Have you run virus and spyware removal programs? You may have something along those lines, causing connectivity issues, especially since you said you go to chat rooms and play euchre and pool. Those kinds of places can be riddled with spyware and/or viruses, even if you don't see it. Downloader trojans aren't too uncommon. I see it all the time. Casino sites are notorious for this issue. You are asked to download a program that will make your gaming experience more fun and easy, and with that download comes spyware and possibly a virus. Beware of those places, they look innocent but they aren't.
I would go to http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
and run the free virus scanner and free spyware scanner, both are pretty good. I use them frequently (not exclusively though). Other good spyware removal and prevention programs are SpySweeper (http://www.webroot.com
) and PestPatrol (http://www.ca.com)
. I use these 2 programs often, along with Spybot and Adaware (both of these are freeware).
If you get a bad enough infection of viruses and spyware (it can happen even if you have anti-virus software, especially Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee VirusScan), it can cause you to lose your internet connection intermittently or completely.