linklings, if it’s not one thing, it’s another edition

In case it hasn’t been obvious, I fell slightly behind on both the Wednesday link roundups (“the linklings”) and the blog in general. No one particular event caused it, but over the past week or so in the Blap household we:

  • …lost our high-speed internet connection for four days, unbearable in this day and age. Love ya, Comcast. Three separate long calls with customer service, in which they profusely promised that my system would come back on (1) “within 30 minutes” (2) “within an hour” and (3) “within a couple of hours” – all in succession – were are revealed to be lies. Even the advice that my Comcast-provided cable box was dead was false, and made me spend a couple of hours running around to buy a new one for $75 (which I will keep, to avoid paying the $5 per month “rent” on the Comcast cable modem). When the service tech guy came out to our house he said that each time I had called the customer service person simply noted “problem solved” in the case. They just put me off each time by telling me it was a bad modem. It wasn’t.
  • …watched my laptop lock up – for good. Thanks, Vista. After I did some research, it turns out Vista gets confused trying to launch an infrared driver and locks up the system. Funny thing is, I don’t have any infrared on my PC. Why that driver is there, and trying to launch, I don’t know. Fortunately frequent backups of all of the files on my laptop to my standalone hard drive made this more of an annoyance than a tragedy. But spending what little free time I have reinstalling Vista and then reinstalling everything – wireless drivers, software, hardware drivers, etc. – would have been bad enough, but I didn’t have access to the internet at home to get all of that stuff.
  • …kept unpacking, like Sisyphus. I believe (not joking) that we’ll still have unpacking to do for the rest of 2010. In a new house you have, at any given time, 50 things to do.
  • …got Roku. I had wanted one of these for a while and finally decided to splurge and see if it takes us one step closer to freedom from our cable provider (see item 1, above). It does. I hate to go all fanboy here, but the Roku is fantastic – simple to operate, minimal in controls and tiny. I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes. And it’s not just movies – we’ve enjoyed having Pandora stream through our TV and I even have Mediafly (my non-Apple iTunes equivalent) linked up so I can scan through my synched-up podcast list at any time. All that having been said, wasted some time on that.  Did I say some?  Netflix increases the quality of TV viewing (you watch what you WANT to watch) but if you aren’t careful it can increase the quantity, too.  And trust me, I appreciate the irony of buying a Roku after my last post…

Throw in starting back to work at my client, clearing up our rental house to turn it back over to our landlords and making a ton of calls for this service/that service and voila…no posting.

And yes, I WOULD like some cheese with my whine.

But I am grateful, as I often try to remind myself to be, that these are what pass for “problems” in Chez Blap. Many people, including people I know, have infinitely greater burdens to bear. I’m grateful that the most painful problem I have to deal with is a connectivity issue.

photo by fuzzcat