Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Yesterday Typepad, the site I use to put up my blog, was down for a good part of the day. I finally gave up trying to post anything and got on with working on our outside Christmas village (Tiny Town). Now we're back online.
Verizon is set to buy AOL for 4.4 billion dollars. What? Looks like Verizon has way too much money on their hands to buy the venerable, but now antiquated, internet provider. I mean people joke about those of of who still hang onto their AOL account. What on earth does Verizon want with it?
Oh wait. AOL still has a large dial up business which is very lucrative. What? Sadly this part of the business must be coming from a large part of rural America which has not been able to get high speed internet.
Clayton is holding their annual electronic recycling event today and tomorrow in Shaw Park. The recyclers will take about anything that plugs in or has a battery, not to mention old lawn mowers etc. However, many companies which provide this service will not take the older CRT tvi's which are the kind with the fat backs. Clayton's event will take them but will charge 15-20 dollars to do so.
Collinsville's recycling company will not take the CRT's at all during their monthly electronic recyling days. So this weekend we're going to hand over some money in order to get rid of the two we still have in order not to be stuck with them when the time comes that no one will take them money or not.
I've noticed recently that the iPhone and iPad's spell check/auto correct has gone south so to speak. The program is wrong more often than right and seems totally clueless at times. Only a few weeks ago, the program seemed to know what it was doing but now, it's more of a frustrating pest than helpful. I don't know if it's the update to the latest operating system or what, but having to redo things auto correct thinks should be in texts or emails is getting tiresome.
This morning I tried to send Dale a text with the word "volume" in it and the iPhone just would not accept the fact that volume is a real word. That's just one example.
Recently we've added a few more devices to our online arsenal and each requires a unique user name and password. We're at the point with all these passwords that we don't know what goes where. Oh, to be back in the day when about the only password needed was to get onto the internet via phone line. Well. Maybe not that far back.
We got two video sticks for the tv, Chromecast for Collinsville and Roku for St. Louis so that we could watch movies and other things not on broadcast tv. Chromecast is by far the easiest, so easy in fact that even Dale has no problem with it. However each required user name and password as did all the channels you might want to view-Netflix, Disney, ESPN, etc.
This week I got a Go Pro video camera something I've been wanting for a while. You can carry it, wear it, swim with it, jump off cliffs with it and put it on your dog! And of course more user names and passwords. Today Dale is having his head shaved to support the work of helping childhood cancer through the St. Baldricks foundation. He's done this the past few years but of course getting his donation page online required finding the user name and password.
I have to give you up, you've become impossible to read what with all the ads suddenly covering up stories, flashing words, sudden sounds from videos I never clicked on. I realize ads keep newspapers in business but really, someone needs to find a way to ad them to news sites without having them just overrun the story being read.
I just tried the Chicago Tribune site looking to see if they had any Super Bowl food stories. It was an impossible task. The one story I wanted to read was the Great Italian Beef hunt and I never could get it to stay still long enough to read. I won't be back.
The Trib is not alone, most newspapers and local tv news sites are the same. A total mess and not at all user friendly. And, local tv news reporters...Don't tell us to read more about your story at your website unless the story is actually on the website.
This is an update to the Charter issues we had the other day at the seminary house. That episode ended well, the outage was fixed by our campus workers, but the facilities manager at Concordia had Charter come out to make sure things were copasetic. And a call was made to Charter cancelling what was to be a service call today (Saturday) between 3-5.
We're in Collinsville this weekend and ten minutes ago a Charter service man came to the door to take a look at our outage problem. At first I was just shocked and then (sorry) started laughing while I told him the issue was at our other address and not here. He, thankfully, laughed with me and told me I wouldn't believe how often this happens. This, being sent to someone's home and that someone never called Charter with a problem.
We talked for a while and then he told me that he would record this stop as "turned away at the door" and that I should not see any charges on our bill.
The Charter guy on the phone Thusday night obviously got the two billing addresses mixed up even when the first thing I had to tell him was what phone number was connected to the St. Louis account. The Collinsville account has a different number and should never have come up on his screen.
Oh Charter. This was a very congenial and knowledgeable guy today, if we'd had a problem I'm sure he could have fixed it. But part of this story really bugs me. If our seminary workers had not been able to fix our outage yesterday, I'd have been waiting over there all day for nothing because Charter sent the tech to Collinsville.
This is an update to the post below. Dale went down to the shop and described our cable issue and the fact that we were pretty sure it was an under ground line problem. Two guys from environmental services were at the house within 20 minutes to see if they could find the line and what it looked like. Jim, who works full time and can fix anything, brought along a student, Kyle, who works with him part time. They immediately found one end of the cable line which had separated from a second piece of line. Then with a shovel they moved some dirt and found the second.
The people working along the fence line must have pulled it apart and luckily the two portions of the line were intact, adapter and insert. The line hadn't been severed.
The cable line has been buried not more than an inch under ground which is probably much too shallow. But they were able to take off that black torn adapter piece, replace and refit. Everything working perfectly now.
This is so great, love these guys. They can do anything. Now I just have to hold the line for an hour trying to let Charter know they are not needed.
Not to get too "I told you so" about this but the buried line is exactly what I tried to tell Charter was causing the outage.
And to make things even more fantastic, two other of our students, Craig and Casey, came along and sang Happy Birthday to me while Jim and Kyle were working.
Yesterday morning around 8:30 our internet and TV signal suddenly went down. For most of the day I wanted to believe this was another Charter outage similar to last Saturday. By dinner time I knew better because I'd learned we were the only ones out and the timing corresponded to some work being done along our back fence line. Actually, I had gone outside when the internet went out and talked to the utility guy who'd been marking various service lines but he said not a word to me, merely unclipped something from the wall of the house and then spray painted the ground where the cable line was buried. But it was too late.
In the early evening I called Charter and got a person who insisted the tv would return soon because his information showed Charter doing something in the area. He then put me through hoops of remotely unplugging and plugging the internet modem, wireless modem and reading numbers off the back of both. I tried to tell him it was most likely a damaged in ground cable line but he wasn't having any of that. In the end he said he could get a technician out Saturday evening!
I was really exasperated by then and took it out on Dale who mainly repeated "this is how our parents lived, it wasn't so bad for them." What I do know is we're looking at 3 days of no tv or internet service and the Charter guy who's coming Saturday night is the wrong guy-an indoor guy, not the buried line guy which will mean waiting even more days.
I have been very hard to live with the past 12 hours but it's frustrating when people who deal with this sort of thing ignore me when I tell the what seems to be the issue which is that everything went out shortly after landscape growth was being cut back. And the utility company guy who brushed me off still bugs me.
News websites are the absolute worst when it comes to ease of navigating. They are all filled with flickering ads, some with audio that breaks in loudly. But worse are the ads which have a lag time and suddenly cover the screen just as you begin to read an article. You'd think major news sites could do better. KSDK is frustrating as is KMOX. But almost all news sites are ridiculously cluttered and way too busy.
The local news people finish their stories with the advice to go to our website to see more. Most of the time it takes a long time to find that story if it's up loaded at all.