Wednesday, February 29

Phone cords, Modems, and Mayans

So, my wife pokes her head into the office. "How do I fax something?" I'm not processing this, so I stupidly repeat the word. "Fax? You mean, like with a phone line?" Yes, she tells me, over a phone line. It seems that our son has neglected to file his National Merit Scholar paperwork selecting his college of choice, which opens up some scholarship money, and although it doesn't HAVE to be sent until May 31st, you get first priority if it's sent by March 1st. Yeah. Tomorrow.

Thank heaven for leap years?

So I said that our Canon Pixma 420 printer (which I like VERY much, by the way) has a fax machine among its Swiss Army Knife collection of capabilities. We slide the printer within striking distance of the telephone jack, and I go looking for a cord to plug it in.

A phone cord. Good grief! During the 1980s, I was DROWNING in those stinking things. Every time I moved a paper, there were two more phone cords. I swear they were breeding under there! But this is 2012 and I don't have a phone cord.

Except for a 35 FOOT extension cord, and the little tiny stub that connects our phone to the wall. So I take a little tiny stub of cord and a great big MOUND of extension cord, and I connect our printer to the telephone line. I drop the paper into the automatic document feeder (yes, that's one of the reasons I love the Pixma 420), type in the phone number, and press Send. Very simple.

Then the house becomes filled with a sound I haven't heard in YEARS AND YEARS. A dial tone, some beeping, a ringing....and the sound of modems connecting.

WhEEEEEE! Grrrrrrrr...... SPLSHHHHHHHH! repeated two or three times. My daughter, who was watching this unfold with the same level of interest she would show in any reality TV series where bumbling people tripped over their own feet, said "Huh. I haven't heard THAT sound in years."

No, indeed we haven't. And we haven't missed it, either! I do hope the big throbbing brains at the National Merit, base, or warehouse, or Area 51--whatever it's called--will get around to accepting an emailed copy of scanned PDF file by the time Amy's turn is here.

It IS 2012, you know. The Mayans say you don't have much time left to figure all this tech stuff out.