Friday, May 27, 2011

Krebs oder Cholera

In the words of the immortal Mae West, the Hollywood icon and not the personal flotation device, "when choosing between two evils, I like to try the one I've never tried before." Gesagt, getan. What's said is done. About a month ago on a Friday in the late afternoon, our home phone and our Internet simultaneously spit the bit. It wasn't the first time it hadn't worked and may well prove to NOT be the last time but it was my last straw.

About two years ago we swapped out and consolidated TV, phone and Internet service providers and went with a giant monolithic communications conglomerate. Lots of choices, lots of channels, bandwidth so deep and large you'd wade in at least up to your shoulders and beyond and don't forget that award winning phone quality. Sounds like a TV ad, right? Sort of is, and for a while at least it sort of was.

And then the high speed Internet started to get slow-that's not really true of course. It seemed to get slow is a more accurate description. The cable TV signal which was sort of iffy on some channels on most days when it wasn't iffy on most channels on some days slid a bit as well and telephone service. Well, gotta tell ya it's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore about a home land line. It's like an appendix. I have one but don't know why.

The outage lasted through mid-day on Sunday when Bob came out and fixed what, as it happens, two other cable TV guys had goobered up while at the house the previous Friday when oh so coincidentally things got stupid even as they were getting back in their van. After two hours of wheedling on a cell phone that evening we had a promise of Bob by Sunday if we were lucky and then after a half hour on the land line on Monday afternoon a grudging adjustment on my bill for forty two hours of no service for two of the three services for which I fork out over two hundred and ten smackers a month netted me twelve bucks. Thanks.

The online offer from the phone guys, themselves the blackest of the black-hearted monopolies earlier in my lifetime, came wie gerufen and the installation happened on Monday. So far, so good but also so what. I've watched us go from rabbit ears that Dad maneuvered to keep the snow to a minimum through Community Access Television, CATV, out at Harvey's Lake to the really big bucks for cable operators who now own TV networks.

There's no way I can watch all of this television, but I am willing to die trying when I'm not racing on the new, but old, Internet connection and not calling anyone named Roger on my phone. The cable guys had close to two hundred channels; the phone pholks have over four hundred, I think. Turns out it's not a federal law that ESPN has to be on channel 29. Either that or the telephone TV is an outlaw, I don't know which, but I'm back, in my dotage, to being a hunter gatherer. As it happens, Springsteen was only half right but that's because he wasn't a math major.
-bill kenny

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