~ This is Part #3 of the Qwest Wars.
I promised this post yesterday; not really “yesterday”, but the day before (yesterday) I promised this post for “tomorrow” which WAS yesterday, not today when I’m really writing this post. There’s a point in all of this. Maybe there are several points. The first point is about communication and reliability; sometimes known as “credibility”. The second point is about New Mexico, “Land of Manana” – not the “Land of Enchantment” mantra so much.
“Manana” is a Spanish word, in the Spanish language; the word is “Mexican” to some. It means “morning” literally, but in Mexico the morning comes tomorrow so the word is often used as being more about tomorrow than today so the word has shifted in its meaning to mean “tomorrow”.
New Mexico I was told when I first moved here was The Land of Manana. Anglos said it, the Spanish said it, Hispanics said it too so I don’t think it was a racist thing; people south of the border work hard each day, get things done, finish tasks on time – New Mexico is different – New Mexico is “new”.
Here, meaning north of the border, the whites are lazy (“laid back” might be a better word); its not just those with brown skin that need more discipline, more verve, more direction and less dalliance. The Manhattan Project is a case in point; building the bomb (the atomic bomb) in New Mexico instead of some other state.
The project was conceived of (so they say) to save lives. The point of course would be to build the bomb quickly, as quickly as possible, get scientists huddled together where there are brisk invigorating winds; a “do it now culture”, in a “Land of Urgency” where the “war emergency” might be overcome or at least met as in “met head-on” or met as in meted out with timeliness and efficiency.
But no, New Mexico was chosen as the place to build the bomb because of its remoteness, its isolation; because no one really knew (in 1942) that the place existed unless they lived there or knew someone else that did. New Mexico was a typo on the map; it says “new”, but it must be Mexico, land of beauty, you know the song. And New Mexico too was somewhat expendable, not like Chicago where the atomic tests first started; people might miss Chicago if something went wrong. Who would miss New Mexico, the people, the culture, the history, those on the reservations? Who in New York, in New Orleans or Atlanta, even in Seattle drinking coffee? In 1942 no one cared, New Mexico was just a place to harvest code-talkers (strange languages in New Mexico); place of open deserts, low populations, poor communications – just the place to make a bomb that could annihilate the world if something did go wrong, but New Mexico would go first and that’s the only thing that mattered (to those planning and playing Manhattan).
If the bomb had been built elsewhere (not in the Land of Manana) it probably would have been ready much sooner. Missouri, the “Show Me” state, birthplace of Truman would have been good – put Kansas City and St. Louis on the line (not Albuquerque). Dust the farms (of Kansas and Missouri) with fallout, not the Cholla and the Pinon and the Pueblo people. Vermont might have worked, hard workers from the “Green Mountain” state, build the bomb on Green Mountain and maybe make it green, more efficient, no carbon footprint, wash your hands on weekends by the sea instead of rolling down the Rio Grande on rafts just to visit Bandelier (National Monument) or getting drunk Saturdays in Santa Fe.
The world’s first detonation of an atomic bomb occurred on July 16, 1945 in New Mexico. The blast was “manana”, in the morning, 5:30 A.M. (MWT) – Mountain War Time to be exact. If the bomb had have been ready just one year sooner think of all the lives that might have been saved. All the deaths of just after D-Day, the deaths on the battlefields of Germany and France, the deaths in the camps of concentration, the deaths of Russian troops in their relentless march westward – all for not if not for “manana” and the idea of laid back and take your time and don’t rush or hurry because it does take time to build a bomb, to do the math, to process plutonium or uranium or figure out and build a core. “It’s like anything, we have all the time we need and it takes the time it takes”. “See you in the morning, maybe”.
Of course if the bomb had been ready any sooner it might have been used on Cologne (Koln) in Germany, maybe dropped near Dresden or Buckhenwald or Berlin. Buckhenwald was first opened on July 16 too (1937), eight years earlier – what lives might have been saved if it were seven? But all the lives were not saved, the Russians did come rushing in to Poland and Germany and Berlin; we had the cold war as a result, the Korean hot war, maybe even Mao in China to say nothing of the battle deaths on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and in Japan.
I’m not for war. I’m not for nukes or dropping the bomb (nuclear or otherwise) on any one. But the root of wars is procrastination, the misuse of time, the waste of effort and initiative in waiting for tomorrow to get things done; to fix things, to make things right, to talk while there is still time for talking before people start throwing bombs around and down subways, on cities, on peoples villages and homes.
I don’t know if President Obama will ever come to New Mexico and say, “Ich bin ein New Mexican”; “I am a New Mexican” in Spanish or in English. But even if he doesn’t, we ALL are. We’re all New Mexicans now, putting off until tomorrow what we should do today; taking time to fix things, more time to make things right, more time to say “I’m sorry” or to apologize in a thousand other ways. We take too much time to change, to do things, to get the job or any job done. Americans love to “kill time”, to wait for time to heal instead of doing the healing by ourselves.
This post is supposed to be about Qwest, Qwest Communications, Inc – International. I think you get my point. Qwest wastes peoples time, will not get their act together, will not put in the fiber optic cable that could solve a thousand problems and end all the Qwest Wars so much sooner; no nukes here, just a little fiber in everybody’s diet – fibers good, not just the “I Wonder” – bread (white and airy with whole bleached flour).
I need the speed that’s better than .97 M down(load) and 350 kb up(load). Those speeds may not be dial-up, but they are not much better. Nothing streams at these nothing speeds, no U-tube, no news, no big pictures or big sites or true communication with the outside world. Qwest still has everything copper here; copper cables down Copper street, Silver Street, Gold Street, Lead Street, Coal Street even. Streets in Albuquerque if you need to know. There is no “Fiber Optic” Street in Albuquerque; just so you know.
They (Qwest people) promised me a 5M service out of copper, not down Copper; the real copper cable composed of twisted pairs runs underground, under Fifth and under Sixth and under Tijeras, and Seventh and you get my drift and my direction; Qwest can count and so can I. At 15th Street there is a wash, underground sewer that “drains to river”, collects waste and water from near and far and washes it all down stream toward the river and to the sea (eventually) – to the coast of Texas, where Mexico and the US meet.
I wrote last year about the cave and cave-in. The hole 35 feet deep, three blocks long, and growing as it moved down 15th Street toward the Zoo and the River and the Sea. The street collapsed because of “manana”. “Manana” we will fix it, tomorrow we will get it done, some day we will have the money, one day we will do what’s right. “We know the sewer is broken, damaged, not rebuilt in 50 years; but why should we worry, it’s not like it will actually collapse now is it”?
It did collapse. The holes could swallow trucks or fire trucks; we’re talking big. The stench floated blocks away, fouled the air, made swine flu seem mild. It took months but finally the Mayor fixed the holes, but not the sewer. He fixed what could be seen as broken, not the broken part still underground – the part hidden beneath the cracking street under which the Qwest cable lies or lay. The Qwest cable is a lie. In the best of worlds it might carry 5M service. It can’t. It’s cracked and sewer water and rain water seeps in and slows things down and I know this because I have X-Ray vision (like Superman) or maybe because Qwest spent four hours yesterday fixing everything else and still my Qwest speeds really suck (a New Mexican, maybe Spanish too, word that means “not good”, “needs to be better”, “could be better if some one did something today and not tomorrow (manana).
Sunday evening was “bath night” in Albuquerque. I took my Sunday bath on Sundays in Carson City and in Kabul when I lived there too. It’s an all-American thing; get ready for school on Mondays, clean and fresh, the morning of the week; it’s good to be clean and bright and be ready for an education. Baths probably start at eight, use lots of water (down the drain). Your drain (if you live in Albuquerque or nearly any other place) combines with others, enters drains and sewers, flows downhill in what eventually combines into one large “down load” (water and soap and flushings, not bits and bytes of speed).
Chances are (depending on where one lives) that all this wet will end up going down, rushing down, 15th Street; underground like where the Qwest cable is. It takes a little time. Water does not move at the speed of light like cable does, DSL does, ones modem does. Water obeys the laws of physics, resistance against the walls and pipes and broken cracked mains. It takes time for water to “wick up”, to seep through cracks and saturate the earth and ground and points of separation between broken mains and broken wire sheathings. Engineers understand this, how it works; why this situation might not work.
Once one thinks about it they don’t have to be an Engineer; it’s easy to GET once you “get it”; a real world education.
So about 9:00 PM or 9:30 my Qwest High-Speed Internet speed went from maybe 1.24 to nothing. The static on my filtered phone line was so bad I could barely make a call. Qwest repair was of course not busy because Qwest repair was closed; not taking calls for the Philippines or for Mumbai.
The download kept on downloading for an hour, no relief, just water and waste and waiting for tomorrow to reach Qwest and hear Qwest say we’ll come out “tomorrow”.
By Wednesday (because “tomorrow” is never really tomorrow) Qwest came out. Changed every wire not new already; new wire to my house was new two years ago, new line box new then too, new customer box new two years ago, new modem new on Saturday, new Internet (5M in theory) new on Sunday (the activation date, not the Qwest install date). On Wednesday I got new twisted pairs (same old cable), new routing on the wires behind my house, a new new Qwest modem that was older (but maybe better).
It took 4 hours (I said that). Four hours with Qwest is a long, long time; worth maybe $400 counting wages, pension, truck, insurance, benefits, medical. In the many years of static service (meaning line static on the phone when it rains and drains to river or when too many people shower or flush) Qwest must have spent at least $2,000 at or near my house. One overhead bit of fiber cable would have solved it all. They said “no” then. They say “no” now. “You’ll live and die with copper”. “You live in Albuquerque, in downtown, in old town, in an old neighborhood”. “You knew it was old, it’s going to stay old so we won’t help it (or you)”.
My dialogue is all made up. Qwest Communications insists that their communications are confidential. They’ve posted warnings on their emails, “Confidential” – “These words are owned by Qwest”. My words are owned by me (so be it). It is taking ownership of actions, not words, that matters. Qwest still won’t fix the line. Last night I had a 1.26 M speed, some people bathe daily I guess; I guess they get clean for Thursdays, but it is Sundays when the big wash will come; but now it’s raining, so maybe more will be lost.
One mile of plastic wire. One mile would make me and others free. One Miracle Mile to separate downloads (wet) from downloads (bytes) and make Qwest’s lies the truth, 5M service could be almost 5 M service like I will pay for. The chances of this happening ever? Qwest will tell me “tomorrow”.
Don’t hold your breath. I won’t hold mine.
[Originally written: 2010.04.01 / Thursday – The root of War]