Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Election Woes

I've been sitting here trying to blog about this election, and nothing is working for me. I see the ads; I hear the rhetoric; I hear the commentators' evaluations; and it's all meaningless. No one talks about what matters. No one discusses what real people are concerned about. The canditates all talk about what they will do, not how well they will listen to and represent us. It doesn't matter whom I vote for--they're all the same. Vanity of vanities. I'm fed up with the entire process.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Quotable Quotes

From my freshman essays:

"The United States should not pride into the business of other countries."

"I don't want people to think I'm ease dropping in on their conversations."

"We searched in every nook and granny of the house."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Little Rant

This is a copy of an email that I sent to Bellsouth Customer Care regarding their DSL service:

I'd like to make Bellsouth aware of the problems I have been having with Bellsouth FastAccess DSL, or what should be called LimitedAccess DSL. Most of the residents on my street are currently experiencing problems with their DSL service. The problems I have are
representative of the problems that all my neighbors have complained about.

From the outset, the reliability of my DSL service has been sporadic; however, in the past months, the service has become much worse. Early in the mornings, I might be able to connect and check email. In the afternoons, however, beginning at about 2:30, connectivity is nearly impossible, and this condition continues, I assume, until the next morning. On the best weekday, I might get four good hours of connectivity. On the weekends, it is nearly impossible to connect. I am tired of paying for a service that I have only limited access to;
however, my only other option is dialup.

I have spoken to my neighbors, and we all seem to agree on the condition and severity of the connectivity problems. We believe that the high internet traffic times (after kids get home from school, and weekends) are the times when we have the most problems. One neighbor decided to completely drop her service and go back to dialup. We all agree that if Comcast were available in our area, we would switch without hesitation.

Bellsouth has sent technicians out to try to help our problems, but the technicians agree that the phone lines and equipment running to our neighborhood are inadequate to address our needs.

I noticed this morning that Bellsouth has posted its 3rd quarter earnings, and they are impressive. Obviously, those profits are not being used to upgrade equipment and improve service in our area.

It seems that the only person on my street who is not having connectivity problems is my next door neighbor, who has the highest level of DSL service, which, coincidentally, is also the highest priced option that you offer. Hmmm. Could there be a correlation?

It is obvious that Bellsouth has the customer base in this area to warrant upgrading and/or replacing your DSL equipment in order to make our service better. It would seem, however, that because you know that Bellsouth is the only high speed option for those of us in this area, you are content to allow us to keep experiencing the substandard service that we have come to expect.

Thank you for your time.

I received a reply that my comments have been forwarded to Technical Support and that someone would be contacting me regarding my case.

I replied back that I hope my comments would also be forwarded to Bellsouth's CEO and to anyone else who has the authority to make a decision to take some action that would actually bring about improvement in my service. And I said that I would not sit on the phone for an hour with a tech guy in Singapore who can only tell me what I already know: that something is wrong with the phone lines in my area. I also said that I would contine to keep my blog readers updated on how bad Bellsouth's DSL service actually is.

So, I've honored my promise and will let you know what develops.

Update (Fri. 8:55 a.m.): The reply I sent yesterday afternoon to the reply I received yesterday morning (sorry if that's confusing) seems to have generated an automated response which urges me to contact technical support. The funny thing is that yesterday evening when I received this email (I checked around 5:30 p.m.), I was able to connect using my DSL (and I am connected at this moment). All day yesterday I had had to use my backup dialup connection. However, now things seem to be working, and at a fairly decent speed. Could I be receiving some results?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sick of TV Prescription Drug Ads Disorder

Sunday morning the CBS morning show did a story on one way that drug companies market new prescription drugs to consumers. According to the story, when drug companies have a new drug that they want to market for a particular disease or disorder, they hire ad agencies to come up with a new name for the disorder--something that is palateable to the consumers, a nice acronym that consumers feel comfortable using with their doctors, like ED (erectile disfunction) instead of impotence. On the story, the ad agency team was trying to come up with a new name for arthritis. One suggestion was PJD--progressive joint degeneration. I'd be willing to bet that we start hearing that one on TV commercials very soon.

I have very mixed feelings about all this. On the one hand, I am glad that I can do research and find out what might be wrong with me so that I can, along with my doctor, make an educated choice about my treatment. However, this proliferation of new disorders and new drugs is making people feel that they can take a magic pill to cure every little ache or pain that they have. TV commercials urge viewers to "Ask your doctor if (fill in the blank) is right for you." How many suggestible people have, after watching a commercial, decided that they have a certain disorder and called the doctor's office to get an appointment for the purpose of obtaining a prescription for that drug? Many, I'm sure. If the commercials didn't work, the drug companies wouldn't pay to air them.

This is just another symptom of our society's obsession with having all that we want when we want it. Instead of changing our eating habits in order to keep from having acid reflux, for example, we just pop a pill every day so that we can keep on eating crap. Rather than deal with our problems and decide to have a positive outlook on life, we take an anti-depressant pill every day. Because we are too lazy to do the work or make the necessary sacrifices in order to have better health, we'd rather depend on a pill to do the work for us, and if that pill doesn't work, some other drug company makes another pill that surely will work. And on top of that, we complain about the prices of prescription drugs and the fact that drug company executives make tons of money, but we keep on lining their pockets out of our laziness and complacency.

What is the matter with us? I'm sure that as soon as someone figures it out, we'll have a new disorder and a drug to treat it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I'm sorry I've not updated this blog in the past few days. I tried to post something this morning, but Blogger was acting up. I've also had internet troubles again. If some other company besides Bellsouth offered a high speed internet connection out in the country where I live, I would switch in a second. And as long as Bellsouth continues to offer the crappy service that they are providing, I'll keep pointing it out and bad-mouthing their service--even if my brother is a Bellsouth man.

In other news, yesterday I got the results of my sleep test that I told you about a couple of weeks ago, and I do indeed have sleep apnea. I stop breathing about 15 times per hour when I'm lying on my side and about 45 times per hour when I'm on my back. Tomorrow I go back to my ENT doctor to decide for certain what I need to do to correct the situation.

Nothing else has really been happening. I still have plenty of papers to grade, but that'll be the case until the end of the semester.

Tomorrow I'll be sort of busy, but maybe I'll have something worthwhile to blog about by Friday.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Talk a Little Louder, Why Don'tcha!

Yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room when a woman walked in and started talking. At first I thought she was talking to me, but she never looked toward me, and nothing she said made any sense. Then I realized that she was on her cell phone, but it was one of those wires that has the ear plug on one end and a small microphone that hangs down near the side of the face.

I absolutely hate those things. For one, when people talk on the phone, then tend to speak louder than when talking face to face, but when the microphone is not right in front of the mouth, the person has to talk that much louder. I thought this was really rude. I don't care if she was a big business woman who has to take lots of calls. Eavesdropping is no fun when you don't have to strain to hear everything, and usually the details aren't nearly as juicy either.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Blog World Comes to My Real Life, or What I Did This Weekend

This weekend was a really good one for me. I got to meet some new people that I had only heard of, and I got to meet some people that I'd been wanting to meet for a long time.

My mom and dad had a campout at their house over the weekend with some people that they have bible study with. Because my bed is only a couple hundred feet away from their back yard, I did not camp, but I did get to sit around the campfire and roast hot dogs (well, actually Husband roasted the hot dogs) with some people who are serious in learning about the bible. Most of the time that I was there, however, was not spent in serious discussion. Instead we sat around and quoted lines from what seems to be a favorite movie for most people: Sling Blade. We had a good time.

On Friday morning I checked my email and found that JettyBetty and Critter would be in town for a church event and that they were planning to attend Tony's church on Sunday morning. So I drove to Brentwood to meet them all at church, and it was great! JettyBetty greeted me with a big hug, and we began talking as if we had been friends for a long time--which we have--even though we had never met before in real life. I also loved meeting Critter, even though I don't read her blog as often as I read JB's. I also met Tony and his lovely family, and we also talked as if we'd known each other for years. In fact, after church was over, we all sat in the sanctuary, each of us on the end of a pew, just talking and talking and laughing until someone finally turned the lights out and we had to leave. They are all now well aware that I am not nearly as articulate in real life as I am on my blog. I really hope that we can get together again soon, and not wait until next year!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dumb Question

I wonder what's happening behind the scenes in Washington that this deal with Foley is diverting our attention from?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I just did something really dumb. Right now I'm on my lunch break sitting at my desk reading a book. As I was getting to the bottom of the page, I reached for my mouse so that I could scroll down.

I think I'm losing it.