Friday, May 29, 2009

Clear, steady TV picture? We'll see. Maybe!

We needed it, that rain. But now it has done its duty and should part. Selfishly, my body doesn’t like the weather anymore. I’m now in the mood to simply want some sun back. We’re told we might get some tomorrow along with the possible showers. That’s simply not good enough. I want the rain to go away. Wife Gator’s gardens are nice and satisfied with their long, too darn long, drink so there’s no reason for the rain to continue.

I’ve had some fun with my cable provider. I won’t mention the company’s name, but there is only one in the Greater Portland area. The signal coming into my house has been breaking up for the last several of weeks. A technician came last week to make it all better. It was the second time in the last few weeks one has come here. Naturally the rule that says broken things should work when a technician is around was completely honored.

Part of the reason was because the night before each visit I had rebooted the cable box during one of the breakups. I’ve been experiencing occasional problems ever since I switched to digital reception several months ago. Each time I called the cable company, the technician gave me the same instructions and talked me through rebooting the box.

It has always worked…for a few days. Rebooting the box isn’t rocket science so I just began performing the task without calling and did that for several weeks. A few weeks ago, however, it just got to me so I once again called the service line. After I explained the problem to the phone tech, he checked my account and saw that I had really called several times with the same problem. The company sent a couple of technicians to the house and some of the cable was replaced. That would fix it. It didn’t.

Last week I made another call and a different technician was sent. He came in a cable company truck. The two guys previously were in an unmarked truck with only the company name on a sticker on the side. The new guy explained they were contract people. He was a cable company person. Naturally the work when techie is around was followed; he fiddled around, took readings from several screens of technical stuff, changed a cable connection, and proclaimed it fixed. It wasn’t.

Another call to the cable company earlier this week. Two technicians in different cable company trucks showed up yesterday. One was the same guy that had been here last week. But yesterday there was a difference. I hadn’t rebooted the box and could actually show him what was happening. “Ah. Now I understand,” he said. “I think there’s a real problem somewhere here.” Great observation. So the two of them with their meters and stuff traced the signal all the way from the pole connection into the junction box in the basement and then to the box itself.

I don’t know all the things they must have done along the way, but the reception cleared up as I was looking at it. After quite a while, they proclaimed it fixed. I must admit I’ve been able to watch the channels that were giving me problems. I was told I’d be getting a credit for my lost time on my next bill and they left.

Is the problem fixed this time? We’ll know within a couple of days. At least as of last night, everything was working properly.

As I inferred yesterday, I’m going to try to stay away from politics as much as I can, at least for a while. But the Maine Legislature, actually the Senate, did a good thing yesterday. It killed by a 33-2 vote a measure to allow non-citizens to vote in Maine. A Portland legislator had sponsored a bill that would have allowed immigrants, legal or not, the right to vote in Maine if local communities gave their okay. It was a lousy bill but the Senate made the right decision. Of course immigrants who have become citizens already have voting privileges.


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