“We must be caught up.”

This guy was outside this morning:


In the afternoon I rode my little bicycle, turning the wheels around and around for what little I’m worth. I did an out-and-back, just down the long, hilly road from my neighborhood, out of town, past a handful of deputy sheriffs, through the neighboring town and than through two unincorporated communities. When I got to the point that was the farthest I’ve been on this particular road I felt great and pressed on.

And if the pros romanticize riding the cobblestones of Europe I invite them to enjoy the neglected country roads of this part of the world.

I road on a stretch that was little more than beaten shale until it turned into a still-smelling-of-tar new blacktop. It wasn’t much better, despite being brand new. Finally I had to turn around, riding over new asphalt covered in the red clay that means I’d traveled through at least three different soil regions.

On the way home I landed a sponsor, of sorts. I stopped at one of the crossroads gas stations to enjoy the shade and the last little bit of water. The guy working the till was sitting on a bench outside and invited me in to top off from the sink. So, Alice Faye’s Grocery, you guys are the best. And for the water refill and two handfuls of ice, I’ll mention you a lot. Also, I’ll stop back by, when I’m not in lycra, and buy a few things.

By the time I got home I’d managed 50 miles. And only the last few were uncomfortable. For the first 44 or so I felt as good as I ever have on the bike. I even set a personal best average speed over the course of the ride. It is still slow. I am not a very good cyclist.

At home the cable was out. A technician was due between 5-7 p.m. While we waited a contractor for the cable company showed up to bury the line the tech left in our yard on Saturday. He was scheduled for April but, as he said, “We must be caught up.”

This was a man of dirt and grass and heavy machinery. He has a dispatcher who tells him where to go, and that is enough. You have to admire the man’s work. Instead of a bright orange cable sprawled across the property there is now only a narrow cut line where he had to get under the grass. If you didn’t look hard you might not even see it.

As he worked the other guy showed up. And he was mystified.

These problems have persisted since we moved in. We go through a few months of mild problems, and then a long series of very persistent outages. When that happens we have experiences like this, three guys out in three days.

Oh they mean well, and they try hard. There are a few constants in the many visits. Most of them have something unflattering to say about the cable company they work for. They can never figure out the problem. They mostly just undo what the last guy did.

The guy that came out Saturday was little different. He told us the spectrum of numbers our streaming data should be at, and then told us the negative number we were at, which brought about the new cable stretched across the lawn. That worked until today.

The guy today yanked out an amplifier module one of his colleagues installed last year. It isn’t needed anymore, he said, because of the new, and newly buried, cable.

Why this wasn’t a problem for two days he couldn’t say. He couldn’t say a lot, really. He spent much of his time confused about the problem, which can’t be great for his morale. Here’s the customer, here’s the problem, here are your springtime allergens and your cat allergies.

“What is the deal with this?”

It doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, granted. But he got everything working in time. The cable got buried, everything is working as it should again. I had turkey for dinner. Life is good.

Also, we had this visitor today:


Comments are closed.