Waiting for the Cloud

In which The Author breathes a sigh of relief

You nearly didn’t get today’s contribution to NaBloPoMo. It’s nearly 9 p.m. GMT here in the UK and I’ve just been able to access my blog for the first time. The situation in The Land The Internet Forgot seems to have gone from bad to downright fucking appalling.
After several failed attempts over the past few days, I’ve abandoned trying to top up the MyFi. The top-up screen, which should appear by default in my browser when my data expires, takes ages trying to load before timing out. Having exhausted Option 1, I drafted most of yesterday’s entry in the Library, before that wifi crashed entirely.
If you spotted the awkward edit at the halfway mark, that’s because I had to try and reinstate my train of thought in the pub. Rob H. emailed me as usual this morning, pointing out an error which had crept in while I was trying to reconstruct the post from the version which had been backed up. I was just concerned with getting it into Cyberspace, and planning to get the niceties finished when I had time, but time wasn’t on my side yesterday.
This afternoon, even stranger things were happening in the Library. I was able to access Facebook, my emails, and the crosswords as usual, but I couldn’t log into my blog. I think I told you a while ago that their firewall has found it unsuitable for a general audience. Even my own finished posts don’t display properly in my browser. It’s little short of censorship.
Okay, if it was a film it would be flagged up as containing strong language and sexual references, but there’s no actual violence, nudity or drug use. However, this fact alone seems to have placed it on Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC Library Service’s blacklist. If you took your own laptop into Aberdare Library and logged into the wifi, you wouldn’t be able to read this – or any other posting. I think the main page loads okay, but after that you’re fucked.
Hitherto, this hasn’t actually prevented me from posting, fortunately. As long as I’m careful with the HTML, and I go into the editing features by a circuitous route, I can do nearly everything I need to from day to day. This afternoon, though, something was seriously wrong.
I couldn’t get into the dashboard of this blog at all. I could have probably have posted on any of my other blogs (the Doctor Who/Torchwood story, my creative writing bits from uni, my satirical sketches of life in the South Wales Valleys, or my Stealth Proofreading raids), but I was denied any access to this blog.
Now, there are three possible explanations for this:
  • the server was playing silly buggers as usual
  • the chap on the next table and I were stretching the available bandwidth to beyond breaking point
  • it’s been blocked entirely
Considering how many times I’ve highlighted the shortcomings of RCTCBC, and in particular Aberdare Library itself, that last option wouldn’t surprise me in the least. A progressive local authority, keen to engage with its electorate, would have noted the complaints I’ve voiced here and seen that there that was a problem which needed to be investigated. They’d have got a member of staff to leave a comment, inviting me to meet the people concerned for a mature and adult discussion.
It’s my guess that RCT, one of the oldest one-party states in the world (see No Future), has had a hissy fit. They’ve probably gone for the knee-jerk reaction of totalitarian regimes the world over, and started closing down the avenues of dissent. If the situation is the same for the next three days in a row, then I’ll know I’m not just paranoid.
I’m in the pub now. That was a close-run thing as well. When I got here, the Cloud was out of commission. A guy was here doing some maintenance work on the Sky system (which powers the Cloud), and I wasted over half an hour playing Mah Jong until normal service was resumed. It’s a fair bet that, had there been an important football match on tonight, the engineer would have been told to get his finger out and finish the job a good bit sooner.
As, indeed, should I. Following last week’s DIY disaster (see Crash) I’ve finally fitted the new shelves needed to accommodate the heaviest items of my collection. I still need to cobble together some bookends to stop any further slippage, but the job’s nearly done. At this rate, it should look really nice by Xmas.