It must be global warming at work

It’s raining. Again.

It’s been rainy this entire month; yesterday morning, when I left for work, the weather seemed fine when I walked into the garage, but 90 seconds later, after I’d gotten the car started and backed it out, it was pouring and it kept pouring all the way to work.

It is not supposed to be this wet this late. At least it means that we don’t have to worry about getting the sprinklers fixed yet.

It was like being back in the Dark Ages

Monday evening, I came home and found that my DSL service (DSL Designs, and I’m not providing a link on purpose) was down. I wasn’t surprised to be unable to reach a human being at my ISP, because it’s a small operation, but the recording on their service number said that it was a Verizon problem and they were working on it and it’d be fixed soon. So we decided to catch up on some of the backlog of stuff waiting on the TiVo — no problem. A couple of hours later, the phone rang — it was the Rabbi asking if I might be able to help her, because the Temple’s Internet connectivity was down. I thought they were using a different ISP and said that my ISP claimed Verizon was having problems — so she decided that the problem could wait till the morning.

I had to stay home on Tuesday morning — and there was still no DSL. So I used a modem to call into work (one of the nice things about Lotus Notes is that you don’t need continuous connectivity to deal with e-mail); I called the Temple and found out that yes, they were on DSL Designs, too, and they were still down. So I called tech support, and they’d changed the recording; it now said that service was down “due to a discrepancy with Verizon” and that service would be restored later in the day.

The message said the same thing Tuesday evening. I called Verizon to try to get the real scoop, and all that the tech there could tell me was that the service had been suspended — the actual connection was just fine, but no data was being allowed to flow.

No change to the recording on Wednesday. Wednesday evening, I drove over to their office, which was closed; there was a note on the door saying the same thing as the recording said.

Thursday morning dawned, and there was no change. I decided that I should start trying to find an alternate ISP; since I hadn’t had very good luck with Verizon resellers, I tried Verizon itself (same price, by the way), but they said that their ISP was at capacity and they couldn’t help me (though when and if DSL Designs released the lines they owned, they might be able to provide service). I didn’t want to wait forever (our only access to the ‘net was via dial-up to work, which wasn’t appropriate to set up on Jeffrey’s machine), so I asked around at work and heard that Speakeasy was pretty good, so I called them. Someone answered on the first ring, and my order is now in the works (fortunately, I have two phone lines at home, so I can order DSL on the other line instead of having to wait for service to be released).

I came home Thursday — still no service. But the recording at DSL Designs had changed! Now it said, “The Judge has ruled. All DSL Designs/Verizon customers will have service restored by noon tomorrow, and we’ll be open to take your calls tomorrow.” I was skeptical.

We went off to see Michael Chabon give a reading with commentary at Villa Montalvo. It was excellent, and made me want to read more of his books. So when we got home, I wanted to order them from Amazon. I opened up the laptop, and, to my amazement, I had high-speed connectivity again!

And it was still up and running this morning. But DSL Designs is still not answering their phone (you can get into their system, but whether you call sales, service, or billing, you get told, “sorry, we’re closed; you can leave a message”). If I can figure out how to contact them, I’ll cancel the service — I’ve paid through the end of the month, and Speakeasy should be up by then. I hope. If not, I guess I can get by for a few days without real access at home…as long as the TiVo is working, anyway.

Shabbat Shalom!

Home again, avoiding the snow

My original plan for CFP had me returning home on Saturday morning, but when they shortened the last day of the conference, I decided I could make the 7:10pm flight from Kennedy without missing too much. So I left during the last part of the Q&A following Larry Lessig’s speech; I’d let the hotel book me a car service rather than relying on being able to get a medallion cab at 4:30pm on a rainy Friday evening. So the car was waiting for me as soon as I’d reclaimed my luggage, and we took off for the Midtown Tunnel and then JFK. Traffic wasn’t too heavy (except around the Grand Central Parkway), and I reached JFK about 5:20, giving me a little while to make one last check of e-mail before taking my flight home.

As I was walking to the gate, I paused to look at the AltiTunes shop in case they had a movie I’d want to bring home (as if I need any more movies to watch “one of these days”). They didn’t, but while I was looking at the shop, someone strode up to me and got awfully close — I was trying to figure out what was going on, and then I recognized my friend Sam; he’d been in Manhattan for a few days and was flying home on the same flight as I was. He’s not a Friend of American Airlines, and so he had to fly in coach — but he was in the front of coach, and he had more legroom than I did in First! And no seatmate, either. Oh, well….

I’m glad I changed my plans to come home on Friday night; I talked to another friend who was supposed to have flown home via Chicago on Friday — she had to spend Friday night in New York, then had to change her flight on Saturday to go via Dallas because O’Hare was still closed. She wasn’t too happy about it, either.

But here in Los Gatos, the weekend was quiet; I installed my TiVo upgrade (it was easy — it would have been easier if I had known a little less about PCs, or if I’d actually read the instructions carefully before starting to take apart the TiVo) and watched some of the shows that were already on the TiVo waiting for me.

It was back to work today; I expect to spend the next few weeks here, and expect to work from my office a lot of the time.

Right now, I’m sitting at home watching CNN showing a live firefight from Baghdad, listening to the CNN translator translating Abu Dhabi TV’s audio. I wonder if the camera is remotely-controlled or if someone is actually there.