UPS for the loss…. again

Posted in Personal News, UPS at 4:10 pm by divinity


Why is UPS so terrible in shipping? It’s unbelievable at times. My camera was ordered with 2day shipping. I was expecting it to be delivered today, but I pulled up the tracking number to find:


First off, yes, the apartment number was missing. But it does say my full name on the package, and the buzzer for the front door has my name on it. So the delivery should have gone like this:

(my phone rings)
“Hello, UPS with a delivery for Ed Hunsinger”
“Thanks, I’ll buzz you in”
“Thanks, what apartment number are you?”
“Apt blah blah blah”
Package delivered successfully

Instead I get (or at least what I assume):
Driver pulls up to apartment and hops out with package.
Notices there’s no apartment number.
Takes package back to truck, gets UPS brand delivery notice sticky note out and sticks it to the box where it lists everyone’s buzzer number.
Notifies central HQ that there was no apartment number and that UPS should obtain this information. How? Preferably by magic.
Ed sits and wonders why he hasn’t been called to buzz in the 2-day delivery package that cost $20+ to ship.
Ed checks tracking number and sees that the apartment number is missing and that UPS is trying to find out this info.
Ed knows that customer service is last on UPS’s list so he pre-emptively calls the 800 number after searching through their website for it.
“Tracking” “164788754876587 (my tracking number)”
“hello, our records indicate a delivery attempt to (full address here). The driver reports that the apartment number was missing and will attempt to obtain this information.”
“can I give you the apartment number?”
“no, we cannot modify the delivery location for this package.”
*stunned silence*
“sir, could you please hold while I confirm some information?”
“thank you” *hold music* “hello sir, do you mind still holding?” *hold music* “thank you for holding, would you like me to forward a message to the local center with the apartment number?”
“ok please hold while I send that message……….. just one more minute….. almost done…..what’s the apartment number?”
“thank you…. hold on another minute… one more minute..”
“wait, will the package get delivered today with that information?”
“no sir, the package will attempt to be delivered tomorrow.”
“this was supposed ot be a 2nd day air shipment though.”
“yes sir, but there was no apartment number.”
(what I wanted to say:) so you’re telling me that UPS is capable of shipping a package across the country in 2 days, but they’re not able to take the 2 seconds to look for a last name on the list of residents posted on the front door? What kind of lazy incompetent drivers do you hire? Are you sure they’re even capable of handling a motor vehicle?
(what I actually said:) “well crap, I don’t know why the driver didn’t just look at the list on the door. Can I at least pick up the package from the local center?”
“sure, I can put in a request for picking up it in person.”
“will it be there around 6pm?”
“the driver finishes his route at 7pm.”
“ok, then when will the package be available to pick up?”
“the driver is done with his route at 7pm.”
“can you put in a request to have the local center call me to figure out whether I can pick up the package or have a second delivery attempt?”
“no sir, I can put in a request for a second attempt at delivery or a request to pick it up, and they will contact you with more information.”
“do you know what time they close?”
“no sir, I don’t have access to that information.”
“ok, fine, put me down to pick it up and I’ll figure it out with them.”
“ok, someone from the local center will contact you in the next hour with information on when the package will be available for pickup.

So now I’m waiting for a phone call from the local guys. Then I’ll have to bus home, grab my car, drive down to the UPS warehouse, flash a photo id, and hopefully pick up my package that should have been waiting at my door when I got home. Who knows if the package will actually be there. And if the camera is still inside the package, I’ll be very happy. Meanwhile my package is traveling all over San Francisco as the driver does his route, hopefully not getting damaged or stolen (both have happened to me with UPS), taking up space, and then he gets to drop it back off at the facility, report again that it was not deliverable, check with HQ to see if the magic wand has come up with an apartment number. If I hadn’t called, they would have said no, and they would have made a second delivery attempt, left the same exact note indicating that the apartment number had not yet appeard on the package label, then they would have tried a third time, then dropped the package off at the warehouse, let it sit and hope that I got the sticky note that may have stayed attached to the front gate so that I know to pick it up. Only because I know the poor poor service of UPS, I went ahead and pre-emptively called them.

Just got a call from the local people, my package will be available between 8-9pm tonight. What a hassle that could have been saved with the driver taking 3 seconds.

My Worst UPS experiences (that I can remember right now):
Oct 2005: Stolen DVD/VCR
Xmas 2006: ThinkGeek gift returned to sender with no notice of delivery attempts
Feb 2007: Left my laptop in the main lobby, clearly visible from the street. (I guess they don’t pay attention to the apartment numbers) They did get a few points for a speedy delivery on this one though.


I <3 California

Posted in Earthquakes, Personal News, San Francisco at 5:55 pm by divinity

Less than 4 months and I’ve already felt 3 earthquakes.

This one was a 3.4
3.4 2007/02/23 15:46:15 37.865N 122.241W 11.5 3 km ( 2 mi) ESE of Berkeley, CA

Oh, and the best part? 5 minutes later after we find out the magnitude, everyone’s back to work.


Uggh spam..

Posted in Geek, Personal News, Useful Stuff, Web Design at 10:55 pm by divinity

After 65 comments on a single post and cleaning out 3600 comments from the database, I finally decided to implement something for the spam in the comments on here. I found a WordPress plugin namedSpam Karma 2, which was recently released. I installed it (aka, upload and activate the plugin) and took a quick look. Tons of settings and looks like it should do the trick.

When activating this plugin I ran into an old WordPress issue I hit time and time again with my plugins. WordPress sometimes won’t listen when I try to activate or deactivate plugins. I will receive a success message about the plugin being activated or deactivated, but it won’t actually perform the action. Usually I resolve this by deleting some plugins from the plugins directory, then activating and reuploading and activating the other plugins. Quite an odd workaround, but it seems to work. Anyone have any ideas on what’s going on?


New Hair!

Posted in Body Mod, Personal News at 2:19 pm by divinity

Originally uploaded by edrabbit.

Thanks to Heather (and the assistance and advice of Dani and Rubin) I now have more fun hair.


Laptops, The Orb, and Pillow Fights

Posted in Fun Stuff, Geek, Personal News, San Francisco, SF Events at 12:16 am by divinity

Life has been too busy to post regular updates of the caliber that I would like, so here’s a summary post of things over the past week or so.

New Laptop
The laptop is in. It’s nice. It’s small. It has everything I need (except maybe bluetooth but I don’t need that yet). It needs stickers. I’ve stopped hitting “q” instead of tab. Vista is actually kind of nice, although I’m not in love yet. I still don’t know why I get “Access Denied” when I try to open “My Pictures” but the Photo organizer is pretty cool.

Dinner With The Orb

Tuesday night was dinner with The Orb and Heather at The Supper Club here in San Francisco. We literally ate dinner with Alex and Thomas. Their bed at the supper club was next to ours. The food was absolutely wonderful. They accommodated my dairy issues quite well even! The courses? a sushi salad, pepper soup, scallops, unbelievably good organic beef cooked to perfection, some sort of strawberry/yogurt dessert thing, and then a little bit of gelato. The drinks at the Supper Club are also quite good. I highly recommend the Black Cherry Drop. The atmosphere of the Supper Club was surreal. I don’t even know how to describe it sufficiently. We ate dinner on a comfortable bed in an all white room, being served by a man in a tight silver vest and a silver painted mask. The man in an all tie-dye outfit danced with his matching cape, while The Orb (technically Le Petit Orb) played in the center of the room. People were getting massages from the two masseuses wandering around, while others piled pillows in front of The Orb and enjoyed the show lounging a few feet away. People dressed in elaborate costumes slowly moved around the room, in a half-dance, half-walk, providing nothing other than eye-candy. A woman in a gold bikini and gold body paint came out and did some of the best hooping we’ve ever seen. We were in awe and couldn’t take our eyes off her. While we were inside we totally forgot about the rest of the world. The Orb did a set for everyone that was there for the dinner, and then later in the evening the doors were opened to the rest of the world for them to put on another show. By then it was late, we could feel ourselves starting to sink into the bed, so we decided that we should call it a night, as it had already peaked with good music, good food, good company, and good conversation. We gathered our shoes and headed out with smiles on our faces.

I didn’t bring my camera in, partially because I didn’t want to experience the night through an LCD. But other people were nice enough to shoot a few pictures:

San Francisco Pillow Fight 2007

Wednesday night was the Pillow Fight at Justin Herman Plaza. Another one of those events where it seems like everyone shows up even though it was technically Valentine’s Day. Ian brought with him pillow rope darts which were entertaining. Thanks to the kindness of the rotating group of friends who watched over our stuff, I was able to leave my bag behind and spend some time in the mêlée, both as a participant and as an embedded journalist. The feathers eventually got to me though and I found myself coughing and rubbing my red eyes on the sidelines after two trips into the fray.

Needless to say there are tons of photos and videos of this event as somewhere 1000 people turned out. Although, can anyone back that number up? hehe Here are my photos as well as a video I took walking through the heart of the battle. More photos and videos can be found over at Laughing Squid.

After the pillow fight, it was off to a sushi dinner with Reed before he heads off to the other side of the world for a few months. After who knows how long it’s been since I got food poisoning, I was finally able to eat sushi again, or at least I tried some. Some random postcards, a delicious dinner, and we wished Reed well. For posterity sake, here is a picture of Reed before he left:

Tonight is a “rabbit night” where I get to lock myself in my apartment and get things done that get put off while I’m out having fun. However the weekend brings all sorts of new fun to look forward to.


Dinner with The Orb @ the Supper Club, San Francisco

Posted in Mobile Posts at 12:40 pm by divinity

The perfect way to celebrate Valentines Day. Heather and I went to the
Supper Club for a decadent dinner and a great intimate show with The Orb
on Tuesday night. I was planning on writing up a review of the whole
experience, but I seem to be unable to find any decent amount of free
time these days. So here are the pictures.


What a weekend!

Posted in Personal News, San Francisco, SF Events, sf0 at 2:59 pm by divinity

Consulting the map
Originally uploaded by edrabbit.

I never got around to posting about the weekend, and there’s just too much to post. I enjoyed the company of almost everyone I know in San Francisco this weekend at one point or another. I met some new people, yet didn’t really feel like I was meeting them as I was familiar with who there were via the internet. And it was kind of weird (but amusing at the same time) that people knew who I was. Some of the new (in-person) faces now in my conciousness:

Jake Applebaum/lj
Violet Blue
John (didn’t catch last name)

Who am I missing?

I won’t bother to try to recount the weekend. Most of it was spent with Heather and she did a good job already.

The way to my heart

Posted in Random at 2:57 pm by divinity

Guinness cupcakes:
1 bottle (12 ounces) Guinness stout
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for garnish
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

and the frosting…
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound confectioner’s sugar

preheat oven to 350°F. in a large mixing bowl, combine the guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. beat in the eggs one at a time. mix in the sour cream. in another bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet guinness mixture. butter (a lot! my cupcakes for stuck once) 24 muffin tins and fill w/ mixture. bake 25 minutes until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. oool before turning out of the tins.

to make the frosting:
beat the cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. gradually beat in the heavy cream. slowly mix in the confectioner’s sugar. dust cupcakes with cocoa after frosting.

Chocoloate Rum Cupcakes
This one comes from a blog called Coconut Lime, found here: http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2007/01/cuba-libre-cupcakes.html (note: the original source says this is modified and won’t work)


1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coca cola / Champagne Cola
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa
3 tablespoons Bacardi Coconut Rum
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 1 12 cupcake cupcake pan
2. Heat butter, coca cola and rum to boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Mix together lime juice and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside (this curdles the milk, don’t worry about it)
4. Whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
5. Add the cooled* butter/coke mixture and beat until well combined.
6. Add egg, beat then pour in the milk. Mix until combined.

The batter will be rather thin. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to cool. Frost with Chocolate Rum Cream Cheese frosting when cool. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Chocolate Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa
1 tablespoon good rum

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Use to frost cool cupcakes or cake.


Super Speedy Delivery!

Posted in Geek, Personal News at 2:56 pm by divinity

My laptop was just delivered. Un-friggin-believable. I got the super saver shipping (5-7 days) for free through Amazon. Ordered on Feb 11th around 4pm. It left Sparks, NV on Feb 12th, 19:31. It arrived at my place on Feb 13th, 11:19. Under 16hours in-transit shipping time! Amazon rocks. UPS also gains a few points in my book for this shipment too, although they still have a long way to go before I fully trust them.

The downside. I have to go see The Orb at the Supper Club while my new laptop hangs out with the cats. Darn, doesn’t life suck?


Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057

Posted in Geek, Personal News at 2:58 pm by divinity

I’ve been hunting for a new laptop basically since I moved in November. My current laptop is more than acceptable in what it can do, however at 8lbs with a 15.4″ widescreen it’s hardly portable. It’s a desktop replacement and that’s why I originally bought it. But now with the amount of running around I seem to be doing in the Bay, I needed something portable. I couldn’t find an Averatec 1150 (smaller than a piece of paper and <3lbs!), and wasn't able to find a laptop that had everything I needed. There always was a catch, either missing an important feature, or way too expensive with things I didn't need. Saturday I was checking my emails and Fry's "spammish" email about the current specials caught my eye with a Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057 for $1199.99, limit 1 per household. I know, their advertising totally worked... at first. This laptop had just about everything I wanted and then a bit more. 1.6ghz core2 duo? Check
120GB drive? Check, plus 40gb extra
DVD burner? Check
Media Card reader? Check
Under 5lbs? Check, just over 4lbs
Acceptable battery life? Check, 4.5hrs they say
Under $1200? Meh, almost before tax
Extras? fingerprint scanner, extra durable case and spill-resistant keyboard, plus a license for Vista Home Premium (fwiw)

The website said check for availability, so I called the Fry’s down in Palo Alto.
“Do you guys have the Satellite U205 in stock?”
“We sure do.”
“For the $1200 price?”
“Thanks, I’ll be down in a bit”

So Heather and I hopped in the car to race down to Fry’s to grab my new laptop. We were rushed, because we had to be back up by the Ferry Building in time for the Sweet Cheat Gone. We got down there, got lost in the terribly unorganized building, and finally found the laptops (on the other side of the building from the rest of the computer stuff?).

The price posted on the laptop there was $1299. I asked a woman to check on the price, she confirmed this. I asked about the website and was told that I would have to order it online. I asked if they price match their website, she said no. I turned around and walked out, frustrated that I had been misled and had wasted an hour and a half of my time. Apparently Frys.com is separate from the Fry’s stores. Maybe this is common knowledge to long term Bay Area residents, but news to me and doesn’t make much sense. We won’t start on the guy that “confirmed” they had it for $1200.

I grudgingly started to accept the fact that even though this company had rubbed me the wrong way, their price was still better than anyone else. Heather suggested I check around though, just to be sure before I hit the Submit order button. I jumped on Amazon.com and found the same model, free shipping, no tax, for $1299.99, instead of the $1301 that Frys.com wanted. Score! I saved a buck and my peace of mind.

So, anyways, my new “ultra-portable” laptop should be here before March 1st. This will be the 4th Toshiba I’ve owned in a row. The old ones that are still kicking around:
Toshiba Portege 3015CT – busted LCD, missing keys
Toshiba Portege 7010CT – won’t charge batteries past 14%
Toshiba Satellite A75-S2762 – still kicking, but too heavy and too hot to carry around

The Porteges are by far my favorites as they are incredibly small, light, and useful. But they’re from back in the day when processors were measured in mHz.

Anyways, the summary of this post?
– Frys/Outpost sucks
– I should have a new laptop by March 1st. 🙂

UPDATE: Minutes after posting this, I received an email from Amazon saying my laptop had shipped. Eta, 4 days! 🙂

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