keeping cool

Dealing with changes to one’s cable or satellite television service is rarely easy or fun. Sometimes it is necessary, though. We’ve been very happy with our cable provider in the last two years since we switched from satellite TV and phone company internet DSL to get a faster internet connection. But this month our two-year locked-in bundle rate expired so I had to do something.

In going over the choices the agent told me that I should swap out my old cable modem for the current model as it would increase my internet speed. Dangling a bauble like that in front of me means I’m guaranteed to reach for it. So I took my modem/wireless router to the cable company office to exchange it. The new device was just a modem. No router. No wireless. The company no longer provides wireless, I was told.

There was a part of me that thought I should flip out. But the part of me that prevailed stayed calm. After all, there was something in the back of my mind that told me this was going to happen. The fact that the agent used the word “modem” and not “router” was a clue. I even had the thought that I should take with me the credit card I normally use for buying non-everyday purchases. Staples was just a few minutes from the cable office, so I headed straight there. Of course there was a wide selection of wireless routers and it took me a while to make a decision. I ended up with not the cheapest and not the most expensive, but one that I thought would do the job.

I got home with modem and router, and set to work. Of course it was not just a simple swap out. The cable company insisted I verify my legitimacy by providing the ID of the old modem, and the router would not let me set up security as I have had it as long as I have had a wireless router. Terry, being very wise about such things, left the house to run errands.

It took a little bit of time, but with much concentration, and, interestingly enough this time, no cursing or swearing, all computers, my iPad, and iPhone were once again connected. And our internet speed is now faster than it has ever been.

And all without my going ballistic. Not so bad.


doing the needful

I’ve worked with colleagues in and from India for many years now. I have gotten used to their speech patterns. Since English is not their native language, many phrases to not conform to standard American English usage. One phrase I hear periodically is one colleague telling another, or a manager telling a team member to “do the needful.” That’s what I’m doing this week.

I’m not big on business travel, and I avoid it whenever possible. But I am the product manager for my project, and if my project is being shown at a trade show it’s really good for the product manager to be there. Hence my trip to Las Vegas this week for a partner conference. And anyway, it will be good to have a break in the routine and meet some of my colleagues in person.

Thanks to the miracle of modern blog technology, this blog will continue on its regular schedule while I am away. And I’ve got a number of thoughts for blogs in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime: Las Vegas in Lent. That’s an interesting concept.


Sacred Music Friday: Holy Holy Holy

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir; Dr. John L. Wilson, Conductor. Please forgive the time counter. It’s annoying, but this is a fine rendition, they have a marvelous pipe organ, and I always love a procession. And you liturgical types will no doubt note the minister’s Protestant black robe, rather than the vestments in the color of the season.


enough room

I’ve been keeping an eye on the storage space on my iPad of late. Between my books, magazines, dictionaries and all of my various apps, I find myself coming very close to capacity and having to clean out older magazines when new ones arrive. And I don’t even have any music or videos on it.

I have to say, then, that I was fortunate. When I went out to buy my iPad my intent was to save a hundred dollars and buy the 16GB rather than the 32GB version. But the only 16GB they had at Best Buy included the Verizon 4G, which I didn’t want or need, and which was more expensive. So I bought the 32 GB version.

Things do work out. I’m certainly glad that that is what I ended up with.


Ash Wednesday

Early in Epiphany I quoted Joan Chittister in The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life. As we shift seasons and move into Lent, I thought another quote was appropriate.

The liturgical year is an adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, the soul to focus. It does not concern itself with the questions of how to make a living. It concerns itself with the questions of how to make a life.

May you have a deep and meaningful Lent if you observe the season.


World Baseball Classic

Giants pitchers and catchers reported today. Marvelous!

Some players will not be with the team for long, however. Several will be off playing with the World Baseball Classic. Managers are not fond of the event, which is a big thing with the commissioner. They lose control over the players’ conditioning and there is always the risk of injury before the season even starts. For me, as a fan, it means that a lot of players are not around for me to see, at least not with their own team.

I could do without the event, but as long as the commissioner likes it I guess it will happen every four years. Barring an unfortunate injury, however, once the regular season begins it’s all forgotten.


a tribute to the past, and some of the new

Sonic Burger is better known in the South and Midwest than it is here in California. We have, however, had one here in Gilroy for a few years now. Terry and I had never gone there until a couple of weeks ago. On a recent Sunday we had planned to go to our favorite Philly cheese steak place up the road, but it turned out too chilly to sit outside, where the bulk of their tables are. So we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane. We drove to Sonic, pulled into a stall, pressed the button when we were ready to order, and were brought our meal by a carhop on roller skates.

Terry and I remember the A & W Root Beer drive-ins in the larger cities and towns of Southern California when we were kids. They had stalls, ordering over the loudspeaker, and carhops. Their Papa, Mama, and Baby burgers were good (though in retrospect probably not terribly healthy), and there was, of course, no better root beer than A & W.

At Sonic today there was a touch of the new as well. There was a terminal in which an LCD display showed your total, and where you could pay by credit card. Pretty cool and very convenient, actually. Another difference is that back in our childhood the carhop left the tray at your car until you were finished and took away your trash when you were ready. Now everything is in a bag, and the tray is taken away immediately. You are expected to dispose of your own trash.

The differences notwithstanding, it was a fun lunch with some good memories of the past.