It must be the 21st Century if a homestead feels crippled when the Internet’s down. But, that’s what’s happening, and that’s exactly how it felt.
Something went wrong with our satellite Internet service. We had intermittent connectivity for the past few weeks, and recently it’s gone out completely for long periods. I spent a reent morning on hold with our provider’s tech people, waiting to hear the bad news: the problem appears to be with my equipment.
That meant I had to talk to our installer in town. That appeared to be problematic. He has a day job, and we’ve heard he’s become less involved with the service recently. The cell number I had for him belongs to someone else now. I had to leave a message on his land line. I dug up his cell phone number, but that connected me with someone else’s voice mail.
I narrowed the possibilities by doing a few things on my own, as suggested by the tech office. I checked the cables and discovered no flaws; I looked for any way moisture may have gotten into the receiver (it’s on the beach in Alaska, for heaven’s sake!) and everything else they suggested, or I can imagine in my shamanistic maintenance-and-repair-through-magical-thinking approach to technology. The connection only got worse.
Luckily, our installer called the next day, while we were in town. He had just got back to town for a couple of hours, and was leaving shortly for the next month! He gave me the components that would likely fix our problem.
I posted this by hauling my laptop to town and logging on to the library’s brand new WiFi service. Now, with a huge sense of relief, I’m re-editing this post to put it all in the past tense. I successfully switched out the key portion of the replacement component, and we are back on line!
We’re in a bad spot without the Internet. One of my current contracts doesn’t directly require Internet access, but email’s the handiest way to seek clarification on details. My other contract, with a Web client, does require Internet access. On top of that, there are orders to fill for my book, sifter plans, and for my brother’s boat plans. Most of our micro-incomes require Internet access, either for execution, monitoring, or both. Beyond that, there’s contact with family and friends, and the universe of dinking around that the Internet offers in our odd moments of leisure. Not only that, but we have to pay for the service, whether we can use it or not—a real pain in our frugal behinds. It’s a huge relief to have this 21st century homesteading tool back!