Saturday, December 15, 2007

Morons at Delta Airlines Customer Care

On Tuesday I was on Delta flight 1662 from Orlando to Cincinnati.

While on that flight, I ended up losing my phone. I talked to the folks at the Columbus service counter who were very nice and texted Cincy to let them know about the problem. I ended up talking with the Columbus connector flight attendant who saw nothing during her sweep of the connecting flight.

When I got home I decided to place a call to baggage service for assistance. I got someone overseas handling the call, who took down my information, but gave me no claim ticket number, or any way to track my incident. I let it go because they did take down my information.

Late Wednesday evening I discovered that it actually fell out of my pocket in seat 16E into seat 16D....I know this for certain, since I have a picture of it.

So on Thursday, I decided to call baggage service again and get a status update. The person was beyond rude, telling me I had to wait for a call. He wouldn't answer my question about a status, and just told me I had to wait. A simple, "We haven't found anything yet" would have been halfway decent but I didn't get that. I said "Thanks for nothing", hung up the phone and began to compose the following email.


Name: Mr Michael Cornell
Email Address :
SkyMiles Number:


Email about Past/Future travel: Past
Nature of Comment: Complaint Concern
Email Pertaining to: Customer_Service
Email about Other topic:


I am very disappointed in the service provided by your baggage claim
department. On Tuesday evening, I placed a call to the service
department to state that I believe I lost my phone on the 1662 flight
from Orlando to CVG. My wife took a picture of the me while I was on
the flight asleep, and the phone is lying in 16D right next to me in 16E
and my 2 year old son in 16F. The landing was rough and a magazine my
son had been playing with fell to the floor from 16D. Probably the
phone fell as well.

So I called today to get a status update. The rep said that I need to
wait for a call from you. I just wanted an update on the ticket that
should have been opened to look for this item. The issue is, I don't
believe that the first person ever took down my information. By this
time i should have had some information on if the phone was found or not

so i can make appropriate arrangements.

The phone is a Motorola K-Razr. it is white, has a mirrored front and
has a crack on the mirrored front that runs through the camera lens on
the phone from the top to the right hand side.

The only folks who I believe did take my information seriously were
those at the baggage claim in Columbus when i discovered the missing
phone. They sent a teletext to Cincinnati to have someone look for it.
Unfortunately i have not been kept up to date on progress and I am very
disappointed in that I cannot call for a status.
Would you like a reply to your e-mail?:yes


Flight Number : 1662
Date : 12/11/07
Departure City : Orlando
Ticket Number :


Flight Number :
Date :
Departure City :
Ticket Number :


Baggage concern category: Carry_on_lost
Baggage Ref. # :

Here is the brilliant response in return:
Dear Mr. Cornell,

Thank you for the internet message regarding your cell phone that was
left on board Flight Dl 1662 on 12/11/07.

When we find an unclaimed article, it is turned in to the Baggage
Service Department in that city, and it is held for a period of time
awaiting owner identification. We are conducting a thorough search and
will let you know immediately if we locate your property.

Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your selection of Delta and
will always welcome the opportunity to be of service.


Customer Care
So now I'm sitting here wondering, this guy is a manager? He covered none of my concerns. I'm pretty sure this was a form letter, because it addresses nothing. I thought I should clarify things:

I appreciate the response, but it still doesn't tell me the following:

My original concern was documented properly? What is the ticket number?
Why the 2nd call was handled so poorly?
What the telephone number to CVG's baggage service department is so I
can contact them.
So you can imagine my anticipation as I opened the email this evening:

Thank you for contacting us.

We are sorry to hear that your item has been lost. Our Baggage Service
Center will be happy to assist you in locating your lost article. Please
contact baggage service at 800-325-8224 between the hours of 6:00
a.m.-2:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your selection of Delta and
will always welcome the opportunity to be of service.


Margarita XXXXX
Claims Manager
Central Baggage Service
That number she gave me...that's the same number with the two jerks who I don't trust to have actually helped me! Another freaking form letter. They were most certainly not happy to assist me, since they told me to basically bug off the second time I called.

My final response:

Sorry, I'm not calling that line again. They were of little help and rude...could not look up my claim.

It's clear you neglected to read the email thread, because if you did, you would have noted that I did call baggage service and they gave me no assistance.

Funny, I seem to be getting zero assistance from anyone at Delta. I asked for the CVG lost and found number and you gave me the same jerks who couldn't help me before.

I asked for three items and I received none.

I am pretty sure the phone is lost at this point, but no one has made a call on it yet, so I'm still waiting it out.

Eagerly awaiting a response Delta, please try not to use a form letter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Update to TrophyManager Training Script

I've updated the training script to support the new flash based graph. The new graph makes this script less useful, since the graph now shows the detail that was left out before. I contemplating not doing the update, but since the update was very easy, I thought it was worthwhile.

On another note, I've had a lot of requests to combine some of the functionality into other scripts. I would like to do that, but just haven't had the time. I actually would prefer to learn how to make these scripts a legitimate Firefox extension, but haven't had the time. A lot of logic is repeated in all of the scripts, which for you programming geeks, severely violates DRY. Moving to an extension might help to solve some of those issues.

But again, time is the concern.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know about the update.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Human Weapon Connection

Sorry if you were searching for something serious today. But, I went to High School with this guy. He was a year behind me, but, this site and the public persona is just highly entertaining for reasons that you wouldn't understand unless you happened to be around him.

Always was a big fan of the Punisher shirt. That was quality stuff. You see, underneath the badass persona, and wrestler is a comic geek. I gave up wrestling when I entered high school, but many of my friends and acquaintances wrestled. So I followed their high school careers fairly closely, from reading the papers to see where Delran was ranked, to talking about it during library study hall with conversations more compelling than 99% of sports talk radio, and attending matches.

Bill always wore a Punisher shirt before he wrestled. It was part intimidation, part getting the mind prepared for the match. Actually it was probably more the latter. Comics weren't my thing, but as computer geek I totally get geeking out over something like the Punisher.

For the most the Punisher persona worked. I just remember that 99% of the time, Duff destroyed everyone he encountered on the mat. There was that one time he lost at home...very un-Punisher like reaction after that one. I wish I could remember if it was Paulsboro we were getting killed by or what...but a 17 year old Bill handled the loss as a 17 year old would. It probably doesn't mesh with the persona on his marketing page.

The entire reason I found out about this was due to Tennessee taking on LSU this weekend. I thought, hey, whatever happened to Duff, since he went to Tennessee to play football. Googled him. And found all of this out. Gotta love the Internet and cable. I'm even more upset that he apparently played for the Destroyers and I didn't get a chance to see him in action. Of course Speilman was coach for the Destroyers then, and they relied heavily on the "Indoor Buckeyes" theme, so who knows how much he actually would have played.

Now I just need to see this Human Weapon show, because, well, I just haven't seen it yet. I wonder if he's on LinkedIn :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

More on that Case Playoff Win

A fine article Sunday in the PD regarding the 21-20 playoff win by Case over Widener. The Observer chimes in as well.

A remarkable 4th quarter with a 97 yard touchdown pass for Case to take a 15-14 lead midway through. Case would score 18 points in the 4th, with the final 6 coming after Widener scored with 1:27 left in the game.

After Widener missed the 2 point conversion, Case drove the field converting a 4th and 10 and a 4th and 13 before a 4th down with 7 seconds left at the Widener 7. They were able to convert and punch the ball into the endzone as Sophomore QB Dan Whalen completed a remarkable drive with a pass to Jeff Mayer.

This is not even close to the Case I remember...the last winning season they had was in 1991...when I was waiting to see if I would be able to get into school. I think they had four wins one year when I was there which was "huge".

Case won't be able to keep coach Debeljak for long if he keeps this up...but he is crucial because he "gets" Case. Stuckey sure didn't when he was there. Debeljak is clearly working within the system of Case and working to make sure his kids are prepared for the game as well as prepared for class. If Terry Pluto's (formerly of the Beacon Journal) column from Friday's Plain Dealer doesn't put into perspective the job Debeljak has done, then nothing will. This guy is coach of the year in D III. No doubt in my mind.

This week will be interesting for preparation for Wabash with the Thanksgiving holiday. There should be fewer tests and papers due at this point since finals are just around the bend. Wabash (a liberal arts college for men), likely does not have the same challenges in organizing practices around o-chem study groups and lab classes.

For those who were at the university in the early to mid're likely as shocked as I am with the success. You're probably not quite sure how to say "Go Case!" because there was little reason to before...but what the heck....

"Go Case!"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wow, Case Wins!

I don't know if the video/audio will remain available at the University's athletic site in archive form (hint, needs to), but Case's 21-20 victory over Widener was shocking.

A team, no one expected to be in the playoffs, whose players were more concerned about O-Chem tests (love those weed-em out classes), goes out and takes case of business at home against Widener with a 2-minute drill drive at the end of the game to win.

Case takes on NCAC champ Wabash next week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Using TestNG to drive "eyeball" testing

Second of my Best of Internal Blog (BoIB) series originally posted on 9/6/2007 and updated 11/14/2007

In my daily job, I do something that NBC would consider "green". I digress, but wasn't that an awful promotion last week? I help large companies save paper (and money) by presenting documents they would normally send to their customers through the mail. 99% of these documents are bills.

During my time working with various documents, I developed a tool based upon the testing framework TestNG. This tool allows us to look at a "cycle" of documents and test various things on each of them. We need to be sure that we're presenting each item to the user as it looks on their paper statement. It is most useful when we have a client who cannot generate an edge case test file for us due to the legacy nature of the billing system.

I had an opportunity to dredge it up again. The code for this tool is over two years old, but works relatively well with little fanfare. It grabs a list of identifiers from the database for each document, generates a URL to each document and then browses the HTML document using HtmlUnit. However, I recently found it has a new use.

The latest use is PDF testing. Some of our clients use a document format from IBM known as AFP. It's a high speed printer format, but it is similar to PDF in many ways in that it describes where on a page to display text. It is possible to generate a PDF document from and AFP document using a number of tools.

So how can the document tester help? Simple, create a special test class that is setup to archive the PDFs for each statement to disk.

Here's the test method inside TestNG (obviously I'm not repeating all of the bootstrappy type stuff that gets the URL to the document)

@Test(parameters = {"filePath"})
public void testGetPDF(String filePath) {
List formList = theDocument.getForms();
Iterator formIterator = formList.iterator();
// 1st Form gets the PDF
HtmlForm myForm = (HtmlForm);
HtmlInput myInput = myForm.getInputByName("viewDocument");

try {
Page newPage =;
WebResponse resp = newPage.getWebResponse();
ByteArrayInputStream pdfStream = (ByteArrayInputStream) resp.getContentAsStream();
ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
File pdfFile = new File(filePath + this.theDocumentID + ".pdf");
FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream(pdfFile);
int count = 0;
int data =;
while (data > -1) {
data =;
} catch (Throwable t) {
org.testng.Reporter.log("Throwable: " + t.getMessage());

Pretty neat! Now you get a directory full of PDFs that you can archive and ship off to your customer, or browse yourself. It sure beats a manual process of click and reload, and assures a proper test of using the actual application to generate the document. You could obviously save HTML or CSV files as well, but they can be tested using classes within the testing tool, which is obviously more efficient. This is simply making "eyeball" testing a bit faster.

Career Aspiration Killer #1 (BoIB)

First of my Best of Internal Blog (BoIB) series originally posted on 8/23/2007:

You Tube.

Right around the 4:21 mark in this clip:

Sure it's seven years ago...but that kisses any thoughts of political office away doesn't it? :)

Now if I could only find those clips of me at wrasslin events from back in the day.

Recent Blog Silence

Thought it was time to offer some insight as to why the postings here have been few and far between over the past year.
There are two major reasons, the first being a young family at home which takes up a lot of time. This is not the main reason, however. The main reason is, I've been focused on Enterprise 2.0 efforts at work.
At work, I administer a TWiki and Roller site for our greater team. What started out as a little experiment five years ago with a wiki has become a bit more now. Most of my blogging has gone into writing business specific posts that have too much insider information in them to be posted online.
I've decided that it's time to bring some of those posts externally. As I have time, I'll be taking posts, cleaning them up by removing specific internal examples and names and entering them here. Some of them were actually pretty good entries!
So as I have time, maybe once a week or so, I'll be picking a "best of" post, cleaning it up and dropping it on here along with a date as to when I originally posted it.
I hope you will enjoy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Some Ohio Colleges Are Still Undefeated

So, yes, Ohio State decided to choke this weekend. But there are still some undefeated Ohio teams still Division III.

As expected, Mt. Union is undefeated at 10-0 entering the playoffs. But look who else is 10-0....someone completely unexpected.

No wait for couldn't be...but it is! Ye' Ol' Alma Mater is undefeated?!?! Look at the #2 seed in the UW-Whitewater Bracket.

Yes, it's true, the geeks have risen. Case Western Reserve is 10-0. It's not called Case anymore...thanks to ancient alumni changing the name back from something that was talks and all that (and in 30 years, the "young" alumni will fix that)...but I digress.

Out of the depths of University Circle, the mighty mighty Case Spartans are 10-0. Who would have expected this!

Friday, November 09, 2007

TrophyManager TrExMa Transfer List Hack

OK, one more GM script for TrophyManager.

This one extends the TrExMa hack for all players on the Transfer List. GKs are included as well using the ideas from the forum.

This should be handy due to the National Team releases and many of those players are quite pricey at 50M. Might as well get the most bang for your buck.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Puckrakers - Blue Jackets Blog

If you haven't stuck the Dispatch's Blue Jackets Blog in your favorite feed reader, you should. The coverage has been outstanding. It's timely, unedited (or appears that way) information pretty much as quickly as the two Jackets beat reporters get it.
The downside is, I think the Dispatch may be tracking popularity via actual website hits, which means the Dispatch needs to get with the times and understand the power of the feed reader.

Bill Brownson - Getting Snubbed

Last week, I was minding my own business. Hanging around, expecting the UPS guy to show up. Around 5:30, the doorbell rang. I trotted to the door while our dog barked incessantly, and our children shouted about the door...they get excited about things like that at their age. I opened the door...

But the UPS guy wasn't there. Instead, it was Bill Brownson. I knew nothing about Bill...and originally thought he was selling something...but he was far too appropriately dressed for that. No Bill was running for Columbus City Council. He gave a flyer, told me about himself, and asked if I had any questions.

I probably should have asked him what his stance was on Coleman, but I didn't, since I really didn't think I had a "good" question off the top of my head. This was, after all, the first candidate that had actually shown up at my door in the six years I've been at this address. I didn't even ask him what party he was affiliated with.

So that evening, I peered at his website. Interesting. Good endorsements, but that's not what intrigued me. Fiscal responsibility and the background to potentially know what he's doing. That was good.

Then the Meet Bill page. That was interesting. He's openly gay, formerly high level in the Log Cabin Republicans. I thought it was good that he put that all out there. Then I read that the local gay paper was not endorsing him because he wasn't out enough?!?!

Let's see, meet Bill says "I'm Gay". Pretty out to me. There are quite a few gay folks in the community who are quite publicly in the closet. Bill seems to be pretty far out as far as I'm concerned.

What's troublesome about this, is that the paper isn't basing an endorsement based upon if Bill would be good to have on council based upon his position, it's doing a straight lifestyle snub.
How uncool is that?

Meanwhile, you've got local right wing blogs not supporting Brownson because he's too gay and that he's a "Bush hater". Come on, seriously. If he were to be in the closet about that, I would lose all respect for Brownson. He led the LCR's push against Bush in 2004 because of the Defense of Marriage Act. Well duh! That would seem to be a major principle for the LCRs. In fact, the LCRs would have basically been frauds if they didn't push back on that! If you put yourself in their shoes, of course you're going to be against that.

In the end, Brownson appears to be a guy of principles. Regardless of if you agree with 100% of them (Defense of Marriage), he appears to be on the level with fiscal responsibility and police. And isn't that what you want in city council?

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have known this much about Brownson if he hadn't shown up at my door...but after all of this, I'm making sure to go and cast a vote for him.

Monday, October 22, 2007

YATMGMS - TrExMa Ratings on Squad Page

Yet Another TrophyManager GreaseMonkey Script.

This one generates TrExMa ratings on the Squad page.

Still no real good idea on how to grade GKs.

Friday, October 19, 2007

What's the Deal with FSN-OH HD in Columbus?

On Time Warner at least?

It seems that TW has decided to mesh FSN HD with VS/Golf. When the Jackets are playing, Vs/Golf HD goes away, and FSN HD appears in its place.

It's mighty confusing, since you can't schedule the game to be recorded if you wanted to. Theres nothing on Time Warner's web site regarding this change either.

I don't mind losing VS/Golf HD, except on Saturday nights when a late night Pac-10 game might be shown. It'd just be nice if TWC could tell us what is going on.

UPDATE: Why is it that the game isn't in HD. This makes little sense at all to lose VS/Golf, when the FSN game isn't even in HD

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Greasemonkey Script

Another new script. This one will pull scrape the abilities for the player and calculate the skill of the player as the cool Excel tool TrExMa will.

Provides a handy way to identify the overall skill of a player. Obviously, YMMV, but it should give you a quick estimate on a player's overall ability.

It doesn't work for the Goalkeepers, but TrExMa doesn't have a calculation for them. I'd be interested in any thoughts on computing their skills.

Monday, October 08, 2007

TrophyManager Greasemonkey Script

I started playing TrophyManager in some of the few spare moments I have at work in order to give my brain a reset. You know, one of those things that just gets your brain off of work for a few moments, so you can dive back in with your mind fresh. The game is a soccer management simulation with players from around the world.

So I was checking out the players page with FireBug, when I realized that the training graph provided more information than I expected. The URL for generating the graph contained the ordinal values that make up the training. What I failed to realize at first was that this graph contained the decimal values that make up the training.

So I decided to go ahead and learn some more Javascript by creating a Greasemonkey script to hack the query string of the URL and provide a nice little table to show exact amounts of training. So far people seem to like it. Someone even translated it to Norwegian! Wow, cool!

What else can be hacked in TrophyManager through GM?