Back online, evil cable company beating me up, and roadtrippers.com

I’m back! For those who missed their regular blog updates, here’s my excuse. For everyone else, travel writing starts a few paragraphs down. Last week we closed on a little condo in Tallahassee. We then spent a few days up there talking to our contractor, visiting Home Depots, Loews, and specialty home stores. We do not yet have internet service in the new place so blogging here would wait until we returned to Kissimmee (while the contractor does his thing up in Tallahassee).

It was a good plan except that we cam back and had no internet access here either. After many hours on hold and many more hours with tech support, they sent someone over to swap out the modem. At first the tech said there was no problem but I showed him how my laptop, my phone, and my PC couldn’t get online. So he swaps out the modem. Then does it again. Eventually my laptop and phones got online but my PC doesn’t like the new modem. The tech guy said he had no idea why and left.

Even as I write this I am on hold with them. You tell the machine you have internet trouble, wait a long time, talk to a real person for a minute, then get transferred to the internet people. Why they didn’t connect me to internet people in the first place is a question I have asked but for which I have no answer. So I’m on my second very long hold, because I ran into a question while trying to troubleshoot what the cable guy would not.

Let me go on record here and say that I despise Brighthouse. A couple of things I miss about living in Korea – good internet connections and good customer service. Brighthouse has neither.

The travel stuff

So I got an email asking me to check out roadtrippers.com, a free road trip planning tool. Apparently I have a few hours to kill while the evil cable company puts me on hold and then transfers me to hold some more so I figured I’d check it out. Besides I like road trips.

So I enter that I’m starting in Tallahassee and ending in New Orleans. They tell me that a 5 hour 48 minute trip. Nice and short, but still, I wonder if I’m driving by some good stuff on the way. I click on attractions and then tourist attractions – a few things pop up on my little road trip map, the USS Alabama being the only one directly on the way. It’s hard to believe that’s all there is to do in Mobile but maybe it’s the biggest attraction there.

Then I click on food and then healthy food. The restaurants that pop up are a little ways off the route, near Panama City FL. But Cowgirl Kitchen is a cool name so I go tot he little thing on my map and click for more information. Rosemary Beach, Florida. Never heard of it, but I can look it up later so I click on add to trip. My map adjusts and my driving time goes to 7 hours 10 minutes. Now when I look up Rosemary Beach, I know I need to decide if it’s worth an extra 80 minutes in the car.

I think roadtrippers.com can be a neat toy or starting point when planning a road trip. It seems faster than Mapquest for figuring out driving times and it has the attractions and food things and all that good stuff and shows you pretty quickly how much driving time one of them will add to your trip.

So next time you find yourself on hold for a few hours, put the phone on speaker and check it out. I don’t think you’ll end up with a complete travel plan, but you can probably get a few ideas. In my case, the cable company just connected me to a real person. He seemed to know what he was doing, but two minutes later I got disconnected. I don’t have the mental fortitude to call them again until tomorrow. Evil Cable Company 5 – Me 0. My wife is carrying on the fight for now.

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  1. Sharon says:

    Welcome back! The Internet issues sound very familiar, as I’ve had much the same problems with AT&T, AOL, and others. Their standard reply to e-mail contact is call us, which means call so they can sell you something, not fix the problem. Then, when you call, first the automated, then hold, then transfer upon transfer, wrong department,hold,disconnection,reps who have no clue, etc. Seldom, if ever is the problem immediately diagnosed and fixed.

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