Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wifi Hotspots Rant

I don't normally go to Starbucks, for a variety of reasons (too expensive, too weird, etc.). I wound up at a Starbucks today for an informal business meeting. I had assumed that I would be able to go online with my laptop, because Starbucks makes a big fuss about being a wifi hotspot. It turns out that you have to set up an account with T-Mobile (or another similar company) to be able to use the wifi at Starbucks.

At the places I consider to be "real" coffee shops (locally owned, not massive corporations), the wifi is free for customers. All you have to do is ask for that day's password. And you don't have to order a tall mochafrappacchino when all you really want is a small coffee.

Brass City Buzz and the John Bale Bookstore have great coffee, great food, a great atmosphere and you can use the wifi without registering with yet another faceless corporation. Maybe some of the customers at Starbucks will figure out that there's a better choice.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Memories of Summer

A few photos I took last summer. Remember when it used to be warm and green outside?

Fulton Park
Fulton Park, July 2005

Fulton Park
Fulton Park, July 2005

Waterbury Green
The Waterbury Green, July 2005

View from Hayden Park
View from Hayden Park, October 2005. Technically not summer, but still green and so much warmer than it is now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Little Things

It seems like a lot of Waterbury's problems are caused by bureaucrats from outside the city who have no connection to Waterbury and no reason to care about the harm they cause. The buses don't run past 6 in the evening, and anytime Waterbury residents ask for better bus service, we're told by CT Transit that no one in Waterbury would ride the buses after 6pm.

Now the post office is being slowly shifted to Wallingford. I used to get my paychecks in the mail every other Saturday. Now I get them on every other Monday. My paychecks are put in the mail at a location which is only a ten-minute walk, at most, from my house. But before they can be delivered to me, they have to go to Wallingford, which is a thirty-minute drive. It makes no sense. But I guess that's how bureaucracy works.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Big, Bad Nor'easter

It's amazing how quiet the city gets in a snow storm. I know I've mentioned it before, but it still impresses me. I'm working up the courage to try shovelling, but the wind looks pretty intense. The roads are so bad that one of the city plows got stuck trying to go up Willow Street. I had a good laugh watching him spin his back tires. He had to coast backwards down the hill until he got to a spot with better traction. While he was struggling, two passenger cars cruised past him. I'm guessing the city won't be dug out until sometime on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

La Traviata

La Traviata was performed at the Palace Theater last weekend. I love opera, and the Palace is a beautiful setting for it. But ticket sales were so poor that the Palace had to offer a two-for-one special. I have to admit that I didn't go see the show, but I was in California.... I was very disappointed that I was going to miss this year's Palace opera. I was even more disappointed to learn how uninterested in opera people are around here. Is it because it's not in English? Broadway musicals do great business, so why not opera?