Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reconnected To The World

(From Ray X X-Rayer #137. )

I tried getting by without an ISP here at my new apartment.  Going around and using various public WiFi spots got old quick.

There was a great coffeehouse, the perfect WiFi spot, quiet, good coffee – but it closed.  All that's left are fake cafes.  These establishments are run like bars, loud music blaring, caffeine instead of alcohol. Raucous rock and misogynistic rap driven into your head.

One evening I went to a fake cafe and the music was blasting inside.  I went outside on the rear patio to get away from the distracting noise.  Across the street some bagpipers started up with their alfresco practice.  Then someone in the parking lot cranked up his car stereo.  Such a cacophony isn't conducive to creative thinking.

For a quieter time I would sit outside a fake cafe after it had closed, using the WiFi on the street. At least there was a bench where I could sit.  I wouldn't be the only WiFi loiterer.  A taxi driver would be parked outside, tagging a connection.  And others like me also were tagging on depending upon the weather.

The public library is quiet but its public WiFi is undependable.  I show up with a smart phone, a tablet, and a laptop but none of them will connect.  At the same time other people are having the same problem so it's not just me.  With the limited hours the library is open it's hard to get any real work.  And with all public WiFi spots there can be security issues.

I did some digging and got a decent price with a internet connection via the cable company.  I was hesitant because locally the cable company has a bad reputation.  A rep will tell you one thing and then you find out that wasn't true.  An installation fee is added to your bill even though the rep during the phone conversation stated that fee would be waived.  The state attorney general recently nailed with company with legal action because of the company's deceptive advertising, promising connection speeds that weren't as fast as claimed.

So far no problems with the cable company but it's still the honeymoon period.  I'm still waiting for my first bill.

It's easy to feel isolated in this jerkwater town.  Among the few friends I had some have moved away for better job opportunities.  Others have died.  There are few people around with similar interests.  The other day I joked to two guys why I didn't drink.  Me and alcohol, I explained, was like Bruce Banner and gamma rays.  They responded with Huh? looks. With popular entertainment the Hulk isn't that obscure, is he?  Like I said, isolation.

Most people here don't realize that there's a big world out there.  But they prefer provincialism.  Thanks to my 24/7 internet connection I can stay in contact with the world in the quiet of my apartment, mentally escaping from this Podunk trap.

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