hot, sweaty work

You wouldn’t think that installing a simple high-tech device would be hot, sweaty work, but it can be.

Given my layoff I knew that I would be making phone calls into Silicon Valley as part of my job search. We’re about 35 miles south of there, depending on your point of reference. That means that calls up that way are toll calls. Not expensive per call, but the cost can add up. So I decided to get a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone device and service. Such services allow for unlimited nationwide calling. I decided on the magicJack with its year of service included in the purchase price as the best value. I went out and bought one. That was the easy part.

I used to have a second line in my office loft. It was once used for work calls and for our DSL. But we switched to cable for Internet service, and when my company provided me with VoIP service on my work computer, we dropped the second line. Fortunately I never bothered to gather up the phone cord, so it still stretched from under my desk to the now-inactive jack behind the computer table. But I still had to find a way to get it up to the top of the computer table where all of our Internet and routing equipment is. I took a length of string and fished it down behind the table then tied it to the phone wire, after which I pulled it up. Sounds easy, but there was a lot of crawling around under the computer table and other sweat-inducing activity.

Then there was figuring out where to plug it in. The always-on power strip underneath the computer table was essentially maxed out, and I certainly didn’t want in the power strip that I shut off when I turn the computer off. I found an open slot in an extension cord. That was fine, but it involved a lot of stretching, wrapping the cord back behind the computer table and a cabinet, and ended up knocking the magicJack back behind the computer table, so I then had to retrieve it. Again a sweat-inducing activity accompanied by the appropriate cursing and swearing.

But I got the job done, and followed it with a soak in the bathtub.

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