Transplant Athlete
Monday, November 06, 2006
  COX Sux

Before I get to rantin' about my internet provider, I wanted to say that I had an awesome ride on Sunday. I pulled the kids out to Rte 7 with Adrienne following. We bought some underwear for RJ (he just started his potty training) and then had lunch at a Deli almost worthy of New Jersey. Then we explored the trail system in Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park. There were several fair weather stream crossings and Adrienne got her feet wet at the first one, but she learned...The crossing is basically a concrete pad across the water. There are little concrete pylons on the upriver side for stepping stones. When I went through the park on Thursday, there had been a lot of rain, so I walked the crossings to make sure the water didn't flow into the trailer and also to make sure the current didn't sweep RJ downstream, but on Sunday it was low enough I could ride across without worrying about flooding out the kids.

The crossings are a bit slippery, so I had to be really careful riding across, the trailer tends to pick up a lot of momentum going into the river and it pushes the back end of the bike around. That actually caused me to fall on Thursday at the last crossing before home; luckily I was mostly across, so I didn't end up in the water, but the kids were in the water when I went down and they had some water go into the trailer.

We followed the trail from where it starts on Dranesville Rd near where Dranesville used to get flooded down to the "Secret Playground", south under Wiehle to Herndon Parkway near Elden. There's a bit more trail to explore at the end, but we were pressed for time and made a beeline for home along Herndon Parkway. The "Secret Playground" is a small playground at the edge of the woods in Sugarland Run and its basically how I got the kids into the trailer for bike rides this year and last year..."Let's go visit the Secret Playground". (That's a tip for Drew) The weather was excellent, everybody got exercise, and we got to explore, so it was a great day.

Cox Communications SUX

A long time ago, when we first moved to Herndon, we had Cox for our cable provider. The picture was grainy and static-y and would randomly cut out, like say at the start of a F1 race...The picture would actually black out for say 30 seconds or more. They blamed it on our interior wiring which they would gladly fix for a fee. Nice try guys, but I'm a Mechanical Engineer and I'm not buying that excuse. I switched to Dish Network and was immediately pleased with the picture quality and features. After we switched to Dish, Cox ripped up our neighborhood and put fiber optic cable everywhere. They tried to get us back with their "Crystal clear digital picture" and "crisp stereo quality sound" but by that time I was happy with Dish and happy to "Stick it" to the Cox Cable monopoly. Alas, after four years of Dish, my neighbors tree grew up and blocked the signal, so I switched to Verizon FIOS. They actually offer TV over a fiber optic cable right to the house and I'm loving the High Definition Signal.

Fast forward a couple of years, and we decided to get rid of the DSL line for a cheaper faster Cable Modem and back to COX again...They have brand new fiber optic wiring I thought, what could possibly go wrong...Well, about once a month my internet connection goes dark and with it my phone. Lately, when I've been on the phone, the signal will cut out and the lights on the modem go haywire, then reset themselves like nothing happened, but both the internet and phone will be down. According to tech support, the modem gets a new IP address when its booted, but my router and WIFI don't, so everything needs to be rebooted with the modem first...Tech support said the problem could be a power surge, some other company working on the line, Sunspots, anything but them (sounds familiar, I bet they could fix it for a fee). R-E-L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y Look it up (See also UPTIME, DEPENDABILITY, RESILIENCE).

I think its time to switch to Verizon FIOS for my Internet Provider too. Now if my wife could only get us an employee discount, things would be golden.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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