Monday, September 22, 2008

Technology nightmares

Computers, cell phones, satellites, home phone, game systems.... Something in the air is causing interference when it comes to me and working with anything of the above lately. I've not had a Monday like this for many weeks. Thank GOD - because it wouldn't take many of these days to have me committed to the insane asylum my daughter's ring tone proudly announces instead of ringing: "welcome to the mental health hotline, if you are an obsessive compulsive press one repeatedly"... *sigh* Most of today's frustration is related to my internet/wireless/phone service provider. The satellite thing is all about the hubby changing the channel on the television without realizing it.

It once took me 6 months to realize no lines were goofed up or chewed through by some unruly critter - it was just my husband smacking some number on the remote and the television getting "misaligned" with the signal. He assured me the second time it happened that he had not done that. After looking through everything I went in, punched in the correct channel and WOW - it worked.

My DSL apparently has "bad days" here in rural Pennsylvania. Ever since the small-town ball park up the road had some excavation work done which resulted in phone lines that weren't properly marked being sliced through by a skidsteer's sharp metal bucket, we've had problems. Every time it rains more than an inch, the phone lines get full of static and the DSL runs molasses slow. A thunderstorm comes anywhere within 8 miles, I loose connection totally. Today it wasn't storming or raining, but apparently the cloudy conditions were enough to screw it all up despite the fact I don't have wireless. I've tried to tell the phone company, but each time I contact them I hear "Your computer..." even when I know it's NOT my computer. And I don't have two hours to run through all their "troubleshooting" which requires I download things, move files and in the end, screw up things to where it IS my computer and I lose days worth of time trying to get everything back in working order. So I just deal because around here, you have but one or two choices. I think come January when the sign up is due, I'll be looking at option number two and hoping they have come to availability on my road.

My other huge gripe about my current provider who is also my home phone provider and cell provider is this: I have three user names and three or four passwords written down in my little black book of user names and passwords. I put each site on an index card and have it all organized. I never have trouble with any of the other sites I deal with - which is a lot. I NEVER get into my provider's sites. I try and try, but I swear they must have fifteen sites for different things and they take great pleasure in saying "sorry, that username or password is not on file for the phone number provided." I'm the first to admit, I can screw up. I mean, I do work several jobs, run a household, and am raising three girls, two of which are teen-agers, of course I get things mixed up sometimes. I am only human. But it can't be every time and when I write it down, I'm very careful, especially with this place. And no, I don't use caps or punctuation that I miss when I try to sign in two weeks later. *humph* And what's even worse was the time it kept telling me the answer to my secret answer was wrong. HELLO, I know my mother's maiden name!! And it's not as if I could misspell it ten attempts in a row. So what the heck is going on - not a question, just a thought.

Today, I'm to the point where I can't care, I just have to deal. I scoff at their commercials that boast excellent customer service and manage to restrain myself from throwing something at the TV when I hear how "great" they are only because I like my television and couldn't afford to replace it.

Then, my daughter comes home and turns on our game system and every disk she put in came back with "disk not readable." So, did we get a frying power surge this weekend when we weren't home to scramble all our electronics? The moon isn't full, though I know 11:44 this morning was the shift from summer to autumn. Hey-maybe that was it. Whatever it was, I'm ready to throw it all out the back window (a 12 foot drop to the back driveway) and live in the dark ages again. I don't think I'm going to try turning my laptop on. Better not push my luck this Monday. If not for the ragweed and my allergies, I would sit on the back porch and read. My rocking chair will just have to do.

Signing off of everything electronic...until next time.

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