Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Streak Continues

Or should I say "curse"?

As you can read on Pandabonium's site, despite a weather forecast of "cloudy, changing to clear in the afternoon", we wound up with some pretty impressive (and totally unexpected) storm activity last Friday.

That morning I was standing just outside the front gate of the campus on traffic safety patrol. It was looking to be a lovely spring day. The sky couldn't seem to decide whether to be blue or gray, but there was a pleasant sun peeking through, bathing the new, green leaves with a golden light. The air smelled (relatively) clean, and the birds were singing in force. It was a glorious beginning to a Friday.

At least it was till we started hearing the rumbling in the distance. Fortunately, it didn't hit until some time after I and the other teachers on duty had gotten ourselves inside. Then it was nightmarish. The sky was almost black, but there wasn't much chance for darkness. The flashing and booming going on all around us was like a post-apocalyptic war zone. If a tall, lumpy guy in leathers walked up and asked me if I knew anyone named Sarah Conner I wouldn't have been at all surprised, but he would've had trouble finding her in the gush of rain and violent wind that hit like a shot soon afterward.

Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the storm passed. The sky cleared up, and we saw the smiling face of the sun again. As it turned out, that had only been the first wave. At least one other sudden, violent thunderstorm (and one earthquake) came out of nowhere and battered the land.

Through it all, I was worried about my ADSL modem. Back in the days that I used ISDN, I had two DSUs (ISDN modems) cooked by just such sudden electrical storms. The first one was still within the warranty, so the replacement cost nothing. The second one didn't. It cost almost three times as much as the old dial-up modem I used back in prehistoric times. That's why I got in the habit of switching the thing off everytime I left the house. Unfortunately, the ADSL modem doesn't have a power switch, and trying to unplug it and plug it in again every day just didn't seem practical to me. It's a larger and more sophisticated piece of equipment than those DSUs were. Not only that, I'm renting it. (The DSUs were leased.) I spent all afternoon having nightmares of coming home to find its ever-playful lights cold and dark.

Actually, when I came home the usual lights were still on, and the link lamp was still blinking cheerfully as always. However, there was one extra light. It was the warning light, which had never lit before, and it was a very evil shade of red.

I dug out the troubleshooting manual and looked up what to do in the case of That Light glaring at me. I followed the instructions to the letter, and the malevolent, red LED thankfully went back to sleep. I then booted up the computer, ran the modem's diagnostic program, and connected to the internet. Everything checked out. I had full net access as usual, and all software and hardware was performing normally.

Then I picked up the phone. All I got was an obnoxious khkkkhhhkhkkhkhkkhkhkh. No motion. No activity. Nothing but that nerve-grating sound.

I grabbed my cell phone and tried to call the local provider office, but their staff had already signed off for the weekend. Since I still had internet access, I tried e-mailing the main tech support office in Tokyo. I got a reply early the next morning. Between lavish apologies for the late reply (apparently lots of people are in the same predicament as me) and long platitudes in very formal language, I was given a set of instructions for a diagnostic test to perform on the modem and a template for my e-mailed reply. Acting on Yahoo's advice, I also called the local phone company and had them test the connection. Then YahooBB tech support asked me to run one last test. The indications were unanimous. The modem was least as far as the phone was concerned.

They say that they are sending me a new modem immediately. They didn't say when it would arrive or how much it would cost. Hopefully it will be painless. In the meantime, I'll just continue using my internet connection...and be thankful that those annoying punks in my wife's tennis club are unable to call early in the morning or late at night like they usually do.

(Hey, why not look at the bright side for a change?)


  • Yeah, the bright side! At least you could still update your blog or hop over to Robin's to drop me that bomb! Wicked!!

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:02 PM  

  • Well, you're having quiet days. I think YahooBB rents you a modem, so you don't have to buy a new one, if I'm not mistaken.

    By Anonymous j-apricot, at 9:04 PM  

  • It did get dark, didn't it?

    In Hawaii, surge protection was a must - not because of electrical storms, but because Maui Electric's output was unreliable and some people's TVs and computers would get fried every so often. We'd keep oil lamps in the cupboard which we'd need once or twice a year for lighting. I never lost any equipment though.

    Maybe some day surge protection will be built into the house wiring and homes will be wired with 12 volts. Then we can do away with those "wall wart" transformers.

    pinrez - the next step after high definition TV.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 7:21 AM  

  • 'those annoying punks in my wife's tennis club'? Hahahaaa...

    By Blogger Lrong, at 4:12 PM  

  • oops.. you seem to constantly have this problem.. must be dunn fustrating..

    oh.. are u getting used to it already..

    'those annoying punks in my wife's tennis club'... I hope they dun read the blog..

    By Blogger Robin, at 6:32 PM  

  • Here I sit all broken hearted.

    Yahoo tech support said they'd send me a new modem, and I'm still phoneless.

    Oh, well. At least it's quiet without that thing ringing every morning and every night with those teeny-bopper tennis nuts.

    Don't worry, Robin. I doubt any of them would be able to read this.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 11:05 PM  

  • Oh yeah?!?!

    By Anonymous Annoying Punk, at 5:21 AM  

  • I am thankful for the wimpy thunderstorms of Oregon in the ole USA. I hope the phone wakes up soon.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 11:48 AM  

  • ... and all the while i was thinking how i wished i was there to take a picture of the fearsome storm! ;)

    trust that u get your modem thing sorted out soon though! :)

    By Blogger FH2O, at 10:41 PM  

  • Ever since we moved, the broadband connection here is highly unstable. The DSL LED would blink every once in a while and I get stressed out about the disconnection. It also blinks every morning and I have to restart the modem over five times and when nothing happens, I can only wait.

    By Blogger agus, at 12:16 PM  

  • Yes, you can get surge protection for your modem. many power strips now come with a special pait of jacks for just that reason. I suggest you try to find an outlet strip of this type, designed for phonejacks, and plug the wire from the wall going to the modem into the surge protector so that doesn'thappen again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 AM  

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