Monday, June 20, 2005


Some things that have crossed my mind over the course of the fourteen days since my last real post:

  • More Internet woes have cropped up. I've found a temporary fix, but it's highly inconvenient--whenever I want to use the Internet, I have to unhook the cable that runs into the splitter that provides a signal to my televisions and to my modem, and plug that cable directly into the back of the modem. Therefore, the cable Internet and cable television do not work at the same time. It's not a huge deal, but it's highly irritating, since they're supposed to work at the same time. That's the main selling point, right? Switching the cables out all the time is a huge pain in the ass. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable runs an ass-backwards customer service department. The local office is only open while I'm at work, and even if you call the local number during those hours, you're directed to a non-local call center. They only offer service appointments during the time I'm at work. I've been able to talk the local office into bending that, but I obviously can't do that if I can't talk to them. So I'm not sure how I'm going to solve my problem, short of firebombing the local office and finding an alternative ISP. Unfortunately, we don't have a phone line here at the apartment, so switching to DSL isn't a viable option (and I'd shoot myself if I had to return to the stone ages of dial-up connectivity). The only real option is just to get it up and running regularly again, as soon as I can find a way to get their freakin' attention.

    At times in the past, the lack of a reliable Internet connection would have been little more than a minor inconvenience. Those days are past. I now depend on the Internet to manage my finances and pay my bills. It's also my connection to the rest of the world, as my means of communicating and having news delivered. Sure, in the absence of Internet, I could use my (cellular) phone to call friends and family, but I don't. More importantly, they, having no way of knowing my Internet connection is down, generally won't do the same. For instance, during a rare period of connectivity the other day, I received a message with the subject line "New Phone Number." Now, had I not gotten that e-mail, and tried to call that particular friend, guess what. I would have been unable to reach her, because I wouldn't have had her new number. She, of course, didn't think to call me to tell me her new number, because I have the Internet. Right? I mean, this is the 21st century. Everyone has the Internet.

    Really, it's gotten to the point where an Internet connection is only slightly less vital than electricity. It just has to be there. For customer service to be so spotty for an important service such as this shows a concentrated lack of intelligence and concern on the part of Time Warner.

  • Unfortunately, my Internet problems are not the only technological issues I've been faced with recently. About a week and a half ago, my car's "check engine" light came on as I was on my way to the gym after work. I stopped to have it looked at, and was told they would need me to leave it with them so they could test the engine while it was cold. I managed to drop it off and leave it the next day while I was at work (which turned into an experience unto itself). Luckily, they were able to find a problem and take care of it for a relatively reasonable price. Not so luckily, I was told when I went to pick it up that the car would have a "low idle" for a while as the engine grew accustomed to its new circumstances.

    Apparently, a "low idle" means that the car will have trouble starting, and then will threaten to stall anytime I take my foot off the accelerator for any reason. I've gotten used to braking with my left foot since then, because stalling at intersections and while turning corners makes for a less than optimal situation. I've been pondering exactly how long I should give the engine to recover before I return the car to the shop for further investigations. Fortunately, it started acting a little more normal this afternoon.

    Still, trouble with my car's engine gives me cause for concern. The car itself isn't that old--it's a 2000 model--but I've driven it a lot. It has about 117,000 miles on it right now. I take decent care of it--oil changes every 3,000 miles and all that--but still, that's not a low number of miles. If something catastrophic happens anytime soon, it's going to mean real trouble for me. I have been looking around at information on different types of vehicles, though, so that when the time comes I'll be at least mildly prepared. If my beloved Neon can keep itself together for just a few more months, I should be on a more solid financial footing to purchase a new car.

  • I definitely need to get my car into decent working order before I try to trade it in, but I also need to get it to a point where it's reliable for my own use. My favorite time of year, football season (and, more specificially, high school football season) is inching its way closer each day, and I'll be spending a fair amount of time on the road each weekend. Sure, summer doesn't even start until tomorrow, but the season begins just shortly over two months from now.

    I was all set to get a high school football fix a couple of weekends ago. There was an alumni game between my own Troy Trojans and the hated Piqua Indians the first weekend of June. I was all set to go, and I was really looking forward to seeing some of the guys from the past step onto the field once again. It was flag football, of course, instead of full contact, but it still would have been a lot of fun. Most notably, it would have been another chance to see Ryan Brewer play. Brewer was the best high school football player I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a few), winning Ohio's Mr. Football award his senior year (playing the entire season with a broken hand, I might add) and going on to play at the University of South Carolina. He was always electrifying to watch, and he's probably the main reason I'm as big of a football fan as I am today.

    At any rate, we didn't make it to the game. Brandi had her heart set on going out with her friends Cricket and Adam, so I acquiesced and stayed here in town. They plan on trying to make this alumni contest an annual thing, so hopefully I'll get a chance to attend in the future. Oh, and the Trojans won, and that's always a good thing.

  • As much as I love the Reds, lately they've been almost physically painful to watch. What the hell is going on down there? This team has some good players, and they shouldn't be this bad. They're just wildly inconsistent. It's almost easier to watch a game when they get behind early, so I can cling to the hope that they can come back. If they get ahead early, I have to sit there and get really frustrated as they find ways to let the other team get back into it. All hopes for doing anything important this season are gone, but it would be nice if they could at least find their way into mediocrity. Watching them suck this bad is too much to take. Still, Brandi and I have tickets to attend a game in Cincinnati during the July 4th weekend, and I'm looking forward to it. Good team or bad, there are few things as nice as a day at the ballpark.

  • We had a picnic today at work. Well, it wasn't really a picnic, because we didn't eat outside, but the company president and controller brought in some ribs and chicken for everyone, and they even paid us through our lunch break. That was nice. I have to give the company credit for doing nice stuff like this for employees every now and then and really trying to make it a friendly place to work. I ended up sitting with my boss, the company president, the controller, and the HR manager. I'm not sure how that happened, but it was a nice time, and the food was awesome.
  • No comments: