Thursday, January 30, 2003

For those of you updating your calendars at home

Yesterday was another milestone of sorts - I finally took the infant seat base out of Jane's car and installed the car seat in it's place. Then I took our fancy umbrella stroller and put it in her trunk (though the stroller is one of those English Maclaren strollers, so I should probably say that I tossed it in her car's boot), leaving the giant stroller that came with the travel system for my own truck.

Ergo, no more infant carrier in use! We'll still throw it in the trunk occasionally for the next month or so - if we take him out to a restaurant he can't quite sit up on his own yet, so it makes a good chair. But we don't schlep him around in it anymore.

The catalyst for this move was yesterday at lunchtime. Jane was headed out to an appointment, and I was putting him in the carrier for her - well, with his sweats on over his sleeper and his jacket on I couldn't buckle the darned thing. For her trip out we had to lose the jacket and cover him with a blanket, and I did the switcheroo as soon as I got home.

As long as DSL is on my mind

First off - no, it's not resolved yet. Verizon's databases don't show my line as cleared yet, so we're waiting for the system to catch up before Covad can reconnect me.

Secondly, and on a quasi-related note, are we the only folks who are sick and tired of Verizon trying to sell us their DSL? We get 1-2 direct mail pieces per week, and we're getting phone calls from their telemarketers about once per week on average. Another one came tonight, after I finally had lost patience with the last caller and told them that no, I wasn't interested, no, I would never be interested, and please be so kind as to never call us again. Obviously, that had no effect.

The ironic thing is I pseudo-have DSL today, and I've had it for a long time. Yet they aren't capable of bouncing my number from their system as having existing DSL service. Grumble.

If they spent more time working their network, and less money trying to sell it to people who don't want it, perhaps they could manage to give static IP addresses out and ditch their dumb-ass PPPoE client system. Then maybe I'd use them - but only if they're literally the last DSL provider in business.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Neat trick

My sister and her long-time boyfriend went to my parents' house last weekend, on their way to a ski week in Vermont. They dropped Loomis (their cat) off for safekeeping, picked up their skis, and zoomed off.

Except it turns out they didn't head north - they actually then went back to their apartment, dumped the ski gear, picked up their real travel supplies, and hopped a plane to Fiji - where they just got married. They'll be back in another week and a half.

The two of them had long stated that they had no interest in a big production-type wedding, so they just took off and did it. Personally (and I believe I speak for the entire Turiel side of the family when I say this), I think it's great. I just wish Jane and I had thought of something like that way back when we got hitched.

Mazel Tov!

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Penultimate DSL update

We're doing OK on cable (though, as I remembered from my prior experience with them, the ATTBI DNS servers eat it raw) for now. Meanwhile, Worldcom cleared out my line on Friday, so I expect Covad to snap it back up shortly - probably some time today. When it comes back up, I'll give it a day or so to make sure it's staying up and then cut back over to it.

Upload speeds are lower on Covad (it's 1.5/128 service), so those of you who view my website may notice it slows down a little. I'm debating moving it to my .Mac account, which has 100MB of disk space attached to it. I also may move my blog there at some point, but if I do I'll leave a pointer to it here.

Besides that, I'll probably post a small photo update later in the week. The little guy is now feeding himself his own bottles (with a little help tilting them occasionally from us), and he moves around the room by rolling places. He scootches, but doesn't crawl yet. I can feel his first teeth trying to get out, but no eruption as of yet.

As for other things, we went to the annual Bernard/Nunes Super bowl party on Sunday. Wisely, I took the day off yesterday - that turned out to be good because we got home after midnight. Unfortunately, events conspired to keep me from being properly rested. Both Saturday and Sunday nights featured early morning screaming fits from the boy. Saturday's event was at 4AM, and Jane ultimately fed him back to sleep. Sunday night's happened around 2:30 - his diaper came loose so he had a wet outfit, which took a good while to settle down. Then I had to come into work yesterday for about an hour and a half to do a conference call (though I was otherwise off yesterday), and I felt like I was coming down with a cold all day (much better today, though).

So that's my whine for the week. He slept really well last night, and I got a little rest as a result. What's a little funny is that we both share the pain when he wakes up at night, because though Jane's the one who takes care of him at that point, I'm always the one who gets woken up by the monitor first.

Last night on Raw: So, are the Horsemen back, or what?

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Ahh... That's better...

All better for now. The house is back on-line, being served by cable. The installer arrived just before 11 and was gone by 11:02.

The only thing that was a pain in the butt was having to register on-line using their software. At least it was MacOS X-native, but it still sucked. It took me longer to untangle it from my PowerBook than it did to register the modem.

Meanwhile, on the DSL front, Worldcom has released my line as of today, meaning Covad should be back up by Monday. I'll try it again when the line sync light goes back on at my modem.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

It's a friggin' conspiracy!

What I refer to is the concerted effort taking place to keep my house off the Internet. When I made the appointment to have AT&T install cable Internet, the rep gave me an install date of today, with the caveat that he'd try and get them in earlier. Today, I double-checked through their phone system for handling appointments, and it turns out that they have us down for tomorrow - between 11 and 1. So that's one more day wasted.

As for DSL, Worldcom has yet to confirm that the line has been released. I'm in limbo there, too.

This whole mess has me more than a little ticked off, needless to say.

Monday, January 20, 2003

As of last report...

I last got an update from Speakeasy early this afternoon. They did not yet have a confirmation from Worldcom that the line had been released. Ergo there is still no line for Covad to grab.

Of course, this requires several different Verizon operations - it's way too complicated to issue a single work order that says "take the Turiel house line's DSL lineshare, locate it on Worldcom's DSLAM, and move it to Covad's, in the position it was in last Monday morning before we screwed it up".

No, that's too easy.

Bottom line: I will be back on line with _some_ form of IP connectivity no later than Wednesday, because the cable folks are coming that day to drop off a ($19.95 per month for the first three months, with no installation fee and a free cable modem) cable modem. So I will be on line by that afternoon as a worst-case scenario. We'll see how it plays out then, and determine which broadband technology stays in the house, long-term.

Even if my DSL magically goes back up tomorrow, I'll still take the cable crack while we make darn sure it stays. Jane has instructions that under no circumstances is she to let the cable guy anywhere near one of our computers. He is to drop off the modem, leave the phone number for me to register my MAC address (I'll register my Netopia R910 router, thank you very much...), and go away.

Cable guys usually like to avoid work, so that should turn out OK.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

DSL detective work

OK. Here's what happened, it turns out. On Friday the 13th of December, DirecTV DSL announced they were closing - effective 1/16 (but now extended to 1/31). So I immediately looked for alternatives. That night, I called Speakeasy and ordered 768/384 ADSL service from them. Speakeasy uses Worldcom to provide that particular service option.

All went according to schedule, until the 28th. That day, Worldcom notified Speakeasy that they didn't have the ability to "hot-swap" service over - the line would have to be cancelled and re-ordered. After talking over the options with the Speakeasy sales rep, we cancelled and then re-ordered a circuit through Covad (1.5/128 ADSL). Covad could hot-switch, but I was down anyway - the CO swap was performed on Friday the 3rd, and I didn't get the new CPE until Wednesday the 8th.

So on the 8th, the modem arrived, I plugged it in (I'd already put the new addresses into my DNS and the router), and was immediately up and running. Piece of cake.

This past Monday morning, the line was turned off. So I've been dead since then. After much sleuthing, I figured out the problem, since Speakeasy, Covad, and Verizon combined couldn't do it. They key turned out to be in a Covad trouble ticket I probably shouldn't have had access to.

Covad had noted in a ticket update this morning that a second CLEC had been given the line. Nobody could find out who, because Verizon isn't allowed to give that information to another CLEC. So I was browsing my case history, and the following question occurred to me:

"What if Worldcom never processed the order cancellation?"

So, after a phone call to Speakeasy, they called Worldcom and found that it was indeed the case. Somehow, Worldcom never got the cancellation order, so when they saw the line free up they put their claim in. And the cutover was done Monday.

That's what went wrong. Anyhow, after we confirmed it, one of Speakeasy's senior techs took over the process of getting my line untangled. It will probably take until at least tomorrow. Oh well. Meanwhile, I have an order in for AT&T Broadband to put a cable modem back in, just in case this doesn't get sorted out quickly enough.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

DSL grumble du jour

Rassafrassa. Yesterday afternoon, my new Speakeasy DSL connection dropped. After a couple of phone calls, it appears that our ILEC screwed up (what a shocker) and disconnected my line from Covad. So now everyone's scrambling to try and get it fixed. Meanwhile, I have no frigging DSL service again.

The worst part of installing DSL is always trying to get these things straightened out, especially in the beginning of the circuit's life. Once everything's dealt with, things run uninterrupted until the CLEC or ISP goes out of business. At least that's been my experience so far.

All the Turiels in our house are healthy again, by the way.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Disease (and health) update

It's official - Norwalk (credit to the cruise industry - if not for the outbreaks they had all fall, we'd still be calling it "stomach flu") has struck in the Casa Turiel. The boy, after giving positive signs of coming around Wednesday, had a minor relapse last night and a slightly bigger one earlier this past morning. We called the doctor, who wasn't worried (it's practically an epidemic around here lately), but told us to make sure he gets an much fluid as he can take, and to take the cereal out of the bottle. He's been very fussy all night, but finally conked out around 11 (at which point I went downstairs for my delayed workout.

Unfortunately, Jane got hit hard by it today, too - it wasn't pretty. I've just had a minor brush with it, it appears. I was a little queasy last night and this morning, but I seem to have pulled out of it. Either that or I'm waiting my turn. Hopefully it's the former, because right now I have to stay healthy to take care of the other two people in this house.

Fitness update: I started working out again in the middle of last month. So far I'm doing pretty good - I ride my recumbent bike for about 25 minutes, 4-5 days per week. I'm also trying to take the stairs more at work. No dieting, no maniacal fitness regimen. I will never be an athlete again, and I'm finally acknowledging it. But I decided that does not exclude just getting into moderately better shape and hopefully losing enough weight to drop down a pants size or two.

Just because there's no way I'll ever wear a size 36 waist again doesn't mean I won't feel happy in a 40.

Friday, January 10, 2003

That felt good...

Today, I was a very bad boy. I trolled, and I enjoyed it.

The mitigating factor to it was that I was making fun of OS/2 - which is always OK.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Back in the saddle again...

As of 4 PM today, we are back on-line. The Zyxel 650-series DSL modem arrived early afternoon, and as soon as I got home I went down to the cellar and plugged it in to replace the DirecTV X2 gateway that is now a cool-looking doorstop. Plugin to sync took about 30 seconds - I'd already pre-configured my router and my external DNS, so it came up and was functioning immediately. I told ZoneEdit to despool all my backed-up email, and all was well.

I did have to remember to update the DNS servers in my AirPort base station a little later so Jane's iMac would work, but that was no biggie, and she was out while I worked. We're back up on Speakeasy as I write this.

As for the boy - he's feeling much better today. No upchucking, and he's had three bottles today and a jar of applesauce. We'll go back to four bottles per day tomorrow, but he seems to have settled back down nicely.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Baby development 101

Yesterday was tough. He had an eruption yesterday morning (after which he was perfectly happy), and I came home early for lunch to help clean up the aftermath - puddles all over our downstairs hall. Yecch. He made it through the afternoon feeding OK, and he ate a half-bottle around 5. We figured the worst was over, and Jane went out to dinner with a friend of hers.

So it was my job to give him his solid feeding. I picked squash - he really likes that. Mixed in a spoonful of rice cereal, nuked it on medium for 10 seconds, and he had a meal. I fed him his first bite, and he spit up/dribbled out some formula from his earlier feeding. I waited a minute, then pressed on.

Big mistake.

After about 5 more spoonfuls, he erupted on a scale I've never seen before. He puked the squash. He puked all the previous bottle. He probably puked some of the bottle he'd eaten about 6 hours prior. All over himself, the highchair, my arm, and the floor.

So I went into Damage Control Mode. First, I stabilized the patient. Not too difficult, because he wasn't all that upset. I took him upstairs, washed him, changed his outfit, and put him on his play mat. Then I stripped the cover and pad off the highchair, removed the straps (they were soaked, too), and put it all in a corner. I scrubbed down the chair and the tray, cleaned the floor, then I took everything upstairs for a run through the washer. About then, Jane came home and watched over the boy while I cleaned, scrubbed, and sterilized.

So what did he have for his late bottle last night? A whopping four ounces of Pedialyte. Yum. But that got some fluids back into him well. He didn't puke any of it back up, and slept really well last night.

As for other developmental issues, he now happily rolls from his back to his front, and back again. He started doing that last week (the 31st), and now he's taken to sleeping on his stomach at night. Now that he can roll when he wants to, we're not so worried about his sleeping position - but we still lay him down on his back at bedtime anyway.

In other news, as of 08:22 EST, my new DSL modem was on a truck for delivery. I've already programmed my router for the new IP address/route, and updated my DNS zone. So it should be plug-and-go later today - hopefully by lunchtime.

Monday, January 06, 2003

DSL update

My line was already converted (Verizon cut it over prematurely) - and if I had a handy Zyxel bridge I could already be back on-line.

However, since that's not the case, I'll be back up on Wednesday, when the bridge is slated to arrive.

For those of you who want to track it (admittedly, that's just me), the URL is:

at this link!

Friday, January 03, 2003

Arrgh! those DirecTV $#!+#3@d$!

So I'm scheduled for a Covad DirectSwitch on Monday at some point during the day. Downtime's supposed to be about a half hour or less. My bridge isn't here yet, but we can work with that - I'm sure it'll arrive Monday at the latest.

Except DirecTV cut off my service early! Those weasels! They were supposed to leave it enabled until after the switch completes - now I can't do anything online until at least Monday. Grr....