my father came to pick me up at 10am so i could be there when the technician arrives to install verizon FIOS in belmont. it was foggy and wet, but not yet the downpours that was forecasted for later in the morning. my mother was furiously cleaning the house so it wouldn't be a mess when verizon gets here. i got a text saying my technician would arrive early, but when he got here (in a cherry picker truck no less), he sat in the vehicle until 11am before finally coming out.

my parents are lucky enough that they live in a town where they have the option of either going with comcast or verizon (unlike cambridge where comcast has a monopoly). up until march 2019 they were still using FIOS, but the price kept on increasing. the last FIOS bill they pay was $125: $80 for FIOS/TV bundle, $26 for equipment rental, and $19 for fees. we ended up getting rid of cable TV altogether (switching to google tv the very next day), and moving over to comcast. unfortunately the price has comcast has slowly increased over the years. last year i was able to get a deal for $40/month, but it expires after a year, and the expiration date was next week. i wasn't sure how much the price would go up (anywhere from $50-$80/month), but verizon was having a promotion for 300Mbps/300Mbps at $40/month.

the verizon technician was named jim. he put on some booties before coming into the house so he wouldn't track his wet shoes everywhere. verizon informed me multiple times (via text and e-mail) that i had to wear a mask and social distance, but jim arrived maskless. in one hand he had a bag of tools, in the other a tote bag with some verizon equipment. he was replacing the verizon fiber-optic box in the basement, which is old enough i can't remember exactly when it was installed (late 90's if i had to guess). these things are called "ONT" which stands for "optical network terminal". the new ones are tiny and look more like a typical cablemodem than the old-style ONT. jim opened up the old ONT and hooked up some device to the end of the fiber-optic cable coming into the house. then he went out to do something to the switch box which apparently is located a few blocks away.

when jim came back (stripping down to a matchbox t-shirt), he snaked a new cat6 cable from the bedroom (where the router was) to the other side of the house where the ONT was located. that was probably the hardest part. once we got the cable made (he gave me the extra, about 30ft worth of spare cat6 cable), it was just a simple matter of attaching the new ONT onto the wall. he also brought a verizon-brand router (which looked like a round square container) but since we already had our own router, i didn't need it, saving us a $15/month equipment rental fee.

jim and i were chatting, and he was telling me that verizon FIOS has the fastest speed, including a gigabit connection, which is fast enough to power a hospital. i told him when i called verizon, they tried to push me to get the gigabit plan. he said the sales department is notorious for upselling customers. he did an install once where a 90-year old lady was upgrading her telephone service. for some reason they also sold her on the gigabit plan when she doesn't even have a computer. jim ended up calling verizon and cancelling the unnecessary internet service.

the work wasn't hard, but still took a while, and jim didn't leave until 12:40pm. my mother finally came out of the other bedroom, where she was hiding until the technician left. i immediately did a speed test: about 100+ Mbps download, close to 200 Mbps upload. it wasn't the advertised 300/300Mbps, but not that we'd ever need that kind of speed anyway, not worth complaining about.

we finally put the corned beef into the slow cooker. the star market signature brand did not come with any spice packet, but fortunately i had own pickling spice. for lunch my mother made chicken noodles.

we ran into some problem with other internet. wifi was okay, but the wired connection to the living room roku (via a 5-port netgear gigabit switch) couldn't get online anymore. we ended up thinking the problem was because jim had zipped tied the ethernet cables onto the radiator pipe, which can get hot. after we unzipped the ties, the wired internet came back.