A Quiet Day


  1. WendyNC

    Maggie, I’ve been up to my ears, but have been reading along and wanted to take a moment to say how glad I am for you that the Chronic Kidney Disease diagnosis was wrong.

    It has been delightful reading about Rideau Camp and the joy you and Attila are finding in it.

  2. The thing with phones has me all discombobulated. We have a landline still. We have one cell phone that Paul uses only for emergencies while working on the ocean or driving. Otherwise it is turned “off.” I heard the other night that landlines are soon to become obsolete. I have no interest in a smart phone. So what do we do, we dinosaurs who still like the old ways? We just get kicked to the gutter and ignored. I don’t trust the internet to always be “there” and with everyone only using/having cellphones that use internet, what if there’s a huge black-out? Bring back land-lines!

  3. Thanks Wendy! Actually I have been thinking about you for the last week or so, hope the up-to-your-ears stuff is good stuff, or at least benign stuff, good to hear from you.

    The Rideau Camp was a fluke find, just one of those things that seems it was meant to be, as the pieces just fell together. And the odd thing about it was, that I experienced no distress about channeling resources into the purchase. Usually I feel slightly uncomfortable when we spend more than a few dollars, but the purchase of the camp did not give me even a twinge. We found it and bought it from our hearts, and not our heads, not thinking for one second about finances, or even investment. Of course we had already worked out the financial end of things before we started looking at properties, so that shock had already been processed and tucked away.

  4. Diane, I originally got going with computer hardware and software in the 1980s/1990s, when I was doing my PhD, didn’t know a lot about computers, and was at the mercy of a somewhat misanthropic techie. I spent a year after that painfully teaching myself the ropes, and it was painful, quite a few sleepless nights. I was determined never to need a techie again, and I have basically accomplished that goal.
    I began to appreciate time spent with computers as a time and place where I could follow my own curiousity freely, and it became a sort of refuge, a place and time where I could think my own thoughts, establish my own priorities, and only consider what I wanted to do. My need for a quiet place to be lessened when the children flew the nest, and has continued to lessen over the years. But I still find it relaxing to putz around in the digital world… my giant, seemingly endless encyclopedia, and constant source of new software to learn.

  5. Bex, the cell phones still work when there is an internet blackout. There are still a lot of cell phones available that aren’t too smart, and you can get a pay as you go phone that doesn’t do data (the data is the smart part, which I don’t want either). I use my cell phone just like a land line, and only use it once or twice a month, if that. For $100 a year I can have it handy when needed.

    The land lines are the simplest to operate, and this is the first time in my life I have lived in a home without a land line telephone. I think eventually, after all the land line infrastructure has been torn out and removed, someone will “invent” the simple land line and it will all get started again. Just like they are “inventing” artisanal, natural foods, which were the only foods available to humans until about 100 years ago.

  6. Teri

    I think Bex meant literally, what if there’s a (total) black out, not just an internet black out. And she’s right, if there’s a black out then the cell phones would not work. Landlines may or may not work, depending on the power connections.

    We still have a landline, and we even have an old phone that plugs directly in, as opposed to our normal phones that have a base station they work off. In a black out, our normal phones are useless. But we have been able to use our old phone when that has happened, which is why we keep it around.

    I have thought about getting rid of our landline but cell phones seem very expensive, on the order of $35/ month even when you don’t have data. But that would just be for me as DH has a work supplied cell phone that he also uses for personal use, once in a great while.

    I’m not sure I understand your discussion of MagicApp, etc, at all. Especially with Attila’s mom in the US, it should be easy enough for her to find a phone company that has free long distance to both the US and Canada. We have that in our landline plan actually, and there’s a lot more competition with phone companies in the US then there is here in Canada.

    It felt downright biting cold here yesterday evening, and by 9PM we had the beginning of thunderstorms. Fortunately, they’re we quite gentle with only periodic rumbles, but we did end up with gentle rain through most of the night.

  7. Teri, as far as I know the two issues with cell phones in widespread emergency situations is that they can be overwhelmed by mass simultaneous use, and that they have to be recharged.

    Their towers can go down, but land lines can also go down. Our land line at the country house was down several times every year, usually from falling trees. Repairs took time, just like repairs to cell towers would take time. So I don’t see physical damage to the infrastructure as being significantly worse for cell phones than for land lines.

    A backup power system is desirable. Cell phones can be charged from car batteries, so a running vehicle could keep it working in an emergency, or a generator, or a solar battery system. There are options.

    There are advantages to a cell phone in an emergency. You can move it around with you. So, for instance, in a flood you can take to the roof and bring your cell phone with you. A land line would be underwater.

    It is a conundrum, and difficult to decide just what the wisest course of action might be.

    One could always take up short wave radio, as it is usually the last to go and the first to be returned to active service.

    Attila’s Mom would only need long distance service to contact us, we prefer that she not have to worry about long distance calls or any charges at all MagicApp works for her and us, at no cost.

  8. Hi, Maggie! With cell phones vs landline, as someone who use to work for Bell customer service I can tell you that the cell phone tower works from the same power grid that our homes’ power runs off. OTOH, landline power is a separate connection. That’s why a landline still *might* work when the power is out at your home and your local cell towers.

    Excellent point about recharging cells from a car, though you would still need your local cell tower to be working in order to use the cell. Your other arguments are also excellent ones.

    I guess for me there’s just a feeling of safety that I get when it comes to having a landline. As I said, even in this house we’ve had it happen that we lost the power for almost 24 hours and DH’s cell was useless while our landline was still working with our old direct connect phone plugged in. Helped us feel less cut off from the world, especially when we could call the power company and find out when they expected our power to be restored.

    But really it’s just cost that we’ve looked at as a determining factor when it comes to phones.

    To be clear, I’m not in anyway saying that your choices are incorrect. When I said I didn’t understand I meant that I was somewhat confused by the info you gave on the app. But most definitely your choices are right for you based on your needs and your knowledge of your needs.

    Meanwhile, DH and I weigh information, periodically. It just hasn’t felt like it’s time yet for us to decide to commit to only one type of phone system – though that might be coming very shortly as our provider is supposed to be increasing our rates (yet again) on June 1st.

    Hope the above didn’t come across as too disjoint. It’s late and I’m starting to get a bit tired.

Comments are closed.