The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To tilt my lance once again

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . ."
[Henry The Fifth Act 3, scene 1, 1–6]

We wage many battles in our lives. Some of us do this in uniform, in service to our country. Some do it in uniform in the sports arenas and on the playing fields. Some adopt the uniform (suits and ties) and become corporate warriors. Some serve as nurses and comforters; our spouses perhaps. There are many front lines, and many ways in which to serve, in our modern world.

I prepare myself for one of the worst battles we face. Dealing with the cable company. I do not look forward to this. I dread it. But I see no way to avoid it. The day came when my satellite provider just proved too expensive. It was time.

It is a battle into which I did not wish to enter. But I must. If we are to have that mind numbing entertainment to which my household has become addicted, this battle must not only be fought but I must be victorious. At least partially.

Every battle requires certain things in preparation. The most important is intelligence. One must gather intelligence about the enemy's plans, about his strengths and weaknesses, so an assessment of the risks and rewards can be made. I have done this on a scouting mission Monday afternoon to the cable company's local office. This recon was almost a fiasco. Not because the enemy is so clever as to be one step ahead of me but because he knows how to hide his plans well.

I started on Saturday with a foray into his online site. I knew, deep down, that this would be a futile attempt to uncover information. I had trod these woods before. I went in without expectations of achieving much. But I had hoped to learn some basic things: entertainment packages, costs, channel lineups. Alas, he was too clever for me and I became lost in the maze of pointless information and misleading links. Oh, he is devious, this enemy.

So I headed for the enemy's local compound on Monday afternoon. I spent a half hour gathering intel. Some of it is certainly suspect but much of it has been useful in my preparations. I know a bit more now about what I am up against. I have selected my choices and believe I have a fair idea of what they will cost. I will undoubtedly be shocked and dismayed when my first bill arrives.

The battle is set for 11 AM to 2 PM on Thursday (today, if all goes well), the field will be my humble home. It will be a battle of wits and guile, I think, as the so-called installer will attempt to sell me more service than I actually want or need. For my part I will be trying to get him to practically re-cable the house at no charge. Even though I will be in familiar surroundings, have "home field" advantage, and am a veteran of several of these wars, I fear I will be fighting against the odds.

Wish me luck. With whatever gods I can muster to my side and if the weather holds, I may be able to emerge with honor if not outright victory.


The Jules said...

There are few situations, both on the battlefield and in the domestic setting, that cannot be improved by wearing a full camo outfit, including boot-polish zig-zags on your face.

Especially the domestic setting.

Douglas4517 said...

Now that is an excellent idea! If I greet the cable guy in camos and some
bootblack smeared on my cheekbones, he'll be off balance and I will have the
advantage. Unless he's armed. One never knows.