Friday, January 12, 2007

Look out, world, I've got DSL...
Faster than a bullet, leaping tall buildings, zoom, zoom, zoom...

Okay, okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit there. After all, this is the same old computer I had back up in Idaho, but when I moved here to Oregon, I got, bing, bing, you're online. What I'm really impressed with, is the speeds at which things are downloaded. I loaded in Windows Media Player 10, and a download which would've taken close to an hour with dial-up, took about 3, count 'em, THREE, minutes. Zing, Zing, Zoom!

Back when I signed up for it, I got a box full of cables, splitters, thermonuclear devices, and oh yes, a modem. And I thought, "what do I do with all of THIS." All of a sudden, I was struck down with an almighty case of techno-phobia, and I thot, "this is too much. I need help." So I called Verizon and arranged for a technician to come out. "It'll cost you $199 for a technician to come out", the Verizon phone consultant told me. I said, "whatever". She told me, "he'll be out three weeks from today on FRIDAY, and we don't know when he'll get there". Just great, I thot. I'm a prisoner of my house on the day he shows up. I can't go anywhere or do anything, just wait. Oh well, I thot, fine, I'll just watch him install the DSL and perhaps I'll learn something.

In the meantime, I went to use the computer at the Library, which is over 5 miles from where I live. I'd stick in a little magnetic card, which would hook me up to a timer. It started at 59:59. By, say, 45:15, I'd have my first e-mail done. By 30:00, I'd have a couple more done. By 20:45, I'd have a couple more done. And, typing at the speed of light, I'd get some more necessary computer stuff done by the time my time ran out. (I do type close to 80 wpm, and I thought I was fast, until I talked to a legal secretary who could do 120 words a minute! "Okay", I thought, "it's true that no matter how good you think you are, there's always someone better out there".)

Getting back to my own situation at home (that WAS what I was going to post about, originally), three weeks went by. Finally, the hallowed Friday upon which the technician was supposed to come out, arrived. I waited. And waited. And waited some more. By about 4:30, I thot, "this guy ain't gonna show." So I looked at my box of STUFF that Verizon sent me, and I thot, "well, let's give it a shot". After all, there was a step-by-step disc with verbal instructions, and pictures of what to do. Pictures, great! I can live with that. And guess what...after about four hours, I got the DSL installed myself. Then the next day, the technician arrived. Of course! I told him I didn't need him, that I'd figured it out, and he said, "great! I've got a whole bunch of work to do anyway, because of the windstorms we've been having around here." So it all worked out. I did something right. How about that. And I beat Verizon at its own game...I saved $199!!!

I've been really lambasting the weathercasters around here, lately...they make such a big deal over temperatures which are one or two degrees below the freezing level, and a little bit of ice on the roads here is such a big deal for them to report. Well, the area in which I used to live, while not a "major" market, was a larger-sized market. Down here, the media market is, well, not quite as big. As a result, the newscasts here are a bit more folksy. The media people here don't look perfect; they look more like average people. Average people who probably wouldn't be considered for employment in a major media market. And, the newscasters here are agreeable, nice people who do a fine job of presenting the news, and I really mean that. However...

There are two weather-casters here in Southern Oregon, who have obviously been "grandfathered in" to their markets. They've just gotta be lifelong diehards of this area; they don't have to be polished; they've been here forever, and hang on to their TV jobs sorta like a barnacle hangs onto the bottom of an oceangoing vessel. One weathercaster here is an older guy, and he's pretty shaky. He can't ad-lib to save his life; sometimes he begins his weather report in an illogical fashion, and when he talks to the newspeople at the end of the newscast, he doesn't make sense a lot of the time.

Another weathercaster down here has all the appeal of an alcoholic snake-oil salesman; I can't tell if he's just a jerk, who deliberately talks down to everyone, full of himself, thinking he's the greatest thing since sliced peaches, or if he really has had a few swigs before he went on-air. I had to watch him tonight just to see how bad he was gonna be. And he didn't disappoint. And to think I used to complain about a certain blonde KXLY-TV, Spokane, Washington weathercaster, who has a nasal voice that could peel the paint offa the side of yer house...

Lest you think I was stuck on myself when I was in radio, I never liked the way my voice sounded. I have a terrible on-air voice. I wanted to be "in the bizz", but I didn't have the chops. Or the personality. As far as "looks", well, I did have a "radio-face". In other words, not telegenic at all. Combine that with the pressurized, ego-centric world of broadcasting, and as much as I wanted to go into that field when I graduated from college, I'd never ever want to do that to myself again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Dave - you're in an even smaller market than we are. We get the new grads (from just where I'm not sure since they obviously haven't studied grammer nor geography). Maybe you get the flunk outs! Lol

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have a few minutes with your zippy new DSL, come over and see my satirical photo essay "Eugene Digs Out of Crippling Snow Storm". You might enjoy my North Idaho perspective on the snow we experienced here in Eugene late last week. rp

10:53 AM  

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