Wifi, Cable TV, Stephan Curry, and Grandfather Mountain

11 Jun
Grandfather Mountain, NC

Grandfather Mountain, NC

Wifi, Cable TV, Stephan Curry, and Grandfather Mountain

By L. Stewart Marsden

“Yeah! We ought to put our cellphones and our TVs and all other electronics away for a week — maybe even a month!”

You’ve heard that.

America and the rest of the world has become so digitally connected (or disconnected) that soon babies will be born with built-in microchip processors and USB outlets where their belly buttons once were.

Someone complains at the dinner table where each and every family member is crouched with hands in laps and heads down. Not to ask the blessing. But to make sure they don’t miss the latest Instagram or Tweet or message from a friend’s brother’s cousin’s whatever.

I’m moving from a middle-sized backward community (textiles and furniture … Dead), to the mountains. It’s not an all-at-once move, but is taking several trips to move my stuff into a nice condo underlooking Grandfather Mountain in NC. Yes, I don’t plan to move because of HB2.

The cable and wifi in the condo has been disconnected, and my new service isn’t scheduled to be hooked up for a while.

I facetiously posted that I was going to survive the “dead” time and enjoy the quiet.

I lied.

Try to quit something and see if you are not addicted to whatever that something is. And it’s not just booze or cigarettes that hook you.

You know that.

I still had my iPhone, but because I’m not one of those thumbidexterous digital dandies I see all over, the thought of writing anything became far more than a daunting obstacle. Plus automatic spellcheck.

You can commiserate.

I busied myself with the task of removing photos from the condo (it was my parents summertime retreat for nearly 30 years) and replacing them with my own. Of disconnecting entangled plugs and wires from various electrical outlets my dad had configured over the years (ala “A Christmas Story”), and removing and rearranging furniture to suit my taste and personality.

You’ve moved before. You know the compulsion to get things settled so you can settle down.

All the while documenting stuff on my iPhone. Unable to wean myself from Facebook. Messaging and checking messaging at every opportunity. That’s sick!

The most grating part of no wifi nor cable was that the damn NBA decided to put on the championship finals during my move!

I’m NOT a big NBA fan, for various reasons. College b-ball is my bailiwick. Before ESPN brought college ball onto the screen, my friends and I fed off every word Woody Durham spoke into his radio mic during a Carolina game. We huddled around someone’s AM/FM transitor radio on camping trips with our Scout troop.

And the NBA seemed to be nothing more than individual play — hot-shotting and ball-hogging and nothing that remotely resembled the game I loved.

But this year? This year a phenomenal Golden State team took the heart of the country with its innocent-looking point guard who does things no one should be able to do. Almost dancing to the finals, with one small hiccup in OKC, the history-making Warriors were about to add to their court legacy.

AND, pitted agains LeBron! Like Rocky Balboa v. Mr. T! Finesse v Brute Strength!

And no wifi nor cable.

Wait, what!?

MAY-be there’s a way! MAY-be I could use my iPhone — with it’s unlimited data plan from T-Mobile (don’t they slow that down after about 2 gigs?) — to tether my iPad and my. PC to get to the internet and watch the games in streaming digital glory!

Wait, what!?

Weren’t you the guy who was looking forward to an uncomplicated period of no-digital-no-TV peace?

Who, me?

Yes, YOU!

There it is. The truth. I’m addicted. Didn’t someone say too much of a good thing is bad? Yes, I’m sure of that. And I was clearly on the verge of too much peace and quiet! After 24 hours. Plus the impending NBA playoffs.

In the end, I wasn’t able to actually watch live streaming of the third and fourth games. I made a special trip back down the mountain to my apartment where I have both cable and wifi in order to watch the first two games of the series.

Back in the mountains, I toggled between the new season of Bloodline on Netflix and the ESPN website updated score with running commentary.

Not the same.

Pretty pathetic.

I will say that I still wanted to bite my fingernails as the running commentary gradually refreshed. Who shot and whether they made the shot or not. Who fouled. Who got fouled. Who made 1 of 2, and then 2 of 2 free throws. The last two minutes of the game lasted, I think, for about 30 minutes, what with the time outs and stuff. It’s bad enough when you watch it on TV. It’s incredibly painful to watch it creep by on a 2″x4″ cellphone screen.

I still don’t have TV.

But, as this article proves, I am functioning. Back in the digital flow. Bird feeders with visiting wrens and goldfinches and hummingbirds feet away on the deck underlooking Grandfather Mountain.

You’ve been there.

You haven’t?


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