Friday, March 20, 2020

Back from the Far Edge

Ramblings Post #381
Alas we do not understand the power it holds over us until it is gone. Then, tired and alone we weep at it's absence and pine for it's return. It has become our breath, our world, our everything, gone in a wink. We return to the darkness without it, and die.

As I hunkered down in preparation for this long period of self-reflection and withdrawal to discover who I am and what I am all about (i.e., bunkering to avoid infection) my very lifeline to reality began to falter. Um okay,  I'm being overly dramatic: My internet went down. Now to be clear, the internet is one of those things that didn't even exist when I was young. I had a great life before it and swear that before it came life was fine. But like those two years that I lived with no washer and dryer, this past week I have had a chance to be reminded how important it is to have this now utility need INSIDE the house.

So I'm downloading a new game. No, I haven't I've finished playing any one of the old ones I've started in the past two years. No, I haven't finished any one of my writing projects. And also no, I haven't finished any of the other self improvement/ life changing projects I need to finish. But I'm downloading this game and the thing starts hanging. No big. My connection isn't always the fastest but it has worked day in and day out for lo the past decade. Sure, sometimes I have to reset the modem but it's not a big deal. Or so I thought.

Reset does not re-establish my connection. Nor does turning the router off and on. Or the computer. I check the cables, try again and nothing. I'm tempted to switch the breaker in the breaker box but calm down.

I actually call tech support. *Sigh*

I am not happy with this turn of events because many years ago I actually worked tech support, and was pretty good at it. So this is kind of a personal acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, my skills in the tech area have eroded a bit and I need to "get my weight up." For the record, both the automated service AND the person I spoke to shortly after both had repeat the exact same steps I went through before I called them. But after some checking on her end, the young woman immediately decided to send me a new router. My previous router was a decade old after all. Had to break sometime. Okay, fine. But that's three days away.

But what do I do in the meantime?

Because if you weren't paying attention, almost every game platform these days asks you log on to play the games you've already paid for. I'm sorry, that you've leased. And with no internet my PS4 games didn't play right. So I got really into Twitter and Instagram. By the way, Black Twitter is having a field day with the Quarantine. After that hour ...I started my steam games in offline mode (Thanks Steam) so I did get a Civilization VI play-through. Note that by the time I figure out Crusader Kings the next version will be out. Lots of Dwarf Fortress was played. I watched Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network. I napped and tried to not to eat all my snacks.

So three days pass, and my new router pops up on my door step. I'm happy as all get out, until it doesn't work. Like, it comes on, the lights blink, except the important one, and it does not fix the problem. So I call tech support again and after repeating the basic turn it off and turn it on steps this time she tells me she thinks the problem could be in the wires in my wall. They have to send a guy. An actual guy. But, it won't be for two days. Ugh. I flick back through Twitter and Instagram. Fifteen minutes later I start a new Fortress. Considering this isn't really a ride to Starbucks to connect for a while situation, or just access it from the office reality, the hours go by so slowly it's criminal. So I took a stroll.

My street was empty, but something about what the lady had said struck an odd memory. My brain put two and two together and got fourteen, then smiled at me but didn't explain the math. Outside in the crisp spring air I follow the line from my house to the pole and down the block. Now, as I said, my tech experience is a bit dated, but I'm pretty sure that the wire from ISP shouldn't hang in a droop. Well, at least not droop so low that I touch it with my hand. I mean I don't, but I can. Seems odd. As I said, I'm not an expert, but still. So at that point, in the chill of the air standing on empty street I'm expecting the guy to show up, see this and send for another truck. So, two more days after the first guy shows up? I'm starting to see the viewpoint of those insistent Spring Breakers still traipsing around Miami. How bad could death be?

But, to his credit the guy showed up, looked at and then got it done. At one point I thought he'd disappeared only to find him half a block down the street on a ladder up the pole doing whatever it guys do up a pole fixing telephone/internet cable. And just like that I'm back. I'M BACK. And just like that I realize that all the stuff I'd meant to write so I would have something to say now that I'm back did not get written. I'm going to blame it on not being able to research on the internet. Damn you no internet!

Barkeep, use one of the open bottles. This liquor got to last until who knows when.