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Earlier | Later

"When the world is running down…

"…you make the best of what's still around."—The Police

I'm out at Caffe Ladro right now. I hadn't planned to be here. After doing my intern work at KEXP this afternoon, staying about an hour late to finish a quick project, I stopped for groceries on the way home, and didn't end up getting back home until almost 9 PM. I was pretty hungry too, so I was going to just stay in and make dinner, although I really didn't feel like it and didn't have a good idea what to do. However, I discovered that my DSL connection was down. Again. It's been acting really flaky in the past few months, sometimes dropping briefly and coming back within a minute, sometimes staying down longer and causing me to power-cycle the DSL router in order to reboot it, which usually seems to work. Tonight I started up my laptop when I got home and tried to check email, only then to discover the connection was down, and rebooting the router didn't bring it back. Coincidentally—at least I believe it's a coincidence—I'm late in paying my DSL bill, which I intended to do this evening. And so I came out to Ladro to get a snack and use the Internet. But my DSL bill remains unpaid, because I forgot to bring my password to log in to the account, and I don't want to reset it. So I'll just have to hope that the DSL is working when I get home, or that it comes back for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I don't know whether to call and complain about the flaky service or not. I've had this DSL router for something like seven years I think, whenever I joined Speakeasy, so it could just be failing on me. But then I've also been unhappy about the terrible upload speeds I have with Speakeasy and I keep wondering whether I should change providers. I just got something recently from Qwest, but I don't know yet whether they actually serve my area, and I'm also irked that their promotional offer doesn't mention what the regular price is. Speakeasy has overall simply worked for me for the past several years, so I'm reluctant to switch.

In other slowly-failing technology, my iPhone has also been a lot flakier in the past few months. After four years, the battery life of course is rather reduced, but still generally good for more than a day; however, it was mostly full when I headed out to the Fremont Solstice Parade, and after a couple hours of having the phone active most of the time and taking photos, it gave me the 20% remaining warning. That would still be manageable for a few months, although I won't be able use the iPhone to cover Decibel Festival (presuming I do get to do that again this year) in that case. However, some of the apps seem to be flakier as well. The iPod app stutters when I'm using other apps, which it didn't used to do, and sometimes crashes. The iPhone may get confused a bit if I'm rapidly switching between the Camera app and the Notes app, as I do at concerts, and hesitates a lot. The Twitter app routinely crashes the first time I start it. Safari will take forever to load Yahoo Mail—although that one may well be Yahoo's fault. Just a bunch of different little annoyances that, combined with the aging battery and the fact that my iPhone won't support any of the newer features, make me feel it's time to upgrade to a new iPhone. But then I'm putting that off as well, partly for the financial hit I'll take in buying one, and partly because I'm pretty sure any new mobile plan will cost more than the one I currently have. 

My MacBook Pro, fortunately, is still chugging along more or less as expected. It does seem to be having more trouble lately with finding and keeping wireless Internet connections, but I can't tell whether it's a problem with the laptop or just with particular locations—Bauhaus has been notably poor on several occasions in the past few months, other places have seemed okay, so maybe it's just Bauhaus. It does annoy me that if I'm running Windows in Parallels, Safari (on the Mac side) gets notably slower, with a lot of spinning cursors as it struggles to load pages, and a tendency to flat-out hang. It seems particularly bad with pages that have Flash-based things like YouTube videos. I'm running the AdBlock extension, and I've been wondering whether that's part of the problem. Aside from the Safari problems, though, everything else seems to be running okay still, which is good. I'd really rather not have to get a new laptop until next year, when hopefully I'll be able to afford it without adding yet another big chunk to my debt, and when I'll also be able to deduct it again from my taxes.

At least I don't have to worry about my car anymore…

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The List: June 2011

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