Archive for November, 2021


Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

I remember a conversation with a dude, maybe 10-15 years older than me, who’s epitome of cool was Van Halen. Like Jump Van Halen.

It didn’t land with me. I think I’m just a bit young to idolize hair bands. I’m sure Eddie can shred or whatever, but to me coolness is synonymous with envy. I think something is cool if I envy it. I want to be that person or at least emulate what they can do.

Agreed though, coolness is 90% music related for me. I spent quite a while in the jam band scene. I’ve seen many many Phish shows. Weirdly, I’m not quite sure I ever found them cool. I liked the scene but those guys in that bad were so awkward I didn’t really want to be them. There was probably a year or two in there where I thought the wandering hippies that followed them were cool, embracing life in a way I never quite have. But that fell away as I realized they were way closer to hypocritical and selfish drains on the world rather than anything to envy.

In some kind of overlapping time frame, I thought Soul Coughing was probably the coolest band out there. I never even really knew what they looked like until I came across this video somewhat recently:

Their sound was (and is) really truly unique. It was fun, poetic, and grooved in a way that I still think is pretty rad. But ultimately there was just too much drugs and selfish behavior that I’m far from thinking they are actually cool.

I was thinking about coolness first when I saw this video:

Frickin CCR man. Those guys were cool. Ughckh but were they? I don’t even know all the stories but I feel like all the main players behind big rock bands end up being dicks.

I’m straight up obsessed with Charlie Crockett right now:

I don’t even wanna know if he’s a dick or not. He doesn’t seem like it, but I’m not ready to find out. Too soon.

But here’s a band I think is legit cool:

That’s the Reeltime Travellers who tragically only played together for a few years (best I know) but fit my bill for coolness because they were actually very kind folks and produced some of the most badass and beautiful old time music there is. They ignighted that old time spirit in me and I still find their tracks fresh and great listens. That’s Martha Scanlan on guitar and lead vocals who freakin’ exudes cool. Her and Rayna Gellert are hugely hugely cool to me.

So I guess my checklist for coolness is: be nice, be kind, do good, play well.

The Team at the Pioneer Place Apple Store Got Me Squared Away

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Perhaps you’ve noticed I’ve been a little annoyed at Apple’s customer support. I had this situation that I felt like I could explain pretty easily (I’m trading in an iPhone as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program, it has damage I need to pay for, the website will not take the payment) but nobody over phone support or social media support could help me. They said they would, they said they did, but they didn’t.

The advice I got from others was “go to a store”. But I can’t easily do that, as I live in Bend, Oregon and the nearest store is many hours away. As fate would have it, I knew I would be in Portland, Oregon a few weeks after this was all going down, so I tucked the broken phone (that got returned to me 😤) away and brought it on this quick trip.

I made a Genius Bar appointment for 4:30 pm, but the big reason for being in Portland (a medical thing) meant I had to cancel the appointment as the medical thing was running long. I was able to scramble over to the Apple Store at 5:38 pm (they close at 6:00 pm, so I’m a huge dick) with no appointment just to see if anything could be done. I was cheerfully greeted at the door. The second I walked in the door another fella came to talk to me and he attentively listened to my little story and understood exactly what was going on. He didn’t know why the errors happened and said he couldn’t promise anything but would try to sort it out. He immediately got to work on the situation (without ever disappearing). During the process, he ran it by two other Apple Store employees who happened by, and they also understood the situation immediately. One wanted to see the emails and such so they understood this particular flow better, which of course I was happy to show. It felt so nice to have people so engaged in the problem they not only wanted to solve it but thoroughly understand it.

In the end, the fella got the old phone’s serial number, tap tap tapped away on his phone, was able to take my payment, and the saga was over.

The problem? The guess is that it was a price change. The website quoted me $29 to do the back glass replacement. Apparently, this is a fairly new price. The fella in the store had to charge me $99. So in the end I’m out an extra $70, a long haul trip, and maybe 5 hours of dedicated time trying to sort it out. But I’m very pleased with the in-store support that I got in the end. That team clearly knew what they were doing. I wish I got their names to thank them more clearly and publicly (so I’m a dick twice).

Apple: All I Want To Do is Give You $29

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Hey Apple!

Following up here on my little saga that started here.

Here’s the phone, you’ve mailed it back to me:

I don’t want this phone. This is my old phone. I use the iPhone Upgrade Program that you offer explicitly because I think it’s cool I get to mail my phone back to you each year and get the new model. It’s a great system when it works.

You mailed me this back because I “failed to pay” the $29 owed for the back of the phone having a crack. Totally fair! I want to pay you! Please take my $29! It’s like that movie Payback where Mel Gibson really wants his $70,000 back, except in reverse, and it’s only $29.

Why can’t I pay? Because your website wouldn’t let me. I tried a million times. I’ve called you and was told it was taken care of. I don’t know what else to do here. It feels extremely uncool that this system is so broken that I’m forced into having two loans for two phones.