Friday, November 21, 2008

Internet Status Update - A Turn for the Worse

My brother and sister-in-law have been looking for a new place to live for awhile now. Someplace cheaper than the place where they’ve been living. Last month they found a place that was not only more expensive, but also bigger than they needed . . . and the wheels in their heads started turning.

My sister and future brother-in-law, on the other hand, haven’t exactly been looking for a new place to live, but their money has been tight, and if something along the lines of a more affordable housing situation was presented to them, they’d certainly consider it.

So my brother shows up at my sister’s place with his grand plan: “Hey, you and your fiancé should move into a house with me and my wife!”

My sister’s first reaction was a very sarcastic, “Yeah, right. That’ll happen.” But the more she and her fiancé thought about it and talked it over (and the more my brother hung around them, pointing out all the merits of his plan to them), the more plausible it seemed to them. Until finally my brother and his wife won them over, and they agreed to the plan.

So, they applied to become the house’s next rental occupants. And got it. Now they’re moving. Today, as a matter of fact. The first U-Haul load of boxes made it’s run when the clock struck midnight.

They’re moving from Salem to a place halfway between Salem and Silverton, out in the midst of nowhere. Splitting rent and utilities on the one place is costing them each less than their individual dwellings were costing them previously, so this is a great move for them. I’m happy for them. Really. I am.

However . . .

I’m sad and depressed for me. Because as great a move as this is for them, it royally sucks for me. Among the various downsides are the fact that their new place will have no ‘extra room’ that can be kept animal hair free for me to sleep in, meaning no more spending the night at my sister’s (now my brother and sister’s) place. Plus, on the occasions that I manage to pull off a daytime visit, I’m no longer going to be mere walking distance from Border’s, Bi-Mart, Jack-in-the-Box, and other useful locations. No more being able to get a ride to my sister’s place in order to be able to meet people in Salem for potentially erotic purposes. (Not that it’s a scenario that’s ever happened, but it was nice to know that the option was available to me in case that kind of miracle were to ever take place.)

But those aren’t the main problems. No, the main problem is the internet.

My sister is moving from an apartment with high-speed internet to a house where the telecommunication tools consist of a tin can connected to a string that disappears off into the distance.

Up until now, my internet access has been the library and occasional trips to my sister’s apartment. Guess what? Now it’s down to just the library. Using my sister’s internet was important because it allowed me the opportunity to visit all of the sites that triggered the library’s pornography filter. There are so many blogs and general information sites that I simply can’t access there because of sexual content. (As well as actual erotica/pornography sites that I don’t even try for.)

Someone just pointed me toward a link to a couple of sites that apparently do nothing but host links to either sex or BDSM blogs. These sites, of course, trigger the porn filter. I want to get Time Delay listed there. But sadly, some contingent of librarians has placed a big block of censorship smugly between us.

My normal tactic would be to just wait until my next visit to my sister’s internet connection, but right now, that looks to be a long wait. A very, very, very long wait.

My siblings et al are hoping to get some kind of internet before the end of the year, but everything available to them out there is of the low-speed variety. Not just average slow, but speed determined by a cartoon turtle on a treadmill slow.

The other option in their area is satellite internet. And satellite internet apparently only gives you X amount of usage per month. (It’s either a time-online amount or a bits-uploaded-or-downloaded amount, I forget which.) Both my brother and future brother-in-law go through internet like a racing heart goes through blood. They’d use up a month’s internet allotment inside a week, easily. So, satellite isn’t really a viable option for them. Which leaves them with the turtlenet.

I could almost cope with not being able to use their internet for access to sites that were otherwise blocked to me, if it weren’t for the other little internet matter. With the loss of their high-speed internet, I’ve also lost my Download Monkey!

Shortly after my internet access went away, I recruited my sister’s fiancé (at the time, merely her boyfriend) as my official Download Monkey. I happen to live in what is somewhere between a poor TV reception area and an actual reception dead zone. I don’t know if it’s a naturally occurring phenomenon, or some kind of conspiracy. I envision myself eventually discovering the truth and writing an expose entitled “How the Grinch Stole My Television Reception”. (You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!) So any television programs that I watch either have to wait until they’re released on DVD and available through NetFlix, or . . . I have my Download Monkey obtain for me via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network.

The position of Download Monkey entails other tasks as well. He’s not just television retrieval. I’m certainly not about to tell you that I have him downloading things like comic books and occasionally music, because that’s getting into both legal and ethical gray areas. And I’m not going to imply that he downloads porn for me, although I will say that I usually have plenty of stuff to masturbate to. (Draw your own conclusions.)

In all honesty, I don’t have him downloading movies or anything off of the pay-cable channels like Showtime or HBO. Partly out of a fear of getting stomped by the Anti-Piracy/Anti-Downloading Boot of the MPAA, and partly out of an actual ethical dilemma over the fact that downloading things like ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Entourage’ kinda does cheat the pay-cable channels out of revenue. Whereas since programs like ‘House’ and ‘My Name Is Earl’ are transmitted over the open airwaves, they should be free game for download.

But now I appear to be download-less. Even once they get internet hooked up, low-speed makes downloading unfeasible.

(This is another reason why I need a larger social circle. I have no other Download Monkey candidates. Zorch used to pitch in before he started school, but he’s currently living in the dorms, where they’ve blocked peer-to-peer capability. I’m beginning to wonder if the Grinch wasn’t behind that little development as well. Damn you, Grinch!)

So, to summarize the revised internet situation . . . I still have no internet access of my own here where I live. I now have roughly half the outside internet access I had before. And it’s the G to PG rated half. No erotica, no porn, and not a lot of the questionable content, either. No downloads. No one stepping in to fill the gap left by my Download Monkey.

Today is a very sad day for Zeitgeist the Clown.


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