Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – not bad

We watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit tonight (because Chris Pine) and it wasn’t 1/2 bad.

Captain Kirk was working with Robin Hood and were fighting against Hamlet. Not sure it’s the reboot anyone wanted, but it was pretty good.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

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Bad movies based on cartoons

Business Insider’s Entertainment section provides some really interesting articles, considering the name of the site.

One of their recent ones is 11 Really Bad Movies Based On Cartoons Everyone Loves and delivers what it promises.

In the accompanying video, they list out 11 cartoon TV shows that were converted to moves and were just terrible. Although by including Garfield on the list, they cheat because it was a bad TV show based on a comic strip.

Cartoon Movie
Transformers Transformers
The Smurfs The Smurfs
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo
Speed Racer Speed Racer
Rocky & Bullwinkle Rocky & Bullwinkle
Inspector Gadget Inspector Gadget
Garfield Garfield
The Flintstones The Flintstones
G.I. Joe G.I. Joe
Aeon Flux Aeon Flux
Masters of the Universe Masters of the Universe

Ok, so a table listing them like that wasn’t necessary. There’s 3 things about this list that stand out.

  1. At least 3 of the shows/movies are based on toys (Transformers, Smurfs & G.I. Joe)
  2. At least 3 of the shows/movies are OLD (Mr. Magoo, Rocky & Bullwinkle & The Flintstones)
  3. Why is Aeon Flux on the list? Did people actually love that cartoon? I didn’t even know it was one!

The universal consistency of course is that they’re all fantasy. I mean, if they’d done an Archie & Jughead movie, it would be “real” in that it’s set in a world people can relate to and doesn’t require a lot of special effects. Everything above did.

They’re also all arguably kids shows and are aimed at kids, being judged by adults. How many kids do you think walked out of Garfield saying “Dad, Garfield was terrible”?

Dental-Care-for-schnauzer

Rumble Rose and bad dog owners

So our poor little pup, Rumble Rose, had to spend today in the shop for minor repairs.

Translation – we, being bad dog owners, don’t brush his teeth enough and we had to take him to the vet to have it done professionally.

This means he underwent sedation and all kinds of stress, I’m sure. Poor Rumble. Anyway, I got a call from the vet a while ago and they said “We’re happy to tell you that Mr. Rumble Rose is doing just fine!” which is always good news.

During his intake this morning (without breakfast, so he was grumpy) the tech said scary things like “If we have to extract more than 4 teeth, should we call you?” which causes all kinds of panic inducing thoughts.

He also hid a couple of minor lumps checked over. Results for those are still pending, but the vets seemed to think they were just fatty build-ups and nothing too serious. That’d be good news.

In the end, we have to brush Rumble’s teeth more often. Like at all. I’m sure that would help.

Bad Customer Service

A while ago I ordered a bar code scanner on Amazon for a project I’m working on. I did a bit of researched and picked one that seemed to have a lot of features and a reasonable price. After my research I ordered the Adesso NUSCAN 2100U Document Barcode Scanner and set about waiting.

Adesso NUSCAN 2100U
Amazon in their usual fashion delivered about 3 days early and I eagerly plugged it into my laptop and clicked the trigger while aiming it at a barcode (crazy right). Nothing happened. Note how I didn’t mention reading the instructions. Those instructions consisted of an oversize sheet of paper with French on one side and English on the other, folded into the size of a CD insert. Remember those?

Well, it didn’t work. It booped when I plugged it in and my Mac made some noises. I used the configuration options on the sheet and it made some more noises, but when I opened a text document and scanned a barcode, nothing output. I played for a while, then tried it on Windows and it worked just fine. At least I knew the scanner did work.

I played around a bit more, printed out pages of instructions & configurations from the online manual and still nothing worked. So I did the last thing a “technical guy” wants to do and went to the Adesso.com support system and filed a ticket. I might not have done this had I known I was in for some bad customer service. I say “this scanner” which is vague here, but their help system recorded the scanner, serial number and other details when I started the ticket.
adesso-support1

Bad Customer Service Begins

A day or two later, I got a reply. It’s not much of a reply and it’s pretty unclear, so I wrote back asking for clarification. That was February 5, 2014.

Then nothing happened, so I added to the ticket twice more hoping to spur action. The first block is theirs, the rest mine.

Bad Customer Service from Adesso.com

Then I kind of forgot about it until today when I thought to check again. And lo and behold there was a reply and I was happy. Until I read it. The internet carries no sense of tone or emotion, but I felt this reply was full of both.

 adesso-support3

With this reply, THEY closed the ticket. While this was going on, I opened another ticket since this was was getting no action and referred to this ticket. They deleted the other one. I also emailed their support directly and got no response (except maybe this reply).

To be fair, despite the bad customer service, this reply DID solve my issue, and for that I am grateful. The scanner works perfectly and I can test it on my project tomorrow.

Coincidentally, at Casting Workbook we’re reviewing how we handle customer service replies so this type of thing is top of mind right now.

If I were in charge of customer service at Adesso.com and reviewed this conversation, I would take the agent responsible aside and have a serious conversation with them about how to work WITH customers who are having trouble. For all they knew, this was a test unit for a 20,000 piece order (I wish).

Hopefully someone there will see this, as they don’t seem to have joined the social media age yet. They do have a media & PR email address, maybe I’ll send this blog to them. Threaten them with the 2 or 3 people who might actually read this. Right.

Trying something a little different

Last week I did something a little different. I gave a presentation at the Vancouver WordPress Meetup Group January meeting. This isn’t that unusual in the grand scheme of things. Folks who’ve known me for a while know I was the chair of the Amiga Users of Calgary at one time, and an active member for many years. I gave plenty of presentations and chaired meetings, but that was a while ago.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been playing around with building a business directory (2 really) and that was the topic of my presentation. I covered the variety of themes and plugins as well as some general reasons one might build a directory on WordPress.

I felt good about doing this. I was nice to give something back after a couple of years of observing, and to get back into the habit of DOING something.

Chris came along for moral support (cuz that’s what he does) and took a few pictures.