My Summer of Challenges: Returning to Action

Over the past two months you may have noticed that my blogging activity has not had the usual frequency of at least one post every day or two. And during the past three weeks it really amounted to reporting on the launch of client In Store Solutions’ FREETALK Everyman headset. Have I lost interest in other activity in the IP-based communications space? Not really, there are times that mother nature issues disruptive  challenges and I have had more than my share of them over the past month.

OfficeCeilingHole.29-07-09.90px About four weeks ago I came home in the late afternoon from an event only to hear the drip, drip, drip of water on a document on a table beside my desktop PC. Looked up to find a massive water stain in the ceiling of my office. ElbowJoint.Repaired.120px Needless to say, I had to remove all the contents along that side of my office before the ceiling crashed in on my desktop PC and other contents related to my business activity. Within a day I was learning about “restoration” services companies; three huge blowers and a dehumidifier spent three days in my office drying out the drywall. As shown a section of the ceiling could not be saved. A pinhole leak had developed in the solder at an elbow joint after 25 years of holding the pressure (the office is under two bathrooms with lots of plumbing in the ceiling). Last week contractors were here for four days stripping wallpaper, patching the ceiling and painting the walls. Hopefully I should have all my office items restored (or sent to the garbage) within the next couple of days. And the best news: the expense was fully covered by insurance.

But just to complicate life – and, in the process, give me some material for comparing servicing of landline phone services – our return home from a five day trip a week ago Saturday night resulted in finding the security alarm operating when it should not have, both my Bell Canada business phone lines and my Rogers Home Phone line dead and no cable Internet connection operating. (It did not help that my iPhone battery died two minutes into my first service call to the alarm company with the alarm’s piercing sound probably doing infinite damage to my hearing; my BlackBerry Bold finally came to the rescue in calling the various services technical support operations.)

To cut to the chase, my home had been hit by a surge resulting from a very violent electrical storm (that included a couple of much more damaging tornados within 10 km) a week ago Thursday evening. I later found the need to replace a central vac electronic relay board, repair a garage door opener and replace a light timer. It took six days to get these services all restored with visits by various service personnel or to service operations. But I’ll also be publishing a story as to how infrastructure-associated servicing costs may kill Bell Canada’s PSTN operations. And I have to thank my ex-Bell Canada engineer neighbour for sorting out internal phone wiring issues.

Points to note:

  1. In spite of having an APC UPS with surge protection for my Internet cable modem, router, 5-port switch and another device to be introduced later this week, only the WRT54GS wireless 4-port router survived.
  2. On Sunday I obtained a new cable Internet modem at a Rogers store; as a result for the next three days, Skype was my only landline service available until the Home Phone service person arrived. And, more ironically, during the same period, Skype was the only service available to use on my dual mode (PSTN/Skype) Philips VoIP841 cordless phones. I still had e911 service available via my BlackBerry and iPhone.

Bottom line: now that my office has been restored and reorganized and my services are mostly restored, it’s time to get back to blogging regularly. So I have set a goal for this week to publish one post per day not only to discuss some news announcements and product reviews but also to comment on some industry issues that have arisen recently.

  • Rogers Home Phone. Too little, too late? (
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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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