“Happy Easter, buckethead!” [Living the DigitalPoint Experience]

easter-bunny-in-grass.jpegOK, possibly not the most complimentary note I’ve had today, but no doubt the most objectively correct.

I wandered into DigitalPoint’s ODP forum today for the purpose of wishing a few there a happy holiday. First thing I noticed… they’d already been engaged in their daily deathmatch since the early AM. Apparently there are no holidays in the great war to do whatever it is they wanna do by spending every day furiously countering the latest threat to their closely guarded belief that Dmoz either is or isn’t the fleshly incarnation of Lucifer.

Huh? Don’t you guys get days off?

Easter is a significant holiday, which judging from TV has something to do with celebrating the death and resurrection of the easter bunny… possibly loosely based on an ancient Judaic “eating of the Holy peeps” ritual. Then there’s something about colored eggs… I dunno, it’s all sorta confusing. Anyway, it IS a recognized holiday, which oughta be a good excuse for not spending it duking it out with some moronic trolls whose opinions mean nothing in the grand scheme.


I’ve had the addiction to argue ad infinitum in there myself, or at least I did. I’m not an editor at Dmoz now, so doing it would be (IMO) a classic case of Obsessive Compulsive behavior at this point (lol, like it wasn’t before?). The again, several people in there are ex-eds that have more time spent there talking about ODP than they ever spent actually editing AT ODP, and they still post as if there lives depended on it. [Yes, it IS sad… but if you’ll send just $1 a day to my PayPal account we can help these poor unfortunates. So show that you care, and give today, while they still have a chance.]

Hard NOT to post there when you see the utter crap that passes for wisdom in that room, but it’s a classic case of wrestling  with a pig, ya just get muddy while the pig has a grand old time.

Granted, at least one of them is an occult guy… he’s probably bound by cultural norm to avoid celebrating holidays including anything as significant as colored eggs that get misplaced and make the entire house smell like rotten sulfur, so he gets a pass. Aside from that, I’m pretty sure the voices talk to him every time the foil slips a bit, so it isn’t like he’s missing out on companionship.

The rest however gotta fess up to their problem and enter the next 12-step course they can find.

ME: “Hi, I’m Rob, and I haven’t posted at DP for 7 days.”


Seriously boys, it’s just a directory. You gotta get out in the sunshine a little, your brains are gonna rot. Why waste your time in that forum?

The guys who are supposed to be moderating it certainly don’t.



I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.


God Fines Charter Cable for Defying Laws of Time and Space

GodAP Wire – March 10, 2008
Today a spokesman for God disclosed that He has abandoned his longstanding laissez faire position on telecom companies and fined Charter Cable $3 billion for defying the laws of time and space, and failing to report previous incidents in which they violated rules of Physics and/or Nature.

Representatives for Charter Inc. said they are appealing, although when informed The Almighty in uncharacteristic humor said “To be honest, no they aren’t”.

Sources close to God say this may be the first of many such fines, and warned that other companies known to break universal laws are hereby on notice.



OK, honestly I didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus. To be truthful I’d about decided God didn’t hear my prayers ever since Angelina Jolie married someone else. [Seriously, Brad Pitt? Strip away the fame, talent, charm, chiseled abs, money, smile, cool hair… ummmm… never mind.]

Still I dutifully say my prayers, and whaddaya know… God is finally getting around to my SOBs God Oughta Smite list, starting at the top. Cool. You can have the 72 virgins waiting in heaven my friend, just gimme a good old fashioned God that’ll smite first and ask questions later.

Granted, I haven’t always wanted to see Charter get hit with boils and sores (ok, my first preference… I’m old school, but the $3bil fine was not a bad touch). Their cable internet is great compared to AT&Ts “Tin Cans Connected by Kite String” wireless program. Honestly, I was gonna compliment AT&T marketing on the kitschy name until I discovered my aircard box really did contain 2 empty Campbell Chicken Noodle cans and 17000 ft of kite string.


At AT&T Wireless


[They are now a standard feature]

I did call to say this was not what I expected when I saw the word “wireless”, but the guy on the phone had a point about string and wire not really being the same thing. For the record, you have no idea how much RAM it takes to get a good signal using string as a medium.

Frankly I would have skipped AT&T wireless in the first place had Charter been able to find my house when I moved here, but I was informed they didn’t service this location.


If I lived in rural Arkansas this mighta made sense. I live in the center of the Dallas – Fort Worth metro area. You can’t swing a wireless modem on kite string without hitting a CEO of a multinational company. I’m 10 minutes from one of the busiest international airports in the world. Even more important, I drive past a freakin Charter Cable riser on my street. I just happen to be ONE house from the end.

[Teachers note: That last sentence *will* be on the test.]

So despite also having another Charter cable riser maybe 500 ft away… somehow Charter decided “OK, we stop here”, and apparently had no intention of ever supplying service to the last 4 or 5 houses. I called them several times, met with the city. They service the newer houses in the entry, but nothing could convince them to provide same to the existing houses at the end.

Well, nothing but new construction. I sold an acre to a nice couple and they built a big new house next door. As construction was finishing, they announced they were getting cable Monday. Huh? [For a second I thought my prayers had been answered, except maybe the Brad Pitt funeral thing.]

Striking While the Iron is Hot (and other myths)

I don’t know how they rediscovered it, but I wasn’t taking chances they’d lose my street again. Signed up online, called to set up an install. Worked skillfully thru the voicemail, got to a human. THAT is when I discovered they hadn’t really found our street… just the one house at the end. Argh.

Fortunately the young lady (who’s kind smile could be clearly heard despite the fact she was working a mind-numbing job that’d test the patience of Job, who probably works there too) told me there was an available fix. Obviously the new house had been scouted out and mapped by Lewis and Clark Inc, the vendors that discover new houses for Charter… so she’d just call the SomethingOrOther Dept and have them activate a search to see if the cable came by my house.

Now I was about to object as nicely as possible (hey she’s been nice) when I realized there was not a nice way to say this was an inane policy and the silly wonder-scouts could easily be replaced by a cable route map overlay and a link to Google.

While I pondered how to word this, wondering all the while which overpaid “VP of Dumb Things” came up with this gem… I listened to sold-on-hold, featuring an enthusiastic voiceover pro extolling the virtues of Charter.


When someone’s on hold, waiting patiently as somebody enforces Rule 782 from “Policies That Make Us Look Stupid”, they don’t wanna hear how wonderful Charter is. Obviously another brainchild from the guy that keeps his brother-in-laws Lewis and Clark gainfully employed despite available technology to do the job cheaper and instantaneously without dispatching a pickup truck that sleeps two.

As these thoughts silently accumulated, the phone went dead. Oops.

OK, starting over from scratch.

Welcome to Charter Customer Service !

· Dial 1 to be hung up on in English…

· Dial 2 if in Spanish…

· To be subjected to endless commercials, please hold.

Flustered this time. Got lost twice in voicemail hell, but finally got hold of another guy. Nice as could be. He was genuinely happy to hear from somebody that’d just been left on hold for 10 minutes (or an eternity, you do lose track) before being wordlessly disconnected. It might have been an answer to HIS prayers he was so cheerful .

Folks, that job may suck, but apparently Charter hires pretty nice guys for it, or else provides some pretty illegal hallucinogens in *huge* grab-all-ya-want bowls.

In the end he too called the Lewis & Clark Employment Dept, (queue more music, more commercials)… and got back just before I decided whether to put the gun in my mouth or to my temple. He promised to have Lewis and Clark out next week to verify my address exists and ascertain if there is cable nearby.

With all the kindness I could muster I asked him to open Google maps. Amazingly, he did. I pointed out that I am in the 2nd house from the end of the road, and they have an appointment Monday to install cable at the house on the very end, adjacent to me, and immediately south. The cable is coming from the north.

My question:

Did he really have to send techs physically to my house to verify Charter is not in violation of physical laws that require a solid cable to pass point B if on a line between Source A and Destination C? Had they been having a problem with that recently?

Answer: I know it sounds odd, sir, but that is Charter Cable policy.

Alllll-righty then. Get ‘em God. OK to spare the worker bees, their job’s already Hell, but nail the bosses. Amen.

Oh, by the way Lord… about AT&T….


I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.