Friday, September 26, 2008

Afterword on my DSL debacle

So my phone company calls me today-- more than a month after I started trying to get DSL moved to my new house-- and tells me that they are ready to install it. Because, yes, indeed DSL is available at the neighborhood at the corner of Prince and Salem.

A cable modem and new Lynksys router after I had given up on them completely.

Evidently no one had actually been reading the notes on my account. Or if they were, no one knew what they meant.

On the bright side, the Rhea Lanna 1/2 price sale started today and I got a ton of stuff for my 6yo. And the best part? She has not yet figured out the difference between a consignment sale and Old Navy. Yes, I *am* savoring this while it lasts.

In other news...
So, in my interim position that I am not qualified to apply for when it comes open, I had to talk to someone today. In, like, an authoritative way. I am not sure that I am comfortable with that. I think I had rather confront plagiarizing students three times a week than have to be an administrator forever. I am much happier in my life when I am just arguing with students that yes, indeed, they do have something to say and they need to discover how they need to say it without me giving them an organizational plan.

My eight year old van is acting kind of iffy. I don't want a new one, because we are still paying for my husband's truck. I really would like to pay that off, then wait a year, and then buy a new family vehicle. So that probably means a substantial repair bill. And another two years.

So I really need to think of something good to counterbalance all this negative.
Let's see... I figured out why my groupwise was almost overflowing. I am forwarding my messages to my gmail account because groupwise was so wonky this summer. And all of those sent messages were cluttering up my server space. So I went from over 75% full to somewhere around 40%.

I talked with a couple guys I knew from college on Facebook today (besides the one I talk to regurlarly).

Mea had a good night at band. And her shy friend has a date for Homecoming. (Mea has a dress-- probably skipping the date).

All my kids are home and safe. And Todd dropped the boy off first so there was no awkwardness. (Boy who likes Mea needed a ride home from band; the shy friend always rides home with us).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


So we finally closed on September 17. We passed all the inspections. We paid all the cost over-runs. So now we officially own our house (well, us and the bank).

We walked away about even, with only the Home Depot credit card remaining for what we owe on the old house. I promptly spent money that I should have spent on something else on a flat panel television, because I am a complete loser I want to have a tv that I can hang on the wall rather than taking up our floor space.

Right now, Todd is installing the bracket. The $80 bracket, mind you. Who ever heard of an $80 bracket to hang a tv with? He has spent the last 30 minutes drilling one hole out of the three that has to be drilled.

I am, while he does this, trying to write a paper outlining the debate about what the content of FYC should be. Should it be literature? Essays? Student work? Works from the disciplines? Fun, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Great News!!!

It took a plumber, but everything on the ADDI list is done.

As soon as the inspector can make it back, and he clears the house, then we can close. I can quit paying both my early occupancy fee AND my mortgage for the house I am selling (we let the buyers do some repairs in lieu of early occupancy).

I loved that little house on Oliver Street, but I am relieved that this will soon be over. I only need two things in life right now-- to close on our house and get my DSL hooked up.

To add to the fun, the city code inspector came and left my brother a list of code violations that their house has. Their house that they live in, that is... My parents actually own the house. So guess who is technically responsible for the work? My parents.

In other good news, I am going on the Honors retreat this weekend with the Alumni Association. I am taking my work that I need to get done, and should have peace and quiet to work on it.

I am presenting at the Ozarks Conference again this year. I have written the paper, of course, but I need to make it a presentation. Cut it to eight pages. And somehow explain Kenneth Burke to a lay audience.

I definitely need some time to work on it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Forgetting, for the moment, the people who have real tragedy

Three more calls to the lovely people who may or not provide DSL service to PRINCE and SALEM. If anyone in Conway has DSL, shouldn't it be the neighbourhoods at the corner of Prince and Salem?

Neither here nor there.

I have my PVX program on my husband's computer. Because Polycom is not made up of idiots. The software I downloaded worked with the license & serial numbers I already had. Now, if I can get the drivers all aligned on the Lenovo, I'll be in business. The Lenovo came with the Vista pre-installed. For a number of reasons, that needed to be changed. But, as I feared, (and the reason I put off installing XP for eight months) drivers for XP are not as easy to get together as they could be. So I am downloading drivers and configuring his computer. Tonight I think I will go over to Craig's house and test it, with him there to open ports for me :)

All this just to go to class tomorrow. Oh, but am I prepared? Not exactly. Because what have I been doing? Trying to get DSL set up.

Oh, what fools these mortals be!

New chapter in the unending saga of how my high school friends have f-d up their lives:
Ark. man pleads to 2 deaths, gets 32 years

Last Update: 9/08 11:54 am

JASPER, Ark. (AP) - A Jasper resident has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other crimes in the deaths of two men whose bodies were found two years after they went missing.

William Ashworth, 42, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of manslaughter, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and a felony firearm violation toward sentence enhancement, Sheriff Keith Slape said Monday.

Ashworth was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison, with eight years suspended, the sheriff said.

Ashworth originally was charged with capital murder. In pleading guilty, he admitted to the deaths of Timothy Ray Eddings, 38, and Tilton Housden, 22, then burning and hiding their bodies.

The two men, both from Jasper, were last seen alive Oct. 19, 2005, after they finished roofing a house in the Shiloh Mountain area of Newton County.

A confidential informant later told FBI agents about the deaths, and told police he helped move the men's bodies. He told police Ashworth doused the bodies with diesel and set them on fire. The remains were found Sept. 15, 2007, in private woods not far from where the two men had vanished.

The sheriff said Ashworth claimed the men had "come over to do harm to his house or his daughter."

Ashworth entered the pleas in a Newton County Circuit Court proceeding, held in Harrison last week. He was being held Monday in the county jail in Jasper, pending a bed in state prison, the sheriff said.


Information from: Harrison Daily Times,
Man slaughter??? Tell me how it is possibly manslaughter to murder two men and set them on fire? Self defence, my eye. If something is self defence, you shoot, call an ambulance, and then call the sheriff (or shoot, hide your stash, call an ambulance, and then call the sheriff). Either way, you only burn bodies if you are trying to hide something. Not if you are a victim.

As I've said on here before, Timothy was a acquaintance of mine. We didn't really hang out, but we always had something to say when we ran in to each other. I didn't know the other victim at all. While Timothy was by no means a role model, I liked him. And I think it is unfair that his murder will not likely see his entire sentence. In fact, he may spend less time in jail than Timothy's family spent wondering if he were ever coming back home.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I have been trying to get my DSL installed since August 22. It took until August 30 to get my landline moved over, so then I could order DSL, right? So I tried to find a phone number to call. No dice. So I try to just upgrade my service, thinking that would generate an order... (Contact #1).

I accidentally click on something, and a chat pops up. So I ask the guy how to get my service moved.

He evidently could not understand me. He just typed away at his script, providing answers to somebody else's questions. (Contact #2).

On Monday, Labor Day, I call. The tech, who obviously also does not understand what the problem is, tells me that my DSL will be turned on at "precisely 8 o'clock" the next night. (Contact #3).

At 8:22 pm, I call the phone number again, and the smart system tells me that my order would be completed between 8am and 8pm on Wednesday. (Contact #4)

The next evening, after 8, I get no smart system information. Just that they are closed. (Contact #5).

So on Thursday, I call and get a human. I think she said that her name was Kathy (but I would bet money that her mama did not name her that). She told me that my DSL had been on since Tuesday, but since it was not working for me, she open up a trouble ticket and gave me the number. She also said that they needed to run a line test, and someone would call me back in about two hours, but do not use the line for anything for the next 30 minutes. (Contact #6)

About an hour later, I called back, trouble ticket number in hand, ready to hear that I needed a service call, because it was still not working.

Somehow, the heavens heard me, and I got someone who understood English, instead of just speaking it.

So he tells me that my DSL move order was never put in, and he transferred me to sales, who told me that hot places would freeze before I could get a same day hookup. I complained about line noise (fearful that a bad connection would keep the DSL from working once I got it). (Contact #7)

A repair tech shows up at my door at 8:05 on Sunday morning (he did call first). He brought me a filter for my phone-- the noise comes from my (non-working) DSL modem.

This morning, I call yet again, because I still do not have internet. Man (who's English is shaky) tells me that I cannot have DSL-- that all the accounts are taken. Well, first he tells me that it is not available in my area. I told him it was, too. (really adult there). Then he tells me that all the slots are taken. I ask to speak to his supervisor, he hangs up on me. (Contact #8).

So I call back. And this time, I don't talk when the smart alec smart system asks me if the phone number that I am calling from is the phone number I am calling about. Instead, I wait. I wait out the smart alec smart phone system. My reward? A woman who spoke English as a first language. And she understood what I was asking. She answered questions. And when she didn't know, she asked. And she found out. Turns out, the system had down my phone number as being unavailable for DSL, but not my address. So she changed my phone number. And promises me DSL by Thursday. (Contact #9).

I am hopeful, but not exactly holding my breath.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What was McCain thinking?!?

One of the many stories about Sarah Palin...

This whole thing makes me angry on so many levels... Couldn't McCain find a woman whose family is not a Lifetime movie? I hear conservatives justifying her decisions and life, but good heavens! I realize that she is not applying for the position of mother of my children, and I also realize that if she were a father the conversation would be different.

But abstinence only ed?
US Republican presidential candidate John McCain, whose presumptive running mate disclosed that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, has opposed proposals to spend federal money on teen-pregnancy prevention programs and voted to require poor teenage mothers to stay in school or lose their welfare benefits.
What was she thinking? Did she need her 17 year old's pregnancy to know that this is a bad idea? Couldn't she have learned that from other people's mistakes?

Not that McCain is any better...
In 2005, McCain opposed a Senate Democratic proposal that would have spent tens of millions of dollars to pay for pregnancy prevention programs including education on emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill; teen-pregnancy prevention programs except abstinence-only education; and required insurance companies that cover Viagra also to pay for prescription contraception.
On the positive side:
Palin's fifth child, a son named Trig, was born in April with Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes physical, intellectual and language development. Conservatives supportive of Palin as McCain's running mate have praised her choice to deliver Trig even after the family learned about his condition during prenatal testing.
I respect the fact Palin chose to give birth to a child with disabilities, even though she knew ahead of time. Personally, I am pro-life (although I do not believe that I have any right imposing that belief on others, or judging others for believing differently). For myself, I chose not to have the kinds of prenatal testing that would show disorders. (Not that W's problems would have shown up anyway...) But having had a disabled child, I don't see where she is going to find time to be vice-president. I just don't. Todd, the conservative, says that Palin's husband will just take care of the baby. Again, what I remember is that Todd and I both went to a number of the doctor's appointments for W, just so we both knew what was going on.

Again, Palin is not applying for the position of mother, but of vice-president. So is it even fair to look at her mothering?