War Journal 60: The Slow Pour of Small Bits

300_125204It feels like forever since I last blogged, if not to you all then to me.  The world seems different since the last post.  I feel like I’ve aged.  It was the hard times that did it.  And I’ve had my share of adversity and hardship conditions, coming back from Afghanistan and before that Iraq.  Honestly though, those deployments felt like holidays compared to these past few weeks.

To understand what befell me we have to go back in time, back when I was wrapping up my Afghanistan deployment.  OK, so I’m out there, doing me in the trenches and calling back home to my wife, who tells me essential things like my son’s report cards and to reassure me that Taco Bell is still in business.  Anyway, one time she tells me she’s had it up to here with Comcast cable and she called them up and told them to go back to hell and to ride their ethernet cable all the way down to the fiery depths from whence they came.  Honestly, I do remember them sucking and her response wasn’t all that far-fetched in the realm of possibilities of what I’ve seen her do in the punishment of poor customer service.

Anyway, Comcast comes and gets their modem.  But the thing is they hold a monopoly on Internet Service Providers in my apartment complex.  That doesn’t phase my wife, who is both a vengeful customer and clever lass, so she expands her Verizon phone/data service to include a personal hotspot (MiFi).  That’s what she’s using for Internet, as she explained it to me, because you guys must remember this is all happening while I’m in the trenches in Bagram.

And that’s all fine for when I was in Bagram but see, I came home to this, and I inherited MiFi as the only source of home Internet like unwitting children inherit their parent’s debts and bad teeth.  There’s nothing wrong with the personal hotspot for data transfer and speed but there’s a limit of 8GB for a month.  More than that and you’re paying insane extortion rates.  And 8 gigs creeps up fast in the course of a month.  I showed up with less than half the month already burned and the MiFi’s sitting at 6 GB used.  I really couldn’t get standard home Internet because I was already halfway committed to finding a job outside of the local area when I got back… in fact I was pretty sure I’d be moving.

By the time I arrived back home, my wife had grown really superstitious of data, like it’s a life force that drains from the house whenever the MiFi is on, not unlike grandparents who yell when you open the door because they’re extremely conscious of heat escaping.  That was my missus and the personal hotspot.  So every time I turn it on, I’d check my email for a flash minute, respond in kind to various job offers, and close it down with the quickness.  And for my own paranoia, it seemed everything wanted to update on my system… flash and java and avg chomping at their bits to get their newest versions.

I felt myself going feral, ready to stab people or rent unnecessary apartments if they threw in some free Wi-Fi.  Anyway, last week I finally get a good idea for how I’m going to proceed in this job market and with my immediate future addressed neatly, I go out and order proper Internet from Comcast.  My self install kit came yesterday and Oh my god people, you should’ve seen the Beamons.  All of us.  We were having a goddamn data party over here.  My son’s on his iPad bringing up Youtube videos and dancing as he looks, my wife’s streaming episodes of some TV show I’ve never heard of, I’m on the Playstation 3 downloading demos, drinking gin and tonic and feeling VIP.  It literally felt like we were being showered in data.

Me.  Last Night.

Me. Last Night.

What all this is saying is I love you Internet.  Please don’t cut me off  again.



Filed under War Journals

7 responses to “War Journal 60: The Slow Pour of Small Bits

  1. Haha oh man that is great little story, glad the internet’s working for you again!!!

  2. Welcome back, man. The bytes missed you.

  3. Ed Kratz

    Hey James,
    Great story. As an aside, I was involved in the early days of the Internet. (I didn’t invent it.)
    I can recall being at work and using telnet to log into a computer in Poland because I was going to Poland for work. We were in awe, several techs gathered around. Wow, we’re logged into a mainframe in Poland. Since none of us read Polish, we couldn’t do much, but still …
    I worked for the government, though I did not invent the Internet. Later, when Mosaic came out, we were amazed at the access. We’re at the Louvre ! Now, people will complain if access to Europe is too slow.
    Amazing, and wonderful.
    Glad you are home.

  4. Pingback: The Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert up at IGMS! | fictigristle

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