Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 1, 2010

Ain’t Technology Grand? Sure… Until It Ain’t.

Phone outside of the main dining room, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Sometimes I want to go back to the days when a phone was just a phone and the word Comcast was not even a gleam in someone’s eye.

Our internet service was very slooooow last week, until it quit completely on Saturday morning. Because we were busy with life and the connection had worked sporadically in the previous days, we didn’t get concerned about its extended absence until Sunday. I called Comcast and, with the very friendly rep Yvonne walked through all of the steps TJ had taken earlier (unplugging cords, restarting computer, etc.).

Alas, the problem required a technician’s housecall and the earliest slot would be Thursday afternoon. Six days without the internet!

I explained to Yvonne that two adults and two students work from home and we really needed the connection. Yvonne sounded sincere when she said she’d ask her supervisor to consider this an emergency and bump us up on the service list.

Never heard from the Super so I phoned again and we now expect a service call tomorrow, Wednesday. In the meantime I’m at the local public library trying to play catch up on email, the blog, sending invoices and an assignment off to an editor, and doing research for another story.

None of this is of help to Paige, however, who despite feeling the effects of having three wisdom teeth yanked on Friday lugged her laptop to the local coffee shop to do homework—a project that demands the internet and a variety of technical tools—only to have her computer konk out on her. Nothing but blue screen.

Made me yearn for my school days, when I could turn to my stack of library books, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, colored pencils and crisp paper to turn out my reports.

Yes, I held out for the longest time shooting film and slides before finally buying a digital camera.

And no, I do not use a microwave oven.



  1. This is like reading my life, Kath.
    I held out for the longest time to even get a computer but by 1999 it had to be done in order to stay competitive in business.
    The cellphone found it’s way into my hands only 2 years ago
    The microwave in my house (came with the house) is 30 years or so old and I use it only occasionally when I forget to thaw butter for cookie baking.

    “Oh the good old days” – funny, I remember some really old people saying that when I was a child.

    You know what I miss more than anything?
    Manners and all that comes with it…

    • I’ve never mastered the cellphone—callers cannot leave messages. I’ve tried following the instruction book but might as well be reading the Spanish version, it’s all Greek to me.
      I have to admit I felt old yesterday when I told someone who wanted to contact me the modern way, “I don’t do texts.”

  2. Arghhhhh! How’s Miss Paige feeling now? And I agree with you, Iris, on manners!

    • Paige did get a reprieve on her assignment, thank goodness. She is one of the 11% (according to the dentist) who develop “dry socket” after the surgery; believe it or not she’s still dealing with the teeth! Thanks for asking.

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