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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Random musings. (Page 77)

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Author Topic: Random musings.
Disgruntled Peony
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I think I've got 50 hours slated for last week, and I will be getting paid overtime, so there is that. This isn't a commonplace problem, at least not in the front end of my specific store (although I have noticed things like that happen far more often on pharmacy's end). After having visited the other store, combined with things I've been told by other people who worked there temporarily or full-time, it sounds like that store's manager has harbored such a hostile work environment that all her shift supervisors quit on her at pretty much the same time. Maybe I'm better off for not having gotten that position after all.

In any case, it's a temporary situation that will eventually pass. I do feel like the district manager doesn't care that particularly much for how his employees feel so long as the business runs, though. The main reason I'm still here is because, as I said, my store manager is awesome. It was a pleasant surprise.

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Robert Nowall
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Do you get comped for travel?
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Disgruntled Peony
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I got comped for traveling to a training last week; I'm going to ask my manager if I can apply for mileage for this trip too.
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Robert Nowall
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Well, I think you've got the matter in hand, however inconvenient it might be---especially if they comp you for travel.

Don't haul anything from place to place in your car, if you travel to and fro by your own car. Your insurance won't cover an accident.

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extrinsic
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My insurance policy does cover incidental business travel in a personal vehicle, the liability facets, required by state law. A business use rider is available for comprehensive damage coverage of an insured's personal vehicle.
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Disgruntled Peony
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I am, in fact, going to get mileage for this and even with all the craziness of working 6 days a week my husband and I actually get tomorrow off together. Thank goodness for small miracles. My frustrations from the other day have lessened considerably.
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Robert Nowall
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Disgruntled Peony: good luck.

extrinsic: I brought it up because I remembered someone at a fast food restaurant I worked at getting in terrible trouble for just that reason.

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extrinsic
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I've lived in states where vehicle insurance policies vary about all sorts of do's and don'ts. One had a policy that impacted incidental drivers: no young male drivers covered not listed on the policy and for which premiums were paid. The same state also used to not cover business property damaged in personal vehicle wrecks until the state went no-fault.

The current state I live in, the policy I have does require report of if a personal vehicle is used regularly for business use and how many miles per year. Plus other questionaire items, like total operation miles, type of travel, whether garaged, off-street lot parked, or street parked, and whether used for work commute. The answers affect premium discounts, of which I qualify for a maximum amount, thankfully, essentially equivalent to two free months per year.

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Grumpy old guy
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Just went and splurged $75 on a thesaurus. Why, you ask?

Well, I'm old school and I like flicking through pages in a book, also IMHO, I can get a more exact match for the word I'm looking for than scrolling through a drop-down list of recommendations chosen by a software algorithm. MS Word doesn't even rate.

With a book I get to choose a more nuanced context for the word I'm trying to find. Then I not only get a list of alternative words but some phrases as well. A cornucopia of choice. [Smile]

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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Been meaning to pick up something along those lines. Somewhere I have a couple of copies of Roget's, the cheap paperback edition---but, given the state of my files, somewhere means I can't find them or get to them easy.

The other day, I wanted to look up something in the James Blish Star Trek novelizations---suspicions about a snatch of dialog---but there are too many boxes in front of my bookshelves in my so-called library to get to it that easy. I'll get to that eventually.

But it'd be easier to buy a new thesaurus---and probably a better one, too. On a couple of online comic sites, I've been posting parodies of this poem or that song---and when I need to look up something that means something, for just the right syllables and stresses, it would help to have a thesaurus handy. (Online resources are okay but awkward for me to manipulate. A while back I bought a new rhyming dictionary, same reasons.)

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MattLeo
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
Just went and splurged $75 on a thesaurus. Why, you ask?

Well, I'm old school and I like flicking through pages in a book,

I like the discovery process that you get from flipping through pages too, but you should also give systems based on Stanford's Wordnet project a look. Wordnet is the largest and most up-to-date word database in the world.

What you get depends on the features the application designer has chosen; Wordnet has so many nobody implements all of them. For example Wordnet understands part-of relationships ("finger" --> "hand"; "foil" --> "forte") etc. It understands hypernyms ("anger" --> "emotion") and hyponyms ("anger" --> "indignation").

You can get a bit of a sense for the power of Wordnet by checking out this site's data on anger. If you click on the "S" next to the sense you want and choose "full hyponym" it'll lay out all the more specific words it knows for "anger".

Of course the Wordnet project's interface is terrible. For fun you might try out Visuwords for fun, e.g. the Visuword entry for ghostly. You can click on any of the floating balloons to expand it. It has some of the same spontaneous feel that paper does, although it doesn't implement the full Wordnet functionality.

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extrinsic
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I'm partial to a synonym and antonym dictionary -- word nuance distinctions; for example, "perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent . . . " (each word's nuanced sensory distinction explained) according to Webster's 11th Collegiate.

The most up-to-date U.S. dialect print Webster's dictionary ( 2003) incorporates synonym and antonym distinction into dictionary definition entries. The college edition comes with a companion software application. A 1942 hardcover Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms sets ready on my handiest bookshelf beside several thesauri and is regularly referenced and indispensable.

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Grumpy old guy
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That's next on the shopping list, along with a dictionary of common Latin phrases.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Googled "common Latin phrases" and these are the first four links to show (might save you a little money, Phil):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/07/25/latin-words-and-phrases-every-man-should-know/

http://mentalfloss.com/article/57898/20-latin-phrases-you-should-be-using

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/fw-latin-phrases.htm

By the way, I didn't read any of them through, so I don't know if the second link would be helpful to women or not. [Smile]

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Grumpy old guy
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Thanks for that kdw. Fiat pax Translation: Let there be peace. Or, for the tried and true: pax vobiscum Peace be with you.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Like [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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(maybe I've been spending too much time on FB)
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LDWriter2
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I sometimes use Latin phrases in my writings. I have a link to two translation sites but these could come in handier.

Even though not aimed at me Thanks Kathleen

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LDWriter2
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Now for the reason I came to this site tonight.


A while back we discussed sightings of cross dressing Statue of Liberties. And I have mentioned piles of wood frames that show up three weeks before the Fourth. Now I would like to mention the sightings that mean Halloween is coming.

Spirit stories. Costume stories opened just one time of the year. I don't how wide spread they are, but around here they pop up a month or so before Oct 31. Over a week ago was stopped at a red light and looked around. Bong--a Spirit store on that corner. Whoa, it's that time already? Actually I think it was early but can't swear to it. There's another one whose name I can't recall but the same idea. Spirit though is everywhere around here.

Oh and now there is a year round costume store open in town. They advertise for cosplay as well as halloween. If they ever have another SF convention or steampunk here I might check them out.

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Robert Nowall
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We've got the popup Halloween stores and at least one permanent costume store in our town, too. Usually they set up in some old former something-or-other but-now-closed store---one I have in mind sets up in an old Best Buy store. (I'll be going that way later today, I expect I'll see whether they set up there or not.)

Christmas shops down here do a pretty good business, though they set up in smaller stores---though the one year-round one I knew about closed recently.

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Robert Nowall
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I did see it yesterday. It was a "Spirit of Halloween" store.
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Disgruntled Peony
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I think we've got a Halloween shop setting up in my town, too. At my work we usually start selling Halloween merch in early September, so it's actually right about on schedule.
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Robert Nowall
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Addendum to the above: I did manage to fight my way through my messes and get to the James Blish "Star Trek" novelizations. The line I remember wasn't in them---next I've got to check out some old videotape version, and see if it was just edited out...but that's a project for my upcoming vacation in October, I think. (If I remember to do it.)
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Disgruntled Peony
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Random note of weirdness: the Halloween store that shows up in my town always gives me a weird sense of nostalgia, because I actually used to work in that same storefront back when it was a Hollywood Video. So... Up until about five or six years ago when the company went bankrupt.
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Robert Nowall
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On the Halloween shop---I can clue you in that the "Spirit of Halloween" stores did a mass mailing in our area. (Have I mentioned I work for the US Postal Service?) Shiny postcards, fall / Halloween colors, with some models in costumes and some written copy. Not really enough time to read it as it went through, but, then, we're not allowed to, technically, except with postcards 'cause it can't be helped.

If one turns up in my mailbox I'll share more with you about it...

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extrinsic
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Serendipity --

The old laptop self-destructed, blew a gasket and failed systemically. The old thing had been on life support for five years. Half the keyboard keys were gone, no markings left on the remainder -- worn. Squirrels that turned the cooling fan eloped with gerbils of the HDMI bridge into digital orbit. An external laptop fan cooler was pressed into service years ago. The on/off switch broke; a pencil tip pressed the switch for a while, though finally gave out. RAM was burnt to a diminished capacity. The hard drive was seventeen-twentieths full. The thing was ten years old and an off-lease purchased used at that and pitiful though worked until it didn't anymore.

All is not lost! Fortunately, regular backups preserved all data. A quick image of the hard drive onto a vault drive recovered everything else and right up to and including the moment the laptop failed. The hard drive is also still intact if needed again.

I had another identical laptop in service. Reloaded a few software applications onto it I hadn't yet gotten around to. Back to square one at no great loss.

Shopping now for another laptop to place in service. Instead of loading all the data from the vault drive, it will stay where it is except for current needs. Another vault drive for backups is indicated.

Providence favors the prepared.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I'm glad you didn't lose anything! [Smile]
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LDWriter2
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A new thought here with Halloween coming,

I thought of a very easy, simple, not so gross costume that would fit right in with the pop culture.

No, not Supergirl, a crossdressing super hero is more complicated than what I was thinking of. Even though Simon Green has one-three points if your know where. Six if you know the name and outfit.

Anyway: I don't usually do horror or even watch it so much anymore but I was subjected to various TV ads for "Fear of The Walking Dead" when me and my wife watched TV at one point when we were in the mountains. (There is a post that covers that some of you might have missed)

Anyway, go as a Fear zombie. All I would need is maybe a bit of fake blood on my shirt under my mouth, maybe a bullet hole somewhere but that's getting into complicated stuff. So just one of my nicer shirts and pants as If I was out on a date when I became a zombie. And make chomping noises every now and then. 

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Disgruntled Peony
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One of the weirdest nights I had at work was on a Halloween. There was a guy in fairly realistic zombie makeup who came in and made a purchase--Red Bull or something. He was the most cheerful, friendly zombie I've ever seen. XD
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Robert Nowall
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One of the local costume stores [not "Spirit"] had a dancing clown outside it. Cousin of the Dancing Statues of Liberty?
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Disgruntled Peony
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My husband needs a new job. [Frown] He works with the developmentally disabled. Right now the site he works is so understaffed he's stuck working 12 hour days every day until they can train somebody, which probably means he'll still be doing that next week when we have our wedding anniversary. This will be the second year anniversary of our marriage, and the second year he's had to work overtime on said anniversary.

I'm honestly not angry about it, because it's no one's fault. My husband just really needs a new job, and right now he doesn't even have time to look for a new one.

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extrinsic
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What a job! The way of the toxic workplace, can't make time to get out of the salt mine and the salt mine won't let anyone out even for significant occasions. Used to have jobs like that and no personal life. The old feudal estate system reinvented for contemporary times stakes an illusion of vocational and other mobilities as personal choice; therefore, a cage without bars.
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Disgruntled Peony
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Funnily enough, less than three hours after I left that comment, we found out he might get our anniversary off after all. Maybe. I'm not holding my breath (but oh goodness I totally am).
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Robert Nowall
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Good luck with your husband's on-the-job problems.

*****

My WiFi connection had an epic fail this morning; in the process of dealing with that I found the router I mainly used is unsupported, and in trying to establish connections and change names and passwords on the "other" router (provided by the cable company that provides the connection), my WiFi has been in and out and on and off all day. Been trying to deal with it (also on and off) all day and I've got most of it, I think. But it seems slower...

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Disgruntled Peony
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We got our router from the cable company and it's had to get replaced three times in the last year. I feel your pain.
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Robert Nowall
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My old-old router was plugged into my cable company router---so far this morning, working directly with that router, service has been somewhat slower than it usually was. (I've reset it [again] and also moved it a few feet closer, which improved it a little.)

If I have to I'll get a new one and plug it into the cable company one again...but I'll try to work with this one for a while, and put that off till my impending vacation when I have free time to deal.

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LDWriter2
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The other temp costume story is Spooky. There's not near as many as Spirit but there have been there at the very least three years. And last year I am sure I saw a third.
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Robert Nowall
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Celebrate Back to the Future Day! October 15th, 2015, the day Marty McFly visited the future in "Back to the Future II."

Of course there are no flying cars or hoverboards, and Chicago is down three games in the playoffs...I suppose McFly's adventures in time with Doc Brown somehow altered things, but, hey, you can't have everything.

There's even been a fair amount of media coverage of it, too...

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Disgruntled Peony
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http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/27/investing/walgreens-rite-aid-deal/

Well, I'm doomed. My store is kitty-corner from a Walgreen's and we don't make all that much profit. I foresee our store being one of the first to close next fall.

I knew there was a reason I wanted out.

Sorry the stuff I keep posting in this thread is the opposite of fun. XP It's been a rough year.

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Robert Nowall
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Pretty much. Both stores usually linger for a while---sometimes they even put up new signs on the old store---but, eventually, one closes.
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Disgruntled Peony
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Yeah... I worked through two different store closings back when I worked at Hollywood Video. I'm in no mood to go through that again. Time to either find a better job or go back to college.

Edit: They're billing this in company as a positive change. We shall see.

[ October 28, 2015, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: Disgruntled Peony ]

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extrinsic
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Positive change for the company bottom line maybe. Aggregation and agglomeration costs jobs, period. The ideas behind acquisitions and mergers are to streamline operations, economize and commodify efficiency, consolidate competition, centralize administration, and expand revenue growth. That latter, that's the real merger driver.

In a market where real growth is stagnant, consumer population increase or increase market share capture through mergers, or both, drives revenue growth. Though a zero sum scenario: one entity gains (revenue growth) at the proportionate cost of another entity or entities' loss (displaced workers).

Agglomeration is a consequence of the industrial revolution and eliminates jobs, permanently, especially medium to high-paid skilled worker jobs. Industrialization also eliminates jobs by mechanization, automation, and production displacement -- jobs exported abroad to lower labor cost regions. Consider that one average backhoe digger eliminates a hundred laborers' jobs. Of course, the efficiency of a backhoe trumps twenty or so hand shovel operators on a job site, and who enjoys the back-strain of digging holes anyway? Yet that backhoe paradigm exemplifies the progress trap progression of labor devaluation: excess surplus labor, and eventual, if not sooner, a disappointed and dissatisfied and displaced, blighted, or eliminated labor pool. Fertile fodder for public welfare, social corruption, and crime.

Possible antitrust issues are under consideration for the merger. Some units cannot be acquired because of trust law complications. Also, companies are supposed to offer employees compatible reassignments when mergers displace them from their jobs. Some workers invariably fall through the cracks -- my usual happenstance -- until I developed my own businesses.

[ October 28, 2015, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Robert Nowall
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I bought a car today. A 2016 white Ford Mustang. Of course it doesn't fly and the whole procedure was a great giant stress maker, but I've got it now, it handles well...and all I have to do is figure out how I'll handle it and what all those newfangled electronic gizmo buttons do.
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Disgruntled Peony
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That sounds like quite the adventure! Congratulations. ^_^
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Robert Nowall
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I saw one of the Statues of Liberty today---out of season, too.
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Robert Nowall
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I'm having trouble with my high-speed connection---suddenly it's gotten slow as dial-up. For the last week, it's mostly been that way. (Though it seemed fine early this morning.)

I've been trying to troubleshoot it, without much luck. I even deleted my AOL program and downloaded it again to see if anything improved. No luck.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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One thing that might help is to give the modem or router what I call a "kick in the head" by which I mean pull the plug on it and wait at least 10 seconds and let it reboot.

That helps when our connection slows down.

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extrinsic
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Cable, broadband, wi-fi all slow down when demand on the pipeline is heavy. This time of year people are more indoors and use connections more. Peak times are evenings, holidays, weekends, and wintertimes. Plus, subscriber numbers to a given access point increase over time, until or if a new service line area is installed. Also, if a user's demand is heavy, filters choke down connection speed. Cable service providers do that to restrict personal connections being used for server activities.
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Robert Nowall
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Problem solved, maybe. I mentioned a while ago, I think, that I used a router and plugged it into the router the cable company gave me---then that had an epic fail some months ago and I was working the cable company router.

Yesterday I bought a new router and today I plugged it into the c-company router, and, so far this morning, internet speed works fine with this new network.

I'll see how it goes---it is, after all, plugged into the old one that gave me trouble---but, so far, so good.

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Disgruntled Peony
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Today was an adventure. Drove an hour and a half north to my sister in law's baby shower today. By the time I left, the local area had gotten 6 inches of snow (although things got better the further south I got). The drive home was intense and nervewracking, but I made it through in one piece.

I did have one close call:

A car had gone off into the ditch at the bottom of a hill. It was in the process of getting towed, and traffic was heavily backed up on the hill as a result. I had a pick up truck with a trailer in front of me, and I didn't know I needed to stop until practically the last second because he slowed to a stop almost immediately after he crossed over the hill and out of my sight. Because of the snow, my brakes wouldn't work fast enough for me to avoid hitting him unless I also swerved off the road. Thankfully there was no ditch on my part of the slope, I didn't get stuck, and I didn't hit anything. I was able to pull back onto the road in a matter of seconds.

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