Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paralysis By Being Broadbandless

Good morning -- it's that time again -- writing and posting time. Only I can't effectively do that, because my home broadband is "out" yet again -- not completely out (I can write and publish this post for some reason), but for the most part I am unable to reach any sites at all. Instead, I get the spinning wheel of death as my Mac frantically tries to find the sites I have selected. I have experienced this time and time again at our home where only DSL is available. Morning coffee essentially without Internet access -- what am I to do? Actually get some more sleep? Ahh c'mon! Instead, I sit here paralyzed and unable to find an effective topic du jour on which to comment for my Digital Media Update. Hence, my rant.

Rant #2 -- I just returned from my European vacation (which was complete with its own Chevy Chase moments). One of our stops was a nice class A hotel on the strand in Monte Carlo. Not cheap. So, wi-fi access throughout the hotel was a cinch, right? Wrong! While even Motel 6's give you broadband as part of the price of admission, Le Meridien of Monte Carlo apparently makes a decision for you to completely be off the grid so that you can instead focus your time by paying 20 Euros for a Mediterranean-side cocktail (that's about $30 for you and me). Now, if you are anything like me, staying off the grid simply is not an option (nor can you stomach a $30 cocktail no matter how thirsty you are). So, what's a tourist to do?

Monte Carlo's beach cafes to the rescue! While I couldn't access Internet in my own hotel, I could groggily stumble down to the beach cafes in the early morning hours, sit down, plug in the free wi-fi access code and buy a coffee or coke so that I don't feel completely sheepish for sitting down, checking in and use them for something I can't believe my hotel could not provide. These cafes were saviors -- without them, I would have been paralyzed (or would have turned on my smart phone data plan which would have been a debacle; I have a traumatic story to write about regarding a previous European vacation and streaming Rhapsody all day from a houseboat on Lake Como with what I had thought was an unlimited data plan ... alas, but that's for another day).

Broadband -- don't leave home (or be at home!) without it ...