comcast connection lost

Well, looks like the “link” with Comcast has finally been lost. It was good while it lasted, can’t complain. Will have to suggest my senior friends go the old-fashioned route, placing a call. Hopefully, Comcast will get the message that there’s a problem with their phone, when the customer rep can’t hear because of the echo that reverberates in his ears. If I can locate an email address for one of my former “guardian angels,” I’ll definitely pass it along. Maybe Comcast’s monstrous growth will bring an end to their charming, small town customer service. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Wish all these new technologically advanced gizmos and gadgets could just work without hiccups. But I guess that’s life, never a dull moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, don’t want to jinx my working internet connection.

been there, done that…hugmamma.

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“calling comcast…earth to comcast”

Well, it may be that Sunday’s a day of rest, as the Lord said, or it may be that my Comcast relationship has been laid to rest. Perhaps my guardian angels Mark, Michael and Amanda have all “gotten their wings,” like Clarence, Jimmy Stewart’s angel in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” And just as he deserved them, so too did mine. I don’t remember if I ever thanked them for their services, I’m hoping I did. Asking, and then receiving, should always be followed up with a gracious “thank you.” So “Thank you, Mark, Michael and Amanda! Wherever you are!”

Meanwhile, back to Sylvia’s phone issues. Maybe some new guardian angels will come along, looking to earn their wings. “Dear God, please help my friends…”

for messed up phones…let’s all pray, from our mouths…to comcast’s ears…hugmamma.

comcast, a “call” out for help

This time it literally is a “call” out for help. Over dinner last night, Sylvia mentioned their ongoing problem with their Comcast telephone service. For more than a month they’ve been experiencing an echo in their phone calls, inbound and outbound. There seems to be a delay in voice transmission, so that whatever she says is repeated. It must be maddening, and she confirms that it is, to carry on a conversation where each person has to pause before responding. Without the hesitations, communication would be a jumbled mess, I’m sure.

Because contacting a company like Comcast can be intimidating for seniors, I told Sylvia I’d try to get the word out to my “guardian angels,” Mark, Michael and Amanda. So let’s see if they’ll hear my voice once again through the amazing wireless connection that is the internet. If not, we’ll have to try the good old-fashioned telephone, that also may, or may not work. You can see my friend’s dilemma.

a small prayer never hurts…isn’t that what helped jimmy stewart in “it’s a wonderful life”?…hugmamma.

“got my groove back,” hugmamma

THANK YOU COMCAST, for removing the Grinch and giving me back Christmas!!! The technician came at the appointed hour this morning, replacing wires, boxes, modems and what not. Not sure if it would be considered an overhaul, or a remodel. Whatever it’s called, our internet connection is again working. I’m sure you can tell from the vivid pictures gracing my previous post about holiday decorating. I’m back on my own laptop, where I can enhance my writing with pictures from my “library.” Yehhh!!! It’s almost like going from “black and white TV,” to color.

This time we’re ALMOST certain that Comcast’s technician fixed the problem. Since my husband’s more savvy about gadgetry, he understands the repair process better than I. Gut instinct is my trusty barometer. Let’s hope it’s still dependable, and that the same is true about Comcast.

Meanwhile customer service rep, Amanda Kennedy, promised we’d be given one month’s internet service free, for our frustrations. That’s in addition to the $20 credit we received for the first appointment, because the technician arrived after the 4 hour frame period. So while Comcast is a big player in internet service, they provided us customer service of the small town variety. Mistakes happen; things can go awry. We can be understanding, even patient, as long as there’s communication and genuine compassion for our plight.

So I continue to recommend using “honey,” and not “vinegar,” to resolve a situation. It’s less stressful for you, and may garner side benefits, such as I’ve described above. But go the distance, talking with whomever is necessary, rationally stating all the facts. Don’t hesitate to ascend the “ladder,” talking to the boss, if necessary. The most important thing, however, is not letting your blood pressure boil over. Your health is too important. So remember to take some deep breaths…

in the groove again, blogging…hugmamma.

“blog power”

Not being a true techie, but more of a wannabe writer, I’m totally amazed when I learn that my blog has actually been read by someone I know, or with whom I’m familiar. Case in point, my ongoing communication with Comcast which began with a national phone service rep commenting on my post, letting me know that I could contact him directly by email. That got the “snowball rolling.” Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your point of view, mine is somewhere in the middle, our conversation continues since our internet connection is nonexistent. It’s been that way for 6 days. The technician who professed to the “noise interference” theory is returning to replace our antique modem with its current version. He’s also “changing out wires.” Those are his words; I’m uncertain what they mean, exactly. My husband will tail the repairman tomorrow, asking pertinent questions, I’m sure. I’m more the “leave them alone to do their thing” type; my hubby’s the “in your face” type. I’ll be holding my breath, crossing my fingers, arms, legs and toes, hoping against hope that COMCAST FINALLY FIXES THE PROBLEM!!!

Yesterday, as usual, I accompanied my daughter to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s adult, open class at its suburban campus. Our friend, Marissa Albee, taught. Throughout class I couldn’t help but admire her dance movement, in addition to her teaching style. Her attention to detail in technique and artistry makes her an awesome instructor. Sitting quietly in the corner, observing, I felt myself paying attention to her corrections, tapping her fingers on her breastbone to indicate “opening up to the audience.” When she stretched her leg, lifting the muscle up from beneath her butt, rotating it so that the hip wasn’t simply hiked up, but that her entire side was lengthening, I knew exactly what she meant. Of course, I’m anal about details. Remember the previous title of my blog, Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail

Following class, Marissa stopped to chat. I expressed my genuine admiration for the manner in which she taught the ladies, and my appreciation for her beautiful, fluid dance quality. My daughter and I never had the privilege of seeing Marissa dance with PNB, probably because we weren’t yet living on the west coast.  But as we indicated to her, Marissa looked as though she could resume her career. Of course stamina might be a concern, because she’s not rehearsed and performed in many years. At least that was her reply to our suggestion that she could continue dancing. Then there’s the fact that she’s a doting mom, which is a full-time career in itself. I know that for a fact. So my daughter and I, and the ladies in Marissa’s class, are content to watch and learn from her. She’s still trying to get me into a leotard and some tights. That’ll never happen, unless I’m physically transformed into someone like Carla Korbes, PNB’s new principal, who’s an absolutely gorgeous dancer.

What floored me about our conversation is that PNB had emailed Marissa about my previous post. Someone on staff had read it, and passed it along to Marissa. So she thanked me for the nice things I’d written about her. The pleasure was mine, as it is in what I’ve written about her in this post.

The power of the internet is becoming more and more obvious to me, and frightening. Essentially anything we think, and express in words for all to see, exposes us. But the power to be “heard” is something to which we all aspire. Wielding such power to further compassion and a positive attitude, is my mission in blogging. We all have the power to make a difference, and the internet can be an important ally towards that end. Even one, lone voice can capture an audience’s attention if there is value to what is being shared. I’m just regurgitating what my Blogging 101 instructor, Cat Rambo pointed out one day in class.

value = blog power…hugmamma.

“exercise and pastries,” oxymoron, or balance?

On the last Friday of the month, our exercise class usually meets afterwards for coffee and conversation at a local Starbuck’s. Once in a while we patronize another local “coffee” house…mine. Since it’s decorated “to the nines” for Christmas, I love having people over for a “look-see.” And my exercise buddies always love  to look and see, how our household rings in the holidays.

Since our personal computers are still without internet connection, thanks to Comcast, I’m still blogging gratis my husband’s laptop. Because of this, I’m not able to share photos of this year’s decor, which I can only access on my computer. Hopefully service will be restored tomorrow, and I’ll be back in “my office.” When I am, you’ll get a peek inside what my daughter calls our “Christmas explosion!” Meanwhile, the photo at the top of my blog is of last year’s decor, partially of course.

Somehow preparing to entertain is an all night affair. I almost never get to bed until the wee hours of the morning the day of the party. I crawl under the covers, only to get up a couple of hours later, put on my “new day” face, and proceed to rush about on pure adrenalin. I should be napping right now, but I always get sucked in to blogging. It’s my time for personal pleasure. And writing gives me a “high,” like trillions of endorphins flying around inside my head, wearing happy faces. Blogging is one “detour” I can never seem to bypass.

Unfortunately preparing for today was delayed last night, because I wanted to first write and publish a post on tinnutis, or ringing in the ear. Writers will agree, I’m sure, that we have to continually write to be taken seriously. And I’ve a long way to go, since I’ve only been writing consistently for 5 months. 

Knowing my penchant for delay, I bought a few items for today’s coffee with the ladies. If you’ve a nearby QFC, you can purchase some of the goodies that were a hit. Dutch Country’s Homemade Red Velvet Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling (made from scratch). “Thaw and Serve. Ready to Eat.” Dutch Country also makes a Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling, again “from scratch.” The other pastry I bought from QFC was a Danish Kringle, a “Traditional Danish Pastry.” It looks like a large pretzel in the shape of a heart with an “x” in the center. Its crust is sooo flaky and its center is laden with a thin custard layer. Hmmm…yummy!

My homemade contribution was an “Overnight Breakfast Casserole.” It’s very easy to make, and lent something different to a table of sweets. Actually, a friend brought another egg dish that included mild peppers. It was flavorful, and not spicy as expected. Here’s the recipe for my casserole. Next time I might try it with hashed brown potatoes, instead of bread. I’m certain that would change the taste and texture of the dish. Bon appetite!!! 

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE     

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter, 6 to 8 slices bread, 1 to 1  1/2 lbs link sausage, 12 eggs (beaten), 3/4 cups milk, 1  10 oz. can cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper to taste, 1 to 1  1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese..

Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down in baking dish. You might have to cut each slice into quarters so all slices can fit in the dish.  Brown sausage in skillet, drain. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Beat eggs with milk in mixer bowl until foamy. Add soup, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour over bread; sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Chill, covered, in refrig overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour or until center is set. You may add fresh sliced mushrooms, and use mushroom soup, or vary cheeses and substitute hashed brown potatoes or tater tots for bread.

If you’re nowhere near a QFC (or Kroger) market, here’s the manufacturer’s information: Dutch Country Apple Dumplings, Inc., P.O. Box 603, Orrville, Ohio 44667, (330) 683-0646. Larsen’s Original Danish Bakery, 8000 24th Ave, N.W., Seattle, WA 98117, (206) 782-8285, www.larsensbakery.com.

You must be wondering, or maybe you’re not, how women who make it a point to “bump and grind” in exercise class three mornings a week, can return to indulging ourselves once a month. Partly because it is once a month, but more importantly because of the camaraderie we share away from class. Socializing is an important factor in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. Those who are getting on in years, including myself, must make a concerted effort to remain connected to people, to our community, to society. The fact that my friends and me exercise, socialize, and eat sweets, now and then, demonstrates how normal we are in trying to live balanced lives.

wishing the same for you, a balance of exercising…socializing…and pastries…hugmamma.

two guardian angels, comcast

My blogging is like speaking into God’s ear. I now have 2 guardian angels looking after me, Mark and Michael. I wonder if Michael’s the archangel who threw Satan out of the Garden of Eden, after he convinced Eve to get Adam to take a bite of the apple? I might be moving up the chain of command. Who knows? I may hear from God. Didn’t I tell you I’ve never had any qualms about contacting the CEO? Bring her on!

I’d sent a lengthy email to Mark, the one who got the “snowball” rolling the last time I had internet connection problems. In response, very quickly I might add, Michael emailed me back saying someone would call me in the morning to finally resolve the situation, and discuss crediting my bill for zero internet service today and yesterday.

I wish Mark and Michael would sprinkle some heavenly dust and miraculously connect me to “internet space,” permanently, none of this to-ing and fro-ing, for h—–‘s sake!  As I said previously, Comcast should bottle their customer service, telephone customer service that is, and this time, share it with their technical services departments. When they get themselves squared away, THEN they might spread it around to other companies. My girlfriend and I were just agreeing today that they spare no effort or expense to get our business, but once we’re “in the bag,” we’re “out on a limb” when problems arise.

But I still have faith in not one, but two, guardian angels. I just know they’re going to perform a miracle. I can just feel it in my arthritic bones.

hugs for mark and michael…hugmamma.

“and the beat goes on, la, de, da, de, day,” comcast

Comcast’s Mark  appeared from nowhere again, leaving me a comment! It’s like having a guardian angel. Maybe he’s trying to earn wings like Clarence, Jimmy Stewart’s sidekick on “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Love that show, just saw it last night, or was it the night before? Running between the computer downstairs and the laptop upstairs to see if they’re working is again taking its toll. Comcast is one topic I’d like to relegate to the archives, but of course it’s the first thing on my mind since I can’t even use my own computer to blog. Every time I sign on to my husband’s laptop, I must wend my way through a very lengthy process. It’s amazing how we take so much for granted, until we have to go through each and every step. No shortcuts here. This laptop only knows my husband; it treats me like an alien from outer space, or as the case may be, “internet space. But you know me, neither snow, nor sleet, nor rain, nor lack of internet service will stop me from blogging.

You may think I’m ludicrous, but I’m still hoping for a “happy-ending.” Do I have a choice? Well, maybe, but I’m an optimist, most of the time. Other times I’m a fatalist. Perhaps I’m a fatalistic optimist. Remember, I’m trying to help Mark earn his wings, while practicing compassion, and positivism. You can help by sending all the good karma you can spare. It’s the holidays after all, the season for giving…and forgiving. Do I sound like I’m trying to convince myself not to blow a gasket? You bet your sweet life!

Do you know about THE COMCAST CUSTOMER GUARANTEE? With our bill today, was a graphically appealing leaflet touting the company’s efforts on behalf of, well, us! Here’s how it reads, in full.

You spoke, we listened. At Comcast you can expect faster answers to your questions–24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A $20 account credit if we’re late to an appointment and a complimentary service if we don’t solve a routine problem in one visit. IT’S TIME TO EXPERIENCE WHAT GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE FEELS LIKE. comcast.com/guarantee 

hmmm???…breathing deeply…ahhh…hugmamma.

still no comcast

It feels like someone stole our Comcast high-speed internet connection. Unlike before when connection was sporadic, now there is absolutely NO CONNECTION. It’s as if it died; it’s very eery. My husband did speak to someone yesterday, an appointment was made, but had to be canceled. So we’re starting from scratch again today.

Rather than call the national customer service “hotline,” I called the office number of the Auburn, Washington office as listed on the business card the technician gave me at the first appointment. I went through the automated service, pressing the appropriate buttons. The end result was that the computer “technician” reset our modem. That would be wonderful if Comcast’s computer can fix things, then there’d be no need for humans to try and solve problems which they have no clue about. I do feel for service reps who sit in an office somewhere other than where customers are, trying to figure out how to help them. They’ve no idea about the specifics, except that there’s a problem. Maybe customer service should be localized? I guess it’s cheaper to have call centers, frustrating for customers, but better for Comcast.

Well, I’ll check to see if resetting the modem did the trick. If not, it’s another call to someone, probably the national hotline again. I would call the technician who told me about noise interference the first time, but yesterday was his Friday, and his Monday isn’t until Wednesday. Patience is a virtue, isn’t it?

I’ll definitely ask to be credited for days when we were without  internet connection. Quite a saga so far, don’t you think?

counting to 100…hugmamma.

“woes again,” comcast

Just when my faith was restored in the “powers” that be, Comcast, “poof! the plug was pulled” once again. Just like that! No warning, whatsoever. So I called customer service this time, rather than wait for their call. The weather couldn’t possibly be at fault now, as it was a few weeks ago when we were experiencing snow and ice, not like the east coast, but enough to make me excuse Comcast for a couple of weeks. Mike answered. Now that I think of it, he may have been the one who commented on my blog the last time, and got the “snowball” rolling. Well, looks like it didn’t roll far enough.

I’m using my husband’s laptop which has its own connection, not with Comcast, obviously. As I indicated when I previously blogged about Comcast, their customer service reps are pleasant, and as helpful as possible given that they’re not even located wherever problems arise. They have no clue what’s causing our problem. They want to send a technician again. I’m a little wary, since their last one arrived after 5 p.m., and did nothing, but talk a good story about “noise” interference. But the next day, our internet connection was back on, and has been until a little while ago. Maybe the “noise” returned. And maybe there are magic wands floating around, and on that particular day Comcast happened upon one and “whoosh!” made everything normal again. But I guess the magic’s expired. I’m not sure how they’ll fix what they’re not sure of, this go ’round. Maybe Harry Potter will happen along. Hmmm…

As long as I have access to my husband’s laptop, I’ll keep blogging, and letting you know, once again, the ongoing saga that’s “Comcast.” Hope there’ll finally be a happy ending. Until then, if there’s any among you who can recommend other avenues to access the internet other than Comcast, especially here in Western Washington, I’m open to suggestions. The only up side to this otherwise frustrating situation, is that I’ll always have a topic about which to blog, COMCAST! Who knows? Maybe they like the PR, even if it’s not so good.

I think the demons of technology are overtaking us, as I blog. Maybe I’ll curl up with a nice book.

for comcast, no hugs this time…hugmamma

irksome things that “niggle”

Perhaps because I’m in a Comcast frame of mind, meaning “things that need fixing,” I was just thinking of little things that “niggle” me from time to time.

Making toast for my husband and me just now, I reminded myself to empty the crumbs from the catchplate at the bottom of the toaster. As on previous occasions, it irked me that I had to unplug the toaster first, turn it around so that I could remove the crumb catcher. I wondered why Oster didn’t just place it on the other side where all the buttons were located. That might make it easier to remember to empty the catcher more regularly than I do.

Another manufacturing snafu is that the catchplate is as flat as a pancake. How do the crumbs stay put, until they’re emptied? They don’t. The day I found mounds of the stuff in my appliance cupboard is when I realized the drawbacks of my toaster. Its vintage look and fabulous red color were what drew me to purchase this particular model. It toasts well, but what’s left behind just plain “niggles” me. The manufacturer should’ve hired a “professional” toaster maker to test the product, before it was rushed onto the assembly line. Real moms who’ve been using these items regularly for years and years, not the ones on TV, like “Desperate Housewives,” or “Housewives of OC, NYC, NJ, ATL, DC, and BH.” I jest, of course!?!

When our kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, we didn’t install a garbage disposal. Having an in ground septic tank take care of our household disposal needs, we didn’t want to overload it with waste that could be recycled, like food scraps. Catching all those small tidbits before they race down the drain, however, is messy and tedious. Relatives of ours had the solution we needed, a small strainer that fit snugly into the drain. Voile! Problem solved!

A carpenter I’d used some time before we did our remodel, recommended I not use granite or purchase stainless steel appliances. But of course, I did. Just as he said, fingerprints are a chore to remove from the stove, refrig and dishwasher. Water stains are a constant source of irritation on the granite surrounding the sink. Imagine when I hold a dish or pot under the faucet, the water splashes all over the beautiful, dark green granite. I’ve learned to live with stains, for no matter how many times I clean them, they reappear as if they’d never left. I do love how the granite slabs and stainless appliances enhance the look of our kitchen, as long as I don’t look too closely.

Before the remodel, we had a gas top stove. I’d only cooked on electric prior to that, so the change took a little getting use to for me. I found cooking with gas to be fine, but it wasn’t “to die for,” as with the majority of cooks. The thing I liked least about it, was cleaning all the grease and grime that would collect in and around the burners. When I lived away from home with my daughter who was training to become a ballet dancer, my husband, who remained here, hired a housekeeper. Reluctant to keep her upon my return, I soon found Lucy to be worth her weight in gold. The gas top stove was flawless after she “waved her magic cleaning wand.” Poor thing, after many years cleaning others’ homes, Lucy returned to Brazil for back surgery. Our home has never been as clean since. 

Litter dust that is perpetually tracked up the staircase, and along the hallway, also “niggles” me. No amount of vacuuming with my upright, or hand-held, does the trick permanently. And I’ve tried every form of litter known to man, clay, wheat, corn, lavender-scented, baking soda-added, newspaper pellets, pine-scented, scoop, non-scoop, flushable, non-flushable, multiple-cat. Wish I’d toilet-trained my 3 cats, and my daughter’s 1, when they were wee things. Now that they’re full-grown, ranging in age from 6 years through 15 years, they’d probably all tell me to flush myself down the toilet if I tried to alter their potty habits. Wouldn’t you?

Plugs that don’t completely fit into sockets also make me nuts. As I’m vacuuming I’m constantly aware not to yank the chord, otherwise I’m retracing my steps to plug the chord in again. Try doing this 15, 20, 25 times in an hour. You’d also want to shoot a hole in the wall where the socket is. But that was then; years of repetition have made me really good at having to put the plug into the socket only once or twice, the entire time I’m vacuuming. Yehhh, for me!!! I know, I know, the piece inside the wall just needs replacing. Well, my on-site repairman is going to get around to it, “later.” And that’s fine with me. I’ve figured a way to get around the problem, and there are other things I’d prefer getting done sooner, rather than…”later.” Picking my battles, you see.

Last year after Christmas, we retrieved the huge plastic bins from our garage to store away the holiday decorations. We found that mice had found their way in from the cold. Droppings were everywhere. Yuck! We had to clean and sanitize the garage before replacing the bins. Clorox wipes were handy helpers for wiping down the surfaces, along with a lot of elbow grease. My husband purchased poison-filled pouches, placing them into nooks and crannies. My contribution to the effort? Good, old-fashioned mothballs!!! I Rolled them out of the boxes until they covered a good amount of the garage floor beneath the shelving units. They worked! The potent smell kept those buggers away. Thank goodness I find the scent rather…refreshing, like being in the alpine. Mice poop, now that’s a “niggler” to end all “nigglers!”

After being married as long as we have, there’s bound to be things that “niggle” my husband and me about each other. I’m certain one HE CAN LIVE WITHOUT is hearing his name echo throughout the house when I’d like something done. I’m sure one “niggle” that’s had me “talking to myself” for almost half-a-century is when he asks me where something is, before he’s even searched. Or upon beginning to search, my husband is done looking, before he’s even really started. I guess it’s easier, ON HIM, if I drag everything out, to find that it’s always been right in front of his nose. “Niggling” is the “other face” of true love! Even bliss takes a break, now and then.

I’m sure we’ve all got things that “niggle.” Even our pastor, Father Brian, is “niggled” by inadequate church parking, a less than adequate parish budget, rising early to say 8:15 a.m. Mass. Looks like even the holiest among us can’t escape being “niggled,” once-in-awhile.

so go ahead and rant, about whatever “niggles” you…hugmamma.

up and running, for now, comcast

Don’t want to jinx the recovery of our internet connection, but right now I’m typing away on my laptop upstairs. If this keeps up, I won’t be visiting the “dungeon” much anymore. Our family room is nice and cozy, just a little dark since sunlight streaming in through the windows is pretty minimal, especially given the fact we live in the Pacific Northwest. Someone should bottle and sell sunshine. I’m Hawaiian, you’d think I’d have the inside track, although I’ve lived away from the islands for 30+ years. I’ll have to call some relatives. But I digress.

Comcast’s rep who’d been by last night called early this morning. I let him speak with my husband. Evidently they did some work last night in our area. If our problem is resolved as a result, then the job will have been successful, and there’ll be no need for a followup visit to our house. “Knock on wood,” looks like we’ll be spared Mocha’s unstoppable barking when strangers show up at the door. The rep is still committed to trying to change out our single modem, for the more current 2 modems. Otherwise, it looks like we’re good to go.

So for now, all’s well that ends well. I know, as one comment stated, that Comcast has bigger issues with the government and public than our little dilemma. But as I replied, I’ve also got bigger battles to wage than what Comcast is doing or not doing. Yes, it’s good to look at the “bigger picture,” but it’s also wise to focus on taking small steps towards accomplishing change. Most of us can only wrap our minds around the small stuff, anyway. The big politics can overwhelm, stopping people dead in their tracks. Better we do what we can do, and leave what we can’t to those who are better equipped for the challenge, remembering that small still counts.

I may not be as recognizable as the Tea Party organizers, but, hey, those 2 housewives started small, and look where their blogging got them. Perhaps companies like Comcast do sit up and take notice when we Lilliputians speak. My husband says they do; his company has someone trolling the internet tracking comments, good and bad. So we should all register our voices on the internet, since our access to mainstream media is limited, and manipulated to suit their purposes. But remember the wise, old adage “You can get more with honey, than vinegar.” As I’ve aged, this truism is even more relevant, for my own self-serving reasons. Life is short. Alzheimer’s looms. Heart attacks are even more plausible. Why am I going to quicken all 3, by stressing out over “stuff.” My urgent priorities are my health and my family. Amen.

for keeping my voice on the internet, thanks Comcast…hugmamma.

good talk, still no action, comcast

Comcast is still talking a good story, but the internet connection is still “hit or miss.” Maybe it’s a tiny bit better, but I’m still getting “kicked off” despite “very good to excellent connection,” according to that little image of a monitor at the lower right corner of the screen.

Two repairmen showed up after the 5 p.m. “bewitching” hour, apologizing for the delay and blaming it on a schedule busy with customer problems. They donned their little blue booties and proceeded downstairs to have a “look-see.” When they asked where the modem was located, I pointed to the box atop the TV, which they said wasn’t it. So I showed my ignorance by exclaiming that my husband was the expert, not me. I then pointed to where the computer desk was, but they didn’t recognize the modem amongst the assorted pieces of equipment. Returning their gaze to the box atop the TV, they finally determined that, in fact, that was an arcane modem, no longer in use by Comcast. Then the “lead” man spun a very convincing story about noise interference. And I believed him.

It seems where we’re located, there’ve been numerous complaints like mine. The homes themselves weren’t responsible for the disrupted internet connection. Evidently the fault lay outside, some kind of noise being the culprit, impeding outgoing signals. Comcast has yet to discover the origin of the noise.

Perhaps if I’d not been so engaging, and understanding, the men might have set about doing what they will probably do on another day, either tomorrow or next Wednesday. The lead told me that tomorrow is his Friday, Wednesday is his Monday. I got the feeling that they probably wanted to call it quits after a long day. Truthfully, it had been a long day for me too, so I didn’t mind if they returned in the morning, and dealt with my more knowledgable husband.

I did tell the men that I’ve been blogging about this situation, and will do so until my connection problem is resolved. I also said that thus far I’ve been very positive, and the Comcast personnel with whom I’ve spoken have been helpful. The lead guy gave me his business card with his cell phone number, asking that I call with any questions. We all parted smiling, and exchanging pleasantries.

A few minutes later I did call the repairman’s cell phone asking if, in fact, he’d be returning tomorrow so that my husband would be able to speak with him. I was told he’d make a concerted effort, but that there was no guarantee. But he did say he’d try really hard to “look in on us” later in the day. He had also mentioned earlier that he’d exchange our antique modem for the 2 boxes that Comcast now uses.

Perhaps 45 minutes after my conversation, Comcast’s automated program called asking if I’d complete a 2 minute survey of my appointment. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being that I was happy with their performance, I gave Comcast 1’s, 2’s, and a couple of 3’s. The higher scores were for the friendliness of their employees, the low was for their having done nothing, except talk and give me a phone number to call.

So I’m amazed at all the attention and talk my blog has garnered from Comcast, but I’m no better off than I was before. Well, I take it back. I still lose my connection, but perhaps it’s lessened somewhat. At this stage, I’m not sure who’s making all the noise, Comcast or some alien force hovering in the skies above.

But you know what? My money’s still on Comcast, after all that’s the “Aloha Spirit”. And more importantly, I’m still not stressed out. My family’s healthy, it’s the holiday season, and truthfully, I’m a sucker for positive thinking. Like endorphins, it makes me feel good, in my heart, and in my brain. Maybe that’ll go a long way toward warding off a heart attack, and delaying Alzheimer’s.

hey, whatever keeps me smiling…hugmamma.

“still tinkering,” comcast

Problem with Comcast not yet resolved; sometime between 1 and 5 p.m. today, or so I’m told. Am waiting for “the” technician’s call to advise that “yes, I’m “chomping at the bit,” waiting for his expertise help. Getting tired of holding my breath while typing, hoping what I’ve written won’t vanish into thin air, having to be rewritten once again…from scratch. Thank goodness I’m able to say the same thing, so many different ways. I don’t panic at having my first “masterpiece” annihilated. I’ve got others “up my sleeve,” or, as the case may be, in my head. So many of them competing to be selected to “star” in my blog.

Luckily I have an onsite repair guy, kind of. My husband’s the “go to” person for technical stuff. I “go to” him, and he “goes to” work, fixing problems. He knows he’s loved, for his name resounds through our 2-story house, more often than he cares to hear it. But like my daughter, my husband seems to wave his “magic wand”, and more times than not, he unfreezes the computer, or connects me to the internet, or figures out any other riddle that may occur. I’ve decided he and my daughter’s “magic wands” are their patience, especially for tinkering with gadgets, or in this case, the computer. God bless my Merlins.

Before crawling into bed last night, I decided to listen to my voice mail. There was only one message, a very, very interesting one, but an also very, very puzzling one at the same time. In fact, I had to replay it about 4 or 5 times. I couldn’t get past listening to a couple of words at a time.

Comcast left an automated message to confirm the repairman’s appointment for today, or so I thought. The very formal, female voice said that the visit was scheduled for January 1, 1970!” My first attempt to listen got no farther than January; my second attempt, no farther than January 1st; the final attempt, I only heard 1970. The reason for my lack of success to hear it the first time, was that I tried to tell my husband about the message, as I heard it. I was so totally discombobulated! I doubted I was hearing what I thought I heard. A couple of times I tried to share the phone with my husband, propping it between our heads as they lay side by side on our pillows. Finally, I replayed the message and put the phone to his ear to listen. His reaction? He chuckled, no incredulity, no “that’s crazy.” Then with his technical savvy, my husband proceeded to give me “the lowdown.”

An incorrect date in an automated message can occur because of a mistake in data input. If the program doesn’t recognize the symbols used, it will spew out the wrong information. So I guess it was human error, that caused a computer error. We’re not indispensable after all! Good to know, as technology continues to displace human beings in everything from checking out at grocery stores, to confirming appointments, to assisting in surgeries.

I was just “kicked off” the internet again. The connection icon says “signal strength: excellent.” I decided to copy this to “wordprocess.” Trying to recreate so many posts can be burdensome, and irritating. I’ve just been “told” to “restart” my computer, something I’ve done numerous times over the course of days, and nights. While very frustrated, I’m not inclined to get crazed. I’ve a bigger life than just this, so I wander off to do other things, returning to see if things have changed from time to time. I’m not going to ruin my health, getting stressed over a machine, and Comcast. I prefer to focus my energies upon having a great time with my family, laughing and enjoying the minutiae of our daily lives.

There’ve been comments about Comcast’s failing service and escalating costs, and other blogs contain scathing posts about the “giant” cable provider. Just as with my blogging, I’m holding my breath for the “other shoe to drop.” Will my good experience with Comcast turn from gold to tarnished silver? When I called to confirm today’s appointment, making sure it’s for today and not January 1, 1970, Daleesa kindly apologized for the error, explaining that she would report it, as she had done with the numerous other calls she had reported, to do with the same problem.

It’s 2:42 p.m. I’m still awaiting the technician’s call; he should arrive no later than 5 p.m. I look forward to meeting yet another helpful employee. I’m trying to remain optimistic; negativity wears me down too much.

the saga continues,…should we return to the good old days?…hugmamma

technical problem

Just wanted to advise you that the “button” which allows you to get my blog posts via “rss feed” is on the “Home” page, at the top of the second column. I’m not sure why the “rss feed button” doesn’t show up in the same place on the individual posts’ pages. Rather if you scroll through the entire first column, you will find it beneath the comments’ section. Strange, but I’m not sure why. I’ll look to resolve the issue, but it may not be until after Comcast’s visit. I am still experiencing difficulty in maintaining a constant connection.

A reader indicated he/she was unable to get the “rss feed,” so I thought I’d address the problem in case others experience similar difficulties.

for hanging in there, hugs…hugmamma.