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sarge wireless config

Hello Debian experts,
I have sarge installed on a dell inspiron 5000 and everything works (I
think), but i have one problem trying to get the pcmcia netgear
wireless card to work on the first attempt. it works and works fine
just not on the first/second/third attempt. i have to go through the
following commands a number of times before i get a valid IP
( in all successful cases). if the process fails then i get
even (i dont know where this is coming from - maybe
neighbor?) and (does nothing i guess). the commands i cycle

iwconfig eth0 essid test mode managed key on enc 11111111111111111111111111
ifup eth0 (this sometimes says eth0 is already configured and quits)
ifconfig (did it work)
if no:
ifconfig eth0 del
rinse and repeat.

I was wondering what i am missing to get this to work in the first
attempt? it does eventually works after mostly the third attempt but
never the 1st. any help that you can provide would be most helpful.

i guess the 2nd part of my question is if I could automate this
anyway. i use icewm and fspanel so dont use kwifimanager or something
similar. any other tool i can use without compiling it?
Ganeshram Iyer
2703 West Royal Ln Apt 906
Irving, TX, 75063

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