Say Cheese

A short collection of whine.

I needed to replace my clock radio because the buttons have stopped working. The radio plays, the clock tells time, and the alarms sound at the appointed hour but the snooze and the alarm set and the time set buttons all do no more than make satisfying mechanical clicks. They don’t change or set anything.

For Sale: good clock radio for someone on a rigidly fixed schedule who likes to listen to 94.3 FM. Click the Paypal button. ==>

The most amazing online store offered an RCA RC40R Dual Wake Clock Radio with Large Green LED Display by RCA with all the features I want:

Product Features

  • Auto time set for seven different time zones, six more than I live in.
  • SmartSnooze converts all top buttons as snooze button when alarm has been activated to confuse me when I want to turn the radio back on.
  • Dual wake features two different alarm settings for two different users: radio or buzzer and turns off one when the other activates.
  • Programmable snooze; Programmable sleep
  • Graduwake ramp-up alarm makes waking from a deep sleep easier and annoys the neighbors until you do.
  • AM/FM clock radio with a large LED 1.4″ display for clear viewing
  • Graduwake Ramp-up alarm eases your awakening
  • Programmable Sleep feature plays the radio for up to 2 hours before automatically turning off the radio, allowing you to gently fall asleep to music while your neighbors enjoy techno.
  • Programmable snooze feature turns off the alarm or radio for an extra 9 minutes of sleep or for 1-30 minutes

35 customer reviews gave it 3.4 out of 5 stars. Not bad for $19.99. Did I mention it’s an RCA? And that it has a Graduwake ramp-up alarm?

I was about to click the Buy Now button when the most amazing online store piped up that

There is a newer model of this item:

The RCA RC141 Dual Wake Clock Radio costs just $20.89 and is also In Stock.

Product Features

  • Automatic time set
  • Large 1.4-inch LED display
  • FM radio with digital frequency readout
  • SmartSnooze – multi-button snooze activation
  • Wake to radio or alarm

I’ve seen this marketing technique before in the ice cream wars put less of the juicy stuff in the tub and charge more for it. And the airlines deciding to charge for the overhead compartment space where babies could previously sleep free. Now we’re going to suffer with squalling babies down in the rows with the rest of us.

The optometrist ordered me a new set of specs on my VSP vision plan. It’s a lousy plan but, as he says, “it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”glassesThe new replacement glasses arrived a few days after I left so Anne had to mail them to me. They look nice. They don’t look through nice, though.

The optometrist had to send the first set he received back to the vision plan to correct an unspecified error. I don’t know what was wrong with the originals but I do hope the replacements have someone else’s prescription because I can’t see through them. Either the new Rx was ground incorrectly, the pupillary distance is wrong, or the optometrist got the wrong numbers from the refraction.

I’m wearing last year’s glasses as I write this and hoping that the Aviator sunglasses I ordered at the same time are correct. They should be in the mail any day now.

Speaking of shipments, !@#$%^ Comcast has done it again.I spent more than half an hour on the phone with !@#$%^ Comcast because I got back here to find no cable TV. We had a little power outage. Not unusual. Both cable boxes dropped out. I hope that’s unusual. One required reset from their end, necessitating a call all by itself. One would not power back on, necessitating a replacement.

There’s no excuse for that. I told the customer service rep (she offered to send a tech out but said it would cost me $30 to FIX THEIR EQUIPMENT) that I’d better not have to call them every time the power goes out. She didn’t care.

Comcast ShipmentShe ordered one shipped. It didn’t come overnight so I was out of service but it did get here. In two boxes. Two very large boxes.

I don’t have a DVR in South Puffin so to “time shift” requires setting up both the VCR and tuning the newly replaced digital box. For a reason I don’t understand I got the Special Audio Program on both Criminal Minds and CSI. The voiceover kept saying this was for blind peeps and I could turn it off except there is no SAP setting on the recorder I used and I don’t get SAP from any live broadcast, either from Dish or Cable on the TV. Both VCRs played it back on the tape though.

I’m thinking it was !@#$%^ Comcast. Good I didn’t order the special X-Ray vision glasses they were advertising, too.

4 thoughts on “Say Cheese

  1. I’ll bet you expected a rant about Tubbo Tax™.


    There were a couple of minor glitches this year but the program was noteworthy in its ease and accuracy this year.

    Don’t forget to file. Thanks to Emancipation Day today, tomorrow is the deadline.

  2. Last year I did my own taxes and sent the IRS a check for nearly $2000. They wrote back that I overpaid and sent me a check–albeit smaller–in return. This year, Emancipation Day happened about a week ‘naf ago for me; and thanks to TurboTax. I’m getting some back — again.

    As for trashing gadgets that fail because of ancillary problems, let me count the ways:

    Last week I found a note stuck to my huge Ford Explosion. It was from someone using bad English who wanted to buy it, and they left a phone number.

    I pfoo-pfooed it…until later in the week I bought a load of stuff at Home Depot — only to get to my vehicle and discover that the back door would not open. Broken latch.

    I was one second away from calling the guy with bad English when Mrs George said I could probably fix the door with some lightweight machine oil for $2 and a bit of mechanical ingenuity. I have $2 but no M-ingenuity. Mebbe I’ll fix it tomorrow and keep the Explosion.

    We had a sandwich maker that suddenly stopped working. Mrs George called the company, and they said: trash it and we will send you a new one. Sure enough, a week later a new one arrived. For some reason, Mrs George still has the old one, and we have to keep moving it around to clear space. She says we will fix it someday.

    I have an electric edger that never worked as I hoped it would; and I was on my way to the curb with it on trash day when Mrs George intervened and suggested that I readjust the blade per the instructions printed on the side of the aparatus. It now works fine.

    This wireless keyboard that I use got tossed into the yard and suffered collateral damage to the plastic, cosmetic framework because it kept giving me repeat keystrokes even after I yelled *Ghodammit Stop*! Man, I hate it when that happens.

    Mrs George retrieved the hapless piece of $h*t and used the vacuum’s blower hose to remove fried chicken crunchies and cookie crumbs from around the keys. It works fine now.

    I hope this helps.

    — George

  3. Oh, I forgot to comment on your clock alarm issue. I am retired and no longer need an alarm clock because the day starts when I say it does — or rather, it starts when my cats wake me up and say so.

    I awoke this morning in the middle of an erotic dream, only to discover a small kitten sitting on my face.

    — George

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