Thursday, July 15, 2010


This seems to be the week of repairs.  One of the "perks" of living in a rural area are the number of times things go wrong with technology.  We lose our power frequently (not always due to major weather events!) and also experience frequent power fluctuations, so over the years we've purchased a generator for those long hauls without electricity, and we early on purchased a battery backup with surge protection for our computer and printer.  We noticed recently that our backup system was failing so two weeks ago, we purchased a new battery back up at our favorite office supply store. Another "advantage" of rural life is the necessity of a satellite dish for TV. About 2 weeks ago we began having a great deal of difficulty with it.  Lots of interruptions in service and "Signal lost, wait for signal acquisition."  We checked everything we could check on our end, so I finally called the tech support line of the provider.  They very helpfully walked me through a few more sophisticated tests, and concluded that I needed a technician visit.  That visit was destined to cost me just shy of $100.  Of course, if I wanted to sign up for the service agreement ($72 per year), then the visit would only cost $15 and there would be no charge for replacement parts should parts be needed.  After doing some math, and realizing that we have needed a tech person several times over the past 3 years, I signed up for the service plan.  I was promised that a repair person would arrive sometime between 8-12 am.

We've also been experiencing connectivity problems with our DIAL UP internet, so I've been in conversation with our provider to see where the issue is.  That issue is still not resolved, but I still have some tests to finish running.

Meanwhile, the very same day, the phone line we use for our DIAL UP internet (another "perk" of our location) died.  We tested the phone line outside to determine that the problem was OUTSIDE the house.  The phone company promised to send a repair person out sometime in the succeeding 24  hours.

So yesterday was "Wait for Repair Person" day.   I was ready and waiting for someone to show up at 8 am.  I had a ton of stuff to do, but all of the potential chores were the kind of chores that needed a stretch of uninterrupted time, so I didn't want to get started, at least until I knew how long/what type of repairs were needed.  At 10 am I checked the offending phone line.  It was still dead.    At 10:45 the phone repairman arrived.  He did whatever it is that phone repair people do outside, and then knocked on my door.  "The phone is working fine, Ma'am.  Are you sure you don't have a dial tone?"  I checked.  Yup, there was a dial tone.  He assured me that I hadn't imagined the problem.  He said that with all the power fluctuations (due to the heat waves we've been experiencing,) it's probable that a switch was tripped in the electric box down the road.  So, that was fixed, painlessly.  I was still waiting for the satellite person to arrive.    At 11:59 the phone rang.  It was the repairman stating that he was running late but would show up by 12:30.  He did.  It took him about 2 hours to determine that we had a faulty switch out at the dish hookup.  At that point he gave me a choice:  replace the switch or upgrade my satellite.  My response:  How much to upgrade?  His response:  Nothing.  To be sure, I called the satellite provider and got the same answer from the sales department.  So he spent another hour replacing the dish.  

Both repairmen were very friendly, very helpful, and they actually fixed what needed fixing.  It was just weird to have both on the same day.  And of course, as luck would have it. A friend with whom I've lost touch, called while I was waiting, and invited me out for the day.  I had to refuse because I waiting for the repair people.  That made me sad.  She and I used to be very close friends, but life took us in different directions.  We ran into each other earlier in the week at the grocery store, and both of us wanted to renew the friendship.  I hope we can!

I'm still having connectivity problems with the internet, but I hope to get those resolved soon.  The icing on the cake for yesterday, is that last night as my husband was unloading the dishwasher, he opened the cupboard where we keep the glasses.  There was a horrible snapping sound.  The hinge on the door snapped -- not from where it's attached to the wood of the frame or the door, but right in the middle. It looks like metal fatigue -as though a rubber band snapped.  Now the cupboard door is listing as it's no longer connected to the bottom!

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

At least the problems happened in the summer. We are fairly rural also, but our electric service is usually pretty good because they have to keep the packing plant and the dairies and the feedlots going. I was so pleased to be able to switch from dial up to DSL about a year ago. It's still through the phone company, but at least it's faster.