Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 22, 2011 12:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Speaking of nuclear waste.... The next post in this blog is Rip City. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Have you noticed how hard Comcast and its Xfinity brand are saturation-bombing our consumer consciousness these days? We noticed the other night that our favorite weekend sports wrap-up show on KGW-TV is suddenly being called the Xfinity something-or-other. Hey, they own the network now -- what did you expect? And the old Hollywood Video store at the corner of Sandy and Fremont now has Xfinity plastered all over it.

Xfinity sounds kinda creepy, doesn't it? Like a science fiction novel from 1970 or so. "How long will the plutonium contamination last, Captain?" "Xfinity, Corporal."

Here at blog headquarters, our Comcast experience hasn't been so uplifting of late. We pay these guys $10 extra every month on top of their normal internet charges, for something they call "blast" service, but our connection speed was more like "cough." After a while, it was not just slow, but intermittent. We tried the usual tricks -- reset the modem, reset the router, yada yada, but the craptastic problems persisted. With some trepidation, we picked up the phone for some customer support.

The first time we did this, it was late at night, and we got a gal in India whose best advice to us was to "delete kookies." The next time, they sent out a guy who asked us if the service was running fine at that moment, which it was. With that, he shrugged, climbed around on the outside of the house for a few minutes, and left; about an hour later, the 'net was down again. The third time, we decided in mid-phone-call with the Comcast guy to give things a chance to straighten themselves out.

Through all of these phone calls, of course, we were being bombarded with robotic sales pitches. Even when you knew the codes in advance and pushed all the right buttons to talk to a human being, it always took three minutes or more to get through to a person. "Did you know you can save money by bundling your internet service with your phone service?" Get out da way, lady. Even the live tech support people felt compelled to try to sell you something before they let you hang up.

On call no. 4, we finally got someone on the phone who sounded quite knowledgeable and interested. He told us that he could see that our modem, rented from Comcast, was the likely culprit. It was old, tired, and not responding properly to the Comcast guy's remote tests. And so finally, a couple of days later, we got a different technician out to the house, with this in his hand:

By golly, it's a Ubee D3.0. It's running a whole lot better than the clunky old RCA thingy he took out of here. The intertubes are now plenty fast. Nice to be getting what we're paying for, finally.

Comments (17)

Were you charged for the new modem, Jack? Might be worth a look if it's not too spendy.

Just an FYI, you can probably buy either that modem or a comparable one for less than $100 rather than being charged a "rental fee" ( I beleive that's around 6.95-ish a month)... I had my own "facepalm" moment awhile back when I realized that I had paid about 3x the worth of my modem over the last four years... just food for thought.

I was surprised to learn that modems just wear out after awhile. We replaced one of ours and it made all the difference in terms of performance. Too bad they jerked you around for so long before you happened to finally talk to someone who knew what they were doing.

The whole "Xfinity" thing is because Comcast's name is so bad that they are attempting to Worldcom it - change the name in order to ditch the bad rep.

It isn't working.

Similar to my experience several years ago with US Worst - kept losing phone service - seemed like the line would short out. Finally, after about two years, a technician came out and replaced the outside phone line, which had large holes in the covering, probably chewed by squirrels or birds. And, they changed their name, too!

It's too bad that name QWorst never caught on like the name US Worst. It's not quite as catchy, plus landlines have been replaced by cellphones and Crapcast/Xfinicky.

Gad. At least you got a new modem out of them. You are doing better than most people.

delete kookies

Bad advice - if you did that, no one would be able to comment here! ;-)

BTW: Dan's advice is good; looks like you have just a standard cable modem without telephony/tv attributes. Your standard cable modems are pretty inexpensive these days.

Ahh comcast's good ol RCA (Thompson) modems. They don't replace them unless they're about dead or just finally not dealing well with the new data standards (aka upgraded speed).

I once went down to the local office to get a new modem as I was having connection issues, especially since the current one was not compatible with the new docsis 2.0 tech required for faster speeds. Something that comcast had been bombarding its customers about online, mailers and tv ads at the time.

The customer service gal started out with the "it might be your home connection/wires/outside box, we can send a tech out!". No, I just want a new modem first, if its still a problem, I'll call in a tech. Then it was: "Oh no I have that older RCA modem and I get the new speeds!". No dear, you do not. That modem model was at that point 6-7+ years old tech. I was about ready to just cancel service in anger but she relented (and her eyes glossed over) when I quoted her the docsis 2.0 requirements and their own literature and pointed to the box for my old modem that listed "DOCSIS 1.0 compliant!". New modem worked better although I'd also wager there was a problem with the hub my house was connected to. Oh and of course I had to call in to comcast's tech support line after the fact to get the modem provisioned (allowed on their network). God forbid they do that at their office before I took the new one home.

Anyway, comcast has jacked up the modem rental rate to $7 now. If you're not moving and staying with them for the next 1+ years, I'd go buy a motorola cable modem for $100. Its $84/yr to rent one and it really guarantees no better connection and they won't let you blame it on their modem at first anyway.

Here's a little bit of interesting information I didn't know. A month ago I called Comcast regarding some questions I had and ended up talking to a very nice service rep who shared the following: since I also have digital voice service the voice modem just happens to have along with 2 phone jacks a internet jack on the back that can be used for internet connection plus a USB. So if you toss the internet modem and hookup to the voice modem there is no need to purchase/rent the internet only modem.

Speaking of buying a modem, does anyone recommend one from Comcrap's (err xfinity) list?

Using on my '7Mb' DSL from Quest (or whatever) results: 6Mb download, 0.75Mb upload. I'm seriously curious how that compares to ComFinity to the X power?

Be glad you're not getting DSL Service from Verizon. We had it in our last home in East County and it was a periodic PITA. Not to mention it required a special connection and was often slow.
In contrast, we have basice AT&T DSL here in Nevada; and it's not only several times faster, but the modem and setup was easy - and it costs less too!

Hi there,

I apologize for the troubles that you had with your Internet service, and I am glad that they have been resolved. If you need any further assistance please feel free to send us an email. We are happy to help and want to make sure you are satisfied. Have a great day!

Best regards,
National Customer Operations

It's too bad that name QWorst never caught on like the name US Worst. It's not quite as catchy, plus landlines have been replaced by cellphones and Crapcast/Xfinicky.

No, the new name is "20th Century ChainLink" (Qwest is being acquired by CenturyLink).

As much as I hate them, I'm waiting for Verizon and AT&T to start slapping Comcast around with 4G wireless.

I've had the opportunity to test the VzW 4G LTE, it does about 14Mbps down and 4Mbps up. All they need to do is stop gouging for the service and they could eat Comcast.

PJ, motorola "surfboards" (I think the 6120 is the newest one) are usually the recommended one.

Try for reviews and advice. Very good site for broadband/isp issues.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics