Technology - gotta have it

Thursday night, I'm microwaving my hubby's dinner (he's been combining corn all night) just after 11 pm (yes, it *was* a long day), and kapow, the lights go out.  We checked our neighbours and they all had power.  DH heads out to the road to see what's happening at the switch - and it's blown.  Blast.

We lost our hydro a couple of weeks ago (posted here) and had to 'trim' our row of evergreens before we could get the power turned back on.  Those trees are still down, in their sad piles, awaiting the harvest to be finished so they can have their turn at getting tidied.

This time, there are no trees to cross the wires, we have no idea why the power has blown.  Call Hydro One, report our outage.  Head to bed.  Middle of the night, I'm awaked - by the lights of the crew checking the wires and the poles (bizarre, eh?)  Power comes back on - hurrah!  Reset the alarm, head back to bed.

In the morning, the usual ritual ... until I come back from the shower, and now that it's light, you can see that our tower for our antenna / satellite dish / internet receiver - is lying on top of that nice pillow of trees.  Well.

So we have power, no tv, no satellite, and *no internet*.  This will never do!

Both of us have a full day - he's got trucks coming, I've got meetings.  Off we go.  Gathering together suppertime, he's filled all the trucks and has to stop.  We're chatting about what to do - not having internet just will not work.  His *other* job is selling seed and he needs to send in the reports etc electronically and I do work from home.  We decide we'd better head out to see what kind of options are out there from other providers (our existing internet is via a point-to-point receiver, has to be +56 ft in the air - hence being on top of the tower).  We head into our nearest city (45 minutes away), hit the big box store.  Their shelves for this hardware are pretty empty and their sales team can't tell us much about the ISP rates anyway.

Did I say this was on BLACK FRIDAY?  Sheesh.  We're in a big box store on Black Friday looking for a router.  Have to head for the mall - where the ISP's have outlets.  Parking lot is packed of course.  Did I mention my DH despises shopping.  And here we are with all the other fools from miles and miles, trying to park.

Ah well.  As you can tell from this post, we were successful.  Chatted with the fine sales team and purchased a router and a plan.  Supposed to be blazing fast.  Our existing service runs somewhere around 1.5 mbps.  On a good, clear day.  This is supposed to get us between 40 - 100 mbps.  We are out in the country, there's no DSL, no fibre, no cable.  Sounds like a plan, right?

Have dinner at one of the mid-range chains - only to discover they're also feeding a hockey team of young fellas about 9 - 10 yrs old.  It's been a while since our guys were that wee and with their teams ... oh well, the Margeurita was splendid :)

Calls to locals who can repair or replace the tower are talking about needing 2 - 3 weeks and mega-bucks to replace the tower (have to put in cement and let it cure ... and it's cold).  Blech.

But we do have internet! Hurrah!  It is faster, but no where near what was promised.  Measures 2.5 mbps to sometimes around 5.  So we'll likely be trying out the competition to see if theirs can do better - they are promising the same blazing fast speeds.  Will have to play with placement of the router too, see if there is a sweet spot that gets awesome speed.

Just for fun, just so you know we're not kidding when we say we use technology - here is one of the sites that we use in our operation (WeatherCentral.ca) - an hour-by-hour forecast including wind speed and direction, precip & temp, for the next 3 days.  How awesome is that!!  Ian, the fellow that built this, is pretty cool.

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