Monday, October 10, 2005

an antique plane crashed into my homework

My consecutive blogging streak was broken yesterday. A vintage plane crashed into some fiberoptic cables along I-40. My house was one of several thousand that lost phone and Internet service for about 36 hours.

Obviously my condolences go to the pilot's family. But before I knew what caused me to lose touch with the outside world, I was trying everything I could think of to get my cable modem to work.

On Saturday night I unplugged and replugged the modem's power cord. I rebooted both computers in the house. I tried adjusting the antennae on the wireless router. After a while I gave up and decided to try again Sunday morning. When it still didn't work, I grabbed the phone to call Knology, the company that bundles my phone, Internet and cable TV service. The phone didn't work. The cable TV service still worked though. I borrowed my wife's cell phone to try calling Knology. I got an error message telling me my call could not be completed as dialed. I tried calling my own house and got the same error message. At this point I asked my wife if she had paid the Knology bill and the cell phone bill. She had. It wasn't her fault.

It started getting ridiculous when I grabbed a screwdriver and went outside to the phone and cable boxes on the side of the house. I opened up the boxes to make sure everything was connected. By coincidence a salesman from Comcast had come by the house Saturday afternoon to ask me if I wanted to switch from Knology to Comcast. I was thinking of him Sunday as I looked for a cut wire or unscrewed coax connection. Everything looked fine. It wasn't his fault.

Around this time my neighbor strolled down his driveway to retrieve the Sunday paper. I asked him if his phone and Internet worked. He's got a Comcast cable modem and Bell South phone service. Both worked fine. He let me borrow his phone to call Knology. I got a fast busy signal. The same thing happened when I called my own house. A call to my wife's cell phone went through, thank goodness. At least we had that. I called the cell number of a friend in North Knoxville who also has Knology. Her land line phone and Internet connection were down too. The problem was clearly bigger than just my house. I put the screwdriver away. It wasn't my fault.

I would have liked to get on the Internet yesterday to post to the blog. I've been able to write something new everyday since August 1. My streak ended at 69 days. Not very impressive. My desire to upload a couple of paragraphs about the latest TV Guide covers was eclipsed by my son's need to finish researching a paper for school.

Frank Jr. had already written most of his paper but it wasn't long enough. He needed to find a little more information to finish it. My wife and I thought about taking him and the laptop over to a Krystal restaurant with free WiFi but then we decided to take him to the library. Not only could he use the computer but maybe he could look something up in a book. My son actually told us that he needed the Internet for this paper because it might be hard to find a book on the topic. So I asked him to tell me what the paper was about. It was Greek mythology. Good thing mankind has finally invented the Internet so somebody can start typing up all those stories from 2500 years ago. I mean who ever heard of there being books about Greek mythology?

Anyway, our neighbor graciously offered to let Frank Jr. use the Internet. We didn't have to go downtown to the only library branch open on Sunday. Around 6:30 p.m. that day, we were in the car and finally heard the news about Knology's service outage on the audio simulcast of channel 6. Our phone and Internet service didn't come back on until sometime between 11:00 p.m. last night and 5:00 a.m. this morning. My new blogging streak starts today. Wish me luck.
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Blogger Frank Strovel III said...

Welcome back. I read Knology couldn't get near the area of the cut fiber optics for repairs until late Sunday because authorities wouldn't let them in until they were done investigating the scene.

But I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that Comcast guy did it...

Blogger Benny said...

I loved the Scrubs/M*A*S*H cover and I asked my wife the same question when our knology wasn't working over the weekend.


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