07 November, 2009

You're Such A Pretty Kitty...

So, you might be wondering (or not) why I was slow with a post today? Well, I was, but then I knew the answer.

But that first question really isn't the question that I knew the answer to. The question is... What do cats know that we don't, or that we don't seem to be able to learn and kick them out on their own?

Here's what it is... cats know that we are their slaves and that we will do anything, forgive anything, to keep in their good graces and to keep peace around the house. No, I'm not talking about feeding them several times a day to meet their finicky schedules, nor am I talking about cleaning the litter box - which we don't do anymore, thankfully, since we got a CatGenie (http://www.catgenie.com/). Now with that, all I have to worry about is to keep the technology working. That's a story in itself.

What I'm talking about is stealth. Stealth? Yes. Allow me to explain. Last evening, we went to Scotty's for some beer and food, which was pretty good. We ran into several friends there as well, so that was fun too.

Before we had left for Scotty's I had been working on the blog template off and on for a good part of the day. However, when we got back, no Internet connection. At first I thought maybe the software hadn't automatically renewed its IP address (technical mumbo-jumbo for your computer's street address on the Internet), something that happens irregularly, but it happens. Nope, not it. Couldn't even make enough of a connection to reach the router to ask for a new IP address. Sometimes, if you just shut things down, the magical electron wizards who reside inside your PC can then wave their wands and fix things, so that next time you fire that thing up, it works perfectly. I went to bed, pooped and with a full tummy, secure in the belief that the wizards were solving everything.

This morning came, as it does, and I brewed some coffee. Sitting down at my laptop, I noticed the wizards hadn't been too successful - as in still no connection. This meant, I had to trace all the wires and cables, and boxes, and stuff to make sure something hadn't become unplugged or something similar.

Imagine my horror when, to my surprise, I found my wireless router, sitting there, still plugged in and warm, like it always is, with one difference. This time it was covered in chunky bits, with liquid pooled around it and over it. No lights on, not a good sign.

After a few seconds of disbelief, I realized what had happened. Miss Blue, in her dainty manner, had simply barfed a whole pile of beefy meaty bits, along with the gravy, all over the router. I know it was her as Mr. Midas is too old and lazy to jump the 2.5 feet required to reach the router. The incident must have occurred sometime while we were at Scotty's. Not that it would have made the slightest difference had I been sitting right beside her at the time.
Miss Blue (File Photo)
The router was toast. Inoperative, Dead, DOA, kaput, defunct. You can add your own descriptors here too.

Of course, being optimistic, I disconnected the router and took it down stairs to disassemble it to try cleaning it and maybe, just maybe, resurrecting it. But first, as is the case with most modern electronics, How the Hell do you open the damned thing up without destroying it? I finally found out as I gently pried on it with a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Turns out, it's a snap-fit on the sides.

Anyway, I took the board and the two case pieces to our deep sink in the utility room. With the water on warm and with a soft-bristle brush, I cleaned it all up. After that, it was back upstairs to the bathroom and, borrowing Dianna's hair-dryer, set on stun, low, I proceeded to make everything as shipshape as I could. I did notice that some of the laquer coating on the board was wrinkeled from where the liquid had sat. Maybe not a good sign.

After it was all dry, I reassembled the router, and connected it again. Dead, dead, dead. Not even a light coming on now. Totally dead. Bummer. I just knew it was going to be hard to get a replacement here in Corozal. At least, I'd have to truck over to Chetumal for one. Or, I suppose, I could maybe find one in Belmopan, as we have to go over there to the Embassy this coming week to get more pages entered into our passports.

I needed to go downtown this morning anyway as I had Sandra's netbook PC, which needed a new keyboard, so that was a great time to check for a new router.

At this stage, the story coincides  with my comment to Julian in SC about the fire truck and the stuck cars. Here's the comment I made to his comment:
I learned something today. I got down to the PC repair shop this morning at 9:00 AM. Of course they weren't open yet, so I took a cruise north along the water to see how a couple of places are coming along. From there I turned west to head back to a main road and back into town. About half-way up that road (all black dirt) guess who else got stuck? First thing that crossed my mind was I hope the fire truck doesn't show up.

A couple of things I learned this morning... That black dirt is 1) very slick, and 2) very sticky. I think it's worse than the marl to deal with. Long story short - with a little help from my friends (thanks Isidoro), I got unstuck and on my way.
 After getting unstuck, etc., I went to see Ben at Blue PC. I gave him Sandra's netbook. He happens to have a keyboard for it in stock, so that'll be a quick repair. I also remembered (as it wasn't on my written shopping list) to ask about a wireless router, after explaining what happened to the original.

Wonder of wonders, Ben had one in stock. I snagged it and zoomed home. What you're reading now is the result of that and two hours reconfiguring the router so I can communicate with the outside world.

Miss Blue is secure in the knowledge that her minion is a least mindful enough to clean up after her and that I remembered to keep a civil tongue in my head when talking to her this morning.

I'll admit it. I was thinking some bad thoughts for a while though of how to cheerfully strangle her.

But, she's so cute and lovable...

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