Tuesday, July 18, 2006

BS is almost gone

Yesterday I had cable and a cable modem installed, replacing the crappy DSL I was using. The cable (no premium channels) will cost an added $30 per month, but since I’ve been doing five miles a day on my treadmill I needed some eye candy, and this way I can cut back on the number of NetFlix DVDs I get every month, so it’s nearly a wash. The Internet access costs as much as DSL (although I’m getting a $25 per month discount for the first three months), but it’s much faster. I performed several speed tests on the cable modem and (WARNING: geek-speak ahead) and the slowest response I got was 2.8 mbps. My DSL was supposed to deliver 1.5, which it did consistently to my house in the country, but where I live now it averaged less than 0.2. I suspect the ratty phone line, which BS could never completely fix, was the culprit. Note: my new e-mail address is grantmil@charter.net.

Next, I went to Best Buy and bought a cheap $20 Virgin Mobile cell phone (I think Target carries them for the same price as well). I went with Virgin because of several good recommendations, they have a cheap but decent startup phone, their pay in advance service is cheap (I’ll never use all the time I buy, so it will only cost me $80 per year), and their company name is sexually appealing. If they ever change to Nihon no chiisai usagi, I’m buying a monthly plan. Anyway, I registered, got a new number, and proceeded to test it by ordering from Blue Moon Pizza. The tiny and cheap cell phone (WARNING: boring detail ahead) sounded perfectly clear – for the first time, I heard the background noise of the restaurant. I also tested voicemail from my soon to be dismissed landline, and I received a very clear recording of a loud hum, some static, and my voice somewhere in the background.

Nothing left to do but cancel all my BS services, which I will do after having a private Nihongo session tonight with my tiny hot sensei. She’s married, so don’t start telling me I need to ask her out. Of course, having said that, I can practically guarantee at least one of you will tell me to ask her out. Of course, having added the last sentence, the reverse psychology has been tainted and you are now free to act as you wish. Go wild. Anyway, with BS out of the picture, I should have improved services and I’ll be saving about $350 a year, money I can use to impress Asian hotties by buying gifts (say, for instance, hats).

Final question – does anybody have any tips for avoiding unwanted calls (such as stalkers and telemarketers) with a cell phone?

Final note – I promise to stop posting such useful information. Normal snarkiness will resume tomorrow.


messiah said...

no more bs in your life.... ah, grant, if only that were really true.

avoid unwanted calls? don't answer. or give an honest opinion of the person if it's a misdial.

stalkers? thought you would have welcomed them. just screen: "you don't sound asian. are you asian? no - then stop stalking me damnit."

i'm assuming you went uber-cheap and skipped such niceties as call display.

i've had various company cell phones for about 9 years now, and i think i've had about 7 unwanted text message ads. i get a couple wrong numbers every year, but hell.... i get more than that at my home number. no telemarketers on the cell, ever.

welcome to the future!

the future is friendly. (no wait, that's the slogan of the bloated phone company up here.... nevermind)

Rick said...

(GeekSpeak ahead) I'd be curious to know if your baud rate declines in late afternoon. I swtiched to cable from DSL a while back and it seems to slow down as people get home from work. (Long story on the switch, but Verizon couldn't replace a busted modem in any less that three days.)

Unwanted cell phone calls? Carry one of those portable air horns, available at most party supply stores.

Tony said...

Cool, back to snarkiness. I was beginning to think you were going soft.

5 miles a day. Not bad. I'm getting in my 3. I used to do 5 but I don't have time anymore (I run during lunch). I do the treadmill if it's raining or cold, otherwise I'm outside. I find that I offend far less people when clearing my nose or spitting outside than I do when on the treadmill. Go figure.

Kerry said...

I cant say i've ever gotten unwanted calls on my cell. I believe there is a site where you can register your cell phone number so that solicitors can NOT call you - much like we did with our home phones. I just dont know where that site is :(

When they call, I guess you could proceed on like they called a 1-900-hot-guys number *snicker*

H.E.Eigler said...

mmmmmmmm pizza

Angie said...

I don't think I've ever gotten a telemarketer call on my cell...ever. A few stalkers but that's unavoidable if you actually give the number out. Never know there may be a crazy usagi somewhere. You can use the Do Not Call lists (both National & Georgia - sign up on both).

Don't ask sensei out, ask her if she has any single friends. Oh, and practice the eye contact thingy with her.

Kira said...

Alex only had a couple of wrong numbers on his cell phone in the year he had it. Mine's always off so I have no idea if I get them (nobody has the number, so nobody COULD be calling me on it). I don't know if you'll need to worry about telemarketing on cell phones.

hellbunny said...

Never had unwanted calls on my cell phone so i don't know.
You must be jumping for joy finally being rid of BS.

Tracy Lynn said...

The national do not call list has a cell componant, but the only calls I get that I'm not expecting are wrong numbers.

Grant said...

messiah - it sounds like it's not much of a problem. From what I'd heard, I thought telemarketers on cell phones were more common.

rick - the 2.8 mbps speed was the declined rate in the late afternoon / early evening. I checked it this morning when I went to the bathroom at about 5:00 AM and it reported over 5 mbps, the advertised speed of their expensive Internet access (I got the cheap stuff).

tony - I don't do outside, especially not in the summertime in the South.

kerry - I'm liking Rick's idea of blasting them with an air horn.

h.e. - their calzones are the best.

angie - sensei doesn't care for me as it is, so I don't want to exacerbate matters by staring her down.

kira - yeah, sounds like a non-issue.

hellbunny - well, they're not gone yet. I'm still being charged, just not using their services. They only cancel over the phone and their business hours won't suit my availability for a few days.

patti_cake said...

I don't have a problem w/ telemarketers on my cellphone (Thank God). Good luck on your new technological endeavors :)

Doug Murata said...

If you're American, register using www.donotcall.gov. Telemarketers are not allowed to call you (unless you sign a waiver for a specific company. Beware, however, because some less than moral companies have been known to send stuff via mail with fine print that states that they are allowed to make phone calls after you sign it.) If you're not American, then I don't know what you do about telemarketers.

Leesa said...


I actually posted your cel phone number on various pay phones, indicating that you would buy gifts for asian hoties. Not that this has anything to do with getting cel phone calls. Completely unrelated.

Death Warmed Over said...

Cable dsl can slow as more people access it because everyone is dipping from the same conduit, but performance should exceede BS especially in certain areas. The phone network currently in existence was never designed for todays technology. The copper wires used to carry phone service are same wires and technology used 25 years ago. The designers could not forsee the future, obviously, and now service is being impacted especially as the cables age and degrade. Fiber placement has helped in some areas, but the Bells have been slow to place it due to expense. Cable companies have placed fiber faster for a variety of reasons, one being cheaper labor expenses. It remains to be seen if the Bells can continue to be competetive in these areas. The times, as they say, are a changing. Amazingly enough, BS is going to start offering 10meg vidoe service over these same copper lines. Can anyone say FUBAR? I know you could.
Grant, enjoy your cheaper improved service!

annush said...

Sign up for the do not call registry...that easy :)

Grant said...

tracy - you are obviously not the international celebrity I am, at least in the telemarket world.

patti - see tracy above.

doug - just registered last night.

leesa - did you mention the free hats?

death - I'll bet BS suddenly gets very concerned when I try to cancel their services. I cancelled on AT&T years ago after several bad experiences and they flooded my mailbox with special offers saying "You're like family to us." If only they spent a fraction of that effort to retain current customers, it would probably save them money in the long run.

annush - yep, just did it last night.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Ah, doggone--I have to get cable now? I'm anti-cable; I know I'm the last holdout. Going DSL was enough. But I agree it isn't wonderful.

Liz said...

All that geek speak is turning me on. hehehe

SJ said...

OK I will ask her out.

Blue said...

Those speeds rock! I'm on a crappy satellite service getting 800kbps - and thats fast in my town :-(

When I stop being a student & start being a real [sic] person - I'm gonna get real broadband hehe

BTW - where do you do your speed tests from? I have good transfer speed - just crap browsing