One of the things about living up in the Northeast kingdom, among other things like the six solid months of hard winter, is learning to do without. We don’t have convenience stores around every corner for instance and you usually have to set aside a whole day if you want to go shopping at a major super market or big box store since those are pretty scarce around here. Basically the only thing you can “run out to” is the local general/convenience store ’cause there’s usually one within 20 miles or so.
The other thing you don’t readily get up here is things like wide spread cable so satellite is the only way to go and getting a local broadcast station like channel 3 out of Burlington with an antennae is right out since the hills tend to get in the way so satellite has to do that too if you can actually convince the boneheads that “NO…I CANNOT receive local channels, I don’t care what your @###@@!!! computer says!!!”. With that comes the interesting fact that no matter how far up in the hills you may wander you’ll most likely come across someone or twos or threes or whatever the case may be, living in some double wide or prefab and 9 times out of 10 there’ll be a satellite dish on top of it. Or maybe two or three.
Another thing you might be surprised to find up here are a growing number of home computers. Vermonters tend to be information hogs. It pays to be informed ya’ know so you might not only find a computer sitting on a well organized desk in the 200 year old farmhouse but you’ll probably find it online also which leads to another “do without”.
You might find it interesting to know that dial-up internet was a new thing up here just a few years ago and DSL was nonexistent. Vermont’s phone system has always been a bit behind the times. I mean, we just got a working, complete 911 system about 6 years ago and there still ain’t no such thing as 411 at all. Sure, dial up was “available” back then but a long distance call for most folks, lousy throughput and always subject to weather. Now-a-days you usually have dial up available where you live that’s still subject to local phone charges which are usually billed at a a higher per minute rate than long distance, has lousy throughput and weather still knocks it out.
Verizon just offered DSL to the folks that live in Newport proper at a more than reasonable rate which really pissed off the competition to no end which is why I even have this blog in the first place so I’m playing around with possibilities so things might get a little strange at times.
Anyway, the ice they promised is here and still coming down so I guess we’re trapped in the house which really isn’t such a bad place to be trapped at all.