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Ugh!

This has not been the best of evenings. It started at a wake…yes, another family friend has passed away and tonight I attended the wake. My thoughts and prayers are with RS’s widow, son, daughter, in-laws, and grand-children. God bless you all.

After the wake I went over to my parent’s house to once again try and fix my father’s Internet connection. He’s been having connection problems for some time, starting with very slow access speed. He finally talked to his DSL service provider and they said he’d have to buy a new modem. At the monthly price they charge him, I urged him to call customer service or billing to find out if he really had to purchase a new modem. Nope…customer service told him to call back tech support and they sent him a new one. Great, but even with the new modem he’s still having problems. Every time I look at his computer a message pops up really fast off the task bar–too fast to fully read it, but it says something about connection. Last weekend Dad’s email stopped working and I spent time trying to get it working. Eudora wouldn’t work so we tried Outlook, which would start to download mail but die after a few messages. The Outlook error message said, "Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection…." Since the modem was new and the service provider insisted the connection was fine, I decided the Ethernet port was bad.

So that brings us to tonight…after the wake I installed a new Ethernet port. No help. Message still popping up from Task bar and Outlook still displaying the same error message. It finally occurred to me to do a screen capture to try and grab the message…bingo! I got it! It says:

Local Area Connection: This connection has limited or no connectivity. You might not be able to access the Internet or some network resources. For more information, click this message.

BUT the message flashed so fast I couldn’t click on it! I finally caught it and it took me to the Local Area Connection Status window, which said the connection was fine. Even so, I clicked on Repair. No help. I went into the Network Connection Details and all the fields had what looked like good numbers. But then I noticed that every time the message popped up from the Task bar, the network connections settings blanked out! So I started timing it: every 23 seconds the Internet connection completely dropped for a millisecond! I even got screen prints to prove that the connection was lost!

So…now…my father gets to call his provider AGAIN…but this time we have more solid evidence of an issue. Now to me, and I confess I could be wrong, this sounds like a hardware issue, not a software or computer setting. In fact, since it’s DSL, I think it’s a line issue. Any thoughts? (Anyone still reading this blather?) I should probably go back to my parent’s tomorrow evening or over the weekend and call for my father…I can type faster if they want to play with settings and I think I’m more ready to chew them out! This is ridiculous! I wish he had cable broadband, like I do; I know it better and they seem more willing to come out and fix things. Any thoughts? Suggestions? We haven’t replaced the Ethernet cable, but other than that, I think the provider is the issue!

But wait…that wasn’t the end of this UGH evening…I got home and discovered the furnace wasn’t able to start. It was trying to start, but couldn’t get the cycle started and then went in to 3-hour lockout. Down to the utility room I went and, yep, the furnace was flashing an error message. Out to the garage I went to grab my socket wrench so I could take apart one section of the furnace to get to the flame sensor, which I was hoping had oxidized. This has happened twice before and the first time I paid $60 for a repair man to come out fix it and, very sweetly, explain to me what the problem was and how to fix it. What he didn’t do was give me tools that could easily reach the screws so I could do the fix in five minutes. I spent twenty minutes or more getting the screws and pieces out, cleaning them, sanding the flame sensor to remove the oxidization build up, and then another ten minutes putting it all back together. The good news is…the furnace now seems happy and is running.

But this was not a fun or pleasant evening. Let’s not even postulate what else could possible go wrong this evening! (Forgive me, but I don’t think I’ll even bother to proof this entry. It’s just going up and I’m going to soak my head in a bucket of seltzer water–whatever that is!!!!!!!)

P.S. I forgot…as I was putting the tools away after fixing the furnace, I spent a few minute tightening the driver’s side sun visor in my car. More exciting thrills for the evening. Please do not bring over any small appliance for repairs…1. I can’t fix ‘em, 2. I’m likely to stomp on ‘em!

2 comments to Ugh!

  • ugh sounds right.
    try taking your computer and another ethernet cable over to your father’s place. If it happens on your computer you’ll know it’s a problem with the modem or phone line. If it doesn’t happen it’ll be a problem with his computer….

  • That’s a good idea. The only thing is he has DSL I don’t know to set up the service on another computer and they haven’t given him any written instructions; instead, they walk him through it over the phone. (Another reason for me to call them.) I have thought about bringing his computer here, but that wouldn’t allow me to test his modem.
    All around annoying! Hmm, maybe I could find instructions on the Internet. Hmmmmmm

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