Life in the 21st Century

Living as we do in a “remote location,” a mile down a dead end dirt road, we are not “on the cable” and rely on satellite dishes for computers and television. And a satellite dish is fine on a sunny day, but functions less well (not at all) when covered with snow or ice.

I have an extension ladder that enables me to get to the vicinity of the dish so that I can take a brush and lean over to whisk the snow away and reopen communications with the outside world.

Today is sunny enough but the snows of yesterday had melted a bit in the sun and frozen in the overnight temperatures of 0 leaving a thick crust of ice on the dish’s surface. It seemed unwise to chip at the ice and risk chipping the dish but the suggestion was made of a hair dryer. Thus, to be in contact with the world on a winter day with the temperature at a chilly 5 degrees, I found myself up on an extension ladder leaning over to the satellite dish with a hair dryer in my mittened hand.

Our predecessors on this land never worried about these things. They had no computers or television sets – indeed, I myself grew up without benefit of either and had what used to be considered a normal childhood without ever looking at a screen with moving images except in the local movie theater. If they had had a satellite dish, it would have been useless because there were no radiations carrying news of Kazakhstan or Darfur. Probably they didn’t need hair dryers either because they had towels.

But I’ll bet they would have loved aluminum extension ladders!

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