Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Strange New World


Well, it's a dang miracle, is what it is. The dude from CenturyLink came out here to hook up our new high-speed internet and fancy TV service and now he's gone, and every little thing is working. I was cringing for an hour or so in anticipation of the explosion wherein all of my data in The Cloud would rain down and ice up the internetular driveway, and now I'm starting to straighten up. I'm still wary, but it's looking like a new world over here.

The old world had been a tableau of the stages of grief. We have been learning to accept our losses for a couple years now. That web page is going to be real pokey tonight? Okay, as long as it loads eventually. Not going to load at all? Okay, we'll shut down the computer and turn it on again and pull the cord on the modem and plug it in again if it buys us fifteen more minutes of acceptable internet speed. Not going to have acceptable internet speed? Everything will freeze up and hang on our computer screen like a museum display of what we used to care about? Okay. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow not looking so good? Perhaps it is time to become philosophical about the fact that we are not in control of anything, and recognize the folly of having become dependent on something that didn't even used to exist.

And I could have lived in that old world for quite a while longer if Dave wasn't such a whinypants. "The computer doesn't work," he'd point out, and demand that I fix it, because I know about two more things about it than he does, only I didn't know how to fix it, because I don't know how it works when it does work. And I didn't know if it was the computer or the connection. Or if it was just acting like a savvy old horse who knows when it's being ridden by someone who doesn't know anything about horses. I'm just going to stand here and bite grass, it says. You can yank on those reins all you want to and kick me in my massive impassive belly with your teeny weeny feet, but we're not going anywhere.

But I got tired of Dave whining about the computer, and thus reminding me that I'm an idiot, and when some guy cold-called me to offer me a shinier internet, I went for it. But I wasn't very hopeful. Especially after I spent two hours on the phone with him about it, mostly on hold. Okay, I'm going to put you on hold here for a moment, while I and everyone I work with go out for pizza, but I'll be back. Okay, I said. And then I'm going down to the DMV to get my new driver's license, but I'll be back right after that. Okay, I said.

in exile...
And yet this morning here comes Andre three minutes earlier than my four-hour window opened up, and Dave was here to steer him to the basement and crawl-space instead of wrapping wire all around our house, and after an hour or so he pops up and declares us wireless, which means the fairies are now in charge of toting our emails and such, and he punches in a wireless code, and sure enough it doesn't work. But he hmms and hmms some more and five minutes later he's found the virtual cord to my old internet service and snipped it in two, and everything worked, and it's still working. So is the TV.

"You can pull the plug on that modem--you don't need it anymore," Andre said, and I held my breath and pulled, expecting the tinkling sound of data crashing out of the ether, but nothing happened. If I shut my eyes, I can almost make out the fairies, with their CenturyLink overalls and their little names stitched on their pockets. I can almost hear them buzzing. It sounds like tinnitus, but without malice.

29 comments:

  1. I hope it works out for you. I didn't think much of CenturyLink when I had them, but that was three years ago and maybe they've improved -- at least hired fairies with better qualifications.

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    1. They didn't offer the fiber optic whizbangery until this year, I think. DON'T ENGAGE THEM ON THE PHONE but otherwise I couldn't be pleaseder.

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  2. We don't have CenturyLink in our part of the country, just Verizon. This summer, my husband was complaining that it takes too long for things to download on our computers, so we went from DSL to FIOS. Neither one of us has noticed any difference in speed that justifies the higher price.

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    1. Hey guess what? I'm paying less. Significantly less, when you add in that I fired #%$&*Comcast.

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  3. The Internet companies have us all under complete control. They are monopolies and make lots of money and we are addicts giving them lots of money. They have no stimulus to provide better service, because they get what they want.

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    1. This is interesting here. We've had nothing but the cable company for decades and now this is the first competition they've had. When I called up Comcast to cancel service, they suddenly discovered all kinds of new lower rates they thought I should have. Phooey on them.

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    2. I have to call them AGAIN to reduce my costs. I hate them!!

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  4. I have had bad experiences with both CenturyLink and Comcast, so apparently It's My Fault. Or the interwebz. Have always have had nice experiences with tech support with both companies, but download speed was not as advertised and not what I was paying for in either instance, and connectivity was unreliable for both. I live near a suburb of Seattle so it's not like I'm in East Armpit, WA where such things MIGHT be excusable. I'm now in assisted living and I take whatever provider the building had built into it. Fingers crossed for success with your new connection to the digital world!

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    1. It's your fault! As long as we can pin it on someone, I'm content. Your fault. Well, now.

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  5. Message for the people in charge of deciding on the first human clones: Clone Andre. Please.

    I am glad your internet is working, and working well! Mostly because you probably enjoy having well-working internet. But also a little because it enables our Murr habit. Okay, a lot because of that, too. Maybe you need cloned, too, Murr.

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    1. I forgot to take a picture of Andre. He's super cute, too.

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  6. Oooh.
    A fairy story with a happy ending. And no wicked witch in the wings...
    Unbelievable. I hope you stay in happy ever after zone.

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    1. I'd call them up to tell them how good Andre was, but I'd never get another thing done all day.

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    2. Ah, but they probably have a comment page on their website. The Andres of the world deserve laudatory comments.

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    3. Excellent suggestion! Do you think they'd mind if I said he had a nice ass?

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  7. My only-weeks-old laptop has been driving me nuts.It keeps telling me "this page doesn't exist" and "page no longer available" and the suggestion in the help link wonders if, perhaps, that particular page may have been moved to another place...? Believe me, I was about ready to consign the whole shebang to "another place." But I took a deep breath, opened up the bit where all the fixin's are kept and tried clicking a few of them.Of course, I had to re-set some passwords and, so far, no one has bounced my swahili swearwords...

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    1. Doesn't it always feel like the page is "no longer available" only to you? Everyone else gets to have it?

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    2. I have a friend who is a genius and fixes my problems. He wants to be a theoretical particle physicist (what does that mean?) and knows how to solve problems on computers. I am glad he lives here in Oregon City near me!

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    3. That's why we should've had kids.

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  8. We got fiber optic this summer which was cheaper and way faster than the satellite. As long as it works I am happy, but there is a lingering mistrust of the fairies that make it work.

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    1. Be very careful. Fairies know when you don't trust them.

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  9. I flippin' love this post. I can tell you're happy by the words you choose. Nuffin' like a little good Net to make yer happy. I tried to back up my iPhone today and used 1/4 of our monthly allotment of Net. D'oh. And I couldn't even finish the backup. I need fairies, stat!

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    1. You don't get near enough Net. WE don't get near enough birds.

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  10. "every little thing is working" Wow. I'm so happy for you.
    Really, really, happy! :) :)

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    1. It's so odd. We don't expect it, after all this time.

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  11. Periodically my online friends will post virtual moans about their cable and/or internet provider, and on those occasions I sit back and silently bless Buckeye CableSystem, our locally-owned cable TV and ISP, which is apparently unparalleled in quality and service. About 10 years ago I considered moving out of the city to a small town that was nearer to my sister and to my favorite birding places, and the fact that it was out of the Buckeye service area was a big factor in my decision to stay put.

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    1. So, isn't that nuts? That something like this can make us stay put when we didn't even used to HAVE any of this shit? But I'm with you 100%. It's important now. Who knows why.

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