There Goes the Leash!

January 27, 2021

I recently received the kind donation of two sturdy leashes, among other needed items. Neither Lucky nor Flaco seems to have any interest in standard doggy toys, so I make do with old jackets, rubbery plastic containers, bandannas, extra thick plastic bags that once contained puppy treats, an old shoe or slipper, and so on. So of course the leashes would become a handy favorite…handy for me as well, because it’s a great distraction while taking them for walks, in that they’ll bark less often, at things they perceive as a threat to their guardian, imagined or otherwise. Sometimes they’ll even bark at a pile of rags or clothing because it resembles a homeless person sleeping beneath it (and sometimes they are!). They’ll also bark at anyone standing at, and looking out of, a second-story window…as if that’s just logically wrong!

So, while I may need new leashes less often, since they are no longer under the care of my homeless friend, Deek (whose doggy possessions are quickly worn out) I will still need them replenished more often than I first thought. They’re pretty durable (the leashes that is, but yeah, the pups, too), but I’ll have to remove the thick rubber coating around the handle and two other sections before long…as their teeth cut into them, causing pieces to break off and thus be swallowed. Still, the leashes are perfectly intact and sturdy, minus the rubberized protection. A win/win situation all around. That’s the “leash” I can do for such an exquisite canine duo.


I Don’t Remember Taking This Video

January 27, 2021

I use a cheap smartphone to shoot videos of my pups, but this one’s a mystery, as I have no idea why I would take this rather pointless shot. Which I discovered while cleaning up my phone’s video folder. It looks like Flaco jumped off my lap, but it is not my habit to have the video recorder running, when she’s seated atop my legs. This video suggests I may have shoved her from my lap, but I would never do that, as I’m always gentle with them both.

It also sounds like someone else is in the room, talking…but it’s actually my android tablet playing a web radio station that’s a mix of ambient music and San Francisco’s police and fire dispatch communications in real time. What was I laughing about, in that video clip? I have no idea. In it I seem to say “Oh gods, no!” And even that is probably incorrect, as I’ve never used “oh gods” in any of my exclamations, either in real life, or in my writings. Maybe Flaco had attempted to jump upon my work station’s riser, where I also eat my meals? That is quite possible, but I really have no idea. I nonetheless find this video a curious one, worth keeping.


Letter to the Landlord (part 3)

January 26, 2021

Subject: Sweetening the Pot
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 24, 2021 5:22 PM

So I printed out an updated resolution, folded it into a legal size envelope, and taped it to their door. Upon returning to my hovel, I glanced at the revised statement once more, to discover that one of the several times I typed “[real name of realtors deleted],” it was, instead, spelled “Ablahblah.” A small panic ensued, as I quietly rushed back to their apartment, hoping they didn’t see it yet. Thank god they didn’t, it was still there. So I gingerly reclaimed it as I heard voices within, and skittered back to my room. Where once again, I had to go through the miserable process of lugging my printer from the storage bin, hook it all up, insert more paper, and reload Windows (because I can’t figure out how to interface Linux with my Deskjet 3000). There is an introductory page this time, which briefly states:

I have given much thought to my proposal for a happy resolution all the way around, and have decided to include these additional conditions: free utilities, Internet service, and garbage pickup…all locks changed and a decent security system provided…partially furnished…complete laundry facilities…no rent increases…occupation of the new residence for as long as you want to stay there, provided you never have more than one housemate.

Enclosed you will find my updated letter. Please toss out the first one, and keep the new one in a secure place. If you should ever misplace or lose it, just let me know, and I will gladly print out a replacement.

Please also note: any false accusation you make against me, will only serve to make my proposal more difficult to achieve, though not impossible.

The actual, revised proposal in full can be read here, in rich text format:

http://www.gay-bible.org/blogstuff/2021A/landlord3-revised-resolution.rtf

Turns out this will be the opening piece to “Letter to the Landlord (part 3)”…sure hope it’ll be the FINAL segment of this nerve-wracking scenario. Though I DO understand that, as bodhisattvas playing the enemy, they are pressuring me to sharpen my thought processes and writing skills.

Well, whaddya know, just when I completed the paragraph above, there was a knock on my door (around 5:15 PM). It was Adis, with a friend by his side. He told me to stop posting letters to their door, it’ll just cause problems. I replied I have no intention to, and it’s a good resolution. (I noted he wasn’t wearing his mask, but just waving it in his hand.) Then he started to discuss other matters about our conflict, which were pointless. He said it’s not gonna happen (referring to their eviction, I guess). After making the false accusation that one of my dogs bit him, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on (pun intended).

So I told him I don’t want to discuss this, have a good night, then returned to my room. At least, this time he was calm and soft spoken. What an improvement! But look what I had to go through to get his friends to stop potentially exposing residents to covid-19, as well as creating a nuisance and loitering.

I presume his mother will see the letter, because I’m done with this particular approach, and waiting on that attorney to get back to me. I’m open to speaking with her, but in a limited fashion. They both continue to pretend they’ve done no harm. What nonsense, as I’M the one who’s been most impacted by their foolish antics. At any rate, this case SHOULD be elevated to the manager and Ablablah Realty, seeing as they are ultimately responsible for this conflict.

I am accustomed to some people labeling me “crazy,” but I know better: I have a unique way of addressing issues that do NOT employ hypocrisy or lies in order to achieve results. No status quo guy here, Wattson! Besides which, calling someone crazy is a quick tactic to shut down the other person’s side of the argument, and poison people against you.

On another note: Marshall hasn’t read any of my pieces for the past two Fridays! Don’t know why, as he seems to really enjoy reading my material. And it looked like he was going to narrate my Brindlekin Tales chapter to chapter…after all, he’s already read chapters one and two! I was hoping I could splice each one, and upload it to my Youtube channel every Sunday. Now, it looks like I’m gonna have to record the chapters myself, which is far less preferable. Not just because I don’t have the quality audio setup he does, but having another voice read my tales adds diversity and color to my channel. At any rate, it should nonetheless be a good experience for me.

  • Zeke

Subject: URGENT! Deek now wants the doggies back!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2021 9:50 PM

No sooner does one problem begin to subside, than another pops up. Deek came by about 10 minutes ago, and is still outside, sitting in a recess by the corner. When I came out, he told me he wants the dogs back, that I stole them from him. I reminded him we made a verbal agreement, and it’s recorded. I told him I’m taking care of them for him, they’ll die on the streets. I did NOT accuse him of animal abuse, although that’s quite true.

He said he’s missed them, couldn’t be with them for his birthday, and he thought I was his friend. I told him to stop feeling sorry for yourself, I’m doing you a BIG favor…I’m holding the dogs FOR you, not stealing them. (Of course I didn’t add that he was ABUSING them, so I’m protecting them from HIM as well.) But, as usual, no matter how good a friend I am, he somehow manages to find fault and insult and threaten me.

He said the dogs are registered in his name at the SPCA, and he can get the police involved, but he doesn’t want to do that, because I could go to jail. He also said he’s told over fifty street people I’ve stolen them, and they told him to call the police. And he can get these vagrants to beat me up. I just told him to bring it on, I’m not afraid, but I don’t want to stand here any longer and listen to his crap. And if he makes a scene by my building, I WILL call the police. I repeated more than once, that he needs to focus on taking better care of himself, and to trust me that I’m not taking them away from him, permanently.

I know he’s making this all up (about dogs registered in his name, and about how he has many friends ready to attack me), but I’m concerned he’ll start a ruckus near my home. Well, I think I may have friends on my side at this point…including Adis and his mom. And possibly, the manager. He’s not being noisy, I’m not even sure if he’s still outside near the building. At any rate, I seem to never get a break. I tried to tell him he’s blowing this all out of proportion, that he needs to take care of himself while I care for the dogs.

Earlier today, a few homeless dudes were outside the front gate, they had paused by the curb as I stepped onto the sidewalk with the pups. They were not in any way here to confront me, I think it was more of just a coincidence. They were very friendly, and one of them said those are Deek’s dogs. So I said, well, they were, but he sold them to me, and I promised him I’ll take good care of them, and when my publishing takes off and the money comes rolling in, I’ll have a better home for them, and for Deek. Then I departed and wished them a good evening; they did too.

Oh, and I also mentioned they’re little doggies, they’d die out here in all this cold weather. One guy DID kinda sneer at me, saying that’s ridiculous, they’re perfectly fine out here. I did NOT mention that Deek has been abusing them, not just by allowing them to be totally exposed to the rain and cold, but yelling at them often, shoving them, and even kicking them (not hard, but not gently, either).

Hopefully, this is not a sign of things to come re. Deek poisoning the homeless against me! But I can handle that, too…I doubt any of them have it together enough to be a serious problem. What I DON’T need is for him or any of his “friends” to start making a big scene around my building! What I DO need is for Boulevard Joe to see my video, as he is an important arbitrator for me, to the houseless crowd. In fact, he’s the only one, and leaves a lot to be desired; nonetheless, he’s better than most out there.

Now how long is THIS gonna drag on?

  • Zeke

Re: URGENT! Deek now wants the doggies back!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2021 1:07 AM

You‘ll prevail, I have no doubt.

Yes, of course. A couple of dudes are hangin’ out with Deek, they’re not noisy, but almost loud enough to disturb my semi-fascist neighbor. This sucks donkey balls. However, they seem pretty darn friendly, and have indicated no sign of any kind of hostility. Deek’s probably gonna stick around into the morning, when I’ll have to take the dogs out again. And I really can’t go out back in the morning, unless I stay close to the back gate again. And there’s a camera overlooking it, so the manager will see me jam the door with a bottle and get upset…so I’ll have to explain about Deek, and he’ll get even MORE upset!

I think I’ll just take them out back for some days to come, then step out by myself through the front, to get my groceries. And if I see Deek, I’ll tell him the pups are staying at a friend’s place where they have a backyard to freely (and safely) romp around. If only that were true!

He DID call to the dogs earlier, but not loudly. Just some whistles, then called “Lucky! Lucky!” several times. Well guess what, Wattson: neither dog paid him any mind. I think they KNOW to keep silent.

Lucky threw up his entire dinner tonight…it was clear fluid mixed in with the food. I think perhaps the duck jerky treats I crumble up into his kibble are too rich in the long run. But I need to find SOMEthing extra to put in it, to keep their appetite up. He didn’t eat anything last night again…this morning he ate a full meal, and late afternoon he did, likewise; but that’s what he threw up later on.

Maybe he’s sensitive to prolonged cold weather, as last night he just wanted to curl up on the bed…and you could really feel the temperature drop, as I leave one window wide open, usually. Flaco, too, curled up early, even though she ate her meal. Their little bodies seek to preserve heat, so eating is not always a priority. Once I shut the window, the whole room warmed up nicely. Still, it’s not SO cold they really need to do that…more like instinct. They love fluffing up the comforters, and I love tucking them in.

I took my brindlekin out the back way tonight, told them “shh” keep quiet, and they did: silent as can be, as we made our way down the rickety old stairs (where they stepped very cautiously, as it was new to them), then through the basement, then up a concrete stairway and out the gated door. Lucky threw up some more, outside, also plopped diarrhea…Flaco didn’t need to poop. They’ve both been having solid, firm poops for quite some time now, so I’m disappointed and a bit worried about Lucky’s change. Anyway:

I swear, this is like living in Nazi Germany. In this day and age I have to sneak around like this! I could say now I know how Anne Frank felt, but that’s over the top.

  • Zeke

Subject: Is your crisis still surging, or beginning to subside?
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2021 10:54 AM

Referring to your email of Nov. 7, when you said:

I’m under huge pressure on several different fronts. My survival is at stake, and that’s not an exaggeration.

I am hoping with all my heart, that things are on the upswing by now. I do NOT like to think of you going through such a terrible ordeal. You are SUCH a good person, and so important to many, including myself of course.

Anyway, got up this morning, stepped out w/o the doggies first thing, to see if Deek were still around and, much to my relief, he was not. So resumed our regular walk up and down Noe Street for three blocks. Lucky was in cheerful spirits, growling and playfully gripping his teeth about the heel of one or the other of my sneakers (and sometimes the shoelaces), as I carefully but clumsily guided them down the stairs and out the front gate. What a muttley crew we make!

  • Zeke

Re: Is your crisis still surging, or beginning to subside?
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 2021 1:00 PM

Things are a little better. I still have to solve the same problems, but the main one, completing a piece of work I’m being paid to do and meet my deadline, seems to be moving along pretty well. Finishing that, and doing a first-rate job of it, will quite possibly lead to solutions to the gang of problems that follow me around like tin cans tied to a dog’s tail.

EXCELLENT news, Wattson! That is EXACTLY what will happen. I look immensely forward to reading your latest masterpiece. HOPING it will fast become a bestseller as well.

Very glad Deek moved on.

Well, just for today…he could return at any time and cause trouble. Keeping my fingers crossed he does NOT. I have this fantasy of him starting to holler and strike out at me, when just like that, Larkin appears out of the blue and knocks him to the ground and orders him to leave immediately, or he’ll see worse. I then thank him profusely, and begin to tell him about my situation with the doggies…but he stops me, says “I already know!” Meaning that he reads my Brindlekin Tales, or more likely, his roommate, Zachary, does, then describes each chapter to him in capsule form. What soon follows is a small cadre of the Blue Rose Militia organized and run by Larkin, occupying my part of the Castro 24/7, in order to protect me and my brindlekin from any further harassment. This would then lead to many OTHER incredible scenarios, like the blossoming of a rose…and a blue one at that.

Some nerve–he collects $300 from you, then says you “stole” them. So fucking childish.

Well, it was actually $400, if you include the $100 I gave him in the morning of that same day (and $400 WAS the amount he’s been saying all along, is his asking price for the pooches…which set me off in a panic, because I didn’t HAVE that sum, and Deek refused to accept monthly lumps of a hundred dollars). But this is EXACTLY why I demanded to video record the transaction…because I know his devious nature: that he planned to collect the moolah, then turn around some time later and accuse me of stealing his pups. However, let us not stop at such a dark level of summation, but move to higher ground, like so:

Deek, like Larkin, is one of my guardian angels (or “bodhisattvas,” to put a Buddhist spin on it) acting out a scripted scenario, wherein I am the main character and HERO of this amazing play. It makes perfect sense, then, that almost immediately after my conflict with the occupants of apartment 208 (that mother-and-son duo) begins to peacefully resolve itself, Deek would show up from stage right and begin the NEXT act, the NEXT challenge. Though it may be sufficient just to threaten yet another debacle, without it ever really manifesting. Whether true or not doesn’t really matter, because it’s already been writ that I shall beat all odds, no matter how unlikely that seems.

Change of subject:

Disappointing that the Duboce Triangle Newsletter has skipped their January issue, as that is the one that was supposed to print my New Year’s satire. Which would’ve drummed up at least a handful of locals who’d visit my Brindlekin page, and see my homeless doggy appeal with those links to my wish list and GoFundMe project. MAYBE my tale will come out in February, but I’m certainly not holding my breath. What a painful slog this has been these past few months, albeit with many a miracle tossed my way…so how can I really complain?

I forgot to inform you, when I uploaded that brief tour of my hovel to Youtube, that, as the camera pans from left to right, you get a glimpse of your book “Twilight in Somalia” atop the storage bin next to my closet. Nice touch, eh? Here it is, again:

And I wonder if there will be further repercussions with the building manager and Ablahblah Realty, over the maskless intruders. If that attorney I appealed to DOES finally get in touch with me, I hope he’s actually qualified to decide whether or not I have a good case at this point. I’m sure I will, if my neighbors across the hallway provide solid witness to my complaint. The likelihood that Kevin Bond (our manager) AGREED with 208 that these teenagers were free to hang out in our building, maskless or no–without even asking or informing residents in that same hallway–does not look good for either him OR Ablahblah. But, due to the added, and most egregious, offense of their refusal to wear a mask, I’m kinda sure they’d prefer an out-of-court settlement. But a girl can only conjecture, can’t she? Seeing as obviously, they, too, are actors in this “Zeke the Hero” play, a very different scenario could play out…one which, nonetheless, works in my favor. I’m SURE that the realtors have finally received my remailed letter of complaint by now. Oh, what an interesting world this is!

I have also changed pseudonym “Moohammud” to “Adis,” in order to avoid any accusation of Islamophobia…a phobia which, I firmly believe, does NOT exist. Nevertheless, it could weaken my case, due to pin-headed droids that populate the legal system (and more generally, society at large). So I went ahead and redacted all chapters relevant to this name change.

As for the next stimulus payment–which will probably be $2,000–I’m sure Deek will show up again, to demand his half. But I reFUSE to give it to him, as ALL that money will be transferred into my GoFundMe project as soon as it shows up. Furthermore, I consider the chapter of “The Book of Zeke & Deek” where I help him with an allowance and half of all my stimulus boons, to be finally CLOSED, now that I have the responsibility of caring for the doggos, which of course includes veterinarian expenses. This sum will allow me to get them ALL the recommended shots, health checkup, chipping and rabies tag. I’m guessing the whole enchilada will come to around $300 at most. (Maybe less if I prove my low income by providing them with the required papers.) But I need the additional money from this stimulus, as an emergency reserve for Lucky & Flaco.

Whew! That’s it for now.

  • Zeke

Subject: Around 4:35 PM today…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 25, 6:21 PM

…upon returning from my afternoon stroll with the brindlemutts, I bumped into Dieter right outside our building. So I told him all about my conflict with the Bonnie & Clyde duo in 208, how the manager posted a letter to my door about one of my dogs supposedly biting her son and drawing blood, and a whole bunch of other stuff, but in quick, outline form. I ended with explaining my Buddhist solution for the most compassionate resolution as possible, and if it goes to court I will demand a decent apartment for them, with all the amenities I laid out.

Well, right when I finished up out comes Kevin, and Flaco starts barking…though not loudly, but more like a “hey, there’s that nice guy from the lobby” kind of greeting. This was around 4:35 PM. So Kevin crouched down a bit to extend his hand, at which point Flaco grew quiet and started sniffing…then backed up and barked her little yelps all over again. This entire time, Lucky remained silent, as if he were actually bored.

So then I pointed to each dog, and said: “This is Flaco, and this is Lucky, the stars of my Youtube channel and my WordPress blog; and soon to be the stars of the Castro. Have a great evening, gentlemen!”

Funny thing is that Adis (Myrtle’s son who accused one of my pups of biting him) and a friend were near the front gate, hanging around, when I approached with my key already in hand. As I worked the lock, the doggies kept barking at him, and I told the mutts: “C’mon, you’re not the big shots around here, calm down!” Finally, the gate opened and we arrived once more at my hovel, a.k.a. “Doggie Rescue Sanctuary.”

So now Dieter knows all, and he loves the dogs. At first five or so encounters they barked at him, but after several more times they grew friendly, till now they love greeting him, and they’re not wary of his wheelchair any more, whether he’s sitting on it, or walking it along in its folded state. Best of all:

He is now a WITNESS to their peaceful nature, as they did not bite, or even nip at, Kevin’s hand.

Now, here is how I’m gonna deal with Deek’s probable returns to my building…who thinks I’ll have to step out eventually, to walk the pooches. He may come to realize that perhaps I use the back gate, and station someone there.

THEY SHALL RELIEVE THEMSELVES IN THE BASEMENT!

I’ll have a bottle of “Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover + Sanitizer” handy, some rags and newspaper, and latex gloves. There will be absolutely NO odor remaining, when I’m done. Easy to clean, as the floor’s cement. And NOBODY HARDLY EVER GOES DOWN THERE, it’s quiet as a church on Monday morning. A big plus is the utility sink. The basement has a back gate where air flow constantly cools and airs everything out. IOW it’s not a real door that shuts off the outside. There is a camera down there, as well as over the back stairs. And if Deek stations someone by that gate, his face will show up on the camera. Plus he won’t hear us down there, as the steps leading to it from the gate are about fifteen feet to the far end of the basement, and the dogs are really quiet.

Of course, the manager will eventually notice my activity via the security videos, at which time I’ll explain the situation: that I’ve led Deek to believe the dogs are now staying at a friend’s home with a nice backyard so they get plenty of exercise. And probably, this situation won’t go on for long…and besides it’s only at night, and probably won’t be very often. Deek will come to believe the dogs now live elsewhere, so no point in continuing with his little spy game. And if one of his “detectives” sees me walking the mutts, I’ll just convey to Deek that I visit them every day and take them for their daily strolls, as well as feed them and play with them in the backyard. And that two COPS live there. Ha, ha.

This afternoon, for the first time, the doggies went wild in my hovel! They dashed around the room like ricocheting nerf bullets, bouncing on and off the bed and into the walls, chasing and wrestling each other down. They are really happy! Of course, that totally obliterates the orderly way I have newspaper sheets laid down, to give them a clean floor to lie down on, when they want. And in case either dog pukes, or has an accident. Oh, well, still no biggie to thoroughly clean up. My room has absolutely no doggie stink, because I am so prompt with wiping up and disinfecting and deodorizing. Even if it’s 4:30 AM or some other wee hour, I’m on top of it.

Oh, and I found a new technique to get them to eat their entire meal…seeing as they’ve gotten better at pick the little pieces of treats I so carefully broke up with either my fingers, or a heavy utility scissors. The answer is to GRATE the damned turkey jerky, so it’s totally diffused into the rest of the food, thanks to the wet canned vittles I mix in with the kibble. But the cheap grater I now have takes a hell of a lot of work to grind down three pieces of jerky, which average two square inches each, and are rather tough. Time to look up what quality graters are available on Amazon, and purchase one with my GoFundMe account! I COULD put it on the wish list, but I don’t want to wait very long, as it IS a tedious chore that gets my goat, and I’d like to put an end to that ASAP.

So there’s my day for ya…other than working on my tales, videos and recordings.

  • Zeke

Re: Around 4:35 PM today…
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: January 26, 2021 2:56 PM

You’re a fine Doggie Daddy. The basement plan sounds good. You could maybe train them to “go” directly on newspapers. But it sounds ideal.

That’s the plan. Once, when I ignored Lucky’s pleas to take him for a walk, because I didn’t know that’s what he needed, he finally trotted over to some sheets of newspaper near the window, and pooped! So, no training necessary, just lay the paper on the concrete, and they’re good to go (pun intended). In fact, they prefer to lay on the floor instead of the cot, when the room is not chilly. But the floor is dirty, and impossible to keep clean, due to its exposed, softwood condition. They’ll lie down on the floor anyway, but the moment I lay down some newspaper, they’ll move to THAT spot immediately. But I now keep most of the floor covered with newspaper anyway, so they’ll have clean spots on which to rest.

Just FYI–another friend in SF, also 70 and not exactly rolling in $$, reported to me that she got a COVID vax yesterday. An appointment, no waiting in line, free. First she called this number: 682-1900. They asked a few questions, set up the appt., and she got the shot at SF General.

Like I really want to go all the way to SF General with the doggies. That’s not gonna work, but thanks. I’m not about to ride a crowded bus with dogs that have never been on one, so their reaction is totally unpredictable…besides, I avoid public transit for obvious reasons, even w/o the pups. And I’m not gonna hoof it on over there, going through the sketchy Mission District, and Artemis knows how many lunatics I’ll have to deal with. And then do it all over, to get back hovel. I’m guessing your friend had a vehicle, or took a cab. Also, that hospital is rife with filthy, crazy, addicted (and often quite scary) vagrants who have nowhere else to go for emergency care. I do NOT care to mingle in that trash…and I can’t imagine how the dogs would deal with it. In fact, I don’t see WHY everyone doesn’t just AVOID that hospital like the plague (pun also intended)! Slapping Zuckerberg’s name to it should’ve been a wake-up call.

I’ll just wait till the vaccines are available closer to home, such as Walgreens or a pop-up clinic. It’s not like I go to, or through, any high or moderate exposure areas…not even supermarkets. So I’m not worried at all. Besides which, my destiny has grown crystal clear these past few months, and catching covid or any OTHER illness is NOT in the cards. Not that I foolishly abandon all the safety measures because of that, I just know I’ll be perfectly fine through anything, any more. What’s happening in my life these days is astounding, and definitely NOT normal. Now, for some doggie updates:

I LOVE my Alvarado Street sprouted whole wheat raisin bread, but it’s a five-block journey to Golden Produce Health Food Store, so I have to take the pooches with me. I know no other place closer that sells it, except perhaps Whole Foods and Safeway…both within the same walking distance as Golden Produce. But, as I said, I avoid supermarkets entirely. I don’t care to take my brindlekin inside ANY shops, but it worked out fine, two weeks ago, when we went to the health food store. They were calm, silent and stayed close to me without any urging on my part! Between my favorite raisin bread replenishments, I go for five or six days on organic oatmeal breakfast, which is great, too, because I add to it chia seeds, hemp hearts and flax seed meal. Anyway, today I returned again for another loaf of raisin bread, with the dogs.

It is run by a Cambodian family that is typically Asian when it comes to keeping shop. IOW: they feign friendliness, up to a point. They actually NEVER treat long-term customers any different than sporadic (or even one-time) customers. Today was a perfect example. Soon as I stepped in with the pups, the woman who works there immediately pointed at them and started blabbing about how sometimes dogs run around in the wine section and break bottles. This IS a store that allows pets to enter. In fact, one day a man stepped in while I was there, with a large dog UNLEASHED! And I remarked to that same woman, that I find it alarming you allow dogs to come in here without a leash. Anyway:

She was not there the first time I appeared with the doggos; instead, her brother was…and he saw how well behaved they are. (Nonetheless, he did not say a THING about my doggies, even though it was the first time after shopping there all these years, that I’ve walked in with a pet, let alone two.) But SHE treated me like this was the first time I brought them in because it was the first time SHE saw them. Instead of remarking how lovely the dogs are, or something else of a friendly nature, she literally BARKED at me! And I’ve never seen her act that way towards anyone else accompanied by a canine. So I just cut her off:

“They’ve been here before, and no problem, they’re perfectly fine and I keep them on a leash!”

“Oh,” she replied, then scooted away.

You know what? I BET they voted for Trump…most shop owners are Republican, after all. That is one reason I said to them more than once: “I don’t see WHY anyone would ever vote Republican, they’re such an evil party.” Each of the several times I’ve said that, or something like it, none of them made any remark in return.

Now, once I arrived hovel, I removed their leashes halfway up the stairs, because I heard not a peep from any activity in the hallways. Thus, they could romp about for a couple of minutes before stepping inside. But just when I unlatched their collars, I heard someone enter the front gate. So I quickly hooked a couple of fingers with each hand, around each dog’s collar. Because in such a situation, it is impossible to get the leashes back on, without letting go of one of them. I slowly began to drag them to my door, but the resident was too quick for me, and arrived right beside us.

So, of course, barking ensued…but this time from Flaco only; Lucky remain peaceful. But this fellow likes them both, and has no problem with any barking. In fact, he asked if he could watch them “zoom” up and down the corridor. I told him they don’t do that if someone else is here, because they’re not used to seeing ANYone else in the corridor or lobby, except me. (A dearth of residents passing through is one of the results of this pandemic.)

Anyway, he was quite friendly to the dogs, even though Flaco kept on barking, and I really wanted to take her into my room, but this guy’s a potential ally in a possible lawsuit against Ablahblah Realty. Wanna guess why? I’ll give you a moment.

[a moment’s pause]

Because HE is one of the couple that lives across from me, who was even MORE impacted by the maskless, teenage loiterers than I was! They would make the BEST witnesses in support of my grievance, than anyone else in the building. He then asked if I know Lucky’s history, and I said, well, I think I know some of it, but it could all be hearsay, so, yes, I’d like to hear it. BTW, my dear Wattson, he KNOWS who Deek is, and has seen him and the doggies many times…and KNOWS I now own them, that I purchased them from Deek, and recorded the verbal contract. (He did remark that time, that he hopes this won’t bring problems to the building; I just firmly said “Nope.”) But here is what he told me:

Lucky was STOLEN from that middle-aged fellow who owns another dog that is almost the spitting image of Lucky, except HIS has not been neutered. I’ve mentioned him to you before, that I see him around two or three times a week, strolling up and down Noe Street. But I haven’t seen him any time recently, at least four months I’d say…and even Les brought that up to me just a couple days ago.

So I said that story IS different from what Deek told me, who claims he was gifted that dog, because the owner couldn’t handle or afford two of them. But I made it clear to my neighbor that this, too, could be hearsay, as Deek often makes things up, due to his bipolar nature.

At any rate, he was very cordial, not accusatory or upset in any other way. He just enjoyed sharing (I presume, though there could be a hidden motive). Besides which, Deek and Lucky were in the Castro almost every day, while the original owner was out and about, walking his OWN dog. You’d think if he wanted Lucky back, he could’ve easily achieved that, long before now.

But I’ve researched what my rights are and, at this point in time, ownership is legally mine. And he and Flaco are very dear friends to each other; so it would be a major heartbreak for both, were they separated. I just want to point out here, that one dilemma after another keeps being hurled at me, and I am SICK AND TIRED OF IT! I wouldn’t bother to step out any more, only that doesn’t seem to work either, as trouble comes to me no matter what. I could stay in my room 24/7 and still, it will hunt me down, and bang at my very door! This has LITERALLY happened to me more than once…in fact, quite a few times over the years…maybe as much as twenty or so.

So we ended our chat amicably, and I FINALLY got to bring the dogs inside. There was no Deek anywhere in sight last night, nor any confrontations with his “friends.” But who knows? This may just be the eye of the storm. This city is rife with people who just love to stir up shit, to whomever they decide to fuck with. It’s been like that, and keeps getting worse, ever since the Free Speech Movement died out. And THAT’S a long, long time, mon incroyable confidente. And my SRO situation, having lived in the same spot for many years–smack dab in the middle of Gossipville–makes me a sitting duck.

Quack, quack for now!

  • Zeke


The Pups are Tucked in for the Night

January 25, 2021
This is Flaco. Click here for a larger view.

And this is Lucky. Click here for a larger view.

Zeke-Response Bot: an Algorithm Whose Time has Come

January 24, 2021

[Something from back in November that I almost forgot to post to my WordPress blog. Note: the person I called “Tara Roosevelt” for several months, is the same person I now call “My Dear Wattson.” Who IS this woman? That may not be revealed until Brindlekin Tales becomes the all-time bestseller in the whole of anthropoid history, and brings the world to its knees! Which I predict will occur some time later this year.]


Subject: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 7, 2021 11:13 AM

I’m serious about this (or not)…as the type of AI I’m talking about is a rather low-IQ version, so to speak. IOW, it’s a very basic form of artificial intelligence (thus, much smarter than Donald Trump; goes without saying). And its sole purpose would be to respond to each and every one of my plethora of emails that I’m streaming to you these days, like a gushing fire hose out of control…which you really have NO time to read, except one here and there. All this Zeke-Response Bot needs is a small database of stock replies. Which one of those replies it chooses will be based on key words and phrases in my latest missive. Determined by a simple algorithm that already has access to a collection of my key words and phrases harvested from all my blog entries containing either the word “[your real first name],” “[your most common real nickname],” “[your real surname]” or “Tara Roosevelt.” Examples of stock replies would be:

  • “Wowee!”
  • “You’re on a roll!”
  • “Ha! Good one.”
  • “I hope he comes around.”
  • “I hope he comes around for your sake.”
  • “I hope he comes around for the doggies’ sake.”
  • “I hope he comes around for your sake AND the doggies’.”
  • “I hope he comes around for his own sake, as well as yours and the doggies’.”
  • “I’m sorry you’re going through that.”
  • “Wise decision, though heartbreaking.”
  • “I trust you know what you’re doing.”
  • “No, I don’t mind if you use my real name.”
  • “No, I’d rather you use a pseudonym.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be executed.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be drawn and quartered.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should have their skin flayed and fed to that same dog.”
  • “Anyone who harms a dog should be pierced with sewing needles from head to foot, then locked in a cage and fed to army ants live on Zoom.”
  • “Ouch!”
  • “I admire Eleanor Roosevelt.”
  • “I worship the cat.”
  • “Surely is the best little doggy he could possibly be.”
  • “I’m swamped in work right now, but I’ll get around to it.”
  • “I’m really busy these days, but I moved your latest post into my ‘don’t forget to read this’ folder.
  • “I don’t have time to read it now.”
  • “I don’t have time to read it now, but will when I have a moment.”
  • “I don’t have time to read it now, but will when I have a moment or three.”
  • “What a ditz! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
  • “What a ditz! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
  • “What a bunch of ditzes! They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary, and based on historical events.”
  • “I’m immersed in writing my next book, which is a mystery novel that is quite scary, and based on historical events around Ed Gein.”
  • “I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”
  • “I consider myself agnostic.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold laws of physics.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold, impersonal and ruthless laws of physics.”
  • “We are all prisoners to the cold, impersonal and ruthless laws of physics, and time engulfs us all into eternity’s mindless abyss.”
  • “I have to drive him there myself.”
  • “I hope they publish it.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author who deserves much recognition.”
  • “I hope they publish it, you’re an excellent author who deserves much recognition and worldwide kudos.”
  • “I never get on airplanes or jets; I dread the very idea of it.”
  • “Don’t worry, that maniac serial killer is way over in another part of our huge county.”
  • “You’re right.”
  • “Keep up the good work.”
  • “Keep up the good work. He’ll come around eventually.”
  • “Keep up the good work. They’ll come around eventually.”
  • “Keep up the good work. I believe in you.”
  • “Keep up the good work. I believe in you, even if no one else does.”
  • “He’s my hero.”
  • “She’s my hero.”
  • “You’re my hero.”
  • “I hardly ever see Anthony any more.”
  • “I hardly ever see Anthony any more, but last time I did, he looked awful.”
  • “That’s very sad.”
  • “I couldn’t be happier for you.”
  • “I can send you some money.”

And so on. The idea is that you would be freed up from any sense of obligation to respond to me in a timely manner. Yet having your kind attention in support of my writing–and you yourself already quite an accomplished author–inspires me to compose my incredible tales, essays and (sometimes) poetry…by first sending a draft to you. And all it takes on YOUR part, is no more than the briefest of nods, and I’m off to the races! Thus an AI could handle such replies posthaste and, BEST OF ALL, I wouldn’t know the difference.

Hmm, wait-a-minute…maybe you’ve BEEN using such a bot all along, at least soon after I began my flurry of urgent missives in early November! Which explains the sharp increase of terse comebacks from your end of the line. Ha-ha, very good, ya got me there. In sum:

Never mind. :)

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 7, 2021 1:03 PM

I’m doing the best I can. The truth is that I’m under huge pressure on several different fronts. My survival is at stake, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m no Lady of Leisure up here, serene, cloistered and financially secure. The details are unimportant. You just gotta take my word for it. When you get a short answer from me, you can be assured that I’ve actually read the message…

Oh, I was just playing with ya, Tara…didn’t at all expect a serious reply back. I was hoping for some kind of hilarious retort. SO sorry to hear about your present, and horrid, crisis! Obviously, I cannot provide you with a monetary boost, though I wish I could. Unless some financial kickback soon arrives by some unexpected miracle, such as a publishing company crawling all over me, to make a lucrative contract for my Brindlekin Tales. Then again, maybe cash is not what is needed for your present demise. No details asked, just my prayers of a benevolent outcome in your direction. ASAP

I’m actually having a serious emergency myself, right now…and will post it to you within a minutes. The heading will include “URGENT” in all caps.

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 10:41 AM

Money is a component, but not the sole one. My only way out of this situation is through hard, inspired work. No hope of that unless I get plenty of good sleep. Sort of a Catch-22.

Hard, inspired work is right up your alley, Tara…so that’s not the real problem, I’m guessing. Which leaves us with the sleep issue. Which I find unusual, as you seem to be fine with listening to those “Sleep With Me” videos, and then you’re off to dreamland. Something else is disrupting your sleep, which I hope you can discover and resolve…or if you already know its source, that you can resolve ASAP. I don’t think there’s anything I can do for you, except stop posting for awhile, so you may focus on your writing. But if there IS something that you think I can do, just say the word!


Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 10:49 AM

No need to stop posting. My sleep has improved hugely, thanks to SWM; I’d have been a jibbering basket case without him. But it’s still a struggle. If I’m even slightly sleep-deprived–and I need a solid nine hours at the very least–then I’m defeated, weary, ill, disgusted and useless.

I don’t envy such a level of sensitivity to one’s sleep needs! That truly sucks. I have no idea who SWM is, except “single white male.” :D

Oh, wait, you mean the “Sleep with Me” podcasts…great stuff! Great fluffy stuff, that is!


Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 12:16 PM

Yes, it’s a curse. I know people who can roll out of bed after six hours and be all chipper and bushy-tailed. Not me, alas. So sleep is, for me, the foundation of anything and everything I hope to be or accomplish. Only oxygen is more important.

I’ve suffered decades of harsh insomnia, but it wasn’t anywhere as near as much of a problem for someone who needed to work for a living. Having these doggies around has made my mornings chipper; I have no choice but to hop out of bed by 7:30 AM so they can go poop! And they are always such joyful little angels to wake up to. However, I do not have the usual comfort of sleeping in my cot which, though wider than standard (for cots), it’s narrower than even a twin-size bed…plus I gotta share it now with two pups! Surprisingly, I’m adapting well, despite having only a slice of the cot for myself.

I’m sure you’ve tried everything under the sun, including Sominex, so I won’t bother to try to play the helping angel. May this bizarre power that has only recently come to me, grant you a most excellent sleep each and every day, from now on!

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 12:51 PM

My goal has been to sleep drug-free, which I’ve accomplished (about 98% of the time), thanks to the podcast and CBD. So sometimes I wind up underslept because I don’t want to take a pill. But your powers may already be coming through on my behalf: Slept a solid nine-plus hours last night. Raveled sleeve of care knit up, etc.

Many good folks have informed me that they just love curling up in bed with my novel, “Free Me From This Bond,” because it puts them to sleep in the shake of a lamb’s tail! Have you tried that yet? I’m here for you, no matter what! No doubt as I rise to fame, my archrivals shall erect large billboards, and purchase whole newspaper and magazine pages, radio and TV blurbs, and computer virus versions of Internet pop-ups and memes that declare:

EZEKIEL J. KRAHLIN’S TALES (ANY ONE OF THEM, TAKE YOUR PICK): EVERYMAN’S CURE FOR INSOMNIA!

  • Zeke

Re: You need a Zeke-Response Bot, Tara!
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: November 8, 2021 3:35 PM

Your writing is the opposite of sleep-inducing! It’s verbal No-Doz!

Aha, so I have something in common with one of my favorite comic book characters:

https://www.gocomics.com/toomuchcoffeeman

Well, you’ll be excited to know that my next chapter (21) of Brindlekin Tales will be about where I live, and called “This is My Room, God Help Me.” I’ve already uploaded a brief video tour, which you can watch here:

Be sure to read the accompanying blurb below it.

The chapter itself will include 15 pics, along with the video, with lengthy descriptions of select items shown in each photo, and the history behind some of them. I will structure my SRO tale such that it will be perfectly readable withOUT having to actually view the pictures or the video. (Keeping Marshall in mind, here.) Barring any unforeseen drama (a.k.a. “Deek”) I should complete this chapter later in the day, or perhaps tomorrow. I think it will be a valuable aspect of my history as a struggling author and philosopher…that admirers may see my humble living/workspace before I conquer the planet, along with the solar system and our galaxy plus 18 neighboring ones, as well as a plethora of yet undiscovered, wandering, vagrant black holes.

  • Zeke

I Need to Contact My Original Handler

January 24, 2021

Subject: I need to contact my original handler: IMPORTANT
From: Brindlekin Tales (Zeke Krahlin)
To: Twosome Press
Date: December 30, 2020 11:38 AM

This is not a complaint, but very good news. I have somehow lost the email of my original handler for publishing my novel, “Free Me From This Bond,” which hit the e-shelves in December of 2013. I need to contact her, if at all possible. Hopefully, you have access to a database of authors at your disposal to look this up. An excellent woman, BTW, working out of your Vancouver Island branch. If my request is impossible to fulfill, please give me the name and email of my present handler, because I’ve lost that info, too.

Most sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


Re: I need to contact my original handler: IMPORTANT
From: Brindlekin Tales (Zeke Krahlin)
To: Carmen Griffiths (Twosome Press)
Date: January 5, 2021 11:55 PM

Hi Zeke,

It is me! I am still here! Happy New Year to you!

How are things with you, and how can I help?

I left a message on your voicemail earlier today. But I’ll repeat now:

My writing skills have recently skyrocketed, and I’m presently on a work in progress, called “Brindlekin Tales.” Each chapter is free to read at:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/brindlekin-tales/

I’m up to chapter 17. Two of the chapters are featured videos, so won’t be a part of the published work. But that’s not why I’m contacting you. It’s because I believe my writing is so EXCELLENT at this point, that it’s worth a look by Twosome Press. And if you are as impressed as I think you will be, you’ll find it more than worth your while to do the publication, advertising and all other promotion, gratis. I cannot possibly do any of this on my own, because my finances are sparse.

All the chapters are superb, but I’ll select three for you to look at right off the bat:

  • Chapter 6: Reflections on a Black Puddle
  • Chapter 10: A REAL Christmas Story Happening Right Now!
  • Chapter 17: My Faith Moves Planets, Not Just Mountains

In addition, I’m also composing many stories outside of my Brindlekin opus…some are VERY funny. Here are two of them:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/02/my-year-of-the-wig/

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/29/2021-is-going-to-be-a-fantastic-year/

Two other sections of my blog,”Hardy-Har-Har” and “Hypatia” are my growing collection of the copious number of excellent tales and essays that have accumulated on my WordPress site. I have only begun collating the entries from Day 1 of of joining this web log service, which is March 25, 2010. Why I’m telling you this, is because–if you find my Brindlekin Tales as remarkable as I believe they are–you also have a much larger body of my work that can be melded into three or four separate books.

But if my proposal is not something you can possibly arrange, or that I’m asking too much: no worries. I am absolutely, 100 percent, bona fide confidant that they will soon take off one way or another. My tales are already being read by one Youtube narrator and a radio station host up in Mendocino County. You will find those videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3GdMkXtj2Usugp4r7XHo7w/playlists

Check out the playlists “KNYO,” “Other Tales” and “Brindlekin Tales.”

I’m tellin’ ya Carmen: I’m HOT and I know it! And I’d prefer Twosome Press to publish all my works, because they were the only company I could find that took the chance with my FIRST book. And I enjoyed so much the kind and intelligent interaction with you, and all the other staff.

Wishing you the very BEST Nude Ear for you and all your loved ones, I remain, as always,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin
Veteran gay activist and author since before the dawn of Futurama


Re: Fwd: Re: I need to contact my original handler: IMPORTANT
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: January 6, 2021 3:18 PM

All RIGHT!!

I know they’re gonna go ahead with it; it’s in the stars, writ in the Cosmic Book of Life, but most importantly: destined to be ruthlessly satirized in a special edition of Mad Magazine. Twosome Press will contract the entire body of my work! I have at least five THICK books’ worth of material between my blog and my website. Not to mention the scads of comments and replies I’ve posted to Usenet. They’re gonna have to dig ’em up from some powerhouse of an archiving system, ’cause I haven’t found anything out there that covers Usenet that far back…the 80s and 90s. I have managed to save to hard disk less than five percent of my contributions to that mode of online dialog. There’s a TON of buried treasure there, from yers trooly, if they can find some way to cull it out. Which ALSO includes myriad message boards (now long defunct) sprinkled across cyberspace. (Such buried resources, of course, under my birth name “Gene Catalano,” but also several different handles such as “Chief Thracian” and “Thracian Chief;” the other two I’ve long forgot.) I presume the military DOES have mega-sophisticated digital systems to accomplish this Herculean task. Or maybe the Russians will get to it first…and I will never say “nyet” to that. Because after all is said and done:

I STILL OWN EVERY JOT AND TITTLE OF MY LITERARY SPITTLE! Exciting, eh?

I can only imagine Ms. Carmen Griffith (publishing agent for my first book) as she peruses for the very first time, my newly revamped WordPress site. Her expression will no doubt be priceless. It’s really turning into something both visually stunning and belletristically remarkable: cheesy yet profound. The titles alone sing to the amygdala, just as music soothes the savage beast! (Bulwer Lytton, eat your heart out.) But get this, Tara:

I have come to realize that Brindlekin Tales is a modern day Exmass Story, that will knock the socks off that load-bearing, super-macho Titan, Atlas!

SO STAND BACK, CHARLES DICKENS, I’M GONNA PUNCH YOUR CHRISTMAS CAROL TO THE CURB!

Such astounding success with that novel will ALSO tremendously boost the respect and power of the LGBT community worldwide. And that ain’t nothing to sneeze at, Mr. Scrooge!

FYI, as of two weeks ago I’ve ceased reading, or even listening to, the news, ANY news at all. Totally focused on my writing, promoting it, and caring for my brindlekin. I DO listen to a local radio station in the background, which I find perfectly suited to a creative atmosphere…at least, for my own tastes. It’s called “SOMA FM 10-33,” and describes itself as: “Live fire/police scanner audio from San Francisco processed and mixed with ambient and experimental music. A surreal audio zeitgeist of the city.” I even leave it on at night, now, as it is very soothing at a barely audible volume. You might wanna check it out yourself:

https://somafm.com/sf1033

BTW, I have a special email address dedicated to my current opus, which is:

brindlekin AT scenic DOT org

So make sure that addie doesn’t automatically get trashed by your mailbox client (still Thunderbird, I presume), as I would like to occasionally forward something to you, via that source…instead of first forwarding it to my personal email, then forwarding it again, to you. Be all that you can be, Tara, then be more than that! Oops, you already ARE more than that. My apologies, oh Honorable Osmium Empress, commander-in-chief of the Blue Rose Militia and so much more!

  • Zeke

Re: I need to contact my original handler: IMPORTANT
From: Brindlekin Tales (Zeke Krahlin)
To: Carmen Griffiths (Twosome Press)
Date: January 7, 2021 8:15 PM

Hi Zeke,

It is always so nice to hear from you! Thanks for the message and for the email. It sounds to me like you are looking for more of a traditional publisher? It is not our business model, so we are never going to publish for no cost, no matter how good the content.

Have you tried to find an agent? If it is an option for you to pay for services, I can send the updated cost structures. Let me know!

Best regards and Happy New Year to you too.

I understand, thanks for letting me know. I am now going to try other options that are on my plate. I thought you might have an inside connection with Twosome Corporation, of which Twosome Press is the self-publishing subsidiary…and could contact one of their honchos about my work, then I could take it from there. Just a shot in the dark, but yours IS the company that kindly accepted my work, when other self-publishers are shunning LGBT themed novels, because they’re just too much of a niche genre in these ruthlessly competitive times. I can’t afford an agent, so that is out of the question. It needs to be gratis. I have many irons in the fire, however, and I’m sure I’ll hit upon just the right arrangement. I just thought it would be nice to give Friesen first dibs. Thank you for taking time to read my request, and get back to me with a straightforward answer. Wishing you the very best for this year…a year that will be stunningly and positively amazing. You are most fortunate to be residing in one of the loveliest corners of the planet…in an excellent country, to boot!

Most sincerely,

Zeke Krahlin


Re: I need to contact my original handler: IMPORTANT
From: Brindlekin Tales (Zeke Krahlin)
To: Carmen Griffiths (Twosome Press)
Date: January 7, 2021 9:21 PM

Our parent company is a printer, not a publisher, so we don’t have that option. I am sorry!

Ah, I see, please excuse my ignorance.

For agents, they shouldn’t seek money from you. They would get their percentage from the deal they get with a publisher, so keep this in mind. There are, of course, the ones to avoid, like with any industry, who will try to charge upfront.

I’m hoping my tales will take off via social media, especially Youtube and WordPress. That will give me some needed clout. Then I would have better chances of finding the right agent, seeing as I have only one book to my name, but it’s self-published. Maybe they’ll even come knocking on my door while shoving the other agents away, as their numbers increase to get a piece of Zeke tales.

I hope you are right about the year ahead Zeke – we all need a little positivity!

A little? That’s quite an understatement IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion). My conclusion these days is we need a non-stop shower of positivity for 40 days and 40 nights!

Take care, and good luck!

I very much will, especially knowing there are good people like you in this world. I think that the book is mankind’s absolutely greatest invention! Of course, without the wheel, they couldn’t deliver them anywhere, at least not in the great quantities necessary for an author to become a mega-trillionaire and take over the world!

<3, Zeke


Chronic DOT Net

January 22, 2021

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 9, 2021 5:15 PM

On 2021-01-09 21:30, Chronic Support wrote:

Hello,

We currently have an AT&T technician outside your building trying to get access to your MPOE.

Best regards,

Isolde

Voicemail from Chronic employee, 1-9-21: click here to listen.

I had to step out for 20 minutes to walk my rescue doggies, then get some groceries. I haven’t even eaten breakfast yet because so busy (the DSL land line problem just adds to the burden), and it’s now after 3 PM. Otherwise, I’ve been home all day. I didn’t hear anyone call up to my window, and I hadn’t bothered to look out because I did NOT expect a Chronic tech to show up. Now that I’ve received your email, I see NO ONE outside. What good is this time stamp on the email when it states “21:30,” which I believe is 9:30 PM?” So I don’t even know WHEN your post arrived.

PS: Did you realize when I first signed up, Chronic assigned me a different phone number than the one I already had, even though I requested to keep the same number? I was real careful in the sign-up process to choose my current number. But the way your online form application works (or does NOT work) you cannot go back and check if you made a mistake, and could correct it. I DO recall that part of the form is not worded very well, and is confusing. But as I just said, I couldn’t get back to it in order to affirm that problem. So when I called about putting my original number into my new Chronic account, I was told it will take around three weeks to change it. Which for some strange reason also meant I wouldn’t have a working Internet connection for just as long…though a seperate problem, they weirdly coincided. I asked can I get reimbursed for almost a month’s time where I had to live withOUT Internet access, even though I’m paying for it…and the mistake is Chronic’s in the first place? They said “No we can’t.” Come to think of it, that may have been yourself!

So, now that this present debacle is going on, I am reminded of this earlier one, right off the bat when I signed up. There IS no one from Chronic outside…I guess I shouldn’t expect him or her to show up until around or shortly after 10 PM, because your post is dated 21:30 and you said they’ll be over in about a half hour…and I guess this is some kind of time warp thingy we’re dealing with? So because there is probably a short in the wires I may also lose my Internet connection again?

Right when I’ve never needed both Internet service and land line service more than ever in my entire life! Right when I finally have the rare chance of climbing out of an almost poverty level existence, where I need to seek out a literary agent and many other connections via TELEPHONE and leave them messages on their voicemail and wait for them to get back to me…and I REALLY need Internet access to post my new tales which I’m coming up with at least three times a week, in order to make the most of this present, golden opportunity that may never come again? UNBELIEVABLE.

[Dear Chronic forum reader: If you don’t believe I’m that talented as an author, that I’m just a crazy old coot…perhaps you should hold your judgment until AFTER reading a few of my Brindlekin Tales. Because, who knows? I may not even HAVE any Internet access at any moment, just like I no longer have my DSL phone…and lose all the new connections and support I’ve struggled so hard to make, in hopes of turning my tales into a literary success! All thanks to Chronic’s shoddy treatment of a relatively new customer (I’m into my second year, but so help me I’ll be dammed if I go for a third!) Be that as it may, I think in its own weird way, this is HILARIOUS, such that I’m gonna create an entirely NEW chapter all about this cyber dilemma and call it “Chronic DOT net.” Check it out if you have the time (chapter 21); this may be my last chance to access cyberspace, for quite some while…’cause NO ONE from Chronic has gotten back to me, and it’s now 12:48 AM. I don’t even believe anyone from either AT&T or Chronic ever dropped by. But OMG who am I to think that I’m at least as important as anyone else…mea culpa! They certainly didn’t wait around, ’cause I woulda been back within 20 minutes, probably much sooner!]

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/brindlekin-tales/

Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 10, 2021 11:52 AM

Please note that my Internet connection has deteriorated to the point where my ability to connect is sporadic and more frequent as of last night. Therefore my posting this update could only be done once a window opened, so that I could get through. IOW, your tech service may not be able to reach me at all, or, if so, I probably will NOT be able to reply in a timely fashion. Okay, having said that, here is something very important I have to explain to you:

There was absolutely no indication that either an AT&T or Chronic.net tech person ever showed up. No note stuck to the front gate, no voicemail followup by EITHER one of them. And I am home ALL the time, except for a brief walk with my rescue dogs, or to pick up some groceries or sundry items from a corner shop just two blocks down Noe Street. At the absolute MOST I’m never away from my “hovel” (which is what I call my dump of a single room here on Market Street in the Castro) more than twenty minutes (but often less) twice a day within working hours (9 AM to 5 PM that is). All they had to do was call up to my window, which is right above the front gate, “Zeke!” or “AT&T here” or “Chronic here!” The other (perhaps better) option is to ring up the building manager via the menu selection on the intercom right beside the gate. Seems to me that, if either one arrived, they just stood around for a minute or so without doing either, and took off!

This is inexcusable, seeing as Chronic still has numerous customers who subscribe to their lowest tier service, because low income…which is 10 MB broadband via DSL. Who also are less likely to AFFORD a smartphone with cell service beCAUSE of a sparse budget. Under such circumstances, Chronic administration should be fully prepared to service such customers who may not have a basic line of communication via a smartphone, or a land line (should that also go down, as it has for me). I’d say such emergencies are RARE anyway, and will be little skin off Chronic.net’s teeth. In my case, all a techie has to do is hang around for a short while, if both calling up to my window and trying to contact the building manager via intercom, do not pan out. Which is highly unusual, I might add. For if I don’t answer by poking my head out the window, I am either out with the doggies and/or picking up groceries, and GUARANTEE that I will be back shortly. This means that one of your service people can show up ANY time without first giving notice, during working hours, and by following the simple instructions I just presented, he or she WILL be able to enter the building and perform the needed repair. FYI:

When I first got my Chronic service set up, your staff was most accommodating to my particular situation of not owning a smartphone, by arranging with one of their techies, to email me when he was soon to arrive, and I could email him back to let him know I’ll be waiting at the front gate. Also, he was instructed to call up to my window, if I weren’t there at the moment. As a result, installation went smoothly. Very nice fellow, BTW, but offhand I don’t remember his name.

Essentially, by treating my emergency so flippantly, you are basically SABOTAGING my budding career right when it’s getting off the ground!

I have recently adopted two lovely dogs of dachshund and terrier mix from a homeless friend…thus ending their miserable existence being exposed to bitterly cold nights (and days, this is sure a prolonged cold snap) and the erratic mood swings of their (fortunately former) bipolar guardian who has been verbally and physically abusing them in small, but increasingly frequent and harsh increments, over the past several months. The story of how I achieved ownership over the pups, and the many tales around them and their vagrant owner, are what my Brindlekin Tales are all about. It is a work in progress, and available for anyone, anywhere on this planet, to read each latest chapter that I upload every two days or so. Anyone on the planet, that is, with an Internet connection which, ironically, now threatens to elude me at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME.

All my writings I consider in the public domain right off the bat, BTW. All chapters presently completed are right there on my WordPress site:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/brindlekin-tales/

I also have set up a “Help Me Help 2 Homeless Doggies” GoFundMe project, as well as an “Amazon Doggy Wish List.” Both of which charitable sites are easily accessible via an image link on my web log…you can’t miss it.

Everything I’m trying to accomplish is basically now on hold, thanks to Chronic’s fumbling and blase regard. I can no longer update my social media accounts, my WordPress blog where I post my chapters (and other tales not related to Brindlekin stuff, but nonetheless inspiring and important), nor keep communication flowing on my work-in-progress with either my growing number of fans or anyone with hopeful connections for standard publication and other opportunities for both a lucrative outcome and/or expanding recognition for my good works. This includes running and promoting my GoFundMe and Wish List projects…without which I cannot continue to afford caring for these beautiful doggies, seeing as my only regular source of income is Social Security. In sum:

Now that I’ve made crystal clear to the good-but-clueless folks at Chronic, my particular (and most likely unique) situation…may God help you if you refuse to rectify this potentially tragic outcome by getting your asses out here to my residence ASAP. I mean, what the fuck am I paying through the nose for in the first place, to a company that projects a strong sense of community, customer satisfaction, and rapid turnover in resolving connection issues? I repeat:

YOU CAN GET HERE ANY TIME WITHIN WORKING HOURS, AND FIND ME, IF NOT IMMEDIATELY, THEN WITHIN A SHORT TIME UPON YOUR ARRIVAL! That’s [address excluded from original email], San Francisco.

Thank you for your (kind?) attention in this matter. And I pray for a speedy resolution, because of how IMPORTANT my projects as an LGBT street activist, author and dog rescuer truly are!


Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 11, 2021 4:34 PM

Hello Zeke,

I apologize for the delay in getting your service repaired. Unfortunately we don’t have the best control over whether ATT is willing to stay for us to contact the end user. We can try sending a chronic technician but if the issue is between the mpoe and street we’ll need to get ATT out again. If there’s a good way to immediately contact you please let me know and I can add it as a point of contact for ATT showing up. In the meantime I’ve gone ahead and resent the request to ATT to get the line looked at. Their estimated repair timeframe is between now and 8pm on the 12th. Another way to help ensure att is able to get access is if you’re able to leave a note or something on the door for them or if you could be make sure that access to the MPOE is unlocked and available.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Best regards,

Yma Deville – Perfidy & Eschatology Lead
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

Well, my voicemail still works…can’t they just call me when they’re gonna arrive soon, like anywhere between 10 minutes and a half hour from now? My Chronic phone service will instantly route the call to voice mail, and my Chronic webmail updates every five minutes. Or, the tech person can email me, as the other option. Than I can meet him or her at the front gate. That seems to be the best solution.


Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 11, 2021 7:49 PM

Okay, I taped a folded message on the front gate with “AT&T” on the outside, in block letters. Inside, it says “MPOE is unlocked in the basement, anyone will let you in. Or call up to my window above the gate and on the left: ‘Zeke! AT&T here!’ Or you can buzz manager Kevin Bond via the intercom menu. Thanks! Happy Nude Ear!”


Re: [Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 12, 1:10 PM

UPDATE:

An AT&T technician showed up and supposedly fixed the problem…ha, ha, just joking. He got in some way other than calling up to my window (maybe I was out, walking the doggies), because I was NOT aware he showed up at all, until I got this voicemail from “Tosh” at Chronic.net:

Voicemail from Chronic employee, 1-12-21: click here to listen.

He left his phone number which, of course, I can NOT access, because my DSL land line is STILL dead. He failed to give me an email, so I’m back to contacting Support. This is part of the problem, and is entirely Chronic’s fault…by not informing anyone who assists with a complaint, that the particular customer has no phone access (including no cell service), and may STILL lack said access even AFTER AT&T has (ahem) “resolved” the problem. And as a result, the confusion and frustration heaped upon customers in this situation just pile on.

Please note that I do NOT want anyone in my room because I have recently adopted two doggies off the street, and they don’t need the disturbance of strangers. I’m SURE the source of the malfunction is outside my domicile, anyway. And I QUESTION if the AT&T worker really did his or her job…because they failed to do so on my initial switchover to Chronic, causing me an almost three-week delay before I could use Chronic services (which I might add, was Chronic’s fault as well, due to not getting back to me for a LONG time, so I had to resort to posting the issue on their Twitter page, which finally got their attention, and problem resolved…but boy was that an uphill FIGHT all the way, for which AT&T is only partly to blame).

Be that as it may, it is super EASY to access my building (and the MPOE) without contacting me first, or even informing me of when a Chronic tech will be arriving. (Which is not always a good thing, for such easy access makes it equally simple for any derelict, vagabond, thief or prowler to enter my building without even breaking in!) They can either call up to my window, contact the building manager, Kevin Bond, via the intercom menu, or just wait a minute or two for a resident who’s coming or going, to let them in.

My Internet connection is presently subpar: Chronic speed test shows my download rate to be 2.7 Mbps. And I am NOT doing any torrent downloading, or using a VPN to cause that slowdown. I’m thinking that DSL may not cut it in the long run, due to a really ancient MPOE that is more knotty than Medusa’s hair. Plus the partially open roof structure that goes all the way to the basement, exposes the MPOE to frequent dampness and possibly, rainfall dripping over it through leaks in the shabby stairs right above. Here’s a pic of the MPOE; if you cringe, I’ll understand:

This is happening to me at the WORST possible time, demanding a focus that I simply CAN’T afford right now. My writing, self-promoting (including seeking the best literary agent, as well as posting several days a week, my latest tale to a growing base of followers), along with caring for two, newly adopted doggies…and relying on GoFundMe and my Amazon Doggy Wish List to feed and provide for them in other ways, which services I could NOT access if my Internet connection decides to finally go south.

If things keep diddling along as they already are, I will have to find some other way to connect…probably through an Android tablet with unlimited 3G and 2G, that allows tethering at no extra cost, and does not have cell service. In which case I will BREAK my contract with Chronic, whether they agree to it or not. The law IS on my side. If I have to, I’ll get a NEW debit card, so Chronic can no longer make automatic withdrawals.

Of course I’d prefer to maintain my Chronic account, but not under such a difficult condition, in a city that is supposed to be the epicenter of high tech, though actual experience by countless customers exposes a rather irresponsible and corrupt underbelly. While Chronic may be the LEAST corrupted, they still leave much to be desired, largely because of their dependence upon AT&T, but not completely…which REQUIRES all customers to pay for a land line, whether they want it or not.

I REALLY don’t have the time for this…and my important projects are all suffering to an extreme, because of this Kafkaesque charade.

Most sincerely,

Ezekiel J. Krahlin
Veteran LGBT activist, homeless advocate, author and dog rescuer since before the dawn of Futurama.

PS: Wifi for my android tablet and non-cell-service smartphone is sporadic, at best, keeps crapping out even though I’ve reset the network several times. And there is also the very SERIOUS matter of a neighbor down my hallway allowing her son’s guests to hang out IN that hallway and RIGHT BEFORE MY DOOR for several hours once or twice a week, because she’s “helping” another mom who can’t be home for that time period, when they get out of school. So they make lots of noise, even argue and scream at times, and I have absolutely NO privacy, they see me whenever I exit and enter, and worst of all: THEY REFUSE TO WEAR A MASK! And I HAVE NO PHONE SERVICE which is vital under such a circumstance, in order to document this with calls to the health department and other pertinent agencies. At least I can call 911 with the smartphone, but that’s a bandaid. This horrific situation has been going on for months, even though I confronted the building manager and the guilty party TWICE within a period of five weeks, four and three months back. SO I NEED A WORKING PHONE, AND I NEED IT BAD.


Re: [ Chronic #6249432] [VOICE] No Dial Tone – STI: STI-0362244-6
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 14, 2021 4:21 PM

On 2021-01-15 03:27, Chronic Support wrote:

Hello,

You just received an email with a link to schedule your appointment. This dispatch would not require anyone to enter your home however the technician may need some help from you inside. It looks like no appointments are available on the calendar until 01/29. We would like to expedite it for you since its been an ongoing issue. Please let me know if you will be available in next few days so I can call over to our dispatch team and get an appointment set up.

Best Wishes,

Spinster P. – Comorbidity & Pestilence
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

I am available any day from tomorrow through forever. Go ahead and expedite an appointment. I will be glad to assist anywhere in my building except my actual room. Since I have no telephone or cell phone, the worker can email me when he or she is soon going to arrive…within a half hour, with 20 minutes or 10, whatever. My webmail refreshes every five minutes. They can also call up to my window, which is right above the front gate and just to the left, and say: “Chronic is here!” I might be out walking my doggies. If no answer from my window, he or she can contact the building manager, Kevin Bond, via the intercom menu, and he’ll let you in. If I’m out, I will be back very shortly, and they can wait in the lobby. Also, just standing by the gate will get the techie inside, by asking a resident who is entering or exiting, to allow entry. At any rate, I’ll probably be here, and if I receive an email, I will be sure to be at the front gate when a Chronic headache shows up.

Thanks, Spinster!


My latest message to the Chronic forum, dated 1/14/21:

UPDATE:

Okay, two days have now passed without so much as a peep from Chronic support. Finally, today this email from them arrived, stating:

“It looks like no appointments are available on the calendar until 01/29. We would like to expedite it for you since it’s been an ongoing issue.”

I was glad to hear from them, about getting my particular problem resolved ASAP. However, I’d like to point out that, normally, a customer will have to wait at least two weeks before resolving a connect issue? This sounds more like the way AT&T and Comcast behave…not a smaller, supposedly “community oriented” company that prides itself on a fast resolution! Unbelievable! That would turn ANY problem into an ongoing issue!


Latest update from Chronic’s forum, Fri. Jan 15, 2021 9:35 am:

Hi ezekielk,

Per my email earlier, we have a dispatch for you between 12pm and 4pm today. It is strongly recommended you don’t leave the property during the dispatch time. Our techs in the field do not have access to email so I asked that they call me when when they are inbound and then I will email you to let you know when they are on the way. But our techs will only wait up till 15 minutes if the customer is not on site. So it is fairly critical to be there during the dispatch window. Regardless, we got them on their way today and it shouldn’t be too hard to thread the proverbial dispatch timing needle.

Fantastic, thank you! I WILL be on site (a.k.a. “home”)…and if you really do follow up with an email as to a more specific time slot, I WILL be at the front gate, awaiting their arrival. And if the doggies’ need to poop’n’pee is urgent at that time, I will only walk them three or four doors from my residence, in either direction, keeping an eye out for a Chronic vehicle.

Please realize I’ve been making a big stink because not only am I in the middle of making my climb towards popularity of my tales via cyberspace and seeking a top notch agent…but also because I’ve become embroiled with a serious matter in my apartment building, where I MUST have a phone to find an attorney and keep in touch, as well as contact various legal and gov’t agencies in order to build my case, and protect my own person along with my two lovely rescue dogs. This is clearly laid out in my blog entry called “Letter to the Landlord:”

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/letter-to-the-landlord/

IOW: access to both the Internet and a telephone are tantamount to not just achieving success as an author and activist, but to my very well-being and even survival. I APOLOGIZE if this has caused some Chronic nerves to jangle, but I’m sure now you understand my desperate pleas. Thank you for your kind attention and patience…and taking action.


Re: [Chronic #6259025] Re: Chronic Appointment Confirmation
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 11:40 AM

Hi Zeke,

Fantastic, it’ll be nice to get someone on site and get this sorted. I know it has been a pretty rough ride. Our techs are MILES more reliable than outside techs, so you won’t have to worry about us not showing up. Between the two of us lining up the details as much as we have this should be a slam dunk.

Warm regards,

Lucifer K. – Customer Boil & Wart Remover
Chronic Inc, 666 Beelzebub Way Satan Rosa, Ca
Sun-Sat 8am to 10pm Support: 666-666-6666

Amazing, thank you. This is a most UNIQUE situation I am in, as the Fates enjoy mucking with me rather often, putting me in precarious and seemingly impossible scenarios (sometimes quite embarassing, as well). This is but the latest one, and among the very worst, if not THE worst.


Re: Fwd: Re: Chronic Appointment Confirmation
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Tara Roosevelt
Date: January 15, 3021 12:35 PM

Your correspondent at Chronic seems to have a fair amount on the ball; let’s hope he delivers!

Let’s hope he does. I really don’t WANT to lambaste them, or have my phone remain dead, and, possibly, my Internet service die out, as well. I’m trying to staunch an oncoming travesty that threatens to wipe out my entire life, as well as that of the doggies. This is quite an intimate war with the devil, so to speak! We do NOT need such a horror to unfold!

  • Zeke

Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 3:14 PM

Hello, the technician for your Chronic dispatch is on his way and is about 10 minutes away from arrival.

Okay, Jonathan from Chronic came out today, did a great job of looking into the matter…but it looks like AT&T will have to come out again, because the Internet connection remains flaky. So he’s gonna try to arrange showing up WITH them, this Thursday, the 21st at 1 PM. He tested out the dial tone, it’s working, so I’ll need to see if a new extension cord will to the trick…if not that, then a new analog phone which I can order from Amazon for under 13 bucks. I will get the cord thing done later today, keeping my fingers crossed that it will work.

I’m guessing when both Internet and DSL went down, a short damaged either the cord or the phone itself. Thanks for your attention, again. Problem is, w/o phone access over the next few days, I may be up shit creek, due to harassment of certain residents’ visitors in this building, who aimlessly wander my hallways, and whom the manager is doing NOTHING to stop it.


Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 15, 2021 4:01 PM

DSL phone line works again. Turns out I needed a new extension cord…I guess because when the Internet and phone lines went down, it shorted out the telephone cord. Dumb thing is, I DID try another cord, but no cigar. I have three spare cords stashed away, but I only tried one. So a few moments ago I tried yet another cord, and now it’s fine. Chronic techs still need to get my Internet connection back up to snuff, and they’ll probably return with an AT&T tech this coming Thursday. Hopefully, my Internet access will remain workable till then…it’s down to 2.7 Mbps, which is fine with me for what I do online: Youtube Studio, Worpress blogging, Facebook and Twitter posting…and tons of email and listserv participation.

But I AM particularly relieved to have phone access again, due to a conflict in my apartment building with another resident’s loitering-in-the-hallway-right-in-front-of-my-door visitors, and the manager, who chooses to do nothing about it. My line needs to stay open, so I can begin documenting the offenses against me (including risk of exposure to COVID-19 by not one, but several, people who don’t even live in my building). by contacting various agencies, including the health department, police department, etc. As well as finding, and staying in contact with, an attorney.


Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Tara Roosevelt
To: Zeke Krahlin
Date: January 15, 2021 4:48 PM

The suspense is killing me!!!

On 1/15/2021 1:02 PM, Zeke Krahlin wrote:

{{ On 2021-01-15 20:49, Chronic Support wrote:

Hello, the technician for your chronic dispatch is on his way and is about 10 minutes away from arrival. }}

Wonderful, I’ll be out front in a jiff.

I’m tellin’ ya Tara, these real-life sagas I’ve been writing the past few months, are cliffhangers around every corner! Brindlekin Tales is gonna be a real blockbuster of a book. Then come the movies. Then the comic books and online gaming. And, of course, all the toys and dolls they will propagate. And clothing I guess, but I haven’t thought much about THAT aspect. Cruella de Vil’s brindle coats and capes? All synthetic, of course, or I’ll moider ’em! Taco & Wiley slippers? Don’t forget the Brindlekin app! – Zeke


My latest message to the Chronic forum, dated 1/16/21:

This is peculiar. Since installing a working phone cable, my Internet download speed is now a whopping 6.78 Mbps…so, back to normal. Are you telling me that a thwarted connection to the landline phone can mess with my Interwebs speed? I need my coffee.


Re: [Chronic #6259239] Chronic Dispatch
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Chronic Support
Date: January 16, 2021 6:07 PM

Hello, Zeke!

I’m glad you were able to solve the no dial tone issue. We have our technician and an AT&T technician scheduled to go back out this Thursday the 21st at 1pm to address the internet connection issue.

Best regards,

Isolde

Great…I’ll make sure to be home at that time and day…it’s on my calendar now. Strange thing is: my download speed dived to around 2.7 Mbps, after my DSL flaked out. But as soon as I replaced the extension cord, my download speed climbed back up to almost normal: 6.5 Mbps! Just 1 Mbps lower than the average. Doesn’t make sense to me that a bad or nonexistent phone line would sabotage my Internet speed. Coincidence, perhaps?

Thank you, Isolde.


My latest messages to the Chronic forum, dated 1/17/21:

by voluptuousmelvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:43 pm

Yup–anything that interferes with the line’s operation can affect your speeds. A short that affects the voice line very likely will affect Internet throughput.

by ezekielk » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Well, this is the first time anyone informed me about that. Chronic never did, including the worker who came out to do “repairs.” So the cord was old, shorted out, causing my Internet download speed to plummet, after being out for almost an hour…while the land line stayed out. A simple cord replacement was all that was needed. If they told me to try a new cord in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this anxiety and waste of my, and their, time! Well that was quite a scary ride…like when I was a kid getting on a roller coaster for the first time.

Thank you for your insight, Voluptuous Melvin.

by voluptuous Melvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:37 pm

It’s tricky to diagnose, Zeke. The Chronic equipment often can detect the location of a short that’s outside the home, but the equipment has challenges troubleshooting when the issue is within the home. Phone cords don’t fail that often, and usually, the Chronic folks work from most likely suspect to least likely.

by ezekielk » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:08 pm

Of course phone cords don’t fail that often…that’s why it happened to me! Shit always happens to me, but not to anyone else. I feel like the world’s sin eater.

Thanks for your reply.

by voluptuous Melvin » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:37 pm

It’s tricky to diagnose.

by ezekielk » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:15 pm

I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense. The FIRST thing Chronic should do is tell the DSL customer something like:

“This is rare, but it happens. So the first thing you should do is replace your telephone cord, because sometimes that’s all that needs to be done.”

Look at all the time and work wasted because that simple instruction was never given! My impression is that since DSL is going the way of the dailup modem, technicians are losing basic knowledge around DSL. Furthermore, I’d say that a sudden drop of both Internet and phone is a sign that, yes, replace the phone line and see what happens next. For that WOULD be the “most likely suspect.” Sounds to me like you’re just making excuses. What, in my case, after hearing my original complaint, would YOU say is the most likely suspect?

I have a hunch there is NO need to send a technician out to my place again, including AT&T. I’m guessing there IS no more of my line being “a lot slower and all over the place,” as Jacob stated early in this thread, now that I have installed a new phone line. Shouldn’t that be checked now, before going through the motions of another visit? I mean, you’d THINK that, after I reported everything’s working fine again, someone at Chronic would do another remote check, to see if everything’s all cleared up. So why hasn’t that happened? It would save your company both money and time.


My latest message exchange to the Chronic forum, dated 1/19/21 through 1/21/22:

by voluptuousmelvin » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:57 pm

It’s not my company. I’m just another customer.

I had to replace the DSL filter on my line several times.That’s not even in the Chronic technicians’ script, because they’re not expected to fail at all, yet mine did. Chronic sent me several to have on hand so that I could make a replacement when the line became unstable.

==

by ezekielk » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:40 pm

I hope they didn’t drag things out for you, before resolving the issue! The DSL line is not expected to fail, yet it happened to you more than once? Incredilble.

by georgehr » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:28 pm

That is the unfortunate fact about copper infrastructure has numerous points of possible failure and is essentially assembled of various parts and elements that are in some cases quite old. While it is easy in hindsight to ask “why was this not asked first?” voluptuous Melvin is correct, the telephone cord being at fault is rare and less likely than the things we suggest first. Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer’s equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.

==

by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:01 pm

georgehr wrote:

Furthermore, it is typically poorly received for us to suggest the customer’s equipment is at fault as a first order of business. We will typically only begin suggesting customer equipment after having ruled out our own.

I disagree, because replacing the telephone cord is the SIMPLEST thing to try, so should be tested out first, before anything else. It is also EASY to do…so easy in fact, no technician is required. And if it doesn’t solve the problem, you can move on to other things which may be more costly and time consuming to resolve. A new cord costs very little…so little, in fact, Chronic could provide it for “free,” as part of the service already paid for by the customer (assuming he’s using a Chronic assigned gateway). I don’t think the customer would be the least bit offended, if worded diplomatically. And you’d have a VERY happy customer as a result of resolved the issue so promptly, if that’s all the problem was.

In fact, it strikes me that a failed cord is probably more common than one might think, due to its constantly being moved around, stepped on, and accidentally yanked. Same goes for the DSL line, in some cases.

At any rate, I’ll be sure to be home tomorrow at 1 o’clock sharp, to welcome the Chronic and AT&T techs with open arms! Though no one from Chronic has emailed me yet, to verify the appointment.

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by voluptuousmelvin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:49 pm

ezekielk wrote:

I hope they didn’t drag things out for you…

Chronic support was very responsive and put a lot of time into working with the line (I had Fusion X2 service, over copper). The line would work awesomely for a while, but then, on the line graphs, I could see where the sync rates on line 1 would go crazy. Chronic technicians visited my house several times, Chronic and AT&T ran diagnostics many times, Chronic and AT&T did vendor meets, and so forth.

The worst part is the issues with the erratic sync rates were intermittent, mostly occurring April through October. From November through March, the line was mostly stable.

Chronic tests showed AC current was present on my line, and theorized that it might be due to the PanaChronic cordless phone I had hooked up. We agreed, however, that the cordless phone uses DC current–that’s what the wall wart provides to it! This was verified when I left the phone unplugged and the current was still detected on the line.

Techs tried typical steps such as limiting the bit rate, and yet at some point, intermittent noise would occur, and then it would resync even lower. We finally agreed that no matter how low the cap, when the noise occurred, the resync would be lower than the cap. so we left it uncapped. I learned to check the sync stats periodically and record them, so that Chronic would have the information. I got into the habit of forcing the modem to resync multiple times a week. Most of the time, it would immediately sync at the usual rate, but sometimes I simply could not get it to sync and be stable.

One trick that I learned was to unplug everything: the MPOE test jack, the DSL filter, the phone line to the modem (at both ends), and the phone line to the phone (at both ends). On more than one occasion, this seemed to get it to sync when it was having issues. I started wondering if the various connections might be corroding, and unplugging and plugging might be cleaning the contacts. shrug

One day, out of frustration, I grabbed another filter out of the box and plugged it in, and for several weeks, the line stayed stable. When it went unstable again, I tried changing to another filter, and subsequently, the line was stable for another few weeks.

BTW, AT&T swapped pairs several times, and even did a port swap at the CO, and the issues persisted.

My theory is that somewhere along the path for line 1, the copper got close to some sort of equipment that threw out a strong EMF field, used extensively during the summer, and occasionally in the winter… perhaps a pool or hot tub pump, or something similar? I was about 4,500 feet from the CO (although occasionally Chronic’s test equipment suggested that I was 7,500 feet–I suspect it sometimes got confused by whatever was causing the problems).

Chronic never gave up. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by using AT&T’s infrastructure, so some dispatches depended on the latter’s availability, and that wasn’t during a pandemic when many more households were demanding instant service. And AT&T is trying to abandon its copper network, so some technicians were more helpful than others.

I’ve since moved from that house. At my current home, I’m on IPBB X2, and I’m about 300 feet from the VRAD. I can trace the line its entire length, and I can verify that it’s not routed near anything that should be causing noise on the line.

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by ezekielk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:37 pm

Well, that was such an amazing true story, so rich with detail, I am gobsmacked! You just made my day, my friend. It so happens I had to call 911 on a neighbor’s bullying teenage son tonight, who threatened to beat me up! This is the result of my sending a certified letter of complaint to the property owner (a big realty firm) about his “friends” hanging out in the hallway once or so per week for like two or three hours, being noisy, talking gansta (thus intimidating), and NOT WEARING A MASK! The manager did nothing about it, despite the two times I brought it up to him. So I sent my letter to the property owners, and a cc to the building manager, and to the son’s mom. Thus, this altercation ensued. He tried to intimidate me, but no such luck. I remained calm and stood my ground through it all, while his pathetic pipsqueak of a Universalist Unitarian mother stood nearby, wringing her hands.

So I returned to my hovel (that’s what I call my single room) and dialed 911…and thanking God that it’s working again, or I’d be up shit creek without a paddle! The cops FINALLY showed up, were very cordial, attentive and professional, and talked to these stupid neighbors, while I waited in my room for the cops to return and give me a report. They basically said they warned them they are breaking the law in several ways, which is what I hoped they would say, as this was a good show of force to let them know I am NOT scared, just royally pissed. Her son is a big, athletic dude, 6’1″, all of 17 years old, and I am a scrawny, white 70-year-old eccentric author only 5’7′ in height. So it was a VERY interesting day, topped off by a most incredlble true event re. your outrageous experience with Chronic ISP. I’m composing INCREDIBLE tales these days, and I invite anyone here, to take a gander:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/brindlekin-tales/

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by voluptuousmelvin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:59 pm

I think that if anyone deserves fault in my experience, it’s the owner of the poorly maintained copper. As I mentioned, Chronic was very responsive and kept pushing AT&T, but there’s only so far that one can push a mountain.

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by ezekielk » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:05 am

I can agree with that part, thanks for the telling of a most interesting cyber-debacle. My situation is, however, quite different…and thank Cthulhu for that. It was basically a simple part that failed, and AT&T, the eternal scapegoat, had nothing to do with it.

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by ezekielk » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:29 am

My connection and DSL phone line are now working properly. But I’m afraid if I hadn’t made a big stink about it, I would’ve had to wait in line until the end of the month, before any tech person would even come out. That doesn’t seem fair for any customer…let alone myself who, without phone access, would’ve been in really deep doo-doo, because I’ve suddenly gotten embroiled with some vulgar neighbor down the hallway who’s harassing me and the doggies. If my DSL phone line were still not working, I wouldn’t have been able to call 911 (as I have been threatened with violence), or contact the property owners, or even the building manager for that matter. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to continue my search for a literary agent, or update my stories on social media for almost three weeks, and perform other tasks vital to my vocation…at a crucial moment in my efforts to expand my readership fan base, which has just begun to take off. All that would’ve collapsed, without access to either a telephone, or the Internet.

So, while I”d like to say “thank you immensely,” I cannot do that, in all honesty. The technicians who came out were all excellent, BTW…I give them the highest rating, realizing they are not responsible for the convoluted infrastructure mostly controlled by monopolies, that we must all deal with. I suppose most customers have some sort of emergency backup for their Internet and phone, which is, obviously, a smartphone or tablet with cell service. Especially one which can be tethered. Or one can use a bluetooth keyboard and, perhaps, an external bluetooth monitor. So now I know what I’m gonna spend a chunk of my next stimulus check on. I can NOT afford to be without a phone or Internet connection for even a single day, as things are moving so fast in my life right now. This would NOT have been the case, but for the pandemic, because, before then, I could readily go to a coffeehouse or library and use public wifi. Which is why I’ve also invested in a VPN. But now, things are rather different. In fact, public wifi had been my ONLY access to cyberspace for at least several years by now…and I was perfectly happy with that.

I subscribed to Chronic.net as my first broadband service ever…figuring I can manage the expense, even though my sole income is Social Securty. (Rent control has saved my life; if not for that, I’d have died on the streets a long time ago.) But once the pandemic hit three months after I began using Chronic, I realized what a stroke of good luck that was, timing-wise. So, lesson learned:

You can’t even rely on a single source for your internet OR your phone line..ALL Internet services based on DSL are gonna be a headache sometimes, for connection problems. But as far as all available ISPs out there in the Bay Area, Chronic is probably the best option overall.

Thus, I’ve reached the point where I MUST get a smartphone with cell service…I’ve held out long enough. This is gonna be difficult, financial wise, though the next stimulus check will be a godsend. Of course, I’ll look for the cheapest possible deal.

Thank you for everyone’s patient and kind input here, BTW. My New Year’s gift to everyone living on this planet, is a hilarious, short, satirical sci-fi piece called “2021 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!” If you’re in need right now for a good belly laugh (and who isn’t) click here and you’re on your way to chuckleville:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/29/2021-is-going-to-be-a-fantastic-year/


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