Jan 242015

My printer wouldn’t work tonight.

After some unproductive fiddling around, I finally figured out it was because my router had wiped its own brain. Tabula rasa, baybee. Its SSID was linksys again, and wide open. So my printer was trying to get on the network with credentials that no longer existed. (Remarkably, no one had tried to use the wireless network and reported failure in the meantime.)

A cursory Binging reveals that routers sometimes do this with erratic power. My UPS needs a battery, and we’ve had some intermittent outages, so that fits.

I mess with networking just infrequently enough for it to piss me off to have to think about it. It’s pretty reliable day to day, right? So it just fades into the landscape, right? Once in a while you need to kill power to the router and modem for a minute, but when you plug them back in it’s all good, right?

So I managed to get to the router settings, and made Big Mistake #1:  failure to realize that I could simply copy the old security key from one of the connecting devices back into the router, and everything would just work again. No, I generated a new one and then set about putting it into tablets, game consoles, streaming boxes, laptops, phones…sigh.

If you’re at all nerdy, I could ask you to estimate the number of devices hitting your Wi-Fi, and you’d underestimate it by half.

I’d fought with the printer already enough to be frustrated, and some time before I realized it, made Big Mistake #2:  resetting the printer’s network configuration. It occurred to me after I’d already propagated the new key to several devices that I could put the old key back in the router. Hey, the printer would work again. Ha! I’d already mucked with it too much. The printer didn’t know the old key anymore. I’d have loved to have the printer working and have to put the old key back into everything I’d already reconfigured. But, nope.

So, fix it. Perhaps counterintuitively, the printer needs a USB connection to the computer to enable a wireless connection. I need a male-male Type A USB cable for this. My stash contains every USB cable in the universe but that one.

And so I made Big Mistake #3: leaving the house at 11 pm thinking I’d be able to purchase such a cable. I’m embarrassed at how long I was gone so I’m not going to get too far into the narrative, but I’ll admit for your perverse pleasure that I went in two different locations of one of my least favorite places in the world. (Hatred recharged.)

I get uniquely unsettled when my tech isn’t working. I mean, I’m bothered. I can’t turn loose of it as long as I think I can recover. I should have been horizontal two hours ago. But I kept thinking I could get it back before I went to bed.

And then I spent 30 more minutes writing this post. That’s probably Big Mistake #4.

 Posted by at 3:15 am
Jan 132015

I see people I’ve known for decades throw all the levers to full reverse in an effort to send their lives in some radically different direction—with their families, with their careers, with anything they can change (or think they can change). (I’d actually dearly love to know what one is thinking, but she and I haven’t been in regular touch in several years, and it looks really silly from the outside, and I doubt she’d receive a WTF? call from me favorably.)

I know I’m blessed. Lea and I have been together for 20 years, and in May will have been married for 18. I love our church dearly. I’m making a living in the same close family of fields I decided I wanted to go into in 1991. My sole large regret is that I smoked cigarettes, and my only (mildly) wistful tug is that I wish I’d gone away to college.

I spend essentially no time agitating about what might have been.

How much of that is that really good things have happened to me?

How much of it is that I’ve consciously chosen not to manufacture discontent?

 Posted by at 8:39 pm

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