Somewhere around 2am our internet connection stopped working. Both my husband and I were awake and online when it happened. I was watching a movie on Netflix via the PS3 and he was working on lesson plans. I decided to just go to bed and let my husband try to get it working again. This morning I got up, attempted to wake the kids, then headed straight for the computer. Checking my facebook page, online office and email are all an essential part of my morning routine. My to my dismay the connection was still not working. I unplugged everything (not an easy feat since it takes a little contorting, a dash of acrobatics and a whole lotta patience to reach all the plugs) and went back to bed thinking that somehow something magical would happen while I slept.

Fast forward a few hours to a better-rested me, full of hope and positivity. I plugged everything back in (in the proper order, mind you…heaven forbid you do one thing wrong or it won’t work) expecting life to return to normal. Nope. I tried unplugging everything again, thinking maybe I hadn’t used the proper order after all. Nothing. It was time for desperate measures. I called Comcast. After several minutes of unplugging and plugging all the different cables and cords in every possible sequence imaginable while having the patience to wait 10 seconds each time (which began to feel like forever), we arrived at the conclusion that the modem is fine. The problem must be the router.

I immediately began the quest, trying to find the booklet that came with the router because the only contact information on the router itself was a website address. Not exactly helpful when the router isn’t working. Just saying. All I could find was the start-up CD which at first glance didn’t seem to be what I needed. So I looked some more. Finally, with a lack of any other ideas, I put in the CD and found a manual with a troubleshooting guide. Great! As the minutes passed I slowly came out of denial that I would have to actually find a phone number and call tech support. The first time I tried, I got cut off after several minutes on hold (which by this time, felt like an eternity). The second time, I was connected to a very nice man who I could sort of understand. My patience was wearing thin, but I tried my best to not let it show.

He walked me through another series of acrobatics, especially when he asked me to unplug the router and plug it into another outlet. Seriously?? I was amazed that I was able to accomplish this without knocking over the TV in the process. It didn’t help. I described the color of the lights on the front of the router each time. Amber power light, green numbers (which should not have even been lit up), no beautiful blue light indicating that I would be able to check my facebook notifications. Then he asked me to connect the computer with the ethernet cable. Well, I know we have, or had, one because I used it to set up the network. I can see it in my mind’s eye, all pretty and blue. But today it was nowhere to be found. So he had me stick a paperclip in the back of the router to restore the factory settings. I hated the idea of doing that because it meant setting up the network again, but if it solved the problem, fine. It did not.

I think by that time, he was just as frustrated as I was and was trying just as hard to hide it, but neither of us was particularly successful. His final suggestion was to go get an ethernet cable, run some diagnostic of the firmware (I have no idea what firmware is) found on the CD, and if that doesn’t work call back and they’ll see about replacing the router. Yeah. Ok. Well. Ok. I finally called my husband with the bad news…if he wants to be sure he can get online to tutor tonight he’s going to have to buy another router on his way home.

I wish I could say that it’s all better now, but instead I’m tethered. I couldn’t take one more minute of being disconnected from my digital life so I plugged the yellow cable directly into my laptop which now has to be within three feet of the modem. As difficult as it is for me to type while lying on my stomach, propped up on my elbows, that is exactly what I’m doing right now. (You would not believe how many misspelled words the spell check picked up.) I was going to post some pictures from walks last week, but I refuse to be here like this for the length of time it would take to accomplish that. So instead, you get to hear the story of my day trying to make it so I can once again sit on the couch to connect with the world. I guess it’s sad, really, how much I depend on the internet, but it is my reality and I don’t think I’d have it any other way because how else could I be friends with people thousands of miles away? If I have to be uncomfortable for a while to reap the benefits then I’ll do just that and try to stay positive about it. 😀

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