Tuesday, May 24, 2005


During the last couple of nights, we've had really strong rain storms, and the one night before last ended up severing our connection to the Internet. I spent almost the entire day yesterday figuring out what exactly went wrong.

I noticed yesterday morning that our AirPort Extreme (Mac instrument that allows us to connect wirelessly to the Internet) was not on. It wouldn't turn on at all. Everything else plugged into the same outlet was working fine. That meant there was nothing wrong with the outlet. I checked our television to make sure the cable TV was still working. It was. No problem there. Hmmmm....

I called Apple Tech Support and explained the problem. The technician told me that it was either a problem with my AirPort or my cable modem. He said his guess was that my AirPort was fried and to take it to our local Apple specialist to see if they could get it to turn on. He said that if it did, the problem was probably in the modem.

I took it over to Haddock Computer, the Apple specialists, and when they plugged it in, it came on. Not sure how, but it did. I had already ruled out the outlet at home as the culprit because everything else was working. Must be the modem, I surmised.

I took the AirPort back home (BTW, it's a 30-minute drive one-way to Haddock) and plugged it in. It came on. But I still couldn't connect to the Internet.

I called Cox Communications ("Your friend in the digital age") and explained to them what my problem was and that Apple had ruled out the AirPort as the culprit. The tech guy said that I could go to their downtown office and rent one of their modems so I could check to see if that solved the problem. So, I went there, paid a $15 rental fee, brought the new modem home, plugged it in just as it had been on my original modem, and I still couldn't connect!

I called Apple back and told them what had transpired. The technician went through a series of tests, with me performing all the operations on my end and him performing a few tricks on his end, and after 45 minutes, I still couldn't connect! He finally told me to take the AirPort back over to Haddock to see if they could get it to connect to the Internet via their connection. If it did, he said, there was a problem with my cable Internet line somewhere. If it didn't, there was a problem with the AirPort, but they could very likely fix it since it still turned on.

Again, I drove the 30-minute drive to Haddock, asked them to try to connect to the Internet with my AirPort, and explained to them that I had ruled out the cable modem, my outlet and my computer as the culprits. Two technicians worked on the AirPort at the same time. Neither of them could get it to connect after trying for about 30-45 minutes. Finally, one of them came to me and said that my Ethernet port was dead, and that's why I couldn't get it to do anything.

On my way home, I slipped on my hands-free set and attached it to my cell phone and called Apple back. The guy I talked to was a foreigner with a thick Indian accent (there are a lot of them in this area because of Wichita State), so I was having trouble understanding him, and he was likely having trouble understanding me. Meanwhile, I had one battery line left on my phone and was afraid I'd get cut off before I could get this guy to understand what I needed.

I told him that my Ethernet connection on my Airport Extreme was dead. He said that they'd send me a box to ship it back to them so they could repair it. I asked how long it might take, and he said "Seven to ten business days." Grrrrrr!!! Then he said that I would want to try to make a backup of everything stored on it because they couldn't guarantee that all of the memory would be left intact. I said, "On the AirPort?"
"No, the computer."
"Why do I need to send you my computer if the problem is with the AirPort?"
"You don't. I thought it was the computer you were having trouble with."
"No, it's the AirPort Ethernet port, not the computer."
"Okay, so the AirPort Express..." (I heard him typing in the background.)
"No, it's an AirPort Extreme, not the Express."
"Oh, okay, I'll get that changed. You should receive a box in about two days. Put the AirPort Extreme in it and send it back to us so we can make the repairs."
"Okay, I guess. Can't I just get it replaced?"
"No. For this kind of problem, we just repair it and send it back to you."
"All right."

I'd been working on getting the stupid Internet connection up since 10:30 yesterday morning. By this time, it was close to 5 p.m. and I had to get the rented cable modem back to Cox. I was told that if I returned it the same day that they would return my rental fee to me.

I got home, unplugged everything from the new modem, put it back in the box, and got back in my pick-up to take it back to Cox, which was supposed to close at 5:30. I got there in plenty of time, gave them back the modem, got my renal fee back, and headed home, knowing that the only way I was going to be able to do anything online was to connect my computer directly to the cable modem. I still don't know how I'm going to print to our wireless printer, because it used the AirPort, too.

By this time, Ron was home from work and was hungry. I told him I didn't have time to fix dinner because I had my Mary Kay unit meeting to go to, and I was taking our next-door neighbor Haley with me for a Trash 'N Treasure Night (where customers get to trash their non-Mary Kay items for discounted Mary Kay items of the same kind). So Ron went and got KFC while I took off my eyeshadow and reapplied shades that would go better with my dress outfit for the meeting.

We ate as soon as he got home, I changed my clothes, put on some lipstick, met up with Haley, and we took off.

From that point on, my day went much better, even though there were only a few hours of daylight left at that point. I did a facial on Haley, after which she chose items that she wanted to trade for, and then she started asking questions of my director about our company. When all was said and done and the questions answered, Haley decided she wanted to be a Mary Kay consultant, too, and signed an agreement!

On the way home, we talked about the business and I gave her a few tips that I've learned in my 4 1/2 years in the Company. She was getting more and more exicited. She said she really wants to make this work, too. I believe she can. Unlike most Independant Beauty Consultants, Haley graduated from cosmetology school eight months ago! She already knows a lot about how to care for the skin, so her training will be easy. I have a feeling she's really going to like it. And since I'm her neighbor, I can help her out anytime she needs me.

I guess you could say that I'm wired in two ways after yesterday's events: Wired directly from my computer to the cable modem so I have access to the Internet, and wired because I finally have a new recruit for my Mary Kay business! The bad form of being wired is balance by the good form, I guess you could say.

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