Skip Verizon FiOS – Not What It’s Cracked Up to Be – Dissatisfied…!

Well, it seems that Verizon has put me in a sour mood… FiOS! If you can, skip Verizon FiOS…

When FiOS was first introduced to the consumer market, I truly believed it would be a good step up. FiOS, fiber technology to your t.v. Clean, fast connectivity, no delays.

We were wrong. Since we first got FiOS, we had 100 Mbps speeds but right away, we started seeing

  • Momentary pauses (1-5 seconds) on t.v. (episodes, movies, etc) every so often, spread across all the cable stations we watched – during all time slots – all 7 days of the week
  • Moments of pixelations during shows (sometimes at those infamous critical moments – you all know what I mean) and you never hear or see what happened
  • Moments of video distortion (just as bad as pixelation), including blank gaps of video…

Put in a trouble call finally and Verizon customer support and their tech person who came out had the audacity to say it was the t.v.s (we have 2, with each t.v. being on a different DVR box – non-shared digital content) or even the DVRs. Both t.v.s were newer LED models (samsung).

Now, you should know, I am not the average Joe Schmo – I’ve been in the tech field myself for a very long time – voice and data communication; routers; firewalls; IBM mainframes; PC networks and more. When I talk about troubles and troubleshooting, I speak from a large background, including one of research, efficiency, productivity and problem-solving.

I tried to inform the customer service team over the phone that I have an extensive technical background but they discounted it pretty much when I tried to tell what the problem could be:

a) signal from the TelCo exchange (think ISP) to the building box is dirty or cable along that route has bad fiber

b) signal from building box to floor junction box (where all the condo units on this floor are served from) could be dirty or the fiber cable

c) fiber from the floor junction box to our unit is bad or has a dirty signal

d) or signal from unit router to t.v.s is bad

The tech did what they do. Replaced a couple of interior cable pieces; checked the signal from the floor junction box to our router and from router to t.v.s. He checked and boosted signal from the TelCo to our place. (You should know that sometimes, over the years – the actual wire, fiber or copper pin in the center of the connecting piece has a tendency to recede and lose that point of contact with the DVR {or DVD player} or access coupling point)

What he did appeared to solve the problem, because the frequent issues stopped appearing, while the tech was on site and for a short time after.  For both t.v.s, no more pixelation or pauses. Obviously at this point, it is clear the t.v.s have nothing to do with this and the DVRs are not the culprit either (the customer service person had tried to get me to upgrade the DVRs as they were older units).

We were charged for the service call…

The problems started happening again, on both TVs. I decided to upgrade to the “Quantum FiOS Gateway” router (I bought it instead of renting it) and boosted the FiOS speed to 150 Mbps to see if that would offset those snags above. It did not.

Put in another service call – went through the same rigamarole. This time, I told the customer service person over the phone, what the signal strength and error numbers were on each TV (you can access that info yourself in the Verizon troubleshooting section of the menu). Tech came out but this time, this guy also replaced the ONT unit that is inside our unit. Cleaned up the signal and viola – no more problems, again.  We were not charged for service this time.

Again, the issue is not with the TVs or the DVRs – it is the fiber from the TelCo to our building or to our specific unit.


At this point, I decided to bump up to the near Gigabit speed (it is not full gigabit) at 980 Mbps because I do a lot of studying and research (I am not a gamer, not enough time in the day – or week) and wanted my wife and I to have fast connectivity on all of our devices at all times.

Well, guess what, the problems returned. Though, the pixelation is not as bad as it used to be but we, the customers, are supposed to be receiving clean signals to watch crystal clear video.

At this point, I am seriously debating about just dumping Verizon FiOS for a competitor…

The funny thing is, when we watch Netflix or Amazon Prime, we do ‘not’ get any kind of video problem at any time since we moved to FiOS. I was talking to a colleague at work and he and I both agree that it is likely due to the buffering that Amazon and Netflix does but Verizon does not.

Either way, we are sick to death of FiOS signal issues and we are not that kind of fanatically loyal Verizon customers to stay with them no matter what. We are not willing to pay them again to come out to ensure we have a crystal clear fiber video signal across all stations, all day, everyday.

Our recommendation – if you have a choice of getting another cable ISP vendor, go elsewhere and skip Verizon altogether…

NOTE: One other major point of contention. To this day, Verizon still does have the capacity to transfer your DVR’s stored content from one DVR to another DVR if they have to replace one. Yes, yes, for those homes, apartments where they are doing shared storage content – that is all well and good.  But for those who desire to have ‘separate’ DVRs and ‘not’ share storage space – there is no mechanism to save and transfer your content to a replacement DVR (even Verizon can tell you how much space you’ve used, how much is left and I believe what you have stored). So, if your DVR takes a nosedive, beware, you’re gonna lose whatever is stored on it – unless Verizon ‘does’ now have a way to transfer that content to another new DVR that I am not aware of…

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Dunkin Donuts & No Reduced Fat Milk Choices

Hmmm, went in to a Dunkin Donuts store in Bethesda, MD (near old Barnes & Noble) to get my usual doughnuts & low fat (or reduced fat) milk as I do in other doughnut places.

And, boy/girl, was I surprised. No low or reduced fat milk, only whole milk:

  • 14 g fat, 9 g saturated fat & 0.5 g TRANS fat.

=== Even 7/11 sells 1% milk (regular or chocolate).

Yes, I realize it is a fattening food establishment but I like 1% or 2% milk with my ‘donuts’. I only do this richness, fattening ritual once in a while and try not to go too crazy overboard with other mind blowing fattening choices like eclairs or apple fritters or m&m candied doughnuts, just glaze & chocolate frosted.

Guess I’ll start skipping DD due to that lack of milk choices – but then again, maybe it’s the clientele demand for all fattening choices with no regard for other less fattening items.

Someone on facebook just mentioned it might only be that particular store doing that (which is likely) as some that she had been to typically carries – light cream, skim and almond – none of which I care about. I only care for just 1% or 2% milk & coffee (w/low fat non-flavored creamer & splenda before anyone makes a comment) to sip on while studying and waiting for my car service to be completed. I will say though, if anyone ever produces flavored creamer with less fat & calories (think french vanilla or irish) – I’M IN, I’M IN, I’M IN

I’ll have to explore another couple of  DD stores to see if that is so  to see if that is so.  But, I won’t be going back to that DD store, near the car dealership where I take my car in for service.



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DAMN Countdown Timers – CNN, FOX, MSNBC & others – STOP IT!!!

Why do we have to have these damn constantly running Countdown Timers on TV – cable and broadcast??!!! Do these stations believe that viewers cannot themselves figure out when the next debate or the next shiny thing is coming up – without the blasted count down timers???!!!!

Sure, the TV stations/cable channels for Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others can use these timers but they DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE THEM UP AND RUNNING!!!! 

It is highly irritating and annoying.

Because of those timers, we switch channels/stations to some other station / network who is NOT running those constant timers. This is one of those things that drives viewers to cut the cable cord and watch non-network/cable stations.

For us, we’ll just move to another station that is not using the count down timer constantly. And if we are unsuccessful, well, we can always read what we are looking for on a web site or other news outlet…

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The Last Ship – “President Tom Chandler”

Hmmmm, I’ve not seen anyone post anything on facebook (or anywhere else) regarding this but, can anyone say “President Thomas Chandler”…… I posted (on facebook) this Monday night (Aug 8th) but no one responded, even with all the other comments folks are making.  Maybe no one else sees it?

It does appear to be lining up in that direction – just give it a wee bit of thought about everything that has happened and then do some analytical thinking about what the writers/producers/director(s?) are possibly intending to do with this Navy Commander/CAPTAIN/CNO…. (esp. since a lot of main characters have been killed off).

The ‘new’ President (Oliver) does not seem to be strong enough to last with the rabble rousing regent authorities – especially after letting them take on the role of taking charge of their regional militias.

It will take someone with strength, a backbone to make harder choices, take action and follow through. Guess who fits that bill.

I could be wrong but I don’t think so…

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Sauder Entertainment Center, (Mission Collection) Used – FREE

  *** FINAL WEEK on craigslist (July 1st – 8th) *** 

— You must come pick up this used, free 
Sauder Entertainment Center at loading dock of our building
— You will need to give me a minimum 3 hour notice before you come pick it up
a) I need to remove the back (a foldable section held in place with tack nails) and 2 side bookcases &
b) take it apart to bring to the loading dock (it will be in 3 sections), for you to cart away

The unit must be taken apart for exit of our home and for you to move into your home.

  • Condition – it is still in Excellent condition
  • Fruitwood finish
  • Entertainment Center accommodates most 36-40 inch TVs
  • VCR shelf is adjustable
  • Storage area behind doors has 2 adjustable shelves and
  • 4 adjustable shelves on attached bookcases
  • TV opening: 37 3/8″h x 35 1/8″w
  • Altogether assembled: 83 5/8″w x  61 7/8″h x 21 7/8”d
  • Center assembled: 43.5″w x 61 7/8″h x 21 7/8”d
  • Sides assembled: 21.75″w x 56.5″h x 21 7/8”d
  • All 3 sections ~150 lbs


Sauder Entertainment Center 1

(1st image is from original ad)





Sauder Entertainment Center 2






Sauder Entertainment Center 3





Sauder Entertainment Center 4






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Lakewood Pro Series 20″ & 9″ floor fan set (New) for sale – $60

Call Patrick (202.363.6260 9a8pwe screen all calls) or  email:

Lakewood Pro Series Commercial 20″ & 9″ floor fan set (New)  $60  

  • Condition – box opened but fans were never used
  • cash only
  • You must pick up fans
  • 360 degree pivot
  • box – 32 x 25 x 7 inches
  • Box ~25 lbs.

                  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE…

New 20" and 9" fans

New 20″ and 9″ fans

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Costco – Bad creamer – spoiled?

Okay, I seem to have gotten myself (in early January) a large container of creamer from Costco that was spoiled/bad. At one of two Costco’s I normally go to, College Park/Beltsville, MD or Arlington, VA – I don’t recall which.

The snag is, I did not catch it until “AFTER” I’d used up ~ 2/3 – 3/4 of the container. That is because the problem area is caked on the side of the container, about 2/3’s of the way down. You would not notice it until you used up that much and started taking away from the ‘side’ of the container, which is what happened to me.

I was about to scoop out a large spoonful and imagine my surprise when I saw that encrustation (caking) on the side.  Some of the caked bad creamer had fallen to the bottom as the sides collapsed inwards…

And you’re likely thinking that it was caused by heat exposure in my place. That would be incorrect. The creamer was placed in a pantry away from any kind of heat and the container was on an outer shelf, against a wall that is part of a hallway – no heat…

Then imagine my surprise and turmoil AND new thoughts of, “was the cream I took out before bad and I did not know it?”  It could explain why I felt off kilter during a couple of times in February.  I of course had to toss away the remainder, I was not going to use the rest of that…

I sent Costco an email (their contact form) but it has no way to upload a picture, so, I created this post with pix instead…  so others would be aware. It might be too late though…

Caking of bad creamer

Caking of bad creamer


Expiration date info

Expiration date info

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