Data Issues and an Update

It’s Sunday and like many Sundays since the pandemic started, my WIFI connection is down. For many years now we’ve chosen inexpensive options for both our internet access and our phones and banked the extra money: first to save enough for me to leave my job to write. And then once I had left, to keep our budget fit and trim.

For Internet we use Toast.net, which is a reseller of excess capacity on AT&T lines based in Ohio. Dealing with them has always been a joy. But part of the reason it’s been cheap is because they have less power to fix things because they don’t own the lines. Still, for most of the last six years we’ve used Toast.net, we’ve loved them.

With the pandemic so many people are using alternative means of working and worshipping that it puts a strain on the system. It’s a strain we see especially on Mondays and Sunday mornings. I suspect that AT&T is strategically slowing down or stopping service to resellers of their excess capacity at these times. Chances are there simply is no excess.

For phone service we use a pay-go phone service called Ting, which is incredibly cheap if you are a light user. Until the pandemic we’ve been light users, particularly of data. Some months our phone service cost around $35 a month for two lines. Most of the time it was around $50 for two lines. If we didn’t use data at all (choosing to just use WiFi and free hot spots), our bill would be around $23 for two lines. So pre-pandemic when a world of cafes with free internet were open to me, our phone bill was pretty low. Plus Ting’s customer service is fantastic. We love Ting.

Since I can no longer use Starbuck’s WIFI, I’m doing some of my writing outdoors while Steve runs and I’m using my phone data. I’m also using my phone data when our internet goes down at home.

Last month our phone bill was $141, which is a bit much. So on Friday I ordered a phone from T-Mobile with unlimited data. We’ll continue to use Ting for Steve’s phone (since he uses virtually no data). And at this point we’ll continue with Toast, though Xfinity is tempting us. We have traumatic memories of dealing with Comcast’s tech support and customer support. So any discussion of Comcast, reminds us of why we switched.

Writing Update

I received a lot of amazing comments on my discussion of the OODA Loop, most of which were on Facebook. I am beyond grateful for the depth and quality of information people have been willing to share on military operations and how the OODA Loop functions. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you!

Today I will revise the first battle scene and finish the story so that it can go to my critique group prior to going to Mia on Friday night. I’ve worked on a few other things while I digested the comments. Today is the day I will need to produce. I don’t feel competent yet, butI’ll do the best I can.

I’m also working on my time travel romance. The next chapter is due to the Romance group today. We’ll see if I can get it in.

A friend of mine and I have formed a study group to go through Dean’s courses together. It makes it so much more fun to have a partner! We are in the second week of Advanced Depth. This is a class that I didn’t finish when I took it before. A partner makes me more likely to finish, so thanks Partner! Steve says he can see a qualitative difference in my writing as I’ve been taking Dean’s classes. So it’s been worth it.

I hope things have gone well for you this week. Tomorrow is Monday, so a new week and a new chance to make things better. For those of you who have children starting school Monday, you are in my thoughts. May you be safe and sane as you navigate this new world.

Be well, friends.

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