Shit Towne Freezes Over

Last week (1.6.05) in my hometown we had a motherfucker of an ice storm, which caused power to go out in most of Hazleton's south side, forcing the neighborhood that both myself and Tara to be without power overnight.

Stuck for a place to rest with a little heat and do some work on my PowerBook, I stayed overnight at my Uncle Joe's place in the Terrace. That was fine. The next morning (Friday 1.7.05) the power was back on at my place. After another day of work, I came home, threw out every open container in my refrigerator, caught up on laundry, and hoped all was back to normal. The next day I discovered that my one phone line (which I use for my computer) was off. While trying to navigate Verizon's fucking automated system, my call waiting interrupts me -- on the other end is a frantic phone call from my father asking me if my power was out. What? Apparently my uncle, who lives on a side street, saw a wire dangling across my yard and, not knowing what else to do, called my father. My power cord was hanging, but since I still had power, I was fine. What happened was the ratchet holding the power cord to the house had come loose, but was still connected to my house and giving me power. Another phone call, this time to the power company to tell them that their line was slackened, and they inform me that I have to have an electrician do it. No problem as I knew of a kind and reliable one. But still, no phone service for my poor computer, and Verizon informs me that they can't come up until Wednesday in spite of the fact that without the phone service, I can't do ANY work or communicate with my agent or collaborators (I really had to bullshit him), so in the meantime I have to go to Radio Shack, buy a second 25-foot phone cord and a coupler, and flow that to my other phone line (after forwarding calls from that line to my cell phone.) What a pain in the ass. This forces me to do all my computer work in the kitchen, but at least I can listen to my Sirius boom box or my iPod while I work.

Tuesday, I come home from work and find a cardboard pamphlet from Verizon stuck in my door with the crudely scrawled note, "Line down is power line, not phone line. Call PP&L." No shit, asshole. I call Verizon and tell them that their technician (who foolishly left his ID number on his card) didn't even bother to check anything and ran off. They tell me the'll send someone else tomorrow. They don't, so I call them again and read them the riot act, complete with the vow that I will not only cancel my landlines and rely on my cell phone service (which is NOT with Verizon) for voice calls, but sign up for DSL with a rival company (actually the same company my dial-up service is currently with) and encourage my girlfriend to cancel her Verizon DSL plan in solidarity. Another hollow-sounding promise, and the phone call is concluded.

This morning, my electrician was here and he does a "temporary" fix to take the slack out of my drooping power cable, and urges me to get the branches on my tree cut before he can do a permanent repair. No problem as my electrician is cool peeps.

I'd been making "calls" to my data line all week during all this and getting busy signals until late this morning when I got the normal phone ring again. Yay. I guess the thought of two people taking their money elsewhere for their data and voice needs made them get cracking. I should have done that on Saturday!


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