.by Anura Guruge
>> TDS Internet Outage in Alton, Feb. 26, 2013 — Feb. 26, 2013.
>> TDS Internet (Broadband Fiber) Outage In Alton, NH
>> (Or At Least At Our House) Last ‘Night’/This Morning — Jan. 17, 2013.
>> TDS Broadband (Fiber): Long Outage Last Night … — Oct. 17, 2012.
So, that was 83 days ago. So that isn’t too bad. But, this was another doozie. It was down for 6 hours, if not slightly more. There are even indications that the outage that I suffered came about as they were fixing a previous outage in NH.
I fully appreciate that occasional outages are inevitable. My only frustration is that TDS, per what I assume is some misguided policy, refuses to tell you what is happening. To me that is incredible. They really do believe in treating their customers, or at least me, as if I am a total, bloody imbecile that wouldn’t be able to cope with being told as to why both of my broadband connections are down. All I want to know is: is it a down pole, was a fiber cut and if so where, are the servers down and if so why? I can make my own assessments from there. But, no. Just the bloody mushroom treatment. It really is a misguided company.
A couple of months ago I sent a certified letter to its President and CEO, Dave Wittwer politely outlining my issues and asking him whether he could get somebody at TDS to look into them. Nothing. That is outrageous. I did not expect him to read the letter and take action. Real CEOs have one or two assistants, referred to as the ‘Office of the CEO’, who deal with such letters. I have had tremendous support from such offices at Dish and GoDaddy. Given that GoDaddy is my other Internet company, I find the contrast between GoDaddy and TDS like chalk and cheese. GoDaddy, at every level of the food chain, is so customer oriented.
I was, however, told by TDS, during what proved to be a 40 minute call, that they had been overcharging me by $9.98 a month. Gee, thanks. No, I didn’t get it fixed. I was waiting till I got my Internet back. Knowing TDS there was always a chance that when they fixed this overcharge I would never get my Internet back.
Ahhhh! This is the problem when there is no competition for service. No Metrocast cannot provide me with the UPLOAD bandwidth I require, neither can FairPoint. I checked again today. The MOST that they can offer is 2Mbps. That is for kids. [No, this is not the download. To me 35Mbps download is of little interest IF my uploads are at 2Mbps. It is upload that differentiates the wheat from the chaff. I need the upload for posting blogs and uploading the books.]
Dartmouth Hopkins Center: Handel Society, “St. Matthew Passion”, May 19, 2013 — Goose Bump Inducing Virtuosic Gala.
.by Anura Guruge
1. Dartmouth Handel Society: St. Matthew Passion … — Apr. 9, 2013.
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The Dartmouth Handel Society claimed, without ever sounding hyperbolic, that this would be an ‘once in 30 years gala bash‘. It sure was. I would even go as far as saying that it flirted with ‘pretty close to once in a lifetime‘.
It was indubitably a gala. You felt privileged to be there to savor this treat: 90 adult singers in two separate choruses, 52 strong children’s chorus, 6 amazing soloists, two orchestras with a total of 30 musicians and a very talented and committed conductor. Actually when the children’s chorus joined in, standing angelically in the aisles, each holding a yellowish glowing candle inside a white jar, during the start and end of Part I, we had two conductors in tandem. I had never seen that. That was pretty special.
The music was unbelievable. The production, minutely choreographed with instrument soloist coming to the front to accompany the vocal soloists, the two choruses alternating antiphonally as well as alternating between sitting and standing, the children in the aisles with the candles, the words of the program (albeit in English as opposed to the German which was being sung) ‘supertititled’ on a large screen, was masterful.
I am convinced that as far as New Hampshire is convinced only Dartmouth could have delivered a production of this caliber (with nary a hitch). I would think Boston would have difficulty trying to match this soaring but at the same time ethereal tour de force. It was so divine that sometimes you felt as if you had to pinch yourself to make sure that this was not a magical dream.
Though I am by no means an expert, I am also not a total stranger to good chorale music. This just happened to be my second chorale concert in 7 days. Plus, for the last nine months, bar a few weeks here and there, I have got to listen to a full choir for at least 90 minutes a week. But this was a full-body, holistic experience that made you feel cleansed and rejuvenated. And the acoustics of the Spaulding Auditorium! Wow. I have been to quite a few concerts there. This was our second at the Spaulding in 2013 and the third since December 2012. But, at this performance, given the exquisiteness of the sounds involved you really got to appreciate that the acoustics of the auditorium have to be pretty close to perfect, if not perfect.
Yes, I make no excuses that I am a great fan of all things Dartmouth (Hanover) related. But, I have yet to ever be disappointed even slightly — and I have been going to events at Dartmouth since about 1998. I have thoroughly enjoyed some great performances at the ‘Hop’ but this has to rank as the most memorable.
Douglas Williams who sang bass-baritone was a revelation. I never realized that somebody singing bass-baritone could sound that good! It was simple as that. His voice is transfixing. I am sold. Here listen to him, from this ‘Matthew Passion’ audio clip from his Website, though, to me, he sounded even better today. Maybe because we had 3rd row seats, right in the middle. I was directly behind the conductor.
To be fair all the soloists were exceptional. Rare talents. An inspiration to all.
The real testament to how good this 3 hour concert really was is that Teischan (7) never really complained once. That is beyond rare. She even gets bored at Disney on Ice. But, she likes music and parts of this concert had her mesmerized. She was seated next to me so I could tell. Even she knew that she was privy to something very special. [It started at 2pm and finished around 5:30, following prolonged standing ovation — with about a 20 minute intermission.]
It is well past midnight as I write this and I am still glowing.
Thank YOU, the ‘Handel Society of Dartmouth College’. You outdid yourself.
Thank YOU the Hopkins Center for this performance. It was such a joy.