Jared Felkins: The air is thick around the Felkins home

Last week while working double shifts due to a planned vacation in our newsroom, my lovely wife, Mary, sent me a text to inform me how slowly our Internet was running at our home.
Mar 22, 2014

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

— Albert Einstein

The number of gadgets in the Felkins home has slowly increased from a level of silly to ridiculous. 

Now let me preface what I’m about to say to make it clear I am in no way bragging about our “toys.” I mean, isn’t a step in admitting there’s a problem actually admitting there’s a problem?

In that case, Houston, we have a problem. 

Last week while working double shifts due to a planned vacation in our newsroom, my lovely wife, Mary, sent me a text to inform me how slowly our Internet was running at our home. 

Having experienced the same sluggishness several times in the past, I will attempt to present an analogy that just might put it in better perspective. You know those three-toed sloths in that rain forest in that other country that move about 3 centimeters over the course of about 15 years? 

It was moving somewhere along that pace. 

So the text conversation went something like this:

Mary: I’ve been trying to watch Hulu for 30 minutes. The TV in the bedroom is a piece of garbage. Ridiculous. 

Me: I’m sorry (I text that a lot.)

Mary: I finally decided to watch it on Apple TV. It’s this [expletive] Internet. This stinks. 

Me: I think we need a new router. 

Mary: We bought that router when we moved here. 

Me: I know, but it was cheap. I just think we need a better one. 

Mary: [Sends a link to the Linksys EA3500 App-enabled N750 Dual-band Wireless-N Router] Andrew recommends this one. (Andrew is her nephew who’s an IT in Austin. If he recommends it, and thankfully he did, we get it.) Do you want me to order it?

Me: Yes. That appears to be a good one and much better than the one we have.

Mary: OK. It’ll be here Saturday. 

Me: Thanks. 

So the new router arrived a week ago, and sure enough, the problem was the router. Thanks, Andrew, wherever you are. 

But since that time, I’ve been doing some internal inventory of all the things in our home that rely on wireless Internet access. I was shocked at the final tally. 

Now keep in mind we don’t own all of these devices. At least some of them are property of Lebanon Publishing Co. 

But at any given point we could have two wireless televisions, a Blu-Ray player, a MacBook Pro computer, two iPads, two iPod Touch, two iPhones, a wireless printer, Apple TV, Wii U, Wii and a Kindle Fire connected to the Internet. Folks, our home is only a little more than 1,200 square feet. 

So that’s obviously a problem. 

It’s a problem we only see our son about 30 minutes a day, long enough to eat and use the restroom, otherwise he’s watching YouTube videos of other people playing video games. What’s up with that?

It’s a problem when our oldest daughter texts me from upstairs to find out what we are having for dinner. 

It’s a problem when our youngest daughter calls me via Facetime to find out when I’m coming home from work. She’s 6 for crying out loud. 

I am encouraged to know temperatures are rising, and the girls are into softball. I’m also encouraged to know Bryant, our son, wants to get back into swimming. 

I’m also encouraged spring break is over, and they will return to school, schedules and actual learning instead of mindlessness. 

So hopefully our problems are solved, at least until summer break. 

While I’m admitting stuff, I’m wondering when I became my parents. Maybe they actually were on to something when they used to lock us outside the house during the summer. 

And I just thought they were being mean.

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins. 


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