Stupid technology, happy Valentine’s day, overmediation

So, I fix my blog late Friday night, am getting a little of a yen to restart blogging, and then early Saturday morning, I hit an immediate roadblock. My Apple Time Capsule— which has functioned wonderfully as a router and no-brains-required backup device for about 18 months— suddenly stopped being able to route to realfake.org, rainyplanet.org, and shyturnip.com. It took 1 support ticket to my hosting service, and a support call to my home ISP (RCN) to figure this out.  The RCN support rep had  hook a computer up directly to the cable modem to rule out the router. I rolled my eyes when she told me to do this— why would the router be the problem? So of course, when I take the router out of the equation, I can get to the site without an issue.  Why the router is doing this is beyond me– it’s an Apple home router, not exactly some esoteric Cisco thing meant for huge companies, there aren’t a lot of ways that you could even put some kind of rule in there to filter out websites if you wanted to. I spent more of my time than I’d care to admit trying to figure out how to debug the stupid thing before I finally decided that there was no good explanation for what it was doing, no good way to debug it, and probably no way to fix it even if I could debug it.

Luckily, I have a spare cheapo Linksys home router at work, so I figured that I’d grab it first thing this morning because I’d already hatched a plan to go out early and get some Valentines’ day flowers for Terri. So, Rainey woke up at 7, I changed him, we played a little, read a few books, and then I bundled him up and we trekked into town to my office. Thanks to your tax dollars and mine, the Big Dig has made this a 10 minute drive on a weekend morning when there’s no traffic. There was no parking on Pearl St, where I usually park when I make these quick jaunts. I remembered that there’s an alley behind the building, so I looped around the block and turned down it. A homeless guy who lives in the neighborhood was dumpster diving in the alley, and there were maybe two dozen huge seagulls, all squacking and waddling toward him. They were thrilled that he’d opened the lid on the dumpsters. Of course, when I turned down the alley, neither the seagulls nor the guy seemed too thriled that I turned down their alley.  I wasn’t exactly happy to be disturbing them either, and all for naught, as it turned out; the loading dock where I’d hoped to park is full with two pickup trucks. So I found a place on the street not too far off. The jaunt up to the office and retrieve the router was quick and uneventful, as was the drive back to Somerville. We stopped at Whole Foods and got some black velvetty looking roses that I figured (correctly) that Terri would like, and we came back and I helped Rainey make his mom a valentine (which Terri also indeed liked).

Guinness & NYT crosswordOnce Terri woke up and found her valentines treats and we got our act together, we walked into Davis Square to the Burren for what has become our Sunday morning — er, afternoon— ritual of reading the NY Times and nursing a few Guinness and letting Rainer flirt outrageously with women 20 – 40 times his age. We had the same waitress as last week. She remembered Rainer’s name (last time we discussed Rainer Maria Rilke (and how he was only one of many factors which led us to Rainey’s name)). This time we discussed how one of the great things about the Burren is that there are no TVs.

Seriously, you can’t go into a place and have it actually be that place anymore. There have to be at least 2 TVs playing at least 2 different channels. Part of the wonderful conversation that Terri and I had during our 5 hours (!) there this afternoon concerned how we’ve really appreciated going to the Burren because it’s somewhere where there are no distractions. This in contrast to our home, which has become a bit overmediated. I definitely feel like we spend a ton of time physically there without really being there. And we have the dirty kitchen of a heavy traveller to prove it. And I realize that driving 5 miles into Boston and 5 miles back before 8am just so that I can get a router that lets me blog is precisely part of the problem. But I am also giving myself some slack; blogging is at least requiring me to sustain some thoughts for more than 140 characters. Blogging is realtime like Twitter, but in high-definition!

One thought on “Stupid technology, happy Valentine’s day, overmediation”

  1. To prove that I spend too much time on facebook… I want to “like” this post. But that’s too easy. It’s time to THINK again. I have LOVE LOVE LOVED our Sundays at the Burren for just this reason. I don’t want to be lulled into brainlessness by machines with glowing screens. Ever. Hence my love of actual books, my typewriter, The Sunday New York Times, The Burren ON Sunday, and real interaction with you.

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