30 April 2007

Hooked On Knitting

Hooked on Knitting.jpg

Lily Chin has officially blown my mind. All of that crocheted fabric you see was made with knitting needles instead of a hook.

29 April 2007

Actual Knitting!

I went to Jamaica's baby shower today and brought along some hand knit goodies. More detailed pictures can be found of Flickr (just click one of the photos).

The Baby Bib O'Love from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I used less than 1 ball of Peaches & Creme in fiesta.

The Baby Genius Burp Cloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I used left over Peaches & Creme.

One-Hour Baby Booties from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation, knit with left over Peaches & Creme.

If you're interested in an Apple update; the logic board and power supply have been replaced and the problem is still happening. I'll worry about it next week, this is the last week of the semester!!

27 April 2007

Yay For No Snow!

Evening April 26

Flappie April 26
You might notice that Flappie has only been alive for 11 days...my record so far is 14.
I'm hoping that better weather will help keep her alive longer.

24 April 2007

Apple Lemon

I promise more knitting content within the next two days.

Want to read a long, long letter I wrote to Apple? It's below.
Want the short version? They don't want to replace my computer, two of their agents openly lied to me, they want to replace my logic board and power supply again.

Here's the long version:

Apple Computer Inc
ATTN: Customer Relations
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Dear Customer Relations:

I am writing to express my frustration at my treatment by agents of Apple Computer Inc, through your AppleCare service. This letter will be long; I have chosen thoroughness in lieu of brevity.

My iMac G5 has never worked properly. Indeed, it has been plagued with issues since it came home with me. Purchased in 2004, it has gone through three major repairs. In 2004, the computer kept shutting down unexpectedly. Apple support staff didn’t seem to know what was wrong with the computer until I did some digging on my own and found that a number of iMacs were suffering with the same problems. I called support again and suggested that I could have a faulty power supply. The agent seemed unconvinced but agreed to send me a new power supply, warning me that when I sent the faulty power supply back if Apple found it to be good then I would be charged for the unnecessary replacement part. I had no doubt the power supply had burned out since I found ash inside the computer.

In 2005, my computer was again having problems. This time I made an appointment at a local Apple authorized service center where they discovered that I needed a new hard drive and a new logic board. At the time, the closest service center was a 45-minute drive away and I had to take time off work to both drop off and pick up my computer. In home service is not an option as the closest authorized in home tech is in New York.

In 2006 my computer had yet another problem. CDs and DVDs were failing to mount, failing to eject, launching out of the drive slot when they did eject and burning with heavy distortion (when I could get them to mount). I did not want to take the computer in yet again so I waited awhile before I called Apple support. When it became obvious that I would have to bring it in yet again, I just stopped using discs. In 2007, the problem became too disruptive to ignore and I broke down, called Apple service again, and brought it in for another repair. This time the local authorized service center had just opened a new, local, facility so I did not have as far to drive but I still had to take time off work to bring it in. The optical drive was replaced.
The computer was not home three days when I realized that it had more issues. I would shut down the computer at night and when I woke up in the morning, it would be on. At first, I thought that maybe I just thought I shut down when I in fact did not. So, I shut down during the evening when I was still awake and waited. Sure enough, the computer restarted itself within two hours. Over he next couple of days I realized that the computer would restart itself every time I shut down and twice I experienced kernel panics where I had to manually restart the computer.

I called Apple support on Thursday, 19 April and spoke to an unknown agent. The agent with whom I spoke (I don’t remember his name) was very helpful. He told me that I was eligible for a replacement computer and that he could not believe, after all I had been through, no one had offered a replacement sooner. I was told that I needed to take the computer to be examined and then, very firmly (his words were put on your “poker face and your John Wayne grimace”) ask for a new computer. He said that I might get some push back but that my AppleCare agreement clearly stated that I was eligible for a replacement computer, as the one I initially purchased clearly had never worked properly. When I hung up the phone I was so relieved, I thought that my computer troubles were finally over.

I spoke with someone at my local repair shop and some of the things I was told on the 19th came into question. I called Apple support again on Friday, 20 April and spoke with an agent who identified himself as Harley. Initially I spoke with a support agent who said that he was not authorized to talk replacement and that he would transfer me to a “product specialist.” I was transferred to Harley who identified himself as an Apple product specialist. Harley told me that the gentleman with whom I had spoken on the prior evening did not have the authority to offer me a replacement computer and that the notes in the system did not accurately reflect what I had been told.

Harley said it appeared that I did not qualify for a replacement computer and I should not have been told anything to the contrary. Initially Harley said that I did not qualify for replacement because I had not been through enough “major component” repairs. When I asked him what repairs he saw, he listed the logic board, hard drive and optical drive and told me that because the logic board and hard drive had been replaced at the same time they only constituted one repair. I then asked why the power supply did not factor into the equation and he explained that he did not see the repair listed. When I explained that I had replaced the part myself, he said that he did see it; he had not looked at the repair because most customer replacements were something simple like a mouse or keyboard. He also expressed surprise that the power supply was something that customers were allowed to replace as it was an easy task (“even my grandmother could do it” were his words) but that people who didn’t know what they were doing could really damage something and that he was surprised Apple would open itself to that kind of liability. Once we established the validity of my claim that the power supply had been replaced (he didn’t really believe me initially) then his story changed. Now I was not eligible for a replacement because the repairs that had already been made did not happen within a certain (unspecified) amount of time relative to each other. I could not get Harley to be any more specific about this.

So, now I was in the position of going through what was happening with my computer, as I never received a case number during the course of my call on the 19th. After I explained what was happening and what steps I had taken to remedy the problem (reset the SMU, restart with no peripherals attached, search the Apple knowledge base, post on the Apple support forum, etc.), Harley suggested that I chose restart from the Apple menu instead of shut down. I suggested that 1) I know the difference and 2) that did not explain why the computer would be shut down for as long as three hours at a stretch and 3) it didn’t explain the kernel panics. Harley then suggested that I try a different outlet; he seemed very reluctant to admit that it could possibly be a problem with the actual computer. Throughout our entire conversation of more than an hour, Harley was openly hostile and condescending. He finally told me to take it to a repair specialist and if it needed to be repaired (he wasn’t convinced) then AppleCare would cover the cost. I was assured that should I need another repair, I would qualify for a replacement computer.

Today, 24 April, I brought my iMac to an Apple certified repair center for some diagnostic tests. When I pick the computer up I was told that I need a new logic board and power supply. Because I live close to the repair center and because I am in the middle of finals they let me take the iMac home with the understanding that I will bring it to them the same day the replacement parts come in. This means that my options are to live without my computer until the parts come in from Apple or to bring my computer in twice as one of the parts is on back order and the two parts will not likely arrive together. I have to choose the latter option as I am a single parent with a small child at home who works full-time and attends college (half of which is online) part-time. The only time I can do homework is at night after my daughter goes to bed; I do not have the luxury of going to campus or the local library to use the computers there.

When I returned home on the 24th I called Apple support once again because I wanted to let them know what repairs had been suggested and make sure that I was still proceeding along the correct course of action. The agent with whom I spoke, Justin, informed me that Harley did not have the authority to deny or offer me a replacement iMac, that only someone from Customer Relations could do that. I asked Justin if he was saying that Harley, the agent with whom I last spoke, was not authorized to offer or deny a replacement computer to me. At this point, I wanted to make sure that I heard everything correctly. Justin confirmed that was indeed what he said.

At this point, I am beyond frustrated. I own a computer, for which I paid more than $2000 USD, that has never worked properly. I own a computer that had been plagued with malfunctions and repair needs almost from the day I brought it home. I own a computer that has contributed to my missing work and struggling to fulfill my collegiate obligations. I understand that no computer, no matter how stylish, is perfect; I expect to have some problems, but the number of problems I have had with this iMac is unacceptable.

People I know and others who read my blog have asked me why I stick with a computer that has become known as the Apple Lemon amongst my friends. I have been the constant cheerleader for Apple, defending and supporting you from day one. I consistently assure them that the latest issue is a fluke and that once the computer is repaired this time all will be well. I remind them that Apple computers are known for their reliability. I feel taken advantage of and I feel like a fool.

Not only have I been given the run around by agents at Apple support but also I have been openly lied to by two of you agents who misrepresented themselves. I do not think I am asking for a lot. I want a new computer, one that works as the first was supposed to; one that may have the occasional problem but one on which I can rely. The computer I purchased has never performed as represented by Apple; I just want one that does.

Emily Blah Blah

cc: Attorney General's Office
ATTN: Consumer Protection
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

20 April 2007

Meet Me

Totally forgot to post about this so here's a blatant rip-off of Bill's blog.

Click the pic to make it bigger.


Apple or Lemon?

Hey guess what, my computer is broken again (just in time for finals)!

Last night I spoke with someone at Apple Support who assured me that my computer was eligible to be replaced. Unfortunately when I called back today and spoke with a Product Specialist I got the run around (the first guy didn’t have the authority to authorize a replacement). What he told me was that even though I had replaced the power supply, the logic board, the hard drive and the optical drive, my computer didn’t qualify for replacement. I was unclear as to whether this was because the repairs didn’t happen within a certain amount of time relative to each other or because I had replaced the power supply myself instead of taking it to an Apple Specialist but he was the opposite of helpful.

I wasn’t mean but I did try to convey my frustration, to explain that the computer has never worked properly, that I am an online student who can’t do her homework at home while her 6 year old sleeps if I don’t have a functioning computer and that I was tired of missing time from work to take my computer to the shop or spend time on the phone with tech support. The Product Specialist still said I had to take it to the shop to try and get this problem resolved and that if it broke again then we could talk replacement. Even better, while he told me this he was condescending; as an example, after explaining that I had tried to shut down without anything connected to the computer and reset the SMU, etc. he suggested that I was choosing restart instead of shut down from the menu (like I didn’t know the difference). He also said that when I took it in to get repaired, IF (note the emphasis) it actually needed to be repaired, it would probably be something minor.

More than anything I am frustrated and I feel like a fool. I can’t tell you how many people hear my story (or stories) and ask me why I didn’t push harder for replacement or, before this current issue, why I still own a computer that is obviously a lemon. My response to these questions? I defend Apple! I assure them that the issue is a fluke, that the computer will be repaired and all will be well in the land of Apple, that Apple computers are known for their reliability. I’m like a fucking Apple cheerleader! But honestly, I sometimes ignore small problems just so I don’t have to go though the hassle of getting the computer fixed again and I feel like an ass who has been taken advantage of. This computer will probably be my last Apple purchase.

18 April 2007

Sweet Norris Action

clipped from www.yikers.com

Oh Yeah

And this reminds me of my favorite Maryland story, though it occurred after I'd graduated. Apparently, a truck rammed through a brick wall encircling the campus in 2003, taking a large chunk out. Overnight, some industrious students erected this little fella:
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16 April 2007

Webs Is the Awesomest

Webs just made me the happiest knitter ever! Back in February I bought a bag of Jo Sharp Silk Road DK Tweed at my LYS to make the Central Park Hoodie. Well, after completing the back, the left front and the left sleeve I discovered that I didn't have enough yarn. Luckily Webs is having their anniversary sale and the Silk Road I needed was among those yarns on sale. I put my project on hold to order more yarn so I could alternate knitting from the old and new dye lots and just in case mentioned in my order that I'd love some dye lot 40 is they happened to have it. Today, when I checked my mail, I discovered 3 balls of Jo Sharp Silk Road DK Tweed from dye lot 40. I asked because you never know if you don't but I never really expected someone to look for and find the dye lot I needed.

In other knitting news, I finished 2 socks this weekend. They're not a pair (of course) but I'll take a picture soon. Unfortunately my camera is at work and I'm home with a sick girl.
Enough typing, I have to go knit now.

15 April 2007

42 Useless Facts

  1. Were you named after anyone? No, but I do know that my name is the only one on which my parents could agree.
  2. When was the last time you cried? Last week my daughter tickled me so much I was in tears. I don't remember that last time I cried because I was sad.
  3. Do you like your handwriting? I guess, i don't really think about it.
  4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Turkey
  5. Do you have kids? Yes
  6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? Yes
  7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? I am fluent in sarcasm
  8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes
  9. Would you bungee jump? I'd like to say yes but the fact that reading the question makes my heart race probably means no.
  10. What is your favorite cereal? I don't eat a lot of cereal. I like Special K, Crispix and plain Cheerios.
  11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I don't wear a lot of shows that tie but that answer is no for the ones that do tie.
  12. Do you think you are strong? Physically I'm not as strong as I used to be but I'm working on that. Emotionally I'm very strong.
  13. What is your favorite ice cream? I like coffee and Ben & Jerry's toasted coconut and chocolate covered almond.
  14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their smile or their shoes
  15. Red or pink? Red
  16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? Sometimes I get so busy talking I forget to listen.
  17. Who do you miss the most? Shirley, my maternal grandmother
  18. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? I'm in my PJs.
  19. What was the last thing you ate? Liberté six grains yogurt
  20. What are you listening to right now? Amy Winehouse
  21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Either a spring green or orange
  22. Favorite smells? Sandalwood, fresh baked bread
  23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Ron
  24. Favorite sports to watch? Curling
  25. Hair color? Dirty blonde
  26. Eye color? Depends, usually dark blue, occasionally hazel, green after i cry
  27. Do you wear contacts? Not now but when I did I only had to wear one because my right eye can see just fine.
  28. Favorite food? I have to pick one? It's a toss up between mac & cheese, sushi and tofu.
  29. Scary movies or happy endings? How about thought provoking? If I had to pick I'd choose happy endings.
  30. Last movie you watched? The Fountain - it was awful
  31. What color shirt are you wearing? Still in the PJs
  32. Summer or winter? Summer, but really fall
  33. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
  34. Favorite dessert? Peach and ginger gallette with vanilla ice cream
  35. What book are you reading now? The Gnostic Gospels, the Bible, Henry V and The Merchant of Venice (all for school). Once the semester is over I will read Spook, lent to me by Karen.
  36. What is on your mouse pad? I don't have one, I have a track ball.
  37. What did you watch on TV last night? This American Life & The Tudors
  38. Favorite sound? My daughter saying she loves me.
  39. Rolling stones or beatles? The Beatles
  40. What is the furthest you have been from home? Emotionally? A teenager. Physically? The Czech Republic (I didn't swim there).
  41. Do you have a special talent? Yes, i can take 2 sticks and some string and make something beautiful.
  42. Where were you born? Salt Lake City, Utah

14 April 2007

Things To Do Instead Of Homework #34,682

Can you believe that the Vermont page of Knitwiki didn't have any stores listed? Well, I couldn't let that stand...

In actual knitting news I've created a book weight so I can more easily knit while I do my homework. Pictures and a write up of the pattern to come soon.

Also, I've been itching to design. Those of you who know me know this is unusual, I'm more of a product knitter, but lately the process has been begging to be acknowledged. I've been exploring stitch patterns appropriate for bags and socks. I've also been formulating an installation idea combining Jesus, the apostles and knitting. More on that later when I have a more articulate statement about the work.

12 April 2007

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

-Kurt Vonnegut
“God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”

10 April 2007

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated the Port's birthday this past Saturday; here's a pic of the estrogen faction.


Dearest Cupcake has more pictures here.

09 April 2007

I Wonder What It Eats

May I present an original design by one Miss Emily (not me)................

The Rabbot!

This little bunny couldn't be any cuter if it tried.

07 April 2007

Brown Coats

I know most of us have seen the Jayne Cobb hat but what if you want to wear it when the weather doesn't permit? Enter the Jayne Cobb Brooch.

via Crafster

06 April 2007

Make It Stop

I'm for all things Pagan but this is freaking me out.

All About Feet

The sweater is coming along. So far I've completed the back, the left front and the left sleeve. In the meantime I have two new FOs to share.

Grayson loves his LSU slippers! Here's a pic picture pre-felt.

And another post-felt.

Pattern: Fiber Trends felted slipper pattern
Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted
Colors: Amethyst and lemon drop
Needles: Circular US 13 (9mm)
Time to complete: I should really start keeping track of this. About a week I think.

Have you seen all the baby booties popping up on the interwebs? Well, I've got the fever and a woman in one of our offices recently gave birth, perfect!

I loved knitting these because they're fast, cute and all from stash yarn. Now I just need more of my friends to get knocked up...
Pattern: Christine's baby booties
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Baby Cashmere in color 9295
Valley Yarns Longmeadow in melon
Needles: Clover US2 (2.75mm) 5" DPNs
Date Started: 4 April 2007
Date Ended: 5 April 2007