Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cable Salvation?

This afternoon, the cable company is sending a technician to address my service issue. I'm heading home from work to be there for the obligatory 4 hour window. In my long history of waiting for service technicians, I've generally been lucky enough to have them arrive closer to the start of the window than the end. Of course the challenge today is that I have neither cable television nor internet to keep me from going stir crazy as I wait. I can "work from home" by checking email on my Treo, I can watch DVDs, and I can read a book. I could even get some writing time in! But I can't leave my apartment, I can't go online, and I can't go to Showtime on Demand and catch up on the two episodes of Dexter I've missed.

I have friends and relatives who don't have cable (some don't have televisons), and don't have high-speed internet access. (I don't think I know anyone who has no internet access at all; even my most hippy-granola anti-pop-culture acquaintances are online these days.) Many of them would not understand the urgency behind my service call. And I'm really not that much of a tv addict - I've imposed limits on how much I watch, the most strict being a "no daytime tv" rule which comes into play mostly on weekends and holidays. I simply do not turn on my tv until dinner time, because if I did, I'd easily sit and veg and get nothing done. (The rule can be broken if I have a long boring indoor activity, like painting or cleaning the refrigerator, where the tv can be on in the background if there is no radio program worth listening to.)

The internet is different, though. I wake up and have breakfast at my computer, checking out favorite websites, reading emails, working on my online writing class, etc. On weekends I'll listen to public radio shows through my computer and pay bills and balance my banking accounts. My computer is always on, my modem always connected.

I've had so many problems with my cable modem connection (and now my tv) that I'm seriously thinking I won't be happy until I move. So far the issues have usually been something outside my apartment - someone trying to tap into my connection at the outside box, or something out there needing to be replaced. I love the idea of a building that is newly wired for everything. My god, outlets. I have almost no outlets - each has a power strip with way too many items plugged in. I want a renovated apartment with new wiring.

I'll stop whining now. Should get back to work and be relatively productive for the few hours I'm here today.


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