Saturday, March 10, 2007

Into each fall, a life must rain

media cabinetOne of those rare biweekly updates because I have a major stupidity that was just starting to unfold while the previous entry was being written. Also a chance to make public that I have made the call and will be moving from Earthlink dialup to Qwest DSL. As a result, my email addresses will be changing and I'll be relocating my websites. The addresses you should be using to get to my pages will not change -- for Say Something Cryptic, for Laughter is the Spackle of the Soul -- will not change, so you shouldn't see any major difference if your bookmarks are what they should be. However, the email addresses for contacting me will move to Gmail: things related to Spackle, Cryptic, or Everyday Stupidities should be addressed to SaySomethingCryptic (at) and my personal email will be moving off of Mindspring to TheDamnMushroom (at) -- I didn't have much of a choice on the personal address, I've never been particularly fond of having a swear word in my email address but, same as with other major email and messenger services, the names "themushroom" and "the.mushroom" were already taken on Gmail by the time I got around to creating a new account. Update your addressbooks and Post-It Notes accordingly. I'll still have the email addresses and the [you shouldn't be using] direct paths to my webspaces until April 7 so don't panic.

Above is the media cabinet mentioned in the last post, which is sitting to the right of the leather chair in the right corner of my livingroom. You can see where the glue lines are. *sigh* Below is the entertainment center pictured in the last post, this time with its doors open. I'd be painting the doors right now but I have one or two houseguests coming today so don't want to fume up the guest bedroom.

Time for some stupidity! I've seen ads online for Verizon DSL, which offers a 768kbps downstream service [nontechnical: it's not full throttle 'high speed', but it's still 20 times the speed of dialup] for $10 a month for the first three months and $20 a month for the rest of the year. I had done some shopping around and found the usual price for DSL and cable is $40-$50, which is rediculous, so this was a good offer. I called their order number and the voice said there was a 53 minute hold time. Er, no, there's no way the queue to the SALES line would be that long. I called the customer service number, and three transfers later (and only two minutes of hold) I got a nice representative who informed me what none of the ads or the website said: Verizon doesn't go into Qwest's service area, not even for home phone service. Well, so goes that. Qwest, whom historically I have thought total boobs, has an offer of $31 a month for 1.5mbps downstream [nontechnical: average zippy speed for DSL if your phonelines can handle it, 40 times the speed of dialup] with a 'this price for life' promise with two year contract plus can be lower if you have other services. They're my home phone so this would knock $5 off my Internet bill, thereby my DSL would cost only five dollars more than my existing dialup. So I decided to take the plunge.

I went through Qwest's web form for ordering, and it was choking on my home address. I've had Qwest service (formerly known as US West) since 1994 and I've been at this address since 2000, and so you'd think they'd know what my address is, especially since the bills come to the right place. But if you remember my rant from when I first moved into this house, about how when I was requesting they install a couple new phone jacks (for which they wanted $135), you can tell them five times where your house is, and your service and billing will be correct, yet they'll still say they can't find your house. (I installed the jacks myself at the time they should have been here doing it but were a mile away. They got nothing but a nasty phone call from Paige.) So I manage to wend my way through the web form, usually by data entry attempts failing being followed by the site offering me the info from my account so I could tick the checkbox (gee, if you have this data already why aren't you autopopulating the fields? or asking at all?), it says the order was unsuccessful so call this number and give this case code. Fine. Called that number, gave that case code, and a human being pushed the order through after seeing there were address difficulties. Her fix, which I found out after business hours through a confirmation email, was to happy-click the first thing that was offered when she entered my correct address. I don't mean wrong house number or even wrong street number, I mean they've somehow changed "245 57th St E, Dildonica WA 98169" to "245 North 'E' St, apartment 57, Dildonica WA 98105" [fifteen miles away]. The modem order was sent right then and there, meaning I'd have to get the UPS tracking number from them later in the week then call UPS to have the box rerouted, and Jah only knows about the line itself. So the next morning I got my line address corrected with Qwest, who said the billing address was correct but the addresses for everything else had been changed by the previous person. (No surprise that billing would stay correct.) Friday 7am I call UPS to get the box rerouted, and it hasn't been checked in yet so they can't do it... box last seen 40 miles away at 2am. I keep refreshing UPS's tracking site until it shows up at 8:50am (and I leave for work at 9:00am) so call them back, and they get the info to reroute. Of course, the update on the tracking site said it was put in a truck at 5am and it was headed to a location 15 miles away on a Friday, so it won't be until it is on the right truck on Monday that I'll have it. I called Qwest to make sure they had the right line provisioned, they say they do. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, Qwest has both emailed and called to say my line is ready... I have no way of testing this. So either I'll be cruising along on Monday evening, or I'll be bitching here, through dialup, about Qwest's inept 'spirit of service'.

entertainment system, doors open

Hey! Congratulations on getting DSL. I thought you had a high speed connection, actually. I sent you an e-mail a few days ago, but I better go back and see where I sent it to.
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