A Math Word Problem (Just Like The SATs)

A yard is about 70 feet wide.
A shovel is about 8 inches wide.
The cable I watched Adelphia bury in my backyard last year is about 1/4 of an inch wide.

Now, figure out the chances of me putting my shovel over the exact center of that cable (on the first try) and making a clean cut. For extra credit: Correctly describe the feel of a shovel cutting through cable, and for double extra credit: Correctly guess the number of profanities I uttered after cutting the cable. Triple extra credit: Correctly guess all those profanities (hint: Several were never heard before)

The answer, in case you were wondering, is 100%. 8 hours of waiting and $25 later, I'm back online.


I'm probably wrong, but my guess is that you had a 1 in 3360 chance of hitting the cable. You probably said 'frack' as one of the obscenities.

At least they buried the cable - once, our neighbor's cable went out, so when the cable company came out to fix it they attached a new cable to the central 'box', then routed the cable on a direct line to their house instead of laying it in the easement. There was a tree in the way, so they simply routed the cable OVER THE TREE. Then they packed up and left, a job well done.

For extra credit: Correctly describe the feel of a shovel cutting through cable,

Telephone cable feels just like tree root. Cut mine just a couple of days ago. I imagine yours felt about the same.

The chance you had of cutting your cable, with the figures you supplied, was 100%; given that it was already a fact.

Number of obscenities? Lots.

For once I'm happy with Adelphia's service! Sure beats running the cable over a tree.

It felt different than a root to me, crisper is the word that comes to mind, it was a nice snap sound, roots tend to be more like a dull crack.

Planted the tree today, a few feet over.

For my first DSL service I had a phone line run from my neighbor's townhouse up and over our door and down to my interface box. It was held in place with like two nails. This was in the very early days of DSL providers being able to rent lines from the phone companies. Although that may soon go awayarstechnica.com> and we could be back with $59.95/mo. for non-cable people like me. Anyway, it was the phone company that had to make the connection, and for a competing DSL provider that undercut their price.

Blake, are you shoveling 6 feet deep, or did they do a sloppy job or burying the cable? Call before you dig....