So far it looks a lot like this: If I want to get something done early in the day I have to get up in time to hit Starbucks before I go to work. If I want to get something done at the end of the day I have to get off work in time to get to the library before it closes. Those rare lunch hours that someone doesn’t want to monopolize my time I can hit Wendy’s. Oddly, after Day One of No Windstream, I find myself being more productive with what little time I have access to the internet.
The problems with Windstream were like having a leak in a hose on your car. It wasn’t really bad at first, just mildly annoying. Streaming video was the first part of the service to really bottom out and regular videos began spent more time “buffering” than playing. Okay, so I gave up on that. Then streaming music began to short out on a more and more regular basis and my internet music went the way of video. Then websites began to take dial-up times to load and that was about it. When photos started timing out I knew it was time to drop Windstream.
I’ve looked into Hughes Net but the customer reviews aren’t as happy as I would like. There seems to be a good sprinkling of positive reviews as well as an equal number of people, like myself, who would rather do without than pay for one more day of truly slow internet service. I’m going to take my time looking because believe it or not, losing my home internet service hasn’t been the end of the world as some might think it would be.
I miss my daily comics. There’s about fifteen that I follow, did follow that is, but it’s not like anyone ever died of “Pearls Before Swine” withdrawal. I do miss “Questionable Content” and “Overboard” but again, it isn’t lowering my quality of life. Face Book, that time suck that people love to hate and hate to love, isn’t totally gone but I have to watch my data plan and make sure liking someone’s cute dog photos doesn’t cost me my house. So this is which way the pressure lies.
There’s a bit of research I must do when I write. I’ve started making lists of things I want to take the time to search for, hit a place with free wifi then find the most likely site that will help, cut the article out, past it into Word, and read it later, offline. It’s clunky but it’s free. This sucks but it is still better than poring through hardcovers like people used to have to do before the internet.
The upside is without the internet I am doing more writing, at least on Windstream, Minus One Day. And I still own a small library of reference material. I looked up a word in a real dictionary today and realized I missed doing that. I can still navigate the hardcover even if I can’t
Another downside is my devices, my Kindle, my phone, and my computer, aren’t synched anymore. If I read part of a book on my computer and then pick my Kindle up later I have to search manually for the right page number. That seems awfully small as I read it here now.
Another upside is that I am no longer spending as much time, or money, on Amazon. I’m pretty sure I won’t forget birthdays or things like that but not having instant access to shopping seems to be a good thing at this moment.
Right now, I would have to say that I’m feeling anger more than anything else. I spend more than a decade having landline service and internet with Windstream. Yet when they couldn’t provide the service I was paying for they seemed more than happy to simply cut the cord and walk away. They’re the longest running, they were the longest running, service provider that I had for any of my home utilities except electricity. Hell, having a land line out this far was a challenge there for a while, but their service department always came through, eventually. Even last December, when it was raining an inch an hour I still had fairly decent internet service most of the day. But the last month or so? Wow! Things have never sucked that bad before.
I just cannot shake the feeling this was Windstream’s way of getting rid of customers in out of the way places. It’s like home delivery of newspapers; back in the day when everyone read the newspaper, before the internet, the newspaper people would deliver to anywhere they could throw a paper, and I was part of that for a long time. I would hire people to throw routes and if a customer wanted a box next to their driveway we got it there the next day! But that was many years ago and now there are places papers don’t, and won’t deliver to anymore. I’m not sure if my theory is correct but I can see the infrastructure needed for the internet being more expensive to maintain for someone living in the woods versus feeding the web to an apartment complex in town. My journey to live further away from civilization may have inadvertently just become more successful thanks to Windstream.
At Windstream Minus One Day I cannot tell you that I feel a sense of loss. Of course, I’ll have to post this so you can read it at six tomorrow morning at Starbucks but I think they serve coffee there. I’m thinking about getting a hotspot so I can have some access but I have no idea about cost versus value of the product at this point or whether or not it would work way out here. The journey continues. It’s going to be interesting to see if other internet providers begin backing away from the countryside in the name of the bottom line.