Saturday, March 02, 2013

Down on Downton, up in the air otherwise

I am so over Downton Abbey that episodes three through seven of the most recent series have gone unwatched even though three days remain to stream via the PBS Web site. They'll be back as reruns; not watching then either.

Finally sat down weeks ago to watch the first two episodes, then while preparing to view three the word spread that Sybil had died in childbirth. After steeling myself to face that loss, Matthew flamed out in a car crash.

Now the worst --- Siobhan Finneran who plays Sarah O'Brien is leaving, too, although she was smart enough to delay her announcement until filming was complete and spare herself gory death in front of millions. I think I could have lived without Sybil and Matt --- but Sarah, no. She was sooooo wicked.


Hindu mystics stand on their heads and whistle sutras. Christian flagellants wear hair shirts, whip their backs raw and have themselves nailed to crosses on Good Friday. I call Windstream Communications to mortify the flesh.

It happened again yesterday, that urge to check my account online after paying electronically with a little finger work on the touch-tone telephone. I have an account user name, I have a password. But have never been able to make the two work together.

So I call Windstream again, anxious for the sound of another human voice. Talked to five during the course of 45 minutes with interludes of annoying music. Judging from accents, one was in India, two in the deep South and two somewhere in the Midwest. None had a clue about what to do; the fourth tried to sell me additional Windstream products before transferring me to the fifth; en route to the sixth, I hung up.

My personal customer service best involved the only Alliant Energy customer service representative who hadn't been raptured home to Jesus, or so it seemed. But when she finally answered after an hour, she knew what to do. I've never had that experience at Windstream. The telephone service is fine, Internet connection works most of the time, but if you ever need to talk to someone --- abandon hope, write a letter cancelling your service and move along.


On the other hand, I'm bedazzled by online marketers. A couple of weeks ago I decided to move beyond the Club Aluminum era and dispose of my big dutch oven --- with a wooden knob that wouldn't tolerate ovens and a no-stick coating that showed signs of flaking.

I wanted iron, and did a little online research --- discovering that Lodge was the best product out there unless you wanted to spend a couple of hundred bucks. I then went up town to True Value Hardware and bought one.

But ever since, every time I pull up a Web site with advertising on it, a promotion for dutch ovens pops up. Isn't the digital world grand?

So is the new dutch oven. So far it's produced exceptional soup, top-notch pulled pork and pot roast is next.

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