Coffee heat rising

…from Worse to Hilarious?

DATELINE: CHURCH FRONT OFFICE. Okay, okay. I give up whinging about the endless stream of bad luck, minor hassles, major headaches, and downright disasters that have infected every damn day here for the past six weeks or so.

This is no longer terrible, horrible, and downright deplorable. It has evolved into…



Nay, uproarious!

Just when you think nothing more could possibly go wrong…the ENTIRE CITY goes offline.

So we’re told, anyway. The Apple techs and the Cox tech who spent four hours trying to help get my email working were swimming against the stream. Little did they know…even the Cox tech!…that Cox is down over the whole City!

Apparently the degree of down-ness varies by district. From my house, I could at least get Firefox to cruise the Internet. And the phone was working.

I get down to the church, where I cool my heels for four hours once a week, and find that EVERYTHING is down:

The wireless
The outdgoing and incoming phone lines
The in-house phones

Holee ess aitch ai!

The pastor has gone home in frustration, after having tried for quite some time to accomplish his work on his smart phone and about put his eyes out for his trouble.

Other staff are hanging around, filling time with various small manual tasks, except for the musicians, who are giving lessons or practicing.

Hilariously, the Cox tech I spoke with for something over an hour this morning had no idea there was a Cox outage here. And given that some are saying it covers the entire city, that’s quite the little secret to keep from your customer service employees, isn’t it?

Apparently, the extent of the outage varies by district. At my house, MacMail would come on, in a spotty way, though it was operating so slowly that some functions simply wouldn’t work. Yet I had no problem opening web pages, and indeed wrote and published a post for Funny about Money this morning. I thought what was out was the Apple Mail function.

Here, the office is offline, but one of the priests just came in and said she was online at the school, and so was the teacher whose classroom she was working in.

That notwithstanding…the phones and the computers are absolutely positively not working over here, a hundred yards away.

Chortle! I wonder if this is an attack…the Russians strike again. Or the Koreans? The Saudis?

Hmmmm… Will the burglar alarm system here be online? With no phone system operative, how will ADT get the message if the Burglar decides to stroll in and make himself to home?

At any rate, Korean sabotage or not, I’ve about had it with Cox. If they can’t even let their CSRs know about a major service outage, they are not worth the price!

My plan now is to get an iPhone – though one of the staff here was telling me about something called Great Call, designed for old folks who can’t figure out these contraptions. Apparently it has a mode that’s pretty simple to use. But it operates with Samsung. The last time I tried to use one of those types of cell phones, I never could figure out how to work it. Finally just gave up.

Apple is giving classes at its stores. Get an iPhone, and you can go over there and take lessons until you finally get it into your head how to work the damn thing. This is likely to take awhile, because I really don’t want to know how to work such a thing. My head is full of ENOUGH clutter, dammit. But I guess I can’t put it off any longer.

The advantage of an Apple device is that it connects seamlessly with other Apple products – notably MacMail. And I’m told it’s relatively easy for old people to learn to use, which sure isn’t the case for Android devices. Also, they apparently have a highly entertaining robocall blocker, which spoofs a human and makes a live caller truly miserable. That concept, I like.

Get phone

Either from TracFone or from a more conventional provider.
Compare costs.
Also, can you use TracFone to connect the iPad?

Learn to use phone. Ask at Apple store if you can get some lessons before you sign on and transfer the phone number. Or check on Internet for simple lessons on how to use the thing.

I think they’ll let you use a floor model or an extra to sit in on the classes and learn how to operate things.

Sign up and transfer my number to the phone.

Practice a lot at using it. Decide what functions are needed

Call blocker app
Access to Web
Access to Mail
Camera would be nice

Call Cox and cancel the landline

Confirm that it REALLY is true you can call 911 from a cell phone if it doesn’t have minutes or a connection that you’re paying for.

Buy 6 clamshell phones, charge them up, and have them around the house

Remember to recharge the car phone, too.

Look into Earthlink and Great Call.

How reliable are they?
Do they have customer service?
What does it cost?

Sooooo… My VoIP-ish phones were working when I left the Funny Farm. But if the system is by now as thoroughly down there as it is here, when I get home I, too, may have no phone service. I do have a clamshell phone in my car. And a couple of old phones whose recharging cords I’ve lost… 😀 So if I bring the phone into the house at least I’ll have something to use in an emergency.

An hour and a half to go. With no client work to do, I tend to count the minutes when I’m here. Which is weird…was never a clock-watcher when I had a real job. It’s just that…well…it’s awfully quiet here. And really, there’s nothing to do.

And, I think, the computer and other fine features of Our Modern Dystopia infuse a kind of gestalt into everyday life. You don’t sit and just do a single task or series of tasks from beginning to end anymore. You’re either interrupted constantly or you interrupt yourself with the Internet (out of restlessness or curiosity), so that you become accustomed to doing things in tiny, staccato intervals.

Plus it must be admitted that I failed to appreciate just how inconvenient it would be to have a four-hour slab sliced out of my life every week. I did tell them that I didn’t want to do this gig on the same day as choir practice…but ended up here on practice day anyway. So I have to race home, tend to the dogs – one of whom is still pretty sick – grab some food for myself, bolt down dinner, and then turn around and come right back down here.

True it is that I knew this schedule would be a PITA. But…the hectic turnaround really isn’t the issue. The issue is the four hours taken out of the day – and the week. Which is odd: I really didn’t think I had all that much to do. But apparently I do.

Cassie the Corgi seems somewhat better, actually. I suspect she’s about as much better as she’s going to get…and chances are, that itself is a temporary state of affairs. She still coughs occasionally – Valley fever? cancer? But she can bark again (this dog is nothing if she can’t bark!), and she’s eating cheerfully. Haven’t tried to take her for a walk since all this horror story came down – nor has Ruby had a walk. This means their claws are getting so long they can barely dodder…which tells you something about how long our little horror story has been going on. Tonight, of course, I won’t be able to take them out. So…maybe tomorrow morning? Probably not: some workman is supposed to show up at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

An hour and seven minutes to go. {sigh}

The longer I’m not at home, the longer some crazy new thing can’t happen to me! 😀