The dial-up mountain retreat

With the new year comes new changes and challenges, and for me the biggest challenge is a return to a dial-up Internet connection. I've moved to New Hampshire to a wonderful cozy house close to all the wintry goodness I crave: downhill skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing (haven't tried this yet but I'm sure I'll like it), and hilly mountain runs. The setting is idyllic, atop a mountain with our own ski trails (an old rope tow trail runs alongside our driveway, alas no longer operational, requiring one to hike back up after a nice schuss down the slopes) surrounded by tall stands of evergreens and birch trees. The near-daily snow fall has blanketed the landscape in fluffy white, while indoors Bodhi and I enjoy the warmth of the wood-burning stove. And all is peaceful and good, except for the fucking internet connection.

A return to dial-up after five years of high-speed access is like forsaking a car for a horse and buggy. It's maddeningly slow and impossible to adapt to when you know you could be getting there faster! Added to that is my ISPs propensity to drop my connection while I'm in the middle of downloading, and I think I may go mad.

When contemplating the move, I had grand dreams of spending less time online and spending more reading and connecting with the "real world." But what I've discovered so far is that dial-up doesn't mean I'm online less. It pretty much means I'm not online at all. I just connect to download email (which takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes, twice a day) and then I'm off. I can't really do anything else online while I'm downloading email or it takes even longer to get the mail, and by the time I'm done, I've got some phone call to make or errand to run and off I go. Some people choose to be Luddites, others have Ludditity thrust upon them.