This week we definitely left Red Queen territory for a visit to the Land of Gods Who First Make Men Mad.
Our scheduled Monday debugging session with our consultant was aborted when I discovered my cell phone was no longer gainfully employed. Switching carriers (to one whose accountants can count past ten without taking off their shoes) required a trip to Surprise and consumed most of the remainder of my day.
Tuesday was our weekly outdoor work day, and was spent performing a backlog of physical repairs and storm-related re-aims at multiple towers and subscriber sites.
Wednesday, we were able to share about an hour or work with our consultant, tracing flow and speed issues on our network (mostly for the benefit of Mockingbird Tower), before Maxwell brought down his hammer. A CenturyLink fiber cut somewhere outside Wickenburg severed not only our own gateway, but most of the landlines in the town, plus all T-Mobile service. (Did I mention that it was T-Mobile I switched to on Monday?) The consequences of this fiber cut were identical to the fiber cut CenturyLink sustained on June 8, but this time their service wasn’t restored for eleven hours.
Today, our consultant was unavailable, so I devoted the day to assisting clients. Shortly after 5:30, hurricane-force winds descended on the Blue Tank neighborhood where I was with a client, ripping off her awnings, lifting and smashing dozens of her roof tiles, and shipping a continuous stream of water down through her range hood. After helping her get all this mayhem under control, I started back down Jack Burden to town. Behind the McDonalds, I found myself trapped in the wind and driving rain, watching an impassible flash flood roar down Constellation into the Hassayampa. I began receiving text messages from our gateway router about our towers losing power one by one, as I parked and waited to cross the last tenth of a mile to the freedom of the highway. Forty-five minutes later (shortly after I began receiving restoration messages from our towers), the water speed and depth had abated sufficiently for me to four-wheel across the mud and onto US 60. The downtown streetlights were dark, as were many of the storefronts. I popped into our gateway facility, where I was relieved to see that all our subscribers were operational, except for a handful still without power on Turtleback. We found the south end of the facility (fortunately, far from where our equipment is located) flooded due to a leaky roof.
So tomorrow is our last opportunity of the week to make some progress with our network consultant. I’m really hoping to be able to spend one day working this week which is not curtailed by phone outages, cable cuts, gale winds, floods, fires, lightning bolts, or giant meteor strikes*, and to be able to make some substantive progress on our speed issues.
Wish us luck!
*Coincidentally, tomorrow does just happen to be the prime viewing night for the annual Perseids meteor shower. If the weather is clear, spend some time outside Friday night and enjoy nature’s fireworks!