Monday, October 31

Some Free Information Services

Greetings. I've heard of a new fre information source. Its called Free 411, and can be found by calling 800-Free411, or 800-373-3411. They offer nationwide phone number lookup for business, government, and residential numbers. From what I understand, this service that just started, so it may only be a matter of time before they start charging a fee, but its a source all the same. Also, in case you didn't know, you can call 800-555-1212 for free toll-free number lookup, that is if said company decides to list their toll-free number. Finally, for all around information, whether it be news, weather, sports, traffic, and more, try Tell Me: 800-555-Tell (8355). This is a service that you talk to, or you can also enter the first three letters on your phone in order to get to the first level areas (such as 776 for Sports). They are very good and provide accurate weather information, even if you're in a small town. These last two have been around for quite some time but that you might not know of. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 29

Comcast Update

Greetings. My problems with Comcast were solved on the 17th of this month, when the supervisor came out with a technician. Things have been working great since then. So, you ask, "What's the update?" Well, I got a call from Carman Fan yesterday, and found a note in my email box, saying that Comcast had tweaked their network speeds, so that the new speeds for the really high speed service were 8 MB download, and about 768 KB upload. Its times like these when I'm glad that I switched from SBC!

If you're on Comcast Internet and would like to take advantage of this increase in speed, just unplug the modem cable from your computer for 30 seconds (I did mine for a minute just to be sure), and then plug it back in. That's it. That's about the easiest update procedure I've ever had to go through, and that's including software or hardware.

Wednesday, October 26

Job Programs for People With Disabilities Attacked by Senate Panel

Here's a follow up post to my earlier legislative message. This will provide more background on the Randolph-Shepperd program and why it should continue.

Job Programs for People With Disabilities Attacked by Senate Panel

Compiled by the DiversityInc staff © 2005® October 20, 2005

Blind vendors who win government contracts rarely share that success by
employing blind workers. Enormous salaries and lavish perks are being paid
to executives of nonprofit organizations that hire people with disabilities.

Those findings are from an investigation by the Senate Health Committee,
which looked into two work programs and said they inadequately serve
individuals they were designed to help. The findings are contained in a
15-page memorandum obtained by The Associated Press.

"In my opinion, they're performing dismally," committee Chairman Sen. Mike
Enzi, R-Wyo., said of the two federal programs.

The committee scheduled a hearing Thursday to discuss the findings by the
panel's staff, which spent about our months reviewing the Randolph-Sheppard
program for the blind and the Javits-Wagner-O'Day program for people with
physical or intellectual disabilities. The review began after backers of the
programs complained to lawmakers.

In the Randolph-Sheppard program, blind individuals operate snack shops and
cafeterias on government properties. Last year, about 2,500 blind
entrepreneurs participated. It generated $488.5 million in sales, and the
average vendor's earnings amounted to $39,880, government statistics show.

The committee's staff focused on the vendors with contracts to serve 38
military cafeterias, which hire the great majority of workers employed
through the program. Of the 7,122 employees, less than 9 percent had a

"This is cause for concern in a program designed to create jobs for persons
who are blind," the staff memo states.

But James Gashel, the National Federation of the Blind's executive director
for strategic initiatives, said the concern is misplaced.

"Blind people who have those businesses do employ blind and disabled
people," Gashel said. "Could they do better? Yeah." He said any corporation
could do better.

Gashel said the biggest problem is that the federal government barely does
more than "keep the lights on for it." He said it's almost a
$500-million-a-year business, and the federal government has only four
full-time workers for it.

Enzi said he was "shocked and appalled" by some of the salaries. He said the
nonprofits are supposed to take their profits and put them back into
improving the jobs programs.

"Instead, they're lining the pockets of their executive directors and CEOs,"
he said.

Still, it's the lack of incentives to move people into the mainstream that
has advocates for people with disabilities most concerned.

Robert Lawhead, executive director of a job-placement program in Boulder,
Colo., said he helps place about 200 of them annually into private-sector

"People don't want to be segregated because of a particular individual
characteristic," Lawhead said. "They want to be a part of the community."

Each year, only about 2,500 workers in the Javits-Wagner-O'Day program, or
about 6 percent, are "outplaced" to jobs where, for example, they might work
as greeters at Wal-Mart or grocery baggers at Safeway.

"Those sheltered workshops don't help people learn the skills they need to
move out into the community," said Lawhead, who will testify at Thursday's

The federal government designates two nonprofits to implement the jobs
program. They in essence broker agreements in which federal agencies agree
to buy goods and services from the nonprofits.

Tony Young, senior policy planner for one of those nonprofits, NISH-Creating
Employment Opportunities for People with Severe Disabilities, said it's
important to understand that people in the program have not been able to get
jobs in the private sector.

"This program is often the only way these folks with very significant
disabilities can get into the work force at all," he said, adding that it
focuses on trying to give workers the skills and confidence needed to work
on their own.

"One of the major factors - is that private employers are not willing to
hire people with severe disabilities into their work force," he said.

Young said the government agency that oversees the jobs program is preparing
to issue proposed rules on executive compensation. He cited a letter to
nonprofits, dated Aug. 15, that said the agency "must ensure that we are
both maintaining and strengthening our accountability and transparency to
Congress and to the American taxpayers." (AP)

Legislative Update: Blind Vendors

Greetings. I received the following from the NFB of Texas's email list, regarding the measure to preserve the Randolph-Shepperd program for blind vendors. Read more below and if you know a blind vendor or are one yourself, then please do write an email to the address below and support this effort. If you would like a copy of the report that is referenced in this message, then email me through my website, or via comment, and I'll send you one. Thanks.

Dear Fellow Federationists:

We have a deadline before us. We each need to write and send an email before close of business next Monday in support of the oldest job creation
program in America that is specifically for blind persons. Last week an oversight hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor,
and Pensions (HELP). The goal of this hearing was to receive testimony about the Randolph-Sheppard Act as well as the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act.
Our own Mr. Gashel provided the committee with informed testimony about both of these pieces of disability employment legislation. Federationists turned
out in impressive numbers, which made a powerful statement to several senators. The majority of listeners in their large hearing room were Federation

Although I thank you all for your past support of the Randolph-Sheppard program, now is most certainly not the time for us to rest on our past
accomplishments. Everyone of us must respond to the committee report that accompanied this hearing. The staff of the HELP Committee wrote a report that
attacks the Randolph-Sheppard Act and then recommends that the Randolph-Sheppard Act be combined with JWOD

The characterizations of blind vendors and of our program contained in the committee’s report were scurrilous and inaccurate, so we must demonstrate the
positive value of the Randolph-Sheppard program to the HELP Committee. For example, the report asserts that a very few blind vendors get rich under the
Randolph-Sheppard Act while most have nothing. It also asserts that blind vendors hire very few persons with blindness or disabilities to staff their
operations. Those of you who are vendors need to tell your stories explaining the critical role this program has played in your lives. Here are possible
points about which you can educate the committee:

· Tell where you were before you came into the program and contrast that with where you are now.

· Why did you decide to become a vendor?

· Describe in general terms those you employ in the management of your facility. Are any of your employees either blind or otherwise disabled?

· How many employees with disabilities, including blind persons, have you hired over the years?

· For how many of your workers with disabilities was this the first or only job they could find which gave them a chance?

· Do you know any success stories for your employees?

Outdated statistics provided to the committee by the Department of Education indicate that almost no disabled or blind people work for the
blind vendors under the Randolph-Sheppard program. Few doubt that blind vendors could improve in their hiring of disabled people, but they are likely
doing much better than these statistics suggest.

Those of us who are not vendors must also provide comments. Has a blind vendor served as a positive role model for you and, if so, how? Describe benefits
to you from having blind men and women in public contact with government employees. Our presence at the hearing indicated the importance of these issues
to us, and a large number of comments for the committee will continue to show them the importance of the Randolph-Sheppard program to the blind of America.

Your comments are needed. Please send your emails directly to the HELP Committee at,
and a copy to us to the address the NFB has established which is
The deadline established by the Committee is Monday, October 31.

The blind of America are counting on us to provide comments and preserve the Randolph-Sheppard program as a important program for the employment of blind
men and women in valuable opportunities.

Best regards

Jim McCarthy

Director of Governmental Affairs

National Federation of the Blind

1800 Johnson Street

Baltimore Maryland 21230

Sunday, October 23

Initial Impressions

Greetings. For all of yesterday and last night, as well as this morning, I was at the National Federation of the Blind of Texas's state convention, which was in Dallas this year. Though this made it easier on travel costs, I ended up paying a lot in total cab fare. Anyway, before I crash for a quick nap before the Cowboy game in a little while, I wanted to give some initial thoughts. I took some notes during the sessions so I'll have other things to write later.

First, one of the big things that will be happening in a matter of months is the Dallas morning News will be added to the Newsline for the Blind service, where you can call a toll-free number (after you register), and hear any one of 200 national/local papers read through computer speech. The best thing about this is that you can read any part of the paper, so there's no more of listening to someone read what they think is interesting. Anyway, the Morning News will be added in a few months, in time for next summer's national NFB convention which will be in Dallas as well.

Second, I was asked by the president of the NFB's Texas student division to participate in another seminar next April. I've been asked to participate in these before and I always enjoy doing it. I don't want to say too much more, mainly because I need to get the details from him about what I'm to talk about, etc. But I will advertise the dates/times and location of the seminar when I know myself.

There's a few other things, but that's about all I feel like writing at the moment. I'm tired. I'm off to bed for awhile. It was a great convention all around.

Hook 'em Horns!

Friday, October 21

Who's Helping Disabled People Find Jobs

Who's Helping Hurricane Katrina's Victims With Disabilities Find Jobs?

By Carmen Cusido © 2005® October 18, 2005

Businesses in New Orleans and in other areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina have "help-wanted" ads outside restaurants and even shoe stores that are looking
for employees in a city that now has more jobs than people. Will they hire people with disabilities?

Nancy Starnes, the vice president and chief of staff for the National Organization on Disabilities (N.O.D), is hopeful that some people with disabilities
are going to find more employment opportunities when New Orleans' structures are rebuilt. "Maybe they will follow ADA guidelines," Starnes says of restructuring
the buildings. She says she knows some restaurants are reopening in the New Orleans area, and they are covered under Title Three of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation.

People with disabilities are some of the most loyal assets in the workplace, and perhaps restaurateurs and other New Orleans employers might look to them
for jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor also is working on helping people with disabilities who are hurricane survivors to find jobs. The Department of Labor (DOL)
announced a new "Pathways to Employment" proposal to help evacuees and survivors of hurricanes Rita and Katrina find jobs and training opportunities It
provides targeted assistance to people based on individual needs through the nationwide network of 3,500 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country.

Besides providing individualized counseling and assistance to the hurricane survivors, the DOL will deploy additional Disability Program Navigators, or
DPNs, to hurricane-affected areas. DPNs are trained individuals experienced in working with people with disabilities to make employment connections through
the One-Stop system. They also connect people with disabilities to needed benefits and services through the government or community organizations.

Thursday, October 20

Google's Doing It Again!

Greetings. I was over at Darrell Shandrow's podcast/blog, Blind Access Journal, and saw much to my amazement that Google, and more specifically their Blogger service, is moving further away from accessibility with their word verification service. Since I wrote about that on Tuesday, I won't go into the explanation again, except to say that instead of moving toward an acceptable resolution of the problem, Blogger appears to be going the other direction. They are now going to implement word verification for people that post to Blogger. Darrell explains their plans better than I can, so I'd highly recommend you download his latest podcast and read the articles he has linked to. This doesn't mean that I won't be able to post to this blog, but it might delay my posts from being posted to Blogger.

After reading this new material I'm very upset by this direction that Google and Blogger insist in going in. Darrell offers a plan to get involved in attempting to talk with Google/Blogger about the problem, and again, I would highly suggest you get involved. I'm doing my part here by informing you, the reader, about the incident. I also plan to put a word up on my website in a little while about this mess, since I'm sure that there are many people that might visit my site but who haven't been to this blog, shame on them. Anyway, another thing that I'm definitely going to take a close look at is moving my blog from Blogger to Live Journal.

In helping my coworker to setup her blog this week, I've seen a little of how Live Journal operates, and based on how they handled their own visual verification process (which I wrote on Tuesday), I'm inclined to support a company that at least makes an effort, verses one that seems to move further away from a reasonable solution. Not only that, apparently various people in the blind community, including Darrell, have attempted to inform Blogger and Google of their shortcomings, but for whatever reason, their words have gone unheard or ignored. Promises have been made which have not been kept, such as an accessibility solution in one or two months, which was made back in July by a Blogger representative. Here we are in October; where's the accessibility?

I don't want to move from Blogger, since they are apart of Google and Google seems to be a trend setter in the online world. Many of the big things that they have done have been noticed by many people. However, that's exactly why this visual verification issue is so important, since Google is such a trend setter, if they start it then other sites are likely to follow.

I'm not sure what needs to be done, but I am definitely highly considering moving my blog away from Blogger over this. So, go to Darrell's blog, listen to his 10/19/05 podcast, and consider what you can or should do.

Warning for Parents of Young Adults or Teens

Greetings. I was reading my regular round of blogs, and found this entry from Kim Komando, a host of a weekly computer technology radio show, among other things; regarding knowing what your teens blog about. Unfortunately, in this particular post, she references a sad incident where the parents of a teen didn't know that their daughter blogged, much less what she wrote about, and long story short, the girl was murdered by another sexual pervert. Its things like this that give the WWW a bad wrap, but it also hopefully makes the rest of us a little wiser for what to look out for. So, if you know any parents of teens, or you have teens yourself, then I'd highly recommend you read what Kim has to say, and be vigilent about knowing what your kids are doing online. Remember, this ain't the safe world that we knew a few short years ago.

Welcome, ....

Greetings. I'd like to welcome a new person to blogdom, if that's a word. Anyway, my coworker has joined the ranks of blogging people. I helped this person in finishing setting up their blog today on Live Journal, and now all the world can read what (this person) has to say. Those who know me, or who have been reading my blog for awhile and have been paying attention, know the person of whom I speak. However, (this person) wishes to go by a certain name. So, I'd like to officially welcome Carman Fan #1 to the world of blogging. You can read his/her blog, which entitled, "The Mouth of the South." Knowing this person the way I do, this title is perfect for their blog. (Note to this person: I will attempt to keep your identity hidden, but no garrantees, :) Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 18

A Nice Discovery

Greetings. In helping my friend Donna to set up her own blog on Live Journal, I had a pleasant surprise.

If you've been reading this blog for a long time, or even if you haven't, you might know of the visual verification code that many sites, including Google, are putting in their sign up process. Basically, they put this letter/number graphical code for you to type into an edit box, to attempt to keep spammers from signing up for whatever service it might be. Problem is, many screen readers that blind people use, are not able to detect the graphic, so we're not able to read the code and write it in. Google came under attack from various blind people in recent months for implementing this code but not giving the blind a way around the problem. In helping Donna to sign up for her blog, we found another one of those visual verification code deals on Live Journal. However, the difference here is that Live Journal has an alternative, where you type in "audio" to the edit field where you would put the verification code, and then you're given an audio clip, on the refreshed page, of a man speaking the characters. When Donna played the clip in Winamp, it was very clear to understand. Hotmail's audio clip is garbled and can be hard to understand, so I was really wondering how this clip from Live Journal would be.

I'm pleased that Live Journal has option for those that cannot read the graphical code on their site. It might even get me to switch to their service, but I've seen some things that make me think before making the switch, such as the number of "clickable" areas on their pages. And the fact that I would need to import all of my blog entries from Blogger to their service. I haven't looked at all of what they offer, but so far, it looks like a worthwhile service. And, given my discovery about how they handle the visual verification problem, the following question comes to mind: If Live Journal was able to implement such a simple solution to their service, and if they and Blogger are such close competitors, then how is it that its taken Blogger all summer to realize they had a problem, and then another while to actually fix it? (I haven't read if they "really" have fixed the problem yet, just that they're "working on it.")

Monday, October 17

Comcast Update

Greetings. I've got a small, but possibly significant, update on my saga with Comcast. I had a couple of technicians come over a little while ago to look at my Comcast situation. Upon comparing notes with Donna, she said that one was a supervisor. I only talked with one of the two of them, so I don't really know. I do know that they looked at my wiring almost immediately, and found several problems. They did some work on the wiring for the Net connection and the TV Cable outside, and all appears to be working fine now. I've tried to bring up the sites I had trouble with before, and thus far, have not had any trouble in bringing them up. So all appears to be working, finally. They didn't have to do anything with my Comcast Cable modem, so that's good. It appears that all the problems were outside.

It better be because I already called SBC telling them to shut my DSL off ASAP, which they said will take two business days. I even pulled up Winamp and tuned into several stations, which sound really good. I'm not sure if they sound better coming over Cable Internet or I'm just hoping that they do. At any rate, things appear to be working properly now.

And for my email troubles: I tried using Eudora but still got the same error messages from Norton about encrypted connections being detected. I initially switched from Outlook Express to Eudora since I had trouble setting up filters in OE. Now however, I know how to setup filters in OE and can do it without any of the problems I had before (I'm going through the Message menu verses the Tools menu and then Rules). So, since I had to pay for Eudora and that didn't work out, I'm going to get a refund on that and just use Outlook Express.

Bottom line: my Net connection seems to be working, I'm sorting out my email troubles, and maybe I can now get back to normal Net usage, if there is such a thing. Thanks to Donna and all her help in all this.

Wednesday, October 12

And the Saga Continues

Greetings. Last I wrote, I was upset from my Sunday Comcast appointment being canceled. On Monday morning, I made another call to Comcast, but this time I had my friend Donna on the line as well in a conference call. Long story short, we were able to reschedule the appointment for today, from 11 to 2. Today though, no one showed up. Someone called from Comcast at 11:15 asking if anyone has shown up yet, and I said no, and this woman (April), said she would contact the technician. Meanwhile, the technician calls my cell phone (which was supposed to be the alternative number, not the main number), to see if I was still having trouble. Bottom line, since he didn't get me he closed my work order. I did not hear of this until 1:45 when I made another call to Comcast, with Donna conferenced in of course, and we learned of the mess up. The first representative we spoke with, wasn't getting what the problem was, for whatever reason, so we asked for a supervisor, who actually made something happen. The not as good, the appointment is rescheduled again but not any sooner than next Monday at the same time frame. However, the good thing is that I was able to get a $20 credit on my account, given all my troubles, and the fact that I'm not even using the Comcast modem right now because of all the trouble it has given me. According to Donna, we got good service, under the circumstances, from this supervisor and things are heading in the right direction. As for me though, I've been here several times, in "hoping" that Comcast will show up or fix things, and it hasn't happened. I have no doubt that the supervisor will shake things up and get some answers of why the screw up happened, but, well, this has happened twice now, and I'm not sure I can trust Comcast. We'll have to wait and see though. I have threatened to leave Comcast several times now over all this, and even Donna, a sworn Comcast user and supporter, has even said that she might leave if the bad service continues. Oh well; we'll see.

Given all the service short comings or quirks that SBC might have, at least their modem is working and I can use all my usual Net stuff, like web surfing, email, streaming audio, and the other things I've come to enjoy. I just hope that Comcast will redeem themselves before all this is done.

Sunday, October 9

Now I'm Mad

Greetings. As you might know, if you've been reading this blog over the past week, I had someone from Comcast scheduled to come out and look at/replace my Cable modem. Well, I just got off the phone with Comcast, asking where the technician was, saying that I thought I had a technician scheduled between 2 and 5 today. The representative said, "Sir, I don't see a technician scheduled for you today." After all that I've been through, in talking with two different technical support people last week, and confirming the appointment with two other people, I'm told that none was set for today? If I didn't know that Comcast had such great service, then I might just cancel it right now, and proclaim that I had had it. However, I've seen and heard of some of their great service from my friend Donna, so I'm willing to give them a little. Not much though, :)

So, this representative starts trying to diagnose the problem and seems like she's going down the path of, "Well, perhaps I can fix it for you." I finally told her, "Look, right now for my current Net usage and surfing, I'm using your competitor's modem, since your Comcast modem has given me too many problems to rely upon." That got her attention, and I got a rescheduled appointment of this Wednesday, from 11-2. She then started to give me the standard line of, "If the Comcast modem is not the problem, then you will owe ...," but I interrupted her and said, "If the Comcast modem is not replaced, I'm canceling my service." I think this got her attention as well.

At one point during our talk, I asked her if she worked at Comcast with other people, implying, "How is it possible that I could have an appointment scheduled and it not be written down somewhere?" Never got an answer on this, just the standard, "I apologize." Great; she apologized. Meanwhile, while I should be enjoying lightning speeds and wireless access with my PAC Mate, I'm using their competitor's modem since the Comcast one has caused too many problems for me to have a happy computing experience.

I suppose that we'll see how all this comes out, but man, I'm still livid over all this mess!

Friday, October 7

Things Starting to Get Better

Greetings. Just a quick note to say that I've got my email troubles sorted out, for the moment. I called Comcast support earlier this afternoon with my friend Donna, and we spoke to a helpful representative that had me set a separate identity in Outlook Express, which has allowed me to send and receive email! Oh the wonders of technology, when it works. We made some minor modifications to the identity setup, but the bottom line is that I'm now able to communicate with email again. Its interesting that when you rely on something for so long, and then it doesn't work, you don't feel the same until it does again. Call me a geek, but this has been my experience this week with email.

On the down side, since there has been many of those down sides this week, I ran into some trouble after installing the new version of JAWS this morning, but I called Freedom Scientific and got another helpful tech support person to get me going again. One good thing from that was that we eliminated much of the background clutter that might have been causing problems for my system in its resources and performance. I can't really notice a difference in speeds, since I think that some of that speed stuff is subjective, but it has improved the time it takes JAWS to start up after a restart.

So, I'm using email again, and I'm also chatting with MSN Messenger 7.5, instead of MSN Messenger on the PAC Mate, which is also good. Hopefully this good fortune will continue on Sunday when the technician comes out. I think I just got a bad modem from Comcast that has caused many of these problems, so I'm going to have him totally remove it, and then totally reinstall the new one. Hopefully that will solve everything once and for all.

So, this is the increasing satisfied Wayne, signing off for now.

Thursday, October 6

Been a Long Week

Greetings. It seems like a long week since I wrote last. Some of my problems have improved and gotten better, like my phone service came back late Monday afternoon, but I'm still having computer problems, which can likely be traced back to the new Comcast Cable modem. I had someone come out and look at it on Tuesday afternoon, the guy from Saturday since he didn't finish the job, but I'm still having the same problems. I had previously scheduled a technician to come this Sunday afternoon, and given all my troubles, I think I'll keep that appointment.

Donna, my coworker, has been great about helping me to try to get to the bottom of these problems. I will talk with her tomorrow and see if we can make some more headway, but I'm afraid that I might need to get a total modem replacement. I talked with someone from Comcast tech support tonight, and they basically came to the same replacement conclusion, which she put in her notes at my request.

My fan is still not up, but thankfully, fall has finally come to the Dallas area. Today, the high was in the sixties, for the first time in months. Yesterday it was in the 90's, and today in the 60's. Just proves the age old saying, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it will change." I don't think we'll be seeing 90 degree days for awhile yet. It looks like it will be in the 70's during the day over the weekend. After that we'll have to see.

Not much else to report. My apologies if I haven't responded to any emails that you might have sent me. This Comcast thing has thrown many of my daily services on my computer, like email, out of whack.

That's about all for now. I just wanted to give a brief update. Enjoy the upcoming weekend, and "Hook 'em Horns!"

Monday, October 3

JAWS 7 Released

Greetings. As promised from Freedom Scientific, JAWS version 7.0 was released today! Read more about it and pick it up from the FS home page on the first link in the Software section. Now, if I can only get all my problems worked out, perhaps I can download it, :) I could get it on the SBC connection, but I'm going to wait and see how Comcast works out; plus, it will give all the "I got to have it now," people through so the rest of us can get it. After all, its no fun downloading the newest version over a broadband line, at dial up speeds. Something about that doesn't seem quite right.

Nonetheless, JFW 7 is out, so if you are one of the "got to have it now," people then you can have it now, or however long it takes to download on your Net connection. Note that if you can't download it now for whatever reason, since 7.0 is a major upgrade, FS will be mailing a CD version out as they have done with all major upgrades, toward the end of October.

I Want a Do Over

Greetings. Well, where to begin. This was supposed to be a weekend where I was set free from SBC Global. I had decided some weeks ago to move from SBC to Comcast Internet for many reasons, but big among them is that Comcast is a month-to-month service, verses the contract that you're locked into with SBC. My intent was to have my SBC DSL modem disconnected and back in its box by now, but it apparently had other ideas.

To begin with, when the Comcast technician came over on Saturday, the site that I needed to use to register with Comcast and get my email address, password, and encryption key for the wireless modem, was down. The site didn't come back up until 4 or 5 hours later. I was able to get my Comcast email address (which, for those that know my SBC email, my Comcast address is the same, except it ends with, but I didn't complete the registration process and get the encryption key. This has caused no end of problems for the email program I use, Eudora, along with my web browsing. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with a Comcast tech support guy last night, and though we got a working solution, I'm still having problems. Long story short, I called the technician from Saturday, this morning, to see if he could come by this afternoon and make sure everything's working all right. We'll see how that goes. For the moment, since Comcast Internet isn't working as good for me, I've got my DSL modem plugged in, until I get all this sorted out.

It probably goes without saying, but if you're trying to email me this week, pardon me if my reply is a few days late, given my email troubles.

Other not so good things that happened this weekend or are going on now: I accidentally locked myself out of my efficiency, not knowing that there was a latch on the screen/storm door, and having to wait nearly an hour outside for my older brother to come by and open it.
My phone is having trouble. I left to go grocery shopping this morning, and when I came back and picked up the phone, I heard nothing, no dial tone, nothing. I'm not sure what the problem might be.
And, I've been without a working ceiling fan for nearly three weeks, which isn't much fun in the summertime here in Texas heat. But, that's a whole other story with lots of frustration, which I won't get into now.

So, there's my weekend. I want a do over; can I have one? Please? Please? Please?