••• Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Be a Frayed, Cable. Very a Frayed. 

A review: Back in the spring of 2005, my son took an axe to the TV/Wireless underground cable, in the backyard. This was an act for which he received a financial stipend, because, as he hacked the cable to death, he also happened to catch and clear some underbrush.

Clearly, the taking of the axe to the t.v. cable, by a paid employee of this homeowner, is the fault of said homeowner. Why the underground cable was not exactly underground is an issue of moot, since we have already paid for the repair. Although, the question lingers.

So, for one week we were without wireless internet and cable tv. But we owned it. We survived.

After the cable enabler guy pieced once and spliced twice, we were once again wired, and left with a bill for 138 bucks.

One week later, my wireless went wonky. The rare times I made a connection, I was hanging by a pube. Or otherwise booted, without ceremony.

So I called Comcast, and spoke to a Geek God named Wally. Now, I’ve placed several phone calls to Comcast since we’ve had wireless, and always felt that I received good service, over the phone, anyway. That is, until I met Wally.

From the moment Wally asked “what seems to be the problem?” it was Signal Strength Excellent, all the way.

After he asked me which lights on the modem were lit, he was patient and loving as I apologized for being old and feeble and unable to read the pixie print from across the room.

When Wally asked if I had unplugged and replugged the modem, it was as though we were plugging and unplugging, together. Uncannily, Wally sensed that ours was not a typical connection, and therefore dispensed with the remainder of the usually painful protocol of questions. You know, like did I unplug the cordless, reboot the computer, check for morning bikini line stubble?

Then, Wally did something no cable guy has has ever done before. In a calm, assuring, moderately nasal tone, Wally told me of my wireless history. My personal story.

As though my connectivity to the internet was the sweetest of all love songs, in his tiny work cubby, upon his tiny keyboard, he was tapping my fate with his fingers.

And it went something like this:

According to our records, it looks like on May 24, you had excellent reception between 8 and 8:10 in the morning, then again at noon, for about 7 minutes. No, make that 8.


Between 9 and 10 pm, you were in pretty good shape, then….nothing.

Yes. Yes!

The next day, you started off slow in the morning, but escalated throughout the day, reaching a phenomenal peak at about 4:12.

Say my name...!

Then: Nothing.

::sigh:: I remember that day. All too well.

Well, it looks to me like the problem is in the outside line.

You mean, it’s not my fault?

No, my darling Mrs. G., it’s absolutely not your fault. In fact, I’m sending a technician to your home on Thursday. Since the problem is obviously outside the home, you won’t even have to let him in.

Should I give him water, or nourishment?

Ma’am, that’s entirely up to you.

Thank you, Wally.

You’re welcome, ma’am.


Yes, ma’am?

Umm…well…No one’s ever…well…I’ve never had… I mean, nobody’s ever been able to.. it’s like you knew exactly what I needed. And, I’ll never forget this. Ever.

Happy to help, ma’am. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

No, Wally. You’ve done quite enough.
Fast forward to Thursday, June 2, when Tech Blob Joe knocks on the door, saying he’s come to fix the wireless, and invites himself in.
Have you talked to Wally? I asked.


The service rep phone guy. Surely, you know Wally. He's Godlike.

No. I don’t. And don’t call me, surely.

Anyway. Wally said you wouldn’t have to come into the house. That the problem was the outside line.

Wally’s wrong.
Stunned by this outrageous blasphemy, I clutch my breastesses and swoon gently into the wall. Tech Blob Joe takes my movement as an invitiation to enter, and ambles past, asking what seems to be the problem.

So, I tell him. But he doesn’t listen. He asks to see the basement. Then all the computers. He thinks we have too many t.v.'s on one cable, and there’s a problem with the splicer in the basement, but he thinks he can fix it with a couple adjustments. And after 20 minutes, Tech Blob Joe has hooked me up and is out the door.

For about a week following Tech Blob Joe's visit, I admit to enjoying full wireless benefits. Then I went to the cottage for a long weekend. When I returned, the wireless benefits were not so good. Not bad, but not good.

Then I went for another long weekend. Upon my return, the wireless connection was nearly non-existent, with the exception of early morning and late evenings. And by now, I’m about to lose my mind.

So, once again, I call the InCompetent Cast hotline. This time, I speak to Wanda. And I ask her to help me.

Wanda was a doll. Very empathic and reassuring. ::I think I recognized Wanda's voice from the Butterball Thanksgiving Suicide Hotline. Wanda could talk a turkey into a roasting pan. No kidding.::

Without strumming my fate with her fingers, or singing my internet life, with her words, Wanda makes an appointment for the cable guy to come to my house. Again. July 11 (almost one week from the phone call), some time between 8 and noon.

::How convenient. Wanda, I thought you cared! How’s Wally, by the way?::

So, about 11:30 a.m., July 11, Tech Stub Steve* comes knocking at the door, with a piss poor attitude and a chin full of chaw.
*::Tech Stub Steve is dubbed such on account of his having legs just about two inches too short for the rest of his athletic, well-toned body. I imagine Tech Stub Steve was a fairly good athlete, but the distance between his thang and the ground consistently kept him out of the starting lineup. I think you’ve all known a Tech Stub Steve. A short-legged man, with tall dreams. And deep resentments. The emotional issues of the Short Legger is not the same of that of the merely short, well-proportioned man. In fact, I believe that short men, as a species, have gotten the short end of the stereotype stick, so to speak. It’s the Short-Leggers of whom you must be wary. The Disproportionate, if you will. But I really, really digress. I tend to digress a lot, although I try hard to stay away from digression. And Short-Leggers. k. ::

::I’m running out of time and space here, so I’m gonna bring her on home. Sort of. ::

So Tech Stub Steve is here for about 10 minutes, before determining we need a new cable hole outlet thangy.

Trying to be helpful, I tell him what Wally said, so long ago. You remember, about the problem being on the outside line. That it’s not my fault. But Tech Stub Steve only gives me a stare, while sucking long and hard from the chin chaw.

After drilling me a new hole (Short Leggers like that kind of thing. I think it’s The Power. The Power of Hole. Truthfully, it’s kind of fun to say, too. Try it. The Power of Hole.) Tech Stub Steve then packs his tiny tools into his tiny tool kit, and leaves.

Just behind him, I leave for a hair appointment. When I get home, I eagerly fire up the wireless. But instead of getting the smooth sail into my AOL greeting, I get Jack. Squat.

I check the modem. Light is off.
Same Ol’ shit.
Fucking A.

So, I call the NinComPoopCast hotline, once more. This time I get Jen, who apologizes profusely and says she can have someone out as soon as Wednesday. I tell her, in a calm, professional tone, that before I hang up from this call, I want to hear that someone is coming to my house, today, to bring me some fucking wireless, or the next call I’m making is to the local DSL service provider.

After being forwarded to a higher up and being put on hold for a total of 30 minutes, I was informed that Tech Stub Steve would be coming back to service me, as I see fit.

Five minutes later, the now Very Pissy Tech Stub Steve calls to report that he will be here in 15 minutes.

When he finally shows up, he is not happy.

But neither am I. But, years ago I vowed to never again, act a crazy ass bitch in front of a Short Legger. It makes them feel tall, for a minute. And I just ain't giving it up.

He said “I can’t believe this.”
I said “Me either.”

And after about two hours of hooking up new modems, talking to smarter guys on the phone, laying a new line of cable, Tech Stub Steve pronounces that the problem was, actually, outside the house. That the guys who fixed the axed cable, did a very bad job of splicing it, and eventually the wireless connection eroded.

Oh, so the problem was actually outside the house?

Yes, ma’am.

All this time?

I’ll never forget. Ever.

As the Fiber Turns, Some More
Amidst all the boolshit, yesterday, the mailman brought me a package of silky, woolly goodness. All the way from Idaho.

The yarn is a 50/50 silk/wool blend, from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and may be the softest stuff I've ever had chance to caress.

And hugs to my very special benefactress, Miss Kim, who sent me this bounty, just because.

Evidently, Just Because happens. And I'm okay with that. Thanks again, sweetie!

I'm thinking a lacey shawl, but will need to find the perfect pattern. Last night I swatched for Meadow Flowers from The Knitters Stash, but I was disappointed with the look. This yarn needs a special pattern. Lacey, but not too prissy. It needs a pattern with Power. You know, The Power of the Hole.

Any ideas or direction to specific pattern, would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I've been working on a what has become quite a lengthy post, over the past several days. No, it's not this one. Yes, this one is lengthy. I'm sorry, but the other one is too lengthy,too. Sorry again. I'm just trying to warn you. Anyway, with all the internet issues I wasn't able to finish it, but it's coming. But I don't know when. We leave for vacation tomorrow. Yes, I'm on vacation all summer. Okay, let's just say I'm relocating my current vacation location to a place further north, on a lake. Better? Okay. Please, quit with the distractions, already. Actually, I don't know why I'm telling you this. I guess I'm hoping you're still with me, here. After all this. Or maybe I'm trying to see how much shit one blog post can hold. Blogger, don't fail me now.

Later. Much.


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