This post contains a lot of bitching about things I can’t control. You were warned.
So, as I’ve already gushed, something super awesome happened on Wednesday night: Happy Hour Hangout. I’ve already said it about forty billion times, but I’ll say it again: It was awesome. The whole freaking experience rocked. Except for this one little thing…
MY EFFING INTERNET FAILED ME.
DURING THE COOLEST BLOGGING THING I’VE EVER DONE.
See, we live in the sticks. Like, Amish-country sticks. So my internet options are very, very limited (and pretty dang crappy). Oh and because the universe loves to screw with me, living in the sticks means we need the internet even more, because we need it for not-normally-internet-dependent stuff.
Cable TV? Not an option for us, because there are literally no physical cables run to our corner of the world. Get a satellite service, or Netflix/Hulu, or don’t ever watch TV. We have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions so we need internet service if we want to watch TV.
Cell phone service? HA. Good luck with that, because there is zero cell service for at least 15 minutes in any direction from our house. Sometimes, if the stars align, you can get a text message out. Sometimes. To combat this little problem, Mr. B and I have a network extender from our wireless carrier that provides cell phone service at our house. It’s a neat little device, but it plugs into the internet.
Let’s recap, shall we? I enjoy being connected to the world, plus I’m a blogger, so I like/need/want the internet to be available to me at all times. No internet means no TV. No internet means no cell phone. Also, this is not a problem I ever encountered before I moved to our little town, so such inconveniences can sometimes result in a major hissy fit.
We have DSL through the (only) local phone company. I hate it. I hate them. Let’s just say the service is unreliable and the customer service is…lacking. One time, Mr. B called to inquire about a seriously slow connection, and you know what they told him? It looks like there’s a lot of people in your area using the internet right now, so that slows it down. That’s just how it is. Excuse me? So you are telling me that your little internet-providing-setup can’t handle a normal Sunday evening’s traffic in a sparsely populated area? And I just have to deal with it? AWESOME GUYS. Keep up the good work.
Such a craptastic situation brings out the American consumer in me, so I shopped around for other internet providers. I mean, I’d rather give my money to someone else who can do a better job of providing me with the service I’m paying for. I Googled, asked around, and even picked up a phone book (remember those??) looking for options. Here’s what I learned: I can stick with the stellar service I’m getting with my normal provider or get internet through a satellite dish.
Since I’m all kinds of type-A, I made a pros and cons list for switching to satellite.
- Cons: it’s slower, crazy expensive, and requires us to also have satellite TV, which is also stupid expensive.
- Pros: it’s not the DSL from the useless wads at the phone company.
Faced with those facts, we decided to stick with our current internet provider because it’s the lesser of two evils and we need freaking internet because I’m all spoiled like that.
The thing is- we’ve had a pretty good stretch lately. It’s been a while since we’ve had a complete internet failure. It’s not perfect -we can’t use anything else internet when someone is talking on their phone because we live in a world where Hulu and Facebook kill cell service (the wireless service booster hogs a lot of internet, and as we learned earlier, it’s in limited supply ’round these parts)- but we work around it and haven’t had much trouble.
Until, of course, I sat down to video chat with some of the coolest kids in blogland. That’s when the internet told me to suck it. As soon as I pulled up the Google Hangout on my laptop, I got an error that my internet connection was failing. Then I got kicked out of the chat. I was able to rejoin, but it happened repeatedly for the whole first hour. I was able to catch most of the conversation, but this kept me from participating much. Plus, I felt so bad that the other ladies in the Hangout had to keep listening to the stupid ding every single time I disappeared and reemerged – they were all so cool about it, but it had to have been annoying. Sorry, everyone!
Eventually, I switched to my phone, which wasn’t perfect (I did get booted one more time) but it was a huge improvement. I was even able to participate in the conversation!
Still, the internet situation around these parts really chaps my ass.