It is a quarter to midnight on a Wednesday night at the end of November. I’m sitting in my car, parked outside a strip mall on McKnight Road, a shopping district in the suburbs north of Pittsburgh.
I’m parked here because there’s a Starbucks here. The Starbucks is closed, but that’s fine with me because their wi-fi connection is still on, and I can get a signal even outside.
There’s also a Bruegger’s Bagels. They have free wi-fi, but I didn’t notice they were here until after I parked. They should make their signs brighter — more noticeable.
I had a night meeting in Oakland, and I’d forgotten to write my daily post beforehand. When I realized that I was going to miss my daily blogging, I tried to think of ways to get online:
- Go back in my friends’ house and ask if they could stay awake just a little longer, so I could write a blog post!
- Drive downtown and struggle with the free Pittsburgh wi-fi, and hope I figured it out before midnight!
- Call one of my stalwarts who live in the North Hills, wake them, and ask if they’d mind if I dropped by for just a few minutes to get online!
Naturally none of those would do.
Then I realized I could find a strip mall, find a Panera or a Starbucks/T-Mobile or some such, and be on the internet in moments. Pretty much any McDonald’s would help me out even. And I could continue to listen to my iPod over the car stereo while i wrote.
So here I sit, bathed in the glow of my laptop screen, scrunched behind the steering wheel of my rapidly chilling car outside an international mega-chain, typing away, connected to the world.
We live in amazing times.
Ooh, security guard coming. Gotta go!