Friday, July 24, 2009

576 Modem Down

576 Modem Down

Or mow them down. It looks like the tech team at Verizon has finally figured out how they were screwing up the DSL line and (knock wood) fixed the problem. Shows you how dependent we can get on our internet connections. We use them for work, for play, for calendars and heaven knows what-all else. And we, most of us, have come to expect always-on, always-ready connections.

Years ago, with some wireless router troubles, the phone company sent us a spare modem, which was never installed. Since then it had been sitting in the closet while the old one continued to chug along. Finally, it seems, Old Man Modem died.

The instructions say "most connectivity problems can be solved shutting the modem down and powering it up again." This works for awhile. Fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes of rebooting. Okay, this is Alexander Graham Bell's little way of telling us it's time to get out and set up the spare.

Wow! Talk about high speed. Marvelous. Plus the New Guy is a prettier color than Old Man Modem, and these days, everything computer-related has to have a fancy color (optional, at extra cost in most cases.) Okay, New Guy is on the job and everything is perfect. For about an hour. Then, the same thing. No signal.

The last thing you want to do when you have a problem is call customer service. But now, it's unavoidable. Not speaking either Tagalog or Hindi, a smart computer cookie waits until late morning and connects with (miracle, miracle,) the Verizon tech center in Canada, where the lovely Gina does remote control line tests and says there's something wrong. Duh! She can't fix it from there, but she'll "put in a trouble ticket." For anyone who has worked at Bloomberg, "trouble ticket" is like telling you that you have an inoperable disease. We get into a discussion of life in London, Ontario and the contrast between Tim Horton's London coffee and its inferior New York coffee.

Several days pass, and it appears Verizon takes its "tickets" more seriously than does Bloomberg, and on the morning this is being written, a day before its scheduled posting, everything appears to be working "top notch" as Gina the Canadian said it would.

But it's early yet. There's a whole day of potential down-powering that awaits. And just as the last words were being written, in came an automated "courtesy call" from Verizon, saying "We're still working on your problem." Hey, guys -- not "my" problem, yours.


--There appears to be a plot against Al Roker. Not only does he do three of the four hour daily hours on the "Today Show" marathon, but he's got a slot on the Weather Channel, which NBC recently bought. They are trying to work the guy to death.

--Ford turned a quarterly profit, surprising pretty much everyone. Note to the President: You bought us the wrong auto companies. Ask for our money back.

--Talking about Michael Vick with Shawn at the gas station, and he says we Americans have an obsession with dogs. No kidding. Have you seen the obituaries for Gidget the Chihuahua that fronted the Taco Bell ads?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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