Glowing white stick lights up Monkey Valley!

Mobile internet keyI’m back at Monkey Valley for the month of November, working on a personal writing project. I arrived November 3, to balmy conditions. No frozen water pipes! The road was dry and easy to drive on! All systems were running in the house! It is so nice to reap the benefits of the ten years of work I have put into getting this place to run smoothly. And also nice to have the grace of a mild autumn.

I went into Merritt on Thursday to have the snow tires put on. I also ran into old friends at the Post Office and Espresso Etc., my favourite place for coffee and lunch. You can see the decaf I had in the photo to the right, where I was testing out my new technology: a glowing white stick that miraculously gives me internet service wherever I go! It was wonderful to catch up on news with people I haven’t seen for a while, and reconnect with this place that has been my home off and on for eight years now.

Right at home with my dome antenna and meThe real test was whether the internet stick would work at Monkey Valley. As you know, the cell reception here is notoriously bad. When I first tested the internet stick, aka Mobile Internet Key, I had to hold my laptop above my head, so that it was inches from the dome antenna I had mounted high on the wall. Obviously this was not a practical solution: my laptop is not the lightest on the market, and it is difficult to type à la Jimmy Page with the laptop over my head!

But I had a look at the cable I so carefully installed last summer (2009, was it?!), and saw that I could get some extra length out of it if I ran it straight from my upstairs bedroom, through the loft, below the railing, and down to the table below. Hence the set-up you see in the second picture. The dome is inches from the internet stick, and the signal is fairly reliable. Every now and then it still drops, so I need to be mindful about saving my work before doing any actions that might cause Internet Explorer to lose the page I’m in. And of course there is the risk of brain damage from working so close to the cell phone signal, which has been boosted and intensified by the booster upstairs! So I will do my best to minimize internet time this month.

The great news is, though, that I can use the internet for just $35/month (versus the $100+ I was paying for satellite internet). And with the dome antenna sitting on my TV, I can actually talk on the phone while sitting on the couch. No more standing on a stool trying to hear what my callers are saying! Things just keep getting better, don’t they!