Internet down therefore serves as a reminder of just how close to the edge we actually live. Our furnace is fed by gas, but it will not function without electricity to spark the gas into fire. Our only wood-burning installation is a fire-place we keep blocked off with plastic sheeting because, ordinarily, it sucks heat from the house. We’ve had several e-free days over the last two years because our utility (Detroit Something —you see, without the Internet I can’t look up its formal name, and I’ve become so careless, because the Internet’s so handy, I don’t bother learning mere names anymore) anyway Detroit Something has been neglecting its maintenance. For that reason we were treated to nightly fireworks—literally huge sparking in overhead wires, accompanied by a dance of smoke—days at a time. But, luckily, that was in summer time.
Now it is the DSL. What do those letters stand for? Haven’t a clue. Can’t look it up. My old print-based technology dictionaries didn’t have to know that acronym when I bought them. The DSL is dead. But I learned on the phone that AT&T is “transiting” to fiberoptics hereabouts, and our sickly DSL may have been getting sickly because of fiberoptic threats. All very confusing to someone who can’t talk to the down-to-earth god called Google. I’m promised speedy help. It will arrive between 12 noon and 4 pm on Monday, February 4. But during a visit to an AT&T store, where I chatted with Philip, the man who has the inside scoop—and did his best to convert me to fiberoptimism—told me that “Lot’s of people come and tell me that the technician came and didn’t have a clue.”
Anyway, blogging continues, because the computer’s still up, Microsoft Word’s still functioning, the lights are on, the furnace just kicked in again, the sump pump also works (hence this basement won’t flood with water). Just in case, however, I’ve located some candles so that, if all else fails, I can still write by candle-light, until the ink freezes in my Sheaffer, and then there are still some very ancient yellow pencils.