Day 76: Interstate Tour 2018
There was a big yellow object in the sky when I woke up this morning, thought we were under attack or something before realizing that it was the sun.
Only briefly, though. Just long enough to heat up the coach and create a waking impulse to switch on the generator and get some cold air pumping. The rain returned shortly thereafter as I topped off groceries at Walmart and plotted my next move.
WiFi had been strangely deficient all around when it’s usually reliably robust at certain locations. Even McDonald’s signal was weak. With production deadlines looming, I decided to bite the bullet and find another campground with WiFi, only this time I’d request a site that’s actually close to a router or repeater.
I ended up at White Birch Campground in Whately, Massachusetts, nestled in the rolling hills of Franklin County. Planted on what I suspect was former farm land, the property consisted of wide open meadow plots as well as some way-buried-in-the-forest sites. When I asked about WiFi, he pointed to a tiny router in the window. Closest sites would be in the field, but he said that they were swamps, due to the constant rain. I opted for out back in the woods and he said that I could always come up front to sit and use the WiFi. Nice guy - he also gave me a hot tip on some local seafood via a place he’s been going for over 30 years. NOW I’m excited.
The MacBook Pro was left on top of the microwave, next to the route, where it began chipping away at the data transfers I had stacking up. Then, every so often, I’d walk out to the office to see how the progress was going. Five hours later, it was finished.
My outgoing media won’t be that huge this week, so I’ll be able to edit Dulcimerica and get it posted for Friday.
When I hatched the audacious plan of “double your bookings, increase media production and then write a daily blog”, I obviously had no clue that sickly WiFi would be the villain that I fought all summer. My production life-line is four little letters that may or not actually work as advertised.
All WiFi is not created equal.
Some of it comes with little annoyances like auto log-off. It’s a good thing, frees up bandwidth if people aren’t really using it, but also requires babysitting so that your flow doesn’t shut off. Some have content blocking which limits the kind of sites that you can visit, and I don’t know what the criteria is, but it sometimes won’t allow me access to the management sites I use for maintaining the business. Typically covered in one of these blog posts as “admin” in a sentence or two, the day-to-day operations of running J.O.B. Entertainment Inc. is a carefully coordinated effort that involves banking, fulfilling orders that come from my online store, printing postage for shipping, dropping off packages, answering e-mail, booking future shows and posting content to my Patreon.
So, when WiFi is sucky, it throws a wrench in things. I may never complain about our home cable situation again. I’m seriously considering going with satellite next year - WiFi All THE TIME - no limiting or throttling, no trolling strip mall parking lots or loitering near fast food franchises, no service blackouts when driving into the out there. Just ZAP and pass the WiFi, please.
Feeling a little surly, I surfed a bit before going to bed and discovered that Steve Perry had just dropped a new song and video. One of the voices of my formative years sounds and looks fabulous - talk about falling asleep with a smile on my face!