March 13th, 2011

Clearly Confused

So, I kind of have the Clearwire service now. And after some fiddling around with things, I am fairly impressed.
First to actually getting it: my address had been listed wrong with FedEx, as the customer service rep somehow left the apartment number out completely. On complaining about this on Twitter, both the account for Clearwire and one for FedEx contacted me in the hopes of resolving this issue. To be honest, I’m not sure if the FedEx thing was controlled by a person or a computer somehow. If the latter, it was scarily efficient. They would respond to every question I posed in a very scripted way, and on looking at responses to other people’s questions similar feedback had been given. It is listed under a woman’s name though, and perhaps she just has to perform under those strict rules. She tracked my package as it made its way through the system, as I’d said I might not be here and if not I’d like it taken to the leasing office. Luckily, I’d arrived just a bit before the delivery truck did. Crazily, I was in the restroom when the pounding on door began. Haha, ah well. And not two minutes after I took the package inside, the Twitter person/machine/AI bot wrote me back to confirm that I had indeed been the one to take it.
So that was getting it. Then it took me a while to figure out what the different parts did. People from Clear gave me suggestions via Twitter direct messages that I might try, but that whole first day was still a no-go. Finally, we worked out that I’d just not logged onto the site and completed the steps necessary to register the device. I was surprised at how easily this was accomplished, and when I plugged the device into my computer at another location it worked quite well. However, here at my apartment I can’t seem to acquire a signal unless I have the computer right in the windowsill or I am sitting outside. I’m still working with them to determine how to get this Clearspot thing set up, which I suppose would grant me WiFi access throughout the apartment. Until then, I just make do with two levels of Internet. I must say that I am impressed with the download speeds on Clear, as well as the fact that I can now smoothly stream content. If I can in fact get the signal issue dealt with, I think I’ll keep it.
As Spring Break 2011 winds down, I feel a mixture of contentment and nervousness. Contentment, because I am constantly reminded of the fortune I have of being surrounded by good people. I spent much of the weekend with my cousin and his girlfriend watching the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men’s basketball tournament. She cooked up nachos and tacos, and on Saturday following the games we went out for a fun meal and conversation at the Carolina Ale House in Durham. The University of North Carolina got all the way to the tourney finals where they took on Duke today, but sadly they lost by a wide margin. They’d not really come out strong against any of the teams they’d previously faced in the tournament, but were able to overcome fairly substantial deficits to snag the games from the university of Miami and Clemson University on Friday and Saturday.
And why am I nervous? Well, because I’m not really sure what to expect for this second half of the semester. I do know that at some point, probably soon, I will get this literature review back. The thought of that makes my throat dry. I don’t think I’ll have anymore major projects to worry about for the rest of the semester, just more counseling sessions and activities for the research course. I guess the main thing there is to focus on continuing to read, write, and prepare adequately for everything that is listed on the syllabus.
I wanted to do my brackets for the NCAA tournament, as is tradition on this day. I’m just trying to work out how things are designed this year, as it seems there are now 68 teams in the field. Huh? I wonder if the 4 extras play on Tuesday or what? I probably won’t be able to determine whom to pick until the number is widdled back down to 64, as my little brain can only handle so much craziness. I do know that the University of North Carolina was given a number 2 seed, and according to the Yahoo Sports bracket listings, they will open play against Long Island University on Friday at 12 PM from Charlotte. I’ll be done with class then, yay! They have a tough draw, but as someone who writes about Tar Heel sports pointed out, this draw still beats last year’s.
And that’s about all I have for now. I’m sure I’ll be back as next week ends, to cover whatever forms of madness have occurred since then. Out.