Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How T-Mobile gave me the run around

Black Friday

T-Mobile was offering no money down on the iPhone 5s.  No activation fee as well.  My bank was offering $50 cash back if I open an account with T-Mobile.  Win-win, right?  I was long out of contract with at&t, so I decided to take up the offer.

I went to and tried to place an order.  I qualified to get a Nokia Lumia 925 and iPhone 5s for no money down.  I almost finished check out when I got to an error screen saying something like "oops your cart is empty".  I tried again and again and kept getting the same error.  By the end of the day, I finally finished an order, except this time it said I would have to pay $500 down.


I just realized all those attempts to order phones were credit inquiries.  My credit was fucked now.  I called back on Sunday around 7:30PM.  They told me they would fix those orders and open a new account for me.  I got far enough for them to take my credit card number and read off all the terms and conditions.  I was put on hold.  At 8PM, I was hung up on.  WTF.  I called back and got a message to call back during business hours.

I called back on Monday afternoon.  After 45 minutes on hold, I get an operator.  She says all those orders are still there and she would close them.  An hour passes because it's Black Friday weekend and their system is under a lot of stress and acting slow.  I still got the offer for $0 down, but I would have to pay sales tax.  Sounded good to me.  Finally after 3 hours on the phone my order is placed.  I printed out the confirmation and waited for my phones to arrive.

They're not done fucking with me

It's Wednesday and I get a call saying my order didn't go through.  They told me I have to go to a T-Mobile store to clear things up.  I get to the store and they tell me my order was cancelled 8 hours later after I had placed it on Monday.  The store representative says all those orders are still there.  He says he cancels them and tries to set me up with a new account.  However, he can't give me the Black Friday pricing.  That was the last straw.  I had enough and told him to cancel the order.  After all this bullshit, I walked out empty handed.  I'm not even sure those credit inquiries are gone.


I got back to my car and saw the meter expired.  Luckily I got no ticket.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Depeche Mode - live in Chula Vista

I went to see Depeche Mode in San Diego last Sunday.

Hello San Diego
Nokia 808 Pureview | San Diego Bay

My sister planned the whole weekend.  She was staying at the San Diego Airport Hilton on Harbor Island*.  Despite many trips to San Diego, this was my first visit to Harbor Island.  I arrived around 9:30am and took this photo mid-morning.  It's a little dark due to the 808's ND filter.  I spent the day eating, drinking and watching football from the hotel bar.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Sleep Train Amphitheatre

Depeche Mode was playing at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre.  The traffic was a little heavy on the way in after exiting the 805 freeway.  Parking was terrible.  It took about 30 minutes to find parking which was half a mile away from the venue.  It took over an hour to get out of the parking lot after the show.  While this place may have free parking, do yourself a favor and buy the VIP parking. 

Reach out and touch faith
Nokia 808 Pureview | Personal Jesus

The search for parking meant we missed the opening band.  Sleep Train Amphitheatre has two sections for concessions.  One big area right after the entrance and another on the other side of the seating area.  The far side was a lot less crowded which made lines easier to deal with.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Just Can't Get Enough

The concert was amazing.  Depeche Mode got the right balance of songs from their new album Delta Machine and classics from their massive 30+ year catalog.  Quite a few songs got new arrangements, my favorite being Precious.  Enjoy these videos I recorded from the show.

*It's really a peninsula

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age at Jimmy Kimmel Live

Nokia 808 Pureview | Queens of the Stone Age

I went to see Queens of the Stone Age last Monday at the Jimmy Kimmel Live stage.  Despite being up at the very front, I got a lot of blurry photos. Should have played with the iso or something. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | The Vampyre of Time and Memory

What was strange about this show is that it wont be airing until tonight, July 31. I know that other shows such as the Late Late Show cut and paste segments from multiple days.  It was strange to me that Jimmy Kimmel Live started doing it.  Must be due to the new time slot.

Nokia 808 Pureview | I liked how often they switched from guitars to keyboards

The concert started very late.  They said they wanted to wait for daylight to go away.  When I saw Depeche Mode here last April, they were already done by now.   They finished the taping of the show around 7:15.  There was a long wait until the band started to play. QOTSA played song extra songs before the ones that would be recorded for the show.  This was weird, since every show I've seen at JKL has had the TV songs first and extra songs afterwards.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Queens of the Stone Age full set on flickr

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Comic-Con 2013 - Sunday

Nokia 808 Pureview | Hall H line at 5:30am

Sunday morning I tried to hit the Bandai booth one more time.  I went to the front of the exhibit hall at 9am.  I went from hall C to hall E to find a door that would open.  When they let me in, they made me go upstairs.  It seemed like they wanted me to go to the regular line behind Ballroom 20.   Instead, I camped the stairs over by room 4.  I got there at just the right time as they took down the barrier tape.  I raced downstairs and found the Bandai line capped again.  This time I hung around and got in line they opened it for a split second.  It didn't matter, they ran out of Power Rangers stuff again.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Biollante and King Ghidorah figures

I walked the floor a bit more.  I snagged the fifth princess pin from the Adventure Time booth and scored a poster from the Lionsgate booth.  I headed down to the food truck, bought a breakfast sandwich and headed back to the room to make sure everything was packed and ready to go.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Superman suits at the DC booth

Late Saturday night, my friend Amber told me she scored a Sunday pass.   She arrived around 11am.  After checking out and leaving my bags with the bell hop, I took her around for her first Comic-Con.  We made our first stop at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge, but they were out of the lanyards I wanted.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Pacific Rim at Sideshow Collectables

We walked around the floor a bit and got halfway through the floor when I noticed the Adventure Time quest was still going.  We backtracked to the west end of the floor and started collecting all the clues.  Along the way we saw the Pacific Rim statues at the Sideshow Collectables booth, the Superman suits at the DC booth and Tom Hiddleston at the Marvel booth.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Tom Hiddleston created a traffic jam at the Marvel booth

We made it the east end of the floor and were nearly finished.  A security guy mistakened me for a Japanese person, that was weird.  We headed outside to see the Hello Kitty booth at Petco Park.  We made a stop at the Warner Bros lawn where the giant Teen Titans were.  There was also a hut from the Hobbit made of Legos.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Teen Titans

It was at this point we found out we were missing a clue.  Luckily one of my friends was nearby the last clue inside the exhibit hall and got it for us.  We went over to Petco Park and I got a free milkshake from the Coffee Bean truck while Amber was seeing all the Hello Kitty stuff.  We finished the Adventure Time quest and picked up her medal at the Shiftylook arcade.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Hobbit house made from Legos

We walked over to the Samsung Galaxy Experience.  Again, the line to get in was short, but the lines for everything else were long.  We got in line for drinks and they had a cool method for ordering.  There was a Galaxy S4 set up with a menu on its display.  You wave your hand to swipe over the screen to pick your drink.  Then you bump the S4 with the attendant's S4 who relays the drink to the bartenders.  We walked over to an info booth and Amber switched out her Note II's junky battery for a fully charged new battery.  She also got a blue case just for signing up with her email.  We tried to get the case laser etched, but the line was too long so we took off.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Sunday Cosplay

We headed back to the con and split up so I could go see the talkback panel.  With only 30 minutes left, I didn't get to hear many complaints.  I mostly hung out at the water cooler and hydrated.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Space Ghost and a guy with giant wings

Amber offered me a ride home, so we went back to the Marriott to pick up my bags.  We wandered through the Gaslamp trying to find where she was parked.  After 9 blocks, we found the car and were on our way.  We made a pitstop in my old stomping grounds in Mira Mesa.  We had dinner at a Dennys, our waiter was a con veteran so the experience was excellent.  I fell asleep on the drive back and when I woke up, we were almost home.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Goodbye Comic-Con

Chasing the Dragon Ranger kinda ruined my con.  All that wasted time going to the Bandai booth could have been put to better use.  I missed a lot of parties due to exhaustion.  I never walked into Hall H or Ballroom 20 this year, that's a first in over 10 Comic-Cons. Still, this was an amazing experience and I'm looking forward to doing it all over again next July.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Comic-Con 2013 - Saturday

Saturday sucked.

Nokia 808 Pureview | It's not Comic-Con without campers

I planned to be in Ballroom 20 for the final Futurama panel and the Simpsons panel.  However, I was determined to get the Power Rangers Legacy Morpher from the Bandai booth, so I got up early and got in line around 4:30am. There were two lines, one for Hall H, one for everything else.  The everything line eventually got condensed and snaked around the lawn in front of Hall H.  Around 7am, they released the lines to the inside of the convention center.  People ran off to the Sails Pavilion for tickets to either buy stuff or get autographs, some went to the Ballroom 20, some went for the other meeting rooms.  I got in line for the exhibit hall.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Waiting for the exhibit hall to open

The exhibit hall line got crunched around the escalator above Hall G.  It would snake its way back towards the Ballroom 20 line and then towards the Sails Pavilion.  Around 9:15, they let us in the exhibit hall.  I raced my way to the Bandai booth.  I was really surprised with how many people were already there.  I got in line before it got capped.  All this effort was for naught.  They sold out of all the Power Rangers stuff. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | Meeting the lovely Ciara Hanna and the cast of Power Rangers Megaforce

I walked the floor for a bit.  I finally got that Fox poster tube.  I hung around the Nickelodeon booth since they had a Power Rangers signing at 11.  It was fun taking to the other fans in line.  The guys behind me were also in their thirties.  Meeting the cast was fun.  They are all like models.  After the signing, I went to the food truck and picked up lunch, then hit the con suite for a free soda. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | This cosplay group makes total sense

For the past two days, I tried to finish the Adventure Time quest.  I never got to the end before the time was up.  This time I finished.  Luckily, some guys who were also doing the quest got me some answers so I didn't have to criss-cross the floor.  Once I finished the quest, I headed over to Nerd HQ.  I got lucky and scored a ticket for the conversation with Doctor Who.  When the tickets went on sale, they sold out instantly.  After a few tries, a ticket opened up and I bought one. It was really cool to be surrounded by so many Whovians while waiting in line.  The talk was fantastic.  It should be able to be viewed at

Nokia 808 Pureview | Nathan Fillion moderated the talk with Doctor Who's Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat

Afterwards I headed over to the Wired Cafe.  The place was packed.  President Obama was back, which only made the crowding worse.  My friends weren't there and the regular DJ was gone as well.   I made my own little oasis on the terrace by the telescopes and relaxed while watching the crowds on the street below.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | The Mario Brothers at the Samsung Galaxy Experience

When the Wired Cafe closed up, I checked out the Samsung Galaxy Experience.  There wasn't much of a line to get in.  Inside, they had a photobooth, t-shirt printer, laser etching, info booths and an open bar.  Since I didn't have a Samsung phone and I didn't want to wait in the t-shirt line, I took off.  I stopped by the Shiftylook Arcade to complete the Adventure Time quest and get my medal.  While I was in line, I hooked up the people behind me with the answers for the quest.  After checking in, I scored a t-shirt and watched Rob Paulsen finish up the Countries of the World song.  I got my medal and then took off.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Sonic and an Axe Cop

I saw a lot on the way back to the hotel.  I walked by the Sega Arcade where there was a giant Sonic out front.  Nearby, I got in line for a hamburger and chatted with a Norwegian goth chick.  I saw the San Diego Zombiewalk procession for the first time.  I stopped by the Vikings mini ship races and the Axe Cop area.  They were out of free pizza. 

Nokia 808 Pureview |Marvel Zombies with an expecting mother

I went back to the hotel and dropped off my stuff.  There were a couple of parties I could hit, but I was too tired to walk out to the Gaslamp.  I headed downstairs to the con suite for a soda and went to the films room to watch Cockneys vs Zombies.  Slow beginning with a meaty middle.  The movie crashed before the ending, so I went outside to see if I could catch the fireworks from the San Diego Symphony.  I ended up at the 5th avenue landing and saw the Jackdaw pirate ship from Assassin's Creed IV.  Nearby, I saw the Hall H approaching.  It was 9:30pm and the line had stretched out to the marina already.  I started walking back to the hotel and at 10pm the fireworks started while En Vogue were performing their final encore of their hit Free Your Mind.  I went back to the hotel and crashed.

Nokia 808 Pureview | The Jackdaw

Friday, July 26, 2013

Comic-Con 2013 - Friday

Nokia 808 Pureview | It's not Comic-Con without lines

I couldn't sleep.  I tossed and turned all night. Too hot, turn up the air.  Too cold, get an extra blanket from housekeeping.  I maybe got 2 hours of sleep Thursday night. Finally around 5am I rounded up my buddies so we could get into the Adventure Time panel.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Summertime lovin, lovin in the summertime

We walked past the Hall H line and got to the Hilton Bayfront around 5:30am.  The line was about 100 deep. The end of the line was in a study/lounge type area with couches and tables.  I had a nice chair to sit in for about an hour until the hotel staff crunched the line.  A few minutes later, they cut off the line at 100 people, forcing me to go wait outside.  It was cold and breezy outside.  I didn't remember to bring a sweater this year, so I used the cape from my comic-con bag as a windbreaker.  It barely helped.  Luckily I was second in line so I kept going inside the hotel to warm up.  I was tempted to buy a sweater from the gift shop, but I balked at the $70 price tag.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Henchmen

They let us inside the Indigo Ballroom around 9:15 and the AC was blasting.  Yay, more cold.  The first panel was for Regular Show.  Lots of great montages shown.  There was a joke in the show about eating a 12 egg omelet.  It seemed like the breakfast burrito I had that morning had as many eggs in it.  Next up was Adventure Time, which was a lot of fun.  Donald Glover showed up for this panel, but not Community.  This was followed by the Venture Bros panel, which has never disappointed. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | Parking lot at Petco Park

Afterwards I headed over to the Wired Cafe.  Along the way, I stopped at Petco Park to see what was going on in the parking lot.  There was so much to see, yet so little time.  I only checked out the DC We Can Be Heroes tent.  Inside were a bunch of Kia cars with Justice League artwork.

Nokia 808 Pureview | The Justice League

I made my way over to the Wired Cafe and got some lunch.  I didn't catch any celebrities but I did see some cool telescopes from Celestron.  I left a little early to get my Batusi Batman from Matty Collector. That line moved pretty quick.  I dropped off my purchase at the room and took a break before heading back to the exhibit floor.

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Friday cosplay

No luck at the Bandai booth, they ran out for the day.  I walked the floor and took bunches of pictures.  On the way back to the room, I managed to get the last hot dog from a vendor as they were closing up shop.  I took my hot dog to the con suite to get some free chips and a soda for a dirt cheap dinner. 

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Power Rangers

Cheap food tip: cheapest hot dogs were at the Hilton Bayfront in front of the Indigo Ballroom for $3.  The vendor on the garage level at the Marriott is $5.  Upstairs at the Marriott bar, the hot dogs were $7.  I have no idea how much they were inside the con.  Never eat food inside the con.  If you exit the Sails Pavilion towards the marina, the convention center will have food for sale with some tables available.  Go past that and look for the elevator.  Go down to street level and there should be a regular food truck.  Freshly prepared food and good prices.  Best to find this truck for a late breakfast, lunch or early dinner. 

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Nokia 808 Pureview | Adventure Time

Despite all the cool parties I signed up for, I went to bed early.  I missed out on the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at a tumblr meetup, free food at Joe's Crab Shack, giveaways at the Engadget party, the Geek and Sundry party and the Worst Cartoons Ever panel.  The biggest bummer was yet to come.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Comic-Con 2013 - Thursday

Nokia 808 Pureview | Welcome to San Diego

I was awake incredibly early on Thursday.  So early the hotel wasn't serving breakfast yet.  I walked over to Ralphs and got some juice and the worst breakfast burrito I ever ate.  While walking around, I got to see the deserted areas where the Vikings mini ship racing and the Fox animation set-ups were getting ready.

Nokia 808 Pureview | The Bates Motel sign was next to the Vikings ships

I got in line for the exhibit hall around 8am.  The line to get in was upstairs where the Ballroom 20 line was.  When the hall opened, the Bandai booth was already capped.  I headed over to the Tamashii Nations booth and found no line, so I bought $500 worth of toys.  I tried the FOX booth again and the line stretched all the way to the end of the room.  By the time I made it to the booth, they ran out of poster tubes.  I decided to head back and ran into the Power Rangers.  Black was acting goofy and made me do a selfie with him.  He got separated from the rest of the rangers for a few minutes while hamming it up with other fans.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Never expected to do a selfie with a Power Ranger

I headed back to the hotel to drop off my loot when I remembered I made a purchase from Matty Collector.  I went over to the other side of the Marriott to pick it up when I realized I forgot my email receipt.  I headed over to the front desk to ask if there was a way to print it out and they said the bell hop had a free printer.  I got my printout and headed back to Matty Collector.  The door was closed.  They shut down at 11am and wouldn't be back until 3pm. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | Meet the Lumia 1020 at the Wired Cafe

I headed over to the Omni to visit the Wired Cafe.  Billed as a daytime oasis, the Wired Cafe was THE place to hang out and get away from the hustle and bustle of the con.  As soon as I checked in, I saw Aubrey Plaza walking off to do an interview.  The first thing that caught my eye was the Nokia booth.  They had the new Lumia 928 and 1020 to play with.  My first hands on with the 1020 was delightful.  The weight was surprisingly light, even with the camera grip attached.  I liked how easy it was to change from the camera grip to the wireless charging case.  The Camera Pro interface was easy to use.  I'm very much looking forward to owning one.

I got my phone laser etched #sdcc #gokaiger
Samsung Galaxy Note II | I got my phone case laser etched

There was a Vikings ship where you could take photos with props.  There was a a Game of Thrones bar with chalices from the show.  Behind it you could enter to win a Game of Thrones themed Xbox.  Charity Water had an information booth.  There was an artist doing superhero caricatures.  Seidio provided a wall of charging stations while you waited for your portrait.  There was a Cubify booth with a 3D printer that could take your own head and put it on a Star Trek figure. Epilog Laser had a set up where you could have anything laser etched with an image of your choice. I emailed them the Gokaiger pirate logo and minutes later I had the coolest phone in San Diego. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | I met the President

By 2pm, some of my friends had shown up.  My favorite part of Comic-Con is seeing friends you only get to see once a year, especially when there's an open bar.  At this point, the Wired Cafe started getting weird.  President Obama showed up.  He talked about replacing the drone program with Battlepillars.  I got a photo with him in front of the Game of Thrones bar.  As I was getting to leave, some Ghostbusters showed up.

Nokia 808 Pureview | Ghostbusters!

I had already missed a panel and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss another, so I had to leave the fun of the Wired Cafe behind to get back into the convention.  I got over to room 6BCF and was surprised to find no line.  I found a great seat up front while the Capcom games panel ended 15 minutes early. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | Your favorite voice actors

It was Thursday afternoon and I was finally seeing a panel at Comic-Con.  John DiMaggio has been the voice of Bender and Jake the Dog and made a documentary about voice acting called I Know That Voice.  He brought along an all star cast of voice actors for his panel including Rob Paulsen, Dee Bradley Baker, Fred Tatasciore and Tom Kenny. 

Nokia 808 Pureview | Jackin it in San Diego with Matt and Trey

The next panel was for an upcoming South Park video game.  The panel featured Matt Stone and Trey Parker taking questions about the game and the show.  I wanted to stay for the next panel, Spike and Mike's New Animation, but I was hungry.

Nokia 808 Pureview | TARDIS poncho

I headed out to the Gaslamp and stopped at Burger Lounge.  The burger was good, but the fries were terrible.  Get onion rings if you ever find yourself eating here.  While in line, I saw a guy in a TARDIS poncho, haven't seen that before.  I ran into my roommates from last year, who were having an amazing time.  While I had rsvps to a couple of parties, I was exhausted and went back to the hotel to sleep. Checking twitter, I saw that NERD HQ was having an amazing party and that the MTV2 Party at Petco Park didn't suck.  There were even fireworks, but the Omni hotel blocked off my view of them.  I was too tired to be jealous.