Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Technical exasperation and a winter blast?


Image by annca from Pixabay

Happy Easter (or Passover or *fill in religious flavor*) weekend everyone! Nothing quite like not getting together with family for egg hunts and jelly beans.

We usually host Easter for my in-laws, so this year we haven’t been rushing around to finish stashing clutter and cleaning stuff. Wait, that might not be a bad idea anyway…

I didn’t expect Week 4 of working from home to be any different than the past three weeks. Except it was. Note that all the schools were on an extended spring break until this week, when they started their online learning stuff.

We live out in the boonies. Even though we are only a mile and a half outside town, our town is all of maybe 2000 residents, and at least a dozen miles from the nearest major highway/interstate. Consequently, we have DSL internet service, and not even very good DSL at that (read: streaming movies? Don’t bother. We’re lucky to watch YouTube vids without buffering).

Our internet service has been slow but sufficient for years, and just enough for the past few weeks as I was remoting to the office servers for work.

That service was fine until this week, when all of a sudden even opening Google seemed to be a Herculean task that never finished. Seriously. I can’t work like that. So naturally I call our ISP (Internet Service Provider, the only show in town for a long time) to see if they can either improve the speed or bump us to a better tier (especially since they raised our price last November).

The ISP said they can’t do anything about the drop in speed. A phone line for DSL only handles so much, and even though we’re paying for “up to 6 Mbps” download speed, we have never gotten that. Ever.

However, I suspect they are throttling our speed during the day to shunt the capacity elsewhere, because from 7a to 7p every single day this week our internet was at a virtual standstill, even too slow to run an internet speed test.

Ugh. I can’t work like that. We do have some other ISP options these days, and at a comparable price (after they increased our rate without giving us better service), so we ordered new service from a different provider. As you might guess, they are super busy right now (go figure!). We might have new service installed in six weeks.

Image by Syaibatul Hamdi from Pixabay

So, I’m going to work my way into a “night shift” to take advantage of the usable speeds from 7p to 7a. That of course still means I can’t do anything on the internet during the day. All my plans to catch up with blog post reading, etc. have been scuttled


I’m waaaay far behind, so if you see a comment from me on a post that’s a month old, don’t be surprised. Luckily(?) my new writing class is pretty paper-based, so I have no excuses to not do my homework.

As for spring, we had one awesome 70-degree day this week. I even took the opportunity to go for my first outdoor run of the year. Beautiful!

Glad I enjoyed it because Easter is supposed to be snowy. Yes, you read that right: the spring celebration of Easter comes with its very own winter storm watch. They are including a few inches of snow in that watch. And next week our daily high temps are predicted to be 20 degrees below normal, so think a few degrees above freezing.

Nothing like spring in MN to wonder if the seasons have identity crises.

Anyway, I have my lights up, a book to revise, and a hunky Muse (who is giving me the stink-eye because I’m not working on said book right now), so I’m good.

Stay safe and Happy Easter/Passover/etc!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), one dog, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

17 thoughts on “Technical exasperation and a winter blast?

  1. I know the feeling about the Internet, Julie. Ours has been slower, too. I think part of it is that the ISPs just weren’t prepared for so many people needing broadband all at once. They’re doing the best they can, but I think it’ll be a little time before it’s up to the speed we were accustomed to having. Now, your Muse told me to remind you to get back to that revising! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. We’ve known our internet was slower than what would be nice for a while, but it never really interfered in its use until now. And it’s carrying over into the weekend, so somewhere I think someone has something set to throttle it back and doesn’t bother to exclude weekends. I figured getting a new service would take a while, but I didn’t expect it to take as long as they’re telling us. Sigh.

      Heh, my Muse is more determined than usual to get me moving on revisions 😀

      Happy Easter and stay safe, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, if you have to go to a night shift, then at least it’ll be quiet, no distractions. Hope you get better Internet service soon. Happy Easter.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel your internet pain. I usually have good internet service. But, go figure, the first day of distance learning (a couple weeks ago), and I couldn’t upload anything. All the kiddos in this rural area were online at the same time! On top of that, we had a power outages due to an ice storm. I’ve resorted to working “off peak” also — very early mornings. Good thing I’m a morning person! Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, cuz! Everything was working fine until this past week, when the schools in the area started their online learning stuff. Ugh. The slowdown is even on the weekends! Crossing my fingers that we’ll get new service sooner than the six weeks they said. I’m a morning person, too, so hopefully the wee hours will be less of a hassle. Good luck to you as well!


  4. That sounds SO frustrating! I don’t know how you manage. I’d be tempted to tell the internet provider that I’d like to cancel their service since they’re not providing it anyway! I hope working at night helps. And hopefully everyone else hasn’t gotten the same idea!
    Happy Easter, Zoey! Oh, and you too, Julie. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is frustrating! And the plan is to cancel the internet service as soon as we confirm the new service is up to snuff (of course, it’ll be about 6 weeks before we even get new service). The regularity of the performance drop seems suspiciously like someone has a timer set. I had hoped it wouldn’t carry over through the weekend, but it has, so even on the weekend the internet is crappy during the day. Sigh.

      Happy Easter to you and yours, Betsy! (and no, I’m not going to dress Zoey up as a bunny so I can take pictures of her; she would never go for that 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had not even thought of dressing Zoey up as a bunny! But now that you’ve put the thought in my head… Nice going! 😉

        Suspicious timing indeed. Something hanky going on over there. So sorry. But, hey, Lent is finally over! Hoorah! If only the world would wake up to that fact and just heal already!

        Have a lovely day!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Julie! That all sounds very familiar with the internet and snow at Easter. We have horrible internet here, too with no other options. Someone is attempting to get the latest up here and I’m in the area for it, fingers crossed. Sometimes we can stream a Netflix movie through Dish:) The kids complain the entire time about when they visit…lol. Happy Easter/Passover!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In our area, we had one ISP option for the longest time, and when new service moved in, it was more expensive (even if it was better service). Now that our ISP has increased our cost to the point where other services are competitive on price with far better service, it’s time to ditch the oldie. Crossing fingers we don’t have to wait the full 6 weeks!

      Happy Easter, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We just got high speed internet last year, Julie. Before then, it was satellite, which was very limited and expensive. We used to stay up until 10 pm to watch movies when the rate was lower. So, I know how frustrating it can be. I hope your shifted hours helps and the thing speeds up a little for you. What a pain. I’m glad you’re enjoying some good weather though. 🙂 Keep smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’ll be a bit of a pain, but since I don’t have to commute, there is that (however, this all would be moot if I was still commuting to work 😀 ) I’m hoping we won’t have to wait the whole 6 weeks to get the new service. Until then, just call me night owl 🙂

      Happy Easter, Diana! Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol… Love the eggs pic. Happy Easter, Julie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Easter. Stay safe and healthy in these very stressful and testing times.

    Liked by 1 person

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