Yesterday, a set of unusual markings appeared in our yard and out in the street—circles, letters, numbers, and arrows in red, orange, and blue. I saw no one making the markings, and they are as indecipherable as the hieroglyphs of an ancient race—but they portend the arrival of our new Internet connection.
I eagerly called our Optimum contact, but after more reflection and investigation, it seems these are likely just the work of a markings crew. A different crew still has to come and install a cable. Then, yet another operative must come and hook up a modem and router.
The blue lines and paint splotches probably indicate the placement of our Suffolk County Water Authority connection. The Optimum folks likely want to avoid damaging SCWA’s stuff. What is the orange paint—electricity? Maybe the red arrows and measurements are where the Internet cable will actually be placed.
I think the Optimum cable will connect to some magic box on the opposite side of the street and run across our yard up to the house. Question: How will they get the cable under the street? In Manhattan, I believe they would get out the jackhammers and make nasty gashes in the asphalt. What do they do here? Use some kind of hypo or dirt-buster to punch the cable under the street? Then, do they tunnel across our yard? We’ll probably never know, unless they happen to make lots of noise that will prompt us to investigate.
Dinner: Frittata with mushrooms and grilled onion, corn muffins, and a lettuce and avocado salad.
Entertainment: nothing, thanks to Internet inavailability.
The cable guy from Optimum just came and, after looking around in the house and in the basement, he announced that the cable from the street to our house was old and inoperative. So, he says, he’ll arrange for a crew to come in over the next few days and install a new cable, linking to some magic box, then going under the street, and finally over to our house. Then next week another guy will come with the modem and router and, presto chango, we should have better Internet connection. Here’s hoping.
Meanwhile, it is hard to do much of anything online. Provided I rise early enough, I can check my e-mail and read the paper. Emily seems able to do her Times puzzles on her Android phone. But by 10 a.m. or thereabouts, my Internet connection is kaput. Lately, it seems to work again around 7 p.m.—who can say why. Is it just a reflection of how many people are on their phones at a given moment? Is it related to the weather…or the number of trees between us and the cell-phone towers? Somebody knows, but not me.
I take turns reading a bit of Jane Eyre and then a bit of Innocents Abroad, both downloaded from Project Gutenberg. Both are enormously long—I thought I had read Jane Eyre before, but I don’t remember its being such a tome. Mark Twain says numerous racist things about the Portuguese—and I’m only on page 145. Probably typical of American thinking circa 1869. Twain hailed from the slave state of Missouri and later resided in Connecticut. Perhaps the statues of him should be pulled down.
Tonight’s dinner: a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives, and the remainder of the chicken salad.
Entertainment: Assuming we can connect, old episodes of Rebus on Britbox.
It’s very difficult to establish any Internet connection today using our Verizon mobile hotspot. So I have set up an appointment with Optimum to come and install a modem and router on Monday. Then with their cable connection, our Internet and email links should be more secure. Fingers crossed.
Dinner: the Latin stew known as picadillo, a little leftover cold noodles with sesame sauce, and lettuce and cucumber salad.