Rogers’ Online Service System Sucks

Rogers’ online customer service system sucks royally. It is the epitome of poor service. Perhaps you thought that could only happen over the phone or in person, but Rogers manages to give you that same terrible service through their online system. It’s really atrocious and paints a terrible corporate image when a paying customer has to go through the frustrating process of accessing the online customer service system. Let’s take my example: I’m trying to pay a bill. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to go through and the things that go wrong along the way.
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Update Those Clocks!

The Daylight Saving Time period will be changing this year (2007) for much of the United States and Canada. That means this Sunday (March 11), you’ll want to remove one hour from your life (set your clocks forward one hour). This is three weeks earlier than last year and the many years before that.

Hope you don’t miss any meetings/appointments due to the change!

The Alphabet of Manliness

I came back home to Niagara Falls today from Waterloo and saw the package sent to me from some close friends back on PEI. Inside was a book. It wasn’t just any book mind you. It’s the book of Maddox. The Alphabet of Manliness. Maddox holds a special place in my heart. It feels just like yesterday that I was laughing my ass off over at Nick’s place reading Maddox’s latest post. It reminds of days gone by, days that I still cherish.

I’d just like to say thanks for sending the book along with the letters. You know I’ll be thinking of you anytime I see this book or anything regarding Maddox. Good times.

P.S. I can so see you, Rene, smirking as you wrote that extensive and thoughtful letter. ;)

Frank Miller’s 300 Review

I just returned from the opening show of Frank Miller’s 300 at midnight and I thought I’d write a few things about it while it’s still fresh in my mind. Of course, I’ll indicate that there will be spoilers in this post, although if you know the history behind the movie, you’ll know most of the major themes anyways.

First off, I’ll just say that it’s a great movie. It really stirs up that bit of patriotism within you and among other things, it really made me want to go install and play Rome: Total War. For viewers who know nothing of Spartan/Greek history (which would be most of the audience), the movie explains the main background information. Spartans are born, fed and breathe battle. The movie does an apt job explaining why only 300 men were sent to the battle. Thankfully, the introduction isn’t painfully extended. When I first saw that the movie was a mere 117 minutes (short by most historical epics), I thought, hrm, they’re probably going to jump quickly through the battles right to the end. Instead, most of the time was focused on the battle and not fluff happening back in Sparta. There was just enough background and no more as it should be.

In the battle itself, there’s ample use of slo-mo for added coolness and plenty of blood. Even if you cared nothing about the storyline or plot, the battle scenes themselves would be decent enough reason to go see the movie. The hoplite formation and battle tactics of the Spartans was mesmerizing. Seeing arrows blot out the sun… well that was something. The cinematography was simply superb. Not every war movie makes you feel like you’re a part of the battle formation.

Something that slightly irked me was the portrayal of almost all of the antagonists/enemies in the movie. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think so many people looked like they were struck by the plague and still living. I’m talking about the priests or whatever at the Oracle and all of the Persian Immortals, and that’s not mentioning the horrible disfiguration of Ephialtes. As well, there were some beastly looking beings throughout the Persian army. They just don’t make them like that anymore… Combining the disfigured Ephialtes and some of the other more ‘exotic’ Persian soldiers, it looked a little too much like Lord of the Rings at certain points.

While the Spartans were able to hold back the Persian army’s frontal assaults seemingly with nonchalance, the battle ended awfully quickly after they were surrounded. I would’ve thought they’d put up more of a fight even when surrounded, as opposed to getting pulverized by the Immortals they previously mauled.

The final word? If you’re into the ancient history war films, you’ll love 300. I sure did.

New Host… Again

I’m writing this as the DNS is still propagating for the new web host. After a little over 2 months with Servage, I’ve moved my main site to Downtown Host. That’s not to say I was unhappy with Servage. Despite some of the bad things I heard about them (after I signed up) they were pretty reliable. The main reason I switched from them was due in part to my ignorance. Their servers are based in Europe and most of the readers of this blog are in North America. I’d say it only makes logical sense to get a webhost also based in North America. I’m paying slightly more but I’m getting better performance and so far, none of those random SQL connection errors (apparently due to too many simultaneous connections) I’d get over at Servage.

Hopefully you’ll notice the performance improvements that I’ve seen since moving to the new host. Now it’s time I go to the midnight showing of 300. So pumped.

Off To Sybase

Rankings are over and I’ve got a job waaayyyy out at Sybase iAnywhere. Okay, in case you didn’t sense the sarcasm (the internet has a way of stripping sarcasm out of any phrase…) Sybase iAnywhere is extremely close to the University of Waterloo. In fact it’s located in the UWaterloo Technology Park. So in many ways, it’ll be like I’m still at school this summer. Actually I’m looking forward to working at Sybase. The position is Product Management, but really it’s just a smattering of business and technology. I’ll be learning a lot about their database product and SQL (excellent, database skills are essential these days) as well as programming with C/C++ and Java. It’ll be a great opportunity for me to learn a lot. Plus housing should be cheap enough here in Waterloo in the summer, or at least I’d hope so. To boot, the building looked very nice when I visited for the info session a while back.

Well, I have an economics midterm tomorrow as well as a Digital Circuits lab due on Wednesday. I should get back to work.

More Snow Days

Apparently it’s quite unheard of in these parts to get multiple snow days each year. If I recall correctly, snow days were pretty common back on PEI. The average winter didn’t go by without anywhere from 5 to 10 snow days. I even remember one year we had so many cancellations there was talk of extending the school year into the summer. I’m sure glad that never happened.

Right, well, we had another day and a half of cancellations. On Thursday the university closed at 3:30pm and remained closed for Friday. I of course took this opportunity to (no, not do work) watch Heroes. I blasted through all 17 episodes in three days. Now that that’s done and over with, it’s time to concentrate on school work. I have another macroeconomics midterm this coming Tuesday. Aside from that though, it really hasn’t been a busy weekend. The next calculus assignment hasn’t been posted; it’s usually posted on Friday, so I’m not sure what the holdup is this week.

On the job front, the co-op rankings opened today and it looks like I’ll be spending a little more time in Waterloo. Although I was ranked by all but one of my interviewers, only 1 offered me a job, Sybase (meaning a rank of 1). The job actually seems like a good one; I’ll be learning a lot about databases and programming in C/C++ or Java. Unfortunately it is in Waterloo. I was sort of hoping to get out of this place. All these semesters of university here is enough as it is.

At least finding a place to live in the summer shouldn’t be too difficult.