Saturday, October 25, 2003

I got those blinkin' sync light blues...

modems and routers and wires oh my For some reason that eludes me, I've been having major DSL problems for the last week or two. But they're very strange DSL problems. First of all, they seem to be the worst at night. This morning I was able to stay online and connected to my office via VPN for several hours. Yet if I log on at 1:30 AM, as I am wont to do, I can barely keep a connection for two or three minutes without having the modem drop and re-sync.

The only real change I can think of during this time period has to do with the assault on pavement currently being carried out by the good people at Nashville Gas. Part of this involved digging up my front yard and replacing an old-school iron gas pipe with plastic tubing. I'm wondering if perhaps something in the house was improperly grounded to the gas pipe. Now that the pipe is insulated with plastic tubing, perhaps the lack of ground is causing the problem.

My little theory, however, wouldn't explain the curious day/night phenomenon.

This is all quite vexing.

Like all good DSL techies, Mr. Butler was very quick to blame my unfiltered alarm system. But the system has been disconnected from the phone line for several days, and the problem has persisted.

Of course, the phone wiring in this 1920s-vintage house is strung up from the rafters in the dirt cellar, and is quite literally held together by thumbtacks and duct tape. So I suppose at some level it's amazing the thing worked at all. I should probably take the time to crawl around down there and run new wiring, but I have a paper to write this weekend. So maybe I'll just borrow a cup of wireless Internet from everyone's favorite funkadelic neighborhood coffee joint.

In unrelated news...

Beignets I saw The Runaway Jury with a friend earlier tonight. A great suspense story, and I got to revel in a bit of New Orleans nostalgia to boot. (Shady dealings are just better when you negotiate them over Beignets at Cafe du Monde.)

I also discovered that Bonhoeffer, which I just missed the last time I was in DC, is playing for the next few days at the Belcourt. I have been fascinated by the German theologian and Nazi resister ever since I read Denise Giardina's haunting historical novel Saints and Villains. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to convince my friend to go see it with me, but I'm going to try to make it over there before the show closes.

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