So yesterday ended better than it could have; Zero thanks goes to Verizon.  The day began with a focus; get the prepped pork in the smoker.  This was accomplished at 0700 providing plenty of time prior to the evenings activities.  Fast forward through a potpourri of minor activities and at about 0930 my better half notices that the internet connection is acting up.  Minor issue as usual.  Simply reset the router and we’ll be back in business.  We’ve got a larger building next to us with several apartments and since we use Verizon FIOS as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) I lose a little configuration ability compared to my normal DD-WRT configuration on my own router.

Router reset complete; no-joy.  Internal network is responding flawlessly at this point.  Nothing reaching the magical internet.  So now to determine how large an issue we’ve got on our hands.  Let’s check our TV signal.  Nothing, blank, not a single pixel of joy.  The wife gets into the Verizon Customer Service phone queue to see if we can get some assistance.  They have her check the battery Backup, no issue there.  If you aren’t familiar with the FIOS setup it has 3 components at the household level.  The internal router, the battery backup which powers continuous power to the Optical Network Terminal (ONT).   I decided to check ONT.  Constant red Video fail light.  Some quick investigation via the iPhone provides what indicates issues with the light/voltage quality and thus equates to “you aren’t going to fix this on your own”.  Verizon’s Customer Service is “Super Bowl” helpful and schedules a trouble call for MONDAY!  Wait what?

I’m not sure that Verizon understands that not all TV programing is created equal.  More than half the U.S. population watches the Super Bowl if not for the game at least for the commercials.  At this point it was just before 1100 and game time was just over 7 hrs away this is not a whole lot of time when you are down hard with your Internet and TV ISP.  Regardless I’m trained in the advanced art of losing services (snow in New Jersey or flooding, locust - you get the idea) then establishing multiple methods of getting what is needed.

Now I haven’t made a network patch cable in a while.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the stuff readily handy.  What kind of Information Professional would I be if I didn’t?  So I bust out the spare 200′ CAT 6 cable roll I have and start setting up for RJ-45 connections.  Now this is where the day took on a Sherlock Holmes feel (the recent movies); I fore-think what needs to happen.

  • Methodically “thread” the 8 needles wires into the connector and crimp.
  • Check pork in smoker, 160 degrees F.  Progressing
  • Repeat on cable’s other end.
  • Test cable on internal network - success.
  • Foil wrap pork to finish.  Include apple juice inside.
  • Open window, feed cable outside, place next to downstairs landlords daughter’s window.
  • Knock on landlords daughter’s door. Nothing.
  • Call landlords daughter’s. Nothing.
  • Bang on landlords daughter’s door and repeatedly ring bell.  Nothing.
  • Macaw (parrot) starts screeching.
  • Bang on landlords daughter’s door and repeatedly ring bell. Success!
  • Beg to use landlords daughter’s internet for evening events.  Success!
  • Route cable to landlords daughter’s.  Hardline connection excellent.
  • Check pork - 174 degrees F.
  • Test internet speed connection from HTPC using Success!
  • Check time - 1430.
  • Run to grocery store for additional soda, ice, and meatball necessities.
  • Return home. Temperature alarm on meat.
  • Place ice in chest freezer.
  • Place Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce in crockpot - set to high.
  • Ignore wife telling you there’s no time for the meatballs.
  • Take foil wrapped pork out of smoker.  Wrap in towels; place in cooler.  Celebrate FTC method (Foil-Towel-Cooler).
  • Roll 3lbs of meatballs.
  • Brown meatballs in skillet.
  • Ignore wife telling you there’s still no time for meatballs.
  • Get all but 1/4 of meatballs into crockpot before first guests arrive.
  • Check time - 1700.
  • Place last meatballs in crockpot.  Celebrate “making time” for meatballs.
  • Start streaming Super Bowl Pregame show.
  • Pray Verizon doesn’t find another way to screw me.
  • Welcome more guests.
  • Place ice and drinks in bins for guests.
  • Haul cooler from porch to kitchen.
  • Check time - 1720.
  • Get beer - employ Cheesehead coozie.
  • Commence pulling pork.
  • Celebrate pulling the bone perfectly cleanly on all 3 pork butts.
  • Finish pulling pork.
  • Check time - 1750.
  • Rearrange table to fit crockpot with meatballs and pulled pork.
  • Announce the “Meat is done” to the party.
  • Attempt to feed daughter. No Joy -too many kids to eat and play with.
  • Get another beer.
  • Check time - 1900.
  • Get some food.
  • Clean chocolate Fu-Manchu mustache from daughters face.  Celebrate child awesomeness.
  • Be disappointed in Super Bowl commercial and lack of halftime show implementation of streaming.
  • Be happy Verizon hasn’t found new way to screw me.
  • Enjoy rest of party.
  • Thank guests.
  • Clean up.

Seriously the party was great.  I could ask for much more but it turned out as best I could make it.  I’ll leave with one final note:

Congrats Giants; Stupid blanket.

UPDATE: Nothing can fully make up for this event.  However, after speaking with a Verizon CS representative they reached a resolution I was satisfied with.

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