Living life at the mercy of technology, Mother Nature


Technology rules my life, and I'm not bragging.

Technology rules my life, and I'm not bragging.

Last Wednesday morning, I woke up to the ice storm Mother Nature delivered to our doorsteps.

The storm started the night before with thunder, lightning, rain, slush and then ice — and of course wind.

I woke up in the middle of the night to a few quick power blips, before it finally went out for a while and I went back to sleep.

The next day at work, I figured I had little to worry about since my wife had sent me a text that she had safely navigated to work in Columbus.

I was so wrong.

After taking the papers to the post office for delivery, I was about to settle in for a day's work.

Then the power went out again.

I didn't think a whole lot of it, and just figured I would go out to take pictures of the storm sooner rather than later.

I was so wrong.

The computer that houses my list of subscribers decided it was no longer on speaking terms with my printer.

The other computers had no trouble talking to the printer, but the oldest computer can be stubborn.

I called for help and thought I was on the right path. I was following tech support's help over the phone and was starting to feel like the computer and printer would soon be back on good terms.

I was so wrong.

Tech support was looking at my computer through a sharing program, when we lost connection.

He said it was possible the router, which helps the computer and printer talk, was fried by the power outage. If the router wasn't allowing tech support to remotely view my computer, then it wasn't going to help the computer and printer talk.

Another part of the problem was Internet service was spotty at best.

I had intermittent email service and a very brief time when I could surf the Web.

That made for a long day.

I have become quite dependent on technology.

I spend a lot of time on the Web.

I rarely use phone books because I can look up numbers quicker on the Internet.

If I need to research something for a story or my own education, I hop on the World Wide Web.

I couldn't even indulge in my new passion of Tweeting to let the world know technology is no match for Mother Nature.

The up-side was that since there was no help available until the next day, I could get caught up on some work.

The next day — after having my hopes dashed that the computer and printer had patched up their differences overnight — I reached out to another techie who set up the printer.

He was able to restore the path between the computer and printer. They were talking again, and I was back in business.

I can't imagine trying to do my job without the advances in technology. Everything took so much longer in the past, but that was the way things were done.

I also can't imagine what advances will take place over the next 20 years.

But it is very likely technology will still be no match for Mother Nature.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.

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