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Monday, January 26, 2009

How many things have to go wrong in one day before that day can officially be declared a disaster? I guess it depends on how major those calamities are. Letís say that on the same day (a) I can no longer open and close the blinds in my living room, and (2) I can no longer connect to the Internet when my fax line is plugged in. Is that enough?

And to have it all happen this week? On Monday? When Iím up against so many deadlines that I donít know if Iím coming or going? (Answer: going. Going fast.)

When the Boss phoned this morning and asked why my fax line wasnít picking up, I assumed he was doing something wrong. But I couldnít get a dial tone on that line, and I started switching lines back and forth to try to make it work. When I got the fax working, the DSL disconnected, and when I could connect, I had no fax. Apparently the splitter that the phone company put in had worn out. I can see how that could happen.

I ran down to the office supply store and picked up a new splitter, but when I came home and tried to make it work, the results were the same. I took a closer look at the one Iíd bought and it turned out to be for a two-line phone, not a DSL modem. I took a closer look at the one that was working before and saw what was different. It had four wires inside instead of three, for whatever thatís worth. Fortunately, it had the brand name and model number on it, along with a web address. So I ordered a new one. It costs five dollars (plus eight dollars shipping, their lowest and slowest rate).

For now, since only one line at a time can be plugged into the incoming DSL jack, I leave the fax on all day, then switch to the modem after 6:00 pm. When I go to bed (much, much later), I switch back, so that the Boss can start faxing me things first thing the next morning.

This will work out for the time being, although it will take some getting used to. Checking email every few minutes is a tic, and thereís a strong pull to fill vacant periods of time surfing on line. Since I canít do that for a few days, maybe Iíll get over the tic and into the habit of using my time better during the day. I kind of doubt that, though.

25 January 2009


As for the blinds, itís annoying that the pull doesnít work. It acts as if something is stripped up in the mechanism. Fortunately, I can tug on the threads holding the blinds together (Iím sure thereís a technical name for them) and open and close them that way. Itís a nuisance, but less a nuisance than leaving them closed all day (or open all night, for that matter). We are an adaptable species, arenít we? Once we figure out that we have no choice.

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