Monday, October 31, 2005

The Nitty Gritty

I now have SBC Yahoo DSL. It is $14.95/month which is cheaper than my internet service was before ($209 annually). It is billed monthly on my phone bill as an additional service such as caller ID, or call forwarding. I was also able to drop my second phone line as DSL is connected to a phone line but shares it, I am still able to make and receive calls while connected, in fact I think I am always connected. I paid $50 (which I have a rebate for and will get back) for the equipment needed to connect my computer, I would also have needed to purchase an ethernet card if I did not have the one Lyle gave me, but I have no idea what an ethernet card costs. I paid SBC $30 for the wireless adapter card for Megan's computer (which I am returning for a refund) and ended up paying about the same ($26.99) at Wal-Mart for the USB Wireless Adapter. I can have up to ten computers connected to the internet at the same time from any where in the house. My computer is the only one connected to the phone line, Megan's is a totally wireless connection. I have the basic service, they also have a high speed available, but even in the basic the speed is incredible compared to dial up. I merged my account with my existing Yahoo account and can view my mail through yahoo or when I am at home it pulls it into Outlook. I am still trying to figure out if I have web space like I did with voyager where I can load movies.

All in all I am pretty happy with it, but it has only been a weekend.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jonathan Carter Kennedy

If a name is all it takes then this kid will be president someday. I'm sure he's have more going for him in that direction as time goes on, but for right now he has a lot of other stuff going for him. He is exactly the right size and weight for my arms. Holding him is an absolute delight. He hasn't opened his eyes all the way for me yet, but he hasn't cried or even wimpered either.

He helped me cook and even put the football scores into the computer (another card win for Gordon first if Pittsburgh wins on Monday second if they lose - this will be his fourth win this year 2 firsts and 1 second already. Second place gets a free play the following week ($5 value), first place gets the rest.) But dinner is done and I need to eat.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Do You Yahoo?

The installation CD warned that this could take up to 30 minutes to install. HA! Minutes, hours really what is the difference. The first problem arose when it came time to connect the DSL boxy thingy to the computer, on the phone they told me it was a USB connection, the installation cd gave me the option of Ethernet (recommended), USB, or wireless. I selected USB and got to some instructions that made no sense. I don't even remember what they were, but I took advantage of the 24/7 support offered. When I read the instructions to the tech he said, "oh, you don't have to worry about that" I then asked how I was supposed to connect the boxy thingy to my cpu, it said with the "Ethernet cable supplied." I asked what I was supposed to connect it to, and he replied "the ethernet card in your computer" I explained that would be great if I had an ethernet card, but since I didn't and I was told that it was a USB connection what was the plan. He said, "oh you can connect it through a USB port" with what I asked, "a USB cable" was the simple answer. "And where in this box of stuff you sent me would I find the USB cable?" "We don't supply those you need to get one on your own." Luckily, I remember that when Lyle gave us the computer he said, "I threw an Ethernet card in the box, just in case you go wireless someday" Yea right, was my thought....Thank you Lyle! So I installed the ethernet card, and had to restart the installation from the very beginning. The longest part is when the are copying the files, I thought this should go pretty fast the second time, wrong. Wrong again the third, fourth, fifth. But an hour in (about eleven) my computer was all connected and I was on DSL. Now all we had to do was Megan's. I had purchased from SBC a wireless adapter card to connect Megan's PC and while I was doing mine, I had her turn off and disconnect her pc. We dropped the card in, put the installation cd in and progressed. Until we got to the part about actually connecting, First they asked me how I was connecting and gave me three pictures none of which looked like what I had. There was one that said Wireless Adapter but it had a long thing sticking out of the back that mine did not have, I selected it anyway and went on. The cd then instructed me to go to section F of the installation guide, there was no Section F, there was no section, A, B, C, D, E, G,H, ... either. I hit next and pretended to have read Section F. It said sorry I cannot connect, is the power on on the boxy thingy - they didn't use the term, boxy thingy, but I knew what they meant anyway. The cd then told me I was going to have to connect manually and where to find the information on the boxy thingy. I got this and plugged the numbers in and they said "sorry I cannot connect, is the power on on the boxy thingy" I said yes, and was told where to find the numbers and how to plug them in. While getting the numbers off the boxy thingy Gordon found a stick that connected to the back of the card we had put in so we attached that and still no luck. I rebooted thinking maybe since we had just attached the stick maybe a reboot would help. Not so much. We had to start the installation all over and couldn't get past putting in the numbers. Back on the phone with tech support. I explained that I did not do whatever was in section F since the manual they had sent had no sections, nor any information other than drop the card in and follow the cd. Again I was told that I did not need to worry about that. Walking through it with support helped none so I was bumped up to second level. In their defense I was never on hold for more than 30 seconds, so I never had to wait for them not to tell me anything. Second level walked me through opening the device manager and attempting to load the driver. The computer however was not able to locate a driver, talking to me as if I had never seen a computer before the tech was getting very impatient when the driver was not found since it was apparent to him that I was not pointing the wizard to look on the CD. (Luckily for him not only have I seen a computer before, but have worked support and understand the average level of intelligence dealt with) The tech went up one level and came back and said that the driver for that particular card is not included on the CD and we would need to download it off of the internet. My patience level was not at a good point by then. Why would you sell me a card and not include the driver, why would you tell me it was a USB connection and send me an Ethernet cable, why, oh why, do I attempt to change things, why can't I ever just be happy with what I have, why I ask you why! Fortunately the last half went on only in my head. I came back to my newly connected PC and downloaded the driver and burned it onto a CD to take to Megan's computer. Opened the zip files on Megan's went to load the driver and nope, the device manager said no driver, the card software said no device, always blaming the other guy. Tech supported decided I had a bad slot on the computer and told me to move the card, and then it would work just fine. I said I doubted that, but I would move the card and call them back. So I took the modem out and switched places with the wireless adapter, I was able to dial into the internet with the modem in the slot just recently vacated by the adapter, and was still not able to connect the adapter in the modem's old home. Back to tech support, "probably a bad card, those cards are not real reliable" "probably why you don't include a driver for them, huh?" "we can send you a new card" "nope not interested, I want to return this card, just tell me what I need to buy at Best Buy to get this computer running" He suggested a USB wireless adapter and instructed me to call billing on Monday to arrange the return of the original card. So we were done for the night, it was only 2:00 in the morning, three hours of effort and Megan's computer was still not connected.

This morning after the laundrymat and the library we went to Wal-Mart and bought a USB wireless adapter. I was able to load the software that came with it and plug it in getting the computer to recognize it, however it did not recognize mycomputer. Back to tech support. I gave him my case number and he read all the notes, I explained that I had a USB connector and that the computer was recognizing it but I needed to tell it how to find the boxy thingy that they had sent me. He explained that since I had chose to go with a third party connector he might not be able to help me. Totally out of patience I explained that I hoped the call was being monitored and this not being my first, second, or third call to their technical support I was fully aware that the chances of him being able to help me were slim and none, that SBC had given me little option but to go with a third party vendor, and that he had better listen to what I was telling him since I understood the concepts but needed to know the particulars of where everything went. I explained that I was able to get into the software to where the profile needed to be loaded but that I did not know what information to put in where. Walking through it with him led absolutely no where. He kept saying "where it says WEP put in your serial number" It doesn't say WEP. Finally, he gave me the codes that I would need to call Belkin (the third party vendor) and hopefully they would be able to help me. And they were, it took a while, I was on hold for about 40 minutes waiting for the next available operator, finally I decided to take the phone into the office and play poker while I waited, sure enough that brought about the next available operator. Within minutes, I professed my undying love, and Megan's computer was on line on DSL.

My email is changing from to Voyager is still active until 11/17 when my contract is up. But I signed up for something called trueswitch which is supposed to notify all of you and forward mail for up to thirty days.

That's all the news that's fit to print.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here is the promised more

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBry's party was very loud. We counted 11 kids and 14 adults (Megan is in the adult category for this one.) For those of you who haven't been there Robin's house is pretty small. But everyone had fun. At one point Bryan couldn't get something he wanted and he said "Oh yeah, happy birthday to me" with just the right amount of sarcasm to confirm that he really is 7.

On the job front although they have told me that I would become a full time employee with benefits as of 11/10 they have not told me what those said benefits are. I did find out through talking with others that the day after Thanksgiving is not a holiday (and to think I listed that as my favorite day.) So I asked my manager and she told me that she would get HR to give me the packet explaining the benefits. When this did not happen I asked again. She then told me that HR had informed her that I would get this once I was an official employee. I told her that this was not okay, that it would be foolish to commit to an offer without knowing what the offer was. She went back to HR and was again told no. I then sweetened the pot by saying that I was expecting a job offer from a company that I had temped for last year within the next week, and that if I did not know what Arcadia had to offer I might have to assume the other offer was better. This brought about a flurry of activity, including me being called into the HR office. Where I was told that it was common practice to not divulge benefit information until after an employee had been hired. I explained that it was common practice for me to discuss this information in the interview, as it is a key component of compensation. HR would not budge stating that they could not treat me any differently than any other potential employee. I agreed that I did not expect preferential treatment but I would have to take that into consideration. My manager then called me into the office of the director of our department where the director gave me her benefit package explaining the different options available and the costs for each. She then told me that I would recieve 2 floating holidays that needed to be used by the end of the year and would have accrued just over 20 vacation hours based on the 90 days I will have worked prior to becoming an official employee (although I am not official until 11/10, my hire date will be 8/12.) She also told me that I would receive a $2/hour raise and should the offer from the other (phantom) company be more than that to let her know and she would see what she could do. Wow, this is alot like playing poker, I have the nuts and I want to get called, if I raise too little I won't get the best payout, if I raise too much I might not get called. Not sure yet how to play it.

I posted the "answers" to last week's post. This week the game is encore. As I am driving I often hear a word in a song that gets me to thinking what other songs have that word in it. This week I did a lot on "bottle" what can you guys come up with? Bonus points if you come up with the song that inspired this train of thought.

Until Later

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Happy Birthday Bryan

Image Hosted by Yes, those are glasses on his face, he needs them for reading, tv, and using the computer. Will post more later.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chillin' on a Saturday

THEY WERE ROBBED. Now I don't profess to be a fan of baseball, and have nothing against those that have chosen (is it a choice or are you born that way?) that lifestyle, but I was flipping channels the other night and what I saw was nothing short of robbery. If the White Sox end up winning the series I am officially boycotting baseball. (As opposed to just not watching it.)

I WANT TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHEN I GROW UP. Well not as soon as I grow up I'll wait until after I've already taken everything I want. Again flipping channels, I caught a city council show from Westland, someone is asking to reopen Nankin Tavern and build two additional restaurants on the property (a pizza shop and an unnamed fast food drive through.) This is the corner of Hines and Ann Arbor Trail. Many residents of the area were there to complain stating how that area is full of nature and one of the main reasons they chose to build their homes there was because of all the nature in the area. These homes have not been there since the beginning of time and most of them have gone up in the last few years. One guy actually said that he was a devout environmentalist and chose to build his home there last year because of all of the trees and animals in the area, and how the proposed development of the area would destroy such. Of course the development of his property was necessary and of no consequence to nature. If this doesn't go through I am officially boycotting nature.

OVER THE RIVER THE MIGHTY RIVER. Crossing the Zilwuakee bridge last night I wrote down all of the songs I heard on the radio for a trivia game for you guys. How can I write and drive you ask? Don't worry I did put my book down while I wrote down the songs. As you can see from the impressive list I was on the bridge for a loooong time. Apparently there was an overturned semi, however all I know was we went no where and then we did. There was a AAA report on while I was waiting but instead of traffic it gave an update on the leaves changing (the UP is at 75%, northern lower at 50% with peak to hit in two weeks in case you're interested.) So here is a random line from a song, what song is it? Answers will be posted in comments later in the week. Keep in mind I was listening to the "Great songs of yesteryear" station and flipping with "70's, 80's, 90's, whatever we want" station.

1. Roll me in designer sheets
2. Not much, how 'bout you
3. You know that's a game I hate to lose
4. Although I lose a friend, in the end you'll know
5. The beauty is there but the beast is in her heart
6. Just let it go, don't be afraid to lose control
7. You know it's just your foolish pride
8. Now you don't care a thing about me You're just using me
9. That kind of love is mythical She's anything but typical
10.But I'll be lonely without you
11. I only smile when I lie, then I tell them why
12. Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight
13. They keep their boyfriends warm at night
14. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
15. Hoping you'll seeWhat your love means to me
16. You and me been finding each other for so long
17. When the skies of November turn gloomy
18. Well, we're scared, but we ain't shakin'
19. And talk is cheap when the story is good
20. young and sweet, only seventeen
21. Take my arms that I might reach you
22. You ain't seen the best of me yet

WE WOULD HAVE PUT IT IN THE FINE PRINT IF YOU KNEW YOU READ IT. My internet service is expiring in November and I received an email that they would be charging my credit card for another year of service if I did not respond that I know longer wanted it. I thought this would be a good time to explore other options. Fortutiously I received a brochure from SBC detailing their plans for bundling services. Phone, mobile phone (through Cingular), tv service (through Dish Network), and internet (through Yahoo DSL). I currently have SBC for phone, Dish for tv, and have thought many times about changing my cell phone. So I had Gordon make the preliminary call to check out all of this. Yes, DSL does not use a separate phone line so I can discontinue paying for a second line. Yes, I can connect more than one computer - even at the same time. No, I cannot bundle my Dish with it since I am a loyal customer and not a new customer. You have to call a different number to sign up for Cingular. By this time he had worked out for the customer service rep to call me on Saturday. So she did and I worked through what I needed to understand and everything was good. They were sending out the software and equipment I needed to set everything up, we scheduled the shut off of my additional phone line......and then the stopper. "I see you do not have SBC as your long distance carrier" "No, I do not have a long distance carrier, I use my cell for all long distance calls" "Well, as a requirement for the DSL service you must use SBC as your long distance carrier, this way you will have the ability to make long distance calls from your phone at a charge of ten cents per minute" "Is there any monthly charge?" "Just two dollars per month" reading as I am talking "so, what you're saying is the DSL will cost me $16.95/month instead of $14.95" still considerably cheaper than internet service and an additional phone line, "no, the DSL is $14.95, the long distance is $2.00" "come on, you've seemed intelligent don't go stupid on me" "well, I guess you could look at it that way, but it is still considerably cheaper than even just the additional phone line" "Yes, it is but I really hate this kind of thing thrown in at the end, I'm looking at your brochure and I do see on the bottom where it says I have to have SBC local service, but it does not mention anything about long distance service" "well, ma'am since you have a brochure and it does not mention it, I'll just go ahead and waive this long distance service." So it looks like it is going to happen, the new service starts on the 25th, I don't have an email address yet but I will let you know when I do. The old service (voyager) is still there until the 17th.

The time stamp on this post is 12:27 and the clock on my computer reads 2:48, so I guess I have spent enough time on this. I'll talk to you all soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Melody

Hopefully your present got there by now, it's coming from probably addressed to me. Click on the video to see how much we miss you.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Another Embarrassment at Ford Field

Amazingly it wasn't the Lions who were embarrassed. It wasn't so much that the Lions won but the Ravens lost the game and their composure today. It was a great game to watch. Josh is quite a Lions fan and yells "Go Lions" (video attached the second part was a Lions Touchdown) with the best of us. (Us being me and Sean, the other people in the house took Baltimore to win - fools). The most amazing in all is that it is week 5 of the season and the Lions are in sole possession of first place in their division.

In other interesting news Patti (the office manager for the construction company I was working at until she hired someone with a little more knowledge than I) called me last week to offer me a job. Turns out she has been through 4 people (one of which was her daughter) since I left at the end of July. It was with great pleasure that I could tell her I had found a position that I am challenged at. Of course I first asked what they were offering and it was as I thought no medical benefits at all. I do miss wearing jeans and the drives around town but I really enjoy what I am doing now. The team I work with is improving as the two girls I least liked (one I could not stand, and one that was tolerable) are gone and I have moved to a much better desk position.

Since I have the boys here today we are celebrating Melody's birthday, it would be better if she was here too. But sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.