Archive | December 26, 2014

TDS Telecom’s Montego Bay, Jamaica Call Center Is A Joke. A Sad Joke At That.

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by Anura Guruge

Other Related posts:
1. It really is Jamaica — Oct. 29, 2014.
2. TDS outsourcing Call Center — May 5, 2014.

>> Search ‘TDS’ and for other related posts >>>>

Well my worst fears came to pass on Tuesday afternoon when I had to call TDS to report a 20% drop in my download bandwidth. Since October, following my last call with TDS, albeit to their always WONDERFUL Madison, Wisconsin Call Center, when I was told, for sure, for sure, that the new Call Center was in Jamaica (as opposed to Jamaica Plains), I have been dreading ever having to explain an Internet problem to a Jamaican.

female_clown_juggling_balls_0515-1103-1404-2429_SMUDon’t get me wrong. I love Jamaicans. My type of folks. Any day of the week I would gladly sup Rum and Coke with a bunch of Jamaicans and talk about cricket, Reggae and Jamaicans who are hung like horses. My favorite joke of all time ends with: “No, no, Man. What Wendy? Mine says: “Welcome to Jamaica and have a nice day”. I just know that Jamaicans really are not cut out to solve Internet issues. Nothing wrong with that. Sri Lankan’s can’t run like Usain St. Leo Bolt, bowl like my hero Michael Holding, bat like Chris Gayle, wicketkeep like Jeffrey Dujon or inspire men like Courtney Walsh. In 2012 I was convinced that Marlon Samuels was the next Viv Richards. So I am well aware of the world class talents of Jamaicans and I am not even going to mention their bobsledding prowess.

Well it was a disaster and a joke. She was very nice. Of course. To say that Jamaican ladies are friendly is like saying that Catholic cardinals aren’t known to usually say no to pork.

She tried. But we ended up having this conversation, after it took her 20 minutes to find my records, putting me on hold about 3 times. I am NOT making this up. I will swear by Michael Holding.

I: “My bandwidth is down to 13.4Mbps when it should be around 15.5Mpbs”.

Her: “Can you test it right now?”

I: “Yes, I can. Let me check it. ….. Yes, it is still 13.4Mbps”.

Her: ” Do you still have Internet access?”

I remembered all the Call Center jokes with Call Center reps. making fun of poor callers who called in ‘when they didn’t have power’, ‘when their PC was turned off’, ‘when they didn’t have a mouse attached’ etc. complaining that they were having trouble with their computers.

BUT, this takes the cake. I just told her that I tested my bandwidth and I was getting 13.4Mbps.


Well it only went downhill from there. That was Tuesday. Yes, Christmas intervened. But I still haven’t had my bandwidth restored.

A shame. I was a good customer.

TDS will rue the day that they opted to outsource to Jamaica.

Obviously some V.P. was on the make. How else can you justify picking Jamaica?

‘Niche’, The Academic Polling Folks, Publish Their Ranked List Of New Hampshire’s Best Public Schools; Prospect Comes In At #37.

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by Anura Guruge

Other Related posts:
Search ‘ACS’ and ‘high school’ for other related posts >>>>

Explanation of their methodology and the top 4 high schools.


Click to access the Niche ranked listing.

Prospect Mountain High School (PMHS) entry at #37.


Click to access the list.

I am not sure whether this list really means anything though the overall rankings with Hanover, Bedford, Durham, Amherst, Hooksett, Exeter etc. at the top makes sense.

I first thought that just 17 parent/student respondents from PHMS was strange. Appears to be not the case. Hanover, which is at #1, only had 12, though Bedford at #2 had 42. Gilford which came in at #17 only had 8 respondents. So, I guess, 17 was an ‘OK’ number.

That Kingswood, per this ranking, comes in just above Prospect is interesting and I wonder what the good folks in Wolfeboro will think of that. It would be interesting to see a ranking of private schools just for the contrast.

Danielle, in 2007, graduated from Mascenic and she raves about it, especially because Matthew ended up going to a private school in Massachusetts. Mascenic is at 56.

WMUR featured this list, on their Website, on Christmas day. That was how I stumbled upon it.

Enjoy for what it is worth — if anything.

Does Pope Francis (#267) Have The Chutzpah To Call For “Vatican III” At The February 2015 Consistories?

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by Anura Guruge

Some Related posts:
Camerlengo, Jean-Louis Tauran.
>> February 2015 consistory.

Pope plans to reorganize Holy See.
Francis and Ratzinger at consistory.

>> 19 cardinal designates for 2014.
>> 2014 cardinalabili list.


This pope is boxing himself into a corner. Yes, he is hugely popular with the populace but that does not help him make the reforms to the Church and curia that he claims he so dearly wants to make. In the case of a pope rock-star popularity and 100% approval ratings means diddly — he is not running for re-election. Neither can the people who love him vote in or vote out any of the prelates (read ‘curialist’, ‘cardinals’ or ‘archbishops’). It is a very strange setup.

Yes, the pope is all powerful. The most autocratic ruler the world has ever had. But, in some ways his powers are also rather limited.

We saw that last month during the now notorious Synod of the Bishops. The pope wanted the Church to be more inclusive when it came to gays and the divorced. In the end the Bishops ‘vetoed’ him — though he in turn, if he so wished, could have SQUASHED their motions and post-synodal declarations just with a few words or with the stroke of a pen. He didn’t because he knew that in the end he needs the support of the prelates.

Funny thing, this being pope. Paul VI (#263) thought he could tell Catholic women that they couldn’t and shouldn’t use birth control. Brazil the largest Catholic nation in the world has an abnormally low birth rate — most women on birth control! You don’t even have to think as to how many American Catholic women heed Paul VI’s edict.

Ditto divorced folks not being able to take communion. How many divorced, re-married U.S. Catholics do YOU know who go to communion, with no compunction, each week.

So rhetoric and edicts alone doesn’t cut it. Then to compound matters the pope in a very ‘un-papal’ manner tongue lashed his curia just ahead of Christmas. Not a clever move. The curia still pulls all the levers that keep the Barque of St. Peter moving forward, the pope just has his hand on the tiller.

The pope as I have said from day one is living dangerously, making enemies here, there and everywhere. Now the U.S. Cubans are mad at him.

Who this pope is trying to emulate is NOT John Paul II (#265). If he was he has already succeeded.

No. Francis wants to be like and loved like St. John XXIII (#262).

John XXIII was the one that defused the Cuban Missile Crisis.

John XXIII also was not a great fan of the curia. But he, very clever, inordinately witty, incredibly shrewd and kind as can be, never openly criticized the curia. He used humor to get his point across. When asked how many people worked at the Vatican he promptly replied ‘about half’. Since the curia makes up 90% of those working in the Vatican his statement made it very clear as to what he thought of those in the curia.

One of the ways that John XXIII circumvented the curia and then actually got meaningful curial and OTHER reforms was by calling the momentous Vatican II. he didn’t live long enough to see the changes wrought by Vatican II, but he knew that he had to call an Ecumenical Council IF he was going to succeed in making any meaningful long term reforms.

Well, Francis may have to call for Vatican III.

He has the ideal stage for that when he brings in all of his cardinals to Rome, in February, for a series of consistories, the the cardinal creating consistory but just one.

So stay tuned. Vatican III could be a BIGGIE.

‘Flutterbye Flying Fairy — Dusk’: Teischan Christmas 2014.

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by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘Teischan’ for other related posts >>>>

Click to ENLARGE.

The Highlights First

>> After a couples of glitches at first, it WORKED & it worked as portrayed.

>> Definitely flies, flies quite high and YES it can be controlled by holding your hand underneath it (which increases the pressure of the downdraft). Very clever.

>> Yes, it flies into things.

>> Yes, you expect, all the time, for it to break or for it to break something. More rugged than I expected.

>> But, on its seventh or eighth flight it did hit the wall hard and a wing broke off.

>> Teischan was very upset.

>> It was Christmas, and she is a ‘Guruge’, so I got on Amazon and ordered another one. She will have it by Tuesday.

>> Found a place that claims to have spare parts, but given it was Christmas Day we didn’t bother to call or e-mail.

>> I like it. I think it is very clever. At $22 (and free shipping) it is not outlandish. Deanna disagrees with me completely. But, I have four kids who will vouch that I am very good at picking toys.


Click to access a short, 45 second, photo montage of Teischan and the Flutterbye, during its first few flights, set to music.

We saw one on an episode of ‘Americas Funniest Videos’ (AFV) this fall. That was where one flies into an open, lit fireplace. I liked it at once. Made a mental note.

Though 8, and she sometimes says things that catch her out, Teischan maintains that she believes in Santa and Deanna goes along with it. I, now that she is eight, is a bit more pragmatic. So this year I didn’t go with the charade of her telling us what she wants Santa to bring and writing a letter to Santa — though I think she and the mother did write a few. Instead, the week after Thanksgiving, I called her up to my PC, went onto Amazon and said ‘OK, lets pick what you want for Christmas’. She was cool. She mainly picked Legos. She loves her Legos. But this year I got her into ordering two from the Architectural Series — her first foray, though Devanee has been hooked on that Series for the last 3 years.

At the end, after she had picked out what she said she wanted, I brought up the Flutterbye. She said she would like one. I think she was nervous that it would break.

We read the reviews and watched the videos. I realized that it would break eventually. But IF it worked, and worked well, for a few days it would be worth it at $22. So she looked through all the fairies and for reasons I never understood picked ‘Dusk’. I think it was the color combination — plus some were, inexplicably, more expensive and we had agreed that we would only get a $22 one.

She got it Christmas morning, all wrapped up and under the first floor Christmas tree. She was happy.

After she opened all the presents the Flutterbye was the first she wanted to play with. It required 6 AA batteries. I loaded 6 new ones.

The first charge takes 30 minutes. She insisted that she was going to read the instructions and get it to work. My job was just to put the batteries in.

We had some flashing lights at the start saying ‘connection errors’. She figured those out on her own. Waiting the 30 minutes was a challenge but luckily she also got a 4 DVD ‘Shrek’ box set and she could watch the latest ‘Shrek’ on her laptop while she was waiting.

Initially the flashing red light at the front of the base wasn’t doing what I would have expected BUT it flew — first time. Flew well.

I was impressed. Yes, it crashed into the ceiling and the wall. She was sure that it would break. It didn’t.

I explained to her the aerodynamics. Even used a book to show that a larger flat surface would work even better than one’s hand, though using the hand makes it rather magical. Very clever. Unless the downdraft created by the rotating wings is interrupted by a hand (or any other surface) the fairy slowly sinks. That is the magic. Using the hand to ‘push up’ the air so to speak.

Recharging was quite fast.

She loved it. She played with it for a long time. Even let Devanee have a try. Yes, it crashed into the wall numerous times.

It finally broke sometime in the late afternoon on its 7th or 8th flight. I was upstairs writing (Christmas not a factor). She did not come up and tell me. When I went down I heard all about it. Deanna had been there. Deanna, who did not see the early flights, was not impressed. She was mad. I disagreed. I said flying toys break — and I should know, especially after Matthew.

Given my standing with Amazon I could have returned it to Amazon NO QUESTIONS asked. Given the amount of business I do with Amazon, Amazon does not duke with me when it comes to returns. Plus they know that invariably I turn around and order the same thing or similar. BUT, I was not going to return it. Was not Amazon’s fault or even Mattel. Given that it has to be light they can’t make it any sturdier at that price. Yes, if it was $60 they could use some fancy synthetics.

I calmed Teischan down my saying I will order her another. It was Christmas and the kids know that there are certain benefits to being my child. So we went upstairs and ordered another. I joined Amazon Prime just to get the fast shipping. That is different story, another post.

I did find a place that claims to provide spare parts. I will tell you how that worked out.

So that is the story. I like it. What can I say: I bought TWO.

But, here is the rub. I also bought both kids identical, quadcopter drones with a built-in camera. I thought they would be excited. I think they were both intimidated by it. I think they are worried that they would crash it. In this case I already have a bunch of spare parts ordered from Amazon! I might have to take Teischan out with her drone tomorrow so that she has something to fly.

Devanee looking at her Drone. Teischan got the very same one so that they will not fight about taking turns flying.

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