Friday, November 14, 2008

Our long, dial-up nightmare is over

This has been an object of great unrest, particularly among the teen-aged contingent. And it leads to this week’s Deezo Friday Five.

1) I’m loyal to a fault, and we’ve had the same, Michigan-based service provider for as long as we’ve had service provided.

When the company started offering high-speed service, I called to sign up, only to be told it was not available in our area and to be patient.

Mind you, it’s not like we live in the boonies. In fact, I think people in the boonies actually have the service. We’re apparently in some sort of high-speed black hole that can only be accessed by the cable company.

This went on for a couple years. One time the staffer on the phone let it slip that the higher-speed customers were actually paying less than we were for dial-up. He threw in a free accelerator program to calm me down.

All the while, the teen-ager faction would drop hints, ask politely and sometimes outright demand that we switch companies and pay more for the higher speeds. The junk mail from the cable company arrives often, and the teen would all but tape these to the fridge.

Apparently he is some sort of outcast among his Halo-playing buddies for this shamefully slow Internet.

Last week, I accepted the new mantra of "change" and called our company to make one final bid. Once again, I was told to be patient.

Then I discovered that the cable company’s bundle of television, Internet and phone service was cheaper that what I was already paying.

So now it won’t take all night — and I do mean the overnight — to download an album from iTunes. And I might be able to get blogs posted more quickly!

2) This is just wrong on so many levels.

According to the Long Island Business News, a funeral home in Smithtown is selling these caskets with Mets logos on them. Supposedly they sell Yankees versions, too.

Where to begin.

I see a "certificate of authenticity" in there. Why? Is someone out there doubting that it is an authentic casket? Are we checking its price in a new version of Beckett?

Then I see a Mets logo on the pillow, and another on the inside of lid. But the one on the lid is turned for the benefit of the viewer, and not the guy in the casket. Can we show a little respect for the dead here?

And supposedly there are also Mets logos on the handles, too.

Between you and me, this guy is going to sell a lot more Yankees versions. Mets fans are smart enough to know that they sell caskets at Costco, and you can buy a Mets pillow just about anywhere. You’ll have something like looks a heck of a lot better for half the price.

And, you won’t have to place the certificate of authenticity next to the remembrance book.

3) I have to give Jerry Manuel props for assembling a rather colorful coaching staff.

The Mets announced Friday that Luis Alicea is the new first base coach. Nothing too special about that, except that he’ll be joined by Razor Shines on third, clearly a superior baseball name.

Then we have not one, but two Sandy Alomars, with Sandy Sr. serving as bench coach and Sandy Jr. responsible for the catchers. Considering there are only two catchers, that’s a pretty interesting catcher-to-coach ratio.

And don’t forget that Howard Johnson is the hitting coach.

HoJo’s teammate from the 1986 champs, Randy Niemann, is the bullpen coach. Niemann famously pissed off former Mets General Manager Frank Cashen by dousing him during the clubhouse celebration.

Dan Warthen rounds out the coaching collection, and he hasn’t done anything colorful yet.

4) At least our coaches won’t have to suffer the indignity that are the new Orioles uniforms.
Orioles fans have for years been clamoring for the team to restore "Baltimore" to the road uniforms. But owner Peter Angelos balked, supposedly because the team was marketed to those in nearby Washington, D.C. as well.

But with the National now in place, the Orioles are once again remembering where they play.
It could have been so easy. But no.

Why do the letters get so small by the end of "Baltimore?" Why does the team name and city name appear on the sleeves?

There’s a new flag patch, too, and it’s circled by the city name. But if they’re going to use the city name on the patch, shouldn’t they also use the city flag instead of the Maryland flag?

New Yorkers, of course are smart enough to avoid this whole city/state dilemma by giving them both the same name.

5) My off-season television viewing is pretty much limited to DVDs of old shows as treadmill viewing and cable news shout-fests.

But my wife’s tastes are more varied, and she insisted that I watch an episode of something called "Chuck."

I’m not entirely clear, but the plot seemed to be that Chuck was an undercover agent working in a store like Best Buy.

There was something about an old-school cabinet video game being central to the story, and how to reach a certain level.

Chuck hunted down the inventor, and it appears that the key to solving the game was to hit the buttons in sync with Rush’s "Tom Sawyer."

Suddenly, everything made sense.

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