SLAVE TO TECHNOLOGY
Fellow hubbers I want to relate to you my tale of my own addiction to technology. This realization started on a calm morning on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. I awoke and made my normal pot of coffee, and let my cat Salem out. I went on the Internet with Fox News Channel on in the background. My first Internet site I visited was to play The Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Then I checked out Hubpages to peruse my favorite hubbers. My next site was WTOV TV Doppler radar site where I saw an ominous warning
THE DAY AUGUST 4, 2010
Throughout the day of August 4, 2010 I watched a line of storms forming on the Indiana/Ohio border and it was a frightening sight to behold. There wasn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that a horrid storm was heading my way. I went about all my normal routines that ominous day frequently checking back on the Doppler radar situation. What I saw wasn’t calming or pleasing to my mind. I went through the house battening down the hatches for the storm that I saw brewing on Doppler radar that was bearing down on the Ohio Valley right towards Moundsville and Wheeling. The fact that both my daughters were on vacation with all five of my grandchildren in the path of the oncoming storm at Atwood Lake in Ohio didn’t ease my mind. By 4:00 PM it was apparent that the storm was within fifteen to twenty minutes from striking with all its fury so I lay down to take a nap with Salem. I thought I would call my daughters as soon as the storm passed and make sure everyone was OK.
I was suddenly awoken at 4:35 by swirling, furious winds and the power going down. I listened to the sound of the storm and thought it’s not as bad as it looked on the Doppler radar (wrong conclusion I would find out). I went back to sleep with the firm conviction the power would be restored with an hour or two at the most (another wrong conclusion on my part). I awoke around 5:15 PM and looked outside and it was only drizzling. There were a few Oak leaves on my deck, but that was not unusual for a mild windstorm. My confidence that the power would soon be restored was bolstered by my observation (my third wrong conclusion).
EVENING AUGUST 4, 2010
By the time 6:30PM came around I realized that the power was staying out much longer than my original assessment had led me to believe it would. I let Salem out to hunt critters as those of you who read, “The Slaughter Of A Chipmunk” know he does. After a half hour of boredom I decided to go out and sit on the front porch to check out what was going on. Salem was sleeping on my chair so I walked over to talk to my neighbor, Nettie. What Nettie told me filled me with dread. She had heard a tree had taken down a power line about ¼ mile north of us, and that there were over 5,000 homes in Marshall County without power. There were more than that out of power in neighboring Ohio County.
I broke out the flashlight and candles and prepared for the night. It was during this evening going into night that I came to the shocking realization that I am a total slave to technology. I couldn’t play any computer games, read any hubs, watch Fox News, or anything else on TV. I had no phone service since my wireless system requires power. I had no battery-powered radio and if I wanted to listen to the news I would have to start the car and listen to the car radio. I had always resisted buying a cell phone because I cherish my privacy, but I was beginning to rue that decision even though I think it will eventually be found that microwaves are cancer-causing agents. Being a total slave to technology isn’t a pretty thing and the longer one goes without a tech fix the more ugly it can get. My mind flashed to the laptop I had bought for my granddaughter Dakotah back in May as an early birthday present. If only I had kept it until October when her birthday actually occurs I could be online right now getting my tech fix. It doesn’t matter that I bought it because she is starting John Marshall High School in the end of August I need that laptop and I need it right now. I can’t email jokes and hubs and other stuff to my friend Susie in South Carolina. After all we had just made re-acquaintance in January after she read my hub,”The Heinz Catsup Caper” and she put my back in touch with my old friend Skip Chaddock. I hadn’t seen Susie since 1965 but she had become a dear and trusted friend all over again.
Here I sit and it’s around 9:30PM with candle blazing and trusty flashlight firmly in my grasp. Every time I hear a vehicle I rush to the window to see if it’s the Power Company truck coming to repair the downed line. I had no idea how hooked I was on this demon technology. It’s a monkey on my back!!!!!!!!! I have a sleep ritual that includes a hot bath around 10:00Pm, but I just couldn’t see myself taking a tubby tub by candlelight. I resigned myself that I would go to bed smelly, but at least I could finish off the night with my bowl of ice cream before retiring for the night. To my horror I discover the ice cream had the consistency of soft Dairy Queen after being in the sun for about 15 minutes. I knew this would be my last bedtime with my ice cream until the power was restored. I ate as much as was left as I could force down and made a total pig out of myself, but at least I slept like a smelly baby with the windows wide open to try to cool off the room since air conditioning was out of the question. I resisted the temptation to add restoration of power to my nightly prayers since it was such a selfish wish on my part. After all think of those folks in Haiti still sleeping in tents and the damage in Nashville earlier in the year not to mention the damaged environment in the Gulf due to the oil spill.
MORNING OF AUGUST 5, 2010
I actually slept in the morning of August 5th as I noticed daylight beginning to peak over the hills into my bedroom as I awoke. I turned on the flashlight and saw it was already a little after 6 AM. My first instinct was to turn on my coffee pot but the stark realization of the lack of power situation came flooding back to my memory. Since by this time the water I keep in the refrigerator was no colder that that which came from the tap, and all the ice cubes had melted I got a huge glass of tap water to start my morning. I let the water run an extra minute to clear the pipes of the water that had been standing in them and warming so I would get the primo stuff straight from underground. This became my watering routine.
This day was my older daughter Tracee’s birthday and I had no way to get in touch to wish her a Happy Birthday much less find out if she and Jennifer and my grandchildren had survived the storm at the lake. To add to my worries I had a 9 AM appointment with an appraiser to look over my house that I am buying from Tracee and her husband Ikie (what is a man within one month of his 64th birthday doing buying a house?). Debby the appraiser arrived right on time and I asked her if she had performed an appraisal by flashlight before. She assured me in the present market conditions she had to deal with many things worse than lack of power. I was afraid to ask her to elaborate because of the vivid horrid possibilities that came to my mind.
After Debby completed her assessment I was hungry and luckily my gas range was functional at least the burners on top. I had to light them with my lighter since they are spark ignited. No problem as I gathered the eggs out of the very warm refrigerator. Whoa!! Warm eggs, aren’t they little pellets of salmonella? I love my eggs sunny side up and a little runny, but I decided I would have to make them very well done I also had to make toast out of whole wheat buns grilled in the skillet prior to frying my eggs. They were not too bad to my surprise and delight.
LET’S PUT A PERIOD ON THIS
I am attempting to write a hub after all, not “War And Peace”. The remainder of the time spent during the power failure was very similar to that already recounted. The remainder of August 5th throughout the time of 5 PM August 6th went pretty much the same old, same old. I was surprised at my lack of missing caffeine, but the horrid monkey on my back of lack of technology never abated. My troubles were added to once power was restored. My inbox was packed to the gills, and it took three hours to reprogram all my digital devices. I never got to bed until about one hour late at midnight.
The morning of August 7th I had to clear out my freezer and some of my fridge. I went shopping a Kroger to replenish my supplies with a particular degree of glee to be buying my ice cream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My computer was working, I had my coffee steaming and my TV and CD songs were rocking the house!!!!!!!!!! I did discover local radio station WWVA had been decimated and may not return and people still won't get power restored until Tuesday the 10th of August!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I believe deep in my heart that each and every one of you are enslaved to technology just as much as I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!