Saturday 23 July 2016

No Internet--Cold Turkey

    First I would like to apologize to all those blog readers who came to the website and found no blog  for most of a week--our internet gave up the ghost.  That happened last Sunday.  I called our small independent internet provider in the next village on Monday and after they checked, confirmed that we didn’t have a signal.  They then told me that because of trying to fix some problem with the equipment in their office, they would not be able to get to our house until the end of the week.
    “The end of the week?  Yikes, that’s days away.”  The sweat started rolling down my brow at the thought of losing our connection with the world for so long.
    Living where we do in the middle of no where always creates problems.  Our internet comes from a repeater on a mountain across the valley.  To get it, we have an antenna about 40 feet (12 m) up in a tree, and it seemed that our problem was in that antenna.  I was then told by the provider that they, “No longer did trees, and did I know anyone that could climb the tree?’  I didn’t, but told them that I thought I could probably climb up there.
    I wondered how I was going to climb that spruce and be able to work on the small pizza box-like antenna and hang on for my life at the same time, but I had days to worry about that.  In the mean time I did my blog, but couldn’t send it.  I also did a cartoon for next week’s newspaper, but couldn’t send that in either.  
    The McBride Library has free wifi, but I could only use the program on my iMac to do my blog, so on Thursday, I just packed up my iMac, keyboard, and mouse and took the whole thing into the library.  It was not exactly a laptop, but since the CPU is in the iMac’s display, and the mouse and keyboard were wireless, it wasn’t that big of a deal, just bulky to carry.  The photo shows me and my computer, set up  at the library.
    When I got it all out of the box at the library, and plugged it in, it worked like a charm.  I noticed right away how much faster the library’s internet was than ours.  I uploaded the blogs I had done for the four missing days, sent off my cartoon, sent some emails, and then re-packed my computer and came home.
    Yesterday, Dan, the internet company’s tech guy came over.  I had borrowed the neighbor’s climbing harness, but couldn’t even figure out how to put it on.  Luckily Dan, after seeing the antenna on the tree told me, that even though he wasn’t supposed to be climbing trees, he would do it.  
    He replaced the broken part in the old antenna, but we were still getting a very weak signal.  It seems that over the years since it had been installed, all the trees in my neighbor’s yard grew taller and were now blocking much of the signal from the mountain.  Luckily, he had a bigger and more powerful antenna in the truck and was able to install it on the side of our roof and it could still pick up the signal despite all of the trees, so

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