For those of you who are keeping score at home, you know that I have not posted anything since 12:30 p.m. on August 10. That was the day that the derecho took down the power grid in the county and with it, the Internet. While the electricity was restored after more than a week ago, neither the Internet nor the cable have come back.
After August 10, and it was clear that we wouldn’t have power in time to record the radio show/podcast, I rescheduled that interview. Through a mix up which I believe was the result of the lack of Internet and therefore email, the guest was caught by surprise when we called. He hadn’t expected it… I was attempting to use my landline as an alternative, but we rescheduled the interview for September 2. I fully expected to have Internet access at home by then rather than having to use a free WiFi spot at the grocery store.
On Monday, August 31, we lost the landline. I don’t know why it suddenly went down. The clean up around here was going well, our lines are all buried so there shouldn’t have been a problem, but we had no dial tone. Those at the company confirmed that our service had been lost and set up an appointment for… September 15.
Given that, I had to reschedule the interview, once again. The guest was understanding but didn’t want to set anything up until I had my service returned to near normal. As it stands at the moment, we can expect the Internet to be up by September 29 (yeah, September 29 but the hope to get it back up before then) and a possibility of the landline up on September 15. I have one interview scheduled for September 16, but if neither the Internet nor the landline is restored by the weekend, I believe I will reschedule that as well.
The other point that I wish to make is that when the power failed, it took out everything. Without power, we couldn’t access the Internet because my WiFi network needed the electricity which didn’t matter because the Internet provider didn’t have power either. We were left (unlike so many others) with a battery powered radio… but that did no good because the loss of the power grid took out the radio stations as well. All we could get was what I think was an NPR station which didn’t have any local news.
After more than 24 hours we had a classic rock station up (glad it wasn’t one of the quiet jazz stations or classical music) and finally the local news station. Given that, I didn’t know how much was being said about the disaster here. It didn’t seem that the national media was aware of the problems. I have since learned that we did make the national news, but I have no idea what they said other than it seemed the reporting focused on the loss of the corn and soybean crops.
By the time we got our power back, but without Internet or cable, and I finally acquired a digital antenna so I could pick up the local TV stations (with the exception of CBS for some reason) the news had moved onto other things.
I will note here that President Trump did come to town for a short time. I’ve often wondered about the value of these trips. The politicians show up and tell us how bad it is, but we already know. The value, I think, at least in the case here, was to let the rest of the country know how bad it was. This wasn’t like a major hurricane that swept over a large area, a wildfire burning tens of thousands of acres that provides exciting video, this was a localized storm that swept through the middle of the state seeming to reach its peak over us. Lots of homes damaged, lots of people needing assistance, but only on a local level. The President coming here might have shook some of the aid loose.
Anyway, I’m now at about a month without the Internet and have learned the value of being connected. I don’t know the number of times I have wanted to look up something but can’t do it… I got rid of my encyclopedia years ago. I can’t see some of the alternative news sites that help put things in the proper perspective, and I can’t put on music while I work because I have no access to the Internet… yes, I have some old cassette tapes but the sound quality isn’t the greatest.
I suspect it will be another couple of weeks before I’ll be able to record a new show, catch up on my email, and find out what is really going on rather than just what the MSM wants me to believe.
Of course, by the time this is posting, it will mean that these problems have resolved themselves. But at the moment, right this moment, that is somewhere in the undefined future.