More troubles

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What is it? Answer: Mars! Beautiful.     Courtesy JPL/NASA

If you’ve been trying to phone me since yesterday afternoon, you would have failed. My iiNet-supplied wifi modem has been refusing to function since about 6pm yesterday, which means no internet, but more importantly, no phone. That’s the thing about having the NBN – if it doesn’t work, you lose your phone service too. Your mobile phone still works, but not everyone knows the number.

I’ve had another sleepless night – I could tell when I tried to sleep at about midnight that it wasn’t going to come, so I gave up trying at 1.30am. So at 2am, after many attempts to get the modem to lock in, I phoned iiNet’s support number on my yuppie phone. At that time of the morning, there was no queue and I got straight through. (The lady was in South Africa, by the way.) The result was that they would send me a replacement modem for me to test, and it would arrive in 5-7 working days. Whaaat? That would mean no internet for a week or more. That’s unthinkable these days.

I said hang on, I’m in Perth and iiNet’s in Perth, why don’t I go to their offices? OK, seems viable. Meanwhile, could I email them to arrange a time. Er, I can’t email them, my connection’s not working. Oh, yeah.

Anyway, I sat at the computer for the rest of the night, periodically resetting the modem (powering off and on) without success. I wasn’t doing nothing, by the way, I was pruning old files and reading saved articles.

Then at about 6.30am I suddenly realised the modem had locked and was working again. Hallelujah. I was going to “drive south” to get a replacement modem today, but I’ll delay until Wednesday now, when I have to go down anyway for another reason.

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So that’s yet another electronic problem I’ve had. I’ve also spent nearly an hour trying to work out how to reset my house alarm, another electronic device. It was locked in Program mode after my battery change a few weeks ago. I found that answer OK, but now the Tamper icon is flashing at me and I’m not sure why. I’m reluctant to open the cabinet again because I know that will trigger the alarm, and when I’m up the ladder, it’s hard to get to the keypad to stop the screamer.

My point is that electronic problems are cropping up all the time these days! I’m more capable of fixing them than most people, I’d say, so how are other people with no electronic knowledge coping? You can’t call a repairman any more – they’ve been driven out of the game by high costs and people discarding equipment and replacing it if it goes wrong, rather than repairing it. A house call by someone to fix these small problems is not viable these days. Such a visit would cost $100 or more.

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Minnie, my beautiful dog, who never caused a problem.

The bloody barking dogs are back! Next door’s two dogs, that is. They were silent for some weeks until recently, I know not why, and I’d grown used to the quiet, but they started up again a couple of weeks ago. On one occasion, I timed it as a bark every three seconds, on and on, for an hour or more.

Yesterday, Sunday, the owners seemed to go out about noon and one of the dogs came around to my side of their house and lay there whimpering and whining for an hour at least, driving me nuts. It’s no good me trying to quieten them – that just sets them off. The owners came home about 6pm, I think, and they quietened down, but they’ve started up again now at 0845. If I go out to my garage, they rush over to the fence and start barking at any sound I make. I have never heard the owners try to quieten them, never heard them shush them. I hate this!

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I’ve been meaning for some time to write about the incredible number of cliche words in use by journalists and others these days.

The absolute worst is iconic. It started to be used about five years ago and I have a little running game with myself about the earliest time in the day, each day, that I’ll see its use. It has become the most over used word of all time, I reckon. I’ve even heard it used about five times in one TV program (one of the UK bridges series). Can’t journalists find any other word to use apart from iconic???? It’s even morphed into iconically!

A new atrocity is starting up: beginning sentences with “So”. I heard an interview with a guy the other day where he began every answer to questions from the interviewer with “So … ” whether it was needed or not. This is a new trend and is catching and spreading.

My continuing bete noir is “You know”, of course. Some people seem incapable of speaking three words without inserting “y’know”. It’s chronic. It’s driving me nuts. Everyone’s doing it, even UK BBC-type people. Once you start hearing it, it’ll drive you nuts too.

I’ll have to continue this later. Too tired at the moment.

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