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» Wednesday, January 10, 2018The First Ten Days
It's been a frustrating ten days.
New Year's was pleasant. We watched the Rose Parade (grand marshal Gary Sinese) and its colorful floats and equally colorful bands (a Japanese band had bright purple uniforms) and horses. Later we went to Alice and Ken's house to watch the Rose Bowl because the University of Georgia "Bulldogs" were one of the teams. I don't like football, but I have to admit it was a really good game; lots of suspense into two overtimes. The "Dawgs" won, which meant they went to the SEC championships. Alas, they lost that game in overtime to the University of Alabama this past Monday. Apparently the "Tide" was too high to resist.
The cold continued apace. It was cold even for me. LOL.
No one came to pick up the poor truck until Friday. We had left it out all afternoon on Thursday as they said they were coming by. Apparently there were so many wrecks over New Years' weekend they couldn't keep up. We have not heard what they are offering us yet, but today we found out the repair would be over $9,000. The truck was only worth a third that much. No word how much they will offer for the lift.
When I arrived back at work on the 2nd, I still had thirteen hours of use-or-lose remaining, so I took Thursday afternoon off and Friday. Thursday I took James to his nurse visit (thankfully his blood pressure was down) and then we looked at two local used car lots for cars. We also broached the idea of getting a small SUV. However, another Tacoma would be the best value, and we did find a promising one just down the street, near the house.
We also went vehicle hunting on Sunday, including cross town to a Toyota dealership. That was a bust, because all they had was a double cab, which won't fit in the garage with the lift. We came back, went by the Toyota used lot on Cobb Parkway where we saw an access cab that looked promising, but which was as old as the old truck. It was freezing—we were in our "Rhode Island winter coats" and bundled up like Randy in A Christmas Story—but the salesman was very helpful. Finally we headed up to the Toyota lot at Town Center. They had a very nice 2011 in "pyrite," so we decided to keep an eye on that one.
However, James finally decided on a 2014 white Tacoma from the lot near our house. We took it on a test drive, kept it overnight, and then brought it to our mechanic, who found it needed brakes and the tires were suffering from dry rot and it had a broken door hinge, but otherwise was good mechanically. The dealership agreed to fix those three things and we should have it by the end of the week. We have an appointment to put a new trailer hitch on it next week and Mobility Works is ordering a new lift. (The old lift cannot be fixed. Once it is even slightly damaged they cannot guarantee its structural integrity anymore.)
We also tried out Wade's Diner and didn't think much of it.
We had our Twelfth Night party as usual, this year on Epiphany itself. We had a small but fun crowd, and missed Mel and Phyllis, who were home with a cold. Aubrey found the pickle on the tree as always. Gifts were exchanged and enjoyed.
A few weeks ago we got an offer from Earthlink for their "Hyperlink" service (broadband through the phone line). We were doing okay on DSL but we are still considering "cutting the cord." I made an appointment to get it yesterday because the salesman said it only took about an hour, an hour and a half to install. They assign you a time, and since James had to take the white pickup over to the mechanic to get it checked out anyway, I figured that would work.
Well, this turned out to be a fripping nightmare. The Hyperlink is installed via AT&T. Yesterday's technician showed up, turned off the phone without telling me (I was in the middle of an order), then went through the house testing all the phone jacks to find the one that was loose so he could connect the modem to hardwire to the computers. Once he found that, he installed the modem, but it wouldn't update. He kept going back and forth outside and then finally decided there was something wrong with the outside line and called an AT&T tech to come fix it. This dude was outside for about four hours, and when I noticed he was in the truck (this was after dark by now) I went to ask him what was going on, since when the first tech left we had a dial tone and now we didn't. He thought it was fixed and expressed surprise about the missing dial tone, and had to go to the box on the main street to turn it back on. It was horribly scratchy, and even though the Hyperlink hadn't been installed, we had no DSL at all and couldn't even fall back on it. For some reason my dial-up modem would not work, either.
Plus James had missed a day of work, I'd missed most of a day of work, and I was madder than a wet hen. I called up Earthlink and gave them a piece of my mind, but since the call center isn't even in the U.S. it's not like they really care.
By this time the first tech had gone off duty. They promised me someone would be here at 9 a.m. today to finish the install. I didn't let it wait. Since I couldn't sleep anyway—I had hurt my left leg on the stairs during the day—I was on the phone with Earthlink customer service at eight and finally found the Atlanta number and called them at eight thirty. During the latter call I got someone named Debbie and she called up AT&T and made sure someone was on their way.
He indeed got here at nine, but it took him over three hours to get it going. He had to work on the box on our street, and then the main junction box on the cross street, back and forth, and finally, to get our dial tone back, had to lay a new line just for the phone (someone will be out to bury it next week). He didn't say it aloud, but apparently the dude who worked on the box yesterday didn't know what he was doing. Anyway, finally we had a solid green light, and one by one we could attach the computers. The cell phones and the tablets were the least trouble because all you have to do is show Android a picture of wi-fi and it connects. 😊 Even the ancient Blu-ray player attached to the modem and it hasn't spoken to the wi-fi signal in five years! It took us, however, at least another hour to get the most critical unit attached: James' work laptop. The other two computers were a cinch: find the modem, tell it to connect, type in the cybernetic salad that's the password, and you're in. The work laptop wasn't that simple because we also had to set the connection parameters (what level of security and in which format, which we didn't know until James found the specs on the modem). That didn't get done until 2 p.m. James' supervisor sounded really testy this morning when he called in saying the internet was still down, so he worked an additional hour to make up for not being available in the morning.
There has been entirely too much drama already this month.
And I've only just begun putting Christmas back up! Only the kitchen and the foyer are cleared so far.