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Sunday, January 25th "Satelite dish; Telefonica's a lot like Time Warner, but worse; Betis-Real Madrid"

Hooking up a satelite dish in the states is generally a piece of cake. Drill a hole, run the cable out it through the yard where there's a bit of clear sky and connect the cable. I know I'm making it sound easier than it is, but it's nothing compared to our last Saturday. We spent an hour to find how to run cable through the walls and various junction boxes up to the roof. Another 30 minutes using ladders and a little brain power to figure how to get to the top of the roof where the dish needed to be mounted. Then an hour and a half mounting the dish to the community antenna, as Carlos balanced himself above a 2 story drop, leaning over a gate with pointed metal arrows to keep roof jumpers out. After propoerly installing everything we tried for another 30 minutes to get a signal until we realized that attaching it to the community antenaa was: 1) not stable enough, and more importantly 2) ruining the reception of local channels for us and all of our neighbor's. A nice "welcome gift" from us to all those in the buiilding! We headed out to buy a pole to mount the dish on and after another 2 hours of work we were up and running. Total time: 7 hours!

Many, many people complain about Telefonica as they are a giant monopoly. I like to compare them to Time Warner back home - I have little choice but to use them, they know it and they don't care. So I am still without an ADSL connection, which is ok. We were told to order service so they could schedule the install and then call back in a few days to tell them what equipment we wanted - a USB modem or a Wi-Fi network. We were also told it would not delay the install if we called before a certain day last week. Being safe we called two days early and of course were informed that this was a change to our order and it would now be another 10-15 days for the install. The folks taking the calls have no experience with ADSL, tell you what you want to hear just so they can hang up. This is much like our past experience when we set up a bank draft for the monthly Telefonica bill. We called three times to set it up and had our phone cut off twice because we did not pay - we did not pay because we thought they were taking it out of our account as we had specified. But when we called back they had lost our bank details and record of our calls. They're such nice people...

A break from my move was the Betis-Real Madrid game the other weekend. A great game and of course a few penalties which were not called made the difference ("Así gana Madrid! Así gana Madrid!). But Betis is playing much better after playing themselves out of the Copa del Rey, and there's hope to move up in the league table and beyond Sevilla.