Radio Silence, 9 a.m.

This is the situation as I knew it this morning. Perhaps you have deduced, given the late arrival of this entry, that the problem was bigger than me and Spectrum. We’ll save that for tomorrow, even though readers in the Gunnison Valley already know the story.

Every single time. Every single time.

For reasons that are greater than I, which of course I will never be allowed to understand, every time I sign up for a webinar offered by the branch of the Small Business Development Center that serves Gunnison – every time, my internet here at home goes down.

And so, every time, I have to wait until I get to work, where yesterday morning it took the better part of two hours to get not one but two recalcitrant computers to start functioning in a functional manner, and then send an e-mail to Dano, the local SBDC guy who facilitates these webinars, and tell him the internet ate my homework. I imagine it sounds like the lamest excuse imaginable.

The internet was working earlier, as I was playing solitaire rather than using my apparently limited time wisely. I mean, I kind of was: I was letting CBS depress me with endless headlines about a virus screaming out of control and an administration whimpering out of control, and I was trying to decide which dreary topic to tackle for today’s blog without being 100 percent depressive.

And then I got up, medicated animals and remembered my 9 a.m. webinar – and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting logged into a new blog page to let you all know that despite slacking yesterday, I was likely to do the same today. And then the next tab over wouldn’t load, and it finally occurred to me to look down, down where my “all systems go” set of expanding radar lines has been replaced by the globe that means “no go.”

All because I wanted to attend an SBDC webinar.

There is no other reason for this outage. There is no storm, no wind, no nothing – just me signing up for a webinar. I need to start putting Spectrum on speed dial. And lobbying the local firm we used to use at the old house to figure out how to deliver service to my new neighborhood. We got Spectrum at a deal for a year, but now the cost is exactly the same as the local service, with much worse service. Both in delivery and customer.

I assume Dano will take pity on me once again, although I’m quite sure this excuse is wearing thin, and send me the link to the webinar after the fact. I don’t know how much my presence is required anyway, because it’s not ostensible advice for thriving, or at least surviving, during a pandemic that I learned this morning from CBS has been pretty much completely written off by the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight occupying space in the White House.

While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told CBS the weekly call to governors initiated by the vice president has been helpful, the network reported the coronavirus task force meetings have no focus nor purpose, and the lame duck in chief hasn’t bothered to attend in months.

Today’s webinar that I am now 10 minutes away from missing the start of, thanks so much Spectrum, is a meeting the chambers of commerce like to offer every year: the annual “valleywide winter forecast.”

I haven’t ever gone to this — although Kara went once — largely because it’s usually offered at some ghastly hour like 7:30 a.m. There are definite pluses to this notion of virtual attendance, although I haven’t taken advantage of as many things as I always mean to (like concerts and lectures), and this would be one. If my internet worked.

People with access, which appears will only be me if Dano once more takes pity on me, will hear what lodging reservations look like for the winter season, along with airline reservations (not those with reservations about flying, which might be the majority of us, but those with fewer reservations who have already made reservations to fly).

A man from the ski area is scheduled to speak, and we’ll even look at NOAA (I was going to double-check what the acronym stands for, but oh, wait) to see what the winter forecast is. NOAA may be more sciencey than the farmers’ almanac, but I suppose we should bear in mind that this entire presentation will be based on predictions.

We can predict how many people might book lodging in the valley, and how many have reserved their plane seats, and what the weather might plan to do, but all of these things can change at a moment’s notice.

Especially when a virus has run completely and totally amuck, to the point where it feels like we might just want to adopt the fatalistic attitude of Brazil’s cuckoo at the helm, shared by some plurality of residents in the Dakotas: we all have to die sometime, so it might as well be during a pandemic.

I will know more later today about local virus status after public health conducts its virtual town hall, for which I need no special dispensation to watch after the fact – it’s automatically posted for public access. As opposed to SBDC webinars, which require approval by Dano to view after the fact.

Well, I have just now tried to text Lynn, only to be told by my phone that all mobile networks are unavailable. Maybe the world did come to an end sometime between when I turned off the TV and sat down at the computer, and I missed the memo.

So my back-up plan, to put this Word (as opposed to WordPress) document on a flash drive and cart it to work, where after only about an hour of warm-up my computer might be functional enough to handle this transaction, may be on hold as well. Maybe you will never hear from me because yet another line into Gunnison has completely cut us off from all modern communication. Maybe I should be investing in telegraphy.

If you are, eventually, reading this, it means my Morse code isn’t as rusty as I thought; if you never read it I guess it means technology just wasn’t meant to be here in Gunnison County. Or maybe it just means the SBDC needs to stop offering webinars.

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