Notes from Perry Street: Life without internet

“Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the east,” Gandalf speaking to Aragorn, telling him when he will help to fight at Helm’s Deep. The Two Towers.

By JOHN A. WINTERS, Publisher

I am writing this on Jan. 29, which also happens to be our anniversary. Not some work anniversary, but 29 years ago The Little Black Dress and I said “I do” in front of a lot of people. I mean a lot.

Corby’s gown was pink. Because, well, she had worn it during Miss Oklahoma pageant competitions. It meant a lot to her. She and her mom added a lot to The Dress (the gown, not the LBD), like a 325-foot trail and 6,000 beads or so.

And everyone, myself included, went “wow” when she entered.

Today also marks the fourth day without hi-speed Internet … how was that for a transition? 

Take pause and think about what not having hi-speed Internet really means, because I can assure you we have. 

No television, no Netflix and other streaming services, no streaming video games, no working from home (at least in our world), no searching on Google to win an argument; no being able to find out how to do Project X on YouTube … no, no, no.

Let’s get some things out of the way before we delve deeper into the hell that has become our lives. I mean, is there a better First World Problem than no Internet? Yes we have cell service. That’s like saying would you like a DVD or an 8-track?

One. Yes, we have rebooted the modem countless times. And when I say countless, I literally mean I can’t remember how many times we have done that.

Two.  We have unplugged the modem from the power source. We have waited 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute and an hour.

Three. We followed the nice guidelines from the AT&T voice robot who 1. told us to do all the above and then 2. sent some magic dust through the Internet lines to fix the problem.

Ever talk with a robot?

“Did that solve your problem?”


“Thank you for using AT&T.”

We finally got a human, Aj was his name. He and I did not have an easy time communicating with each other. Somehow, he also did the magic dust thingy and asked if the modem was working.

“No. We still have two blinking green lights and two blinking red lights where it says ‘broadband’ on the modem.”

“I am not showing any outages in your area.” 

Flash back to the movie Cool Hand Luke – “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

 We point out that, based on our neighborhood Facebook page, there are some other AT&T clients reporting similar issues. Did I slip up and say “AT&T?” Sorry about that AT&T. My bad.

Anyway, AJ with AT&T again utters “I am not showing any outages in your area.”

So, we will have a technician coming out to save us. Said technician won’t be out to fix our wretched lives until Monday, Jan. 30. My conversation with AJ was on Thursday, Jan. 26.

Of course all of you want to know how we are surviving. The days aren’t so bad, I can go to an Internet-capable office, play golf, go for a walk, etc. But it is the nights when you feel the walls closing in.

We have resorted to talking to each other. We are reading next to a roaring fire. By reading, I mean books. We have talked about playing board games or even cards. I can’t count (meaning I have no idea, but it’s a lot) how many times I have reached for the remote to see what is on the television or opened up my laptop to do some laptop-needed thing.

And so we wait. And look to the East.

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