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Where were you when the internet died?

Tom ruminates on the frailty of our reliance on technology
On the Ropes - Tom Roper

This could rank up there with “Where were you when Elvis died.”

What happened was my brush cutter broke down again so I drove over to Evergreen to pick up a rewind spring.

My go-to guy, Willie, was at the counter. “Can you look up the part number?” I said.

“Well, I would, but the internet is down, somehow somewhere a fibre optic cable has been severed and we can’t get into our computer system,” he said.

“Do we not have hard copy parts books available?” I asked.

“No, everything is on computer,” said Willy.

So there you have it, our modern-day world was shutting down. I tried to call my wife to tell her my problems. Oh, oh, the cell is not working.

I carried on down the road thinking maybe the issue was just at that end of town.

We needed some groceries and I did my usual run through Safeway and headed over to checkout. Seemed not too many shoppers, that is odd.

The cashier rang through my grub and then asked for cash. What’s that, nobody carries cash nowadays.

Well, I still like to carry a bit of cash so I was saved. I overheard a cashier telling a customer that people could get cash out of their bank account but only $100 at a time so a record could be kept manually because computers are down.

Wow, this is exciting stuff that can only be likened to the day the beaver dropped a tree on the wire up on Hungry Hill and all power was out in the valley.

My wife was working at the All-West Glass head office in town and their communication with their branch offices was down for two days.

Serious-sized generator sets were installed after that incident to keep businesses up and running.

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Our vulnerability became evident today as I noticed Smithers Lumber had shut down and sent their employees home for the day. Not a good situation for the business margin.

What can you do?

I guess it still helps to have a little cash stashed away and probably helps to have a risk management plan for these little phenomena.

Seems if we were under attack one day our communication link could be compromised fairly simply.

I did catch a bright side though while passing by the Central Park building. I happened to notice several benches were full and people were talking to each other. No phones on. Weird, hey?

Another good outcome for me at least. With no new rewind spring available I had to MacGyver my old one. I bent it to fit and hand wound it back in place and, what the heck, it worked.

I pulled the cord and started the old brush cutter again. Life and times with first-world problems seems incomparable to what is presently taking place in Ukraine.

By the way, we have a Ukrainian family living in our in-law suite.

The boy is in high school and working part-time at Aquabatics and his mother and aunt are working at the Prestige housekeeping.

Heading to a ukulele camp next week and will fill you in on all the fun.

If you have an event or story give me a shout 250-877-1806 or email me

Thanks for reading, Tom.

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