SLAVE TO TECHNOLOGY

PROLOGUE

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Comments 30 comments

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 6 years ago from Port St. Lucie

Down in Florida, we had a horrendous rainstorm yesterday as well. I know what you mean about being dependent on technology, but isn't better to be ahead of the curve?


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

vraj,

It depends on what lies around the bend. If we had a huge EMP pulse from a solar flare we would all end up helpless.

Thank you for your comment.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Tom, you just wrote an article that made me realize what I have and the beauty of it! I haven't the worries of power outages. I need to follow with a hub to compliment this one! Can I back link to this if and when I do it? It would serve as a prerequisite reading to what I just realized I haven't suffered power loss of any magnitude in 17 years!

A great hub for thought, 50


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Dusty,

You can copy this hub word for word if you want to, my friend!!! I missed all of you during my jag without power!!!! Thank you for your comment!!!!!!!!!!!!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Hey, I can't live without this stuff. I'm glad you survived the storms!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

nicomp,

Survivial can be an ugly thing at times!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment!!!!!!!!!!


SusanP 6 years ago

Because technology fails, the recommendation is that each person/family/pet maintain a survival kit that will sustain basic needs for 2 weeks (though we learned from 'Katrina' that the kit should cover 6 weeks minimum). I strongly urge everyone to prepare today!! Don't wait until the lights go out.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

SusanP

You give very sage advice. All technology is bound to fail sooner or later so preparedness is mandatory!!!

Thank you for your wise comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

We get reminder fairly often when a squirrel crosses the power lines or lightning hits a transformer. You are not alone in this.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

dahoglund,

It's very true we have many vulnerabilities in our everyday life!!!!!! We must take precautions.

Thank you for your comment!!!!!!!!!!


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Amazing what this stuff does to us. Kids grow up playing video games all day, and we laugh about that, then we realize we what we do.

Keep on hubbing!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

eovery,

I was wishing I had boughten several battery operated video games. I was really Jonesing for a technology fix!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Tom, thanks for info. Personally I am free from fear.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Vladimir,

Thank you for the visit and your comment!!!


fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

We once lost electricity for 7 days. I bought ice each day and stashed it in the freezer. I threw out the icecream right away. We ate sandwiches and fast food. However, all was not lost. My husband was watching TV on a tiny battery operated TV with rabbit ears. I was reading in my chair wearing a miners light on my head! I suffered from not being able to read. My husband loves his 52" HDTV but that tiny portable television ruled that week ! I can only imagine what we looked like to a stranger.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

fetty,

Being addicted to technology make all of us look like fools. Join the club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.


SheriSapp profile image

SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

My dad lost his power from this storm as well, and he was powerless for about 24 hours or a bit more. Lucky for me, I did NOT lose power. You just do not ever realize all that we rely on eletricity for until it is gone. It's frustrating when you KNOW there is no power,but you STILL flick the lightswitch when you enter a room...LOL! Glad you are back online!!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Sheri,

You're right about flipping the light switch. I never got over doing that. I'm also glad my power is back so I can feed my addiction to technology!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for your comment.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

Tom, if you think that was bad, I once went through a "BROWN OUT!" I was watching TV on a dreary night when this epic event ocurred. At the end of this very mysterous episode a character was admitting why he committed a crime.....BROWN OUT!!!!!

You may not believe this, but I actually missed the name of the individual that paid him to do this heinous act. I was agast that I had spent 54 minutes watching this program and had no answer to this very important question. Was this not horrible?

I was talking with Susan frequently, as we were both worried about you. You really have a good friend in her. You must have gone through hell, glad everything turned out ok. Everyone can picture everything you said. H


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Harvey,

I appreciate your concern and your correspondence with my good friend Susie. I'm a lucky man to have two good friends.

Thank you for your comment and caring!!!!!!!!!!


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

So what are you doing buying a house? Gonna tell us?


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Yes, I am enslaved to technology. When my electric goes off, which it does all the time, I spend much of the time turning on the lights!


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

We are all to some extent addicted to technololy, Tom :-) I am glad we share this, otherwise we would not have known each other.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

sheila b.

Basically to live in with Salem, but the details are another Hub!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Pop,

I was turning on everything electric that I own to no avail!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your kind comment.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

msorensson,

I agree with your sentiments. There's always a silver lining behind every cloud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your nice comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Tom, We went without electricity almost 3 days about 4 years ago due to hurricane winds knocking down trees. It is very difficult as we are so used to our routines that definitely involve electricity. I loved your hub as it is extremely well written with you special wit.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Pamela,

I'm such a creature of habit I was almost totally lost!!!!

Thank you for your compliment and your comment.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

All is well until the lights go out. :) Yes, I think it has become true that we are all slaves to technology. It's like swallowing. You take for granted exactly how many times in a day you swallow until you have a sore throat.

Keep on hubbing.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Jim,

That's true the monkey on my back is as natural as swollowing!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your comment.

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