STEAMPUNK, the subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction epitomised by stories heralding "broadband in Ireland" enjoys a little bounce in Ireland on the run-up to BlogTalk in Cork. According to the experts, "the term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used-usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England-but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date." That just about describes the condition of broadband in Ireland today. I get a home view of steampunk when visiting mom in Pennsylvania. In many ways, mom feels more comfortable around the utilitarian appliances of Amish friends. These long-time friends have throwaway appliances in their kitchens and they use the stoves and the refrigerators as storage locations. Handy and very steampunk in my estimation. It's as though the unplugged appliances sit in their Amish homes in an alternative view of how 20th century modernity ought to embrace technology. And the Amish seamstresses we know have analog cellular telephones as well--they are allowed to use their phones while standing inside a wooden phone box. Using their phones that way keeps their irritating chirpy ringtones inside a box, away from normal conversation that can occur uninterrupted by this handheld conduit to the English world.