Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cal's Second Job

I have to start by saying that I’m not a conspiracy nut. It’s not that I don’t believe that people would want to form clandestine conspiracies, it’s just that conspiracies are not in accord with human nature. The bottom line is that people aren’t secret keepers—they’re secret tellers. And even if it’s in their best interest to keep the secret, it usually gets out. If not in their lifetime, then when they die.

All that to say, I’m not looking for conspiracies under rocks. Neither do I need excitement in my life. I have three teenagers and one pre-teen—I need irenic calm (I love the word “irenic”—I had to find a way to use it). Weird words are enough excitement for me.

So, why all these caveats? Because I want you to know that I am not a neurotic writer looking for ways to spice up her life. (If I wanted that, I’d take up belly-dancing.) But, spice found me anyway. Though in a very tame way.

It all started when we got this really cool Christmas gift. It’s an Epson Artisan 800 wireless printer. You name it, and it does it. Ariel was practically drooling over it. But, we had trouble setting it up. For some reason the printer and computers couldn’t talk to one another. Of course, I called tech support, multiple times. It’s always a bad sign when the tech people start getting ornery, and then they bump you up to the next level.

Finally, I got someone intelligent. To protect the innocent, I’ll call him “Bob.” After much gnashing of teeth, Bob discovered the problem. My computer was only pretending to be connected to our router. It said it was connected to our SSID, but it wasn’t—our SSID had been co-opted and was being rerouted—to where and to whom are up for grabs. At first, I didn’t believe him, after all you’re not supposed to be able to do that. Bob got really cranky then. But after I checked IP addresses, etc., I knew he was right. The scary thing is that everything in our computers is password protected—I won’t even tell tech support what the passwords are. (I’m a bit of a nut about security since I had a nasty experience with a stalker in college.) And here’s the creepiest part, the other system our stuff is being routed through has its own encrypted password, which is not a hexadecimal system (I’ve only ever used hexadecimal.). Needless to say, Bob didn’t want to talk to me for very long.

Now, I can’t figure out why any person/government would want to hack our system. We’re not rich or powerful. Ariel came up with the simplest explanation. Back before I met Calvin, he must have worked as a spy. And now, he does occasional freelance work. This theory received even more credence when I checked all the other computers in the house—all of them had been hijacked, except…Calvin’s. We confronted him about it, and he just laughed. Personally, I hope the government pays well.


  1. Yes. And, in fact, Dad never worked for a pest control company--that was just a front!

    Belly dancing?! Well, supposedly it is a good workout :)


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Now that I think about it, Mr. Keller could probably be a very good spy!!

  4. Now that I think about it, Mr. Keller could probably be a very good spy!!

  5. I can relate to this. We are constantly giving our printer the evil eye for its malfunctions and temper tantrums. Technology is a pain sometimes.