I appear to be taking topics out of order chronologically this week, but Iʼll address my issues in the order I think about them first. So to review, yesterday I spent the day waiting for a Qwest service person to make a call on my residence. Although the time of his or her arrival changed during the morning from an estimate of 1:43 until 4:43 PM to a more reasonable 12:58 to 1:58 PM (at least according to the technician search on their website), I pretty much diddled away my morning and earliest afternoon. I did accomplish some regular chores around the house, including the laundry and remaking the bed, taking out the garbage, and filing away bills and other important paperwork. But I didnʼt make my run for groceries or to the bank that I had hoped to accomplish.
But the two-person crew arrived promptly at 1:15, did some investigation, installed a house-wide DSL filter, and went on their way by 1:35. They were extremely nice and personable people, too. (Letʼs hope this device does the trick.)
Thanks, Qwest service technicians!
Unfortunately, this morning (as in today, Tuesday, the day I am attempting to post this), as I started to load my mail in the browser, the Internet and Server levels tracked by Network Diagnostics failed. Again… (like usual?) I had tried to explain to those folks in Asia: the problem is not with us in our house…
Iʼll try a few restarts, I guess before I call to complain (as I donʼt really feel much up to wasting another day on the phone instead of doing what I want to do).
The first fail was at 9:15. The second came (although Network Diagnostics showed all systems go) at 9:28. Restarting the modem again…
These service breaks donʼt appear to indicate that Qwest has resolved anything, and, if anything, surely seem to demonstrate that the problem isnʼt here at home. Or does it? (I also feel confident that the corporation can clearly control how good a connection I get… Yesterdayʼs was, of course, strong and clear. Today, alternatively, miserably poor, as bad as last Thursday.)
Ah, Qwest… What can one say?
Quite simply, Qwest sucks. Just not their service technicians here in Iowa, who capably and friendly did the job they had been instructed to perform (meaninglessly since the Higher-Ups didnʼt want to be bothered with actually resolving the problems of one noisy cog here in the ignored Midwest).
But Now For Something Potentially of Actual Interest
But back to what isnʼt yesterdayʼs post… I was, as I said earlier, doing home duties Monday.
So why hadnʼt I done these things over the weekend? Because we werenʼt at home. With my upcoming job going to dominate my time and attention possibly as much is my temporary return to the classroom had done in March, The Lovely One decided perhaps we needed a little getaway before I started to work (again). So she took the day off on Friday to permit us an extended weekend in some exotic locale together. Our only problem — no exotic locales nearby.
I have long wondered if we might enjoy a little visit to Rockford, Illinois, not much to Janetʼs enthusiasm. But she did tolerate me checking that destination out on Thursday, permitting me to locate on the Visit Rockford website what I considered the funniest tourism video I had ever found. Unfortunately, nothing else, particularly restaurants, seemed terrifically stimulating. Sadly. (If anyone knows better about the city, please advise.)
A search of the map for a radius of 150-200 miles didnʼt reveal much we hadnʼt done or (like Rockford) hadnʼt rejected doing recently. I attempted to suggest Madison again (after our Big Fail of a trip during the Walker-caused demonstrations at the state capitol), but The Lovely One feels twice burned by the State of Repression just now. What to do?
What to do, for sure? Janet had already taken the next day off work. We had to do something…
A phone call from her sister got our mental wheels in motion. Diane and Steve were going to be in St. Charles, Illinois — long a favorite stopover for us, particularly about my birthday time (although evidence I have just encountered leads me to believe our most previously recent trip there had been mid-March a year ago) — for a big flea market held at the Kane County Fairgrounds several times each year. We dithered a little (why not? Weʼre old folks, sort of — more on that ahead) and eventually decided to go for it, giving Priceline the chance to let us bid and save sixty percent. (We did notice that a longtime favorite hotel in St. Charles, the Holiday Inn Express had dropped its prices from unreasonably astronomic — thus severing our connection to the joint for years — to a realistic level, down to $75.)
Unfortuantely, Priceline seems to have changed its bidding formula. Used to be that when your bid wasnʼt accepted, you upped your bid. At least last Thursday evening, that didnʼt work; Priceline insisted we had to change the area, the star levels or the bid price (and changing the bid price wasnʼt sufficient, merely returning immediately the same unaccepted message without the little pause for the bid attempt to go through). At sometime after 10:00 PM, we decided to call it a night and figure out a new strategy in the brighter light of morning…
Morning light inspired The Lovely One to suggest hotwire.com for an alternative bidding site. I tried, but it was less satisfactory than Priceline, as Hotwire didnʼt permit you to see what hotel you were getting until after the bidding was completed. (Priceline at least lists the hotels they have available with appropriate star ratings, allowing you to bid by stars, location and then your chosen price — giving you some control over what hotels might accept your bid.) Hotwireʼs system required a lot of offsite searching to figure out which of their anonymous hotels might be which. We didnʼt have that kind of time.
So we hauled out Janetʼs HI-points credit card and went straight to the Holiday Inn Express site (where the hotelʼs price had risen by three and a half bucks overnight). However, before I went for the higher price, she wondered what might happen if I checked other alternatives than “best available rate.” I demurred, indicating that “best available rate” should and generally did mean the best possible rate. But she insisted, and when I looked at the senior citizen rate (requiring one to be 62 years of age or holding a retired personʼs organization card) this AARP member (since I turned fifty, and, boy, have I taken grief for accepting that membership proposal) discovered (now it was all going to pay off) that I could save ten bucks a night as an official old fuddy duddy.
We booked it, packed, and hit the road by 11:00 AM Friday.
With my preoccupation about Qwestʼs inability to keep us online here in Wakdjunkagaville, I have exceeded my thousand words. I guess Iʼll save further adventures from last weekend for another day. The modemʼs been off as I finished this up. I just turned it back on. Letʼs find out if I can get this posted… If youʼre reading it, I succeeded.