Heya, hoya! I think I have internet again.
The story in a nutshell: I lost my internet connection over a week ago. Called Tech support about it, and after they checked their end was basically told the problem was in the phone line within my house (and offered a repairman to come look for a minimum of a $60 charge with additional costs depending on what the repair guy finds -- thanks, but no thanks).
So I spend a few days panicking. Then a few days picturing myself pulling out all the house's phone lines and *really* messing them up. Then I got the idea that maybe I should try replacing my DSL modem before tackling a DIY task beyond my comfort level.
So on Saturday I went to the local radio shack to buy a new DSL modem. They were sold out, but I got to see what price they were selling the modems for. Um, can you say $30 more than I expected (and between property taxes and unexpected car repair costs Mom and I are *way* out of our budget for this month already).
Well, I *need* internet. So today (I haven't gone to bed yet, it's still Sunday to me even if it's 4 am Monday as I'm typing this), I went to Office Max to buy a new DSL modem. They didn't have any DSL modems -- cable modems galore, but not DSL.
I then decided to look at Best Buy. Best Buy moved since the last time I bought from them. I thought I had an idea of where they moved to (although I wasn't sure). I headed that way hoping to spot their sign. I did. It was in the general area I thought it would be -- just on the opposite side of the highway that I had expected and I was in the wrong lane to get there.
So after a brief detour that got me heading in the right direction and in the correct lane, I got to Best Buy. And they had a DSL modem. It looked expensive, but didn't see a price on it. I was worried it was more than I could afford. I took it to a kid working in the store and asked him to tell me the price explaining I was worried I couldn't afford it.
He went and looked up the price on the store's computer and told me. I ask about the sales tax. The kid played with the computer a bit more and told me a price.
I said I thought that was more than I had and then proceed to pull out my money and count it in front of him. Yep, I was $8 short. Well the kid started playing with the computer again, then said he was trying to give me a discount, but couldn't figure out how. I thought that would be that, but then this kid called over another kid and explained things. This second kid did something with the computer and suddenly the modem's price was $8 less.
I bought it, and then headed straight to Mom's. She had a very bad day today, and I ended up staying over there till 2am for her. Well, when I finally got back here, it took less than an hour to set up the new modem and when I got to the step where the modem needs to "call home," so to speak, to configure itself and it successfully started configuring, I knew I'd have internet and breath a sigh of relief through the rest of the set up process.
So that's the latest. Below are the two entries I wrote while internet challenged just to completely get up to date:
[written at the end of the day on 3-5-09]
So I got up early this morning to take Mom to that specialist that Mom's regular Doctor wants Mom to see.
I'm watching the early morning news program and they go to the traffic lady in a helicopter. She complains that the weather guy didn't forecast the high winds she's experiencing in the 'copter. Then she stops in the middle of her next sentence, grabs a plastic bag from off camera and turns away from the camera just as they go back to the news anchors at the studio.
I was a bit amused at them showing the traffic reporter getting air sick. The next traffic report is done in studio.
Well, I go to play some on-line poker. I lost my internet connection while playing. A bit frustrating, but it was just about time to leave anyway and hopefully the problem will self-correct. I figured I'd sneak to the store before heading to Mom's and spend what little money I have on a present for her birthday this Monday. I was pleasantly surprised to find what I wanted to get Mom on sale and even more pleasantly surprised when the store's scanner rang it up at $5 less than the listed sales price I saw on the shelf.
Well, I get to Mom's on schedule. She's still taking her morning pills (choking on them -- nothing new unfortunately) and cutting to the chase even though I was on time we still ended up leaving a good 20 minutes later than we planned.
All I have to go on is the directions Mom gave me. I had intended to look the place up on the internet before leaving, but ... no internet connection. I thought that it shouldn't be a problem. It was near the intersection of two major roads in this area.
Um, somehow I missed the intersection and wound up several miles past the road I needed to turn onto.
Back tracking, I find the other major road and after turning onto it, have no trouble finding the Doctor's office. I glance at the clock in my cell phone. We're a half hour late. I have visions of them saying that because we missed the appointment time, they can't fit us in. My visions were wrong, and the office staff and Doctor were nice, friendly people. Mom got a few more med's to add to her long list of pills. This doctor said what he prescribed should be more effective than the treatment Mom's regular Dr. tried.
I take Mom home.
So I go to drop off the new prescriptions and in a money saving effort instead of our normal Thursday treat of ordering a pizza to be delivered, go to the store and buy a frozen one for a third of the cost of the delivered pizza.
I mentioned before that the car hasn't been sounding right for some time, and that has been one of my worries. I was going to have it checked after Mom's medical appointment next Tuesday. While I was driving to the store to get the pizza, I look down at the car's dashboard. Um, not only is the car sounding funny, now the check engine light is on while I'm driving it.
I got back to Mom's and told her Fawn and I would walk back to our house tonight and I'd leave the car with her rather than drive it any more. Tomorrow, I call the local mechanic rather than waiting till after next Tuesday like I'd planned, and I told Mom to cancel that Tuesday doctor's appointment because we prob. won't have a car by then.
I then bake the pizza. It was ok. The crust was much harder than our normal delivery one, but at a fraction of the price, I think we may stick with buying frozen and baking the thing ourselves.
So I do all my normal chores at Mom's and then Fawn and I walk back here. Fawn was very happy we actually walked back rather than riding in the car. She stopped and sniffed every tree between Mom's house and mine. She also was a good girl and stopped when I told her to at every street and alley waiting for me to say it was ok to cross.
We get back here. Still no internet for me. I run the diagnostic program the phone company gave me when I signed up for DSL. That thing basically said, "Yep, you ain't got internet. Maybe you should call this toll free number."
So I called that toll free number, and talked to a computer for a few minutes.
Finally convincing the computer that I needed to talk to a real person, I'm pleasantly surprised by the lady who answers speaking English with only the slightest traces of a foreign accent. She asks me a few questions about my phone/internet account. Then with a puzzled voice says she's having trouble pulling up my records and asks me again for what state and city I'm in. I tell her.
"I'm sorry, sir. I only handle problems for the states of California and Nevada."
Um, ok, that would explain why she couldn't find my records. I'm nowhere near either of those two states. So she tells me to hang on the line and she'll transfer me to the proper tech representative. I hear the beeping, hear a recorded message about it being after hours and the department is closed, a bit more beeping, and finally another lady with a heavy Indian accent answers.
So much for an easily understandable person. Well, I go through all the account information questions the first lady asked, then she went on to ask some basic tech questions -- everything plugged in where it should be plugged? Ya try resetting the modem and rebooting the computer? ... yadda, yadda, yadda.
Finally, she runs a line check. "I am showing a problem with your phone line and am forwarding a report to the repair department. They will call you back within 24 hours. Here is the reference number for the report, I am [garbled name I couldn't hear], thanking you for calling and sorry about your problem. good bye."
So I'm sitting here with no internet, and typing this on the word processing program within my computer. Hopefully, I'll be able to post this tomorrow. Then I get to take the car to the mechanic and walk all over town. Although, if I plan my route well, it may be less than a 4 mile walk.
Ain't life fun?
March 12, 2009
It's been a week without my internet. This time while I've lost my public voice as I've come to think of at least one aspect of the internet I'm also more ... not accepting, but resigned to my fate I guess I'll phrase it. Last time I had an extended internet deprivation, I wrote a series of whines that when they finally got to the internet they went straight to what theoretically is a "my eyes only" part of it. I have no illusions that there is no "my eyes only" section of the internet (or even friends only).
I could digress into privacy issues in today's society, but I'm going to try to stay on topic here. Heck, I may even be fooling myself that anyone will see this, since I have no idea when/if I'll get an internet connection back.
Hmm, the problem is what is the topic in my little meanderings here?
Another tempting digression is on the topic of fooling myself. I'm sure I do it far more than I realize. I just realized how I more or less stated the obvious. If/when I fool myself successfully, of course I'm not going to realize it. So how could I do it more than I realize, when by the very meaning of the idea I really can't realize it at all?
I may not know exactly what the topic for this is, but that isn't it either.
I think I'll just end this saying that about the only thing I'm pretty sure I know at this point is I don't make good coffee anymore.