Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I just checked my credit score.  I do so about once every 6 months.  I don't figure it's going to change that fast either for good or worse.  It's up about 50 points from the last time I checked it - but it's still bad.  That because it is still showing that I am late on my mortgage payment and it also doesn't show that I paid the car off or the credit card that I paid off. It has one credit card flagged because I was late on a payment.  The late payment? July of 2008.  Are you seriously going to tell me that a late payment some 5 years ago should negatively affect my credit?

And then there's the medical thing I forgot about.  It's on there.  Less than $100, but any negative on there regardless of how much affects your score. I'm going to pay that one off and get rid of it, but I am going to try to convince them to remove it off of my files completely if I agree to pay off the full amount.

They may not do that, but I am going to ask anyway.

I don't know how long it takes for companies to update the thing to show the activity that has been made.  Paying off the car loan should be a very good thing.  Must take longer than a month, apparently, so next month I am going to check again.  To think that at one point, I had my score up to almost 700.  Oh well.  Just keep working at it and bring it back up again.
George's company is paying to have Cox internet installed. Here's the problem with people nowadays: You can tell them facts and things that are extremely relevant to a situation and it will go over their head like they never heard it.  George told everyone - Cox, his company - that there is no Cox cable coming into the house and neither has their even been.  There is no cable running from the street.  George told them all of that, repeatedly according to George, but, of course, it falls on deaf ears.

So, they show up today.  Before they get here, I'm thinking: running conduit from the street to the house.  Blue stake will have to be called and a very long trench will have to be run.  Blue stake hasn't been out there and the dude that showed up?  NO way was he digging any trenches.  This guy was neatly dressed with a more-than-casual shirt on, tucked in, hair neatly kept: this guy is not a trench-digger.  And so it was.  I was standing there listening to him, he switched to Spanish.  He intoned the words: "no se puede".  It can't be done, I can't do it, whatever, that's what it means, non-happening event.

So, his supervisor is coming out in an hour to do - what - tell George that a trench has to be dug and conduit installed? lol  Okay, arrange for that, please, if not, I have contacts from work to get it done.  I am not doing that.  Well, I would have if I were going to have Cox installed for my own personal use - not paying a construction company some unbelievable rate to bring a Ditch-Witch out and churn out a trench.

I can rent my own Ditch-Witch if it came down to that and have it delivered to the house and picked up.  But, this is part of the reason I don't have Cox cable internet - yet.  Lol.  Cox isn't going to say they won't do it.  They're just going to say it's going to cost more money to have it installed, is my guess.  I am sure they have a company or companies they contract out to to have come over and do the trenching and conduit laid.

So, in the end, this is actually going to help me out quite a bit.  I won't have to pay for any of this, it will be done and I will be one step closer to having Cox internet in my house.

Speaking of internet.  Century Link is coming out yet again. I called them again today - the speed has been down for a week, I finally got tired of the length of time it takes to access any site - and told them I had run 7 speed tests on fully 7 different test sites.  The results were anywhere from 3.8 to 5.6 mpbs.  Yeah, unacceptable.

The first lady on the phone? Philippines.  They don't argue anymore when you ask them to be switched to America, they just do it.  As I figured, the first lady I got in the U.S. was going to argue with me about the speed.  She informed me that none of those sites were not "legitimate", of which I balked out.  She then said the only site they take as proof is their site.  Yep, I responded, I don't doubt that.  So I went to their site while on the phone and it came up as 6.5.  Closer, but still not 7.7.  Doesn't matter, the woman intoned, it's within 20% and our guarantee is within 20% of the target speed.  Bunk again. Let me speak to your manager.

The manager gets on and starts giving me the same rap.  While she is doing that, I sit back down at the computer and run the test again.  This time, 5.3.  That is NOT within 20% and I told her I just ran it again and from the verbiage of the first lady I talked to, it IS on YOUR computer screen, you can see it for yourself.

I then began running the test over and over, it came up with wildly fluctuating results varying from 3.8 to 9.6. I left the last one on the screen showing 3.490, less than half the speed I am supposed to be getting.  So, yes, a tech is coming over again.  I was assured that they would fix it this time.  I replied that that is exactly what your company told me last time.  And the time before that, and before that, look it up how many times service techs have been out here for the same, exact reason and all of them have never been able to identify what, exactly, the problem is.

I left it at that. They are coming out today to "finally" figure out what is going on by allegedly sending out a "higher tier" level technician.  I'll be asking that technician about that when he arrives.  But in reality? Once George gets this Cox thing squared away and the line - well I am going to ask them to run 2 lines while they are at it - is installed, I am definitely going to find myself a good router and modem and switch to the greener side of the fence.  Okay, who knows if it is or not, but I have endured Century Link long enough.  They have sent out over a dozen techs over the years with the same problem arising every single time.  They either fix it temporarily or nothing changes.  The last time the guy put in a new router - for free of course - which at least fixed the problem of the signal being completely dropped and having NO internet feed at all.

I'm just going to tell the guy that he is one in a line of many techs that have been out here "figuring" out the problem and that whatever the problem is, it has never identified.  Not in an abusing tone, just a simple challenge: can you please figure out what's going on here?  When I have the full 7.7 going, it's fast enough.  It's not mega speed but it does the job well enough. If they could actually figure out what's going on and fix it once and for all, I would probably stay with the company.  I have my rate reduced to $25 per month for a year and after that back to normal rate which is $45, which is $10 cheaper than Cox.  However, the $55 tier for Cox is twice the speed, I think 15 mbps.  That would be blazing fast in my world and I know Cox has even faster speeds, up to 50.  But I am not paying over $100 per month for internet, no thanks.

And finally, a huge-joke-of-an-article explaining how to protect yourself against a home invasion. Taser guns.  So, a taser gun is going to stand up against a handgun?  Home invasions around these parts have been executed by people armed with handguns.  Your taser gun is going to be worthless against such.  I was laughing at this article by the time I got through with it.  It was all about everything but the use of lethal force. I guess if you are a person that simply won't use lethal force, be my guest.  Me?  I'm going to show up with my 12 gauge shotgun or my .40 caliber S&W40VE and they are going to get it right back in their face.  My first line of defense is no front door.  Second line of defense is a completely fenced property with only the very front of the house not fenced in.  3rd line of defense: surveillance cameras.  4th line of defense: large, loud dogs.  5th line of defense: only unlocked entrance in very rear of house, I would see someone walking by before they got there.  Last line of defense listed about: lethal force.

It ends the story with the following: "Finally, and perhaps most importantly, never try to be a hero — especially if the intruder has a gun.
As the National Crime Prevention Council says, "If someone tries to rob you, give up your property — don't give up your life."

Really? What about the robbers who don't care if you are submitting to them, doing everything they say and they still shoot you anyway?  I've seen it over and over again in the news.  Trusting the police are going to get there in time?  Good luck!  When are police around when something is actually going on or arrive in time to defuse a situation?  It happens, yes, but not that often.  You could be robbed, shot and killed and those people gone before they ever show up.  My best line of defense is to be prepared.  If someone came through the back door I would be out of the line of fire in a millisecond.  It's a utility room and I'm 40 feet away from it and the first 20 feet is a narrow enough walkway with limited line of sight.  Dive into the living room, head for my bedroom and yes, get out the shotgun.

Yeah, I have replayed that scenario over in my mind just a few times considering the amount of crime in this city.

And that's the name of that tune.



  1. Hi Ben,

    Sorry to hear that your DSL hasn't run at acceptable speeds. Our Team can look into this is you wish.

    Please email talktous@centurylink.com your account information and we'll see what we can do.

    Thank you very much,

    Tom Spenner

    Social Media Manager
    Customer Advocacy Group

  2. Dear Tom Spenner: I have had MORE than enough of the BS and attitudes that your company doles out, ending this morning with a woman in whatever management position that continuously interrupted me, over and over. I called a Cox cable internet provider today and having it installed on Monday. I do hope you either change your attitudes towards your customers or - just go out of business.


Today marks day one of my manager's vacation.  I'm hoping to get a couple days off, even 3 if possible, but without asking.  I don&#...