Category: Uncategorized

More fun with Charter Support

You know it’s good when you start with the virtual agent putting you on hold. 

Actually, 2 of the 3 support humans I talked to just now were good. Admittedly, it did take a half hour to resolve the problem, but that’s unsurprising. The third one (which was the front line and the first actual person I spoke with) well… let me back up.

Last night, we get into bed and turn on the TV. Message says our cable service has been disconnected, which is disconcerting as we pay our bills on time and the TV downstairs (the troublemaker with the cable card and tuning adapter) worked fine when we were down there. But, it’s late and I don’t want to deal with Charter so we watch some Hulu. 

I get home from work today, still not working. Call up after dinner and battle to get the automated system to understand me. Finally convince it to give up and get a human whose name I have forgotten. First she sends a hit, then she tries to pawn it off on a partial outage in the area. I play dumb and ask “What time do you show that outage having been reported?” (Kelly starts laughing at this point as she knows where I’m going.) 

“4 PM.”

“Okay,” says I. “It’s not that as we noticed the problem at 10:30 last night, so it can’t be the outage you’re seeing.” 

“Well, maybe the outage didn’t get reported right away.”

“Somehow, I doubt that an outage went unreported for nearly 20 hours.” Unsaid was “Why don’t you try another line?”

Apparently their reps aren’t used to be called on bullshit. She got rather flustered – I’ve never been thanked for “educating” a rep, which makes me think “thank you for that information” is the standard reply to anything they get told now. She did transfer me to another rep, who tried to recalibrate the box before passing me off to the third. 

She was able to see the problem right away – the cable box was inactive in their system. She reactivated it and all was well. Of course, me being the curious sort, asked how that would have happened. Turns out, the tuning adapter wasn’t properly noted in their system and something triggered in their system so it deactivated everything but the TA. I’m not completely sure that makes total sense, but both TVs are now working with all their channels, so I’ll let it go. 

Changes and Milestones

Today my bathroom begins its transformation. Which means right now it’s less a bathroom and more of a unfinished closet. That’s okay because I know that the future state is better than both the current state and the past.

At the same time, we brought in 1300 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. 500 have gone out so far, so there’s hope that we will someday be able to reclaim the dining room.

And Erin got her ears pierced. No tears, no fuss. The girl is tough. Grace apparently nearly passed out just watching. I knew better, I stayed home.

I’m trying to do things better. I saw a number on the scale I didn’t see at all last year. Now i just have to try to keep on this track. Like all the above things, they are changes and they’re headed the right direction.


Something about the calendar changing over makes people want to review what happened and plan for the next one. Especially for having passed one of those big milestone birthdays.

It’s been an interesting year. +1 to the count of cats. Not much else changed in that regard. No other new additions to the family, no subtractions. So that’s good. Car continues its inevitable decline. Job is what it is. In some ways, it’s all a rut but in others, it’s okay. This time of my life isn’t about me so much as enjoying those around me. 

That being said, some things on my mind. 

More of this. More words. More content. I say it a lot, and then I claim that life overtakes it but honestly, I enjoy doing this typing activity and I just need to actually sit down and do it instead of dicking around. And maybe finally spending the time to make this more interesting and less of a link dumping ground.

And the counterpoint to that is more reading. I have a Kindle. I enjoy reading. I don’t do it enough.

More walking. I was good about it for a while, but then it got cold and I got lazy. Bella and I took a good walk today, so that’s a start. 

Less screwing around aimlessly. I tend to blow a lot of time dicking around online or watching TV that just fills time. That includes you, Facebook. I could be doing something more interesting. 

Things that I’m not worried about: life-work balance. I’ve made it pretty clear I’m not sacrificing time with my family for the workplace. If that’s to the detriment of my advancement, then I’m okay with it. I think we’re raising two pretty good kids, so I’m not going to worry much about parenting either. It could be better, but all in all, we’re doing okay.

This isn’t going to be a year of big changes, I think. Just little incremental ones that hopefully will make the next 12 months better.  

Back in the saddle.

So, remember all those other times I thought I’d try my hand at writing. Didn’t last long. 

I’m not going to pretend this one is different. But now I’ve got a plan. 

Northeast Highways will remain my road geek hobby site. Pictures, maybe some more thoughtful pieces. will continue to be my personal archive and repository of things I’ve done, read and written. has always been the domain name I loved but didn’t know what to do with. Maybe now I have a plan – it’s going to be my tech writing. Organization, automation, task management, maybe some opinion. 

A little bit of clean-up – there’s some stuff that was on insurgia that doesn’t belong there, and probably some stuff here that now more properly belongs over there. Definitely need to clean up a few things on Neilbert, the auto posting needs some more rules and organization. 


Forgot that Twitter doesn’t let you do anything with the content you create for them. Guess I’m going to have to start publishing one liners to and then push it out from there to where I do want it. Which means that nothing original will be going through twitter. It’s too bad, I really do like Twitter but if they’re going to insist on making their service a dead-end for working with the content I provide them, then there’s really no reason to make them a primary feed. 

I’d do the same with Facebook except there’s too many people on there and they’re not going anywhere. It’s one thing to ignore an audience when there’s just a lot of empty seats. It’s another entirely when that’s your primary readership. So I stick it out with Facebook not because I want to but because otherwise no one would read any of it.