Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Morning Hustle

I had a great post planned, but alas, time is against me. One thing is for sure: I have to find a way to cut back on my various community obligations, as it's eating up an enormous amount of time. Between my work on two board of directors and the ongoing struggle for broadband access for my present home town, Marlboro, and the weekly prep for CCS teaching (my main gig) and trying to fit freelance and, yes, blogging into the mix, it's a juggling act I occasionally lose ground on.

A morning-into-afternoon broadband meeting yesterday drove home the sobering reality that Marlboro is indeed a no-man's-land in terms of any 21st Century communications. For a variety of reasons (including things the town has never had any control over, like the utility pole spans), though we're only ten-twenty minutes away from Brattleboro, which is fully wired (and wireless), Marlboro does not have and it appears may never have cable of any kind -- not video, not broadband, not phone, and I've seen the maps to prove it.

Satellite isn't an option for many of us, due to lack of southern sky exposure and treelines, and it's apparent that the only way Marlboro is ever going to get broadband is to build it as a wireless network -- which means, as the technologies leap ahead, we'll be obsolete before we've erected our first tower or antennae.

I've mentioned the toll here a number of times, and it's measurable each week: the sites I can simply no longer load due to dial-up, the services I've had to drop due to dial-up only access, and as of 2006 I can begin to clock potential jobs lost due to lack of anything but dial-up. The frustration factor of dealing with a high-speed accessible world reaches absurdist proportions that would be delightful if they weren't so increasingly damaging, but it's always been a factor of living in the sticks: I still recall DC editor Karen Berger's amazement that there was no messenger service or taxi service here. The old days of Fed X next-day delivery being the best option have given way to publisher requests for immediate transmission of photos or images -- impossible with dial-up only, particularly the kind of files needed for printing purposes -- and resulting calamity if one doesn't comply instantly.

In time, I fully expect the morning coming when I simply can't post on this blog, due to some overnight upgrade of the system. It's already impossible to post from my old Mac, or even open email on that computer.

I refuse to engage in the economy of spending thousands of dollars annually just to stay abreast of computer upgrades, and may willingly leave this virtual realm behind soon just to "buy back" the endless hours spent trying to wade through email on a daily basis. In one way, I'll be cutting myself off from a great deal; in another, think of all the time I'll have to write and draw again...

Finally: Shave and a Haircut -- ?

Have a great weekend, though I'll try to post more off and on as time permits this weekend, too.