Friday, July 25, 2008

And the Minutiae Continues

Moving's not a trivial matter. The buyer of our SoCal house visited last week, the wife brought her parents, a sweet older couple. "How long have you lived here?" Dad wondered. "Since 2003," I said. He thought for a moment and said that he and his wife had lived in their present house for 23 years.

23 years! The longest I've lived in a house was about five years. By my rough counting, I've lived in as many houses as years that that fellow and his wife have lived in their house. My family moved around a lot. I reckon that by the time I graduated from high school I went to six schools. I'm not real skilled at putting down roots, and don't feel the need to. So moving to another house doesn't feel at all unnatural, though I have to admit that all my moving around has been in the southern part of California, save for a few childhood years in Napa and a few years in San Francisco.

But even so, a move is a move. I paid July's bills yesterday (I pay bills on the 24th of the month) and stapled change of address notices to all the checks. The couple who has sold their house to us in Bend kindly gave me a list of the utilities which provide the power and trash pickup and water and all the other necessities for urban living for the property, and I've contacted them all to arrange for continuation of service. Then their counterparts here have been contacted to arrange for shut-off of the same for this property.

But let's be honest: preparing for a move is long on detail and short on drama. It's just not that interesting, all the fussy little details that need to be handled, and any effort to pump up this entry's word count by describing them would make reading about them about as interesting as the doing them. So I'll spare the one or two insomniacs who are reading these words the tedium and move on.

The Qwest for a Signal, dept. I described earlier the struggle we are having getting Qwest Communications to install the T1 data line to the house in time for the move. Mrs Elliott needs a 1.5Mbps line for her phones and the plan was to have this capability installed and up and running before we get there so all she needs to do is have the PBX hardware uninstalled here and overnighted to the new house for installation and immediate use on Monday morning with little or no downtime. But the delay they were imposing would mean that Mrs Elliott would need to stay here in Carlsbad for over a week, in an essentially empty house, before she could pack up the hardware and make the move.

I volunteered to see what I could to to help her with the various companies in Bend to speed the operation. I found a mid-level fellow at Integra Telecom and assigned him the job of managing the project .

What he did was to organize an attack on Qwest from two fronts: First, their escalation department was tasked to sweet-talk Qwest into giving the T1 line a higher priority, and second, a parallel request was placed with Qwest to install an HDSL2 (high bit-rate digital subscriber) line on the hope that an alternative line could be placed more quickly.

Today we learned that while getting a T1 (1.5 Mbps) line is still looking weeks away, getting an HDSL2 (1.544 Mbps) line to the house is easier for two reasons: First, HDSL2 uses just a twisted pair of 24 gauge wire, and second, HDSL2 signals can go farther without signal amplifiers. The net result is that the phone company can get the signal to the house much sooner. So much sooner that they offered to do it immediately.

This is good news.

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