Did you hear my colorful language punctuating the hours yesterday?
After just touting our relative happiness with ISP HughesNet to a blogging friend, I was tearing my hair out again yesterday. As I've said before and will say again, Technology is great when it's working, but it can REALLY screw you up (once you've become accustomed to it) when it's not. (And, it [not working] really illustrates just . . . how . . . MUCH we [at least I] do use it in our daily lives.)
I do everything on the computer. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. That's where my calendar is. I'm not sure if I'm missing something important if I can't access it. I shop (from printer ink to my new iron to Christmas presents), pay bills (and I like to check on the status of them pretty much every day), keep in touch with friends (Tom never uses our home phone, and I RARELY do), see what's happening in the world (we have no TV), talk to my mom (again, that no phone thing . . . but we send e-mails to each other constantly throughout the day), check the weather, do our banking and see what checks Tom's written each day (vs. asking him to bring his checkbook in from his office every night), do all the ordering & invoicing for the supplies / essential oils for a massage therapist, etc., etc., etc. And, that's all just the PERSONAL stuff! It's not even my graphic & web design business that I'm trying to get off the ground . . . for which I need 24/7 access to the Web!
UGH! Obviously, it was a very frustrating day. I was on the computer from about 6:45 - 7:45 yesterday morning, and then the modem just went belly-up. I tried everything. I even searched out the correct wrench size in Tom's shop and moved the satellite dish (did I mention that it was only 5 degrees yesterday?). Multiple times. And, with each hair's-breadth-move, I had to come inside to run diagnostics. Then, there was the shutting all systems down and rebooting. Multiple times. And swearing. Multiple times. (That helps! Not.)
Finally, I called tech support and got a lovely Indian man on the line. And, I only had to ask him to repeat himself 2 or 3 times, so I was pretty pleased about that! They couldn't fix anything from their end and so would have to send a technician. Of course. One would call us within 3 days to set up an appointment. Yeah, a 3-day wait to just MAKE the appointment. Oh, but he couldn't set that up until he spoke to "Thomas". That's whose name the account is under. Of course.
So, I talked to Tom at his desk 70 miles away, giving him all the details I'd just spent 30 minutes giving to HughesNet Tech Support.
Then, I called our friends - the Going To Have A Baby Any Moment friends - to ask if I could drive the 30 minutes to their house to steal some of their bandwidth for a couple of hours. Of course! But, only if I had a bowl of homemade soup while I was there. (Twist my arm.)
I hopped into the shower to scrub away the nasty pall that had surrounded me since 7:45 that morning and got dressed. Got the dogs fed early so they would be more content. Packed up all my bags and got my boots on. Started shutting down the house and walked into the kitchen last. Glanced towards the offending modem, ready to throw it through the window (I mean 'turn it off') . . . and ALL the lights were flashing merrily away at me shouting, "Hey! Lookit me! I'm working now! All's well with the world! Aren't I special?!"
By this time, Tom had already ordered a modem & satellite dish upgrade (something we'd talked with the tech about the previous time he'd visited) AND bumped our rate up $10 a month in order to get a much higher speed. It is a 24-month commitment, but he wants his wife to be happy. He hates to see her tear her hair out when life isn't going well. :) Besides, we're BOTH hoping that my web-based businesses will be able to take a good-sized chunk of the financial responsibilities off his shoulders . . . and I DO need reliable Internet access for that!
So after seeing that things were operational here at home, I unpacked my bags, told the dogs to "stand down", and called our friends back with a chagrined "thank you, but no thank you". I needed to get on the keys ASAP and while the service was still working. After I spoke to them, they - amazingly sweet, wonderful, caring, thoughtful, sweet, loving, wonderful people - talked to Tom and asked that he still stop by their house (where I thought I'd be) on his way home. "It's a matter of life and death!" (They wanted to send him home with a big Tupperware of the still-warm chicken soup. And a huge chunk of delicious summer sausage for Tom from their freezer.)
Have I mentioned that this young couple is ABOUT TO HAVE THEIR FIRST BABY??? Any . . . day . . . ?! And they're doing all this for US?
An aside, at the art festival this past Saturday, they stopped by in the morning for a visit. I, not thinking anything of it, mentioned that I hadn't had time to make a lunch that day. They immediately responded with, "Oh, we'll make you a sandwich and bring it back!" No, no, nooooo! Getting me lunch was NOT their responsibility! So, I said that I didn't feel comfortable eating sandwiches at these things, anyway, 'cause I was invariably caught taking a huge bite when a customer walked up and asked me a question. That is the truth, but I also didn't want them to go to a trouble like that for me!
Well, fast forward a couple of hours, and back in they walk - covered plate & cup in hand. In the cup? Egg nog. On the plate, perfectly cut & sliced into small pieces and lovingly displayed . . . fancy little pieces of flat bread; yummy, yummy cheese; crackers; and some of the previously mentioned summer sausage. Oh, and when they'd arrived for their visit in the AM, it was with a plate of fresh-from-the-oven molasses & spice cookies in hand . . . which I'd quickly commandeered and had been munching on all day. I tell you, these two - soon to become three! - are incredible.
And, speaking of incredible friends . . . .
I remember that I joked to the husband of a dear friend (and fellow art fair participant) when he brought lunch in for her & their daughter, "Where's mine?!" He said, "I can go home and make you something, too!" Again, I exclaimed, "No, no, noooo! I was just kidding!" And, I was! This was before the other friends had returned with my unexpected plate of goodies, and I didn't like that ANYONE was even THINKING about going to any trouble for me!
Well, an hour or so later, in rushes the friend's little (okay, not so little anymore) adorable son. He pushes a bag into my hands and says, "Here's your lunch!" WHAT??? I hug and hug and squeeze him. (Fortunately, he hasn't gotten old enough that he's beyond hugs . . . and in PUBLIC, no less!) And, I have to admit, I was starving. Mmmmm, Cheetos! (Gotta start with the good stuff.) And Sprite. Ahhhhh. (And a Diet Coke for Mom - smart men!) And a granola bar with a particularly heavy coating of rich chocolate. Mmmmmmm. Notice how I get to the good stuff BEFORE I eat the sandwich?
Tom lucked out, too. He devoured my ham sandwich when I got home that night, and there was even a little left of the summer sausage & crackers. And so, supper was taken care of, too.
Morale of the story? "I get by with a little help from my friends . . . ." And what friends they are! :)