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Today in My History

2000:  Blue Christmas
2001:  A Snoopy Christmas
A Show Bizzy Day
I'm Too Old for This
Ding Dong, Merrily on High
Collateral Information

2006In the Eye of the Beholder
2007: Joy! to the world

2008:  I Want to Cry
2009:  Curling Up with a Good Book

Our 2010 Christmas Letter

A Christmas Carol

Books Read in 2010
Updated: 12/14

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10)


The Great Outdoors from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on You Tube

Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (1441 bytes)

Thanksgiving 2010

Mirror Site for RSS Feed
Airy Persiflage

My Compassion Kids

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holi10-badge-holly.gif (2346 bytes)Following my friend Jim's example, I'll put in this brief introduction for people who might stumble over this jounal on Holidailies

I'm a middle-aged (if I plan to live to 134)   grandmother, retired from full time work, though working as a part-time theatre critic.  I foster dogs (usually puppies) for the SPCA and many of my entries end up being about dogs and/or puppy poop.  Walt and I raised five children and buried two of them.  Our remaining three are married to three fabulous spouses, all of whom I love a lot and we have, of course, the most beautiful grandchild in the world. 

This journal started in March of 2000 and I've pretty much updated daily, with very, very few misses, ever since then.  (I even wrote an entry on a coin-operated computer in a tiny town in England!)


15 December 2010

About 7 am.:

This living without a phone is kinda nice. If you call our house you hear that the number has been disconnected. If anybody needs to contact me, send e-mail or call my cell phone.

An hour later:

OK. Everybody cross your fingers right now. AT&T is digging up the phone line. MAYBE we'll have a phone soon.

A bit after that:

Will today be the day? Another phone person is digging up phone lines to see if they can get us a phone AND a DSL connection.

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Meet Eduardo of
Irish Construction Company

After Eduardo left:

I spoke too soon. I forgot this is the age of specialization. Eduardo is the guy who digs the ditch to give the phone people access to the phone lines. No word on when/if the phone people will make an appearance today or not.

Two hours later:

Eduardo has gone and we have a trench. We don't have AT&T people and it's looking like rain, but gosh darn it, we have a trench.

A bit later:

There is a white plain paneled truck parked across the street. Either AT&T is here, or we are under surveillance. I'd better watch what I say, just in case

An hour after that:

Well, the panel truck was a gardener. Now we have Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). I think I saw this on a Marx Brothers movie once.

Some time after that:

Because I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats for the next installment, now we have a city truck here along with the PG&E truck. One of them is marking where the trench guy needs to dig, despite the fact that the digging already took place and Eduardo is gone.

A couple of hours later:

It is now pouring rain and getting dark and AT&T calls my cell phone and says hey will be here in 30 minutes.

An hour later:

AT&T guy (Nathan) came. It's a zoo here*. He's here half an hour, charges us a hefty fee, finds a problem, fixes it, leaves, Walt uses his cell phone to call the house and the phone doesn't ring. Last I heard he was screaming "Oh shit!" and running outside to see if he could catch the guy before he leaves.

[the problem was apparently a short in the box in our guest bedroom, where the wire for Walt's computer connects and then goes over the ceiling to the other end of the house to connect to his computer.  By the time Walt got back in the house after talking with Nathan, the phone was working.]

A few minutes later:

OK. I have internet. House phone rings when you call the house number.  Our caller ID works.  Even the recording of the 1812 Overture which plays when Walt calls (and I don't have a CLUE how I programmed that) works. MAYBE we're finally done...

...but it turns out that we are not.  Everything IN the house is fine, but remember Eduardo?  He's the "fill in the trench" guy, but he's not the wiring guy, so when he left, he had filled in most of the trench that had been dug by the trench digging guy.  But he left this:

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This is where the wire from our house goes under our neighbor's fence to go under the small manhole cover on our neighbor's driveway.  But Eduardo is not a wiring guy, so he can't put the wiring in the hole and make the manhole cover flush with the concrete again.

So we wait.  Again.  But at least if they forget to come back, we can now CALL them on our land line!

(And BTW, yes, I'm aware that you can have the DSL and land line on the same phone number and we are so glad that we don't.  This would be 1000% worse if BOTH lines were out.  It's worth paying for the second phone line to have the option of a spare line to use if one goes out)

Oh yeah--and one last thing.  When they go to put those wires back in the ground?  They have to disconnect our service to do it.

*"It's a zoo here."  Picture it.  I'm sitting in the recliner giving Patty her bottle. The other puppies are wrestling in the cage.   Sheila, Lizzie and Polly are leaping at the window trying to get to Nathan, I get a gate and manage to get them all locked in the living room. 

Walt, thinking he's going to have to move all the furniture upstairs and that Nathan will also need to look at the phone jacks in the living room, races upstairs yelling that I will have to hold all the dogs for Nathan.  I dump Patty back in the cage. She starts screaming because she hadn't finished her bottle.  I let Nathan in and direct him upstairs to Walt.

I somehow get Lizzie and Sheila on leashes, since they need to be out of the living room, but Polly won't come near me because a STRANGER is in the house, and she has learned that usually when a stranger comes, I give her to that stranger and the stranger takes her away.  She's not coming within 5 feet of me.

I get treats for all three and, leaving Lizzie and Sheila in the living room, drop Polly's in the downstairs bathroom and then lock her in there.   Before I let the big dogs out of the living room, I go in the bathroom with Polly and manage to corner her and pick her up.  Then I let the big dogs out of the living room and, holding both leashes in one hand, I try to open the door to the small cage on top of the puppies' cage and I shove Polly in there and lock the door.  I yell upstairs to Walt that I am taking the dogs for a walk.

Fortunately it had stopped raining and the dogs were thrilled, but it's pitch black out, the streets are wet and there are wet leaves all over the place.   In the best of conditions, my balance is not terrific, and I'm afraid I'm going to wind up on my keester somewhere, so we only walk around the block and Nathan is still upstairs with Walt when we get back.  I lock the big dogs in my office, take screaming Polly out of the small cage and hold her with an iron grip in my lap.   Patty continues to demand her bottle.

I laughed when Nathan came in, his feet encased in paper slippers so as not to track anything in my house.  I wanted to apologize to him for the dirt, leaves, and dog poop on the floor!

As for Walt, the amount of stuff he moved in about 5 minutes was amazing.  Both bathrooms were filled with boxes and books, and things had been moved everywhere.  He said he felt like he was doing a set change for a theatrical production.

If there is anything positive (other than having everything work again) it is that this is the holiday season and we need to give joy to others at this time of year.  I figure we have given Nathan material to dine out on for years, as he recounts his visit to this crazy house!


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