Thursday, May 15, 2014

David, Paladin against the APOCALYPSE

We are all just part of the Matrix folks.  We are all just cogs in a wheel… frickin’ useless, tech-reliant, cogs in the wheel of the Internet.  Come the Apocalypse, we are totally fucked. 

We were completely cut off Sunday night.  We lost all knowledge, all connection, all ability to interact with humanity.  Our modem died. 
We don’t have cable, ergo we don’t have cable t.v., which means we don’t have network news.  I hope that nothing important has happened over the past few of days.   Without the Internet, there is no Weather Network, no updates from, no reminders from my calendar on Gmail. 

There was no Netflix.
Our 'landline' is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Provider) "Why would we pay for phone service when we can get it for almost free?"  The only trick?  Sans working modem, you can’t call out, can’t receive calls in.  Our cell phones only work (sporadically) in the north-east corner of the living room.  You also can't get phone messages on VOIP without a modem, say like from a dental clinic receptionist, who might be trying to get ahold of you to remind you that your daughter is missing her dentist appointment, right now at 4:15 p.m. (which you would have known about, had your 3 Google reminders come through), because she can't leave a message on your 'landline' because it no longer really exists.

The first night was nothing to worry about.  It was kind of like camping.  It was the ‘Olden Days.’ We all read books.  We watched a… DVD.  It was charming, it was quaint.  We would just grab a new modem from Staples the next day after work.

Turns out?  You can’t buy a modem from Staples.  And before you deny it wholeheartedly merely out of hand... Yes, it is possible to buy one from Staples online, but you cannot go into an actual Staples and actually purchase a physical modem that you can actually take home with you.  Routers, yes.  Modems no.   

Not a problem – we’d go to the mall to The Source and get one there.  The Source does not sell modems.  "Try Bell."  Bell does indeed have modems in their store, but they will not sell you one.  Because why?  Because they want you to sign up for an Internet subscription.

“But we don’t need an Internet subscription.”

“Unless you have a Bell Internet subscription, we cannot sell you a modem.”

“Do you mean to tell me that you have actual modems, right there, in the back of your store, right now, but you will not sell me one?”

“That is correct.”

In the Tarantino film version of this moment, David then had to pull me off the Bell customer service agent when I started slamming the back of her head into the floor.

David did not want to make the trek a ½ hour away to the closest Future Shop or Best Buy just in case when we got there, they too, did not stock modems.  We went home.  We found a phone book, an actual honest-to-God paper phone book.   He called Future Shop – no modems – "You can order one online…"

“I don’t have a modem!  I can’t GET online!!”

He called Best Buy – “Yes Sir, we stock modems!  You can order a modem online and it’ll get to you in a couple of days.”

Determined not to be foiled, David started maniacally scrounging around in our various tech baskets and bins; cursing and throwing things, until finally...



He brandished a wireless Rogers Hub – which we had purchased 2 years ago, when we had been working in Toronto for a week and needed to be connected.  We had kept it active with a nominal fee... for emergencies.  The only wee little snag was that the data usage that you got with the Hub was ridiculously expensive.

He  powered up his Mac.  Shoulders back, he cracked his knuckles and turned on the Hub.  Then he surfed to every tech supply store in the western world – you know, to do a cost analysis - as fast as he possibly could, to minimize our bandwidth consumption with the Hub.  And then he ordered a new modem from - out of spite.

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