Madison Monday: A weekend without internet

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I’m writing this installment of Madison Monday in the face of glaring uncertainty as to whether I’ll actually be able post it on my blog.  It might be, as one of my friends suggested, a sign of the coming apocalypse, but this weekend, there was no internet in Madison.  Chaos ensued.

Okay, that’s probably a slight exaggeration on several fronts.  I’m sure lots of people in Madison had access to the internet this weekend.  But many folks using Cinergy Metronet as their provider were without service for varying periods of time.  The rumor was that someone hit a pole somewhere, and this stretched the fiber optics, leading to widespread outages.

I couldn’t actually confirm this rumor because, you know, I couldn’t get on the internet.  But when I called the service line for Cinergy Metronet on Saturday, I was put on hold, and duly informed that there were 536 customers ahead of me on hold.  And then I hung up.

As to the chaos, my husband and I were greeted by an almost empty Shooter’s on Saturday afternoon and a sign on the door which read, “Cash and local check only.”  With the service outages, none of their credit card machines nor their computerized ordering system was working.  They lugged out the old cash register and went about business.  Thankfully, we had cash and didn’t have to go without our Saturday afternoon beer.  But you can certainly see the potential for chaos there, can’t you?

And, yes, technically, because I have an iPhone, I was not completely deprived of access to the internet.  It was on Facebook, in fact, that I heard the rumor about the downed pole and saw that at least one other restaurant was also unable to accept credit cards for a while.

Thankfully, we did get in touch with Metronet on Sunday and discovered that though our wireless router was not working, we did have Internet through an ethernet cable.  My husband watched the Eagles game on our computer sitting at the dining room table, which is where our router is located, which was a mixed blessing, as the Eagles lost.  And this Monday morning, a very nice man showed up from Metronet to replace our wireless router and get us back in business.

But there were things I needed to do this weekend that did not get done, all the same.  Important things that could not be handled on an iPhone.  I can’t remember precisely what they were, but it seemed at the time that they could really only be done with a functioning internet.  And in the absence of my window on the world, I was forced to do things like write this post.  And bake some bread.  Play my guitar.  Do some laundry. Clean the upstairs bathroom.  As you can see, it was quite a hardship.  If this happens again, I might actually be forced to go outside.

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