A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grey Bruce Telecom comes through!

Regular readers here (all two or three of you) will know I have been struggling for years to get a decent internet connection out here in the “boonies”. Even my original dialup crapped out much of the time due to lousy telephone lines and problems every time it rained, took me 5 years of bitching to Bell to get that one fixed. Its an ongoing problem for many rural residents. The only other option at the time was Bell or Roger “hub” (connection via cell service) and so I went with Rogers, it was somewhat faster at around 500k average and at first fairly reliable at first but in recent years less so. Besides being expensive (especially if you go over their 3GB basic monthly limit) their internet service is the bottom of the heap and when the traffic exceeds the networks capacity you are the first to be “throttled”, often to the point of un-usability!

My next attempt was to investigate satellite internet via Explorenet, this turned out to be a non starter due to the size and weight of the dish required and the height of the trees to the SW. Being too big to mount on the house or garage the only option would have been a 6 or8 foot pole cemented in some distance from the house. Upon hearing that I decided if I was going to have to spend time and money with installing “infrastructure” I would do so with the aim of getting a wireless connection to one of the several suppliers who service this area. To do this I would have to get above the 50' to 60' trees that surround the house, fortunately I had, some years ago, taken down a 68' tower with this in mind but had shirked the work needed to plant it. So after checking the availability of signal here (so long as I got above the trees) We proceeded to dig a big hole at the highest point near the house (about 200' away by hand in our rocky clay) and plant the tower base with almost 2 yards of hand mixed cement, it being impossible to get a backhoe or cement truck anywhere near!

To make a long story much shorter I will just say it is up, I am connected and getting unlimited internet at around 2Mbs and can now tell Rogers where to stick their expensive and unreliable service. Now here is the good bit that involves the Internet service provider chosen.

When I first decided to make this move I contacted several local providers (by email) asking about signal availability and tower erection services (I used to put the darn things up for a living but old age and old bones has taken its toll on such activities) only one company seemed to provide tower services and it just happened to be the one that responded in a timely fashion with a minimum of BS and clear information about their services. Grey Bruce Telecom was that company and “Richard” showed great patience in answering my many questions over a period of time whilst I made my decision, for those in the Grey Bruce area that are considering upgrading or changing their internet service I can recommend this company. Whilst I cannot speak personally to the reliability of their hook up having only just got everything working I can speak to the service I have so far received, it has been top notch!

The guys were out within a couple of days of me giving them the go ahead and quickly and efficiently finished erecting the tower and hooking me up, I was particularly impressed that one of the guys doing the work was one of the owners / boss of the company. Perhaps being a long time self employed individual I am biased but those “supervisors” who “get their hands dirty” always have my respect and smaller companys where you can speak to the boss or owner is always my preferred supplier over those where customers are just a number and every time you call you get a different “service representative”, or the technician is a “contract employee” who receives his orders by email and is not even sure who his boss is!

In short after dealing with a number of companys over the years regarding internet services often with less than stellar results I can truly say that it was a pleasure to deal with Grey Bruce Telecom Internet Service and I have full confidence that I will have no major issues with their service in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Missing Murfey

Around here as we go about our various chores and projects we have always had Murfey drop in and “help” on a fairly regular basis. He never lets us know when he is coming and generally screws up anything he goes near, never the less we have come to expect him to arrive quite regularly quietly sneaking up and whispering in our ear “if it can go wrong it will go wrong”

I recently suddenly realized that I had not seen him for some time, even his companion Bad Luck who often came along with him seems to have gone missing, although Mr Luck's brother Good did drop in a couple of times this week. Now to be quite honest I hate it when Murfey and his regular companion drops in whist I am working, about all one can do is walk away from the job you are trying to do until he goes away. Trying to complete the job with him looking over your shoulder is futile and an exercise in frustration.

So even though he is not really welcome here, after several weeks absence I expect him to return and get his fingers into all kinds of trouble, no doubt chasing off Good Luck with whom he does not seem to get along.

Strangely I miss the old sod, he sure makes life “interesting”!