Friday, September 30, 2005

Lagging Behind
When I worked as an IT (IT = Information Technology, meaning computers) professional in corporate America, backups were not only expected, they were mandatory. Usually mandated by law, but certainly mandated by good business practice.

Remember the shoemaker's son who went barefoot?

I've been muttering about backing up my laptop documents ever since I bought it nearly three years ago. Two months ago (good grief!) DH bought an external hard drive for me. I see it sitting on the floor under the table were I keep my laptop when it's not in my lap. The box has never been opened.

This is very stupid of me, and I wrote this to put myself to shame and maybe inspire some action. I need to open the box, at the very least. And then read the documentation (or not) and do some backing up.

Phone Service
When I called to order phone service as we moved into this house on a dirt road in the swampy woods fourteen years ago, Verizon told me I would need to go on a party line until a private line became available.

A party line in the 1990's? That was my first clue that there might be some disadvantages to rural living.

A party line, for those of you too young to remember, is a phone line shared by two or more households. Household A picks up the receiver to make a call and possibly hears Household B having a conversation. Household A can not make or receive phonecalls while Household B is using the phone. But Household A can listen to everything Household B says on the phone if they like.

My corporate America employer did not think a party line was acceptable for an employee that needed to be called during off hours, so they used their muscle to intervene and we did get a private line.

Verizon has improved phone service to this area since then, but not much. A few months ago DH picked up the receiver and heard people talking. He asked them who they were, and, although they were reluctant to tell him, they did tell him they were having a cell phone conversation.

We have no cable available, we have no DSL available, we have dialup. In dry weather with a lucky dial, we can hook up at 45.2 kbps tops. Lately it's been raining. When it's raining we are rarely able to top 38 kbps. We know the moisture gets into the Verizon equipment because sometimes it turns to ice and then we have no phone service at all.