How Do These People Stay in Business...?

Sometimes you wonder how certain companies  manage to stay in business for as long as they do.  Then there are other times that you wonder how it is that a certain business has closed up overnight when they always seemed to be so busy.

Well, I am wondering how it is that my cable company has managed to stay in business for as long as they have.  Now, I am not talking about Comcast or Warner or any of those.  No.  Instead we have a private company out here in the boonies that pipes "cable" to our homes via a contract with DirecTV.  I am not a fan of DirecTV in the first place.  It never seems to work right (i.e.  stations come and go, pixels appear on the screen, it freezes the picture, etc.).   But there isn't a lot of choice out here.  You can have this podunk cable company, DirecTV or Dish Network.

I haven't really worried a lot about it since we are usually at work and only really watch TV at night.  Mostly, I worry about the broadband internet connection that is part of our cable service.  We use the internet frequently.  That's how I pay bills and keep in touch with my dad, as well as a variety of other things that we use the internet for.  Unfortunately, about a month ago the cable and internet went out for over 24 hours.  Cable - no big deal, we have DVDs and video games.  Internet - AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  Can't live without my internet!!!  

For about three weeks the connection was intermittent at best.  We would have to power cycle the modem then unplug the router and plug it back in.  Usually that worked.  Until this past Sunday.  When it died completely.  No amount of power cycling or restarting would fix it.  It was dead.  Much to my dismay.  And that of the Duke Energy.  I had to wait until the next day to pay the bill from work.  It was late, but they didn't say anything thankfully.

I tried calling Podunk cable over and over again on Monday.  No one answered.  I did find out that they were working on the receiver issue with the cable so all of the stations would be back in order soon, but that didn't help the internet issue.  We tried calling the internet company that we knew the connection came from originally.  That phone number re-routed us to Cincinnati Bell.  They didn't know anything about us or the company that we used to have.  They did try to help us as best they could but there was nothing that they could do.  The next day I called Podunk cable again and finally got through to someone.  This is how the conversation went:

Me:  "Hi, we have cable and internet with you and our internet has been out since Sunday."
Podunk guy: "I'm working on it."
Me:  "Oh, Ok, well can you tell me what's wrong with it?"
Podunk guy:  "I don't know.  I'm working on it. Bye."  *click*

Well, after that call, I got fed up, said some choice words to the telephone and called the phone company.  They recently (within the last 6 months or so) came out and installed fiber optics in the neighborhood and I knew that the service was available.  I was just waiting until they were going offer TV, phone and internet as a whole package.  But after that phone call with Podunk cable, I called the phone company and talked to them.  It was a great experience all together.  The lady I spoke with was super nice and apologized to me for the other company's inaction.  She set a technician up for this afternoon.  She told me all about the pricing, explained the bill to me, AND gave me a $29.95 credit on my August bill for trying the internet service.  AND if I don't want the service or am not happy with it - they turn it off for only a $5 charge.  No contracts, nothing. 

The technician was supposed to call between 1pm and 5pm to come out an hour later.  He called at 1:20pm.  I told him that I would be home in about 45 mins.  He was here at 2pm and was SUPER NICE!  He made sure that our connection was good.  And that I didn't have any trouble getting the computer and my table to connect.  Then he shook my hand, told me to have a nice day and left.  It was one of those experiences that you just don't have often.  I am very happy.  I can not wait until they take over the TV service and we can get rid of Podunk cable all together.

Have an great day!

Sunshine and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

It has been too long since I last posted anything and I apologize to anyone who actually pays attention to my blog. Life had been difficult and stressful and I needed a major break.

But now, there is CAKE!

It's a beautiful sunny day outside and Hubby is away at his game at the FLGS.  For those of you who don't know what that means, FLGS is short for Friendly Local Game Store, of which we have two in town now.  Lily and I are enjoying a relaxing day at home.  Laundry is going in the washer and in the dryer.  Cupcake has found herself a comfy spot in the kitty house near the back patio door.  Wookie has claimed the patio door itself for his own.  And Ronin is laying in a heap on the living room floor.

 It's amazing how comfortable cats can get.  

We have decided that since tomorrow is Father's Day, a nice, yummy cake is needed for the picnic that we are planning.  I didn't have enough ingredients for some of the cakes that I wanted to make so we settled on a Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake.  And when it's cooled it will have a nice Peanut Butter Crunch Frosting.  YUM!

For the cake, I have this recipe:
1 C softened butter
1 3/4 C white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C milk
2 1/2 C AP flour
6 tbsp baking cocoa powder (I used Nestle)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate baking chips (either semi-sweet or milk )
2 tbsps flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your 13x9 inch baking pan with a non-stick cooking spray.  Sift together in a large mixing bowl flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure they are nicely incorporated, then stir in the vanilla.  Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with milk, mixing until just incorporated.  

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the chocolate chips and flour just until the chips are completely dusted with flour.  This keeps them from settling to the bottom of the baking dish when in the oven.  Fold the chips into the batter making sure they get completely mixed through.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, depending on the oven.  Once toothpick comes out clean, pull out and sit on a baking sheet to cool.  

For the frosting:
1/2 C softened butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use honey roasted peanut butter)
3 tsps milk
2 cups powdered sugar
chopped peanuts (peanut topping for ice cream is perfect for this)
Put peanut butter and butter in a bowl and cream together.  Gradually mix in powdered sugar.  Add a little milk if the mixture gets to be too thick.  Beat for 3 minutes until it is nice and smooth.  Frost your cooled cake and top with chopped peanuts to taste.  

 Can't wait to dig in!

Let me know if you make it and what you think!

Have a nice evening.

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