Where our cable was merely crummy in conditions of extreme cold, now it is failing entirely in conditions of moderate cold. If the temp drops under about 15°, our connection is down. It was not that cold last night, but it was windy, so our connection was intermittent.
I'm reasonably convinced that the issue is the bunker's connection to the system. The first tech--the one who actually, y'know, did anything--neglected to check the connection at the pole, and that's exactly where I'd expect this kind of issue to crop up, considering the symptoms.
I'm also reasonably convinced that the connection is going to have to fail outright before #MAJOR_COMMUNICATIONS_CORPORATION actually does anything to repair it. I'm convinced of this because I have seen how at least some of #M_C_C's technicians approach their work.
If I had a ladder of the right type and length I suppose I could hook it to the cable, go up, and look for myself. I'm not stupid enough to randomly fuck around with the hardware; I'd just be checking the connection to my own home and ensuring that it was tight, and I am smart enough to do that...if I had the right ladder--but I don't, and the last thing I want is to get in trouble for touching something I'm not supposed to muck about with, even if it is because the responsible parties can't be arsed to fix it themselves.
Anyway, since Mrs. Fungus works for #M_C_C she can go have a look at the corporate database on service calls and such and find out if there really is some kind of intermittent outage in our area, or if it's just us. Armed with that information, hopefully we can get the issue resolved.
Just in time, no doubt, for spring. *sigh*
I just have to wonder what it's like for people who don't have our resources. I'm a professional computer technician and my wife works for #M_C_C, so between us we can resolve issues like this with a minimum of fuss and it's only when idiots get involved that we can't. If there's a problem with the home network I don't have to spend two hours on the phone with tech support; I just fix it. If there's a problem with the cable she evaluates it and (if needed) schedules a tech appointment without either of us having to be on hold waiting "for the next available representative" for hours at a time.
But the average person whose expertise falls elsewhere? What does he do?
I'll tell you what he does: he pays a lot of service fees and gets very, very frustrated.
There's not a dang thing I can do about #M_C_C's distribution system. Whatever the failure is, they're going to have to fix it, and I'm just going to have to try to be patient and deal with the Internet outages. But it's not going to be easy.
* * *
Yeah, this guy's going to be ostracized by the rest of the herd. I Want A New Left is the name of the blog, and it's by a leftist who is calling out the stupidities and hypocrisies of the left and explaining why this shit isn't working.
...but he's running the risk of having the other leftists call him the usual names ("racist bigot sexist homophobe") and being cast out.
I think he knows, though.
One post ended thus:
Another leader who has been around ever since I can remember is Fidel Castro. It would be nice if he were to retire and allow Cuba to hold elections, but that isn’t very likely. One can always dream, though.The only way Castro would "retire" is if they put him in a pine box and burned it, then buried the ashes...and even then Raul is in charge now, so the regime is not going to hold free elections even if Fidel Castro does retire.
* * *
That last link comes to us via Borepatch, who has linked an old post of his (vintage 2010) on the coming resurgence of fascism in Europe.
* * *
Originally, yesterday was to have been the first meeting of the year for the Trustees Commitee, and my first as a new member; it was canceled due to weather and rescheduled. The weather yesterday was not egregiously shitty but it was bad enough; I was late for work--six minutes, the latest I've been--because one of my primary routes there was closed for snow removal (because of drifting snow) and I had to take a detour. By quitting time the snow had stopped and the roads were clear but for the places where drifting continued.
One of the errands I ran on Wednesday was buying more 2-cycle oil ("You're so extravagant!" Mrs. Fungus said. "Can't you make do with 1-cycle oil?") and I ended up buying a pint of the stuff--enough to treat about eight gallons of gas--rather than the convenient little bottles, because it has a measuring chamber and cost less than an equivalent amout of the small bottles would have. (In fact it cost less than enough small bottles to treat four gallons of gas, so I came out ahead. Bonus: "Contains fuel stabilizer".)
You can now buy synthetic 2-cycle oil. Yeah, whee. *rolleyes*
Anyway, I have the oil; now I need to go get a gallon of gas for the blower. And I will be needing it as they're predicting 3-5 inches for tomorrow.
I'm going to say again that this has been the snowiest winter I remember in a long time. This brings to mind the winters of the late 1970s, when we'd get snow and snow and more snow--and it wouldn't melt off periodically, either, until we hit the big February thaw that we always seem to get around here. (At which point some of it would melt.)
I remember walking home from school one day, through the field across from the bunker (there are houses there now) realizing that it was warm outside...why, it might have been almost 34°! So I took my coat off and set my stuff on it, and then built a snowman for no other reason than I could, because the snow was packing for the first time in weeks.
For quite a while there (it seems) I didn't have to wait for it to snow in order to go sledding; I could grab my sled and go whenever I wished, because the snow wasn't melting, and in fact thanks to all the kids using the various hills they got faster as the winter wore on, because of all the packed snow (what skiing folks refer to as the "base").
As an aside, I can still use the Flexible Flyer I got for Christmas in 1975 or 1976, though of course I'm rather larger than I was then. It needs a little bit of work to be in top shape--she's a bit rickety with age--but not as much as you might think, and I have the tools and the talent needed to do the work, should it become necessary.
But that sled saw a lot of use in the years after I got it, because those were some cold, snowy winters.
Back in the present, most of my playing in the snow these days involves removing it from the driveway, which means keeping the 2-cycle gas can filled. Blah blah blah etcetera. *sigh*
* * *
I finished reading the Feynman biography. He died. Isn't it amazing how many biographies end that way? What's up with that?