Eric Cheng

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A celebration of incompetence

I have no patience at the moment. I'm still trying to clear out the large list of things I have to do before I leave. Stop reading now if you don't want to be filled with negativity.

I had black-out shades installed today, so when I return I will be theoretically able to sleep in past 8:30am (my schedule is shifted back a bit compared to most people I know). Although with long-term construction going on across the street, I may have to try to adjust my sleeping hours instead, because darkness suddenly does not equate to peace.

A year ago, I had some optical elements made to replace the hot-mirror filter in my old Canon D60 dSLR (to convert it into an infrared-ready camera). Unfortunately, I had to have ten of them made even though I only wanted one, so I've been selling them off slowly as people request them. Through various transactions (optic + others), I am discovering that transferring money between Europe and the United States is a broken process. A nice gentleman from Spain sent me some money via Western Union, which works (in theory) unless you happen to be in downtown Oakland, where most of their offices are either missing the proper forms or have broken computers. And you only discover this after being made to feel like shit because everyone around you is cashing paychecks at the Money Mart (depressing to all parties involved: both participants and observers). After trying three different locations (thanks, Adam, for the emergency internet look-ups!) I finally found one that was working -- with a competent person behind the counter. And so I gave them the magic numbers and left with $47.

My cost is about $30 per filter. $47 (net) - $30 (cost) - international shipping = not a whole lot. I'm pretty sure it wasn't worth running around Oakland for.

More about shades: there are drapes in front of the shades. Those drapes were pooling on the stage floor and were laced with dog hair from the previous owners, so two weeks ago I ripped them off of their pegs and took them in to Red Hanger Cleaners, which is just around the block from me. I was told that the drapes would be altered, cleaned, and back to the shop by Thanksgiving Day.

"Are you sure?" I asked -- after all, no one works on Thanksgiving, right?

... to which the young man replied, "Umm. I think so. I'll give you a call."

No call.

Since then I've been by and have also called numerous times, and after each meeting I was given a new time to come in to claim my goods. Today, they still don't have them. If I don't get them tomorrow, I may just lose it.

These are only two examples of the shit I've been dealing with at the moment. And the worst part about all of this is that none of it actually matters. None of it is really what I want to be doing, but somehow these stupid little things are sucking up hours (if not days) of my life.

A few other things:

1) My router refuses to wake up once it goes to sleep, requiring power cycling to continue serving me bits.
2) Canon didn't deliver a camera I was going to use on tomorrow's trip
3) MSBTech shipped my DAC back after two months on their test bench, and it never arrived
4) Two prospective photo gigs (writing, blah blah blah) are going to be left hanging with my departure
5) I have this ambitious goal to rip all my CDs to WMA lossless and AAC compressed formats. Classical CDs are hard to tag, and people haven't done it already (the information on all the music databases that Windows Media Player and iTunes hook up to suck for non-Pop stuff.

OK. Enough whining. I'm going to don my "tux-like outfit", fight through traffic, and play a concert.

Until next time,