May 18, 2020

learning curve, as we approach 80

When we started with all the kids home trying to e-learn, the internet whined and moaned and refused to keep up with the demand.  We tried a few things.  Coach bought a booster thing (not the correct term, so don't rush to your nearest Best Buy curb and ask them for a booster thing).  Only Lad thought it helped.  That may or may not have (initially left off the 'not' and it read like may or may have . . . hee hee) had something to do with the fact that this purchase was his suggestion.

Then we bought a different thing that was supposed to help the signal - more intense and pricey at $200 (of course) than the original booster - more like a bammer.  Again, no clue.  The box said it would take 15 minutes to install.  Coach translated that by gauging his skill set and assumed it would take him 2 hrs.  Close.  Only 2.5 hours.  And, it was only marginally better than the $25 booster.

And I still had kids bitching about the internet failing and them losing documents, etc.  I was struggling to find my happy place, and using the internet to find said happy place in funny blog posts or YouTube videos was only complicating our USE INTERNET ONLY AS NECESSARY rule.

Next I called AT&T.  We could not upgrade, not available in our area.  I informed them that we do have running water in these here parts, so what the what?

Next I called Xfinity - they had a better stronger tower thing, and switching to Xfinity meant our phone bill would be cut in half and our internet woes would be a thing of the past.  Sign me up.  We got Xfinity and it seems our connections have improved.

Despite all of this, Ed still went into panic mode when he had to take a final exam.  He posted on my dry erase board that during the chaotic days of real life is utilized as a calendar.  Who needs a calendar now?  Not like we ever forget what day it is.  Err, well . . . anyway.  Ed posted a notice  alerting everyone about his test and requesting that they stay the ef off the internet.  He said it only froze twice for a millisecond.  And we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. 

Lad stood in the kitchen and grumbled that no one agreed to be quiet or stay off the internet one day during HIS final.  *Sigh* Me:  "Well, Ed made his testing preferences clear to us, you didn't."  How am I not walking around with a wine bottle and a very long straw at this point?  Riddle me that.

In other technologically-challenged news:  Coach decided to do a free trial of YouTube TV.  Note - I was busy sewing two rooms away in the dining room as if it was the year 1945.  Coach sat close to the TV with his laptop and fumbled around with connections and screens and such.  The kids sprawled out on the couches and shrugged at one another and motioned things in teen hand-gestures the equivalent to 'why is dad so dumb?'

Mini eventually drifted in and confided in me over the hum of my time-warp machine that Dad was pulling up YouTube but could not figure out how to get to YouTube TV.  "He is literally clicking on other people's channels, so he is watching clips of things other people like and he doesn't UNDERSTAND that this is not actual YouTube TV.  This is torture."

Well the next day he figured that out.  And all the teens stopped threatening to smother him in his sleep, which was nice.

I have no photos of kids eye-rolling, but here
 is a photo I stumbled upon while putting
 together my albums.  St. Joe, MI circa 2011.
 I love this pic of my boys.
Then the other night we watched an episode of the McMillions documentary thing.  We thought it was one feature length thing, because cluelessness is a thing in these here parts.  Coach was all:  "Oh, should we just watch the next McMillions episode?"  We voted yes.  He sat there.  I was putting photos in a photo album because I am all about my pandemic projects.

Mini almost died on the couch next to me because Coach did not understand that he had to hit play.  He thought after he selected it on our new, shiny, welcome-to-this-century YouTube TV that it would just start.  A minute later (after I completed 5 more photo album pages), he realized his ignorance and he hit play and Mini rolled her eyes and we all survived.  Barely.  Because what the hell are we to do if we cannot find something to watch.


Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my lord. You had me rolling this morning.



I'm happy you now have better internet; I'd hate to know you were bored and went outside to churn butter.

Kari said...

You guys are really making me laugh. You are slowly getting into this century and I am proud of you.

Suzanne said...

"How am I not walking around with a wine bottle and a very long straw at this point?" -- HA! Yes! You said it, sister!

Kara said...

McMillions is really good! It was one of those shows that we watched as a family when HBO was airing it. Even the 12 year old liked it. We did have to explain some things like "there wasn't Instagram so no one was figuring out that all of the winners were from the same family."

Ernie said...

Suz - churn butter - HA! Exactly the vibe I am feeling. I did just decide this morning that asking Coach for Netflix is way too June Cleaver for me. I will get the kids to get it done. Damn it.

Kari - I think one of the reasons we are without cool TV options is the little kid factor and the shared TV time. I rarely watch anything without being surrounded by my people and we try not to let the younger kids watch inappropriate shows. I bust a gut laughing at he 'FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY'. I am on it. Promise. Poor Curly will be banned to the basement to watch something pg for eternity, I guess.

Suzanne - a good friend once told me that I must either be a very organized person or a very high functioning alcoholic. I RARELY drink. Me no like extra calories, plus I fall asleep so easily anyway. I did admit to my babysitting friend that I sometimes would see a Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade in the fridge midday while BABYSITTING and have to restrain myself. See - I fear if I go there, I will not be able to come back.

Kara - We have not watched McMillion since the night when we watched 2 episodes (eventually). I must suggest that the next time we are stuck on our constant quarantine dilemma of 'what to watch.' It is a nightly debacle.

Gigi said... issues. I am "the fixer" of tech issues in this house - whether I want to be or not. The Husband was on a Zoom call yesterday with his family. When he wanted to log out he came to me to figure it out. I don't Zoom; how the hell do I know?!

Lori said...

I can relate to Coach, only not with Youtube TV, but with Instagram stories. Still can't figure out how to do that right. And yet I can build a website. Go figure. I'll have to Google McMillion, I haven't heard of it and always up for watching a new good show. Wine...ah, the fixer of all things.

Ernie said...

Gigi - So glad the family does not need to rely on me for to fix tech issues. But exiting a zoom conference - even I can do that on my own, although there is that awkward moment when I search for the 'end call' button and the other people are just staring at you. All these weird little things we need to adjust to nowadays.

Lori - I am NOT good with social media AT ALL. I don't even bother with Instagram. I swear - despite this post, I am not 80. Coach and I remind me of how my parents could not program their VCR or set the time on their digital anything. McMillion is the story of how someone ripped off the Monopoly game at McDonald's in the early 2010-ish time frame. It is pretty unbelievable.