First World Problems vs. Third World Problems…

I walked into one of my usual Starbucks for an afternoon iced coffee. The barrista and cashier felt it necessary to repeatedly apologize to the people standing in line. What were they sorry about?The store was out of flat lids for cold drinks and they only had the domed plastic lids. One unhappy woman mumbled, “Wonderful, just great! There goes my car interior.” I turned around and smiled but said nothing. I wanted to say, You’re a moron but I was wearing company garb so I just shook my head. 

In the Sudan, people don’t have enough food everyday and we here worry about plastic lids? Can you imagine if, God forbid, some sort of real trouble happens in this country. Here we worry about some of the stupidest things. Just this afternoon a man came up to my truck and said, “My internet line is super slow, I’m only getting 32 megabytes a second not 55…” Meanwhile in India people are sick and dying and there just isn’t any medicine to give them…

What would happen if let’s say all the supermarkets ran out of food due to some crisis? The streets would be filled with angry mobs and I wonder if plastic lids would make things better? We might be spoiled and maybe we need a reality check. This too will pass

Vendor Meet…

The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company picked me up for overtime today, and without fail, there is little to no work in the pool. They put a ticket behind me to meet with a Sonic technician and we are going to figure out why their customer is getting poor internet speeds… I already boomed up to the aerial terminal a found a bird had chewed thru the customer’s wires. Problem solved and with little effort.

The vendor meet is at 1pm and there’s no sign of their tech. I get paid by the hour, not by the job. So I don’t mind sitting in my truck killing time by playing Solitaire. With yesterday’s ten hours and that four hour callout the night before, it might be a pretty good check. Great the guy just showed up… This too will pass

So Here We Go…

In less than six months I’ll turn sixty, March 7th to be exact. I never thought that day would show its face. John was upset with me yesterday and he kept saying to me, “Why didn’t you follow the procedures. We’ve talked about this!” I turned to him and said, “I’m getting old John and quite frankly, I forgot to do it.” It’s the truth, I literally forgot…

If that day comes when I forget more than I remember, I’m going to take my life into my own hands. I don’t want to land up being some drooling old man yelling at my nurse, “Coffee please. Coffee! Coffee please!” I don’t want to make a mess in my pants and then stare blankly at my visiting daughter and ask her when my mother is going to visit me.

They say the best way to live happy is to live in the moment and everyday I try to do it. I guess I’ll let the cards fall where they may. Eckhardt Tolle talks about non-resistance, non-attachment. I’ll just let things happen but hopefully have a way out should things get really rough. The thing is, I look around and see men who once were strong, now barely able to walk. Yuck, I sure don’t want to end up that way… This too will pass

Oh Sh’t…

What a way to start a day. As I was finishing my morning post when my phone started binging. The CNN app headline popped up, “Commuter Crash in New Jersey hundreds injured!” I immediately tried to call Chris but of course of all the times not to answer the phone, this was the worse time.

I then called Eleina but she hardly ever answers her phone. The scenarios began to play in my head, he got off of work as usual and was forced to stand up when the accident occurred. There he is, laying in a pile of hurt and bloody fellow passengers. I then called Chris’s mom, she too had tried to call Chris.

Finally Chris called and said he had missed that train and he was okay. A shipment of dog food had come in late and he needed to help stock the store shelves. So basically dog food saved him from being hurt or worse… This too will pass

60 Micron Sanding Disc…

Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds and who knows what next newest fangled thing is to show up? The instructor said, “After you cleave the strand of fiber, you need to sand your fiber with this funny looking contraption. (The black offset ovals thing.) First you need to put your 60 micron sanding disc in the unit before you start to sand down your fiber.”

The truth is, I could barely see the strand of fiber I was working on. Yes, fiber technology is the way of the future but if you can’t see what you’re doing, it might be pointless for them to train me. The trainer said, “Okay now take your strand and peel off the coating to expose the fiber itself.” The colorless blonde hair now became even less visable to my weak eyes.

Later, as Bill and I were walking to our trucks, Bill said, “I couldn’t even see that strand with my close up glasses on.” I replied, “Me either. We’re dinosaurs Bill.” That hair thin 125 strand is able to send multiple gigamegs down the pipeline. I don’t want to sound old but there was a time you needed 25 pairs of wire to make one phone work. No one cares and that was yesterday. All that matters is today. This too will pass

Fiber 101…

3M has become the supplier for The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company’s dive into fiber to the house. They are selling us these plastic tools and supplies other than the fiber cable. The first half of our class was on safety, we were told that glass fragments and shards are dangerous and no fun to have on our skin, clothes or eyes.

I’ve mentioned my work buddy Ed, he’s the guy with the orange tee shirt. The teacher is an employee of 3M and goes throughout the country teaching this four hour course. What a great job! Anyways, fusion splicing is no longer being taught, the new process cold splicing is equally effective when it comes to joining fiber together and making connections. This too will pass 

Toonce’s Ride Home…

Toonce was really happy to be picked up from the resort yesterday morning but the ensuing ride home became a meow-fest. After a while, I let him out of the cat transport container but that act barely made a difference, still he meowed. 

It takes about 45 minutes to go from Cotati to The Firewood Temple and for forty-five minutes he complained. Some meowing was short and soft while some meows were loud and mournful. We pulled up to the RV and he jumped out of the car the second the door opened. Toonce hates car rides… Little does he know that in 54 days, he’ll be again at the cat hotel while I travel to see Hunter and Co. at Thanksgiving. This too will pass

UnbelievableĀ 

This tiny fiber can handle 2700 phone numbers. I’m amazed! 

No more pliers and mess. It’s all about distilled water and alcohol, gone are the days of heavy cables, now it’s all about cleaning the glass. This too will pass

Terra Cota Duct…

I got the call at 2:30 this morning, the voice said, “This is the night reporting team. We have an overtime opportunity…” I dragged myself out of bed and headed south. Ninety minutes later, my truck and I were at the intersection of International Blvd and 17th Ave. A four man water department crew was just finishing putting a steel plate over the hole they had dug.

As I was just turning on my hazard beacon lights, the crew foreman walked up to me and said, “It wasn’t marked and the backhoe snagged it. Can you see if it’s yours? Pacific Gas and Electric says it isn’t theirs.” After further inspection and checking out my digital prints, we determined it was an abandoned duct of cables  owned by the city of Oakland…

This morning, Rob and I are about to take a mini fiber installation course. Suddenly, The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company is hot and heavy into placing our fiber. Google has placed the fear in the company by them placing their own fiber everywhere… This too will pass

Days Getting Shorter…

As it gets darker earlier in the evening, working is just that much harder. Soon I will be trying to play with my little wires in total darkness. Management doesn’t care, they think it’s all the same work. 

Tomorrow Rob and I are going in at 11am because we are to attend a class to splice fiber. Evidentially we are going to start providing fiber to people’s houses in the coming month and they want everyone trained… What will anyone do with a half a million megs anyways? It’s no longer about phones, it’s about data usage.. This too will pass