August 17, 2006

Return From the Comcastic Island of the Damned.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:50 pm

Yes, my ten-day sentence to solitary confinement at the Comcastic Island of the Damned is finally over.

Ten days ago I got around to calling Comcast after two days of dealing with a sick, then very sick, then moribund, then dead-as-Elvis modem. I know the signs well, as this is my third or fourth modem. After phone calls with four Comcast “customer service” representatives and one Comcast “supervisor,” the verdict was final. It would take ten days for Comcast to spring a technician loose to visit my home to replace a dead modem. Ten days without internet access. No blogging, no blog reading, no e-mail, no unfiltered information. No nothing. Nada! Zilch! Zip! Zubonowitz! Nothing!

So, what did I learn from having been cut loose from cyberspace and cast adrift in the meat world?

A hiatus from blogging and blog-reading does not result in a wellspring of creativity. At first I rationalized, ”Yo, Jimbo, this might not be a bad thing. After all, for the past couple weeks, you felt as if you might be losing your fastball. This will be a good time to re-charge for a couple days, and then you can spend the rest of the downtime writing really clever and creative things.”

It did not happen. I found that, without the self-imposed daily “deadline” to come up with something that might be worth at least sixty seconds of someone’s time, it is too easy to decide to do other things instead of coaxing something worth reading from the keyboard. I read four mind-candy books, which admittedly was not bad, and I watched far too much television, most of which would have been better left unwatched.

I have often heard and read that to produce an occasional bit of decent writing, one must write something every day if at all possible. The last ten days have convinced me of the wisdom of that proposition. As I sit here, I don’t feel creatively refreshed, but rather creatively stiff, badly in need of throwing a few warm-ups.

Loss of internet access is torture for an information junkie. Until now, I hadn’t realized just how much and how often I have come to rely on the internet for information — not for just the daily news, but for all sorts of information – from news that is unfiltered by the television networks to instantly being able to find out who played “Joe Blow” in the XYZ Movie.

It was particularly maddening to be without access to tons on information during a time period when the Israelis were kicking the shit out of Hezbollah (Hizbulla? Schmizbolla?) and, in turn, getting their asses kicked by the American media. It was positively maddening to be without access when a plot to blow airplanes out of the sky was foiled by our British friends whose intelligence gathering efforts remain unencumbered by the ACLU and the New York Times.

Most of all, I missed the peeps. ‘Nuf said.

It’s good to be back in business.

Special thanks to my good buddy Eric, who kept the place alive and, in at least one case, “vibrating”. Also a big thanks to Dogette at Two Nervous Dogs for proving that vigils need not be a downer, but rather can be a GODDAMNED pisser!

NOTE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOLY SHIT: The cable guy left, and everything was working. However, in the time it took me to write this, I lost access AGAIN!!! I immediately called my old friends at Comcast and a switch flip there (same as unplugging the modem uh-oh!) got me back on. Don’t throw away those vigil candles just yet.


  1. Hooray! We missed you!

    Comment by rita — August 17, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  2. I still can’t believe it took them 10 days to come out, rattle through the toolbox in the side of the van, and then go back to the shop and press “re-set.”

    Comment by dogette — August 17, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

  3. Welcome back, cuz. You were missed.

    Comment by Cousin Jack — August 17, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

  4. … glad to have you back, Jim…. keep on rocking….

    Comment by Eric — August 17, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

  5. Thank Gott you’re back!!! The ‘sphere just ain’t the same without you…..

    Comment by Tammi — August 17, 2006 @ 8:32 pm

  6. Welcome back Jim. Have you checked to see if Verizon FIOS is available in your area? It’s hard to beat 20/5 for $39.95… (and 100% uptime)

    Comment by Ed T. — August 17, 2006 @ 8:34 pm

  7. great to see you back here!

    Comment by Jean — August 17, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

  8. You were missed! What are the symptoms of a cable modem going bad? Just dropping the connection or are there other strange things that happen? Weird error messages and other odd things are happening to two different household connections for our gang.

    Comment by Enlighten-NewJersey — August 17, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  9. Hey Jimbo,

    Why the hell are you paying Comcast a monthly fee for your modem? You can buy one for less than 80 smackers.
    I could have walked to your house and installed it faster than Comcast came out to replace your rental.

    Comment by Ken Adams — August 17, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

  10. OMG! You’re back!!! Yay!!!

    Ken’s right you know – we have our own modem… I hope you’ve got yours plugged in to a surge protector – if not – buy one tomorrow – heck buy a couple and plug all your computer electronics into them.

    It could be yours bite the dust because of variations in the flow of electricity. Our current modem is 2 years old – but I had my last one with my DSL provider for 4 or 5 years with no issues. Our last house has enough problems with power surges to cause us to have to reset things like our ceiling fans periodically (the new ones have this feature to keep them from burning out) so all my computer stuff goes through a battery back up and at least one other surge protector (actually two in the case of my main computer).

    Anyhow, that’s the only reason I can see for your modems to keep giving up the ghost. We need to do whatever it takes to keep you blogging. We missed you. 🙂

    Comment by Teresa — August 17, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

  11. Heck, I don’t even know which part the modem is but even I think you should get your own to prevent an outage of this magnitude from happening again. Missed you.

    Comment by Suzette — August 17, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

  12. Welcome back. Your guest host was most amusing, but it’s just not the same without you.

    Comment by Libby — August 18, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  13. Welcome back. I was off line for a year and a half because of no way to access the net from way out here in the sticks. I got used to it..finally..but it didn’t take me but about 30 minutes getting used to having it again.

    Comment by GUYK — August 18, 2006 @ 6:35 am

  14. yay, i’m really glad you’re back. you are right about the wellspring of ideas when you’re not blogging. however, those ideas seem to have a low shelf life, and many never make it to post status, at least over at my place. good luck!

    Comment by shoe — August 18, 2006 @ 7:48 am

  15. Wow. 10 days. I’m afraid I’d die of withdrawals! Glad you’re back!

    Comment by Bou — August 18, 2006 @ 7:50 am

  16. Yay!

    Comment by Christina — August 18, 2006 @ 8:46 am

  17. Glad you’re back. Here’s hoping everything stays up and running!

    Comment by Richmond — August 18, 2006 @ 9:19 am

  18. Welcome back but consider it could have been worse. I recently had some problems with my Dish TV setup. It took them 12 days to send someone out and he was totally useless. I told the telephone support tech to connect me to someone who would close my account for me. That person finally managed to send someone out who could fix our system.

    Comment by Thomas Pfau — August 18, 2006 @ 10:01 am

  19. Glad to have you back Jimbo.

    Comment by Rantin' Ron — August 18, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  20. I definitely feel your pain.

    I’m having ISP issues right now. My service is spotty & unpredictable, plus a one-week wait for a tech visit.

    Not being able to hit IMDB as soon as “who’s that?” pops into your head is MADDENING 🙂

    Comment by Harvey — August 18, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

  21. Missed you, comcast sucks a big one, Cat

    Comment by Catfish — August 18, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  22. looks like your internet service people, my wash machine people, and the vagina whisperer need to get together for a 7 habits seminar….

    Comment by armywifetoddlermom — August 19, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

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