Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kinsler: Weep, O angels, for technology has failed us

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We suddenly find ourselves in an internet-less household. I am not watching YouTube Shorts. I have no idea what Mike and Joelle are doing in New Zealand, nor have I seen an angry drunk challenge the wrong vehicle (i.e., a tractor-trailer loaded with steel) to automotive combat. In short, I am not wasting time.

Neither is Natalie, who ordinarily would be scrolling through Facebook, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal this Sunday evening. The house is quiet: Gemma the Cat purrs in bed with Natalie; my theory is that she hikes over my sleeping spouse to determine if her protector still lives. Her colleague Webster is curled up like a striped serpent on one of his several chairs, for I can hear him snore. If I touch him — he has tempting ears and stripey tail — he will utter a brief meow, turn inside-out like a rubber donut, yawn, and pad upstairs to further trample my beloved.

What happened is that our friends Lynn and Dave came for dinner. Dave, fascinated (and knowledgeable) in computer communication, checked our Internet speed to find that instead of the 500 megabits per second we were promised, we’d been feebly communicating with the outside world at 18.5 Mbps, staring at our frozen computer screens waiting for something to happen.

I summoned up’s semi-automated fix-it service and followed the directions, turning modem and router on and off, struggling with stubborn plugs, and repeatedly checked the Internet speed, which failed to improve. Fortunately, Spectrum’s customer service has proven excellent, and the fellow at the other end scheduled a local technician to come out tomorrow to have a look. Shortly thereafter the internet failed completely and could not be brought back to life nohow.

Here we sat, isolated from the world, until Natalie, who has a streak of common sense that I still lack, headed upstairs to the nuptial sack while I remained down here to wash the 20 or so pots and pans with which she creates her amazing suppers.

Morning: Natalie, deprived of her morning Cryptoquotes (don’t ask) partially devoured one of the library books (the heavy kind, printed on paper, with no choice of font) she’s avoided reading since she borrowed them. It was quiet and oddly peaceful.

Afternoon: The Spectrum technician came by and prescribed a new wi-fi router, a device that, outwardly at least, strongly suggests that its designer is a 20-year-old fan of Japanese video games. So we bought one and found that the new device improved our upload and download speeds not a whit despite its resemblance to an unfriendly sea creature.

I will let everyone know the final score of the ordeal.

Mark Kinsler,, lives well outside Lancaster’s Historic District in an old house whose antiquity fascinates our East Coast friends. Natalie and the two security cats keep a close eye upon him.

This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: The internet has gone out, now what do we do?

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