Saturday, September 5, 2009

Qwest Communications and inferior rural telephone service in Arizona

Over a period of several months, my telephone service has been interrupted on multiple occasions due to the poor condition of the lines and less than professional service from Qwest employees.

It seems like I lose my dial tone every time the wind blows or it rains. The wires leading to my home from the telephone pole have been there for decades and show obvious signs of deterioration. In fact, the insulation is falling off the wires. This could very well be why I have excessive line noise and a wimpy 26.4Kb/s dial up internet connection.

Being disabled-hearing impaired and on a fixed income, there are no luxuries like a cell phone, high speed internet or Wi-Fi . My land line is my only form of communication with the outside world aside from my CB radio and amateur radio station. Wireless communication is often times less than reliable due to propagation conditions. Imagine being in an emergency situation and having to dial 911. The nearest first responders are 9 miles away.

More often than not, the technician dispatched to my home is this obese black male. It seems like he’s in a big hurry to leave as soon as he arrives. He barely makes an effort to work. On his first visit last year, he pulled some items out of the gray junction box and tossed them across the road. Not only is he unprofessional, he’s a litterbug as well. I am judging him by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. I think he’s a fat lazy slob. He has returned twice since the first visit and as before only made a half-assed attempt to correct the problems. If he did things right the first time, there would be no need for multiple return visits.

The next time he gets up on that pole, I’m tempted to let my dogs out. Booger and Bonehead will make sure he stays up on that pole until he’s finished.

On his last visit, he informed me that his ladder was too short and that he had to leave. Once again, I was left without a dial tone. On the second day, a different technician arrived and spent several hours here. Whatever he did only worked for a couple of months before failing. At least he put forth more than 15 minutes worth of effort and I give him credit for that.

Most recently, following a rain storm, I was once again without a dial tone. When my telephone service is interrupted, my internet service is also cut off. I live in a rural area and according to a Qwest customer service representative, these areas are not all that important. I pay the same phone bill as urban residents and feel that I should receive the exact same level and quality of service. Qwest clearly states that they exercise “geographical bias”. This is yet another case where people are not treated equally. According to Qwest, urban dwellers are more important than rural residents and receive different (better) treatment.

On Saturday, September 5, 2009, I had to drive to the Farmers Convenience Store at 7:00AM and use the pay phone to call the Qwest repair service. After several minutes of getting jacked around by their automated system, a repair order was finally placed. The recorded message informed me that my problem would be corrected and my service restored by 8:00PM that night. As almost always, I did not believe a word I heard.

After 9 hours, “Where the hell’s the technician?” “Will it be dark when he gets here?” At 4:00PM, I called Qwest and they told me my problem was fixed. No technician ever arrived nor was my phone service working. I guess they never heard of trouble shooting. Why did they not attempt to call my number after deciding it was fixed? This really irritated me.

I happen to have some trouble shooting experience and technical skills. I went outside to my junction box and opened it. Using my somewhat outdated orange telephone company lineman's handset, traced the problem to the same spot where that fat lazy colored guy “afro-engineered” things on his previous visits. The wires were loose. I tightened them and until Qwest replaces the entire junction box with something newer, this problem will continue to occur.

A professional technician would have recognized this problem long ago. I never worked for a telephone company, but recognized this obvious problem. I knew long before that my aging junction box would result in more return visits. I even told them. Qwest has wasted quite a bit of time and fuel driving all the way out here. Why didn’t they fix this right the first time? It certainly wasn’t cheaper. Remember this the next time your telephone company asks for a rate hike.

While typing this blog, my dial tone and internet connection failed three times. I will be calling Qwest again. Updates will follow.

More on Qwest:

As it turns out, there are many other people that have issues with Qwest:
One customer writes: "The level of incompetence at this company is staggering."

Top Photo: AT&T rotary dial lineman’s handset

Bottom Photo: The Sharp UX-P100 incorporates a new feature which routes your long-distance phone and fax calls for savings. All this in a sleek design that offers plain paper faxing, copying and telephone functionality. Plain Paper Fax prints or copies on Standard Copier Paper. Full function telephone including 30 speed dials.

“If America ever passes out as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone: America died from a delusion she had Moral Leadership.” --Will Rogers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

“Rural blight” in Pinal County. . . .Look at this disgusting mess.

I have known about this unsightly mess for quite some time. Shortly after downloading my first photograph from my camera on Monday, I knew I had to return to this location and further expose and publicize this eyesore. This is clearly the result of “human pigs”!

This rural blight scene is located at 49957 W Papago Rd. The number above the front door is barely readable. The easiest way to find it while traveling westbound on Papago Rd. is to locate the white mailbox with black numerals belonging to 49871 W Papago Rd. (the blight’s next door neighbor) and look to your left. You can’t miss it. It’s right behind the fence with the “beware of dog” signs on it.

This situation should not be permitted to exist in any residential area. NOT EVER!!! Trash and filth like this is ugly and unhealthy. There’s no telling what is living in those piles of debris, garbage and infectious waste.

I have taken this issue one step further by notifying Pinal County Planning and Zoning. We shall see if the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If the owners don’t clean up this mess, the county should take it over and turn it into a public park provided the ground isn‘t contaminated with “who knows what“.

“Apathy is a sort of living oblivion” --Horace Greeley, 1811-1872

Pinal County Planning and Development:

Pinal County Planning & Development Services, Code Compliance Division is responsible to our property owners and residents to ensure that our neighborhoods and properties are well-kept to enhance the overall image of our community as a whole. As a means of ensuring that property values are maintained and citizens are afforded the quality of life they desire, our Code Compliance Division works with our residents to prevent unsightly, unsafe, and unhealthy conditions by ensuring that all properties meet the code requirements and are not left to deteriorate and become unsightly.

Report a complaint:
31 N Pinal Street
Building F
Florence, AZ 85132
Telephone: 520-866-6980
Top 5 Most UN-Wanted Violations:
Vehicles may be parked on residential or rural property provided said vehicles comply with ALL the following requirements:

a. Vehicles must be owned or leased by the current resident/occupant of the parcel.
b. Vehicles shall not be up on jacks, blocks or other similar equipment.
c. Vehicles shall not have deflated tires, nor have the chassis, engine, body parts, wheels or tires removed.
d. Said vehicles shall not be parked in such a manner as to block access to sidewalks or driveway/entrances to any other property.
e. Vehicles must have a current, valid registration affixed to the license plates. (The lack of a current license plate and/or license tag or an expired license tag affixed to a vehicle shall constitute proof that vehicle does not have a valid and current registration.)
f. No more than two (2) personally owned vehicles may be offered for sale at any one time.
g. Vehicles must currently be operable.

Any item or substance which in its present condition is not and cannot be used for the original use intended or, that which has been discarded. All other items, objects, materials, parts, scrap, motor vehicle components, or any other item on personal property that does not conform to the Sections in Article 34 must be removed.

From and after the effective date of this Ordinance, it shall be unlawful to erect, construct, reconstruct, alter or change the use of any building or structure within any portion of the unincorporated area of Pinal County covered by this Ordinance without first obtaining a Use Permit from the Zoning Inspector. If a Use Permit is not required all other provisions of this Ordinance shall be observed.

Trash & Debris refers to collections of trash and junk on the property, NOT trash or bulky waste set out for collection. Old junk, garbage, tires, rubbish, furniture, appliances, car parts or anything else stored outside can be dangerous and hazardous.

Walls and fences have to be less than 4 feet 6 inches in height when located in front yards (front setback area) and less than 6 feet in height when located in side or rear yards (side and rear setback area). If the above requirements are met then a permit is not required with the county.
The online form made it very easy to submit a complaint. I included a link to my blog so they could view my photographs. I have also taken the liberty of notifying various media outlets so more environmentally conscience citizens may become aware of this unacceptable situation.
Take a look at my pictures and see how many violations you can find. I see at least three of the top five “Most UN-Wanted Violations”. There’s a “vehicle” in there. Can you see it? The fact that this trash heap has been festering here for so long indicates to me that those that live near and around this address could probably care less. There is no place for this mess on MY planet. It must go!

One of the biggest questions I have is, “How many county employees drove past this location, saw the mess and ignored it as they kept driving by?” Papago Rd. is heavily traveled. What do you think potential home buyers will think when they see this? Step up and get involved people! Pull your heads out of your asses and get involved! Thunderbird Farms is our home.

Why are the residents next door putting up with this? What is their major malfunction?

Despite declining property values, my property taxes continue to rise annually as the area surrounding my home appears to be rapidly turning into a trash filled wasteland. The way I see it, myself, along with the rest of the neighborhood land owners, are being grossly overcharged. Perhaps, the time has come for all residents in Thunderbird Farms to appeal their property assessments. How may of you are willing to pay a premium to live in a slum? The time is ripe for tax revolt.

What somebody should say to the owner(s) of this property prior to taking a sturdy oak table leg to his/her head(s):

“You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human, f*cking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian sh*t.” R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket, 1987

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Part One: Decay, waste and ruin in Pinal County. . . .It’s all around us.

Our society goes to great lengths to place our successes, feats and accomplishments high on a pedestal for everyone to see and admire. Unfortunately, the failures of Western Civilization are most frequently dumped or abandoned on the World’s trash heap to be forgotten. Some might go as far as saying that these failures are many times concealed. Other signs of failure are all too visible.

Beginning today, that is going to change. As a regular part of my blog, I will be including examples of decay and failure. I will be beginning right here, in and around my own neighborhood. This geographical area will include unincorporated western Pinal County, Hidden Valley, Thunderbird Farms North and South, Papago Buttes and anywhere else I see fit. It’s my intention to show some rural blight, decay and failure with imagery from my camera.

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

This project was quite simple and required me to make a very short drive. In less than 45 minutes, I was back home downloading my images and posting them here. I found several prime examples of where our civilization and way of life is headed. These photos also demonstrate, despite the existence of county zoning regulations, there are plenty of eyesores out in plain view.

Oddly enough, there are newer and very expensive custom homes right next door to some of the eyesores depicted in my photographs. I believe apathy is the key ingredient to decline and decay.

Based on what I observed out in the field today, I will be able to post photos of my local eyesores on a weekly basis for some time to come. I'm hopeful that some of the right people see these images and the owners of these eyesores will ultimately be tracked down and forced to clean up their messes. 
“Civilization is , alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, s, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, s, pessaries, syphilis, gonorrhea, insanity, neuroses, etc.,”
“The word ‘civilization’ to my mind is coupled with death. When I use the word, I see civilization as a crippling, thwarting thing, a stultifying thing. For me it was always so. I don't believe in the golden ages, you see... civilization is the arteriosclerosis of culture.” --Henry Miller 1891-1980, American Author

During my photographic tour, a few people did notice me with my camera. They initially appeared as "gawkers" (A spectator who stares stupidly without intelligent awareness), but unsuccessfully tried to ignore me once they saw the camera in my hands.