Stuff You Should Know

Rage Against the (Windstream) Machine II: Texas Blood Money


It took close to three years for the sequel to this post from August 2017 to hit the blogosphere…and I’ll give you a spoiler warning: it isn’t all that different from the original. Saturday morning, I was having connectivity issues (as in…no connectivity) and with sinking-stomach-pit dread I phoned Windstream to report that there was an outage in the area. As I do whenever these annoying little setbacks happen, I ran the “Internet Obstacle Course” before making the call—I unplugged and plugged and powered down and powered up to make sure the trouble wasn’t on my end.

WindstreamsuxpissonwindstreamThe Windstream representative was very helpful, and by “very helpful” I mean as useless as teats on a bull. I knew the problem was on their end, but since the lady told me that they hadn’t heard anything from anyone else there clearly couldn’t be any trouble. (“Maybe I’m the first person to notify you of this?” I asked. No response.) She tells me she will “write up a ticket” and send a technician out Monday; in addition to figuring out why I was having connectivity trouble, the tech would “upgrade” my Internet—something Windstream has been bugging me about for some time now, if the volume of mail I get from them every month (“Upgrade for free!”) is any indication. I’ve been resistant to upgrading only because my confidence in their technical expertise is pretty freaking weak, and I did not want to invite these people to screw up something that wasn’t broken.

WindstreamCommunicationsMonday morning brought a surprise: the tech was here at the house around 9:30am (he even called me on my cell to make sure I was home) and upon welcoming him into Rancho Yesteryear I learned to my great amusement that the connectivity problem was being experienced by EVERYBODY IN MY IMMEDIATE NEIGHBORHOOD AREA. The tech was quite happy that I wasn’t yelling at him with regards to this development (he’d been on the bidness end of abuse from other customers not nearly as understanding as I) but my anger had been dissipated by my undisguised smugness at having been proved right once again where those knuckleheads answering the Windstream phones were concerned. Tech Guy (his name was “Don,” so I should probably call him that) installed a new modem that will increase my speed to 40mbps (well, for this area that’s considerably fast) while advising me that it would be a while before the ‘net would return (I needed to keep an eye on the modem lights—when one turned from amber to green everything would be copacetic). (They were still trying to figure out why the system wasn’t pulling up IP addresses at Windstream Central.)

rantAnticipating further clusterfudges, I had called Karen at Radio Spirits before Don’s arrival to let her know that a post scheduled for the blog might not get posted because of the outage. (She was very understanding, and as it turned out I got it in on time.)  The ‘net was down for most of the day Monday (I even called Don—he had left me his number—to check on the progress but he didn’t have much to report) until a little after 7pm, when the modem light turned green—signaling all systems were go. I had to take a little time connecting my desktop and Chromebook to the new network, along with my Mom’s Kindles and the “Kudzus” in the living room and my bedroom, but that was hassle free since Don had been kind enough to provide me with the phone number assigned to my account (I lost the card—or I should say Mom lost the card—with all that info a good while back) along with the account e-mail and password. (I would have had to get this info from a Windstream rep, and the obstacle course I would have had to navigate for that would have resulted in the loss of several human lives.)

Grit_BlueskyWhile I’m on the subject of rants, as a DISH subscriber we’ve been sampling a free month of GRIT TV this month. It’s a channel that shows a lot of Western-themed movies and TV shows (Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre, Laramie) and it allowed me to DVR a fistful of movies so mi padre had something to watch in the evenings. Most of the movies that turn up on GRIT are from the TCM Library, except 1) they interrupt the films with multiple commercials, which means I had to do a lot of fast-forwarding and b) they don’t letterbox these puppies, which drives me insane. Honest to my Grandma, we were watching some Joel McCrea flick, The First Texan (1956), Sunday night and because it was not letterboxed there were long stretches in the presentation when neither of the two characters having a conversation can be seen onscreen—you spent all that time admiring the décor while listening to disembodied voices. Another peccadillo of GRIT’s is that they can’t take the time to let the closing credits of a movie or TV show run because God forbid that would interfere with the walk-in tub commercials…so they run the closing credits in the lower left-hand corner while the opening credits unspool on the top half of the screen (and are a little difficult to read). I cannot express in words how pissed I get at things like this; like Walter Sobchak, I’m apparently the only one who gives a shit about the rules.

Okay, I’m good now. Just needed to get that off my chest.


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