party like its 1984

How many times have I heard the phrase, “I hate the cable company!”  My own sister said it just the other day after waiting for two days in a row for the cable man to show up.  He never did.  All she was trying to do was return the box to get her deposit back.  She will likely have to take it to them if she wants her money back.  I told her I understood her pain, but honestly, I had little to complain about.  My cable was working perfectly, and I had no reason to call on the cable man for a visit. 

That was then. This is now.

My cable went out around ten o’clock this morning while I was watching Animal Planet.  First the TV went black, and then the internet failed to connect.  My husband and I looked at each other and made the exact same assumption.

“Did you pay the cable bill?”  We said in unison.

Of course, our cable bill is fairly insignificant since I complained to the cable company about eight months ago and was given a year of free cable.  The only thing we pay for is the pay per view movies we order on a weekly basis.  This can add up though, so it was still a reasonable concern. 

As it turns out, our bill was current, but apparently paying your bill does not prevent the cable company from experiencing an “outage” in your area.  We were assured that this problem was being worked on, and our service would be restored as soon as possible.

I was not buoyed by fact that my bill was paid.  It would have been much easier to have paid a late bill to restore service.  Instead, both Mike and I were left with a feeling of dread as we stared at our laptops’ “page not found” error messages, and black TV screen.

I am unsure of what an “outage” means…exactly.  Sure, it means I have no cable until they fix it, but how exactly do these things happen?  Did someone trip over the cord in the big cable building?  I suddenly felt as if I had been plunged back into 1982, the veritable dark ages that occurred prior to the invention of the internet. 

How on earth did we survive back then?

Mike was in a very different predicament than I was.  I was distraught that I could no longer check my Facebook page, or my comments on the blog.  He works from home.  He couldn’t do his job. 

The irony is…we are probably the most connect people I know.  We both have BlackBerry’s with internet services.  We have high speed cable at home (or normally do when there isn’t an “outage in our area) and Mike even has a mobile hotspot for emergencies.  Unfortunately, the mobile hotspot doesn’t work in our tree filled neighborhood, and our BlackBerry’s don’t have the capabilities to do everything that Mike needed to do (but thank goodness for me that I can still check my Facebook and comments via the credit card sized screen on my phone.)

If only I could actually post my blog from my BlackBerry.  Now THAT would be a feat!  I wouldn’t be sitting here more than fourteen hours after the initial outage, still waiting for internet to be restored so I can post my daily blog.  I can only hope the outage will be repaired before morning.  I can’t imagine living in this “darkness” for another whole day.  This really IS like being Amish. 

Is somebody up there trying to tell me something?

Until the next time…I’ll be checking my connection every hour on the hour throughout the night!

(Disclaimer - Due to circumstances beyond my control, the blog was VERY late today.  I am still struggling with a pre-internet existence at my house due to an "outage", as the cable company has stated on numerous occasions.  I keep calling...they keep stalling.  But late or not...I'm still here!)

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Posted on August 19, 2010 .