A public service announcement: Sandy's blog is broken! She has set up a new place (possibly temporary, possibly not) where she can blog here. Be sure to update your feeds, k?(she's back!)
They just razed the old McDonalds in South Burlington, and put up a new one in its place. One day last week I was alone over the lunch hour and needed to check my email. Until that point, I didn't have access to the university wireless internet system. I finally have it now. Yay!
For over a year, when I was killing time between classes, I couldn't do anything with the internet unless I got in my car, drove off campus, and found a wireless signal that I could pick up. When it was cold, I'd have to leave the car idling with the heater on so I didn't freeze. I don't need to tell you this bothers the environmentalist in me, do I? Anyway, I saw a big sign in the new Micky-D's that said "Free WiFi" so I veered on in there so I could go in where it was warm. The small print, though, is "free with any purchase." If you ask for it when you buy something, they give you a coupon for access to their system for an hour. Pretty nifty, actually. Of course that gave me the perfect opportunity to get some french fries, but I digress.
Hey, I'm wicked impressed with the new place! No more retina-scorching red-and-yellow plastic. They've taken the "kid" out of McDonalds, and as a kid-hater from way back, you know how that suits me! It's all euro-modern; almost looks like a Starbucks. Being brand new, it's still clean. It's got nice tables, nice benches, a seating area with couches and a coffee table, and a big-screen TV, and here's a rub I have with places that offer WiFi -- they don't often have outlets to plug your computer in. I think they want you to use your battery, so your time using up their space and their WiFi signal is limited to your battery life. But the new McD's has outlets at every booth. Pretty awesome. I predict it's going to change the average demographic of their clientele, at least for a while. Let the kids and families go somewhere ELSE. *evil cackle* Then again, I guess kids are so wired now from birth that WiFi and big-screen TVs are much more attractive to them than play-places. Who wants to get one's ass up off the couch to move around and play? Grumble. Damn. So much for my idea of a nice place with free WiFi without kids. I suppose it's back to Starbucks for me, but their WiFi is not free. Bastards. OK, then, the Staples parking lot. But no, there's no need! Now I have university access! Next round of beers is on me!
So anyway, I'm sitting there all wired up, minding my own business, taking care of my email, and sending Sandy a text message in response to the one she had just sent me saying something along the lines of "Hallelujah! I've got hot water!" (The poor woman had been several days without a hot water heater at that point.) A businessman-looking guy comes over, sits down next to me, and says, "Are you sending a text message?"
"Good grief," I thought. "Now what?" I wondered what rule I had broken for sending a text message. I mean, really, they said free WiFi, not free text messaging, so maybe I was crossing some line?! So I tell him yes, I'm sending a text message. I'm still wondering why he's asking, but I go back to doing what I'm doing. He continues to engage me in conversation. He tells me this is all new to him. Wonders what would be the advantage of text messaging versus just calling the person, or sending an email; how does it "improve my business?" Etc. Etc. Etc.
Then it dawned on me: He's trying to get friendly. I turn my attention back to what I'm doing. He continues to ask me details about the text messaging and about my phone. He says that though these may seem like very basic questions, all this technology is totally NEW to him and he wants to learn more about it. Then he turns his head.
He has apparently forgotten that he has a Bluetooth cell phone device hanging on his ear.
All new on the technology, eh, buddy?