Cool Stuff

I must have all of the maps

I am a somewhat reluctant weekend companion for Julie when it comes to antique and old stuff stores.

I dragged my feet for much of the morning doing my normal “don’t poke the bear routine” (why she puts up with me is anyone’s guess). Then we got to “Scavengers” which is a new place for us.

The first room was the usual, dressers with potential, desks that need to be stripped and sanded. You know, fun stuff. Just fun stuff for people who aren’t me.

Then I turn the corner and step into the very old warehouse. There are rows and rows of these drawers with names of states on the front of them. Okay, these are cool, they’d make cool storage. I wonder how much they are and open one.

Each drawer had at least two inches of US Geological Survey maps Ranging from 1965 to 1991 in many of the states in the Union.

Okay, this is more my thing. I set out on a search through the pretty disorganized collection. A quick query to the owner and he says that they bought the whole collection and they don’t print these on paper any more.

Now I have a mission.

Meanwhile, Julie is watching me run around looking for ladders, sweating a lot (crap it was hot in there), and rummaging through stacks of old paper.

Then I found what I was looking for.

Hartford Michigan (from 1981) and Coloma Michigan (from 1970).

This is a really long story to point out that THESE PLACES SOMETIMES HAVE MAPS..

I really like maps.

THESE MAPS ARE NOW MINE.

The end.

Cool Stuff

Retirement for an EA-6B

Attended a retirement for a Marine Prowler today. She’ll be permanently on display at Hickory Airport. Was great to share some memories with friends and family and hear the roar of a pair of J-52s one last time. Love love love this airplane.

Cool Stuff, on the move, take action

A comment on Sprint Customer Service

I hear nightmare stories from people all the time on AT+T’s customer service…
Yesterday afternoon Julie and I noticed a sudden loss of cell service at home.  We have identical phones (other than color) and we’re both on Sprint.   We’ve been happy Sprint customers for about 6 years now, and issues are rare.

I’ve worked on cell towers over the years and am an expert in radio communications, so I’m pretty patient with this stuff.  We forget sometimes that we’re talking on two way radios when we use these things.  Radio signals are subject to all kinds of potential interference, and the cell carriers have thousands and thousands of towers to manage.  Many of them are in very remote locations, and since we live in the mountains, it’s especially remote here.  The cellular system is complicated, and sometimes I’m amazed that the whole thing works at all.

Anyway, I didn’t have any urgent phone calls to make last night, so I decided to wait until this morning to see if things cleared up. When I picked up my phone and then Julie’s phone we still didn’t have service, so I jumped on Skype to call Sprint customer service.

I got a customer service rep in 30 seconds.  We chatted for a minute about what was happening and she started looking at the towers in our area. She ran some tests and noticed that the two closest towers were reporting “much lower numbers” than normal. She set up a network trouble ticket which sends a technician out to the towers to work on them. Then she attached a ticket to my account to track how much time we would be without service so they could credit my account for those days.

In 5 minutes she was able to diagnose an infrastructure problem and have Sprint take responsibility for it. Then she dispatched an expert to go out in the field to fix it.

Through good customer service, I was able to HELP them identify a problem they might not have known if someone didn’t report it.

I’m a happy customer even though I wont have cell service for the next day or so.

THAT is how you do customer service.  Kudos to Sprint.