OK, well maybe not a father's wisdom, per se, but more like his technical/mechanical know-how. Actually not really his "know-how" either but more like his aptitude for dismantling broken things, looking at all the stuff inside and trying to figure out which thingamajig is causing the problem. I remember as a kid watching my father take apart broken toasters, clocks, and what-not. He'd poke around and sometimes find something that appeared to be the cause of the problem. I don't remember too many things actually being fixed, but I do remember how fascinating it was to see inside small appliances, and looking at all the parts that made things work.
I recently ordered DSL from Verizon. The wireless router came about a day after I ordered it and I had to wait a few more days for my service ready date. Yesterday I got home and plugged it all in, fired up the laptop and tried to get online. No signal. So I unplugged everything and read the instructions. After following the installation instructions I had everything plugged in the same way I had before and it still didn't work.
I decided to insert the CD that came with the router and launch the easy to follow instructions. It would get me to the point where it would tell me it was checking my connection, and then it would say my connection failed and started me through a tedious trouble-shooting process. I'm guessing thousands of people actually figure out what went wrong, such as "Is the power switch in the On position? If not, turn it on." but I was getting frustrated, so I called the toll free help hotline. This was almost more painful. Enter your home phone number (OK, I don't use a land-line, do I enter my cell?), the automated menus make me more frustrated, "Are you calling about . . . your home phone? . . . press one. (pause) Are you calling about . . . wireless service? . . . press two. (pause) etc. etc. I finally talk to an operator and explain my situation and ask only if she can verify that my service ready date has been confirmed, so she transfers me to technical support which begins again with "Are you calling about . . . your home phone? . . . press one. (pause) . . . etc. I eventually talk to another operator who can't find my order anywhere and who thinks I might not have placed an order. I tell her the equipment was already shipped to me so it must be in their records somewhere. This goes nowhere, so I eventually hang up.
Then I remember my dad taking everything apart and decide its come down to that. I figure the brand new wireless router is probably not the problem since lights blink when its plugged in, so instead I focus on the cables. I follow the phone line through the cupboads outside, up the wall and back down the wall until I find a junction box (or something that I'll just call a junction box), I take that thing apart and look at all the things that make it work. It's pretty basic with some wires connecting lines in and out. Everything looks alright so I decide to take it apart more by unscrewing the screws that connect certain wires. I look at all the wires and screws and put it all back together. When I retried the router viola! it works fine. I'm assuming there was a loose connection, even though all connections looked alright.
So now I have DSL at home and will hopefully blog a little more frequently and with better language on more interesting topics and gain friends and influence people. Or I might just spend more time pouring over Cute Overload.