Once upon a time, all a family needed for an evening’s entertainment was a couple of good reading lamps and a TV antenna on the roof.

Tonight I came home to an AirPort that was flashing amber and causing the AirPort Utility to launch with dire warnings on every connected Mac. Even though all the WiFi-connected devices were working fine. I reset its ethernet cables, redid its configuration, and rebooted. The warnings went away, and all the devices reconnected after the reboot.

Except the PS3, which refused to get an IP number via DHCP. Oh, it said the DHCP server wouldn’t give it one, but since two iPhones and a laptop were working off of DHCP with no problem, I didn’t believe it. After many frustrating attempts to get it to connect (and all the while thinking about that definition of insanity), I realized there was no point in having a stationary device with an dynamic IP. After assigning it a static IP, the Playstation Network was back up and my older son could go back to killing zombies or Russians or whatever in Black Ops.

Then I got an email from AT&T, saying that I was perilously close to the edge of my 3G data plan. Unlike the last time this happened, I knew AT&T was right because a few days ago I’d noticed my daughter’s high usage for the month. I shot off another warning text to her, she claimed ignorance of the cause (not a good strategy; she should know by now that “I don’t know” gets no sympathy from me), and I told her to

  1. reboot the phone;
  2. stop running connected apps in the background; and
  3. make sure she’s on WiFi when she thinks she should be.

I don’t know if that’ll work, but either way, they’ll be a reckoning on her data charges when she comes home for Thanksgiving. I don’t remember anyone discussing excessive data use in those prenatal classes we took back in ’89.

Finally, just half an hour ago, the main router stopped routing, leading to a stream of profanity that won’t be heard around here until a couple of weeks from now, when I have to put up the outdoor Christmas lights. Luckily, a simple reboot brought the Linksys back to life.

I will consider it a minor miracle if this post makes it to the server.