Juniper Berries

Figs from thistles, and all that...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Life Ain't Fair
Our Fair Telecom Provider is in a bad state. I don't just mean this state, either. Alaska is a fine state to live in, if you happen to be the sort of person who likes living here.

Anecdotally, I hear that the company's losing money, but I'm not savvy enough to know if this is good news or bad. Be that as it may, they are certainly running short of Nortel programmers. Oddly enough, just a week prior they were thick in bed, so maybe I just don't know the right people.

I guess they're all in Anchorage. They might not be making money, but they've got cash.

Where this particular bit of life's unfairness unfolds is right here at home. We're finally switching our incoming phone lines from analog to digital. We placed the order on the 2nd of August.

And today they're now working. Finally. Not our fault. (We were expecting to have them working by the end of September.)

What's going on here?

I personally like most of the technicians and engineers from ACS I've worked with on this project. They're not stingy with their knowledge. I like this.

Malfunctioning equipment in Delta Junction held us back. Pat (from the North Pole office) had to drive the 80 miles down here, with freezing rain predicted. Kudos to him for making it all happen. But the Anchorage engineer who ended up helping us -- finally -- was definitely swamped, and not particularly friendly, and so shall remain nameless. He was efficient, though.

Given that we have Nortel equipment on our end, and they have Nortel equipment on their end, it should have been straightforward. And it was. But Pat was having to teach himself Nortel programming. That's what I do, and it mostly works. Where it failed was where Pat's attempts invoked hidden gremlins, and Nortel had to step in and fix their bugs. That cost us a week.

ACS would have found their problems sooner if they'd been in charge of both ends of the connection. Not their problem -- we chose to Mess With Texas. Not next time, though. Maybe I should bill ACS for my time in a fit of irony.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I spent the first two hours of Dec 21's workday mucking out the pigs. We're down to four. It's a good break from stressing about VOIP and what's going on in the tech sphere.

Wheeling barrows out to the Great Mound, I passed the hay barn (the smaller longish building behind the pig barn). A large moose, embarrassed, left his or her free lunch and trotted off a few paces. It was still very dark, so even if I'd had my Canon with me you wouldn't be seeing this particular moose online today.

Moose can be dangerous. This one wasn't hungry — any more — and I saw no calves. I said "Hi." Kept on dumping loads of steaming muck.

Moose moved on over to the bare alder twigs poking from the new snow, and munched quietly. Lay down.

Welcome to the new year. We all feel better today, knowing that it won't get any darker. The light returns quickly.

Only the pigs were anxious; the black sow dumped five gallons of whey into the corner of her pen. Ah well.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp
Originally uploaded by jermudgeon.
Making the invisible visible, light frozen in time. Or time frozen in wax. Or something. Spring thaw?

Is that E or F flat?

Is that E or F flat?
Originally uploaded by TheJJAustins.
Sorry to be boring on a personal topic (!), but here's Dom the Bomb again.