Buffering Battles. 2016-02-04

imageYou know what I hate? Buffering! Our internet service is like a spoiled child. It wakes up when it wants, takes naps during the day, can be on its best behavior, be completely horrid, does what’s expected of it at times, and at other times it’s a temper-tantrum brat. It’s been the terrible two’s around here since the infancy of internet service.

Living in the outlying bands of the sacred signal circle, we have crummy service for which in my opinion we pay a king’s ransom for its mediocrity (at best). It’s as if we’re forking over money to ‘the man’ for the privilege of having marginal substandard service. Of course, we would love to stream Netflix or boot up a program on Apple TV; but then again, you know going in whatever you’re trying to download will be viewed in between frozen screens and the ever-loving spinning buffering wheel. An every-day occurrence at our house is multiple instances of resetting the box, turning off all devices and using only the one we need to use just trying to read Facebook or post something. Many of our friends and family have forgone their cable and satellite services in lieu of streaming services. That is not in the cards for us out here any time in the near future; however. We will continue to pay high prices for both satellite and internet. Sure, we could pay more for upgrades, but it’s already expensive enough. Throw money at it is today’s incessant beckoning.

Heck, out here we can hardly get a cellphone signal to call or text someone, and don’t get me started on transmitting photos. We don’t even have mail delivery. Every household in town has to make their way to the Post Office to get their mail. Even UPS drives by the house to drop off packages at the Post Office. Can’t even catch a break with home delivery services. So if we’re just one step ahead of the Pony Express, decent streaming and cell signals can only be imagined through a pair of binoculars.

Years ago, there was a ‘thing’ where we only had 3 channels on the telly. Everyone was on a level playing field. There were antennas, rabbit ears, and no remotes. “No, it’s your turn to change the channel. I did it last time.” How many shows did we sit through we didn’t even like because nobody got up to switch from one to another. ” I guess we can watch this movie of the week about the psycho-killer teacher. After all we’ve seen lots of episodes of Bonanza.” Fast forward to today where I now have a channel-surfing affliction for which there must be a 12-step program out there somewhere. (I’d Google that, but, you know, that would mean I had a signal.) I can watch tens of shows all at the same time. An impulsive malady for sure.

We were at least 15 years behind others in nearby towns and cities enjoying the new medium via underground cable. Cable? Can you imagine such a thing? Well we couldn’t; not for a very long time.

I know, it’s appears here’s another relatively privileged person griping about all the stuff they want to watch and can’t watch it all. Mankind has survived for billions of years without good wifi. Nobody’s suffering unspeakable harm from this. It’s really more about having the potential to watch different things, make phone calls, stream movies, peruse through social media, send pictures to family and friends and being constantly irritated at paying a lot of dough for substandard products that won’t allow that. Okay, it’s a little about being spoiled… Sandy

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