Sorry So

I know most of you do not experience connection headaches. You go online and never see that spinning wheel for a second. Good for you. You do not get stressed the way we do.

Well, modern technology is great, most especially if it’s functioning as promised. But if not, it’s like driving a Formula One race car at 2 miles per hour top speed. I am sure you follow my drift.

Sometimes I feel like going ballistic, zeroing in on my target and detonating a kiloton of complaints. But then, I backtrack, fully knowing that I could not make a dent against the thickened skin of the giant beast, patently deaf and unmoved, sound-proof protected inside its fortified lair.

I was born in the year of the dragon so more often than not I tend to breathe fire when I am incensed with the way I am treated. Ordinary folks like myself do not give me the reason to blow my top. Most of the big and mighty provokes my sense of justice that I wish I could fly and sear them into reaction.

Do I hear chuckles? It’s all right. I am smiling, too. I want to laugh at myself for wasting my time staring at that spinning wheel.

Before I sleep, I could wish for a bolt of lightning to strike the main tower of my tormentor so my suffering would be over.

I guess I have to go.

Be well.

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Unplanned

An idea comes to our mind, formed to satisfy a necessity or solve a particular problem. That’s true up to a certain extent. There will be factors beyond our control that we would be unable to continue what we set out to accomplish.

Since Christmas Day, I had this notion of spending my time surfing the Net during the holidays. I wanted to celebrate the festive season with my global family, so to speak, like the year before.

Fat chance! The same idea circled the minds of millions of other users, more particularly my countrymen who clogged the system. Social media platforms could have been overwhelmed with heavy internet traffic that the local service providers did not know what hit them. The slow connection came to a halt in some parts of the country. I was a victim in the mayhem.

Instead of giving myself a headache of waiting (too long) for a smooth connection, I decided to cut myself off from the air. (Unfortunately, I could not reply to most of your Christmas felicitations.)

Paying for the service which most likely would be unsatisfactory was self-defeating. I chose the smarter (forgive the pun) option.

A day stretched to weeks, then more until one thing led to another. The festivities and field work replaced the urge to go online. Daily, at the back of my mind, the ‘itch’ was egging me to reconsider.

The on-off connection made the decision to stay offline more acceptable. I did not like it but I had to.

Most times reality sucks. 😦

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Connection

Attachment to something could be tricky sometimes. To someone, it is a complex state.

I have accepted the fact although I am still trying to get over the demise of my inexpensive phone. I have two SIM and a 2-gigabyte memory chip but they are useless at the moment.

At least I could sleep undisturbed later without someone actually giving me a miss call during the ungodly hour in the morning. 🙂

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Powerless

When you are in a relationship, like almost 24/7, parting is not so easy. There’s got to be a compelling reason to sever the bond, move on.

It was very unfortunate that this afternoon I found myself in a similar situation. Frankly, I was shocked to learn I was entirely to blame for the end.

I kept searching at first, then the realization dawned on me, I was left alone.

I traced my steps back to the house, wanting to believe that it was only my hunch, that what I suspected was a figment of my imagination.

Crossing a rice farm, I could feel the plants commiserating with my sadness: they probably knew why I walked the narrow paddies’ division. With bowed head, I finally accepted it was my fault.

Then, in an instant, my eyes confirmed what I feared. I almost shouted out loud to proclaim my regret for my unforgivable carelessness.

I knelt down, hoping everything would be okay, that for some miracle, I could salvage the situation, to bring back the hands of time.

Too late! Death was an undeniable conclusion, drowning the cause of my sorrow.

Goodbye, friend! You have been a loyal ally, a constant companion, the gatekeeper to the world of local telecommunications. I hate to see you go.

Tomorrow, another relationship has to be found. I would absolutely choose the cheapest kind so that when the time comes I would not feel too (financially) devastated during the next farewell.

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Found Out

To date, not much has changed on how people interact with one another. Except for the appearance of new technology which the young generation, like the rest of the world, takes advantage of to communicate, most of the residents still talk in person whenever possible.

I had a lot of funny episodes about old (a bit older than me) people learning to use the new technology for the first time. Since I was one of the first to use a cellular phone back then, most of them saw me as an expert of sort. They gravitated to me when they got confused beyond the call feature.

There’s one story that took the cake so to speak. I was present when it happened, right behind the action.

A general assembly was at hand where the agenda was something about the approval of a particular quarry site. The groups of the pros and cons were present, their heated discussion made the occasion like a free-fall-all inside a wet market. I was there as an observer, invited by one of the opposition members.

On the row in front of me were the pros, older people who believed the earnings to be derived from the enterprise could help development possible. The lack of funding from the national government made their case strong on paper.

An older guy turned his head around and saw me restless in my seat: I wanted to go home to finish my field job for the day. The meeting was a rehash of older sessions since both parties could not agree on a compromise.

“Can you help me with this?” he asked, showing me his old model phone. “I can’t hear what the caller is saying.”

I was polite enough not to tell him frankly that what he needed was a hearing aid. The phone was functioning accordingly.

“You can use the speaker option. Adjust the volume to the level you are most comfortable with.”

A few minutes later, his phone rang. He answered it but to my surprise he did not follow my instructions.

The old woman beside him snatched the phone and turned the speaker on. Surely, she listened to our conversation earlier.

A female voice on the other line sounded too romantic. She was unaware that her every word was aired live.

I smelled trouble brewing.

“I don’t know her,” he protested, keeping his composure, noting the frowning faces around him did not believe his alibi. “Maybe she called the wrong number.”

“Is it just a coincidence that she referred to a man who has a similar name to yours?”

“Yes, that’s a possibility,” he replied, unable to look her straight in the eye.

“Do I look naive to you?” she raised her voice, getting the attention of more people in the audience. “If not for the young man here,” she nodded to me, “your philandering will still be a secret.”

He was cornered, continuing with his feeble defense was useless. Some of those present knew him too well not to side with him. He was the villain at that moment.

“Let’s go home and talk about this,” he pleaded, standing up and escorting his furious wife out of the hall. “You’re embarrassing us.”

I could not write here what she said, except all her shouting somewhat subdued the proceedings. People had something new to talk about. To that, almost everyone agreed.

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Stoppage

Note: Take this hint as to why it is only now I reappeared.

The electrical highway was empty!

At exactly fifteen minutes after one in the afternoon, no more no less seconds, they stopped working. It was not clear what transpired before that but what was absolutely wrong afterward occurred.

Humans did not understand why their supply of electricity was cut. Almost instantly, they suspected of either two things: unavoidable circumstances or plain neglect.

Appliances went dead, deprived of its purpose to serve. Those lucky to have batteries were less hopeful to survive continued operation: slowly drained, they clung to dear life.

For hours, thousands of questions from thousands of brains were sent to their respective mouths demanding explanations. Unfortunately, the hundreds of pairs of ears of those in charge were not listening nor their brains capable of sending to their mouths the answers that would clarify the phenomena.

Here’s what really happened.

Electrons went on strike!

Inside the power plant, there was a massive explosion from within, unseen by human workers. Millions of electrons lost their function trying to cross a short circuit, heroically sacrificing themselves as not to stop their continuous flow from load to load. That unprecedented spark triggered electrical protests.

The leaderless uprising went on. Their sole demand: repair their highway before they would reconsider going back to work or else they would cease running indefinitely.

Humans worked overtime, trying to discover where the problem originated. First, the power plant was scoured for malfunctions. Once, the maintenance checks were completed and all machines ready for a restart, field work came next.

In an undisclosed part of the hundreds of kilometers of transmission lines, thin wires of coils inside transformers, drop wires from thousands of posts to homes, certain gaps could have been created due to various reasons: old age, degradation from the elements, human interventions.

Luckily, the process that could have taken months using old techniques was hastened with the use of better technologies. The faults in the lines were pinpointed, repaired and approved.

Nearly a day has passed, celebrations erupted in the air. For humans, electricity was restored. For electrons, somewhere unseen, their unimpeded run meant efficient work.

The electrical highway was back to its busy state.

Hurrah!

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Beyond Control

An abrupt exit the last time was unfortunate. I did not know what a triple whammy was until I experienced it with such swiftness I was literally cut off line. If that was not enough, the succeeding days that followed were as worse. I slumped in despair due to my forced absence from the Net.

The scenario was too ordinary that I never believed it could happen. Even in stormy weather, there would be at least one of the services left operational. Sadly, both decided to team up: getting online was impossible.

There was talk of El Nino which means a long dry spell. By experience, people consume more power during warm weather. The only power plant in place could not supply enough electricity to everyone, thus the outages. Consequently, all other bigger facilities that feed on the system took the corresponding hit, resulting to inefficiencies.

Repeater stations of communications companies from the capital also rely on the main power grid. Unless managements are willing to use back up power for longer duration, communication services will falter. That was what we deduced when poor connection occurred. Customer satisfaction be damned.

I did say a triple whammy, right?

My battery wanted to say bye bye. More than two years of charging and recharging, it’s in the process of slow death. I am still waiting for the replacement. Until that happens, I am limiting myself to important tasks.

So, my succeeding posts will come at unexpected times. Replying to your comments and reading blogs will also depend on power and connection availability. I believe this is only a temporary hiccup to my blogging activities.

Stay safe, guys and gals!

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Net Neutral

NO FAST LANES. NO SLOW LANES.

ALL LANES OPEN FOR ALL!

GOVERNMENTS, BIG BUSINESS, ROBBERS!

DO NOT STEAL THE INTERNET FROM USERS.

 

Cobwebs

False alarm! The expected rain did not drop. A few astray liquid probably escaped the clouds but that was it. 🙂

What I should have done was to wait for the showers to fall before retreating inside the house. I could not have discovered those silky white thin threads that adorned the ceiling.

Spiders are always busy spinning their webs. Two days ago, I thought they would find new spots to build their overhead traps. Today, they were back. Or, was it yesterday? I am not sure anymore.

Except for my other housemates which I leave alone behind picture frames, I often wonder what it would be like for a house without spiders. I mean, the arachnid specie serves an important purpose by limiting other small insects from making the house their camping grounds. Frankly, I don’t mind them staying as long as they are out of the way of my general mobility. 🙂

Come to think of it, spiders do not only inhabit the real world, in the Net they are also present. Not exactly resembling the real thing but they are apparently useful. By definition, they are computer programs that scours the Web to look for public data that can be added to a database for search engine’s use. I heard about them a lot but I am not entirely sure how they affect my blogging.

I guess I have another assignment for myself: discover digital spiders. If I could find them in my house, I think I could find them too in the Web.

The experimentation continues.

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Struggling

It feels I am the only one experiencing technical difficulties. I do not want to complain in every post but the blogging experience nowadays leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

I once believed, still will, that modern technology would give the layman the power to compute without ever thinking of the myriad algorithms in programs used. Picking up information in the Net like picking fruits in trees could be a reality if  the rosy promises of connectivity work seamlessly. At the moment though, it’s far from satisfactory.

We are given free services, which we take advantage to the fullest. In some way, we should be much grateful for them.

However, that’s what commercialism is all about: get your audience attention in any way possible. Companies would not prosper if they stay inactive, waiting for customers to come. They need the come-on to be noticed.

I am a patient person, who is being taught to be impatient. I just thought that it is more logical to let a working system remain as it is. Updates and improvements should wait when things bog down or when the system looks old enough for repairs.

Please listen to the users. If they ask for new additions, you can unveil your innovations. If they are satisfied with the old one, you should be grateful they do not complain. If you mess up with their online experience, sadly many of them will look elsewhere and leave.

This is but my two-cents worth of opinion. I am still satisfied where I am. 🙂

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