Sunday, March 20, 2011

Water Iris

I had absolutely no idea, whatsoever, that one variety of plant that I have been growing in my pond is a water Iris.  That's because there haven't BEEN any flowers coming out of any of them up until 24 hours ago.

I knew something was up several days ago when I saw these round shoots that seemingly appeared out of nowhere.  The plant itself is nothing but these tall, thin and semi-wide leaf-like things.  I thought they looked good enough in themselves.  I have 3 of these things growing in 2 ponds.  When I saw the tubular shoots coming up, my first thought was:  does this thing also bloom?  That is because I have a couple of other types of plants that do the same thing - leaves are thin, stalk type affairs, flowers come up in separate, tubular shoots.

Umm, 2 nights ago nothing, the next day 2 flowers in full bloom.  Absolutely beautiful.

So, someone is standing at that side door, looking at the flowers and telling me they were Irises.  I could not for the life of me remember the name of that particular flower until she said something.  That was Lynnette, who also said at least 3 times that "they are very hard to grow".

I had to laugh.  Perhaps dry ground based versions of this plant are hard to grow, there isn't anything that I have planted in the water that wasn't QUITE easy to grow.  More like weeds, do nothing and they will still grow like crazy.

I spent half this morning on the phone with Direct TV, I spent several hours working on the new pond including transferring some plants from the large pond to the new one and also  --  well -- catching fish in that larger pond isn't that easy with a small net.  I caught 3 goldfish and called it quits, the water was cloudly and all kinds of junk flowing around in it.  I also took back one very large goldfish that I first caught, put in the small pond and realized she wasn't like it at all.  She is HUGE with eggs.  I actually thought the smaller pond would be a better environment for her, but, I changed my mind and put her back in with the old population.

I then started pruning trees.  Just the Sissoo's. There are obvious points on branches where life meets death.  Yes, I cut back quite a bit of several trees back, lots more to go. In fact, this process of dealing with this winter's unusually and extremely cold nights with it's ensuing destruction of plant and tree life is going to take some time.  Much more than I expected.  I am glad this is a thing to do now at the end of winter and not at the beginning of hell summer.

The pond out front? Several more wheelbarrows of dirt left to haul out there and some decorative arranging of rocks and such and it is at least good to go for now.

The treatment of people.  Interesting topic.  How do I treat people, how am I treated.

I must needs get ready for the work week.

ben

Direct TV - AGAIN

I wrote a week or so ago about getting a new DVR from Direct TV for free, with no contract imposed.  It took me quite a bit of talking to quite a number of individuals to get it.

I went to record on it yesterday - push the record button - nothing happened.  All of my equipment is "older", meaning I have no clue what a new DVR or a new standard receiver would look like.  What I received was not a DVR, I found out quickly, it's a standard receiver.

I just spent another 2 hours on the phone with a bunch of people that denied me the request to send out a DVR, as was promised, and yes, you can have this standard receiver back.  One supervisor did get to the point of "well, we can do this:  send you out a new DVR for free, BUT, you will have to commit to another 2 year agreement.".

No, no and double no.  This is NOT what was agreed to when I was speaking with the disconnection department and after quite a bit of time wasted, I ended back at the disconnection department again.  The first woman "reviewed" my account and agreed that there was nothing they could do: it's a new DVR with the 2 year commitment or it's nothing.  Plus she threw in there that the receiver that I had already received automatically re-instated a new, 2 year commitment.  BS.  That got me going, as the original conversation with the person that was giving it to me specifically stated that there would BE no 2 year commitment.

All along, however, I have offered that if they want to replace ALL of my equipment, I would be happy to commit to 2 years again.  Nothing doing.  For whatever reason, they are not interested in doing that.  Meaning that every time one of my receivers fails, I am going to have to go through all of this as I refuse to buy equipment from them that they are giving out to new customers for free.  If I am forced to buy a receiver, it will be either off of Craigslist or Ebay.  That way, I own the blooming thing and I am not forced into a contract that has ALL KINDS of strings attached to it, been there done that.

Further, if I have a contract, I don't have near the leverage I have now without one.  I can disconnect any time without any thought of being charged for it.  It's just a tool that I can use: send me the equipment free or goodbye.

I was going to just end the call - she said she would be "happy" to disconnect my service ?!!!  if I wanted to today.  I got her supervisor on the phone.  Instead of railing on the woman that thinks it's gleeful fun to disconnect customers, I asked the man I was talking to a simple question: was the conversation I had had with the gentleman almost 2 weeks ago about getting a free DVR with no contract recorded?  Yes, sir, it would be available for review.  Then, I stated, I suggest you review that recording, because it is spelled out in that conversation to the nth degree that I was to get a new DVR, for free, with no 2 year commitment.  The ONLY caveat is that it would be treated as a leased DVR  and I would have to return it if I ever cancel my service with Direct TV.

Well who cares about that? What am I going to do with it if/when I cancel the service?  It is useless with any other company and I don't CARE if I own it or not.  In fact, NOT owning it is better: they will have to replace it for free if it ever breaks.

They like putting people on hold - for extended lengths of time. One guy put me on hold twice, for at least 5 minutes per, without any sound.  He obviously wanted me to hang up as I was asking for something that he didn't want to do.

Regardless, this situation might be over now.  I say might because I don't consider it a done deal until I have the new DVR sitting there, hooked up, activated and another call to Direct TV to ensure that there is NO contract automatically occurring.

This time, however, they are sending out a tech. Why?  I guess they want to know for sure that the one I have is defective.  Yes, it's defective.  Hook it up, it puts these blips and lines on the TV.  It's junk.

I don't care if they send out a tech, but the recorded conversation with the confirmation department included that there is no contract, no fee for the tech to come out and that the DVR is free.

Thank you.

ben

Driving in hellish traffic all day long today.  I was sent to Columbus, Ohio, a place I haven't been to in decades.  Had to pass through...