Continuing Technological Interruptions, or: Why I Need A Flamethrower

I tell you, it’s a damn good thing I’ve got internet at the office, and at least three fairly decent chunks of time during the average work day in which to surf (somewhat) freely. If it weren’t for relieving my receptionist for her breaks, you might never see me ’round these parts.

Yes, it’s true. My internet at home has once again decided to laugh with maniacal glee at my frantic efforts to stay connected to the world more than twenty feet away. I woke up Saturday morning and my computer was dead. Just….dead. No blue screen of death, just dead. It looked more like a pillowcase – horizontal, somewhat ragged looking stripes. I tried to restart it – fail. I tried to do all those little safe-startup options that you’re offered when you haven’t shut your laptop properly – fail. Fail, fail, fail.

I didn't...but almost

Then I thought, well, fuck it. Any files I *really* care about are floating on the internet anyways. I know better than to trust this machine with anything long term. I’ll go grab the magic disc and just wipe this thing back to its basic operating system. Oh no, I’ll have to re-install msn, firefox, and iTunes and lose all my hilarious bookmarks. Big deal. As long as I can get the internet back, I’m happy. What can I say? I’m a product of my generation, and no internet means no Josh – even our phones are web based.

Off I went then, to grab the original packaging for the computer, placed neatly on a shelf in the spare room.

The backup disc? No more than a set of instructions on how to create your own backup disc. A futile, futile piece of paper.

Well fuck. Good thing I’ve got a nerdy friend on speed-text. I gave May the shake-down on the latest fuckuppery, to which she said “Bring it on over!” So over I went, as is the habit on Saturday afternoons anyways. I plunked the laptop down, and proceeded to ignore it for most of the night. Eventually the sake bombs were busted out and I started feeling much better. Some time after that, I remembered the useless hunk of computery plastic wedged into my purse – complete with non-laptop-sized keyboard! Remember that story? About dumping a whole glass of water on it and frying all but three letters to kingdom come? Yeah! That was fun! Anyways, long story short another geeky friend who happened to be in attendance got it back to factory setting fairly quickly. Thanks nerdy friends! Problem solved!

Not so much. Sunday morning I woke up to find that although my computer worked fine, in all it’s zero-actual-programs glory, the internet was down.

What. The. Fuck. Are you serious???

I understand this on a whole 'nother level now...

Apparently, yes. I called Bell, bitched my schpiel, and two hours later we were able to determine that my modem was malfunctioning, not picking up my IP address properly. Or some other bullshit. They could have told me it was dying of syphilis and it wouldn’t have mattered. They would still have to send me a new one, days away. In the meantime they MacGyvered a basic connection, the mechanics of which I don’t even understand. But no video phone, and too weak to download msn. Great. That’s about as helpful as an internet connection in a government office where you’re allowed to search all of three excitingly informative pages and play solitaire when the boss is in the can.

I texted May. Forget tech support, clearly I’m e-doomed. Can I borrow a flamethrower, chainsaw, sledgehammer or some other kind of destructive implement? She texted back that Talea was on her way over for gardening, and didn’t that sound like much more fun??? Yes. Yes, it very very very did.  So over I went to take my wrath out on weeds, semi-useful computer in tow for another joyous adventure with oversized luggage on the bus. May’s prognosis was: “You know, I used to think it was user error. Because even the smartest person can make a mistake on their computer. It happens. But now I think the internet hates you. Clearly, it must. Because this is just ridiculous, you poor thing!”

It does! It must! Call me crazy, but I’m almost certain that every single device in my apartment is fully awake, aware of my name, my neuroses, and the worst days to mess with me. I’m going to start wearing a tinfoil hat!

Maybe not...

Ahem. So yes, with much help from technologically non-impaired, non-cursed friends, I was able to once again plug myself back into the all important internet. And the internet, by the way, owes me a day of my life back.

The new modem should be arriving soon, beginning what I’m sure is yet another long battle against the machine. Could you all do me a favour and slap your computers around a little tonight? I’m hoping it’ll send a message to the internet about what happens when you push my buttons a little too long. And if it doesn’t go well and I end up making the news in some horrible fashion, well…at least now you can say you know my side of the tale.

Stay tuned.


  1. Josh said,

    May 7, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I saw an interesting blog while you were sans-internet. It was about how many of the criteria for God that are actually currently or foreseeably met by Google. The internet is borderline sentient, and completely unstoppable at this point, and I do believe it is a woman, and it hates you. Probably just jealous because you got me and she didn’t. You know how catty some women can get.

    On the plus side, only a month and a week till your visit! Woot!

  2. JavaQueen said,

    May 7, 2009 at 6:20 am

    This just plain old BLOWS! “Fuckuperry” – LOVE that, it’s hilarious! Hey, I just bitch slapped my laptop- I think it’s important that we all stick together and send a message to our computers that this will not be tolerated. Please tell me you are NOT wearing that aluminum hat… please…. I hope you get your new modem soon girl!

  3. duffboy said,

    May 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I want to make a t-shirt of that Foil Fail! The cat just looks adorable, in a “Can I get this dude’s internet back so he doesn’t get CREATIVE again” way. I’ll be sure to bitch slap my computer as soon as I can 🙂

  4. nursemyra said,

    May 7, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    oh dear…… having just been internet-less for three weeks I understand your monumental pain.

    I virtually moved in to the internet cafe down the road for the duration. My addiction knows no bounds…… hope it’s all ok very soon

  5. javajunkee said,

    May 8, 2009 at 3:58 am

    oooh I can so relate. When you are basically mocked by a piece of machinery it sends you over the edge. I’ve been there. I’ve had to fix this desktop and my laptop. Both times sucked. But I was determined as soon as I described the issue over the phone to the Geek Squad and they told me almost in a mocking “we’re going to make money off of you voice” that I was screwed. OH yeah? Fuck you and your whole squad.
    Ohhhh I can so totally relate. And all of those pictures up there. I seriously admire your restraint on not performing any of those moves!
    Hope you are back to normal here soon and that the new modem provides some relief of problems 😦

  6. Jen512 said,

    May 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

    What kind of laptop do you have? I used to replace keyboards on Dell laptops, on the off chance you have a Dell I might be able to help.

    Josh is right, Google is the new God, and you have angered it. Clearly it wants your computer as sacrifice.

  7. Emerald said,

    May 10, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    @ Le Boyfriend: That sounds really interesting, and I agree. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the internet is completely sentient, just on a level we’re too stupid to understand. Conspiracy theory, get your hats!!! Anyways, yes, vacation time is soon and I’m SO EXCITED!!! Don’t be offended if I don’t want to touch anything even remotely computer related while I’m there 😉

    @ JavaQueen: Well, I didn’t quite have enough foil around 😛 Thanks for the solidarity, you show that machine who’s boss!

    @ Duffboy: I think that would be a pretty good t-shirt, I might just make one that says “alright Google, I give up.”

    @ Nursemyra: Three weeks, how did you survive??? It seems kind of funny now that just over a year ago I didn’t even have the internet at home – but then Josh came around, and well, resistance was pretty much futile. While I was waiting for the install, we used to have e-dates where he would wait for me to go to the internet cafe so we could chat outside Monday to Friday.

    @ JavaJunkee: That’s it exactly! They mock me!!! You totally hit that on the nail. And yeah, the Geek Squad totally blows.

    @ Jen: It’s an HP, but I think I’ll be able to get a geeky friend to swap out the keyboard pretty soon, hopefully before I trip over this cord and send the whole thing flying – it wouldn’t surprise anybody. And yeah, I give up, I think I better start doing whatever the internet tells me 😛

  8. Ginny said,

    May 11, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Oh my god, I’d go fucking nuts in that situation! Seriously, you would have seen me on the news, I would have done something bad. Good thing you’re not, like, crazy or shit.

  9. Jen512 said,

    May 11, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Strange shapes on the screen or misspelled words when it boots up into a black screen may also be a sign of a fried video card. I had one last week, it’s a bitch but it’s replaceable. Good luck with the technology. I work in IT so I feel your pain.

  10. Will said,

    May 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Weird. I had a dream I threw my laptop out of my car. (don’t worry computer that I am typing on. It wasn’t you.) I hope all goes well and you are back with us cyborgs.

  11. IdeaJump! said,

    May 13, 2009 at 11:56 am

    My computer is dying a slow death, too. I’ve been told I have too many applications on it. But everytime I try to delete any of these wayward unexplained crap – it comes back. The uninstall doesn’t work. I suffer on. Good luck to you!

  12. Emerald said,

    May 15, 2009 at 1:07 am

    @ Ginny: Haha, me? Not crazy? Have we met? 😉 But yeah, it seriously sucked. I don’t recommend it. I’ve got a friend with a backup coffee maker. I’m starting to think I should have a backup laptop.

    @ Jen: Dude, I think the whole thing is fried by now 😛 It’s like my hands are made of magnets. (Which would be both horrible and awesome.)

    @ Will: I’ll consider that a premeditative sort of bitchslap, thanks 😛

    @ IdeaJump: That I do know! It gets in the registry! That’s why I hate those 3 month free trials of anti-virus shit, like Norton. Because you can’t just uninstall it, it gets stuck in there and conflicts with any other stuff you try to download, like AVG. I myself am not brave enough to mess around in there, I get more advanced people to do it for me 😛

  13. Scott said,

    May 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I used to hate the Internet, now I’m addicted to it. At least I spend most of my Internet-time reading blogs. All my computers have been hand-me-downs, including the one I have now. My first one my parents gave me. It was a Frankenstein creation–every part from a different computer. They wanted me to have a computer, but (literally) did alot of praying about it first, out of concern that I’d get into Internet porn.

    Instead (having magazines for porn), I got into those political/religious forums. Being very opinionated, I engaged in combat with God knows how many people. I wasn’t doing it just to argue–I really intended to persuade these people, for their own good (lol). But I eventually realized that half of them, if not most, really just wanted to argue for the hell of it. Soon the computer caught a virus (apparently) and just “died”. Good riddance–I wasn’t ready for the Internet anyway.

    A few years later, I got another computer, donated by a United Methodist minister. The screen-saver (I didn’t know what a screen-saver was, at the time)–was a Bible verse reminding me to “obey Christ”, over and over.
    I finally discovered that all I had to do to get rid of it was press any key.

    I don’t know how many computers I’ve had, but I’ve learned more and more with each one. I’m still computer-illiterate, but am getting closer to literacy. Ideally, of course, I should spend most of my time reading books. But at least I’m reading blogs, almost exclusively now–and learning how unique each blogger’s perspective is.

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