On Speednet and High Speed Internet Access

28 12 2007

I got a reply on my letter to the editor posted in my blog here regarding my comments on Speednet and was asked to elaborate. I still have not sent that in to the editor yet. Whtch out, this is long. See here and here

I’ve left a comment on the Enterprise Blogs regarding high speed internet and for the sake of new readers, I am looking for a high speed internet solution in Leelanau County. What this county has now is pathetic. In Cleavland Township (only) Centurytel offers DSL. Max download speed is 1.5mps via a DSL connection that works some of the time. Standard is 756kbs for $45 a month (which is very high priced for what you get). From Grelicksville up to Suttons Bay AT&T offers DSL. Again, the max download is 1.5mbs for around the same price but that is only along the M-22 corridor and NOWHERE else because that is where they have upgraded their infrastructure to accommodate DSL. My problem is with the facts above. In a county that comprises a VERY small land area, only 2 places offer access to high speed internet. I happen to live in Cleveland Township, my father does not and thus has to suffer with dial up at the moment. My Aunt lives in Suttons Bay. I want an answer from Leelanau County as to why high speed internet access is elusive in the rest of the county and I want to know what is being done RIGHT NOW to address the issue. Not what is planned for the future, WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT THIS MINUTE???????

As for the reader who commented, if you work for SpeedNet, I’d like to know what you can do for me. According to your web site my Father’s home is within an acceptable range for your satellite system. I’d love you to email me and tell me how I can get him set up using Speed net. If you’re a dealer, there are at least 4-5 others in the same small area that you might be able to make some money on if you can provide what your web site says you can. 1.5mbs at $35 a month. That’s a freaking deal at the moment and so far better than any of your competitors can offer. I can bet that you make your money by signing up new customers. I’ve got at least 1 lead for you (my father) and perhaps others. I work in sales, leads are important, you might want to jump on this bandwagon.

I am sick and tired of living in what is by every small stretch a wealthy county and yet day after day, I continue to see examples of life in the 18th century! In Cleveland Township, I live in what Charter Communications calls a DIGITAL zone but I’ve had techs out here 4 times and they have YET to to establish a DIGITAL connection on my cable. If I were not giving up on my lease in 6 months, I’d be switching to satellite tomorrow. I am stuck with basic analog cable because none of them can figure out their own technology. Additionally, Centurytel offers DSL up to 7mbs download in many of their markets but yet in Leelanu, I have only 2 options 756kbs or 1.5mbs. Without going out on a limb, this is called corporate fascism.

My interest in Speednet is this: You have a major opportunity to establish high speed internet access throughout this county via your satellite system and you pretty much have a captive market if you can get your hands on it right now. If your web site is accurate, you will be able to provide access to nearly every area which is completely undeserved by existing utilities and you can do so for LESS MONEY then they could ever dream about. You have the opportunity to push them right the fuck out of here. Since the big companies are pretty much laughing at anyone who asks, I’d like to see you come in a push them out just to spite them. They’ve had years to make this technology available and they have FAILED. Those who can’t compete LOOSE. As is obvious, I appreciate competition, I don’t like corporate fascism but when there are no viable options to begin with I will accept a monopoly until someone comes in and does it better than you.

I was asked to elaborate on the 88 foot tower comment, a man in Leelanau is using Speednet’s competition for line of sight satellite out of Petoskey. He paid for it’s construction and for his access because he needs it for his job. What he built is legal according to FCC rules which trump local zoning laws. People living around him are pissed because they have to see this tower. He doesn’t give a shit how he gets his internet access, only that he has to have it and he should not have to move somewhere else to get it. He did what he had to do legally to get what he had to have. Now the county has an opportunity to look at the issue. I have stated that I’m ready to build my 88 foot tower to get what I want since nobody in this county will help me get it and the county is too complacent to bother taking action on zoning to prevent me from doing it. Do you really think that people in this county with expendable money are going to sit on their ass and wait for the county to figure their shit out? I didn’t think so.

Obviously I have opinions and I have absolutely nothing to loose by being as loud and arrogant about them as possible but this county would do well to listen to them. You can not survive on retirees who know nothing about computers and the internet and second home vacationers alone. You must consider those of us who live here all year long and who have grown up with the technology that we can’t get in Leelanau right now. I am 33 years young and I expect more out of the county government that I PAY and out of the companies that do business in this county. The future of this county as a viable economy lies with us and you have the opportunity to make this tourist economy work. You’ve failed so far, are you willing to look at the future or do you want to continue to live in the past??????????? I will galady debate anyone on these issues. I don’t care if you don’t like development and that you want your pretty little county to stay undeveloped. You can not prevent growth and development, It is a reality. You can only guide it so that it is done CORRECTLY and RESPONSIBLY which is my goal. I hope to hell I’m just an uninformed opinionated asshole. If so, FILL ME IN, show me the money, what do you have to offer?


How I spent my Christmas Eve

25 12 2007

I thought about doing a pictoral essay on Christmas Eve 2007 but then I figured a big sassy picture of the Grinch would just not do justice to my day.  I had only one pleasant part of my day and that was a nice fat steak dinner at my parents.  Yum.

Work was, well, stupid to put it nicely.  It was slow as expected.  What I had forgotten about however was that the typical Christmas Eve shopper is a complete ASSHOLE with a capitol A.  Not only have they put off shopping for Christmas until just a few hours before, they all seem to forget that we employees have families too that we would MUCH rather be spending time with for this holiday.  Even if you are not religious, this holiday in America is about spending time with family.  Do you really think that ANYONE working today actually wanted to be there?  Do you really think that ANY of us give a flying fuck that you are pissed off because we are closing early so WE can spend time with OUR families?  No, you people don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself.   FUCK ALL OF YOU, start shopping earlier next year you MORONS.

Here’s the part where I had a great meal with my folks.

Now on to the part where I am home at the computer and all I can smell in the house is CAT PEE.  I couldn’t take it anymore tonight.  I spent 3 hours cleaning the basement where my roommate lives.  I cleaned the laundry room, her bathroom floors, the entry way (where the cat pee was), I vaccummed for what I guessed was the first time since she moved in.  I had resolved ONLY to keep the laundry room clean since that was a common area of the basement.  She is a grown woman, I am not her fucking housekeeper.  She has free reign of all the other rooms and I don’t feel by any stretch that it is in any way my responsibility to clean her living space.  I clean my living space daily (thanks Mom for training me not to be a complete slob).  I keep the floors clean, I pick up after myself, I do the dishes, I make my bed, I clean my clothes, I fucking shower DAILY.  She does none of those things and I have a FULL vacuum bag to prove it.  Sadly, when she returns from her little holiday, she will not have noticed that anything is different.  I will not be thanked for cleaning up her cat’s pee and litter that was all over the floor.  I won’t be thanked for throwing out a dipping sauce from 3 months ago that had things growing on it.  I won’t be thanked for clipping the dead leaves off her pathetic looking house plants and watering them.  She won’t notice that the floor is clean, her laundry is folded, the cat boxes are clean and they all have food.  She won’t know that I threw away 5 really old orange peels that had dried up or that I spent 30 minutes cleaning the carpets with spot treatment to get who knows what out of the floors that weren’t there before she moved in.

The fact that I’ve still managed to remain civil to her is amazing.  I should in fact receive a gold star but alas I won’t.  She’s been bitching lately that it smells in the basement.  WELL DUHHHHHHH dip shit.  When you don’t pick up after yourself things STINK.

Anyhow, I’m done now.  Now I’m going to relax and finish preparing for Christmas Day.  I still have a couple of things yet I need to do with the gifts and I’ll be good to go.  Have a Happy Christmas readers, I’ll be back on the 26th or soon there after with more from my crazy life.

The day Before:

24 12 2007


Piracy, Morals and The Need for Change

24 12 2007

I feel the need to weigh in on this as I’ve been asked a couple of times lately and I think it’s high time we consumers start demanding change rather than be told how we should and should not be getting our media.  First, read the article linked below.  People my age are not all pirates and hackers.  We don’t go about our days intending to steal or otherwise defame or discredit musicians, actors, or for that mater even the distributors.  What we want is easy access to media in the format of our choice at prices we think are reasonable.

Here’s an example:  I will go into a store and pay $12.99 for a CD any day of the week.  With that CD I am getting at least 12 songs, a professionally printed CD jacket, lyrics, liner notes, a jewel case and assurance that the artist who made the CD is getting a cut of the profits.

Now I go online and look for the same CD but now in mp3 format.  What do I get here?  I get the same 12 songs which are now protected with an archaic DRM (digital rights management) software that prohibits me from playing those mp3 files on the player of my choice.  I don’t get liner notes, I don’t get lyrics, a jewel case, and I have no assurance that the artist has received anything from my purchase.  On top of that, I’ve paid $.99 a song which multiplied out is $11.88 for a CD and I’ve received NOTHING similar to what I would have got had I just bought the CD at a store.

This is bullshit.  I will never admit here to downloading music on line but I have all the symphony in the world for those people who do.  $.99 a song is BULLSHIT.  Bring that price down to $.50 a song and we’ll talk.  Better yet, keep the price at $.99 and once I download the song, SEND ME A FUCKING HARD COPY OF THE CD IN THE MAIL with liner notes, a jewel case and a solid assurance that the artist has received  some sort of cut from the sale.

I don’t tend to like the big media companies.  I am a salesman so I can’t say too much because I get the tactics and I know the game but I’m also a fair person.  Until big media gets with the program and starts offering music and video at reasonable prices online for downloading, people are going to continue to steal.  I don’t condone stealing but you had better either make me a deal or tell me what on earth I should be paying that much for.  I want things in the format of my choice and at my convenience.  I AM THE CONSUMER, I MAKE THE DECISIONS!  You need to change your business model and come in to the 21st century.   Want to get rid of piracy?  Than start paying attention to consumers.

Piracy, Morals and The Need for Change | TorrentFreak

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For the Family

23 12 2007

I could not let this holiday pass without recognizing what has become a fixture in our family this time of year.  My Mom in her collecting zeal, has amassed a huge collection of rather pretty glass ornaments.  Rightfully, these can not be put on a Christmas tree for fear of them falling off and breaking.  As well, they can’t really be seen on a tree either.  When we were kids, this was accomplished in Grand Rapids via a “Polish Light”. (yes ethnic humor is not lost in our family, even though from what I know we aren’t Polish)  This was a rather dated dining room light that allowed Mom to hang her more valuable ornaments out of reach of us kids (and Dad) when we were young and later away from the paws of cats.   Sadly, the “Polish Light” had to be replaced as Mom and Dad decided to put the house on the market to sell.  Dated fixtures do not sell homes, thus, the light and the pretty glass ornaments went into storage along with lots of other things until this year.  Now that the Cottage has been fully remodeled and turned into a home, it can be properly decorated for Christmas with Mom’s elaborate touches. (Sarah and Brian, you did well with your decorations in the pre-remodel days too, but neither of you is anal retentive enough to pull this off as tastefully as Mom can).   It was assumed that the Polish Light would never be replaced by anything.  Perhaps that era had passed and the glass ornaments would be placed on the tree this year.  Not so.  What you see below is the New Polish Light.  This one is of course missing a light but it has all the features of the old Polish Light and it’s actually better looking.  So, here’s to to you Mom,  a creative thinker with a keen eye and your not Polish to boot.  I’d better watch the Polish jabs up here in the Northwoods.  I might end up their Polka Fest Queen.


The reason for the season?

23 12 2007

Tonight I am reminded of the reason for the season summed up in the photo below, to thee oh shopper crawl back into your hole. You know if I didn’t work in retail, I’d likely view this holiday differently. Hard to be joyful when nearly every person you see is a complete ass.


Lucky Strike!

22 12 2007

I ripped the picture below off of someone else’s blog but I could not resist posting it here. Today marks 3 full months of being smoke free. I’ve saved approximately $450.00 not buying a pack a day and of course I’ve saved a little of my life too. Thanks to Mom and Dad for caring enough to buy patches for me and to put up with me while I have changed habits and routines. While I thrive on change, at the same time I hate it and I am a very routine person. It is no small task to completely re-think the way you go about dealing with your day without smoking especially when that habit was one I had for the better part of 15 years. I still get little urges now and then and from my discussions with former smokers, I likely always will but in the past 3 months I have learned what I personally need to do when I have those urges and I know that I can deal with them. While I have quit in the past, I never really had all that much of an incentive to stay smoke free. I just enjoyed smoking and at that time I didn’t really want to give it up that badly (or I would have). Now things have changed, I’m older, wiser, and quite honestly, fairly poor right now. Those 3 things are well worth the commitment it’s taken to now stay smoke free the rest of my life.

Now then, Christmas fast approaches (just 3 days away now). I’ll be posting daily at the very least a holiday picture or 2 for you all to laugh at.