Lemons & Fiber Optics

google-fiberI’ve had some ups and downs this week.

First, the ups. Google Fiber finally went live for my area of Austin! Of course, Oliver and Sparrow ate the Fiber Box the first day we moved into my new apartment, along with my couch, so I had to wait a few extra days before it went live for me. But I must say — Google may possibly have the best customer service ever. I called them last week to explain about my dogs eating their fine piece of equipment. They scheduled me an appointment, showed up, and fixed as much as they could.

No one berated me for my dogs lack of manners, nor did they charge me for the visit. Turns out, the dogs hadn’t stopped with theOliver2 mere outside of the connection – they had eaten the fiber cable like a strand of spaghetti. It would seem that fixing fiber cable isn’t as simple as the standard thick rope like cable I’m used to, so a specialist was needed. My specialist was named Eric, and he went above and beyond. He was due to come by today, but after he was able to finish up another person’s order in my complex, he called me to see if I was okay with him coming by a day early.


To fix fiber optic cable, several devices are need to line up microscopic glass tubes of light together, fuse them, and melt a protective outer core around the diamond cut ends. It.Was.Awesome. Within an hour, my internet was zooming around at the speed of light. Thank you, Google!

Now, the downs. I bought a car at the auction. It was a ’97 Honda CRV. Auctions are a gambling shoot, and I lost big time. My mechanic says it’s going to take $7000 to fix up this bad 12029781_10153519077274053_7182594383690833938_oboy. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do about it just yet. But thankfully, I work for the transit system here, which I ride for free, and I live 3 miles away from work. I’m okay a little longer without wheels. Dad called me yesterday, more upset about this than I was, and has decided he’s tired of messing around with all of this. So, Saturday he is taking me to buy me a car.


All in all, I’m still doing good these days. I’m happy. 🙂

~ Bird



Oliver and Sparrow Visit the IRS

Austin's IRS building, with I-35 showing in the background.
Austin’s IRS building, with I-35 showing in the background.

So, Saturday, Austin was getting rain….again. I always wake up really early, which on weekends, really plays in my favor. Living in an apartment complex, there is always a line for the washing machines, except in the wee hours of the morning on the weekends. I hook Oliver and Sparrow to their leashes, grab the laundry basket, and we make our way down the stairs and out to the laundry mat. I divvy up the laundry in various machines, get them running, and scoop up my basket and soap, and headed back to my apartment. The dogs, obviously still sleepy and unimpressed with yet another batch of rain, sat quietly waiting for me to finish.

Feeling kind of good about the start of my day, and because it is rainy and gross, I do something I never do…. I let both of my dogs off their nasty wet leashes so they can run up the stairs without killing all of us.

The problem was, they had other plans, and the minute they were free, they gave each other a look, and BAM!! They were gone. Just like that. I, of course, drop my empty laundry basket, running after them around the corner, and screeching their names, but in the split second for me to make it around, they weren’t in sight.

Now, to truly paint an accurate picture, you need to know that I sit almost directly by I-35, the busiest, nastiest highway in the state of Texas. The crossroad is equally busy, sporting easy access to a nearby Walmart and Home Depot. The chances my two idiot dogs are going to come out of this alive are slim. This isn’t Red Rock.

I walk around in the rain, calling their names, praying, and forcing myself to breathe so I wouldn’t really freak out. I walked

Near my apartment
Near my apartment

the apartment complex, the next door complex, a nearby motel parking lot, and finally got in my car and drove along I-35, hoping I wouldn’t see two dead dogs in the side of the road. Nothing.

Finally, I decide to go see if they have hopefully returned home. Nope.

2010, a person flew a plane on purpose, targeting the IRS building.

I trudge into my apartment, unable to not see that almost everything I own has something to do with those two animals. I shoot up a quick, almost frantic prayer to God, when I catch a glimpse of two dogs out of my living room window, running like thoroughbred horses around the IRS compound that stands majestically, and completely fenced in, across the busy road. It sports nice little NO TRESPASS signs everywhere that include the words “Tire Spikes” and “Fullest Extent of the Law”. Turns out, in 2010, there was an attack on the IRS (See here.). They weren’t kidding around when they say, stay away from this area.

“Those little s**ts …….,” I say, but really I’m thinking, “Oh, thank God!”

I grab up their grubby leashes and bolt out of the door. I manage to make it across the busy road without getting hit. By now, it is pouring rain, and you can’t see much past a few feet ahead of you. I call their names, and luckily, they come straight towards me. Sparrow slipped through the bars easily, but fat Oliver had a little trouble. Suddenly, for no explicable reason, the automatic exit gate suddenly starts opening. No cars were coming, and as big as he is, Oliver shouldn’t be big enough to trigger the gate. I didn’t care. I snapped his leash on, and he joined the now subdued Sparrow, and we crossed the street and made it back home safely.

I will never do that again!!

~ Bird

Sparrow the Scholar Oliver the Scholar