Summer Solace

It has been a bit of a frustrating couple of months for a few different reasons but in particular relating to my attempts to email my daily reflections. We haven’t had more than two days in a row during that time without service interruption with our internet connection. I haven’t tried to count how many times I’ve followed CenturyLink’s directions on re-booting or re-setting our modem. “Disconnect the power, wait ten seconds, re-connect the power. Wait.”

That worked enough times that I kept trying it long after it didn’t work anymore. Then, by chance of call routing to the next available technical support humanoid, the directions changed. “Find the reset button on the back of the modem, insert a toothpick or paperclip and hold the button down for forty-five seconds. Wait.” That worked once or twice and reminded me that few things short of physical torture can make forty-five seconds seem as long as does pushing in a button with a toothpick. In my hurry to comply with the tech rep’s directive, I hadn’t taken time to find a toothpick with a comfortable handle on it.
 
Apparently, this haste to find a fix is a trait I share with C-Link’s service repairmen. The first guy put a new connector on the in-ground wire and said that should fix the problem. It seemed to, for at least several hours. The next guy said our modem wasn’t working and replaced it. “That should fix the problem,” he reassured us. It did, for at least several hours.
 
When I called tech support again Sunday night, after being without service since last Thursday, he diligently diagnosed a few possibilities. Then, there was an extended silence on the line. Then, there was a revelation. “Wow,” he exclaimed, “your modem has connected and disconnected over 6000 times.” That, it seemed to me, indicated there is a problem here.
 
The service man who came yesterday agreed. After a couple of hours of troubleshooting, testing, phone calls and a return to headquarters to bring out another guy with a bucket lift, he believed he’d found the problem. Hot weather.
According to him, the elevated heat we’ve been having for, oh, say about two months now, drastically lowers the ability of the line to deliver a strong signal. So, they’d had to up the signal speed back at the source enough that it would still be serviceable by the time it made it all the way out to Blair, Kansas. “If you lived another two hundred feet west of here, we wouldn’t be able to provide DSL service at all,” he smiled.
 
I was glad that they’d strengthened the signal instead of suggesting that we drag our house a couple of miles to the east. Naturally, at the time they signed us up for our two-year contract, C-Link never mentioned the likelihood of poor service reliability in the summer. Nor has anyone offered to explain why they didn’t just pump up the speed as soon as the weather started warming up.
 
Maybe it’s for the same reasons that I often wait until some situation has achieved crisis stage before I begin praying in earnest.
 
H. Arnett
8/3/11
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About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Blair, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-five years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-one grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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