Monday, January 08, 2007

I got to wondering

Last week I posted about my upcoming ski trip (in February) to Winter Park, Colorado. One of the comments to that post brought up the fact that during last year's ski trip I was visited by a particularly ugly manifestation of the dreaded "C."

I had intended to ignore that remark lest I inadvertently lend strength to the monstrosity (which seems, of late, to have been hibernating. At least around my household.) However, it appears that the damage has been done, and I'm now bracing for another onslaught.

In case you've forgotten, last year after a wonderful week of skiing, we were starting back to Denver from the mountains when the transmission in my van managed to grind itself to small pieces of gears, shafts and bearings, all in the space of about two seconds. To say the transmission was totaled would be incorrect, because the mechanic DID salvage the outer housing, but nothing else.

Three days and $3,000 later we were merrily on our way back to Texas. Well, "merrily" may be a bit of an exaggeration, but...

This year I had not planned to mention that little episode, not wanting to tempt "things." But in the few days after Candace felt she just HAD to remind me about its activity, it (they?) seem/s to be getting more and more active.

First there was the avalanche across the highway that we will be driving on in a few weeks (!), with cars swept away down the hill and buried in snow. Was that just the beginning? A little "flexing of the muscles" in preparation for the time when I will be there? Makes one wonder!

Then, just yesterday, as Carol and I were happily IM-ing our daughter Christina, we lost connection to the internet.

I won't bore you with the details of my attempts to reboot the cable modem, the router, both computers (desktop and laptop), TWO (not one but TWO) calls to the cable company's tech support line with its myriad voice menus and prompts and their sickening music on hold!

The final diagnosis was that my Linksys router had gone belly-up. Now, what makes a router just fail, all by itself?

So I hustled over to my favorite nearby Super Wal-Mart (yeah, Victoria's a small town, but we've got a Super Wal-Mart!) and plopped down about $65 for a new one.

(Here it gets good!)

I got home, opened the box, and was greeted with a HUGE red sticker that directed me to RUN THE CD FIRST before changing any cabling or hooking up the new router. Being an obedient soul, I put in the CD and clicked "Start Install." I was greeted with an instant error message that a file was missing and the CD could not run.

I distinctly heard the old router laugh at me.

I thought I was smart enough to hook up the new router just like the old one had been and it would work. Wrong. I tried the Linksys toll-free support number and suffered through dozens of menus and choices before getting THEIR version of the sickening music on hold. While I waited, I plugged the internet network cable from the modem directly into the back of my computer (bypassing the router) and was rewarded with internet access!

AH! Then I could surf over to the linksys web site and run the installation software from there! It worked. I now have the new router running happily, we're connected to the internet, and the old router is in the garbage can. Laugh NOW you S.O.B!

But my concern lingers. Yesterday the router; tomorrow...??

My recommendation to each of you is that you avoid any mention or even THOUGHT of the "C" word. Otherwise you may find yourselves buried under an avalanche of dead routers, and be trapped there for hours forced to listen to sickening music on hold.


Christina said...

OK, now I'm blaming YOU for my difficulties with the new camera. You and your awful "C"!

I haven't even hooked up my new wireless router yet - now I'm afraid to.

kenju said...

How can I avoid the thought of it if you and Candace keep bringing it up?

Christina said...

kenju, my thoughts exactly. in fact i was coming back on here to say just that when i saw you beat me to it!

Peter said...

My Mother used to say "you must have killed a chinaman" (note "C" word) when things went wrong, my friend Margaret claims she must have wiped out the "Ming Dynasty".

Nankin said...

I won't mention it if you don't. We just had to buy 8 new tires and I had my first cold in nearly 10 years over the holidays. That's plenty of "c" for the year.

Karyn Lyndon said...

How can you possibly blame an avalanche on the "C"? Is there a wild band of discarded kitchen appliances, old computer monitors and car parts high atop the Rockies?

I know your blog attracts lots of creative writer types, John, but you people need to get ahold of yourselves...

Scruffybutt said...

Mommy sez don't blame her. (But have you noticed ... her name starts with "C"?)