Apr. 11th, 2009 08:37 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
[personal profile] spiffikins
I made a stupid mistake, and it doesn't look like I can fix it.

In February 2007, I made a contribution to my Roth IRA - I was *supposed* to select the "2006" option, but apparently I didn't, and the contribution was allocated to my 2007 tax year. A year later, when I went to make my 2007 contribution, it told me I already made it, and my second mistake was to go "oh okayyyy" and make the new contribution to the 2008 year.

This year, I go to make my 2008 contribution (yes I left it late this year...) and it tells me I've already contributed to 2008. Finally, I clue in, and realize what I've done.

So I start searching online to see if there's a way to amend whatever paperwork Vanguard sends in to the IRS - the 2 contributions were technically made within the time frame required to allocate them to 2006 and 2007, but I don't know how to recharacterize them.

I called Vanguard Wednesday and was told that they won't make the change - they apparently can't do it unless it was their fault. Since my contributions were made online, they say they cannot make any changes. I ask to speak to a manager, because I'm hearing that there may be a *way* to do it, but it's not their policy to do it unless they made the mistake. I'm fine with filling out the paperwork myself if I need to - I just need to know what to do.

Thursday, I have several brief conversations with the manager, who tells me that she did the research and that they don't have any way to do it, and now she's saying even if it was their mistake, they couldn't do it - too much time has passed. She was in the middle of telling me one more thing to try, when she got cut off for the 3rd time - she said she'd call me back Monday when the phones are working better.

Phones. yeah. Thursday morning I woke up and noticed that my DSL was out (red angry light on the modem). Snarling under my breath, I decided to just hope that it resolved itself before I got home, as I *really* don't want to have to go through the 3 week process of dealing with AT&T *again*.

I pulled through the drive thru to get my morning caffeine fix, and there was a paper taped to the menuboard saying "Cash Only". Having no cash on me, I went to Safeway instead (and got yummy bagels and cream cheese for the office) and their credit card machines were working.

I got into the office, and was told that our T1 is down. Someone mentioned hearing on the radio that some fiber optic cable had been cut over in Santa Clara. My *immediate* thought was "yay! my dsl isn't down, it's upstream! I don't have to deal with AT&T to get it fixed!"

Our landline phones were working intermittently, and only for local calls - long distance calls were not going through. My Verizon cell phone couldn't make calls and while I received 3 or 4 from people in other states, the call quality was poor, and the calls would get cut off randomly. Text messaging worked, as did broadband (some people could tether their laptops to their phone and get online).

At lunch I went to the bank to see if they had communications so that I could get some cash - an employee was standing outside telling everyone that the ATMs were not working and that the bank was closed. I found out later that the police had being going around to banks and recommending that they close their doors, since if someone decided to cause a problem, they had no way to raise the alarm.

911 service was disrupted in one city, and in other cities 911 was swamped with calls from people wanting to know what was going on. Police were driving around town, trying to be visible so that people with problems would be able to flag them down. An employee of the assisted living home across the street from me, had to go 6 blocks to the fire station to ask for help, when one of the seniors had a seizure.

Doctors on call, instead of being paged to come in, the hospitals would send police cars to the doctors house to pick them up.

Our colocation facility is apparently not on the same network, as all of our customer sites were up and running and none of those customers had any problems. Our customers could sometimes call in - but not all the time. Our email was not working, except internally - so we could send people in the office email, but not get anything from outside. This confused one of our sales guys, as everytime he would get an internal email he would get all excited that the network was fixed

It turns out that apparently several large fiber optic cables were deliberately cut - in two locations, within a couple hours of each other, around 2:30am Thursday morning, someone crawled down a manhole and cut cables the size of silver dollars.

AT&T is offering a very large reward (at least $100k, possibly up to $250k now) for information on who did this. I seriously hope they find the person(s) and that they are punished *severely*. This is not a prank - this is serious.

Date: 2009-04-12 04:37 am (UTC)
ext_8716: (Default)
From: [identity profile] trixtah.livejournal.com
I think people need to start thinking very seriously about data transmission security. The powers-that-be fixate on terrorists flying planes into buildings; in Australia, all you need to do is blow up four cable landing sites, and there is NO INTERNET to or from Australia and much reduced telephone (except for the trickle you might be able to relay via satellite). Many cities, on the largest continents, have a similar issue.

Date: 2009-04-12 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saminz.livejournal.com
Very serious indeed. Wow...

I wonder if this could happen here. Usually, these "manholes" are heavily protected and locked, but who knows?

Hope you can get back to normal SOON.

Date: 2009-04-12 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pecosdave.livejournal.com
We can't forget about anchor dragging in the Middle East.....

(quite effective)

Date: 2009-04-13 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kk1raven.livejournal.com
That sounds like a real mess. I wish I knew the people who did it. I could use some reward money like that. I'd say they deserve to be charged with risking a catastrophy.


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