Thursday, January 10, 2008

Voodoo electronics

The facts:

I work from home.

I am able to work from home because of the internet and the ability to send files back and forth to clients and vendors via email.

I get my internet service via satellite, specifically Wildblue. Living in the middle of nowhere, there is no other option – dial-up service can't begin to handle my large files.

When my internet service goes down, I cannot work.

When I cannot work and meet the daily deadlines associated with my job, I get very stressed out.

I have been very stressed out for 9 days. This is one of the very few times that living in the middle of nowhere has sucked.
My internet service tanked on January 2; I could receive emails but could not send them, nor could I stay connected to the internet.

The Wildblue technician spent 3 hours here on Saturday, replacing the tria, checking the cable, and finally replacing the modem.

When he left, everything worked and my net worth had decreased by about $600.

Two days later, my internet service tanked again.

I can't bear to chronicle the details of the ensuing calls with the tech, the tech's boss, Wildblue, my Mac man, the electrician who wired my house, and anyone else who would listen to the details of the problem. All I know is this:

When my internet service tanks (e.g., my upload speeds come to a screeching halt), I perform a ritual which could best be described as voodoo: I power off the Mac, the satellite, and all that stuff; disconnect the coaxial cables from the Wildblue modem; touch the center wire of the connectors, then reconnect them; power everything back up; fall to my knees and say a few Hail Marys, and then everything works...for awhile.

Those who know way more than I know believe I may have "a static issue." Touching the wire in the coax cables releases the static; the satellite signal is happy again.

So today, I watered the pole upon which the satellite is mounted. Perhaps the ground is too dry. And today, a tea kettle sets atop the wood stove, adding steam to the air in the house. Perhaps the environment is too dry.

And I'm drinking several glasses of wine...perhaps my throat is too dry.

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