Monday, November 18, 2013

Ghosts in the Machines, The Phones, The ......

So, we had this blackout last Friday afternoon;  the power went out for about 45 minutes. Poor Grandpa Sieg; the house alarm kept beeping and resetting the motion detector over and over so every time he moved, the alarm started beeping again. I wasn't coming home for lunch, so he was pretty peeved by the time I walked in. I got the alarm turned off, and burbled, "Oh! We're just in time for Jeopardy!" 

Guess again.

Well, there appeared to have been a casualty of the blackout: the "original equipment" HD cable box on the big TV was dead. I made the requisite "you take his wallet, I'll get his phaser" joke, and tossed the thing into the car. About the same time, something else happened: the dishwasher came back to life. I know not how such things can be, I only know there came to me a blinking, winking power light that said, "Hey! I'm alive!" 

So much for the good news. 

I picked up  new cable box...I won't go into the unwashed masses waiting for service at Comcrap and the dearth of people behind the counter. It was a simple trade, no money, no signature, no nuthin'. I took the thing home and after dinner, I installed it, no sweat. It did the download dance, and I did the authorization online and voilà! The new box was up and running. Then cable modem started flashing odd yellow lights and I thought it best to call Comcrap.  The desk phone was dead. in fact, all the land line phones were dead. Thank G-d for cell phones. 

Let me just say that Janice is Seattle is a saint. Older than me (so that makes her ancient) she was fantastic. Between the two of us, we isolated what we suspected is the problem and at least I had dial tone when we were finished. Getting a call, however, remains another story. Comcrap is working on it. I told her it was refreshing to talk to someone who wasn't 12, was clearly competent. We opened a ticket on the issue, and now, it's up to them to figure out what went wrong. 

Now, as this isn't enough, while checking connections, and trying to untangle the cords under Ziggy's desk, something I've been dreading due to the Siegfried Theory of Electronic Replacement which means you unplug it from the back of said device and drop the cord on the floor (see 8/19/13: Silence ~ The Unacceptable Alternative for details.) There was so much stuff tangled back there, I couldn't separate any of them without something else becoming undone. Into this Medusa's nest fell the modem and the router. And then I couldn't wake the router up. Now, there was no phone, no cable, and no internet. 

Good thing my friend Bill the Hardware Dude was not otherwise engaged. He zipped over and in fairly short order, the router was awake, the cords attached, detached, and rolled up. Meanwhile, we can get calls, theoretically, but the phone doesn't ring. So we don't know we're getting a call. So we can't answer it. So people who are calling to talk to grandpa won't even get the message machine. Which means some of them will panic. This worries me. 

Monday Night:

We are now in Day-3 of the phone saga. When I came home to make lunch for Grandpa, I spent almost all of it on the phone with Comcrap. This call revealed that when I flipped out the modems last year, they never "deactivated" the old modem which might be why I never had to back wire the phone, which, when I plugged it in initially, resulted in no-dial I took it off and never plugged it into the modem. This could be the root of the problem, or so Peter in the Philippines said. He promised it would be fixed by the time I got home. However, when his tech counterpart called the house number, he claimed someone answered. That was weird. I was standing there. The phone did not ring. He promised it would be fixed by the time I got home from work.

Yes, I know how to dial a phone
Not so, Kemosabe. I called again. I have no idea who I was talking to this time, but he was completely humorless. He decided call forwarding was stuck. Call forwarding?????? I never ordered call-forwarding and in fact, I requested the no other service beyond call-waiting be operational on the phone. I don't even know how to use call forwarding and I don't wanna know. Just like I have a dumb phone in my pocketbook, I want an equally dumb phone that rings in the house. Is this asking so much?

He wrote a novel length ticket....and adjusted my bill for three days of non-service. And then said it would take "a few more days" to get this straightened out.

Then Prakash from who-knows-where called to tell me the phones were now just fine. His opening salvo? "I understand you think your phone is not functioning properly." I begged to differ. As you might well imagine, I imagined a number of appropriate and inappropriate response. Then he said he was actually calling the house phone number which was now correctly forwarding to the cell. I had a fit. Quietly. I patiently explained to this latest technogeek that I don't have call forwarding, don't want call forwarding, and as a matter of fact, I want it off my phone pronto. This puzzled him, but I told him I wasn't soliciting his opinion on the matter; only on the matter of why the phone is not ringing in the house. 

So here I sit….semi-phoneless. Yes, cable and internet are just fine and there is dial tone so we can call out, but if you have to reach us, try my cell. 

Oh, yeah; odds are pretty good I won’t answer that one either, but at least you can leave a message. It's smart enough to do that.... but not much else. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Seat assignments are at the discretion of the airlines. Period.
Yelling will not help. In fact, it might get you a seat right beside the loo. 
End of discussion. 


  1. Confucius Say: "Never get "Triple Play" from single provider, ESPECIALLY COMCAST. You may think you saving money, but savings soon be offset by aggravation beyond belief."

    BTW WP, if we need to get a hold of you, we will send you a postcard.

    1. Confucius may be on to something. Meanwhile, I've called the refrigerator repair guy....again....because of the ice dams in the freezer. again. The last thing the WP wants to do is spring for a new Sub-Zero. After all, it's only 25 years old!

  2. I can relate very much with your comcrap issues. I spent over 45 minutes with them on the phone attempting to get our cable box to connect while my 3 and 1/2 year old decided it was the prefect time to start doing loud singing and high pitched screams to get my attention. Of course, she only does this when I get on the phone. So between that and the comcrap guy asking me to unplug and replug the connections between the wall, the box, and the TV I was close to just saying can I go back to having the bunny ears back on the TV? Now we are suppose to get a new box in the mail this week. I did not have the energy like you to go run to the counter and get a new box that day. Good luck to you and all the electronics and appliances. May the ghosts in the machine begin their hibernation.
    P.S. The tip o' the week is hitting the nail on the head!