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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Back of the napkin: Ella's

Jesse was in town this past week (escaping the royal wedding), and fortunately he had a chance to meet up while he was here. We went to Ella's, and it reminded me of my plan, hatched on a previous trip to the same pizzeria, to leave behind cryptic napkin scribbles at restaurant tables. So we made one:

Jesse tried to come up with a timeline-oriented action plan to implement the policy framework, but was unsuccessful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Verizon and me

I've been slow with the blog posting for the last month or so. This is partly because I've been busy with moving-related stuff, but also because I was without internet for the first few weeks in my new place. While I think complaining is generally a poor use of a blog, this was very frustrating, so please permit me to rant for a moment:

I called Verizon (which is the local phone company in DC) to switch my DSL service from my prior address to my new place. Once I identified my new address, the call went something like this:

Verizon: Sir, I'm afraid service is not available at that address.

Teague: Really? Can you double-check the address? I know it's available there, other people in the building have Verizon DSL.

V: There may be wiring in the building, but there is no more service available.

T: No more available?

V: That's right, I'm sorry. No more capacity. But I can email one of our engineers and see if they can do something. They can't always, but sometimes they can free something up.

T: Uh, okay. Sure.

V: It might take them a couple hours to get back to me.

I then checked the other regional DSL provider; they don't serve my neighborhood. And I confirmed that because my building is wired for satellite TV, Comcast is not an option. So it was Verizon or nothing. After not hearing back from them all day, I called again:

Different Verizon rep: I don't see any record of your previous call in the system. But yes, service is not available at your address.

T: But the rep I talked to earlier said she was going to check with the engineers. Can you check on that?

V: Sir, there aren't any engineers we can talk to.

T: Well, she said she was going to check with the engineers. I'd definitely like to see if there's a workaround, because I really want to have internet at home.

V: Sir, I hate to say somebody was lying to you, but there aren't any engineers. We don't have any way to talk to any engineers, they're a separate unit. Maybe that person was just telling you that to finish up the call.

T: Uh, okay. I don't have access to RCN or Comcast, so Verizon is my only option. You're telling me there's no way I can get internet?

V: Sir, it's like a parking lot -- all the spaces are full. There's nothing I can do. You could check back in a few months to see if a space has opened up. But to be honest, Verizon is putting most of its resources into expanding its FiOS network, so you'd be more likely to get FiOS than have a regular DSL spot open up.

T: When might we get FiOS?

V: Oh, well, I can't really provide any predictions about that. If you want internet access now, you could sign up for a home phone line with dial-up or Verizon's 3G mobile internet.

T: Neither of those sound very good to me.

V: Well, is there anything else I can help you with today?

T: I'd like to get internet.

V: Well, I'm sorry sir, there's not anything I can do. Have a good day, and thanks for choosing Verizon.

Anyway, I've now worked out a WiFi sharing arrangement with a neighbor. But it seems ridiculous that Verizon would be unable to offer DSL service in a well-established neighborhood in the heart of Washington.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Settling in

Here's the view from my new apartment -- this window is in my bedroom, next to my desk. You're looking south toward the center of Mount Pleasant, which is just beyond the larger apartment buildings.

I've been here for almost a month now, and really like the new place so far. Still have a list of things to do before I'll feel completely settled in, but it does feel like home.

Meanwhile, I went to visit Matt and Risa in Greensboro a couple weekends ago, which was lovely. While spring was still tentative in DC at that point, it had definitely sprung there. But we've caught up, and today felt quite summery in DC -- I took a weekend bike trip to Harpers Ferry, WV with some friends from work, and I got quite sweaty on the ride back to DC today, with temps in the 80s. (The local snakes were enthused with the warm weather...seems like we stopped every few miles to look at one sunning itself on the C&O towpath.)