Can y'all tell I got Comcast back? The truck was here, according to Other Person, just after 8am yesterday. Cable and Internet were back on within a few hours. This re-hooking of our downed-in-the-storm line (has anyone noticed I haven't named this storm? That I will never name it? That it's The Storm That Must Not Be Named? It's marked as "Hurricane Hymen" on my calendar) restored service not just to my apartment but the entire building and the one to our right, which is fully occupied, so it wasn't just us going without, after all.
I called today to get the rest of the credit I was promised for the outage, which lasted 14 days - nine of those because our neighborhood's utility and communication lines were destroyed, another five because whoopsies!, Comcast forgot to hook our particular line back up. The lady who took my call was polite but mystified, because according to her, Comcast had already processed the credit in question and it was for $75, not $25, which was an earlier credit that had previously been applied, so she wondered aloud why I would keep asking for a $25 credit that had already been processed?
Convinced she was confusing this month's outstanding credits with last month's for $94 (which included a $75 credit along with many others) I asked if she'd mind if I log into my online account while she stayed on the line so I could take a look at what she was saying. She pointed out the credits would be applied to next month's bill, not this one. I checked and sure enough, in the column of credits waiting to be applied near the end of the page was one for $75, and another for $25.
THEY JUST TOOK ANOTHER $100 OFF MY BILL FOR REALZ
Folks. They've taken $200 off my bill in the last few months, essentially extinguishing my July and August balances altogether. I'm...simply astonished. After I got done processing this she informed me that while the website will say I owe however much, my total amount due is just $87, and that won't even come due for another month. I haven't paid Comcast more than $10 to keep current since sometime in July, so this is just amazing.
We had people - a husband and wife - over for dinner this weekend and the obvious lack of service at the time came up. The guy was like, "*eyeroll* OMG, Comcast, I hate those motherfuckers, they're the worst." I was like - completely serious: "Uh, yeah - I know, but they're getting better?" only to watch his face hit the floor. But I'll give credit where it's due, even if I was about to start a blog about them after they nearly drove me insane doing the exact opposite of what they're doing now - *not* giving me credits I was promised for all the snarl-ups they were pulling on us back then.
Today I called the city to find out about the credit and extension on bill payment the neighbors claimed was being offered to extended storm outage households, only to be told no such number existed and if I thought I'd reached it in error to hang up and try again. Seriously, there are no such animals. This is why you never listen to your neighbors.
It's like playing Telephone - whatever the truth might be when the first person hears it, by the time it gets to you it's a different story altogether. The truth is my household qualifies for an extension based on good payment history, length of time at this residence, and so on - but those are the only households getting them. That's just business as usual, not in honor of going any length of time without power. Even if it's - innocuous enough in nature, I guess - I hate storytelling.
As to the Great Mystery Of the Simultaneously Malfunctioning Keyboards right after the storm, I think it's been solved. Other Person now tentatively blames the makeshift battery and charger he hooked our laptops to early that morning for shorting our collective keyboard circuitry out. Which...considering I'm not a trained computer tech nor an electrician - is a plausible enough theory, I guess. He does have a volt meter and I'm wondering how it could be used to test said posited theory for correctness.
He also has a now-malfunctioning charging cable and the laptop battery must be pulled and the laptop restarted once every hour or so because it freezes up - which are all issues that did not exist before the storm. It ran like a damn top and I know it because I was the one who fixed it before I gave it to him, and I used it quite often after that - mostly as a file server so I could auto-play music on Youtube while using my laptop for other things.
As to my laptop, two nights ago I removed the keyboard, cleaned under it, pulled off the (many) affected keys, cleaned under those, re-assembled everything, re-sat all the connectors, and had the same non-working keys, so Other Person took it apart a third time to cut a sliver off the top of the keyboard cable to form a new connection to the motherboard, then reassembled everything, re-sat all connectors, and I still had the same non-working keys, so I ordered a replacement off eBay. The damn keyboard cost more than what I sold my entire HP laptop with the bad graphics chip in it for last month - which of course had a perfectly compatible working keyboard, although the left Ctrl key was dead and there was some other non-working key, I think.
In the realm of You Break It, You Own It, I had a whoopsie! of my own a few months back when I smashed Other Person's tablet on the floor while vacuuming (the vacuum hit an end table, the tablet bounced off it and hit the floor with a loud thud!, and with that I was the owner of a fairly new tablet with a badly cracked screen. Go me.). As I like to say: "I don't make many mistakes, but when I do, they're complete fuckups!" I've been so unwilling to own this tablet, in fact, it's been hiding in my file upstairs for months, but with my replacement HP malfunctioning, I've been using it to bang out a few posts.
I hate it as much as I ever did, and OMG, how I hate it, let me count the ways. But I did buy Other Person a replacement with mostly better specs and much more storage, so yeah, at least I have something, however half-cocked it might be, to use now that our laptops are all screwed up.
The city hasn't picked up all the trees. Some, but not all. So it's gone from looking like a war zone to looking like a place that had a war. It's a subtle difference, at best. Our backyard, once a thing of wildly serene beauty, is still a disaster. The front and the bit of land by the road is actual blight. I'm beginning to get a sense of what it must've been like for Hurricane Andrew and Katrina survivors in some of the worst-hit areas. Even what we went through (this was one of maybe the top 20 worst-hit areas in the county, if not the entire state) had to be nothing compared to the damage from more serious storms.
It's changed me, somehow. I think the main change is I was never afraid before, but because the storm left more trees than it took, now I'm fearful of what never bothered me, like the wind. I can't be myself. I can't forget what happened nor what could - not just how bad it was but how much worse it could be. I'm no fool, either, which is why I probably would've been gone already if I just had the funds to go play somewhere else.
The third kitten we brought in about a month ago has been scooting its bottom across the floor to wipe itself every time it takes a dump. Don't ask me how much mopping I do because I can't stand to see his skid marks on the floor. I'd been silent on the topic because I didn't want him to have to go live back outside, but then maybe three nights ago Other Person commented that all the skidding must mean Tab-Tab has worms. I'm like, "Noooooooo, nooooooo, nooooooooo, I've never seen worms in their poops, it isn't possible." All the kittens are enthusiastic coverers so I have to get to the litter boxes pretty quickly, but as long as I'm a) awake and b) home, I do catch and check almost every poop, and I hadn't seen a single worm, so I felt justified in objecting.
But, intrigued by his theory, I immediately looked online for why kittens scoot their butts and yes, worms seem to be the main reason. The cat or kitten could also just be a clean freak (it's like the feline version of OCD, and can occur even when the cat's tested negative for every worm known to humanity). (ETA: even after deworming, Tab-Tab continues to scoot his butt around, so the OCD theory might hold some water.)
Running the clean freak theory by Other Person did not result in a feeling of relief for either of us, so I started catching every kitten I could in the act, lifting them out of the litter box with one hand before they could cover while training a flashlight on their poops with the other, and still I came up dry. Yesterday looked like a rinse and repeat with Tab-Tab, this time in the upstairs litter, which meant he'd be wiping his butt on the already-rain-soaked carpet. I lifted him out, trained the flashlight in, and for once he didn't wipe his butt because I scared him so much screaming "OH MY GOD!!!" that he ran like his butt was, yes, on fire. I thought it was a piece of kitty litter, at first. Then it began wriggling and finally stuck its head out of the poop toward me. My stomach, even thinking about it now...
I'd been suspecting worms based on the looseness of some stools I've seen - but lacking evidence did not want to act. This completely re-arranged yesterday's plans, since we had to go about 20 miles out of our way to a feed store that sells an OTC that a person at the local animal control who I know recommends and says is as good as what the vets prescribe. Which was important, because one thing we don't have right now is the money to drag five cats to the vet for stool samples, weigh-ins, and prescriptions (the vet charges double for each tablet I got at the store, not to mention charges for an office visit and god knows what else).
Other Person, being a little more handy with pilling animals than I think I might be, handled the pill-popping while I stayed on hand to catch any flying bodies or pills. All the cats and kittens seem fine today.