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Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2006
Think I mentioned an onslaught of internet speed trouble last week, didnít I?

And how I was gonna throw money at it, right? Well I did. Bought the new update for my virus/utility program (never, ever download this stuff. You want the disc in your hot little hands). Loaded. Booted. Updated.

Iíve been doing this for five days straight now, with no improvement. Paying for cable access and getting speeds I can only compare to those of two cans and a string is not the way I envision spending my Golden Years, I can tell you.

I wanted to call the cable company and howl but every time I do that it just sucks more gray matter directly from my ear into the telephone. Talking to Lakesha about involved internet trouble is not the way I envision . . ., well you understand.

Iím running a wireless system here, a little router betwixt the cable modem and laptop. It serves to allow me to sprawl largely in the recliner, perch on the kitchen stool or run outside should the weather happen to be nice. Iím all about the portability. But in an increasingly desperate attempt to do something before I caved and called the lunatics at Cox, I decided to try an experiment or two.

First I plugged the cable modem directly into the laptop, which got my Mbps up to a stunning 100 count. Nice eh? Be even nicer if Iíd actually been able to log on! In some sick way, direct connection werenít doing the happy dance at all. Not one bit, and it was a most curious thing indeed.

I tell ye, it was depressing. I donít ask for much in my life and times. A cold beer is good. Tools that work. An understanding wife. And fast internet.

Now since Iíd hauled the laptop all the way (approximately 10 feet) over to the router and modem, I was looking right at the daggone router. With the cute little antennas sticking out of the back.

Yíall know Iím ancient. I grew up with black and white TV and rabbit ears that looked quite a bit like the antenna on the router. Used to fiddle with Ďem endlessly, wrap the ends in tinfoil that was probably real tin and memorize weird configurations that worked for each of the (4) channels available back in 1842 1965. Whenever the siblings or Dad needed a channel coaxed to good reception, Outfoxed was summoned. Heady stuff for a six year old.

Well damned if the blue router didnít have touching antenna. Two little plastic whips that touched at the very end.

Now you know that ainít right. Or at least it wasnít right in 1965, gave me the willies just lookin' at it. If my 1965 black and white TV had sported crossed antenna thereíd be no end of snow and buzzing and flicker. Just wouldnít do. I plugged the wireless back in and spread those antenna to where they looked just like the picture.

Know what? That wooshing sound you just heard was my cable signal that just pinged off the moon and back in milliseconds.

I wouldnít have believed it either.

And Iím seriously considering getting the Reynolds Wrap from the kitchen drawer . . .

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