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Frivolous Profundity

Friv-o-lous: trivial, unworthy of serious attention … Pro-fun-di-ty: wisdom that is profound, difficult to uncover

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As a complete counterpoint to my recent issues with other companies, let me tell you about the webhosting company I use for TheMook.Net, EsoSoft.

From day one they have been an absolute pleasure to work with. My website’s uptime is well over 95%, probably closer to 98% or 99%, and their fees are incredibly reasonable. Every single time I’ve had a question of any sort, they’ve answered it quickly and with a smile. I’ve never had a single problem related to their servers – php works the way it should, the MySql database has never corrupted or frozen, all of their user control panels work flawlessly.

When an irate company requested that they take down my site, they stood up for me and rightly responded that, barring any sort of illegal activity, it isn’t their place to censor their customers’ sites. When I recently made huge upgrades to my site’s forum and blog software, the changes went off without a hitch – no traffic caps, no permissions errors, nothing.

In email after email over the years, without exception, regardless of what I was inquiring about, their customer service has been friendly, knowledgeable, and sociable. The email exchanges have always been more like chatting with buddies than dealing with a corporation! In a word, I’ve always found EsoSoft to be the perfect company (and no, I don’t have any sort of connection to the company beyond just being a happy, super-satisfied customer).

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Okay, it’s been just about a week without any downtime at all – I’m ready to say, tentatively, that my internet problems are finally over.

As it was before all the trouble started, the connection is once again rock solid and fast as hell. I’ve never had any complaints at all about the speed and stability of Comcast when it’s working, so I’m glad to see it has returned to full functionality.

These are the kinds of downtimes I was dealing with:

Connection Log

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The Customer Service for Comcast Internet is just awful. If anyone, anywhere, at any time is considering using Comcast “High Speed” Internet – DO NOT. In my opinion they have the worst customer service imaginable, will tell you whatever you want to hear just to get you off the phone or off their backs, and in general couldn’t care less about their customer base.

As mentioned previously, my internet connection has been dropping nearly every single night for two weeks straight. It generally goes completely dead somewhere between 6pm and 10pm, and remains completely offline until sometime in the morning; generally by 9am it’s back up and running. I’ve had the modem swapped out, I’ve had two different technicians (soon to be three) come to check on it, but I’m no closer to having my internet connection reliably restored.

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My mother would have been 81 years old today. It’s hard to believe she’s already been gone for a year’s worth of phone calls and cards – time really flies when you’re numb.

How to even put into words what she meant to me? When I was a baby, she protected me, fiercely; when I was a child, she loved me, unconditionally; when I was a man, she was proud of me, blindly. Every single day of my life she did nothing but want the best for me, see things in me that I still don’t see, ignored every failure and celebrated every strength. She was hope when I was in pain, she was comfort when I was afraid, and she was love when I was alone.

Never once did she ask a single thing in return. Not once. She deserved a better son than me, but she never complained. She just loved me. The happiest I ever saw her was at my wedding – she was beaming, I mean almost literally glowing. My joy was her joy. And when the traditional dance of the groom and his mother came, despite my being six feet tall and having to bend over almost in half to reach her, I still felt like her little boy. That’s the way she always made me feel.

I miss you Mom. We all do, every day. In the quiet of the night I can still hear your voice, and you’re still always telling me that everything will be okay.

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Fingers Crossed

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Another Comcast technician came out today to see if he could solve my internet problem, namely, pretty much every night my connection goes down in the evening and is completely dead all night, only to rise miraculously in the morning.

Frustrating to say the least – I can’t download anything, can’t make any online plans, can’t really do much at all online (at least after dark) because at any moment, without warning, the connection might just die.

This tech seemed to know what he was talking about (you don’t always get that sense), so I’m hopeful … he said he could see two problems, one that my downstream power level is too low, second that two of my levels were actually reversed (don’t recall which ones exactly). He put in a call for a maintenance technician to come and correct these problems out on the pole, if not today then tomorrow, so I’m crossing my fingers that once this is done the problems will finally be fixed.

At the moment, not only is my connection up and running, the connection speeds are literally twice as fast as I have ever seen them!

Speed Test 2

Hopefully when the maintenance technician fixes my settings the speed won’t get gimped too badly. 🙂

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I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

I’ve been having a lot of problems lately with my internet connection, high-speed cable from Comcast. Since installation two months ago everything has been rock solid, with great speeds:

Speed Test

Then last Saturday at exactly midnight, the connection went dead. I mean completely dead, no way to even access the modem Event Logs or anything … like the connection from outside the house just went kaput. Was off all night, then back up the next day, then back off the next night, etc.

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Webcam Back Up

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Due to popular demand (seriously, the only requests I ever got to bring something back were for the webcam – go figure), I have restored the Webcam page, at least for a while; we’ll see how it goes with bandwidth, and how frequently I remember to turn it on.

I’ve also added an “IM Status” section to the main blog page, indicating when I’m online with the various Instant Messenger clients.

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Merry Birthday

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Regarding my internet connection – today has been pretty good, it was down most of the morning, but it’s been up and steady since about 11am. Still keeping my fingers crossed!

This post is mainly for my family and friends though, mostly back East, who keep asking ‘What do you want for Christmas and/or your birthday?’, and I usually just say ‘Uh … I don’t know.” Not very helpful I know, so I set up a little Amazon wish list to give you some ideas:

Christmas-Birthday 2007 Wish List

Frankly good ol’ cash in a card is nice too, owing to my “cash flow problems”, but I know a lot of folks find that tacky for whatever reason, hence the list.

Nothing other than a ‘Merry Christmas’ is fine too, considering I’m not really in a position to reciprocate any holiday gift giving (and as for birthdays, I’m usually awful at remembering them – if mine weren’t on Christmas, I’d probably forget it too).

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GRRRR

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Just a REALLY quick note, as I don’t know how long my internet connection will stay live. I’m having a lot of trouble with my modem constantly resetting and being down, so if I seem to not be around much, that’s why. Comcast is sending a tech out on Thursday (wheee, 4 days of no internet!), we’ll see how that goes, cross your fingers.

Comcast flashed the firmware on their modems (at least in my area) Saturday night at midnight – my modem went down and after two hours still hadn’t come back up, so I called customer service to let them know there was a problem then went to bed. When I got up Sunday morning, internet connection was still down, so I called again and set up a service appointment for Tuesday morning.

About an hour later, the modem miraculously returned to life. Being cautious, I didn’t cancel my appointment. I surfed the web, sent some email, played a bunch of online games, then finally after 8 hours of solid connectivity I called and cancelled the service appointment, thinking that my modem had finally overcome it’s flash-induced instability.

An hour later it was dead again. I knew I should have waited until Monday night to cancel the appointment, if at all – I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. But I didn’t listen to that little voice inside. So now I have to wait until Thursday to have the damn thing looked at.

Anyway, there’s my tale of woe. Hopefully Comcast will have good news and a quick fix on Thursday – until then, I’ll try to hop on during those rare, sporadic moments when the connection seems up.

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New Pics

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I uploaded a few new shots to the picture gallery – the obligatory shots of the cat, and some of my sister’s Halloween costume for work (it’s awesome).

There are still pics from my big move to Arizona a few moths back, I’ll see about getting those uploaded too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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