I'm back online.
The full details of my absence are very dull. It turns out that the technician who tried to install my phone and internet connection managed to do everything except plug my phone and internet into the right cable. The technician blamed the failing connection on a malfunctioning burglar alarm. It took a week and the help of a very friendly burglar alarm repair person to work out that the cable connected to my utilities was not the one connected to the Telstraclear network.
If you ever need a burglar alarm installed I heartily recommend the services of William from Security First - he spent a good two seconds "fixing" the fully functional alarm and four hours getting the phone and internet working and connecting my new home theatre to a ridiculously large 50" plasma screen. And for this great service he charged exactly nowt (although I felt so guilty I did sign up for a security monitoring service and bought a couple of extra motion detectors).
I have to admit that the home theatre and the ridiculously large 50" plasma screen are another reason why I haven't been around much. The bulk of my "cricket fan of the year" prize from Samsung arrived on Monday and it has been very hard to drag myself away from the gigantic, deafening and crisply defined Andrew Flintoff thundering around my lounge while "the Ashes" DVD whirrs around on its crystalline stand. If you think Flintoff's bodyline attack against Brett Lee looked painful at the time, wait until you see and hear it from my couch.