Home Up

Story written by Rick Archer, May 2007

  In April 2007, there was no SSQQ Newsletter because one thing after another went wrong.  It drove me nuts.

Back in high school, I always turned in my homework.  I was a very conscientious student.  But I carried an inordinate fear that one day I would forget to turn something in on time and it would cost me dearly.  I was always on guard against a slipup.

I turned into such a worry-wart that now as an adult I still have an occasional recurring nightmare that I have failed to study for a high school test or have forgotten to do my homework.   

Well, last month one of my nightmares did come true:  Trying as hard as I could, last month I didn't send out a Newsletter. 

I contend that two companies - Centerpoint and Time Warner - inadvertently combined forces to make my life absolutely miserable for three weeks in March and April.  I have decided to blame them for missing last month's April newsletter.

So you are my school teacher.  It is your job to listen to my excuse and decide whether it is justified or whether I am full of beans and need to go to detention.


The background events to this story took place in 2006 when the property across the street from my house here in the Heights was bought by a company known as Tricon.  They wasted little time.  Men quickly cleared the property for construction (see pictures above).  

I soon discovered that Tricon had acquired another property nearby. About the same time as they cleared the area in the pictures above, Tricon also demolished some old apartments about six houses down the street from my house.   No problem.  The apartments were crumbling tenements rife with crime.  I hailed the move.  And as for the property across my street, gee whiz, it was five empty lots just begging to be developed.  It had once been owned by a cement company that filled in pools, driveways, and sidewalks.  All they needed was a place to park their trucks and store concrete.  The 5 lots had two old structures on them, but otherwise had been underdeveloped for the 30 years I have lived here.

Construction on both sites - across the street and down the street - began in January 2007.  Below are pictures of some of the condos down the street that replaced the aging apartments.  Those guys worked fast - it is only April, but some of the units have already been sold now and people are moving in.

In the pictures below, you can see the progress of the new homes across the street from my house.  Tricon put five homes on that property, but the arrangement is bizarre.  Two homes face the south while three others face the west.  There is practically no yard for any of the five homes, mainly because the three homes facing west were given large free-standing garage apartments.  Thus there is little symmetry to their plans.  Oh well.  It's still better than the empty dirt lot.

The Coming of  the Martians - Can We Turn Your Lights Off?

I generally start writing the Newsletter on the third Monday of every dance semester.  After eight years of writing Newsletters, I have developed a certain rhythm to this.  The third Monday is the ritualistic start to two weeks of serious writing.  Step One leads to Step Two and so on.   I have it down to a science.

However, even before I start the April Newsletter, I was already worried.  I was concerned I might not have enough time to do a thorough job because my wife's brother Larry and his wife Roz were coming to spend Easter Weekend with Marla and me.  Their visit would shorten my available time to write by two days.  I reassured myself that I had enough time, but very little to waste.   If there were any interruptions or delays, I might be in trouble. 

On Monday, March 19, I sat down at my desk to begin typing the April Newsletter.  I was 3 words into my project when the doorbell rang.  I bristled at the interruption.  Then I shuddered - it was a Bad Omen to have my Newsletter interrupted just as I got started. 

It turned out my premonition was absolutely on target. Had the Martians arrived?  I felt like trouble was knocking on my door.  One of my favorite books is HG Wells "War of the Worlds".  For some odd reason, I actually thought about that book as I walked to the door.   Chapter One is titled "The Coming of the Martians".  I opened the door.    No, the visitor was not a Martian, but he was almost as bad - it was some guy from Centerpoint.  What was he doing here?

Centerpoint has a bad reputation at our house.  Recently in January Marla opened up a $1700 monthly light bill.  She gasped when she saw the amount.  This light bill was twice the amount from the same time last year.  Marla was concerned because our energy habits had not changed.  If anything, the mild winter did not require any special heating.  Marla protested the bill.

However Centerpoint demanded Marla pay the full amount.  Mysteriously, the bill returned to normal the following month.  We have been suspicious of this company ever since.

When I saw the guy was from Centerpoint, at first I thought he was here to investigate the mysterious $1700 light bill.  Fat chance of that; now how stupid was that thought!?

Instead what Centerpoint Guy wanted to do was turn my home's electricity off for a couple hours in the middle of the day. He had his crew ready and waiting to hook up some of the new homes being built down the street.  Looking over his shoulder, I saw a phalanx of six huge trucks on the street behind him.

I was completely taken off guard.  You want to do what?  Finally I regained my senses.  I explained to him I was working.  This was a bad time for me.  Couldn't they come back around 4 pm when I go to pick up my daughter from school?  The Centerpoint guy replied that he was working too, that his crew was already here, and that he had a job to do.  He then pointed to six trucks.  I would be doing him a real favor. 

There was something fishy going on.  Why was he asking permission?  Does anyone ask permission when they don't need to?  There was a warning note sitting right on edge of my mind, so I hesitated till I could figure out what it was. As we talked it over for a while, I was on the verge of cooperating when I suddenly remembered a letter from Centerpoint that Marla had shown me last week.  I excused myself for a moment and went inside to retrieve the letter.  Then I showed this guy the letter from his own company instructing me that all my power would be turned off the following Thursday ten days from now.  

You know how Dracula recoils from Holy Water?  Well, this guy did not want to see this document.  He fidgeted and bit his lip.  His face crinkled up.  Seeing I had an advantage, I asked why couldn't he come back and do his work then?   

That's when I figured out that he was here to do the same project as was mentioned in the letter.  He decided to do it ten days early!  So I asked him about it.  The man's reply was that he wanted to do it now since it was convenient.  It would save him a trip next week and he could move on to his next project.

That's when I lost my temper.  I couldn't believe he was trying to do today the same work his company had scheduled for the following week because it was 'convenient' for him.  He wanted not just me, but ten other people also hooked up to the same service to drop everything we were doing at the drop of a hat.  Even more ridiculous is that there wasn't anyone desperate for the new service; those condos were still vacant.  This guy was willing to inconvenience my family just so he could hook up some homes ahead of time that weren't even occupied! 

After I got indignant, this guy gave up and went away.  But not for long.  About two hours later he came back to ask again.  Now the two of us started the same old dance again. 

Again I held my ground.  I had already told him 4 pm would work.  Why couldn't he and I agree on a time when my family could be away?  He said he didn't work that way.  Why was I not surprised? 

Finally the scourge left with my lights still intact, but a lot of good it did me. His two interruptions and the tension between us pretty much shut down any creativity towards writing the Newsletter that day.  It is hard for me to write when I am upset unless I am writing about the thing that made me mad (take a quick guess why I am writing this story for the May Newsletter... I need to get it out of my system!) 

The following day, Tuesday, was uneventful.  I actually got some work done on the Newsletter.

Unfortunately Wednesday was lost due to a rescheduled dental appointment in the middle of the day.  My hygienist had moved our date so she could take a vacation, but to accommodate her, I had to sacrifice a valuable Newsletter day.  I was running out of time.


The trees in front of my house are a source of joy.  I love them for their beauty, for their shade, and for the privacy they provide. 

There is a garden behind that fence.  These beautiful trees help create the effect of a hidden sanctuary.

The array of trees in the picture includes 4 oak trees, 2 pine trees, 3 sycamore trees, and a Chinese tallow tree.  I freely admit I am a big tree hugger - I planted every one of those trees myself.

On Thursday, March 22, I was determined to make up for yesterday's dentist appointment which had cut my day in half.  I was just settling down to continue work on the Newsletter for April when there was another knock on the door.  I had one of those deja vu experiences.  Did they have spy watching to determine the exact moment I sat down at the computer?

I figured it was another Centerpoint guy demanding to cut our power off, but instead this time it was some guy from Trees, Inc.  They wanted to trim my trees surrounding the Centerpoint power line in front of my home.  I groaned to myself.  These tree trimmers are a yearly plague.  Why did they have to show up just when I was writing the Newsletter?

I knew from bitter experience this was a problem that should not be avoided.  Over the years I have learned to take the tree cutters seriously.  These people have been overzealous in the past, so I have learned to negotiate with them.  My yearly give-and-take has paid off.  I understand that they have a job to do, but they also have some leeway.  So we agree in advance on what they will cut and what they will leave intact.  As a result, in recent years, the trimming has been much more careful.  As a result, now the trees in front of my house have never looked better, yet at the same time the power lines have stayed free of any limbs and branches.

If you look at the picture above, you won't even see the power line.  This is because the trees are cut in a V-Shape that conceal the presence of the power line running along the V.  Thanks to the way they cut the branches, the foliage is so thick that the power line disappears. 

Okay, it must be that time of year again.  I was frustrated at the distraction, but I wasn't worried about the cutting. I assumed today would be no different than last year.  We would go outside, look at the branches and make compromises like we always do.  So the tree man and I carefully went tree by tree. I listened to what he wanted to do and I told him what I thought was fair given my understanding of the rules (7 feet from the line). 

Finally we got to a tree where the trunk was growing about 7 feet from the power line straight up as part of the V-Shape.  He wanted to cut it.  I said no way.  I pointed to the houses going in across the street and said this part of the oak tree provided privacy from people looking in my bedroom window.  The guy took a look to see what I was talking about, then nodded.  He said he saw my point, but added he would need permission to avoid cutting it. 

What he said worried me.  I had first negotiated this particular tree trunk with the tree cutters about five years earlier.  Each year the people would trim anything growing towards the power line, but allow the trunk to grow and spread branches in the other direction that created privacy.  I wondered to myself why after five years of cooperation this tree trunk was now a problem. 

I also knew I was going to have trouble concentrating on the Newsletter until this tree business was taken care of.  This is hard to explain, but I am a born fidgeter when it comes to writing.  It requires my complete concentration, but I am easily distracted.  Therefore I don't handle interruptions well when I am trying to write a newsletter. 

Every time there is an interruption, it might take me up to an hour or two hours to settle back down again.  But once I get locked in, I can work for four to six hours straight.  The hard part is getting locked in.

Today was no exception.  After the tree guy left, I sat back down to try to get my momentum to start writing. 

But  just as I settled down to begin the newsletter for the second time, the doorbell rang again.  I bristled and cursed to myself.  Now what?

Sure enough, it was the Tree Cutters back again.  The same guy wanted to talk with me about the trees some more.  He said he had talked with his supervisor.  His supervisor said they wanted to do a lot more cutting than usual.  I raised an eyebrow.  I asked him to explain, but soon realized he wasn't high enough on the ladder to know what the reasons were.   I replied that as long as they followed the same guidelines as we had in the past, I would cooperate. 

So we went over the same trees again.  When we came to the V-shaped oak tree, he said his supervisor still wanted to cut down the trunk despite the face that he agreed it was growing seven feet from the power line.  I explained that this trunk was not a threat to the power line.  In case of wind, the way it was cut,  the trunk would fall AWAY from the power line if there was a problem.  After all, the heavy limbs were growing away from the power line.   He agreed with me on this point too, but then he shrugged his shoulders and said his orders were orders.  He said he would go back and talk to his supervisor again.

Although I still had a couple hours left before I had to go to the studio, at this point, the constant interruptions had taken their toll.  I was completely distracted.  I decided to put things off till tomorrow and try to get a fresh start.  Another day down the drain.

On Friday, March 23, I was about an hour into working on the Newsletter when the doorbell rang.  Here we go again.  Standing before me was a new person.  But he turned out to be okay.  So we went outside and began to discuss what they wanted to do with each tree.  It was all very cordial, but when we got to the tree trunk 7 feet from the line, he said his orders were to cut it back severely.  However this time I had a new trick up my sleeve - I had brought along a tape measure.  I showed him that the tree trunk was exactly seven feet from the power line.  What was the problem?   

A funny look came over his face.  This man wasn't angry at me, but he looked very unhappy.  Something was wrong; this whole process was different than in the recent years.  Where was the give and take? 

He told me that two days had passed and no progress had been made on the tree trimming.  He was getting a lot of pressure to get me to agree.  He said he would call his supervisor who would come over and make the final decision.  He added the supervisor could drop by in 30 minutes. If so, would I be around?   Hoping to get this over with, I agreed to meet the supervisor's supervisor the same day. 

I was darkly amused that the current supervisor was worried about all the wasted time.  What about my wasted time?

Helpless to concentrate on the newsletter, I sat down in my chair and did a sudoku while I waited for the next supervisor.  And waited.  And waited.  Seven sudokus later, I realized I had wasted the rest of Friday waiting for him.  

Now I was in a really bad mood.  I was so far behind it was ridiculous.  I took stock.  I had blown practically an entire work week.  Only Tuesday had been solid. 

But I hate starting the Newsletter on a weekend.  Saturday is my day off to play basketball and watch movies.  And Sunday is known as 'Marathon Sunday' because I work at the studio from 4 to 10 pm.  Enough said.  I decided to shoot for Monday, the day I typically get the ball rolling.   I could put out an abbreviated issue that would still be effective.


On Monday, March 26, I was getting ready to work when the doorbell rang.  Uh oh.  It was the supervisor's supervisor's supervisor. The moment I saw him, I sensed trouble.  His demeanor was Macho Man.  My instincts were correct.  The other men had been polite, but this guy was a punk. 

Before I even said a word, the Big Cheese Supervisor announced that if I didn't like his decision, he would call the police who would enforce any action he wished to take.   Let me repeat - there were no hellos and no introductions.  The first thing out of his mouth was a threat to call the police.

I lost my temper.  I told him he had no business threatening me.  I had done nothing to deserve that kind of attitude.  What gave him the right to threaten me with the cops?  Did I break some Tree Law I didn't know about?   I told him he had a lot of nerve coming into my home and talking to me this way.  Maybe he should just go right ahead and call the police if that's how he had learned to do his business.  I pulled out my cell phone and asked him if he wanted me to call them.   That worked.  Big Cheese immediately became a little more civilized.  After he calmed down a little, he decided to show me his plans tree by tree just like the last two guys.  As usual, I disagreed on the key tree.  I brought my ruler.  It showed there was exactly 7 feet.  

He didn't like that trick one bit.  Big Cheese got angry and said he would consult the Forester, who would be at my house in the morning to make the final decision.  I told him I had a doctor's appointment.   Would it be asking too much to ask the Forester to come at 11 am?  The man shook his head and said if I was home, fine, if not, tough.

Needless to say, I didn't write any more newsletter that day.  I was angry at being pushed around and threatened.  Nor did I sleep well that night because I was worried sick what might happen to my trees if I wasn't there to stick up for them.

In the morning, I asked Marla to watch out for these guys and ask them to wait.  I would be back at 11 am.  No luck.  While I was at the doctor's office, Marla called to say she heard cutting on trees outside the house.  They had not even bothered to knock.  She had gone outside to see what was going on.  A very cocky man from Centerpoint told Marla the decisions had already been made, so go back in the house.  Marla tried to explain that I would be home soon, but the man replied he wasn't going to wait, then brushed her off.  

I was furious.  I rushed home from the doctor's office, but it was too late.  The butchering had begun and it was worse than I had ever seen it before.   Three of my oak trees were literally sawed in half.   That's right.  Halfway up the tree, they severed the trunk.  Oh my goodness.  This was the most aggressive cutting I had seen in 20 years of this annual plague!!  

In the past, these people have trimmed limbs away from the power lines.  That's their job and I accepted it.  But not today.  Forget the word 'trimming', their idea was to chop half the tree down.  What kind of pro was this guy?  I wondered just exactly what the exalted Forester had learned at tree school.

I was beyond furious.  This wasn't necessary.  I confronted the Centerpoint Forester and asked him to explain why he cut my 3 trees down.  He explained that they were going to be doing some work on the lines and he wanted to make things easy for his men to move around by doing a little extra trimming.   

I screamed at him. "Extra trimming?  Are you nuts!!  You didn't trim my trees, you cut them down, you idiot!  What in the hell are you doing?!"

"Hey, don't worry about it, Mister.  The trees will grow back."

I guess that's what he learned at tree school.  What a genius.


This guy is Centerpoint's tree butcher.
If you see him, cling to your trees and beg him for mercy.

As you can see in the picture on the right, two telephone poles are quite visible.  Before the Forester's Hatchet Job, my trees were cut in a V-shape that extended on either side of both poles.  The reason these poles are easily visible now is because the two trees standing next to them were cut in half below the line.  Four 15-feet high segments were destroyed.

No attempt was made to trim the branches within 7 feet as was the stated policy.   Chop Chop Chop. 

Centerpoint's Forester must have gone to tree school for a long time to learn such precision cutting. 

In addition to the two trees in the picture, seven other trees were also severely cut back.  I could not understand this excessive work.  The damage to my trees really hurt.  I went into a pretty serious depression after this incident.  


Later that night, Marla asked me how to fix the TV in our bedroom.  The cable wasn't working.  After some investigation, I realized there was no cable signal at all.  None.  So I called Time Warner.  They would send a guy out the next day to have a look at it, but it was scheduled during the evening.

As a result Marla had to cancel her evening appointment to wait at home for four hours till Mr. Cable Guy showed up.  Naturally he showed up at the last possible moment.  At that time, the repairman confirmed what I suspected - the Centerpoint butchers had not only seriously cut back nine trees, they had severed our cable line for good measure.  He said the cable had been sliced by a saw.

The repairman added that the cable was nowhere near any of the trees that were cut.  Therefore I strongly suspect it was deliberate, perhaps a payback for wasting three days of their time till they brought the Butcher in.


By coincidence, on Wednesday the next morning, my Internet cable known as Roadrunner went out.  How was I supposed to write a newsletter without email or Internet?   Did Centerpoint cause this problem too?

I called Roadrunner repair only to get a recorded message that they were experiencing problems in the Heights area followed by a request to be patient.   Since Roadrunner is usually just down temporarily, I decided to bide my time. 

So I twiddled my thumbs for the rest of the day.  Between losing my trees, my TV, and now the Internet, I was in a pretty foul mood.  Not only Wednesday, but also Thursday was a lost cause - Roadrunner was down till the afternoon.  Two more days of Newsletter work down the drain.  I was a basket case.


It was now Friday, March 30.  I was completely out of my rhythm on the Newsletter project.  Classes were starting in two days on Sunday and I had only written about 25% of the April Newsletter.  Oh well.  Better get to work.  Maybe a last-ditch effort would yield results.  But I didn't get very far.  I actually tried to work on the Newsletter on Friday morning, but found I was still too upset over the tree incident to be very effective.  Slowed by my depression, I just muddled along at the keyboard with some perfunctory pecks.

Besides, I had something else bothering me. I had some unpleasant hatchet work of my own to do.  An poignant email served as a reminder that a certain persona non grata was coming to the studio tonight.  I had made the decision to ask this individual to leave the studio for a variety of reasons.  I know you are curious, so I will say that this individual was accused of being highly deceitful to another student.  However, since this person didn't give us an email address, I had to write a letter so I could hand deliver it.  I have to tell you, this ruined my mood.    First Centerpoint, then Roadrunner, now a deceitful jerk.

The featured event on Saturday, March 31, was our Red and Black Western Party.  I had committed myself to creating a new crash course - Advanced Synchronized Polka Patterns.  I spent most of the afternoon working on creating new patterns.  Thanks to my effort, the crash course that evening was a terrific success.  The patterns were intricate and challenging.  However, after creating the new patterns, I wasn't in much of a mood to write a Newsletter too.


The following day was another Marathon Sunday.  By coincidence, it was also April Fool's Day... how appropriate.  Since it was the start of the new April semester, I had extra duties like printing volunteer cards and getting various forms printed.  Working on the Newsletter was out of the question.


 If you are keeping count, this story is now 14 days old and still no newsletter.

Believe it or not, I still had hopes of putting out a Newsletter for April.  On Monday, I started writing with a passion.  I followed that up with more solid work on Tuesday. With two solid days of no interruptions, I was half done. I had a shot at finishing tomorrow.

But that night Marla came home in a furious mood - Roadrunner had gone out at the studio!  Registration was a fiasco.  Because there was no cable, the registration staff had to register 150 people by hand.  This meant Marla would have to key in all of those registrations herself on Wednesday here at home.  Marla was exasperated.

I was worried too.  I needed to get Roadrunner up and working again at the studio.  One night with Roadrunner down was bad enough, but I couldn't allow the entire week's registration to be done without the use of our database. 

What could have gone wrong?  Marla's story had me confused.  Marla told me she had already called Time Warner only to be told Roadrunner was actually working just fine at the studio.  The signal was there according to the tech guy.   After she was told this, Marla made a beeline to the office.  She examined the cables and router box for clues.  She was appalled to discover that all the Internet cables had been unplugged from the router!   It appeared to her that someone had sabotaged our cable set-up!

I raised an eyebrow at that conclusion.  That didn't make a lot of sense.  My daughter had been in that same office on Monday night.  I asked her if she did anything to the cables.  Sam replied that everything was business as usual - Roadrunner was working just fine and she didn't do anything to the cables.  Then she reminded me that we had LOCKED the door to the office when we left. 

Hmm.  This meant if someone sabotaged our cable, they would first have to have a key to the studio, then have a key to the office.  I was becoming very skeptical of sabotage.  Still, I had to solve the problem.   What could have gone wrong?

That night, I was terribly restless worrying about the sabotaged cable.  I woke up at 2 am.  With nothing else to do, I walked into my office and started to work on the newsletter.  Uh oh.  Now my home Roadrunner was out!   When I called, the Heights wasn't listed on their outage areas, so I stayed on the line till tech support picked up.  The gentleman said that he had received several calls from the Heights area, so he would report the problem immediately.   Oh hell.   I went back to bed.  Another wasted opportunity.

On Wednesday the next morning, I noticed that my home Roadrunner was back on.  However I was too worried about the problem at the studio to concentrate on the newsletter so I went to the studio to figure the problem out. 

I soon discovered that Marla had accidentally looked at the wrong cable box.  There was no sabotage after all.  Then after I rebooted the correct router, we were in business again.  But it was 1 pm before I got back to work.  I was only half-finished on the Newsletter and I had lost an entire morning.

This studio cable problem could not have come at a worse time.  The pressure was already intense - tomorrow Thursday the power would be turned off.  I typed and I typed and I typed some more.   The Newsletter was three-quarters done.  I was almost home.

Thursday was the day Centerpoint had scheduled to turn off our power for a minimum of four hours.  The reason was simple - they needed to hook up electricity to all those new homes down the street and across the street.  This project was why the Forester had butchered my trees in the first place.  It was no coincidence the two trees that were damaged the most were the trees near the two telephone poles.  He had whacked these two trees in half to make it easier for the men to work on the poles. 

Somehow I found no solace in making life easier for them by chopping down my trees - I had lost the beauty of my trees and all my privacy in the process.  I could see the windows in the new houses across the street plain and clear.  Where there had once been foliage, there was nothing.  I shook my head in helpless anger just thinking about it again.

On Thursday morning, sure enough, there were a half-dozen Centerpoint trucks on our street.  Around 10 am on Thursday, March 29, the power to our house was turned off.  There wouldn't be any Newsletter work until our power came back on.  No computers, no TV, no lights, no air-conditioning.  It was painful to be reminded how dependent we are on electricity.   But it wasn't all bad.  Since we had been warned in advance, I was able to schedule a morning of errands to avoid the inconvenience.  


When I got home that afternoon, I noticed the power was back on.  All right!  Home stretch.  Time to finish the Newsletter. 

Except when I sat down, I made a terrible discovery - I had no Roadrunner again!  I groaned.  For the third time in a week, I had no access to email and the Internet.  How would I ever finish the Newsletter?

So I called Roadrunner and got the same message as last time- 'problems in the Heights; please be patient'.  I assumed all the work that Centerpoint was doing that day had disrupted Roadrunner.  After all, Time Warner and Centerpoint and ATT use the same poles.  Now Thursday was completely shot. 

Meanwhile my brother-in-law Larry and his wife Roz flew into town Thursday evening for their Easter weekend visit at our house.  
Although I was really happy to see Larry and Roz, I have to be honest and say the futility of the Newsletter was haunting my conscience at every turn.   

I still had a chance.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that Roadrunner would be back up on Friday.  I had a major commitment on Friday - I had promised Marla I would join the three of them on Friday for a visit to the French Masters Art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts that afternoon.  However if I got up early, all I had to do was put the finishing touch on the newsletter on Friday morning and it would be good to go. 

So at 6 am on Friday morning, April 6, I got out of bed and went to my computer for my last chance at getting the Newsletter out.  I may have been exhausted and bleary-eyed, but I was determined to finish my work.  So imagine my consternation when I discovered I still had no Internet connection.  The cable was still out!! 

Softly so as not to awaken Roz or Larry, I said a very serious curse word.  What had I ever done to deserve this insanity?  

I decided I had one last shot.  If Roadrunner would come back on Saturday, we would be good to go.  But when Saturday rolled around, the cable was still out. That is when I became suspicious.  Three days was a long time for a 'temporary outage'.  So I called Roadrunner Tech Support.  They said there were no outages in my area, so they scheduled a service appointment.

I sat in my office Monday morning twiddling my thumbs.  The man was supposed to be there from 7-11 am.  At 11 am, no one had shown up.  Just as I called Roadrunner to see what the problem was, the doorbell rang.  The serviceman walked in, replaced my cable modem, and was gone in 5 minutes.  Just like that, problem solved.  

I was really frustrated. My old modem had been the problem all along, but the coincidence of the Heights reports on Time Warners' answering machine and the Centerpoint activity had completely tricked me.   I had assumed that Centerpoint's electrical work on Thursday had been responsible for the latest problem when in reality the modem was going out.  What a stupid mistake.  Due to my ignorance, I was unable to access the Internet for five crucial days. 

How ridiculous is it to send out an April Newsletter in the second week of the semester?  By the time most people got the email, it would time to start registering for May.  So that was the end of my three week long nightmare.   I threw in the towel.  And now you know my excuse.

One more thing - as I finished writing this article, Marla reminded me to call Time Warner.  The cable TV is out at the studio.  Does that sound familiar?

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