April 19, 2008

The internet's not working!

So here I am in Madison, and, dammit, I'm at Starbucks. How the hell did I end up here? In New York, I'm stuck going to Starbucks, because there are no indie cafés with WiFi in my neighborhood or in the places I go around Manhattan. But when I come back to Madison, like this weekend, I shun Starbucks. But this morning (and last night), Charter Communications had a regional outage — I tried calling — so I left the house first thing in search of a café.

It was like in this "South Park." You get up, you try to get on line, you freak out — the internet's not working! — and you head right out to a café to get your morning internet. In the "South Park," they actually go to a Starbucks. (Why does their Starbucks have free WiFi? I've never encountered free WiFi at a Starbucks.) So I run downtown, heading for one of my favorite Madison cafés, but it's Saturday and it's not 8 yet, so, that's the one niche that Starbucks fills in Madison: It's open all the time.

But now it's after 8, and I can café hop. I can't find an electrical outlet here anyway, and I'm down to the last 11% of my charge.

Am I addicted to the internet? Let's just say that "South Park" — which you should watch — hits close to home.

IN THE COMMENTS: George said...
It's worse than you think, Professor—You're an addict, and you're dealing the stuff.
Ah! You're right! Bloggers are the dealers in the world of internet addiction.

Greg in Madtown said:
It's even easier on the near-east side of town. Three independent coffee shops within four blocks of my house, and Escape Java Joint (with free wireless, of course), is only closed 6 hours/day (midnight-6am). I'm not advertising -- I don't work there -- it's just great to live in a city where I can pay for internet by the cup, even on Christmas. (Again with those atheists!)
Thanks for the tip! And, look, my favorite Madison food blog has reviewed it:
Rooms lead on to rooms all painted mellow colors. Our original guess was it used to be a dentist's office, but according to the barista, before Escape was a coffee shop, it was an arcade and a thrift store in the recent past (which we vaguely remembered), and in the more distant past a machine shop and wagon maker.
Wagon maker. Layers of history.

17 comments:

Greg in Madtown said...

It's even easier on the near-east side of town. Three independent coffee shops within four blocks of my house, and Escape Java Joint (with free wireless, of course), is only closed 6 hours/day (midnight-6am). I'm not advertising -- I don't work there -- it's just great to live in a city where I can pay for internet by the cup, even on Christmas. (Again with those atheists!)

George said...

It's worse than you think, Professor—You're an addict, and you're dealing the stuff.

vet66 said...

I finally gave up on wifi and bought an air card. May I suggest you do the same?

The internet is the new town square, for better or worse.

rhhardin said...

You're never addicted to the internet if you have a dog. Just go out and play. Take a camera.

Ann Althouse said...

vet: Not sure I can do that with a Mac.

Omaha1 said...

My name is Omaha1 and I am an internet addict. My morning ritual is to turn on the coffee, brush my teeth, and log on. I was also grievously wounded by that South Park episode. Glad you are on line again Althouse!

Trooper York said...

See what happens when you leave Brooklyn, you get discombobulated!

hdhouse said...

geeeze, remember when it was a big deal when you couldn't find a place to buy milk on sunday night?

Chris Wren said...

(Why does their Starbucks have free WiFi? I've never encountered free WiFi at a Starbucks.)

All the Starbucks in Guadalajara ( and Mexico City too) have free Wifi, courtesy of ProdigyMovil. It's not what you'd call the fastest Wifi in the world, but it is free. I actually find it rude and inhospitable when a coffee shop wants to charge for internet access.

Ron said...

As I've often said about this blog...first line of commentary is free...

Chet said...

These self-imposed demands.

With such meager advertising profits, the devotion and obligation doesn't seem to match the remuneration.

Maybe someone has some advice in how to parlay heavy traffic into revenue.

George said...

Internet be the death of me.
Internet—it's my wife, and it's my life.
Because a mouse click to my pad
Leads to a cursor in my Mac,
And then I'm better off and dead,
Because when the posts begin to flow
I really don't care anymore....

With apologies to Mr. Louis Reed.

cold pizza said...

Omniblogger! -cp

dick said...

rhhardin,

Now you are making me homesick. I was born not far from where you live and I really miss it. You live in a gorgeous part of the country - nice people and great way of life. Loved it there and hope to get away from NYC and get back there where you can live and breathe again.

Walter said...

Sprint makes a USB version of the air card. My boss uses it on his Mac Air. He uses it for a private, mid-speed internet connection from his office.

Ann Althouse said...

Mid-speed?

That's not very interesting. I can get on line with my iPhone.

Nicole said...

south park is my favorite show, but this wasn't one of my favorite episodes. i do, however, think we are addicted to the internet. i check in the morning, at school, when i get home, before i go to bed ...