Internet access starts getting unruly somewhere around the late evening, spontaneously shutting itself off for no good reason at all. We chalk it up to the fact that a lot of users are surfing their favorite hardcore sites, and fire up some Starcraft to compensate.
On a cursory check, nothing seems to be wrong with the connection. My brother checks his e-mail, my sister fools around with some file-sharing software, and I check out some por... er, online literary dissertations. Except for a bit of lag every now and then, everything seems fine.
Internet access suddenly gets cut off in the late morning, while I'm working on this blog. The good news is that I manage to finish one post before it gives way; The bad news is that the article happens to be one of my monthly disclaimers. (While I try to make them relatively interesting, let's just say that none of them is likely to win a Palanca Award anytime soon.)
Repeated attempts to reconnect meet with no results. Finally, I run into an error message that tells me there's something wrong with the connection on our ISP's side, and I leave it at that. It's a hot day, and it gives me an excuse to head to the mall for some badly-needed air-conditioning. I don't complain.
I go back to work after the three-day weekend, and I start putting together a user manual for one of our more demanding clients (among other things). Between the tedium of methodical business writing and the unlimited DSL connection at the office, I remain occupied for the whole day.
Around late afternoon, my sister calls me at work and tells me that the internet access still hasn't kicked in yet. I check our ISP's web site, jot down their Customer Support numbers, and send them over. When she asks me why I don't call them myself, I tell her that I can't walk through our home setup while I'm at the office. She agrees to talk to them herself, but she doesn't get anywhere with her inquiries.
My sister calls the office again, telling me that we still don't have internet access. I tell her to give our ISP's Customer Support another try.
She calls me a couple of hours later, and tells me that the support guy on the other end mentioned a bunch of stuff she couldn't understand. He did advise her, however, that the problem was most likely on our side. I snap at her, pointing out the error messages we earlier encountered and the troublesome yet letter-perfect technical setup we currently use. She tells me that she doesn't understand a thing I'm saying, either, and I promise to have a look at the system when I get home.
Past midnight, I confirm that everything looks okay. The setup is running fine (apart from the inability to connect), the various components are perfectly compatible, and the correct cords are plugged into the right places. I'm covered in dust, and I'm not looking forward to the possibility of washing myself in ice-cold water before heading to bed.
As I move the modem back into place, I pull on the cord a little. Surprisingly, it turns off.
Intrigued, I follow the modem's cord all the way up to its power strip. I try the plug, and find that it's a little loose. So I tighten it and switch on the computer again, all the while getting this funny feeling about how technology enriches our lives.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I happen to be writing a blog post tonight.
I knew I should have moved out to a solitary life in the wilderness when I had the chance.