By Chris Pickup

Here we sit, Tuesday noon, our second day of disconnection from the Internet, chewing our nails down to the wick because we can’t get to facebook, or email, or worse yet, connect to our website. We can see emails rolling in on our phones, but cannot access them.

Like we suspect many others across Ontario and Haldimand, we spent Saturday living with bouts of intermittent power-flickering, some only seconds apart, followed by a full blackout, then flickering again, then another blackout, flickering again, shutting down our radio, shutting down our electronic stuff over and over until we just gave up. Okay, we deserve a day off right?

We coped with our big old softie of a Labrador dog so traumatized by what he sensed was coming at him from ‘out there’, he was shivering uncontrollably until he finally crammed himself into a tiny space in the corner behind Kevan’s favourite old lazyboy. He didn’t settle until the freezing rain finally hit late afternoon and the air pressure eased.

Sunday morning, and the power-flickering started up again, but not as bad. Finally I was able to finish my half-washed laundry sitting in its own dirty water since just before all the chaos began, stuffed it into the dryer, and only had to restart it three times. Things were improving. And we had a second day off. And a rural property littered with thousands of downed branches.

Monday dawned soaking wet and dreary, but full of new possibilities. The worst was over. We geared up to go. No Internet! Ice on our network provider’s Nanticoke tower had messed with the fibre optics. A third day off we definitely didn’t need. And our usually gentle little Sandusk Creek had turned into a howling torrent by late afternoon.

I came late to the Internet and social media because I was always busy editing and managing the Regional News and had no time for anything else. And now we were both beginning to feel like the Maytag repair man. At least it forced Kevan to work on our taxes for the accountant.

So Tuesday came and we’re still twiddling our thumbs. Kevan trotted off to the accountant’s for something to do and had a brainstorm on the way back. Free WiFi at the Liquor store! So there he was freezing his buns off in the parking lot answering missed phone calls and checking emails. And of course, buying a big bottle of Scotch.

And now it’s noon, and still not back online. We need a drink. You can only shuffle the papers on your desk so many times, file them, check the files, recheck the files just in case, check for a connection. I think we’re in a loop! Is it groundhog day?