Thursday, July 4, 2002
JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events #182: Leave it to a Scotsman to Make an Absolute GermanIn the complaint department, I just gotta say I'm sorely disappointed in Maven Technologies, LLC (2099 Mt. Read Blvd.) Here's the deal: since I'll be going away for a few days, I really wanted to be able to bring along my laptop so I could have access to my map software and MP3's. I figured I could get a "spare" PowerBook or iBook in short order, get it set up with just that, and bring it along instead. (My homeowner's insurance would cover the theft or loss, but the data on it would be ... umm ... liberated. You know, password files lists, all my receipts from 1999 onward ... all kinds of sick shit from a chaotic anal retentive such as myself.)
Anyway, I started at Maven because I had been there before, and found a nifty Indigo G3 iBook for $799. It wasn't perfect for what I wanted (video output would be nice) but after crawling all over town, I thought it'd be good enough so I picked it up. So I get it home and start poking at it to set up. Well, after 24 hours, I get ... no charge on the battery at all. In fact, after letting it go while it was asleep, I tried charging it all night while it was off. No luck there.
Since I need this soon, it's important that this thing just work ... I don't have enough time to debug some flawed system for a couple weeks. I figured I'd just take it back--I thought the battery was completely dead. I get there and am told that (1) there is no battery warranty, (2) they gave me the wrong power adapter, and (3) I would have to wait until probably Friday to get the right adapter. I said fine ... no thanks--please just refund me and I'll be on my way.
Well, our policy is that there's a 20% restocking fee on working items. Ahem--I say--this isn't working because the battery won't charge. They say they'll repair it by giving me a new adapter. I end up in an argument with the person behind the counter then I talk to the "manager" who says "policy is policy--end of story." Come on ... I had it for 24 hours, I didn't do anything with it ... it's not like I had it for a week and used it on the trip then wanted to return it, even more used, for free. Customer satisfaction is definitely at an all-time low. So very sad.
I guess my warning is, if you are to buy something at Maven, once they have your cash, you're screwed. When you bring something back and say it's broken, first they'll tell you if it's broken or not, then they will never ever give a full refund. Yikes. I think I'll track down the owner and let him know.
In other nerd news (which you all know by now that I just say that way because it makes me feel like I'm hosting The Daily Show) I got the PowerMac 7100/66 set up with the video capture board from my 7100/80 and it's now in the basement handling both the X-10 and the WebCam. It works much faster than the LCIII and I even managed to turn back on the "page me if the motion sensors go off" feature. I'll see how long that lasts. To answer the question burning in everyone's mind, I needed two serial ports and I think one of them is bad on the 7100/80.
Wait, wait ... more nerd stuff. Well, kind-of nerd stuff anyway. I set up a page that describes what this site is about. There's always people who write to ask about the site and I just ignore them. I finally got around to making some explanations.
Yah yah--one last thing. I lost my cable modem service for a few hours on Wednesday which is why this is going up on Thursday morning--thank goodness for the holiday, eh?
Now for some non-nerd stuff. On Saturday I went out in a pretty foul mood. I wasn't so much mad or depressed as I was just disaffected, I guess. I had been hacking on the webcam project for a few hours and didn't finish, so I had that kinda hanging over my head. I went out anyway. Oh, and I only drank soda and water all night. Throughout the evening, I didn't want to talk with anyone and I had an acute awareness of how good a performance was. No expectations ... no alcohol ... just straight up honesty.
I started at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and waited until the band set up. When they introduced themselves as The Rat Kings I thought to myself, "oh, I remember these guys. They played on New Year's and I really didn't like them." Too bad it took me that long to recognize them. From there I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and caught The Red + The Black and Life in Bed who are both okay bands. They're on the same tour and they were pretty similar. I headed back to the Krown and saw a little of The Drones who were really good. They are a three-piece (guitar/drums/bass) and play frenetic, clean-cut punk, all while maintaining the causal stance of a groove-rock band. Kinda eerie and pretty cool. [As a side note, they played for free on Wednesday night--they went to New York for part of the week and stopped back to the Krown for some free beer and to play. They're really cool guys and can really tear it up.] After a couple songs I headed back to the Bug Jar and caught most of the Shackletons set. They're also a punk-rock band but kinda sloppy and broke one of my unwritten "cool band rules:" they complained that the audience wasn't interested enough ... dude, if you were interesting, we'd be interested.
I did talk with Ed from Eddie Nebula and the Plague who came over to me and said hi. He insisted that I stay for The Realistics who he described as (more-or-less quoted) "better than I dream I could ever play." In my mood, I thought, "ok ... I'll hang out for a couple songs and head home."
I ended up staying through the whole set that ended around 2:30. These guys play some of the most interesting, solid, straight-up rock-and-roll that I've ever heard. Their talent and stage presence is so good that I'd wager to say they're the best rock band I've ever seen live (which isn't saying much because I never saw the Stones or the Who or any of the famous rockers.) Plus, they pulled some joke where one said they were bragging and would have to "throw down" and another said "the gauntlet?" to which the keyboardist replied (off mic, but I was standing right there) "Don't shoot the valkyre." How cool is that--a reference to the arcade game "Gauntlet." Plus, when they got to the last song, they were visibly tired but managed somehow to create energy from nothing. They hit that last song so hard that I actually (for real) said "Holy shit" out loud. I was that impressed, let me tell you.
Definitely go to their site or to the MP3 link and listen to some of their stuff.
After the show, I talked with each of the band members and they're all really cool guys and seemed to really enjoy talking. One of them (the lead singer, Dennis, I think) recommended that I check out The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA) when I'm in Philadelphia. It's where they played a few weeks ago.
I had them sign the CD I bought and Jen from Purrs told the keyboard player that I was just going to sell it when they're famous. He said he hoped I would and wrote, "Make a lot of money selling this CD someday" on the CD.
When I left, I had broken out of that funk, but still needed sleep. "Badly."
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On this day ... July 4
Link of the Week:
RochesterDowntown.com - This site sponsored by the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) and Downtown Guides does a really nice job of highlighting the Downtown Rochester area.
Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Yahoo! Weather for Rochester
Copyright © 2004 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.