Friday, March 05, 2004

At Least It's Friday

This is always an interesting time to live in Ohio. It's currently 67° outside, and it's expected to reach the low 70s this afternoon. Yes, it's only March 5, and spring doesn't officially start for another 16 days. If it does reach those temperatures, it'll break the record of 68° set back in 1894, I think. That's pretty cool. Of course, I wouldn't go quite so far as to say it's "nice" outside. The temperature is awesome, but it's overcast and occasionally raining. Oh, and have I mentioned the wind? Gusts are reaching 50 miles per hour. This is a windy section of the world (Bowling Green is actually developing a windmill farm to help power the town, which I think is an awesome idea...I'm going to write more about this eventually), but this is a lot of wind even by our standards.

Also, it's supposed to snow tomorrow. Just flurries, no accumulation, but still...70s one day, snow the next. Yep, this is Ohio in March.

I had a bit of a frustrating situation this morning. It's over now, and it really wasn't that big of a deal in the first place, but I'm experiencing some residual irritation. Since writing is cathartic for me, you get to hear all about it.

Tickets went on sale this morning for Cleveland Indians games. Personally, I dislike the Indians. I do, however, like the Cincinnati Reds, and the Reds are playing a series in Cleveland in June. Cleveland is closer to Bowling Green than Cincinnati is, and I've never been to a game in Cleveland, so I decided to try to get tickets.

I went online and got to the ticketing website promptly at 9:00, which is when tickets were scheduled to start selling. My first several attempts prompted "We're Sorry" responses, which indicated that they had a "high volume of transactions" and that I had to try again. I wasn't exactly surprised by that, but it obviously didn't thrill me. I was at least encouraged that the tickets went on sale when they were supposed to, and they weren't having any glitches.

After several tries, the site finally presented me with a set of tickets I could purchase. However, the graphic which illustrates where the seats are located in the stadium would not come up, so I had no idea where the seats were located. I tried to right-click on the graphic for the "Show Picture" option, but the site coders decided to disable that function. A section number was listed for the seats, but I'm not familiar with Jacobs Field, and thus had no idea what that number meant. I opened a new window and scrambled to find a seating chart for the stadium, but they only give you a minute and a half to decide if you want the tickets or not, so they timed out.

This kicked me back out to the main ticket screen, where I had to start all over again. Again, I started getting the "We're Sorry" response. After several tries of this, the screen stopped working. Clicking the "Continue" button did nothing--it didn't even try to load a new page. Conveniently, there are no navigation links from that window (and the right-click function is disabled), so I had to close the window and start all over once again.

"We're Sorry." "We're Sorry." "We're Sorry." After about a million repetitions, I wanted to pound my head on my desk. Eventually I got through again, and it gave me some more tickets I could purchase. They happened to be what I was looking for, so I said I would take them. Keep in mind, I'm doing all of this at work--I clicked away from the window for a moment to do some actual work, and when I came back to it I saw "This page cannot be displayed." What?!?! Wonderful. I went back (right-click worked this time) and tried again, and was told that I had exceeded the allotted time and that my tickets had been released.

A certain amount of swearing took place at this point.

I tried again, and received several more heartfelt apologies, and finally got through once again. They offered me another set of tickets, which actually turned out to be just a bit better than the ones I had procured just a few moments before. I accepted them. I didn't click away from the window this time--if it was going to screw up, I was at least going to watch it happen. I'm pleased to report that this time it went off without a hitch, and I got the tickets. Finally.

This whole process took about 45 minutes. It probably wouldn't have taken that long if I had just called the ticket office, even including the time I would have had to spend on hold. At least I got the tickets, and right now that's all I care about. The Reds just better win that game, dammit.

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