Category Archives: Comcast

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Thursday


“All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.” — Miyamoto Musashi



Hi. We’re alive. I’m alive.

This communications colossus was rendered inert for a time by the Evil Empire known as Comcast.


Comcast Panzers Move Into Position

Yup. Several days ago my home broadband service went down and, in keeping with Comcast’s less-than sterling customer service reputation, that outfit couldn’t have screwed up the fix any more than it did.

The fact that we’re back on the interwebs really astounds me, considering how much pure torture and agony The Loved One and I have gone through. We are true heroes. Firemen and soldiers got nuffin’ on us.

My throat is sore from roaring and shrieking at the poor subcontinent minimum-wagers who had the misfortune to field any of my half dozen calls to Comcast as my old modem sat there blinking wrongly, mocking me.

Trust me, that Comcast bunch may as well be some comic caricature of the unfeeling, monolithic, corporate overlords, the likes of which were so chi-chi back in the ’60s. You may remember Colonel “Bat” Guano warning Group Captain Mandrake not to mess with Coca Cola in “Dr. Strangelove…,” or all the old Tonight Show gags about Ma Bell.

Scene from "Dr. Strangelove..."

“You’re Gonna Have To Answer To The Coca Cola Company.”

Zapping hi-tech corporations comedically may be taboo these days. Should anyone joke about the inscrutable, people-unfriendly nature of, say, Foxconn, Fujitsu, or LG, that poor soul would immediately be branded the Luddite laughingstock of the universe.

It’s left only to subversive, Occupy-ish firebrands to bay at the moon about how horribly many of these tech firms treat humanity.

Well, call me a subversive, Occupy-ish firebrand. Comcast blows. And I don’t care how fast its broadband is.


The Historic Comcast Party Rally


So, as long as the “daily” nature of this Hot Air communique has been interrupted by the villainous Comcasters, I figure it’s the perfect time to take a necessary hiatus to rejigger this operation. I’m changing the set-up to a magazine format so we can bring you new! more! and exciting! stuff.

Steno Pool

The Electron Pencil Staff Working On The New Magazine

I figure we’ll be off a week or two before the new incarnation of the Pencil appears. So, until then, Pencillistas, try to find some way to occupy your time without breaking any laws or — worse — turning on your TV. I know, it’ll be tough, but you can do it.

The Pencil Today:


“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” — Oscar Levant


It’s over, hallelujah.

Chicago Teachers Union Boss Karen Lewis With The Good News

So what have we learned?

  • Chicago’s teachers get paid well
  • They deserve every penny of it
  • They were willing to sacrifice precious days and even weeks of earning to fight for better classrooms
  • They’ll fight privatization

Bloomington’s teacher’s deserve a hell of a lot more money than they’re getting now. Too bad Indiana state law bans teacher strikes.


I took a pummeling yesterday from a trio of women.

As I was exiting the back door of the Book Corner, the front door of Hidden Closet — which faces it — swung open dramatically and I was confronted by the scarlet face of boss lady Brynda Forgas. I knew I was in for it. The only question was, What the hell had I done?

“I’m so mad at you!” Brynda hissed, her eyes wide.

I mentally checked off a list of possible offenses:

  • We aren’t having an affair
  • I hadn’t sneaked into her shop and grabbed cash from the register
  • I haven’t told people to stay away from the Hidden Closet
  • We both are moved to shuddering at the sound of the words Mitt Romney

So what did I do? I felt like a ten-year-old.

Forgas In A Less Inflamed Moment

It should be noted that the above inventory of misdeeds took place within a fraction of a second because Brynda launched into her tirade without prompting.

“You mean to tell me you had Richard Thompson in your store yesterday and you didn’t even have the decency to run over here immediately and tell me?!”

Brynda’s face inched closer to mine. I flinch-blinked. Was a jab to the nose in the offing?

She opened her door wider so I could see two cohorts holding cups of tea fortified with what, I don’t know, staring at me through narrowed eyes. One of them was another usually amicable soul, Kathy Loser, chief book pusher at Bloomington High School North. I didn’t recognize the other woman. For all I knew, she was an imported thumb-breaker.

Brynda continued: “I would have dropped everything and come right over! I’d have left a customer standing there!” There was more — much more — but the sound of her voice had become a machine gun.

The women were preparing themselves for the big show at the Buskirk Chumley Theater across the street. Richard Thompson’s show was scheduled to begin in an hour and a half.

As I suffered this verbal onslaught, The Loved One waited patiently in the car for me and watched as the Man of Brynda et al’s Dreams actually came out the front door of the venue and signed posters for some adoring fans.

Now, I like Richard Thompson but I had no idea he was such a MILF-idol. Color me educated as of now.

Sexy Daddy

I was able to discern one bit of info from Brynda’s tirade — she had front row center seats for Thompson. I wonder if we’ll see her at her shop this morning.


We’ve been having trouble with our Comcast broadband service here at The Pencil’s World Headquarters just east of Beautiful Bloomington.

Every night, The Loved One asks, Did you call Comcast?


And every night I snap my fingers and say, “Damn! I forgot. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

It’s become a ritual.

Last night, TLO gave me an explicit instruction: “Make sure we get a credit. We shouldn’t have to pay the full amount for this.”

“This” being repeated signal outages that constantly interrupt our Netflix viewing as well as my regular sessions of trance-like admiration for my brilliant work on this site.

Funny, then, that the site I Fucking Love Science, via XKCD, posted this image yesterday:

The caption read: “For when you really, really MUST piss someone off.”

Trust me — I really, really want to piss Comcast off.


Uh oh. Here we go again.

A French magazine has just printed a cartoon making fun of Islam’s big cheese, Muhammad.

Al Jazeera English reports that France is actually shutting down its embassies in 20 countries for fear that Muslim extremists might attack.

French Mag Charlie Hebdo Offices Were Attacked in November, 2011


Enough of trying to understand how precious Muhammad is to the Muslim world. We get it. What the sane among us don’t get is the psychotic reaction.

The nations where these violent outbursts have taken place in recent weeks had better start taking responsibility for the loons carrying them out.

It’s A Guy Thing

The extremists may revere Muhammad. I, for one, revere free speech and respect for human lives.


By the Count Five. It charted in 1966.

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