More stuff from today…

Posting over neighbor’s unsecured wireless because our Internet access was cancelled…but moron that later.

Speaking of the radio: Wow, you can say the n-word on the radio? I never knew that. Whatever on-air personality my officemate listens to said it about 5 times in a row this morning in the course of the usual morning-zoo clowning around (honka honka). In college in the third notch of the Bible Belt, IN, we could (and did) get censured for joking about Satan on-air, among many many other things.

I dreamed last night that I was in a squad car, riding along on a big Cops-style bust of someone suspected of Downloading MP3z. It was huge! We’re talking a mega crime ring here (sarcasm), a 12-year-old boy came out of the house escorted by an two officers and crying, and the computermachine behind this criminal mastermind featured a nice but uber-graphical OS shell the likes of which I’ve never seen (imagine if a candy factory exploded all over GNOME) that gave me a few interesting ideas. In typical Tim-dream fashion, I was watching this somewhat nervously because about 50% of me was busted earlier that same dream-morning for the same thing, so half of me was watching from the *back* of the squad, which was getting rather crowded this being the 3rd Evil Downloader bust of the morning. It would have been amusing if e.g. a murderer ran by and the cops couldn’t keep him because they were too busy busting downloaders, but that didn’t happen.

So anyway, (in real life) our Internet connection has for the past few days been returning a “Comcast Help” page in response to any HTTP request (e.g., prodding us to download some Windows executable. Much as I love to download untrusted Windows executables, I figured this looked like a job for Mr. Complainypants. The lengthy background process, meddling spyware, behind-the-back-settings-changer-ware, alternative OSes rant was just about ready to spill forth when I was informed that not having paid the cable bill in several months might, you know, have something to do with that.

Come again?

It turns out that for the approximately half a year we’ve had our own internet access at this house, the bill has been sent to our landlord in his name, and he had been billing Erich, designated bill-handling housemate, who in turned split the bill to everyone else. (Or that’s how it worked in theory, anyway.) I found this out by calling the landlord to find out who was in charge of the account, and hearing “Oh yeah…Comcast…I have 2 or 3 bills from them I’ve been meaning to send you guys…”. Mystery solved, probably, but it looks like it won’t be pretty (the last bill he found was for July, already reporting 60 days late and a reconnection charge, and it’s now mid-September…).

[00:19] HAL: Generally solid-state relays get killed rather dramatically, requiring some patchwork on the (now scorched) relay board…. there are other failure-prone parts as well
[00:19] HAL: And yes, stupid users *do* have a habit of hooking up outputs to the mains :(
[00:20] HAL: … or peeing in the box and shorting everything out
[00:20] Me: but typically not the SMD chips, CPU and etc, right?
[00:20] HAL: … or destroying the screen with a hammer
[00:20] Me: haha…you’ve actually had (l)users do that?
[00:20] HAL: In union shops, yes


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