Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cable Modem Death

Okay, I've been faced with this problem before. I'm signed onto my computer and happily sufing the net, when all of a sudden I can't get Blogger pages to load. Then I can't get Amazon to load. Then I check another website (www.tinyurl.com) and it loads just fine.

I stop by browser and open it again. Same thing.

Then I restart my computer. Now I can't even get the TINYURL to load.

What's up with this? Is Comcast Internet hosed? What did I do wrong?

...

The answer is, I did nothing wrong. The cable modem is feeling cranky tonite, and wants some attention.

This is not such an unusual problem that I don't know how to fix it, bu the first time it happened it took a couple of phone calls to Comcast Technical Support (thank goodness I have the phone number!) to teach me what to do. And because I'm feeling very generous tonight ... and because most blog topic seem tepid at best ... I'm going to share some Geek Wisdom with you.

If you have this problem, there is a very simple fix. Pay attention, because this is Compute Technical Stuff ... here's how to fix the problem in five easy steps:

  1. Turn off your cable modem. There's probably an 'on/off' button somewhere ... mine is on the top of the modem unit.
  2. Disconnect your cable modem from the power source. No, you can't skip this step.
  3. Wait at least two minutes. No, you can't skimp on this step. Go play Windows Solitaire or work on your resume, whatever it takes. Or you can do something useful like laundry or walk your dog. Just ... walk away, and don't come back until you have left it off for at least 2 minutes. Forget to check the time? Check the time now, and repeat this step.
  4. when you are absolutely certain that at least two minutes have passed, plug the modem power source back in and push the On/Off button again. This should restart your cable modem
  5. Wait until all of the lights are back on. They may come on out of order, so be SURE than all of the lights are burning steady, except for the "Standby" indicator light, which should be off.
That's it.

Open your browser again, and you should see normal activity. That is to say, you can view the websites you select .. especially your HOME website.

If that doesn't work, you have entered The Twilight Zone, and that's a topic for a future discussion.

BTW, if you have "The Blue Screen of Death" (see also here) and your computer doesn't work at all, your problems are much more dire than described here. See a computer technician; this may be "way beyond your pay grade".

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Unwitting Gun Salesman of the Decade

I haven't been blogging much lately, for personal reasons.

Darn shame, that. I need to write, if only to maintain what small semblance of sanity that remains to me.

I had just come to that conclusion this evening when I checked my email and found an email from The Shooting Wire which put things in some perspective.

The rest of this is a direct steal from Jim Shepherd's column: let's see if I remember how to steal content from a better writer.

New Tactics Needed

In fifteen days, the firearms industry will find itself squarely in the gunsight of a new administration dedicated to the regulation of virtually everything related to guns, from so-called assault weapons to the elements used in ammunition. Regulation, incidentally, will be defined as "the regulation of everything, and the potential removal of anything we say you don't need."

The leaders of that assault, unfortunately, won't give a tinker's damn about the Second Amendment. Their long-term plans will address that piece of "outdated thinking". But a new political expediency will move firearms - more specifically their nebulous assault weapons -front and center.

The left continues to whine about being used and then cast aside by the new administration. Amazingly, the inclusion of pastor Rick Warren in the Obama inauguration ceremonies is being cited as irrefutable proof of the position.

Even more astounding, the complaints are getting serious traction in the politics and appearances above all segment of the incoming administration.

So, Democratic insiders are telling us the firearms industry will be used as an object lesson to both sides of the aisle.

To the left, it's the always-popular smackdown of a group of right-wing loonies (that's you and me, by the way) who want gunfights on the streets of our hometowns.

To the right, it will represent a little payback for the rhetoric that was taken very personally by the incoming administration. In other words, a little taste of the whip should keep both sides nicely in line.

In other words, last year's unquestioned gun salesman of the year -Barack Hussein Obama - will turn his attention toward a group that has been unrelenting in opposing him throughout his political career.

When that happens, a billion-dollar industry will take another body blow.

Despite the new administration's insistence that jobs and the economy will be the top priority beginning January 20, insiders say payback to the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups is high on the agenda. Democratic advisors say the Republican party is "disorganized, disheartened, and dissolving" and it's a good time for the incoming administration to take them on in a core issue - the assault weapons ban is one of three topics they're evaluating.

If the AWB is chosen, everyone expects a pitched battle with no quarter given.

If the attempt to pass this drastically-expanded AWB succeeds, the administration will have proven itself virtually unbeatable in matters of policy. They will also further fracture the Republican party and simultaneously serve notice on any pro-gun Democrats that they'd better get with the new program, too.

Last week, I spent a significant amount of time on the phone speaking with industry leaders about the word on the grapevine from Washington. There were mixed responses. One leader said his political advisors were hearing exactly the opposite- that the AWB was being pushed back to the "second Obama administration". Another said his advisors were getting both reports, but considered an assault on firearms "inevitable" whether now, 2010 or later.

In other words, industry leaders see the fight in terms of "when" and not "if".

At a time when the nation is suffering from economic problems, it may be time to consider a new countering-strategy. In the past, we've won key political and legislative fights based on the Constitution.

This time, I think it may be time to take a page from the James Carville playbook and remind everyone "It's the economy, stupid".

If this new administration goes after firearms, a billion-dollar industry that has never asked for a dime of bailouts and annually contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to conservation and environmental work via taxes will be hammered. That will most certainly result in lost jobs and tax revenues. Entire communities will be negatively impacted.

The Obama administration has said its number one priority will be the economy. I hope they keep that promise - and genuinely hope they are wildly successful at creating a renewed vibrancy. I also believe the firearms industry should be prepared on a moment's notice to clearly demonstrate to local and regional media that banning guns is tantamount to eliminating jobs in their areas.

Yesterday afternoon, I was a guest on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio and expressed my concerns about the incoming administration's expressed intent to pass a permanent assault weapons ban and go after firearms in general. When I did, a caller took me to task for what he characterized as an unrealistic viewpoint. After all, he said, Obama said during the election he supported the Second Amendment.

Personally, I'm more inclined to judge someone based on the things they have consistently done versus the positions they've taken during political campaigns.

>From that perspective, I believe that fifteen days from today, Barack Hussein Obama, the man I jokingly refer to as the unwitting gun salesman of the decade, will place his hand on a Bible last used to administer the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln. He will raise his right hand and swear to uphold the laws of this nation - and its Constitution.

At that time, I also believe his administration will almost immediately seek to begin to dismantle or disregard any laws with which they disagree and embark on the total disenfranchisement of anyone who disagrees with their political positions.

That would include firearms owners and the firearms industry.

I'd love to be wrong.

--Jim Shepherd



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Well, that wasn't so hard.

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Sorry, nothing here to add. Personal circumstances render blogging priorities moot. Maybe later this week.