Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cover the Earth

Been wondering where all those Cthulu-worshipping cultists have been hiding out? Wonder no more! Just check out this sign from our local paint store:

Still don't know what I'm talking about? (Why does this surprise you?) Look closer:

If that's not the motto of a doomsday cult or a Bond villain, I don't know what is.

(I ride past this store every day, and I keep meaning to take a photo of their sign, which I love. Finally got to it today...)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

An Open Letter to SuddenLink, our ISP

Hello Suddenlink,

Welcome to the neighborhood! When you took over from our old ISP a couple of months back, we had a few rough weeks with connectivity, no doubt while you assimilated new hardware into your systems. But your techs listened patiently while I explained in detail what was wrong with your DHCP servers, and eventually you seem to have got that sorted out; our internet is stable again, and faster than it was before, so bravo. Noone blames you for a bit of teething problems. And when you arbitrarily decided to move me, without informing me, from the terms of my old contract - that I had with your predecessors, since I have never entered _any_ formal relationship with your company - to one which costs roughly twice as much per month, you at least had the good grace to back down when I called you on it. True, it was after I'd been transferred 3 times and left on hold for an hour listening to to some unholy hybrid of a televangelist, a used-car-salesman, and a lost Wiggle deliver high-intensity sales pitch at me while apparently speeding out of his head on your hold loop, but the lady who eventually helped me was very friendly and understanding of any nervous tics I had developed, so I can let bygones go.

So I just wanted to say thanks ever-so-much for the kind offer that you included with that bill. I must have missed it at first glance, occupied as I was with the bottom line, but you're really too generous to offer to guarantee the rates for my internet service not just for 25 years, as your ad originally stated, but for life, as was carefully pasted over the top in what I've no doubt one of your marketing folks thought looked like an impulsive and artless scrawl.

Guaranteed for Life! In an industry nigh-archetypical in the speed at which its product becomes obsolete! Wow! 25 years from now you won't charge me a single penny more for the internet service that I'm getting today! If only my parents had signed up for such a deal when I was in high school, we could be connecting to CompuServe on a 1400 baud modem today!*

Suddenlink Marketing Department, I'd like to introduce you to Suddenlink Technical Development. Its high time you met; they may not be unassailably brilliant at what they do, but they at least know what the product is that you guys are selling. You apparently don't.

- rob.

*Note: For those of you not old enough to remember 1400 baud modems, this would be roughly equivalent to having your 80-year-old Slovenian neighbor shout descriptions of web pages at you in broken English through her kitchen window. In a thunderstorm. While dub musicians hold a spontaneous street party for teenaged dolphins out front. Bandwidth-wise, its got nothing on overcooked pasta.