My mother doesn't like the internet. She thinks it's full of evil terrorists and pedos. She hates computers too, and gets really angry whenever she has to use one. She reckons I'm addicted to computers and that I should do something more useful with my time, like pay attention to my finances. So the events that unfolded while I was on holiday  proved to be quite funny, now I look back on them.
I forgot to buy a NZ/UK power adapter, even though I'd been on the look out for one in the weeks before. This meant that as I was sitting on the plane to Japan, I was wondering if, like the last time I was in England in 2005, there was going to be Power Adapter Wars(tm).
Power Adapter Wars works like this. It's impossible to find a NZ/UK adapter in England, which means that for all the electronic devices we have, there is only my mother's one available while we stay there. The following devices all need power: the electric toothbrush my parents use , the hairdryer, 4x music players (4 ipods at that time), 2x cameras, a video recorder and my laptop. The toothbrush only trickle charges, so needs the most use, followed by the video camera. And if, God forbid, the electric toothbrush was actually fully charged, guess which gadget was last on the list of Things To Charge To Prevent Complete Boredom While Travelling.
Of course, the fact that the electric toothbrush needed charging didn't deter anyone in the slightest from making sure their gadgets were still juiced up. The adapter flew around the house, migrating to more and more obscure and hidden power points, while ipods and cameras were charged. Newspaper would be "accidentally" left over it to make finding it difficult, and you always wanted to be last out of the house if everyone was going out for the day. I bet even the attic was cased for power points, though not by me - I simply resigned myself to the fact that there would be no idle gaming to pass the quiet moments.
Thus my wondering while on the plane. But as it turned out, little Worthing has moved on in the last three years. And on the first day there I got lucky - I found an unsecured wireless access point nearby.
All of a sudden, I had Ultimate Power. Regardless of how much my family do or don't like computers, they're hopelessly addicted to e-mail . Thus, conversations with most members of my family (everyone but little brother Jeff, who doesn't do e-mail) went a bit like this:
I taught my brother how to boot into Windows, enable the wireless and connect to the AP. After that, every morning I'd wake up, go downstairs for breakfast, and someone would go stomp stomp stomp into my bedroom to use the internet. During the course of the day, there'd be people up and down the stairs in a steady stream. In the end, my brother basically lent me his adapter full time .
All of this added up to me getting through quite a lot of Civ4 >:). My brothers and Dad watched me play sometimes, and Dad even ended up buying it. You see, I didn't necessarily always need the adapter, but it was fun making people get it anyway >:).
Disaster struck a few days before I returned however. My brother foolishly downloaded a rather large video sent by his Invisible Girlfriend , which either pushed our unfortunate unwitting AP over its bandwidth limit for the month, or made it lock itself up as cheap hardware tends to do. No more free internets. My family was stunned. I was accused of heinous crime of Failing to Provide Adequate Internets and was probably lucky not to be voted off the balcony. We all had to resort to internet cafes after that.
From the dizzying heights of Power Adapter Wars victory to the sad lows of a shitty internet cafe, things had turned full circle. But what a great time while it lasted! I got internets, taught my family a little bit about the mechanics of wifi and established a great precedent for future arguments about whether the internet is evil .
In Bucklame airport yesterday, I found an NZ/UK adapter. I nearly didn't bother buying it for next time :)
|||I'm back now. It's 4:30am, I've been up since 2am. Stupid jetlag. At least blogging passes the time.|
|||What a stupid waste of power that is!|
|||There's no way in hell they'll admit this. But that is, of course, the first step to acceptance.|
|||Or some other such tip on using the internets securly.|
|||He who had also remembered the dark Power Adapter Wars days, but was smart enough to do something about it.|
|||The last time he got a girlfriend, Mum ended up liking her and then they split up. He keeps getting shit about it from Mum, so he's to scared to arrange an introduction. This has resulted in the rest of the family gleefully taking the piss about him and his Invisible Girlfriend.|
|||Apparently not if there's free wifi.|
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