Withdrawals
April 25, 2008

3:05 PM
Inexplicably, nothing will load in Firefox. As the machine hasn't been restarted in a while and is bogging down, I decide to restart. All lights green on the router.

3:10 PM
Machine restarted. Now nothing on the internet works. N O T H I N G.
Everything still green on the router.

3:15 PM
Begin running the diagnostic on the router. "No internet connection can be obtained." Really, Sherlock? Thanks for that bit of stunning information. Dammit.
Oh, and now the router thinks there might be a problem. Middle light is now orange. Little behind the times, there, hoss.

3:16 PM
Now the router thinks my login/pwd might be wrong. WTF?

3:17 PM
Now it's back to can't find an ATM circuit and cannot obtain an internet address. Hit the Diagostic Test one more time and pick up Hampton Sides' Blood and Thunder. I'm down to the last 100 pages and the part I was most dreading to read about: the Navajo Long Walk.

3:20 PM
Peek up from book. Light still orange. Diagnostics still refreshing approximately every 60 to 90 seconds. Sometimes it's "login/pwd wrong," sometimes it's "can't obtain internet address." Attempt to plant book in front of face so I can't see the computer screen.

3:30 PM
Internet still down. Meh.

3:40 PM
See, when I was little, I read a biography of Kit Carson and I wound up thinking he was the coolest guy in the world, a real advocate for the native Americans. Of course, it was a fairy tale, legend-based biography which in many respects only had a passing glance with truth. But I didn't know that at the time. I thought he was cool.

I also absolutely adored the Navajo. I'd announced when I was three that I wanted to grow up to be an Indian, and it was the Navajo tribe that had fascinated me from that day on.

This biography, Blood and Thunder, is wonderful. Not only does it give a nice, academic look at Carson, it also tells the story in a readable way. (The book's selected bibliography is 17 pages long!) And it does more than just talk about Carson - Sides makes sure to give all of the surrounding context of Carson's life, including constant overviews of the Navajo life at that time. Of course, this is all building up to Carson's worst mistake ever - his scorched earth campaign against the Navajo.

These last 100 pages are simply difficult for me to stay focused on at the best of times. Two of my favourite Old West entities clashing. I hate it.

4:10 PM
Other half comes home. The house is no longer peacefully quiet, but absolutely drenched in words. Talking to me, to the dogs, to the cats, to me, to the dogs. I can't tell anymore when to listen and when not to. My processing filter is broken. After trying to read one sentence at least a half dozen times, thinking she's done talking to me, only to find out she's still in the middle of some story ... I put the book down finally.

Damn internet is still down.

4:11 PM
Get a word in edgewise: The internet is down.
Response? Oh.
And then she picks up her computer. Pushes buttons. "How long has the internet been down?"
(Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit here. That's what it felt like, though!)

"About an hour." Luckily for her, she had a story already loaded in her browser and could sit there and read it. Since I restarted my computer, I had nothing. Besides, most of my online work is dynamic. And I couldn't concentrate on the website design I was doing - I rely a lot on being able to upload and check the code against four different browsers on two computing platforms. If I can't do that cross-checking, I get very out of sorts very quickly.

4:30 PM
Begin obsessing again over restarting the router and performing diagnostics. I know at this point that it's AT&T's fault. I know at this point it's not going to come back just because I restart the router. I know constantly running the diagnostic is not going to magically fix things.

I keep doing these things anyway.

Stupid Kit Carson and his overblown sense of "my country needs me and even if I don't agree, it's my duty to do what the Army general says I should do." He knew he shouldn't take on the Navajos. He knew it was wrong to round them up this way. He knew they weren't going to fare well at Bosque Redondo.

Stupid AT&T DSL.

Meh.

5:00 PM
We take a nap to prepare for choir night. Internet still out. The other half has to wake up at 3:30 AM in order to get to work by 5 AM. Generally, we go to bed between 8 and 9 PM in order to get a full night's sleep. Since she suffers from severe, debilitating migraines, we have to be very certain that she gets enough sleep and follows a regular sleep pattern. Thursday nights, though, choir starts at 7:30 and usually runs until at least 9, which means we're often up until 10 or 11 PM. In order to make up for this, we try to take an hour or two nap Thursday before choir.

6:10 PM
Feel like I could have slept another couple of hours at least.

Damn internet is STILL OUT!

Reboot the router. Meh. Damn AT&T anyway.

Boy oh boy. Scorched earth. Carson either took any stock animals for his army or he killed them and left them to rot or burned them. He fed his army's animals on the fields of the Navajo and then burned whatever was left over. The Diné (the name the Navajo use for themselves) were starving to death and sure that it was not just a war against them, but an extermination of their entire people. His last act before leaving Canyon de Chelly was to chop down the peach tree grove of which the Navajo were so proud. Talk about insult to injury.

When Kit did something, he did it thoroughly. I am still disgusted.

6:15 PM
Restart the router again. Meh. Fix a cheese sandwich with some Cholula on it for dinner.

Turns out Bosque Redondo was far outside the Dinétah (Navajo lands) and the people did not fare well there. Carson didn't even lead them on the Long Walk. Somehow, that seems kind of insulting to me. All this work to subjugate them ... and then I wonder if it felt like he didn't even think enough of them to walk them to their new reservation himself. That doesn't appear to be his reasoning, but still ... I think that's what I would have felt like.

The first year, the Navajo threw themselves into farming the land. The corn crop looked great and General Carleton (who was the one who ordered Carson to subjugate the Navajo and make sure they got to the bosque) Carleton thought he had a great thing going. His benevolent plan was working.

Cutworms got the corn.

6:45 PM
Reset the router again. Why do I keep doing this? I know it's not the router, it's the service from AT&T.

Unsurprisingly, things do not get better at the reservation. The Mescalero Apaches who had been brought to Bosque Redondo before the Navajo eventually slip away one night. The Navajo try to farm the land for three years and with the coming of the fourth year, they give up. Cutworms two years in a row and a hailstorm the third year. All they can think about is how they had always been told not to leave the Dinetah or their medicine would no longer work and they would wither and die. It certainly seems to be true after three failed years. Why should they continue to fight it? They lost their wealth, their lands, their gods.

Meanwhile, Carson is mostly retired. At least, he keeps trying to retire, although he allows the bleat of "duty" to call him back at least once. Seems he's developed an aneurysm on his aorta. It's a slow leak, leaking into a "balloon" in his chest. The thing could pop at any time and he'll die. There's nothing to be done for him. His wife, Josefa, has given birth to their seventh? eighth? child. She suffers some complications from the birth, but perks up ... only to suddenly die. Carson follows her in death within a month.

And the Diné, after an army investigation into the Bosque Redondo experiment, are allowed to return home. Their traditional lands have been made much, much smaller, but it is in the Dinétah. They are going home at last.

7:00 PM
Still no fricking internet.

9:30 PM
Back from choir. Still with the damned center orange light on the router. Seriously, WTF? I mean, I finished my book, dammit, I was virtuous. NOW WHERE IS MY INTERNET????

Meh. Damn AT&T.

We watch the Unbeatable Banzuke that recorded last night, plus the new Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

Still with the orange light. A handful of games of solitaire. Meh. Boring. I pull out Jerrold E. Levy's In the Beginning and begin preparing for bed.

This is a more academic treatment of the Navajo creation and origin stories. It's fascinating to me, but it's the kind of book that I read very very very v e r y slowly. I'm soon ready for bed.

The orange light mocks me as I fall asleep.

3:30 AM
Rob Zombie's "Dragula" pierces my dreams and I'm up.

THREE GREEN LIGHTS!!!!

I'm back, baby, B A C K, back!

Now, please. Don't ever go out again, okay? Please? It was horrible without you, baby. Horrible. I swear I'll not cheat on you with my phone ever ever ever again. (Wait, I never do internet with my phone. I don't even text with it.)

Well, the important thing is, I'm connected again.

Posted by Red Monkey at April 25, 2008 3:54 AM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

 

sogeshirts said:

Life without internet sucks. That recent south park was true if the internet was down for days people would go crazy and I would be leading the charge in my straightjacket. Glad you got it back.

April 25, 2008 2:00 PM

 

PandoraWilde said:

My ex was an engineer, but anytime the computer did anything but behave normally, 1--It was my fault, 2--He'd spend 5 minutes, then say, "It's not working--call the ISP" 3--I answered with, "And who'd you book to be your servant NEXT week? You can push buttons, call them yourself!"

Pitiful #4 was usually me hanging up the phone because he was nearly having convulsions, then re-dialing it and explaining to the NEXT rep I got what was going on. We usually had service again shortly unless it was a massive outage.

Then it was time for the fight--the one where even tho it was XCable's service down due to no one's fault, I "wrecked the Internet on purpose because... (fill in stupid motive here)"

It's moments like these that make me thank the Universe that I didn't have the correct ID to get married in Ohio one June day.

April 25, 2008 6:47 PM

 

Manictastic said:

Oh endy. Can't you live a day without the webby? Oh, yea, you live in Indiana, there's nothing without the webby there. Nohing.

Go Navajos!

April 26, 2008 11:05 AM
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