Yesterday started off reasonably enough. I had gotten behind schedule on a deadline, but I received a stay of execution — the project manager more or less agreed with changes I proposed that ended up slowing things down.
Settled in to work bright and early. Open the in-progress documents, launch the browser to reach the content-sharing site.
Hmmm. Nobody home. Check e-mail. Hmmm.
I can reach the wireless router (though it’s hard going once I get there; the new interface was written originally in Korean, I think, and rewritten in Estonian before translated again to English). But I can’t get past the router.
My usual solution is to kick the modem. Not literally (I had to pay for it). I just go down to the kitchen, unplug the Digit Twins, pretend to wait 40 seconds, and plug them back in again.
Still no good. More troubleshooting-by-walking-around: I went down to the basement to check the TV.
Hmmm — we’re getting cable pictures. We’re just not getting cable data.
Back to the office. I call the cable company. Six voice-mail presses and 20 minutes later, I get a customer service rep whose previous job had been announcing departures at the Port Huron bus station. The outcome: they can’t even see my modem. Earlier service call? Tomorrow between 11 and 3.
I work for a while, rekick the modem (see “superstitious behavior“). Later, breaking from the excitement of actual work, I click a few shortcuts on my browser — and I can get to my blog. Not a cached page, either — the real thing.
I was about to shut off the firewall, as a test, but instead I lowered its setting. Bingo — mail, Google, the whole shebang. So I complained via my Facebook status and got back to work.
Hours passed in which the only thing I looked at online was the Legal Information Institute at Cornell. I went back to Facebook to find a note from Kate. Her partner had fallen victim to another Microsoft security update which just happened to knock thousands of ZoneAlarm users off the internet.
I’m not really that connected — I can go days with my cell phone in the side pocket of my car (which I don’t use every day). I have Twitter, but I’m not sure why: following 10 people isn’t enough, but I have no desire to follow 500. And I believe that a company buying one of those picture-and-text ad on the left side Facebook is doing the digital equivalent of selling leisure suits.
I am glad, though, that I took the time to rant, and that Kate responded. And my wife, who also uses ZoneAlarm, was even happier — because I could warn her about this tiny glitch.
“Lock gates” photo by Simon Lieschke.