That you’re able to read this week’s post is a miracle; the type of miracle you may never fully grasp. For readers who’ve been keeping up with the move, we now live in an idyllic setting amongst trees, brooks, and wildlife. Moving from the city to the suburbs 20 months ago didn’t do the trick, so it seems that we have retreated completely from the noises and hassles that come with a more crowded way of life.
The next few installments of One More Thing to Read will be filled with our latest rural experiences. If you don’t have the time, you might stream season one of Green Acres on Hulu. Speaking of streaming, it seems such modern conveniences will be a thing of our past due to “the best rural Internet service available.” At least that’s what the company says about itself in its commercials. They phoned me a day after the installation for a survey. I told them I was already disappointed with them, and it would be in their best interest not to call back.
We arrived on a Friday evening, unlocked the house and entered the empty dwelling. The former owners had removed their belongings, which had been a concern of mine for a few weeks. Would they be able to get out by the time we were scheduled to get in? Our refrigerator was due to arrive the following morning, but since they’d left theirs for some reason, we drove the 12 miles into town and bought a few groceries.
The furniture was to arrive on Saturday before noon, and the Internet technician was to show up by 1:00. Mobile service is sketchy in these parts, but I found if I placed my phone on the west end of the kitchen counter, it would actually ring. The first call was to tell me the furniture was delayed until Monday at some point to which they couldn’t commit. The second call was from the Internet technician who said his radiator had blown the day before, but he wasn’t sure he’d not make it to us until just before he was to arrive.
Since I couldn’t make calls very well unless I craned my neck at the perfect angle and held it longer than a tantric yoga pose, we went back to town where we could get signals in order to text and use the phone. I had planned every step of the move so precisely, and one of the most important details had been to never be without Internet. Unfortunately, I cannot control every situation, but we had plenty to do without modern communication.
We made a lot of progress over that weekend, and then the technician arrived Monday morning sans grillwork on his car. He got everything installed rather quickly, and then he showed us the finer points of his company’s service. It turns out there are no finer points. As he was gathering up his laptop and rushing toward the door, he mentioned the web address for our Internet account where we can monitor our data usage. Why would we care? Isn’t the Internet free and unlimited? Everyone we know is streaming and gaming, and this company’s commercials show a large family doing all these things from a multitude of devices in every room of their large house. There appears to be no end to the number of Internet activities available within a matter of seconds.
Why is he telling us about monitoring data usage? Because there is a limit. What’s the limit? The answer came in megas, gigas and bytes. I still have no idea, but where I used to be aware of every drop of water in drought stricken Los Angeles, I’m now aware of every text, notification and social media post as though the data meter has replaced the water meter.
Additionally, the service is much slower. It’s comparable to our city service before we upgraded to the fastest speed. When I signed on to post this, I wasn’t sure the page was going to come up. I managed to have a cup of coffee and send three text messages by the time I saw the first two inches of the blog’s page coming into focus. The man with the faulty radiator made us aware that there is no data limit or overage fees if we decide to work from 1-5 a.m. It’s the one benefit of insomnia, and I may actually start to suffer from it if I don’t stop worrying how I’m going to communicate with the outside world.
© 2015 by Patrick Brown
Visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Brown/e/B005F0CYH2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1419885131&sr=8-1 to learn about my books “Moral Ambiguity” and “Tossed Off the Edge.”