bunt sign

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The only thing worse than a day when nothing happens is a day when everything happens. It seemed that everything was happening at once today, and I wasn't able to do anything about it except pace and sweat and hyperventilate. All of which I do quite well, by the way, having had years of training. My whole life sometimes seems like a dress rehearsal for the next crisis.

When I checked the tracking site for my new computer, it turns out that it left Dallas just past midnight Thursday night and got to Sacramento about noon Saturday. For some reason it didn't leave Sacramento until yesterday afternoon. It got loaded onto a truck in Santa Rosa in the middle of the night, which gave me the strong hope it would be delivered today as promised.

That hope faded, of course, as the morning wore on, and I was forever craning my neck to see out the window and down to the end of the drive.

Finally, when I stopped thinking about it, the FedEx driver was at my door at about 11:00 am with a big red and white box labeled "Compaq." It was here! Now it was time for the real panic to set in! I had no idea what to do!

I guess I thought it would arrive over the weekend, when I'd have plenty of time to set everything up. Instead it was here in the middle of a busy work day. Other things were going on, and I couldn't even plug in my new baby. What I could do was refigure the phone lines, but I had to draw a diagram to make sure I'd still have both a phone and a fax when I got finished. After a few false starts, I think I got it. I think.

So far everything, phone-wise, seems to be working. I'm now using the voice line for my dial-up connection, reserving the fax line for DSL, when I get around to installing it. That's what all this was about in the first place, high speed internet access, and it's starting to look like the last thing I'll get around to doing with the new system setup. So for awhile I'll be online even less than in the recent past, and much later, after I'm sure nobody's going to phone.

The phone company is apparently worried about me, though. I got a card from them today reminding me that I'm paying for DSL service, and why don't I go ahead and use it?

Why indeed.

Several anxiety-ridden hours later...

The reason is simple. I can't get it to work. I didn't give up until 10:00 tonight, and I spent the whole afternoon and evening doing nothing but trying to make everything work. The DSL modem wouldn't recognize the network card that came with the new computer, so I installed the card the phone company sent me. That didn't work either.

While taking the card out of the old computer I noticed that my hand was all bloody. This was just like the time I fixed my refrigerator. The difference was that I had a bit of success with the refrigerator, and I've had no luck at all with the computer. After bandaging the gaping cut in my middle finger and wiping drops of blood off of everything, it took me three tries to get the network card to fit in the slot in the new computer.

Then it didn't work. I don't know why it didn't work, but it didn't. I followed all the instructions on the DSL installation CD, over and over and over again. I guess my next step is to call customer support, but that will just have to wait until tomorrow. By ten tonight, I was achy and frustrated and tired. Also very hungry, since all I'd had to eat the whole day was a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch.

So, I'll try again tomorrow. I'm happy with the new computer. I took the Windows XP tour, and I even installed Microsoft Office from the original discs. I can see all kinds of possibilities, but none of them will matter if I can't get DSL to work. Especially since I'm already paying for it, as the phone company so kindly reminded me.

looking northeast

Clouds in the evening sky.

As for the other problem, the Express Mail package that the post office couldn't figure out how to deliver yesterday, that kept me home and waiting even after the computer was delivered. I needed desperately to get out and run some errands. I was so desperate, in fact, that I called Mom and asked her to come over and house sit for a few minutes, in case a package needing a signature was delivered.

Nothing came while I was gone, but a few minutes after I got back my friendly letter carrier came bouncing up to the door with the package I was waiting for. I asked her why it wasn't delivered yesterday, since I was home all day, and she told me the other carrier on this route (who's been on it for fifteen years) probably doesn't know that my house and the mailbox out at the end of the driveway are connected. I can actually buy that explanation.

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