Back in my day…

This morning my wife told me of a dream she had about a meeting that was coming up later in the day via Zoom/meet/teams/something. She said it turned into a nightmare because she couldn’t get into it and the internet was down and I told her if that ever happened to turn off the WiFi on her phone and fire up the hotspot.

She said it was just a dream, she had no real worries our internet was going down, and if she missed this due to network everyone understands. Two and a half minutes later my AT&T fiber connection, which had been down for 6 minutes in two and a half years, went down.

My wife’s an internet connectivity precog.

For about six minutes the internet was down and my 5yo was afraid her friend Google was dead, and my 7yo who has lived through an internet outage and knows it ends just kept wondering how long it would be. They’re not addicts mind you, but they don’t know what is and is not internet connected – like they suspect the fridge won’t work without the internet (not connected,) or that we might be locked in the house (not connected,) or I have not ever gone over much other than without the internet two lights don’t work and the Google Homes don’t work.

The internet came back up probably six minutes later. We were leaving the house and my phone informed me that the house had just checked in and connectivity was restored. I reassured my 5yo that Google was fine, we did not need to go back home to check on her. Google doesn’t live at our house.

I’m pretty sure the 5yo understands this and is playing things up, but it did lead into a “back in my day” discussion about power outages. This is something that happened regularly when I was growing up. Power would go out, it would be 4+ hours on average. Once was out for 5 days during an ice storm.

The 7yo asked me “daddy, how long has the power been out since I’ve been alive?” and when I told her 5 hours total she was amazed that power could be out that long. I was like “child, I just told you about being without power for 5 days at one time during an ice storm, going to bed at 6 because there was no light and it was too cold, and being trapped in my house and you remember that one time a month after a tornado where you had to use a flashlight in your room for like 20 minutes to fall asleep.”

Living across from a retirement/assisted living area these days we’re on the best maintained grid, fastest response, and the electric service is just better. My kids think I came from a savage land.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.