I couldn't be home for Halloween, so we put an "honor" bowl of candy on the porch. I don't think any kids came while we were gone, though. Bob said four trick-or-treaters came while he was here. That is the fewest ever, some years we get 100 kids, more recently we get at least 35, but I think darkened houses are not very inviting, and I am not sure the neighbors were home either. So trudging up the Green Avenue hill didn't seem worth the effort. There were a lot of kids out, and when I got home, I heard teenagers making a racket in the cemetery. Hopefully they didn't do any vandalism, and were just having fun scaring each other.
We have decided to get high speed internet access for Samsonville. After years of struggling with dial-up, we are both fed up. I already know my preference (and what I have in Castleton), DSL won't be coming until the distant future - and even then, it may not come because digital will be a better option (Verizon says they may bring digital in a year, but it will probably be more). A cell phone provider is also not an option. There is currently no cell phone service there.
So I emailed Time Warner (a company I hate, but oh well) and the response was that there are no active customers on Jomar Lane. I had been under the impression that Jomar was wired, but that other nearby roads were not, and I had heard horror stories of TW offering to bring the cable - but the homeowner pays, to the tune of $1300. I was very disappointed - who knows how far away the cable is and how much it would cost to run it - so I asked if that meant I couldn't have Road Runner at all? The response gave me a number to call. Which resulted in a voice mail, and (of course) it wasn't returned.
So yesterday I called again. This time I spoke with a very helpful young man who explained that it may be that the problem is not that Jomar Lane isn't wired for cable, but that the house is more than 250 feet from the road. He wasn't sure, but he said they have to send a survey team out to assess it. I believe that is the limit they are willing to absorb the costs for, and that we would have to pay to have it brought from the road if it is too far. We already have a pole so I can't see why it would be a big deal even if we have to pay.
The woman responsible did call me back and a survey team is being sent, so I should know next week. She said, "is your driveway long?" I really didn't know how to respond. I said, "well, I don't think it is for a rural area - but compared to a suburban area or a city - yes!"
While I was waiting to hear from TW - anticipating a "no" or at least an answer that is cost prohibitive - I have been researching satellite. I did this once years ago, and the answer was disappointing in terms of speed and cost. Things have improved a lot. Satellite still is more expensive (at least assuming the connection charges to TW are not exhorbitant), and not as fast as either cable or DSL, but it is a lot better than dial-up. I have found 4 providers, so if TW doesn't work out, I will do some more legwork and go with one of them.
Either way, we are going to get Road Runner or satellite internet. I'm psyched. Once it is hooked up, I think I will install a wireless network there. Of course I will have to keep it a secret or I will have all of Samsonville driving up Jomar Lane to hitch a ride on the signal! Luckily my traffic to this site from the town is not all that high!!
As my sister says, "this is the 21st Century, it shouldn't take $1300 and and Act of Congress to get high speed internet." A cousin adds, "yes, I thought all the taxes and surcharges that us city folk have to pay were going toward rural access."
Now I am getting political spam in my university email. This isn't the first time; last time it was from the Albany County DA (odd, since I do not live in Albany County), and after receiving several messages, I reported it to IT Services and they stopped it. This time it is from some group calling themselves the "RFK Democrats." The message I received today said:
Are you as appalled as we are at the ongoing debates about Alan Hevesi’s "ethical lapse"? It almost makes us ashamed to be Democrats----not because of Mr. Hevesi, but because other Democrats including Mr. Spitzer have allowed the "wuss factor" to override their good judgment. We are not saying that Mr. Hevesi did no wrong. He did--and he deserves to be fined, sanctioned, or whatever is decided. An ethical lapse is a far cry from criminal behavior. Ask Bill Clinton. There is every reason to vote for Alan Hevesi this coming Tuesday. Consider the following:
Where were/are we in our moral outrage when we have had to spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to provide "safety and security" on 3 (three!) houses (Garrison, Essex Co. and the Mansion) for a governor who has spent more time in Hungary, Iowa, New Hampshire and other states than he has here in the Capital of NY. He has never lived in the Mansion. We still have to pay to maintain and guard it. The Governor did not give a knee jerk reaction to all of this--and neither should we.
Where is our moral outrage on the fact that we cannot get legislation passed where mental illness is treated in the same way as physical illness by our insurance companies. Mr. Hevesi should be supported for trying to provide safety, security and privacy to his wife in very difficult circumstances and not abandoning her. If we did not have biased attitudes toward mental illness, maybe he could have been more open and dealt with the security issue in a more appropriate way. Where were his political friends then--especially those who are abandoning him now? And where are the mental health advocates weighing in on this?
Do you really think that Mr. Callahan is a competent, credible state comptroller? We do not. His fiscal ideas are about as passe as his bowtie. As Saratoga County Comptroller, he was cited on issues. He made serious errors in his mortgage application? And he is going to run the state pension fund and audit others' books?
Keep in mind fellow Democrats--and others. Not voting for Hevesi is a vote for an extremely incompetent candidate: Callahan. Let the Legislature decide what his penalty should be. He is a good man. He is not a criminal. And he deserves better from us. He has done his job well; he has served the people of NY well. A vote for Alan Hevesi is a vote for the future fiscal health of New York State.
So I went to the unsubscribe link, and it appeared to be a place where you enter your email address for more information! So naturally, I didn't.
Instead, I hit respond, and wrote this: DO NOT SEND ME SPAM MAIL OF THIS NATURE - I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU GOT MY EMAIL ADDRESS FROM BUT I REALLY DON'T APPRECIATE GETTING POLITICAL SPAM - ALTHOUGH SINCE YOU DON'T CONSIDER A SERIOUS ETHICAL VIOLATION TO DISQUALIFY SOMEONE FROM SERVING AS OUR TOP ACCOUNTANT WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR PUBLIC FUNDS, YOU PROBABLY ALSO HAVE NO CLUE THAT SPAMMING PEOPLE AT THEIR UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTS IS ALSO QUESTIONABLE. TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW SERIOUS I CONSIDER ETHICAL BEHAVIOR, I CONSIDER PLAGIARISM TO BE A SERIOUS ETHICAL VIOLATION, ALTHOUGH NOT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. BUT I HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CHEATING, AND I REPORT EVERY INSTANCE I DETECT - AND STUDENTS GET KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL.
Usually when I write a long post like this one, blogger freezes up, sends it off to the parallel universe, and I remind myself once more that I should have copied it elsewhere. (But of course I never do.) So here goes.