Wednesday, September 07, 2011

When the Internet Goes Down

For most of the Labor Day weekend, I had no internet. This past Friday morning, the morning before the start of the long holiday weekend, our internet suddenly went out. Not just the internet, but cable TV too. Nice. Not.

After nearly an hour on hold with our service provider, a technician finally came on the phone. The technician guided us through all sorts of tests and ways to get our modem jump-started, all to no avail.

The technician also ran a number of tests from his end. He even "pinged' our modem, or so he told us. That sounded more like something submarines do with sonar but what do I know?

No matter, even with all the tests and jump-start attempts and pinging, we had no connection. The technician then delivered the bad news: he advised us the problem was our wireless modem. He told us our modem was toast, history, finito! Well, maybe not in those exact words but those are the words that flashed in my brain as the technician continued talking about our modem in a postmortem way. He then explained they would need to mail us a new one. We could expect it to arrive the following Thursday.

Say what???

Almost a week without internet access? Not to mention the cable TV? A freaking week? Especially with the "Sons of Anarchy" season premier coming up in a few days? Was he shitting me?

No. Apparently, he was not.

We could, however, pay $150 to have a technician come out the next day and replace the modem. It was a weekend, after all-- Premium charges for weekend visits.


Ping this, pal! No thank you.

After steaming about this for a few hours, we called again and waited another hour for someone to get on the line. When they did, we turned up the heat. Finally, after this new technician had to endure plenty of whining, moaning, bitching and more coming from our end (we might have even pinged his ass a few times) we were given a "special weekend number" we could try calling the following day, Saturday.

The next day, we called the "special number." Someone special, I suppose, answered almost immediately. After explaining our special situation to the special person on the other end of the special number, the special person agreed to send someone out by 4 PM... and without the special, premium charge. In fact, at no charge at all. Wasn't that special?

It was.

Minutes before 4 PM, a technician showed up. He did a little of this and a little of that and announced there was no problem with our modem whatsoever. Good news! Of course, the bad news was the problem was at their "hub."

"Where's your hub?" I asked.

"Just down the street," he answered.

"Can't you just ping it or something?" I asked.

"No," he said.

"Well, when can you fix the hub?" I hesitantly inquired

"Sometime tomorrow," he told me.

Tomorrow wasn't as great or special as I was hoping for but it beat the crap out of waiting till the following Thursday. Plus, if we had waited till the following Thursday without insisting a tech showed up over the weekend, we'd be right back to "square one" on the following Thursday since the problem, as it turned out, wasn't the modem.

A few minutes before 4 PM on Sunday, the special tech returned. Mission accomplished! The hub, whatever a hub is, was repaired. All he now had to do was perform a few tests at the house, maybe fiddle a little with this or ping that, and we'd be back on line.

The tech went about his testing and fiddling and pinging and, in no time at all, "Tah dah!" We had internet and television back on line.


But let me back up a bit...

When the internet first went out, and after bitching, moaning, and sulking about it for a while, I decided to use my time, suddenly free of the temptations of Facebook, photo forums, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Facebook, porn, Facebook, and more Facebook, and do something constructive with my time.

And that's exact-o-mundo what I did!

I bent my head down and dove back into my newest ebook which, for a few months, had been left a bit over half-done with me only making barely productive attempts to finish it.

So, I dove back into it like a madman. I put hours and hours into it, probably 18 hours on Saturday and another 18 on Sunday. Even when our internet returned, I kept my nose to the grindstone! (I never quite understood the adage about noses and grindstones. Did people once do that? Damn! That had to hurt!)

On Monday, Labor Day, I continued laboring. Same for Tuesday and, outside of writing this blog update, it's the same thing I'm doing today!

As a result, I anticipate completing this ebook by the end of this coming weekend! I might even have it available sometime next week. Leastwise, that's the plan.

Sometimes, good things come out of not-so-good things. Or, perhaps those not-so-good things aren't as not-so-good as we sometimes think?

The gratuitous, sullen-looking, half-naked pretty girl at the top is Alexa. She looks fairly forlorn, as if she might have, besides losing most of her clothes, also lost her internet as well.

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