It's up. It's up. It's up ... no, it's down. No, it's up again. It's up. No, wait, it's down. No, wait, it's back up again.
It's up. It's up. It's up ... no, it's down. No, it's up again. It's up. No, wait, it's down. Still down. Still down. Call Verizon. "No, we don't have any outages in your area. Well ... OK. Maybe just a little one. They're working on it. They'll fix it. Soon. Maybe. We think."
Hey, it's been up all day! No, wait, it's down. No, it's up again. No, wait, it's down. And up, and down. No, wait, it's back up again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Same same. Up most of the day, goes down for the count just before supper. Watch /var/log/daemon on yama. Watch pppd trying endlessly to log in. Watch Verizon servers rejecting the connection.
"No, don't know that account, never heard of it."
Call Verizon again.
"No, there's nothing wrong this side, your line is fine."
"It's not the line, it's the PPP server, it's refusing authentication. I can see it in my logs."
"Oh, sorry, if it's not connected to Windows or a Mac, we can't help you."
"Is this the Windows support department?"
"That's not what I wanted. I chose 'Other Operating Systems'. Can you transfer me to your Unix support group please, or escalate me to a level 3 engineer in the NOC? I've talked to them before, they were helpful."
"We only support Windows and mac. We don't have a Unix support department."
"Yes you do!"
"No, we don't. We only support Windows and Mac."
"I've talked to them before! Several times!"
"No you didn't."
(I swear, it's like a Monty Python skit. It's the Cheese Shop crossed with the Argument Clinic. Or maybe the Argument Clinic and the parrot sketch.)
Finally get technician to agree to transfer me up a tier.  Sit on hold for ten minutes before Verizon hangs up on me.
In desperation, disconnect the DSL bridge from yama (the router/firewall/DHCP server, a Sun Ultra5 running OpenBSD) and connect it to the second gigabit interface on vorlon (my Athlon64 gamebox running GameOS). Switch the DSL bridge into PPPoE router mode. Try to connect, using exact same authentication data.
"Oh, THAT account." Connection comes up.
Drop connection. Switch DSL bridge back into bridging mode. Start WinPPPoE service. Start WinPPPoE dialer. Connection comes back up.
Disconnect DSL bridge from vorlon. Plug cable from yama back in. Restart pppd. Watch connection come back up on the first try.
"Well, you know, when you tried to authenticate before, I thought you were, well, some OTHER account. With the same account name and, well, the same password. Only, you know, ... different. ... What are you looking at me like that for?"
I hate Verizon Online. I really do. They insist on trying to be an ISP, but they're SO BAD at it.