The new modem, according to tech support, might arrive as early as Tuesday, which of course it didn't. When it did arrive it had that nice new-consumer-electronics smell, of course, as well as some of those bells and whistles that you get with modems these days. By this I mean that little plastic stand so you can have it rest vertically instead of horizontally. I like the way it looks, set up vertically. Plus it means we don't have to handle a stray piece of curved plastic.
I plugged in and went to the setup menu where I discovered that the form it offered wanted the order number for this modem. There was an order number on the invoice. The web page form proclaimed that my number was invalid. It didn't even have the right format, in number of characters or in placement of letters and digits. The page suggested that there was some enclosed piece of paper containing the number; it didn't. It also claimed the shipping label of the carton would have the number. Again, it didn't.
So I called Verizon and this time got someone who explained that while the documentation said I needed the order number and had to enter things at this one page, in actual fact, I didn't need that at all and should go to a completely different page to set up the system. I would find all this ridiculous except of course the setup instructions they would send have nothing to do with what one must do to set it up. Really, I was the unreasonable one for thinking otherwise. Going through this other page I got the new modem set up, pretty quickly, with the old modem's identification and password and such so that we didn't have to do the really dreadful affair, resetting the network connections for stuff like the wireless printer and the Wii and all that. I know we'd never got all that done.
And meanwhile, apparently coincidentally, the phone line died tonight. An angry call to Verizon established that the phone line is dead, and we are in the queue to have it looked at sometime before the end of time, with repair to follow if they decide on it.
Trivia: Estimates of the number of people who converged on the German town of Constance in 1414, to address the problem of three simultaneous Popes, range between 40 and 150 thousand people over its three years. At least 700 high-ranking Church officials did attend. Source: The Fourth Part Of The World: THe Race To The Ends Of The Earth, And The Epic Story Of The Map That Gave America Its Name, Toby Lester.
Currently Reading: Continuum 2, Editor Roger Elwood.