October 3rd, 2003

accordion santa

Verizon voice mail tree

I was having a problem with my phone service, so I called up Verizon's repair line. There I encountered an automated voice mail tree. Unusually, I was pretty impressed with how it worked ... it asked reasonable questions and was able to understand my responses. It told me that a service guy would be sent out sometime before 7 pm.

A little while later, I got a call on the affected phone line. It was another automated system from Verizon, saying that they thought they had fixed the problem and asking me if I agreed it was fixed. Since the problem was with outgoing calls I had no idea if it had been fixed or not and I said "I have no idea." The little computer voice said that it was glad to be of service and that the problem would be marked as closed. I hung up and discovered that the problem was still in effect. Bad!

So I called the service line back and talked to the automated phone system again. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be an option to say 'you called me and told me the problem was closed but it still needs to be fixed'. I tried navigating the tree, then hung up and called back to see if there was a way to talk to an actual person.

I tried pressing '0' at strategic points and listened carefully to the various options, but to no avail. Finally I yelled into the phone, "I NEED TO TALK TO AN OPERATOR! PUT ME ON WITH AN OPERATOR!" The system responded, "I believe you just requested to be connected to a technician. Is this correct?" Slightly dumbstruck, I said, "Yes," and was connected to a technician, who explained to me that I hadn't asked for touch-tone dialing when I set up the account and that's why my outgoing phone calls weren't registering.
accordion santa

Verizon update

My doorbell just rang. It turned out to be a Verizon repair guy. I told him that everything was working and that I was all set. He said, "OK, good. I'm just going to go around to the box on the side of the building and do some tests, then I'll call you to make sure everything's working." I must have looked confused, because he said, "I have to do that while I'm here." Well, OK.

A short while later my phone rang and it was him asking if all was well. I said it was, and he left.

My hope is that none of this will cost me any money.
accordion santa


My sister will be giving birth to my first nephew sometime soon, so I have this master plan where I'll record various relatives and family friends singing children's songs and I'll make a CD for my sister and her husband. My plan is to have it all done by the end of November in the hopes that that will give me time to get organized and get it all wrapped up in time for Christmas. (The recording of me singing 'Home On The Range' was by way of preparation for this -- my mother and I plan to record that song together for the CD.)

This leaves the question of what I myself should record. A week or so ago I recalled a song from one of my Mississippi John Hurt live CDs where he sings a little song called 'Chicken'. Perfect!

Tonight I sat down and recorded guitar, vocal and washboard parts. I may ditch the washboard part or rerecord it. Also, I bought a kazoo today and it might be nice to incorporate that. But anyway, I thought some of y'all might like to hear this (I'm looking at you, chicken_cem), so here it is.