stanley

stanley has been warming up to me gradually since we got him. he talks a lot, but the only things i’ve been able to understand are “step up”, “no bite”, “good boy” and various variations on “hey birdy birdy bird”. he’s sort of like a human kid who learns a few words before he’s sure of what they mean, so he frequently rambles without making much sense, but he steps up onto my hand without biting me most of the time now, and he takes food from my hand, although sometimes he takes the food and throws it away, and he still growls when i come too close sometimes… and he bit my finger and drew blood just a moment ago. it’s just a tiny scratch, but…

we’re training him to sing the bach cello suite #1 in G, which means that i made a recording of the suite and applied a pan flute voice to it (which is as close as i had to a sample of someone whistling), and i currently have it playing in a loop. monique’s going to start clicker-training him next week.

qwest SUCKS!

UPDATE: i got a comment from "steph at qwest", to which i am responding here. whether i actually got a response from a human being or not has yet to be determined, but either way, i feel like ranting again, so here goes.

i called them at 5:30 pm yesterday, because internet had not been working all day, and i had to go through the same automated bullshit again, which “detected a problem” and connected me to a live person, who asked me what lights were on my “modem” (which is actually a router, but i’ve given up trying to educate these clowns), and then told me to pull the power cord out of the back of the “modem”. when i told him that i couldn’t do that, but that i could turn it off with a power switch, he didn’t know what to do, and so i had to wait on hold while he went to find out. he returned and said that i should turn it off and leave it off until he came back, and i had to wait on hold again while he did some sort of mysterious thing. when he came back and told me to turn on the “modem” again, he was sort of surprised by the fact that it returned to having no “internet” or “DSL” lights lit, couldn’t give me a reason why it should not be working, and was about to put me on hold again when, suddenly, the connection lights lit up. i told him this and he wondered why it should have taken so long, but as long as it was working, that was good enough for him.

i am really frustrated with these people, because they read from scripts, complete with scripted “compliments” (which i can tell are scripted because they come at totally inopportune moments, and are identical, even down to the inflection and tone of voice, coming from at least three different “technicians”), don’t have any clue what they’re really doing, talk down to me, and say everything is all right, when it’s not exactly all right. i realise that networking is a complex business: i have worked in the electronic communications industry for 15 years, and i know that some things don’t have straightforward answers. to give me “pat” answers demeans my intelligence, and when they’re scripted to the point of inflection and tone of voice, it makes me feel as though they think they’re talking to an idiot… when, in reality, it’s very likely that i know more about how their network actually works than they do.

it turned out that they had fixed whatever had exploded, and internet had been “fixed” for two hours when i called them, but nobody had thought to call and tell me. also, almost as soon as i hung up the phone, my connection lights turned red, and then went out all together, and it was a half hour more before they would do anything more than light up green for about two minutes, and then go red and go out for 10 minutes or so… 😑

qwest sucks

so, about 10:00 this morning, i was sitting there reading my email and there was this huge explosion outside, and shortly thereafter, all of my internet connectivity vanished. i called qwest and went through their automated disturbance detector, and it detected a problem (big surprise) and connected me to a human representative, who promptly hung up on me. so i had to call and go through the automated bullshit again before i could get connected to another human representative, who couldn’t get any response from my line. i told him that it was probably because there had been an explosion before i called, but he persisted in trying to run his “tests” anyway, and when that didn’t work, he called in his supervisor to run the tests, just to make sure. the representative i talked to didn’t sound like he was an “outsourced technician” (in other words, he didn’t have an identifiable ethnic accent), but his speech was strange, like he was reading from a script and didn’t actually know what he was doing. he said that they had alerted the technicians that would see what the problem was, but he had no idea when it would be fixed. it’s currently 4:30 and there’s still no internet. and this is from a company who claims that their internet connections are 99.99% reliable. 😐

i can still access wirelessly via our neighbour’s unsecured wireless router, which i suspect is a cable, rather than a DSL.