Coffee heat rising

Cox vs Ooma: Erring(?) on the Side of Caution

So I sent the Cox tech away while I thought about the options presented by the coming exit from copper land lines on the part of Our Honored Communications Provider. It seemed to me that what the guy proposed to do was not one helluva lot different from switching the land line to VoIP. Big difference: Ooma, a prominent VoIP provider, costs about five bucks a month. Cox, having purchased a few Arizona corporation commissioners, soaks its customers for $35.

Find a guy who will babysit me through connecting VoIP, a chore that I do not feel technologically competent enough to engage. So, it’s off to the Ooma website to order up the device needed to connect through their…network, platform, or whatever it is.


Since last I reviewed this service, Ooma has added a lot of new features. In the process, they’ve added to their website. One of the additions is a certain brain-banging opacity. Nowhere, far as I could tell, can you find a page that says “Buy this, Get this, Pay this per month.” They babble on about a “smart phone for your home” (I don’t want a smart phone, dammit! I can’t figure out how to use those things), but it’s unclear whether you have to buy their phone sets to connect through their service, or whether your existing handsets will work.

Call a sales rep and get…what? Yes: a person who simply has no fuckin’ clue! No joke. So small is the clue this chickadee has that she cannot even understand the question I’m asking!

Yes. So alien is the concept that a person might have actual phones in different rooms in her house that she is incapable of grasping that I’m not talking about cell phones.

I think…fukkit. These are hoops I am just flat not gonna jump through. At least when I call Cox, I get a human being right away, and that human being usually has at least a FEW measurable IQ points between the ears. That, I suppose, is worth $35 a month.

I guess.

So now I have another Cox dude slated to come over next week and convert the damn phone system.

Do I WANT this conversion? Shit, no. My feeling is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You know and I know this is going to create some kind of PITA, driving up the blood pressure, creating vast inconvenience, and eventually eliciting yet another hummingbird-like rage.

In a few days, we will have telephones that go down every time the electricity is out (that will be once or twice a year), every time Cox’s cables are down (that will be every goddamn time a drop of rain falls and every time the City digs up the roads, an ongoing endeavor whose sole purpose apparently is to keep their employees busy), every time the WiFi modem disconnects itself (not so frequent as before, but still unpredictably often), and…hey! EVERY TIME I NEED A PHONE URGENTLY.

Of phones and securities and numerals…

So, to start with the securities part: We’re told yesterday’s crash is a “normal,” nay even a “healthy” correction. The US market has wobbled around all day, closing up 567 points, though that’s not true all over the planet. My investment guru doesn’t seem to be very exercised. Says he: “We were certainly due for a pullback as the market has been going straight up for some time. I don’t think it is anything to get overly worried about. We do have a position that we will sell to raise cash if the market breaks down further.” Meanwhile, at the endlessly entertaining circus playing inside the Beltway, we have this amusing story.

Ever feel like you fell off the tightrope spanning the Gorge of Unreality? 😀

Yesterday I flew into one of my fits of hummingbird rage when SDXB jangled me up in the middle of the tedious morning blood-pressure measuring ritual, causing a spike into the 140s. DAYum, but I hate the sound of the accursed phone ringing.

Once I calmed down and alit on a branch somewhere, I began to reflect upon the effing phones, which very rarely are rung by friends. Most people email me these days. Usually what’s on the other end of the line is a robocaller, and of course that’s what made me so angry — I assumed it was another nuisance call. The phone is so fucking annoying because — among other things — it is so fucking LOUD.

For safety (so that I can reach a phone if I fall), there’s an extension in every room, many of them within easy reach of the floor. All well and good, in a little-old-lady sense, except…that adds up to eight phones!

No wonder the things lift you up out of your seat when they ring in chorus!

Contemplating this state of affairs, I chanced to wonder if it was possible to adjust the volume on the things. Or even turn the damn janglers altogether OFF.

Dug out the owner’s manuals. Believe me, figuring it out was not easy — the instructions are scattered in three places through 40 pages of obscure how-to instructions for functions you do not want, never have wanted, and never will want. But finally, LO! I did discover that not only can the volume be turned way down, you actually can turn the ringers off. Not only that, but the annoying, incomprehensible talking caller ID on the ancient Panasonic hidden in the family room cabinetry — which mysteriously is compatible with the vast set of Uniden cordless phones — actually can be made to SHUT UP!

I’ve tried to shut that thing up in the past, with no luck. Even though the manual says it can be done, it directs you to a function button that does not exist on the set! Of course. But somehow, by accident, I managed to shut it off. The other handsets were pretty easy to fix; turned off all but two ringers, and those I turned down as low as they will go.

So now when the phone rings, it’ll be annoying but it should not be tooth-jangling.

Speaking of annoyances, I made a surprising little discovery. If you take a nap in the afternoon — or maybe just lay down for an hour or so, without even sleeping — you can beat the tendency of your blood pressure to rise late in the day.

Yesterday I was pretty infuriated (you wonder why my BP is high? Because I’m mad as a hummingbird about half my waking hours…) when as an afterthought I took an evening reading and found the damn blood pressure elevated into the 140s. It hasn’t been that high in weeks, even though the hip thing has had me too crippled to walk more than about a quarter-mile — and that far only in the past couple days.

Yesterday was the last day of Week 4 in my six-week effort to lower average blood pressure into the low 120s or (preferably) the 110s, and this stratospheric set of readings was the last reading of the week! To my dismay, it pushed the week’s average from 125.7/82 to 128.4/82.7. I was enraged, needless to say, since there hadn’t been a reading in the 140s for quite a while.

Think this happened because right beforehand I spent two hours with a computer on my lap and my feet crossed and propped on an ottoman, without once budging. Obviously, that kind of immobility can’t be good for you. But still…seriously??????? 146/90? Really????

This morning, though, after an hour or so of physical therapy exercises and dog wrangling, the figures were back in their more typical range: 121/82. Not as low as I’d like, but not life-threatening.

Out of curiosity, then, I decided to see what would happen if I took a nap. In the past researchers have imagined that a regular afternoon siesta may lower overall blood pressure (this is not a great source, but just now I’m feeling too lazy to look up the studies…they’re out there, though). Some speculate that the mere anticipation of an afternoon nap may lower the numbers. More recently, though, other researchers claim to have found evidence that napping increases the risk of hypertension.

Well, I’m not fond of sleeping in the daytime. Life is too short as it is, without wasting part of every day in bed. On the other hand, I sure don’t want to take those pills. So as a practical matter, I didn’t actually fall asleep this afternoon. But I did lay down and rest. The result: average at 5:30 p.m. was 118/81, one helluva lot better than yesterday, that’s for sure. And the lowest reading in that set was an amazing 114/81.

Cardiodoc would be ecstatic.