For Christmas this year, the dh and I broke down, bit the budget bullet, and decided to gift ourselves with a high speed connection.
What a difference.
Now most of you have been high speed (or DSL or whatever) for a long, LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time. We live out in the country and the option has just not been available.
Back in May or June though, our sweet neighbours across from us gave us a call with the amazing news "They're extending high speed out to our corner!"
I was ready to jump on the bandwagon right that second until I found out...$40 a month. Now for some people that's not a lot, but that's my book and scrapbooking allowance. We could afford it, but the money had to come from somewhere. I decided I could continue living with dial up.
Many of my favourite websites started including video interviews. Interviews that would take me hours to download. I discovered ScrapHappy and Lain's fabulous podcasts...but it took me 3 or more hours to download each one.
This I could have lived with, but when you have dial-up connection? You cannot be reached by phone. IRL, people were getting increasingly frustrated by their inability to ever reach us. I would go on first thing in the morning, check email, read my favourite blogs, then set the computer up to download podcasts, etc and walk away. I'd go do things with my kids and around the house and come back later in the afternoon. Sometimes when I got back I'd check my email again before finally disconnecting from the internet for a few short hours. Then dh would get home from work and go online to do all his stuff. Sometimes he'd leave the computer connected all night to download his own podcasts, etc. while we were sleeping.
The grumbles started getting louder and louder, and I began to worry. What if there was an emergency?
So, we explored the options. Second cell phone for use at home? Second phone line? High speed access? Call answer? Stay off the internet? (this last one would have been easiest...but...)
High speed seemed the most cost effective as well as the best fit for our lives.
We've now had it for about a week.
WE. LOVE. IT.
How did we live with dial-up for so long? I can make and receive phone calls while blogging. I am watching videos and rediscovering websites that I had given up because it just took too long to load the pages. I can look at online galleries without having to wait 10 minutes every time I want to look at a new page.
Part of the fun has been "discovering" YouTube. I mean, we knew it existed, but didn't even try watching on the dial-up. Now we've been having lots of fun finding favorite tv clips, brilliant speeches, even slightly off-colour antidotes to too much Dora.
Here's my current favourite that I can't stop watching:
Clearly, this is one of our better Christmas gifts. But if you were looking for something a little more CHRISTmasy, you should definitely go over to Toddled Dredge and follow Veronica's TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS posts. They'll make you think, and feel, and remember why we have this holiday. It's a great gift she's giving to the internets.
It's even better than high speed internet access.