Famous last words (or: excuses, excuses)

Famous last words (or: excuses, excuses)

The blogosphere is scattered with defunct blogs whose last post is a promise of great plans and exciting things to come. Now acountrypriest.com has joined that unhappy number.

Except it’s not defunct. It’s back in action. Let me explain. No sooner had I lost my license, than Casterton lost its Internet. The whole of Casterton. Though not, presumably, all the Internet. Just the Internet provided by Telstra Bigpond.

There’s a bridge on the Glenelg Highway which connects Casterton and Coleraine. Put another way, the bridge connects Casterton to the rest of Victoria! It’s presently being widened, and apparently the roadworkers neglected to dial before they dug. Telstra’s network cable was cut, and Casterton lost the Internet for a couple of days.

But I thought it was a problem with the router, and wasted hours and hours testing different setup combinations. That was a mistake! When everyone else got their Internet back after a couple of days, I didn’t. A friendly Telstra technician based in the Philippines did everything he could to revive the router, but it was no good. I’d killed the router — which was ten years old and due for replacement anyway.

The technician’s name is Ronald. I mention that because you should pray for him! Over the course of a two hour service call, I learnt that he was an altar server in his youth, but he doesn’t go to Mass anymore. I promised I would pray for his intentions, and that I’d commend him to Our Lady. I think her prayers will reignite Ronald’s faith and get him back to the sacraments. So please add your prayer to the Blessed Mother’s effort!

Back to business. After much effort, Ronald apologetically advised that I’d have to buy a new router from the nearest Telstra shop — which isn’t very near when you live in Casterton. It’s even further when you don’t have a driver’s license. So for the four weeks I couldn’t drive, I also had no Internet.

At the end of that blessed time (!), I was driving again one day, I bought a new router the next day, and on the third day I had Internet again. And that’s when the screen on my MacBook packed up. Unfortunately, the number of Mac repair shops in Casterton matches the number of Telstra shops: zero! There was nothing to be done until my next trip to Melbourne.

Last week, the computer was dutifully admitted into “a Mac hospital” in Moonee Ponds, but the news after a few days was bad. The techician was unable to source used parts, so the replacement screen would have to be brand new. That costs about $1,000. I’d be better off buying a new computer outright.

The Mac hospital in question is Beyond the Box, which is right on the Moonee Ponds junction. I mention that because the sales team offered me a very generous discount on a refurbished Mac, as a “thank you” for my priestly work. How about that!

The long and the short of it: I’m driving again; the Casterton presbytery is again online, and I have a working computer. And on top of all that, I’ve got a couple of weeks off, so I’m also time rich. This time the blog really is back.

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