Out Of Touch

Rat’s fanny, dropped again.

Seven days at the beach. Seven days with family and friends. Seven days of a little bit of heaven.

Seven days with little or no internet access.

I know I’m an internet addict, although not as bad as some. My daily routine includes reading the news, checking email (five addresses) and responding to some, tweeting a little bit, lurking on DorothyL and a few other elists and Yahoo groups, sometimes actually contributing something to said elists and groups, checking in on a handful of favorite blogs and journals, googling a variety of things that I think I’d like to know more about, maybe doing a little shopping, so on and so forth, rinse and repeat. Somewhere in there, I do a little bookstore-related computer work like placing and receiving orders.

Then there’s my blog. I’m more than a bit obsessive about having different material every day, or close to it, at least partly because I hate to go to someone’s blog only to find out they haven’t posted anything in the last year and a half. That’s all well and good—you should be able to quit a blog whenever it suits your fancy but why advertise it on your website or in your signature? Anyway, as I said, I’m bound and determined to keep Buried Under Books fresh with my own contributions as well as book reviews and guest posts.

So, before heading to the beach, I lined up seven guest blogs, thinking all I would need to do is get online once or twice a day to promote each day’s author and his or her article. Two guests weren’t going to have their articles ready until later in the week so I was also prepared to put their posts together, adding pictures and bios. Sounds like a good idea, right?


Every year, we come to the same beach motel/apartments and, every year since I’ve owned a laptop, internet access has been spotty but doable. This year, “spotty” doesn’t begin to describe it and it wasn’t just me. Two other people in the apartment with me had the same trouble and we saw other tenants carrying their laptops around to different spots looking for the elusive connection. On a good day, I could get on for about 10 to 15 minutes, not even enough time to check email much less do any work on the blog. I couldn’t even post a comment each day to thank the various authors for being my guests. The really aggravating thing was we could get the wifi connection and would get a signal but we just couldn’t get internet pages to load. That little connecting thingy would just go around and around endlessly until the “cannot find server” notice of doom would come up.

Now, mind you, this came about less than two weeks after I had a pretty major power surge event at my house. Mostly, the surge protectors did their job and many of my electronics survived but my PC tower—the one all my bookstore business is on—didn’t. So, I was already in a love-hate relationship with computers when I headed to the beach and apparent oblivion.

All of which brings me to the point—we, meaning I, apparently do not handle internet deprivation well. I mean, what am I supposed to do when I simply must know what horrible things Simon on the Real Housewives of New York has been tweeting or what time of day is best to take the Hatteras Ferry or when is my grandson’s graduation next June or what was the name of that book? You know the one, it had a red cover and was about this woman or maybe it was a guy…

When the apocalypse comes and the survivors are knocked back into a pre-technological age, I will not take it gracefully.