Archive | July 3, 2013

Reasons 61 To 65 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Some of these relate back to what I learned from the DirecTV ‘Problem Resolution Specialist‘ who called me yesterday — and among other things proved that he (and most likely DirecTV) are clueless as to true High Definition mode, i.e., above 720p, setups.

#61. According to this ‘Problem Resolution Specialist‘ DirecTV has set 8 seconds, yes 8 seconds, as the acceptable time for a Genie HR-34 to perform an operation, e.g., change a channel! Yes, 8 seconds. Count it. That is incredibly long. But, as long as your Genie will do things in less than 8 seconds DirecTV does not deem it a problem. They might as well set that ‘timer’ to 15 minutes!

#62. This 8 second delay threshold confirmed what I was beginning to fear with DirecTV (having been with DISH for 3 years):  DirecTV is not targeting a sophisticated customer base, their target market seems to be the lower-end consumer. If this is not the case, how can you justify that DirecTV thinks it is ‘OK’ to tell a customer that 8 seconds to go from one channel to another is acceptable?

#63. This guy CONFIRMED that their installers turn off Dolby, even if they know you have a surround sound system, because Dolby only works with the HD channels. See ‘no audio’ problems in the prior posts, e.g., #57.

#64. When I asked him, this guy told me that the green‘ and ‘blue‘ buttons on the remote permit be to jump 12 hours ahead or back on the guide. Yes, they do that, but so do the << and >> buttons on the top and that is what the legend at the bottom of the guide tells you to use. So these buttons are just taking up space on the controller, as I had suspected.

#65. Got an e-mail today from DirecTV, yet again welcoming me (and that irks me because I hate them so) … with 2 tips on how to get the best from the Genie. The first tip was that I can use the ‘yellow’ button to get to PIP. I tried it. ‘Yellow‘ button just duplicates the INFO button which is more or less right next to it. So that is another scam.


Alton (NH) July 3, 2013 Fireworks: An Impressive Finale, Much Appreciated, Makes It All Worthwhile.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Weather looks promising for fireworks … — July 3, 2013.
2/ Portland, Maine, July 4, 2013 … with Don McLean — June 29, 2013.

3/ Alton & Wolfeboro 2013 fireworks … — June 19, 2013.


The Alton, NH, July 3, 2013, fireworks, as is so often the case these days with local shows, redeemed itself and sent the crowds home happy thanks to an impressive finale.

Overall it was ‘OK’. Bit listless and lacking in any ‘Ooomp‘ to begin with. We only heard one ‘WOW‘ prior to the finale.

As ever we were on the bridge, straight across from the fireworks. The barge seemed a tad further out than normal. Prior to the finale there wasn’t many body thumping bangs. It was pretty quiet. So much so that people were talking during the fireworks. Right then and there I came up with a rule-of-thumb. At ‘good’ fireworks people don’t talk and moreover it is hard to hold a conversation.

The fireworks started at 9:22 and finished at 9:37. So 15 minutes on the clock. There was a nice touch at the end. They did a white fireworks ‘curtain’ to finish and then the barge lit up with multicolored lights. That was cute.

You can see the boat traffic in the pictures. It wasn’t heavy. Steve Parker of the eponymous marina in Alton Bay chatted with us prior to the start. He was commenting that 20 years ago the bay used to be packed.

There was a fair crowd. I think, but I could be wrong, that it was a bit lighter than the ‘norm’. We got there around 8:35 and parking was not a problem. We park on the steep hill going down to the bay and ew had no problem parking very close to the bay.

People seemed to have fun. I think everybody was so glad that it had stopped raining. 


All the pictures taken by Deanna on her Panasomic Lumix DMC-Zs19
— using the ‘fireworks‘ setting.

Click to ENLARGE.

Definitely worth seeing in full-size. Enjoy.








The Most Spectacular Of U.S. 4th Of July Fireworks Displays Was In 2005. Most Have Never Heard About It.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Click to watch more detailed YouTube video.

Click to watch more detailed YouTube video.



A quick extract take directly from my NEXT book (which is finished and we are now trying to proof):

On July 3, 2005, NASA’s 1,400 lbs (at launch) Deep Impact space probe, launched atop a Delta II-7925 launch vehicle 172 days earlier, having travelled 267 million miles at speeds up to 64,000 mph, released a 820 pound ‘Smart Impactor’ capsule – replete with a high-tech 400 pound, 100% copper, solid cannonball – which, by design, crashed, headlong into 9P/Tempel, the next day, the collision, equivalent to the exploding of five tons of dynamite, throwing up huge quantities of matter from the comet’s nucleus for detailed spectrographic study by Deep Impact, which was about 300 miles away.

Weather Looks Promising For Tonights July 3 Fireworks In Alton, NH & Tomorrow’s, July 4, Spectacular In Portland, ME With Don McLean.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ Portland, Maine, July 4, 2013 … with Don McLean — June 29, 2013.
2/ Alton & Wolfeboro 2013 fireworks … — June 19, 2013.


July32013weatheralton

Forecast for Alton, NH for the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 fireworks at ~9:15 pm at the Bay.




July42013weatherPortland

Portland, Maine forecast for tomorrow, 4th of July, 2013, the Concert starting at 7:40pm.


I have never seen Don McLean. I would like to see him. I gather that he lives in Maine now.

Checked the weather. Looks fairly promising.

We like Portland, ME, but we haven’t been for a very long time — these days our trips usually terminating at Ocean Park, ME.

So I am thinking of going. Portland is about 90 minutes from here.

But, this is definitely worth checking out. I haven’t been to a ‘real’ 4th of July celebration in many a long year (though as a Brit I, of course, have very mixed feeling about this).

The Commemorative ‘Blood Red Poppy’ Plaque, Lobby Of The Prince Arthur Hotel, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


'Blood Red Poppy' Plaque, The Prince Arthur Hotel, Thunder bay, Ontario, Canada

Click to ENLARGE.


Related ‘Poppy’ posts:
>> “Poppy Day” Tradition In Canada & The Plaque That Hangs
>>  In The ‘Prince Arthur Hotel’ … — May 29, 2013.

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Part of My “Poppy Day” series on this Blog.

This post, as with other recent related posts, at the behest of  ‘Nancy’,
the lady from Ontario Canada who sent me the original, side on, picture of the ‘Poppy Plaque in Thunder Bay, Ontario.


PAWpic

Prince Arthur from days gone by.

So I contacted the hotel, viz. Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Suites, 17 N. Cumberland St., Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4K8, Direct line: 807.346.5124

Tony Scarcello, the General Manager and Kory Morabito, the Sales Manager helped me out. This morning, Kory sent me the above picture. So now at last we have a good, clear image for posterity. With luck I might get more from Kory. Thank you Tony. Thank you Kory. Nancy will be delighted.

Kory also sent me this great aerial of the James Whalen marina taken by Robert Patterson, the Product Development Coordinator for Wilderness North. You can see The Hotel (as it looks now), in brick red, just to the right of center behind the covered, elevated walkway.

Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites

Click to ENLARGE.

Reasons 56 To 60 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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This afternoon, at 12:43 pm, with no notification from e-mail, my cell phone rings and it is a ‘Problem Resolution Specialist’ (with a middle eastern voice) from DirecTV responding to my e-mail from yesterday (#55) that my remote control was not responding. All the following items have to do with this phone call that lasted 49 minutes and 15 seconds.

#56. He basically said right up front that the problem I was encountering was that the receiver, i.e., the Genie HR-34, was not responding fast enough to my click on the video. The first thing he wanted to do was to change my video resolution setting from Native = ON to OFF (essentially saying that Native = On was a mistake). I protested. I said that it was I, after some Web research that turned it on. He assured me that he was an expert, that he had 4 HD TVs at home and that Native =Off would ensure automatically that I always got the highest resolution per the program being broadcast. Reluctantly, I turned off Native. But, remember I am a pedantic old beggar, particularly so when it comes to most things technical. I now insisted that we test it out. I could tell from his voice that he was surprised. So I punched in 202 for CNN and checked the resolution 720p. That did not look good — in every sense of the word. He even got me to get up and check the lights at the front of the Genie. I didn’t know, since I had never bothered to look, that the Genie has 4 bright blue lights that indicates the current resolution being displayed. 720p. He then said, “well CNN only broadcasts in 720p” (and THIS after I had told him that I have had HD TVs since 1999). I knew that that wasn’t right. So I asked him to tell me a channel that would show that the Genie was displaying in 1080p or 1080i. While talking I tried the Boston Fox station. That usually transmits in highest possible resolution. Still 720p. He said try HBO on 501. Still 720p. I wasn’t giving up. I told him to give a channel that will display in 1080. He put me on hold. He came back. He was distressed. He had got it all wrong! CNN does transmit in 1080. I immediately went back and changed video resolution to Native = On. CNN immediately was displaying in 1080p. So was channel 25, Boston Fox. He was WRONG. He was dead wrong. So much for being a DirecTV Problem Resolution Specialist. he knew less about the box than I did, and I had only had it for 10 days. So, another black eye for DirecTV. After that point, this guy who had started off quite arrogantly was quite subdued. Yes, though I was polite I did, in my own inimitable way, make sure that he realized that he had been caught out — totally. So, much for DirecTV expertise.

#57.This guy CONFIRMED that the the ‘no sound’ with SD is a known problem — though if you go to the DirecTV Technical Support Forum you will see that DirecTV denies that!

#58. This guy CONFIRMED that the Genie Mini does not support PIP.

#59. This guy CONFIRMED that the Genie does not have a ‘jump to LIVE’ capability.

#60. And here was the BEST part. When I told him that I am sure that the Genie HR-34 was never tested, he said: ‘Oh, no. Me and a number of people that work here tested it for a number of months‘. Oh, dear. He wasn’t very savvy. DirecTV!


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