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November 15, 2005

Testing Testing 1,2,3...

I finally get to make a post! Wilma wiped out a lot of stuff here and the phone lines weren`t spared.

I got my phone back last weekend after calling BellSouth about 6 times a day. They tried to keep telling me that it was a cable problem in Miami and I`d have to wait until December 3 but I knew better.

I had checked my junction box outside and it was getting 48 volts DC current which means, A: that it wasn`t my phone line, and B: that there was no cable problem in Miami.
Maybe there was but that wasn`t the problem with my phone.

The girl right across the street was jabbering away on her phone since I got back, and she has BellSouth.

So anyway after a couple of days of trying to explain to the BellSouth people that it was probably a problem with the switch relay station down the street that got flooded with salt water, I got frustrated and called the girl retarded.

I mean, come on!
She was feeding me the standard company line wich was intended to cause the customer to resign themselves to waiting till a lineman finally got around to you.

I don`t like waiting unless there`s no other option, so I called her "retarded", explained what I thought the problem was, (simple to fix) then hung up, secure in the knowlege that I had invoked the ire of Ma Bell and my phone would be turned on sometime around the year 2015.

That Saturday I get a suprise visit by a Genuine BellSouth line technician.
I was shocked.
He checked my home line, no problem there so he asked where the pole line was. Good question.

This is Key West and nothing is symetrical or orderly. Some lines run on the poles and some are buried. In any case I told him to check the switch relay because it got flooded by 4 feet of storm surge and it sits on the ground.
He leaves, comes back 20 minutes later and I have a phone. The relay services everyone in about a 20 block area and it just so happened that mine was the only one that had pulled loose. Go figure.

Anyway I was vindicated for calling the girl a retard because the problem was exactly what I said it would be.
On the other hand the Bellsouth internet servers in Miami had some major hardware and software problems. Even though I had a phone I couldn`t get online. It`s systemic.

It`s kind of like taking a map of customers, putting it on the wall and shooting it with a shotgun.
Whoever gets hit with a pellet gets their phone wiped out and the rest don`t. Totally random.

BellSouth was absolutely no help as far as my internet connection went because they have no idea what is wrong, let alone how to fix it, they just know they have a big problem.
So, again, not being one to wait I did a little trial and error experimenting until I figured out what was wrong.
For some reason the server doesn`t "hear" your modem.
You have to dis-connect the DSL modem entirely, dis-able the ethernet card and do a dial up modem test until you hear the dial tone. Then enable the card, update the driver, re-connect the DSL modem, go to the BellSouth Connect homepage and connect.

Apparently the server simply "forgot" I was a customer and by doing all of that I just reminded it.
Now I have everybody and their brother trying to get me to get them connected.
All they have to do is go to this page and they can read how to do it.
Some people!!!

I`ve got some pictures that I might post later. They`ll give you an idea of some of the damage.
On page 7 of the November issue of The Navy Times theres a picture of the flooded street at Boca Chica airfield.
You can`t see it from the Times photo but the picture was taken right in front of a static display EA-6B Intruder.
The Intruder had its canopy painted black and it was locked down. The hurricane threw something into the canopy that broke the acrylic and once the wind had an opening to go through it blew the canopy completely off.
Out at GSE (Ground Support Equiptment) they have an EA-3B "Whale" (E-66-B for the Air Force).

The Whale sat at the end of the pad by the nose hangar and it faced the main hangar. Now it sits in the gravel and marl near the fence and berm and is turned about 60 degrees.
That`s a big aircraft. Sailors hated handling it on a carrier because it`s huge in comparrison to the other aircraft, but the wind and storm surge floated it around like a bathtub toy.

It`s good to be back.

- Joatmoaf -


November 15, 2005 at 11:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack