Since the lightning hit and the internet went out, we have:
Re-learned the pinball game on the computer
Bought a new answering machine
Replaced the small bedroom TV that was also fried by the lightning strike
Actively looked for local places that have free wi-fi (found four within two miles of home)
Read a good book
Read a professional magazine
Slowed down to smell the rose (yes, my rosebush has only one bloom on it)
Listened to CDs while cooking supper instead of internet radio
Shopped for college dorm supplies
Baked bread – twice
Bought a bike helmet and lock
Okay, it’s not all sweet and lovely. Our attempt to contact the local phone company and tell them that our entire neighborhood’s phones were out was not the smoothest piece of customer service. Husband called on his cell phone from the deck, since our cells don’t work well inside the house. He went through a whole menu of options and pressed all the right buttons, or so he thought. “If you want customer service, press 3. If you need assistance, press 4. If you want to push more buttons, press 9. If you enjoy being on hold, press 6. If you wish to hear more recorded messages, press 8. If you have something to say, please stand on your head and press 2.” Eventually he reached a person, who said, “May I have your phone number please? I’ll check your account. Oh, you’re fully paid up. Thank you! Goodbye.” Click.
“ARGH! That’s not what I wanted!” He called again. This time he reached a different customer service connection with a recording (still not a real live person) that responded with “we’ll do a remote check of your phone number now. Please hold.” He danced impatiently to the over-modulated hold music (it drives engineers like him crazy) until another recorded message came on and said, “We have confirmed that your number is not working. We will send a service representative out as soon as one is available. If they confirm that there is a problem, it will be repaired within 24 hours.”
Yes, we do have phone service now. A repair crew spent the next two days on our block. Real people – not recordings!
He went through a similar and lengthy process after we bought a new router modem (the diagnosis of the repair team) tonight. It took the entire first half (and more) of the Monday Night Football game and another long phone call to the helpdesk to get us up and online again. But I’m back now! Thanks for all the encouragement.