Sunday, February 17, 2008

When Bad Things Happen to, um, People

Today has been a case study in silver linings.

Bad Thing Number 1:

We were downstairs and heard a loud bang, followed by some clattering. I envisioned Number Two falling and dropping a box of stuff that scattered on the tile or hardwood floor. But the kids hadn't even heard it, and I couldn't find any evidence of the noisemaker. Not inside or out.

Until I opened the fridge a couple of hours later to grab a slice of cheese on my way out the door (I have developed an addiction to Kraft Singles Select cheese slices). I immediately understood the bang and clatter. See, when I bought a fridge, the one that fit our space, our budget, and my very very particular needs when it came to features, well the one I bought is not top-of-the-line. I like my stuff really cold, and keeping it that way causes a few freeze spots.

In one of which ended up a can of root beer.

Yes, the bang was the can exploding. The top blew off, and the side unzipped. Slush landed on every shelf, and brown drops flecked the walls and the stuff in the door.

Which I immediately closed and left to do my errands.

When I returned, the job was almost done. My fabulous husband and darling kids had taken every. single. item. out of the fridge and cleaned it, then cleaned the shelves and the holders in the door. Then they weeded out all the expired stuff, and the damned thing is now immaculate. No more jelly sticking the cheese drawer closed. No more tiny flecks of dried milk (that flaked off the neck of the jug) coalescing into a white coating over the main shelf. I was so happy. It felt like Mother's Day!

Bad Thing Number Two:

After finishing the cleanup (I helped do the dishes and stuff), we went downstairs and discovered that the Internet was down. The router had a very tiny glow in the Ethernet light but nothing in any other light. I launched into a VERY annoying conversation with Verizon. He made me crawl underneath and unplug the router, then plug it into a different outlet (after, of course, running me through a series of stupid questions and irrelevant tests that he had to do because he doesn't know that I'm not an idiot). His diagnosis? "Yep, the router is fried."

Other annoyances:

--The warranty had expired. No one is surprised by that, right?

--He could sell me another Verizon router. Yeah, 'cause the first one was of SUCH high quality. We could get one free if we had FiOS TV. Except they don't offer FiOS TV in our area, so that's not a very helpful offer, now, is it?

--We could buy any router anywhere. This, despite dire threats from Verizon when they installed it not to use any other router because it wouldn't be able to communicate with them for diagnostic purposes. Then again, that feature didn't exactly work out this time, either.

--I had to go shopping for a new router late on a Sunday. J made a joke about how we could save money and just go without Internet. HA!

Silver linings and other good things:

--It was only 4:00 on a Sunday, so the stores were still open.

--I had a Staples Rewards coupon card for $25 off a $50 purchase.

--I can expense the purchase, as it is impossible for me to do business if I have no Internet.

--The setup went pretty smoothly, with only a few difficulties. Like not being sure which cable went into the modem port on the router. And struggling to figure out how to get the other computers connected after I enabled encryption.

--The biggest silver linings are these:
**The security of the new router is MUCH better than the Verizon one.
**The signal is MUCH more powerful, so even in the far corner of the house, I get a
96 signal on my laptop (used to be lucky to get 60 with the Verizon one).
**I swear the service is faster on my desktop, which is wired to the router.

So I'm pretty happy.

Other things to make me happy:

Clips from Supernatural. OMG, do these two short bits make the next episode look made of awesome. The show will return April 24th for four episodes, which is less than any other show, but I'm just glad it's coming back at all. Unlike some other networks, though, they haven't yet announced renewals for fall. I'm trying to be patient.

So, how were your weekends? Got any silver lining stories?

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