Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting back to routine after the long weekend in Samsonville. The electricity was working when we arrived, but the wire for the cable was laying across the road near our driveway; a short distance away, between our house and the road, there was a branch down. I wanted to work on the computers, to test whether my mother's can be converted to wireless so we can eliminate the high speed lightening rod that has been the source of all the computer frying, but that isn't possible without Internet! So I called it in, and the robo voice said they were aware of the outage and would call me when it was fixed. 

On Sunday, I received the call, so I rebooted the modem. No dice. I walked back out to the road, and the wire was still laying on the ground. Must be they fixed the widespread problem (and it was widespread, Central Hudson and Verizon trucks were everywhere, all sorts of trees were down with dangerous-looking wire draped all over the place), but individual houses that were out had not been addressed. So I called again, and the answer is that they are not going to fix it until June 14! Yesterday I saw my brother, and his is also out - with the same response from TW.

He has all-in-one, but I only have Road Runner. I'm also only there on weekends, but for his household, that means no phone, no television, no Internet for nearly three weeks. Luckily where he lives, cell service works, but at my house, it doesn't. He said it will be good to have television cut off for that long, although he resents having to pay for it. I told the very nice woman who was on the phone that I am not paying for turbo a la carte (sixty bucks a month) for three weeks. She said, of course you will receive a credit but I doubt that is true without me calling and going berserk. Regardless, I'm not happy that my mother will be without Internet for that long, so I am going to give them a couple business days and then call back. Sad to say, sometimes going nut job is the only option when you want results.

In terms of the weekend, though, it was fine to not have email. Being "off the grid" has its advantages. We took the cover off the pool, and did a lot of visiting. I conducted the interview for my pending nonfiction story. I don't have television in Samsonville, and the very nice woman was incredulous. When I mentioned having turbo and not being willing to pay that exorbitant fee when there is no service, she said, "why don't you have TV? It would only cost a little more." I told her even in my "main" Castleton house, I only have up to channel 20. Believe me, that is still too much television. She wanted to know, what do I do instead of watch it? I said, I read, I work outside, I write, I draw, I cook, I play with my animals. I daydream. And of course, I have computers and a DVD player so it's hardly a big deal.

Anyway, yesterday I went to the parade in West Shokan, as I often do. It was great, as always. But no 'net meant no posting. Besides tinkering with the wireless, I intended to upload some pictures to facebook for Memorial Day.


I wrote about it in 2008 (which might be the last time I attended, since in '09 and '10, Bob was convalescing). It doesn't change a lot from year to year, and I have to make the same comment about the band as I did three years ago. This year, my father approached the band teacher in advance and said the American Legion had a special request. Could the band play for the entire route? The teacher said no! The kids have to do three parades in one day (it is a huge district in terms of area and there are three towns consolidated) and they would be too tired if they played the whole time! The distance from the general store (where they step off) to the town offices (where they have the ceremony) is not even a mile. I walked it and biked it as a kid several times every day. Something is definitely wrong if 14-17 year old teenagers cannot march and play musical instruments for that distance. Granted, yesterday was hot, but I suspect the truth is they do not know how to play. They can't be that frail and out of shape. "Insiders" wonder why communities become skeptical and non supportive of their local public school - I say it's no mystery. Music Man all the way!

My father told us that he wanted to say "I pay for your salary, the uniforms, the instruments, the buses that truck the kids over, and the gasoline to fill those buses" and "when I was 14 I could run over High Point Mountain and back and still have energy for the parade" but of course he didn't. When he was my age, he might have - but he has mellowed considerably with age! Funny to me also was that he referenced High Point, as when he was 14 he did not live anywhere near it.  

I had to crop the band photo. My fingernail made a white streak at the top of the frame. I have very long fingernails. They are real, and I don't paint them. They grow fast and are extremely strong. My thumbnails are so strong I could use them as screwdrivers. My nails mostly don't get in my way - I can type and garden and wash dishes. My rule is, when one breaks, I cut the others. Generally that works, but occasionally, none break and I start getting Howard Hughesy. I notice students mesmerized, watching my hands (since I tend to talk with them) -- perhaps thinking "what a weird lady." Then they do start to get in the way, as in this picture. The risk of a painful break increases. I think it is time to get the scissors.

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