Sunday, February 20, 2011

Burning bridges, moving on

  Sometimes, during the course of our lives, occur events which force us to move on. A change of jobs, location, economic or cultural differences for various reasons, retirement, etc. My adult life while I was working required I move about pretty regularly, much of it overseas, and often meant having to involuntarily cut ties with folks I'd come to cherish as friends. Often this was due to shifts in political stances of our respective nations over which we had slight control. Most of the overseas time meant further travel for me while my family remained behind in the 'country of record' at the time.
   Even though we'd try to keep in touch, the travel time, required permits and visas, phone expense, and poor mail services still conspired to defeat us. Of course, this was before the Internet that we now take for granted unless our computers crash, was available & even telegrams were iffy. Many of the places I went were so-called third world nations with poor infrastructure in all respects. Even many of the more industrialized nations were pretty crude in regard to communications.
   There was HAM radio of course, but many countries took a dim view of personal ownership of hi-powered radio transmission equipment, thus rendering it useless at times. I was reminded abruptly of this twice this week when our Internet/Phone service provider first caused all our computers that were on at the time, which was ALL of them, to crash requiring technician assistance and deleting everything not backed up. Of course, this happened on the very morning of the day I'd already decided to devote to backing them all up, but before I'd had a chance to do so.
 The second time was today, when the same service(?) provider developed a problem with our land-line phone, although the PCs still work online? My attempts to contact the repair section of the company, basically the ONLY provider in this rural area, were thwarted when I tried to report by cell phone. All that accomplished was the ticking off of minutes on my cell account, which is a very low usage pay per month deal, while awaiting an answer to my call which the nice recorded lady kept telling me was VERY important to them. I then looked them up online which gave me a site, which led me on a long trail to the statement that said I'd have to call first to set up a user name and password. Hmmm? I tried a neighbor, but he was in the same boat. Finally,after locating someone with a phone I could use, I got through, only to be told they needed the business office open to access my line routing??? I should have known, since this company still hasn't got a working pay online function, even though they ARE the online service provider and have been over three years now. Verizon, the former provider, sold our lines because the 'customer per mile numbers were too low'.
   Anyway, back to old friends. I've been slowly trying to reconnect with those who now have Internet as well as those in places where the Internet is now allowed due to changes in government and, in some places, country names. I figure I've been successful in about a third of the attempts I've made over the past decade or so. Earlier this week I came across this old song, long a favorite, that prompted me to renew my efforts to fix 'singed' bridges. Hoping I'll live long enough to reconnect with most of my old mates. Some have even found me and said it was much more difficult than they realized it would be. A lot of that is my own doing in this age of far too much information sharing by various entities.
   Hope you like the music. Until next time, stay well, stay safe, and stay in touch with all those you can in life.