The Involuntary Unintended Social Media Detox

 

glass cup with raspberry inside and outside
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I’d been spending too much time on FaceBook and Twitter lately. I’ll be honest about it. Even with using my cell phone’s timer to avoid social media becoming a time sink, animal videos, tag team trolling my current congress rep about his support of the current administration’s abhorrent policies and so on started taking too much time.

I needed at least a day off. A detox. But there was this cat video and that dog pic and another video about wombats and….

The intervention came Tuesday afternoon when the internet cut out with no warning. At first I thought nothing of it since our service runs on the hiccupy side, especially in summer. Usually it comes back by itself in a few moments. This time it didn’t.

Hubby called the service provider. After twenty minutes on hold, a cheerful person asked if he’d unplugged the modem and plugged it back in. Little did said rep know that s/he spoke with a retired telecom engineer who had designed some of the software for one of the first versions of the Net back in the mid ’80s. Finally after a lot of questions about the hardware on this end and trying to sell Hubby a $99 upgrade for email service, the tech finally backed off and ran the tests. No, we were not getting a signal. No, couldn’t tell why from that end. Someone would be sent out in the next two or three days to see what was going on, and if they have to come inside, there will be a charge. Oh, we may not be able to get to you until next week. Or maybe even the week after that.

This is on the heels of our downstairs air conditioning unit conking out on Monday thanks to some rodent chewing the insulation off the wires that hook the unit to the thermostat. (That was a relief since Hubby thought the compressor had breathed its last cooling breath. If anyone asks, peace of mind costs $139. The compressor costs more than some cars we’ve both driven.)

The air. Now this. And the next Mercury retrograde doesn’t happen until the 25th of this month.

In the spirit of preparedness, Hubby went up to the local brick and mortar store for our cellular service to find out what we’d have to do to get going with wireless internet. As he  drove up the main road by our house, he saw several repair trucks setting up to get busy. He stopped and asked the foreman what had happened.

Well, Tuesday was mowing day along the main road. One of the mowers had taken out not just a junction box (the green boxes that hold wiring for phone and internet lines), but pulled up almost a mile of cable along with it. The mower blades had chopped the cable into tiny pieces. The severed end was so badly damaged that the repair crew had to dig up another considerable length before they found wires that would hold the splicing with the new cable. Then they had to attach that to a new junction box, verify that all of the accounts were getting service, then bury the cable. And then we and the other 599 impacted households would be back in business.

That was if they could get one of the crews specializing in disaster recovery on site.

Well, so be it. I still could have used my phone or taken my laptop to my favorite tea room, but I didn’t. I read a book that I had purchased at Ren Faire last weekend about Vikings. Watched more TV than I want to admit. Ran some errands. Read. Cooked. Brought the boom box downstairs (we use a Sonos device to route streaming radio stations through our stereo). Communed with real life.

Hubby was ready to rock and roll today with setting up the completely wireless net access, but his fun was interrupted last night by service resuming as if nothing had happened.

Today I checked in for about fifteen minutes on each of my social media platforms. I wrote this. I will work on a writing project this afternoon.

But wait…shouldn’t the pics from Oakley’s day care session on Tuesday be posted? And I need to see how this friend’s dog is doing after surgery, and there’s the T-Rex videos, and…

Maybe I need another detox.

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Gross

photo of crocodile in water
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If we’d stumbled across a gator on our walk this morning, I would not have been the least surprised. Startled as hell, yes, but not surprised. I don’t know what the numbers were, but they must have been decidedly tropical. You know, the ones that make a person wonder why “gross” isn’t a widely used meteorological term.

Walking this morning was akin to wrestling with a blanked washed in hot water. Once we were five steps from the car, the beads of sweat formed rivulets that converged into rivers flowing south from my torso.

This was sweat. Not the sexy little trickle nestled in a fitness model’s cleavage. Not the sheen of an athlete. This was stinky, dirty, wait-thirty minutes-until-it-stops-or-you’ll- start-again sweat. My shirt stuck to my back and my hair stuck to my head by the time we completed the half-hour trail. I wondered if moss grew anywhere on my body.

Adding to the hilarity was my daily round of hot flashes, the bane of women in their middle years. (For younger readers and those not of a persuasion to flashes, it can be anything from feeling like you’re going to spontaneously combust for about thirty seconds to long, sweaty affairs that feel like you’re running a fever lasting up to fifteen minutes. Mine are in the former category and for some weird reason I get them in the morning, mostly. A lot of ladies get them at night. Now you know what they’re like. You’re welcome.) And we were inundated with bugs that mistook the herbal repellant for a condiment.

Oakley and I still put in our thirty minutes. He panted, but was otherwise unscathed. I jacked up the air conditioning in the car for our comfort and safety on the way home.  When we came through the door, he drank a half bowl of water and flopped in front of the fan.

I felt the same after a shower and a glass of iced tea. Once again, life became a bearable proposition.

At this writing, we have the first in a series of thunderstorms slated for this afternoon moving through the area. They herald a break in this heat that’s hung around since last Friday.

We welcome it, indeed.