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AT THE MERCY OF THE ELEMENTS
16 December 2006
To really appreciate this entry, you need to check the video of the day, which isn't anything particularly interesting, but will give you a hint about the extent of my frustration with Comcast.
Some time ago we had a problem with the picture on the screen pixellating from time to time. I called Comcast at that time and was told there was an "outage" in the area (which I think is a convenient way of saying "I don't know what your problem is, Lady, but give it some time and I'm sure it will fix itself.").
The problem was over the next day, as promised and all has been well. But about four days ago, it began pixellating again. Badly. And getting worse by day. Walt walked into the room and pointed out that it looked like everyone on the screen had leprosy.
It's something that pops in and out. I sat here and timed it. For every 2 seconds of normal picture, we have 4 seconds of pixellated picture. When the picture pixellates, the sound drops out. So imagine 2 seconds of sound, 4 seconds of no sound, 2 seconds of sound again. There was also some slight distortion on my office TV too, but not nearly to the extent that was on the big TV--just watch the video and see for yourself!)
If I wanted to watch Jeopardy from the comfort of my recliner, I had to turn the sound on in my office and watch the pixellated picture in the family room with the sound muted.
I called Comcast two days ago and was told that there was another "outage" and that all would be well by morning but, just to be safe, they would send a "signal" to my box. Well, the signal, if such was sent, produced nothing and in the morning the condition was worse (though the distortion on the small TV seemed to be gone).
I called Comcast again and was told that as far as they knew the outage had been fixed and that they would send another signal to the box, to give it some time (they suggested 30 minutes) to work and let them know if it did not.
Nothing happened and I went through voice mail hell yet again to get a customer service rep and complain that not only was it not fixed, it was much, much worse.
Fortunately, I was able to sit there with the cordless telephone and play the sound for the guy at Comcast, so he could at least hear that I wasn't exaggerating when I talked with him about how unwatchable network shows had become.
(This only occurs on the "air channels," as Walt calls them. The cable channels are OK.)
It's amazing how all-intrusive this becomes, how all of a sudden there is something on every channel you can't get that you want to watch, just because you can't get it. You can't even TIVO it to watch later because the DVR picks up the signal, so it also picks up the distortion.
The Comcast guy finally determined that the signal he was sending wasn't doing anything and that maybe he should send someone out to check it. So an appointment was made for 6 a.m. the next day. I figured I'd be up feeding puppies anyway.
It was so bad that I did something wild, crazy and drastic: I turned the television off. (Yes, I'm as shocked as you are.) All afternoon whenever I walked into the family room, there was a black screen staring at me. No longer did Paula Deen add just a bit more butter to another cholesterol bomb. No longer did Pa dole out wise advice to Half Pint. No longer did Monica's hair begin to glow as she passed along the message that "God loves you."
Even the dogs seemed confused.
In the evening, as it became time to check in with Keith Olbermann to find out how the administration had screwed up today, I turned on the TV as I went to prepare the formula for the puppies. I settled into the recliner with Rudolph in my hands and I started to feed him. Suddenly, I realized that something was wrong. The sound on the TV hadn't cut out once. Then I glanced up at the screen and stared intently at it. Nobody had leprosy. Everybody looked normal (well, until a bit later when the remaining Survivors began rolling around in the mud, that is).
It appears that the television is once again back to normal. Maybe it just needed a bit of a rest.
(Yeah, yeah--I know there are people who are living out of shopping carts on the streets, children are going to bed hungry, people in the Pacific Northwest are drowning, and people are being blown up in the streets of Baghdad, so in the scope of things this isn't a major news story! But it's still nice not to have leprosy in my family room any more.)
UPDATE: THE COMPACT FLASH DISKS JUST ARRIVED. So far no charge has appeared on my credit card, but they were billed to me at the sale price. My faith in mankind has been restored.
Featured Holidailies Entry: Compromise by Byzantine Blog. I can definitely relate!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2452