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And Just Like That – POOF! – It Was Gone!

Our Internet connection went ‘POOF!’ the night before last and was out all day yesterday. You’d never believe what a nuisance that is unless and until you experience the same phenomenon yourself. The fact that yesterday’s installment of this Blog never happened was just one impact of the disaster…

Old Landline Dial Phone - © ?Ancient old-school, dial-type desktop phone. Remember phones
like this, that didn’t need the Internet, and still worked,
even when the electricity was out?

Have you ever experienced a power failure? We, as modern western human beings, have some quirks that set us aside from the masses of people from undeveloped countries, where electricity is considered a novelty rather than an entitlement. Only when deprived of power do we realize how much we depend on it, for essential and ephemeral applications alike. Just like the Internet.

Like being stranded on a desert Island

It’s kind of like being stranded on a desert island. You may have your 10 most-beloved CDs and a player – but no place to plug it in.

Here are a few of the little stories that have come out of my no-Internet Monday experience:

I went to look up the phone number for for the Internet provider. Oops! I didn’t have it on paper anywhere. Only available ON THE INTERNET! Finally found it on a paper bill received before the company went to online-only billing. Actually, found a number for account assistance’, and eventually discovered a link through their robotic phone call direction tree to ‘technical services’.

I went to call the internet provider and report the outage. Oops! The landline runs on the same high-speed network as the Internet service. But I remembered, after a few minutes, that the cell phone did NOT rely on the Internet to work. Was able to arrange an appointment for a technician visit for the same day, but ONLY for 10 hours later.

I went to do some offline work but realized quickly that I couldn’t do any research or confirm any sources without my Internet connection! At that point, crossed ‘serious work’ off my list for the rest of the day.

I discovered quickly that most business/productivity applications that are now available only as ‘subscription services’ won’t work without an Internet connection. Glad I had Libre Office (a free for download, open-license, no ‘cloud’ connection office apps package) as a back-up.

I went to play Solitaire and discovered I couldn’t play my accustomed difficulty level without an Internet connection. Same with all the other Microsoft games. Some not playable at all.

The bottom line: No e-Mail. No Music. No ‘news’. No mindless click-bait browsing to fill the empty hours before the techie arrived.

The ‘net’ result

(No pun intended in that subtitle. Well, maybe not…) Anyway, was reduced to talking to sister Erin, watching same three CNN stories over and over again each hour with Mother on TV. Started a scratch list of how many mass shootings and police shootings that day in U.S. on a paper pad with a pencil at my chairside.

Wondered idly what folks did during blackouts before the Internet became taken for granted, and reflected that was ‘way back in the old days’ (i.e.- pre-2000). Electricity used to be touchier than it is now, as more and more service lines are safely buried underground. Once took me two days of a 7-day electricity outage during one of our ‘Great Ice Storms’ of the 1900s to realize board games still existed. On balance, got a lot of recreational reading done.

Today’s lesson:

As virtually all modern western ‘civilized’ people today, I decided I had been pitifully unprepared for the Internet outage and resolved to consider it a warning from up on high to be more prepared for next time. Because, like flat tires on your car, there is always a next time.

Until Next time,

~ Maggie J.