A full afternoon of deadline pressures and a lengthy to-do list loomed, so, of course, the internet died.

Working from a home office has many advantages, but avoiding a packed schedule is not one of those. I make sure work doesn’t expand to impact family time (dinner together and a lunch-time bicycle ride through the state park every day) or canine time (twice a day walks along the greenway and regular breaks for cuddling and ear scratches), but I have to focus to accomplish everything during work times. Mornings are reserved for writing the next novel and everything else work-related has to happen during a couple of hours in the afternoon.

With the pressure on, I settled at my desk Tuesday afternoon to knock out a fairly long list. Clicked on my web browser to handle item number one. Nothing loaded. Moved to item number two. Nothing. Three. Nothing.

A quick check of my modem revealed the internet was dead. Rebooted to be sure it wasn’t inside the house. Still dead. Called the internet company, skipped over the automated attendant (useless thing), and fairly quickly got hold of a live human being in technical support.

She checked, said no outages had been reported, and started diagnosing my problem. She confirmed my internet was out, but reported worse news. I was the first person calling in, but her diagnostics showed what she called a “spot” outage—a disruption affecting less than fifty houses. Considering our little neighborhood is surrounded by a state park, that meant our entire neighborhood was affected (confirmed later with neighbors that was true).

The bad news? None of the work I had planned could happen because all of it requires internet.

The good news? The internet company isolated the issue quickly and had it repaired a few hours later. They kept us posted with text messages about an estimated operational time. Can’t really ask for much more.

The best news? I took the afternoon off. We took an extra long dog walk and enjoyed the family time. Sometimes you can only accept the situation and do the best you can.


Books I’m Reading

The Gray Man is part of the genre of highly-trained assassins who become a target of their own government and then must fight against impossible odds to save some innocent (think Jason Bourne or Jack Reacher). Former CIA operative Court Gentry becomes the target of an evil corporation who hires the best assassins from a dozen different countries (really) and must fight his way across Europe to save two little girls, the granddaughters of his handler (who also double-crosses him—until he helps him). He gets wounded in spectacular ways and still keeps going. Yep, totally improbable, but that’s the point of this genre—keep the action moving so fast you never have a chance to ask “But…?” Greaney does a great job of never letting off the gas.

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Interesting Links

Ray Bradbury—A conversation between Sam Weller and Dana Gioia about the legendary author who would have turned 100 this year. Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke were two of the first authors I read after graduating from children’s books and form a key part of my memories of junior high school and high school. After reading this article, I think I might mix in some of their works in my 2021 reading list.


Gratuitous Dog Picture

Where's Roscoe

You might be wondering how this is a photo of a dog when there is no dog. But, wait, if you ask “Where’s Roscoe?” and look very carefully, you will find him in what we call the squirrel lookout—the upper landing. He can look out toward the neighborhood from there and watch squirrels or go up or down to have a similar view to the marsh behind. And, yes, it’s sunrise and I’m with the other dogs down in the yard.


Background title image courtesy Nadine Shaabana via Unsplash

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3 Comments

  1. HokiePack on January 4, 2021 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful view! I’m a big fan of the Greyman series ! Roscoe has the best seat in the house !!

  2. Jean Burkhardt on January 4, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Roscoe is one smart cookie as far as looking for the squirrels!! It sounds like it was quite frustrating for you Hu-Dad with the internet but at least there was EXTRA walking and family time!

  3. Debbie and Ruby on January 4, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful view to wake up to every morning. Enjoy your morning Roscoe.

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