Friday, July 30, 2010

On switching to FIOS...(cont.)

Off the phone at 1:23pm

When I finally reached a tech, he was nice, knowledgeable and didn't make any promises he wasn't sure he could deliver. He looked into the ONT Box  and says it's a newer GPON unit capable of handling higher speeds but that he can't be really sure from his vantage point what's going on. I said I'd upgrade to a higher tier right now if I knew it would work, but he couldn't be sure, given the problems we're experiencing now in the building, so we left it at that. If my neighbor can get his higher tier service working, then I'll go for it as well.

Otherwise, all I did in the Comcast (sorry, XFINITY NOW) to FIOS migration was trade one set of annoyances for another.

Artist: Boards of Canada
Song: Smallest Weird Number

On switching to FIOS...(on hold)

As I write this, I'm on hold with the Verizon toll free service number my install tech left for me. I also left a message with some guy in Danvers he told me to call if there's a problem.

Those familiar with my other site, LynnHappens, know I sometimes upload council meetings longer than your average feature length film. I had been having problems with Comcast's upload speeds sometimes slowing down to below dial-up speeds, so when FIOS recently became available in my building, I figured I'd give it a go.

When Comcast's broadband was working as advertised, it was actually faster than FIOS's lowest tier service. The problem was that it fluctuated wildly and their service techs were unable to identify a problem. I'd never know if it would take me all night to upload that council meeting, or just an hour or so. And lately, it was just crawling.

Thanks to neighbors trying it first, I didn't have a street full of trucks and a small Verizon Army working on my install. My tech just had to connect a thing or two in the basement, swap out my set top boxes and modem and I was good to go.

At first, it seemed faster. But what I mistook for speed ended up being predictability. The wild fluctuations were gone, but it was not faster overall.

On-Hold-Update: After 25 minutes a voice came on the speakerphone. She said she couldn't pull up my account and asked where I was calling from. "This is Texas, that's why I can't help you. I'm going to have to transfer you." Me, "I don't know how I got to Texas.." Her: "I'm sorry, please hold on.."

More hold music..

So I'm calling Verizon because their FIOS branded broadband is not working as fast as advertised. There are two fair solutions.

1. Charge me a lower rate for a lower service.
2. Improve the service.
At this point, with at least having greater predictability of speed, I'll take either option. I will, however, not accept the status quo.

In other words, if I order a dozen donuts, don't give me six and tell me I have to pay the same price.

A neighbor of mine is even paying for a higher speed FIOS option, 35/35 mbps, but only getting the same speed that I am. Hopefully he'll also blog about it or chime in with his experiences. I'm blogging because you shouldn't sell what you can't deliver, if that's the case. I have heard the "box in the basement" isn't very capable, and if that's true, they ought to swap it out for something better or just give up on providing us any kind of service.

And on the TV side of things, it's a bit of a wash. In a nearly identical package, I lost some and gained some channels, and the picture is pretty much the same. If I want to be really picky, it's ever-so-slightly worse because Verizon is using an older version Motorola set-top-box than Comcast. The newer ones have better video processing chips. Though, I hear Verizon is upgrading their boxes NEXT YEAR.

36m 42 sec still on hold

I guess I need to pick my flavor of nasty. That's just Comcastic. And I'm not sure FIOS is the way either.

41 minutes on hold and counting...

Artist: Muzak probably
Song: Annoying, whatever it is..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Open Soon

It looks as though Tacos Lupita is opening a second location in the former Pho Lynn space, across from Fernando's on Munroe Street. If the sign is any indication, it should be a somewhat more traditional sit-down restaurant than the original fast food and take-out spot further up the street.

Artist: Verlaines
Song: Baud to Tears
(performed live in 1987)

And now for a musical interlude...

Friday, July 23, 2010

FREE movie in Central Square tonight, outdoors if it's dry, inside LynnArts if it rains

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs just in case there's no rain and watch this classic film outside in Central Square, next to LynnArts, in the space where the Thursday Farmer's Markets are held.

Start time is 8:30pm.

Refreshments will be served.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, the movie will play in the Neal Rantoul Vault Theater in LynnArts, 25 Exchange St.

Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Song: Till Then

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Got my blogroll back

It's mostly restored. I left out some that hadn't updated in a long time and are possibly abandoned. The list was growing a bit long.

Of course, I couldn't help playing with blogger's new template manager, but have I gone too far?

In fact, I spent a good part of the day dealing with various broken things on the internet.

1. Fixed some issues with the events calednar on

2. Working around some new host issues that were slowing down progress on the Lynn Time Bank's new site. It's sort of already functional but I don't have all the content and images, yet. Some features and designs aren't finished so the front page is a little awkward. Check

3. My outgoing email on my primary account wasn't working unless I went through a webmail client. It still isn't working, so I can't send out a reminder about tonight's meeting. Check to learn what I'm talking about.

When I muck around with CSS I'm sort of like a bull in a china shop, but I've learned to save intact copies in Notepad before I go in. So far, so good, this time around.

Now, I think I'm going to "unplug" for a little while before I go to the MBTA Safety meeting at 6:30p and cover City Council for LH at 8p.

Oh yeah, almost forgot
Artist: The Centurys (great 60's garage from Pennsylvania)
Song: Hard Times

If you're wondering where my links have gone...

...I am, also.

It may be a glitch from switching over to a proper domain. Note that you can get here simply by typing, now! Update your links if you want...but the old one still works, too.

Anyway, I added back most of the links, which took a good while because I had so darn many.

But that effort was wasted, because they were missing when I went to "View Blog" and completely gone when I went back into the widget to see just what had happened.

Not having all day to spend on this, I regret that livinginlynn may remain without links to its friends for a while. Maybe I'll get back on it tonight while I upload the latest City Council video.


Friday, July 9, 2010

A few dates to remember

Wednesday, July 14th,
100 Years of Camp Fire USA exhibit opens at the Lynn Museum

Opening night of the exhibit will be July 14, 5:30 pm and will feature a “What It’s Worth” Appraisal Night with Stuart Whitehurst, appraiser from Skinner Auctions and a favorite on the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow.  Up to 50 lucky raffle winners will be invited to bring one item for verbal appraisal (sorry, no jewelry, coins, stamps or musical instruments).  Details are available on the website listed below.
Raffle tickets are $25 and include admission to the museum event and appraisal program.  General admission tickets for the evening are $10.  Tickets may be purchased at the museum, at the Camp Fire office, 2 Cain Road in Salem, MA, or online at

Friday, July 23rd,

Thursday, August 12th,
Click poster for full size

Saturday, August 21st
Culture Fest II, "For A World Without Borders". on Munroe St. Details and poster forthcoming.

Friday, August 27th,
"RED BONES is returning to Lynn! August 27th from 6-10 pm... pulled pork, pulled chicken and more, with music by the Squeezebox Stompers! Tickets are onsale now at! Get them now before they're gone!

There's more in between and into September, but I'm keeping it to the Summer months for this post. Also, check the calendar on for these and everything else, and if your event isn't listed, just send it along!

Artist: XTC
Song: Are you Receiving Me?