisor, and went on to say that perhaps she could just issue a credit, how much do you want?). Another rep (this one a supervisor) tried issuing credits for all kinds of stuff that wasn't billed wrong, but failed to see that I was being double billed.

Anyway, I hope you never have complex billing issues with Sprint. If you do, go ahead and call in as soon as you get the bill and recognize the error, and climb the chain of command as far as you can above the first two levels. You might have to wait for a callback, which is why you shouldn't put off the initial call.

How About Now, Bill?

Posted on 12/6/2004 to Sports

So now that the Cowboys are 4-8 5-7, and after Parcells' boy, Vinny Testaverde threw two critical 4th quarter interceptions (both of which led to Seahawk touchdowns), will he go with Drew Henson? If he does, will he let Drew finish a game, rather than yanking him in an attempt to secure a meaningless win?

I know that the defense self-destructed, I know that Quincy Morgan ran a terrible route on the second INT, I know Vinny threw a late TD on a broken play, and I wonder what the heck the OC was thinking in throwing the ball so much midway through the 4th quarter with a lead, when they'd been running so effectively, and I know they recovered an onside kick after the late touchdown (possibly blown by the replay booth officials, but if so, it was one of many blown calls -- going both ways, with equal impact) to keep hope alive. I also know that at some point you have to play for your teams' future, and not the present.

Considering that every win now likely just means a lower draft pick, not a playoff appearance, play the young guys. I am sure that Drew can go in and throw 2 INTs just as well as Vinny. Wouldn't the team be better off next year with him having more game experience under his belt heading in (unless Bill is already planning on Vinny being back as the starter...@#*!&?!) In Vinny, you know what you are getting, a veteran QB, at the end of his career, who will lose as many games for you as he wins.

Then, along came Jones, Julius Jones -- 30 carries, 198 yards, 3 touchdowns, including the game winner from 17 yards out. By the way, with 33 yards on his final two carries -- also the final two offensive plays (that gained yards) of the game for Dallas, it appears that the OC finally realized the error of his previous pass happy play calling ways.

I still say start Drew.

(If it isn't obvious, I began this post after Vinny's second INT led to the Seahawks going up by 10, and finished it as time expired and the Cowboys up 43-39.)