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My Apple repair story morphs into the absurd.

Yea, it just gets better.

So I got fed up with my local retail and decided to go above their heads to get an answer. I called the 800 customer support number, who called the manager of the store, who called the chief genius in and they got things moving quite quickly. Apologies up and down, and a $50 gift card. Quite a nice response to what has been a pretty miserable event. They also said ‘we feel it is stable now and you can come pick it up this afternoon’ so I ran to the store, talked to the nice senior Genius (who took over my case) and he said it was fine and I should call him personally if there are any more problems.

The store opens at 10. I’ll be calling at 10:01.

I was playing with the machine last night and just had to laugh. Yes, the machine is stable, but it is running 10.5, the operating system from about a year ago, not 10.5.5, the upgrade that had sent my computer into a tizzy. The whole reason I took the machine in for repairs was difficulty in the upgrade from 10.5.4. to 10.5.5, and Apple’s store just erased my disk, reinstalled 10.5 and pronounced my machine ‘ready’. (For the record, I had 10.5 stable the day before I took it into them, even writing out on my notes ‘10.5 works, but 10.5.5 is having the problems).

Oh this will be a fun call to make. Basically a week spent to get me back to where I was a week ago.

When the Mac Genius isn’t one.

Sigh.

Tomorrow will be day 14 of my Mac Pro saga. It started with blue screens of death and bad memory and has expanded into bad hard drives and a ridiculous amount of ‘we’re about to call you’ replies from the Mac Geniuses.

What really is bugging me, beside the fact that at this point, we’re talking a clean install, start over (i.e. something anyone with the original software disks can do) is the fact that every time I call to check the status I get a five minute hold while they debate which genius will take my call and then a response ‘we have just one more thing to do and we’ll call you right back’. Those calls never come.

* They didn’t come Monday, when the machine was first promised to be done (after being ‘fixed’ the week before and not really working).

* They didn’t come on Wednesday, when I called and asked ‘could I just come pick it up tonight’.

* They didn’t come on Thursday, when the staff told me it just had to check one more thing and would ready in the morning.

* They didn’t come on Saturday, despite the plea ‘he just went to get some lunch and will call you as soon as he gets back’.

So now I’m stuck. It’s been two weeks since the blue screens and quite frankly, my faith in the Mac Geniuses is starting to falter. I think, in part, the Apple stores have seen the quality level of their senior staff get somewhat diluted. When they first opened, you would go into say Tysons and get some guy who had 20 years of experience with Macs. Now you get a 20 year old kid who simply follows the established procedure check list (this diagnostic, that diagnostic, etc).

Anyway, time to dial them again and maybe this time I’ll just stay on hold until I actually get to talk to someone.

UPDATE: The guy is at lunch. Of course the store just opened 15 minutes ago. Yeah right.

Did JP Morgan secretly bring down Lehman Brothers

The London Times has a whiff of a scandal and is all over it. Apparently JP Morgan withheld $17 billion from Lehman, causing their financial crisis last month that led to their collapse. Bankruptcy hearings are underway and the details are expected to be brought up in open court.

Of course, they were asked to give them $17 billion 48 hours before they went bankrupt, so maybe they knew what they were doing. Expect several more things like this in the next few weeks.

JP MORGAN has been accused by its Wall Street rivals of dealing the final hammer blow that forced Lehman Brothers into collapse in a sensational claim that threatens to spark a colossal legal battle.

The giant American bank is alleged to have frozen $17 billion (£9.6 billion) of cash and securities belonging to Lehman on the Friday night before its failure.

Tropical Storm Whatever

So where the hell did this thing come from? We’re getting pretty heavy waves on the Bay and rain and wind today, but it’s not really a Tropical Storm. It hasn’t been given a name–just rain and clouds.

Hanna knocks out power here

iPhone update as power is now out. Winds not much worse but enough to keep power crews indoors for now. Will start generator in an hour or so for refridge and maybe get one computer back online.

Found a boat in my backyard

Well, this was odd. Woke up this morning after a night of rough seas to discover this little thing stuck on my seawall. Called the Coast Guard who had no reports of a missing boater, but still did a yucky hike through the water and shore to look for any other things (lifejackets, paddles, bodies). Turned up negative so I flipped this up onto the seawall, filed a ‘found boat’ report and can claim it in 30-60 days or so if no one else reports it missing.

The strange world of life in the country…

Would have been nicer if it was a yacht

CNN to use Skycam for Obama speech.

Sparing no expense for the coronation.

Sparing no expense for the coronation.

CNN is ready to splash out $100,000 for a NFL quality “SkyCam” that their going to use to swing in over Barrack Obama when he accepts the Democrats nomination.

As if the media needs another example of sparing no expense to making Barrack Obama more king-like. And they say the US election is about issues, not images? That the conventions are news worth events? Looks like a week of me watching coverage news from the BBC or France24 instead of the CNN Infomercial.

Expect to hear jokes and asides about this and the media’s love-in with Obama in the next week.

Henry Cejudo, son of illegal immigrants, wins wrestling gold for USA

All-American boy wins gold

The LA Times is reporting that the son of a some former undocumented immigrants has won gold for the USA. Henry Cejudo was born in the US and became a citizen by birth, eventhough his parents were not ‘in status’ as they say with the immigration folks.

Henry Cejudo, the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants, became the first American to win a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in 16 years when he beat Japan’s Tomohiro Matsunaga to win the 55-kilogram (121 pounds) freestyle final on Tuesday.

Gotta love the American dream, even if it did involve a bit of fence jumping at the border. Of course the way the USCIS works, even if he was a Mexican national they might have been able to rush through a naturalization in time for the Olympics (as they have done in the past for soccer players and athletes in other sports)

Sports Illustrated did a nice story on him as well.

Raj Bhavsar Olympic dream shows the value of never giving up.

Raj Bhavsar has a nice story. He was an alternate in 2004, and when the 2008 trials came he was named alternate once again, thinking his Olympic dream was over. He almost was ready to pack it in after 2004 but some self-reflection brought him around to thinking he should try again.

When Paul Hamm pulled out with a hurt hand, Raj was elevated to the national team and on his way to China.

In his role as Hamm’s replacement, Bhavsar will perform in five of six events in Saturday’s team prelims, based on the schedule that the U.S. men used Wednesday. Five gymnasts compete in each event in prelims, and the top four scores count.

You can see some of his Youtube videos here from the Olympic trials.

NBC SATURDAY SPOILER FOR PRELIMINARY GYMNASTIC RESULTS: