Knitting |On The Road |Techie Talk by Judy @ 2:27 PM

So… Is Mercury retrograde or something? I tell you, gentle reader, I have not had a happy couple of weeks in the techie arena.

fun-house hallway
fun-house hallway

The hotel that most of the Floating Knitting Retreat participants stayed at promised free internet access with computers available and everything. The picture shows the hallway at the hotel. Looks like a fun house or house of mirrors, doesn’t it? One could actually walk down the hallway in a straight line, but it took a bit of mental effort because turning left and right and left and right just seemed natural. I didn’t dare have a couple of drinks and then brave the hallway. I can’t imagine what that would be like.

But I digress.

Computers were available. The interweb, alas, rarely was. Twice during my 5-day/4-night stay I was actually able to see that I had email, and who the email was from. I was never allowed to actually read my email, or respond to it. The rest of the time, IE refused to respond, leaving the hotel guests frustrated. Rebooting didn’t help. Talking to the computer didn’t help. Yelling at the computer didn’t help. I had a serious email jones going by the time I arrived home on Thursday afternoon. I nearly ran to my (lovely, new, working) computer and booted up. All was fine until I tried to read my email. No internet connection.

This can’t be happening, I thought. I tried everything I could think of. No internet. But wait! I have another working computer! Swiftly I booted up #1 Son’s computer. No internet. 😥

I decided that I just might, maybe, require a tiny bit of geeky assistance. So I called my DSL provider and talked to a very nice woman in India who, fortunately, spoke excellent English and was able, over the span of a 30 minutes or so, to test my line, verifying that the modem that has served me well for many years was, actually, as dead as Marley’s doornail. These things happen. They would be able to send me a new one in a week or so, she told me. ACK! 😯 There followed a philosophical discussion in which we covered the meaning of the terms will not support and will not work when applied to modems, and how those terms really don’t mean the same thing. Because I was not going to wait for another week for internet access. You don’t understand, I told her. I can’t read my email. Nice people think I’m ignoring them. I can’t write about anything. My readership will be down to people who come here via mistaken searches for strange terms unrelated to knitting. A week is not acceptable. She replied, in perfect British-accented English, words to the effect of You’re on your own. Have a nice day.

I threw my coat on. I was sure that the local computers-r-us-type store was still open. They were. And, lo and behold, there was a big display of modem/router combo boxes with my DSL provider’s branding. I snatched one up and ran home and plugged everything in and set up the security. When I tried to browse to any site, I was redirected to a page that told me to reactivate my account. Although I could actually (miracles never cease) remember my password, it would not reactivate. I got #1 Son’s computer connecting wirelessly to the router. It would not activate either.

Cat & Lucy on the ferry.  How cool is that?
Cat & Lucy on the inter-island ferry.
How cool is that?

Figuring that it was their brand and so they couldn’t just leave me hanging, I called tech support again. This time I spoke to a very nice young man in India who spoke perfect, British accented English, who told me his name was Harry, which I am sure it was not. Never fear, Ms Becker, Harry said. I can help you with that. And he did! It was click here and check this box and a little reboot. And I have email! And I have the internet! And I can write and read and browse and catch up! And my connection is fast! Fast and stable! And, no, I don’t think these are too many exclamation marks! ❗ ❗ ❗ I will mark your problem solved now, Ms Becker. Sorry you had to call us twice.

Ahh……. [vast relief]

But you did not come here to read about my techie woes. (Is Mercury going the right direction again?)

The last few days were full of Cat Bordhi and her amazing sockitecture, Lucy Neatby and double knitting coolness, beautiful scenery, wonderful knitters, and the neatest little ferry you’ve ever seen.

Look! In the picture! That is Cat introducing Lucy, who taught us wonderful things about double knitting, like how to double-knit a completely invisible pocket. And a cool new way of doing a standard bind-off in one motion. Lucy is nutty and wonderful and I’m sure has forgotten more about knitting than I will ever know. I plan to eventually order every single one of her DVD’s. In Lucy’s hands, even simple things like, well, binding off, become new territory to explore. And double knitting is magical and exciting. And all of Lucy’s stitches are happy ones.

we got used to this kind of scenery very quickly
we got used to this kind of scenery

I’m already planning a pair of socks with little double-knit pockets. I don’t know what I will do with them, but won’t they be cool?

Cat carried around a little iPod Nano with chapters from Lucy’s DVDs loaded, and she let me play with it a little bit. Now that is a use for an iPod that I can really understand! I think I’m going to have to get one. A green one. And I can watch knitting videos on it.

But I’m telling you things all sort of out of order, aren’t I? And already this is a long post.

Tomorrow I will post a blow-by-blow of the whole retreat sans techie side trips. For now, I do have some of my pictures sorted and in a gallery. The people-pictures (as Mama used to call them) are in the front, and the scenery pictures are towards the back.

I had a wonderful time and met many wonderful people and enjoyed myself enormously. And I’m glad to be home. And have everything working.



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