Monday, April 16, 2007

When the lights go down....

It's a sickening feeling, really. It starts out simply enough... Click on Email, and a few moments later, the program tells you it cannot connect to the mail server. A deep sigh, maybe a growl, and then fire up IE7. Wait a few moments, and get nothing (well, you get the 'page cannot be displayed'). A quick click on Favorites and then to DSL Setup reveals that, in fact, the Sync isn't Syncing, which leaves you sinking - or perhaps already sunk.

A few mad clicks here and there, and nothing. Then, peeking under the desk reveals the ultimate surfing catastrophe - Ethernet - YES, DSL Sync - NO.... UGH... Pick up the phone and get a dial tone... Mentally say a few cuss words, reboot the DSL modem, wait, no sync. Nothin to see here folks, just a casualty on the information superhighway, keep moving, keep moving....

A quick call to the Centurytel hotline, and I had a ticket in place. Now, before I go one, I must say the associate I talked to did NOT treat me like I was an idiot. I explained that I had rebooted, disconnected and reconnected cables, etc etc. She simply skipped down her list until she found something I hadn't tried (pressing the reset switch on the modem). Tried it - no luck. She immediately created a help ticket for me - great service!!

Have you been without Internet recently? Do you realize how many things you can't do when you are cut off? Without so much as a thought to being without connectivity, I repeatedly opened IE looking for some tidbit of information. Even Ty had opened IE7 to work on his web page, only to be 'reminded' that we were not connected... No email, no nightly news checking, no weather forecast, no blogging... No, it was not the end of the world. In fact, we found other things to do, but when one of the first thoughts that pops in your head is, "Hey, I'll look it up online," it just seems so weird NOT to be able to 'just look it up...'

After work, all was well... Well, at least with our Internet connection... which we promptly used to find out more information about the VTU massacre....



(Photo: AP/Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry)

The most quoted word during the events following the shootings at VTU was "surreal." I have never been in any kind of shooting situation, but can only imagine that it would take at least a few moments for the scene to solidify in one's mind... And then, from the reports, people were chained and barred INSIDE the building. No escape, except to jump. There is also the report that a group of students had to bar a classroom door closed by using their FEET to push the door so that the gunman could not open it. What more terrifying feeling than laying on the floor with your feet pushing against it, literally for your life? Not knowing if the shots going into (and maybe even through) the door would end up in your feet, or worse. For me, the eeriest part of this is that the shooter seemed to have said nothing... Just walked in and started shooting. One girl said she laid on the floor and pretended to be unconscious. It may have saved her life.

My heart and prayers go out to all the students, faculty, parents...everyone affected, directly and indirectly....


On a slightly off-topic note, I was told today that I have little to no compassion. I agreed, of course, mainly to be the smart-arse that I am. I don't even remember how the topic came up, but the truth is, there are some tings that I do have little compassion for... Maybe that's not the term for it... For example, I am not a very compassionate animal person. I love our horse and our cat (most of the time), but really, aside from that, I do not really give much care one way or another... I understand why some people love animals, I really do. And, I try to be compassionate toward THEM when something happens to their pet. When Mom and Dad's dog was carried off by a coyote, I was genuinely sad for them because I knew how much they loved that dog.

I think perhaps mine is not much a 'compassion' thing as it is a 'patience' thing. I have little patience, especially with younger people. That is why I do not teach kids. If I had the patience, I would teach. I don't. Give me a room full of adults any day! :-)


Speaking of pets and compassion, I have ZERO compassion for anyone who touts their dumb dog as an artist. Look, it's a dog that rips, bites, and tears coated canvas, and stupid people are paying top dollar, calling it 'art.' Bullcrap (which I'm sure, too, is considered art...) Here is the story that I saw on "CBS This Morning" this past weekend: "When Dogs Paint..." Seriously, what the heck is wrong with you people that buy this crap? My cat can do that. For that matter, my 4-year old can do BETTER than that, yet no one is calling her 'doodles' art (except for her family, I suppose). My point is that when a person does it, it's 'cute' or 'doodling,' but when a dumb dog does it, it's 'art.' Baloney!


While copying pictures from various CDs, I came across an 'oldie but goodie:'



I took my Aunt's advice and wrote down ideas I had for blogs... unfortunately, I typed them up on my Q1, which I do not have with me right now, so you'll just have to see what other tidbits of... er, uh.. wisdom, I'll come up with...


I thought this week's Apprentice was pretty good. James and Stefani had the best video, though. What could have been a very dry, boring take on a courtroom 'drama' turned out to be very funny! Shan thinks Stefani is going to win. She also keeps calling her 'Faith' because Stefani reminds her of Faith Hill.. LOL...



I watched "HOLES" tonight. I never read the book, never saw the movie, didn't even know what the whole thing was about before tonight. Man, did I miss out! I thought it was a great story. I might actually buy the audio book on CD, if it exists (I'll look it up later, since my Internet is working again.. LOL).


For the record, "other duties as assigned" should be taken literally... Monday at work, I painted the ceiling tiles with "UpShot," moved half a dozen or so plywood planks into a storage shed, moved and stacked old computer equipment and electronics, and other tasks I am not generally accustomed to doing without a 'honey-do' attached to it.. :-) Tuesday, we paint the inside facings of the exterior doors and whatever else we need to do in order to help us prepare for our organizational 5-year evaluation.... Me? paint? Well, at least I can rest assured that it won't be called art....hmm.. maybe I should take the cat with me.......

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