No more spots

Scott called CenturyLink yesterday and described our internet/router problems.  This morning a guy came out, and Scott explained to him that he wanted to wire it straight from the box to the router.  The guy was smart and skillful.  He understood exactly what needed to be done and he got it done – complete with drilling a hole in the house and caulking it – in less than 30 minutes.  He checked it out and everything (phone/fax in office and internet) worked fine.

He is evidently contracted by CenturyLink and he is supposed to fix anything on CenturyLink’s side of the box for free, and bill us for any repairs on our side of the box.  The problem was clearly between the box and the router (as Jo so deftly demonstrated), and the guy wired everything for us all the way from the box to the router.  He then said that he wasn’t supposed to do wiring, and so he didn’t bill us a dime!  Internet fixed for free!!  What a blessing!!!

This set-up is a great improvement over the old one.  Our land line has always been static-y and it’s hard to hear.  Now it’s clear and lovely.  For those of you familiar with our house, I will explain that we have at various time had phone jacks and/or internet jacks in sundry places; in the kitchen and in Jessica’s room (1st floor), in the office and in our bedroom (2nd floor), and in Katie’s room (3rd floor).  Over the years, Scott and various phone company people have worked on it, running more and more wires to more and more places.  I will now describe our phone wiring path, as Scott explained it to me.  Note that this is not for the faint of heart or the easily confused.

Seventeen years ago, when we moved here, the phone box was on the side of the house near the chimney.  We’ll call that the “chimney box.”  The wire went:

~ from the chimney box, up the outside  of the house to the floor of the 3rd floor,

~ into the house and under the 3rd floor (the space between the 2nd and 3rd floors) to Katie’s room, and

~ from Katie’s room down through an inside wall, into the office.

Then the phone company came and said that the box had to be on the opposite side of the house, so they put a box there.  We’ll call that the “laundry room box.”  But to get to the existing wiring inside the house, there had to be a connection to the old box on the chimney side.  So they strung a wire from the laundry room box across the porch (stapled up and over the two front doors) to the chimney box.

Several years later – and several years ago – when some painting needed to be done on the porch, Scott didn’t want them to paint that wire, so he moved it, re-stringing it from the laundry room box through the “rafters” of the cellar to the chimney box.  From there, it then split and went several places:

~ up to the attic (Katie’s room) and down into the office, as described above,

~ up to our bedroom, and

~ from the cellar up through Jessica’s floor into her room, and

~ form the cellar up into the kitchen.

Now, in our streamlined set-up, we have one new wire running from the laundry room box, around the corner of the house, and into a box in our office that goes straight to the wireless router.  This means that we now have a land line in the office and nowhere else.  This, of course, is not a problem, because we NEVER call out on our land line, and 94% of incoming phone calls on that line are unsolicited.  We do, however, use that line to receive faxes, which are fairly important, and we do list our home number when necessary for things like insignificant appointment confirmations and such; generally those times when some entity requires a phone number, but we don’t want to give out our cell number(s).  For example, when you buy an appliance at Lowe’s, they require you to give a phone number, but the number is only used to identify you; they never call it, so we just give them our home phone number.

Our answering machine, which I am pretty sure we had when we moved here, died a few weeks ago, and this has been somewhat of an inconvenience.  Our land line rings a lot – usually telemarketers, but once in a great while someone important, like a child who lives abroad! – and we never know whether we should answer it or not.  Tonight we went to Wal-Mart, following a life group bowling event in Reeds Spring, and for a paltry $15 purchased a new answering machine, which probably does much more than the one we probably spent twice that much for 20 years ago.  We will be setting it up very soon.

We actually hope you never hear it.  If you are reading this blog and happen to know us well enough to have been given our home phone number, please don’t call it!  We don’t answer it!!  If you work for a telemarketing firm that auto-dials our home phone number, I will put a short greeting on our new answering machine, to which you may listen (or not, as you see fit); then you can leave a message, and we won’t call you back.

We will, however, be checking our email regularly, thanks to our wonderful new-and-improved “spot-free” internet service!

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