I’m having a perfectly wonderful time here at the GLBA, but there’s one fly in the proverbial ointment, which is that the hotel’s in-room Internet service well and truly sucks. For the first half of the stay it was non-existent, thanks to a downed router or something, and since then, the best word for it is intermittent — which is to say that for thirty seconds it works fine, and then for the next five minutes it doesn’t work at all, and then you get another thirty seconds where it does work, sort of, if you consider sub-9600-baud-like speed "working," which I pretty much don’t. At that speed you learn that every site on the Web that features ads loads the ads before they load the actual content you want to see, and very few things are more annoying than watching ads load before actual content. I suppose these sites have to pay the bills. Even so.
This intermittentcy also makes it very difficult to upload pictures or update sites: I’ve had to basically abandon doing my AOL Journal for the weekend mostly because I can’t keep AOL connected, and since the entire client (including the web page one is composing an entry on) collapses when a connection is cut, this makes one eventually want to murder whoever it is that is claiming to do tech support for this hotel. Part of my brain is thinking The Comfort Inn can keep its high-speed internet connection going — why can’t these jokers? On the other hand it doesn’t appear I’ve actually been charged for the Internet connection, so I guess I can’t complain too much.
Still, it highlights for me the fact that at this point in time, a working Internet connection really is a non-negotiable for me in terms of where I stay during a trip; if I had to choose between a basic hotel with an Internet connection and a better hotel without one, I’d go for the basic hotel, on the grounds that a hotel without Internet is not a "better" one for me, period, end of story.
On my to do list for today: Sign books for booksellers, grin and schmooze, and then hop in the car and get on back home, where wife, child and a reliable Internet connection wait for me — all treasured, although to be entirely honest the reliable Internet connection is treasured significantly less than the first two. As it should be.