Monday, February 15, 2010


Many of you were kind enough to point out that I was not readily available last week. I neither posted a blog entry nor anything on Facebook. I did not send e-mails. I didn't receive e-mails. I was virtually cut off from the outside world. No, I didn't lose my electricity or phone or cable. I LOST INTERNET ACCESS. Here's what happened.

On Friday Feb 5 we had another snow event. Not nearly as big as the one that clobbered Washington, Philly and other points north. But big enough to deposit a 7-layer of snow, a quarter of inch of ice, and another 5" of snow. And then we lost our Internet access.

Saturday, Feb 6. Still out.
Sunday, Feb 7. Still out.

Monday, Feb 8, I called my Internet provider. Ah yes, the dreaded ice on the towers up on the mountains excuse, er, reason. I could accept that.

Tuesday, Feb 9. I'm getting less accepting of no access. Besides, I'm paying for something I can't use. Called my Internet provider again. They sent a technician out in yet another snow event. He realigned our wireless receiver and said we should be fine. We actually had access. I broke out a bottle of wine.

Wednesday, Feb 10. We had intermittent access. I was able to do a little work, check some facts, and get bumped off about every five minutes. I put my Internet provider's number on speed dial and was on a first name basis with Mike and Neal in tech support. I couldn't hold the wireless signal, so I decided to see if I could get online using an ethernet connection. It worked. I moved my "office" into the laundry room so that I could be productive.

Thursday, Feb 11. By now, I'm damned cranky. I called my Internet provider again, only to be told that the problem was inside my house, so "not their problem." Thursday is supposed to be a work day for me, but it turned out to be a series of trials and errors. I bought and installed a new wireless router. So far, so good. Terry could get on wirelessly from his desktop. Neither of my laptops would attach. I spent two hours with the router's tech support. Finally, the frustrated -- but very nice technician -- threw up his hands and said my wireless card in my laptop must be bad. I took myself upstairs and into a time out. I read a book.

Friday, Feb 12. Okay, I was up early and ready to run all the diagnostics again. I reloaded the router program on my laptop. Still great connectivity as long as I was working in the laundry room, tethered to the wireless router. I tried my other laptop. A tweak or two and, voila, I was online. I disconnected the first laptop, took it back to my real office, tweaked it and, again, voila. I was online.

So, if you think I was being a snob last week, I might have been, but I couldn't reach out and let you know I was being a snob.

Sigh. You never know what a crutch the Internet is until it stops working.