Comcast modem zapped again

I’m currently on the phone with a Comcast rep as I type this post using my Blackberry. We had some spectacular thunderstorms move through here today. When all was said and done, my little Comcast-supplied Motorola SURFboard modem was no longer showing indications of activity on its “PC/Activity” indicator.

Resetting the modem didn’t help at all so I’m trying to arrange for a replacement unit. I can’t say what’s going on at the other end of the line, but it’s taking the Comcast rep *forever* to do anything.

The problem I faced the last time this happened was that I can’t just go into a Comcast outlet and swap the box. I’m going to have to wait at home for some vague 4-hour period until a Comcast tech can swing by and exchange the modem for me. Normally not a problem (waiting for service folks) as I can often just work from home. Of course *that’s* only possible when I have a broadband connection…

I’m not sure why these companies still think that the “Ozzie and Harriet” family still exists where the stay-at-home mom is going to be available to wait all day (9-5) for a service call while not offering *any* evening and very limited weekend service.

I’ll post an update if anything changes but I fully expect to be without my internet service until next Thursday when I *may* be able to get the replacement unit.

The rep is telling me that I can just take my old unit in for a replacement. I just finished telling him that, when I did that last time I was told the proper way to do this was to wait for the tech at home as they don’t stock these modems in the store, but that time they happened to have a service van outside so they got me a replacement anyway.

I think I’ll hedge my bets and make this guy set up the appointment for Thursday anyway and I’ll try to do the replacement at the store directly.

BTW I’ve been able to type this entire missive on my tiny Blackberry keyboard during the gaps while waiting for the rep to do whatever it is he’s doing at his end. And the call *still* isn’t finished!

Recent interruption in posts

Sorry for the delay in posts, my web host, Powweb, is working on a problem with migrating my website to a new server.

You may have noticed my site was hopelessly bollucksed up a couple of weeks ago when they went ahead and pointed the new server prematurely.

Anyway, I’ve been waiting for some resolution to a problem I’m having with the Gallery2 WordPress plugin (the one responsible for displaying my pictures in the sidebar and within my posts). I simply cannot save any of my plugin settings in the new environment.

I stopped posting to avoid interfering with any progress that the Powweb folks may be making but I’m not feeling overly confident that this issue is going to be addressed before the August 31 deadline. At which point my old server simply will go away.

So I’ll be posting again and just kicking off the “migrate” files option nightly to ensure that my site is as synched as possible across the old and new servers.

Simulation of 100 mile diameter Asteroid hitting the earth

Ever wonder what it would look like if a “planet killer” sized asteroid impacted the Earth?

Well, wonder no more (be prepared, it is about 7 minutes long). It may seem a little depressing, and definitely scary. But it should serve as a reminder about exactly why we might want to continue to expand out into the solar system and, ultimately, the rest of the galaxy.

Dark Chocolate lovers, are they Masochists?

I’ll say it here and now, I love chocolate. Not just some casual affair or a one night stand, my love of chocolate is the stuff of legend.

Now, when I say chocolate, I am thinking of what is more commonly known as milk chocolate. I have sampled many different varieties of dark chocolate. And I’ve even sampled a number of “white chocolate” offerings.

Right now, and without any further debate, I am discarding white chocolate from consideration. It’s just a phantom of the chocolate experience. It is made without the essence of chocolate (i.e. the cocoa beans) and is more just sweet than chocolate.

Dark chocolate (also called semi-sweet) is everthing about the chocolate experience except for the enjoyment. The only way to appreciate dark chocolate is to pair it with something that it can reflect off of such as almonds. I believe dark chocolate is enjoyed, on its own, by people too uptight to enjoy the true hedonistic experience that is milk chocolate and they feel they must dull down the experience or at least make sure they cannot enjoy it fully by stimulating the bitter part of the palate while leaving the sweet portion thereof wonting.
I imagine, in the minds of alleged dark chocolate afficionados, the same process is going on as in the minds of cloistered monks who, in trying to atone for their sins (aka existing) self-flagellate so they can go on living, but since they are not really enjoying it, they are somehow exhibiting the righteousness necessary to eventually pass into their heaven.

There is almost no purer pleasure on this green earth than that of the taste of a wonderful milk chocolate morsel when it first makes its presence known to your taste buds. It is a rapturous experience to be enjoyed without moderation or guilt. It is the greatest favor that you can do for yourself. is a great website for finding new recipies. My favorite feature is “In My Bar” wherein you list the contents of your bar and it lists the kinds of mixed drinks you can make with those ingredients.

The interface is a little crude, but the information is great. You want to know what certain measurements mean (what *is* a “splash” anyway?), it’s all right there.

Labels in clothing

Ever since mass produced clothing has been around and there has been a middle-class of folks that need to do their own laundry, there have been labels in clothes that are supposed to offer information that should be valuable for as long as you own your clothes. These labels usually consist of a piece of material sewn into the collar or waistband of the clothing.

In the past (post industrial revolution, pre-twenty-first century), these were necessary evils that allowed folks to know care and handling instructions for garments. And, as middle age encroaches, sizes seem to be more and more important as you migrate to different sizes of pants and underclothes over time…
Not to mention that on groggier mornings, having a guide as to which way the garment should be worn can be handy.

However, how many people have purchased a garment that had not one, not two but three or more tags. Offering no more information than the single tag but, presumably, there was some advantage in the manufacturing process if the information can be spread out over multiple tags.

Otherwise flawless garments are disfigured with the outline of the tags bulging at the back, or worse, who hasn’t seen an attractive woman, dressed to kill, with the clothing tag sticking up against the nape of her neck prising the image of sophistication away from her and ensuring that she remains in the realm of the rest of us mere mortals.
When I kiss my wife goodbye in the morning it’s almost reflex for me to reach around behind her neck and tuck the labels from at least one of the minimum of 3 layers of clothing she’s wearing back down inside the garments.

For guys, since it really isn’t as important how we look, the biggest irritant of clothing tags is that they’re, well… irritating. I have a pair of Nike running shorts (yeah, yeah I know, buying into crass consumerism – YOU find a decent pair of running shorts in under 15 minutes) that has labels sewn into both sides of the waistband at the back. Ironically, the inner tags are of no consequence, but the outer one, being made of a durable fabric and sewn such that even the four horsemen of the apocalypse would be stymied in trying to remove it, chafes when I run. I actually need to hike my underwear up in the back or tuck my shirt into my shorts – neither of which are images you want to hold in your mind for very long – in order to run comfortably.

I remember actually ruining a shirt by trying to cut out a tag that was integrally sewn into the seam at the back of the neck. I got a little too close to that damned seam and split it.

Recently Mich bought me some undershirts that have all that tag information printed on the inside back. Omigod! So the technology is there now where we don’t need to have those miserable labels at all. Their function, important as it is, can be done without being irritating or detracting from the garment purpose.

This technology may have been around for decades and I’m just noticing it now. I don’t have a great interest in my clothes except that they be comfortable and not too worn to be used in public places (for Mich’s edification at least).

Starting with my underclothes, I’m now emphasizing No Tags! Fruit of the Loom’s undershirts are a first step. All other things being equal, if their underpants are available in a label-less format (your guess whether they’d be boxers or briefs) then they get my patronage too.