Georgia Bound 12 – Why No WiFi?

The front crossview mirror of a school bus; it...

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Most everyone in Rome is genuinely courteous and friendly. We do so love this town. Despite the hospitable atmosphere the state of Georgia isn’t very kind to those of us on a disability income. They particularly don’t like it if you are married. According to them, we were getting too much money as a married disabled couple with an autistic child. They cut our pay so that we had to give up our cell phones. I paid for a year’s worth of Skype service for less than forty bucks. Now we could make our outgoing calls for a lot less and receive our calls through Google voice. The internet is truly a wonder!

Kyra’s school, Model Elementary, is a bit far from us so we were happy for the school bus that picked her up. The bus service was apparently not happy with Kyra. They suspended her from the bus for her behavior. They did so at such a time when we were broke. I hate when some people say that they are broke and still have money. They obviously do not understand the concept. Being broke is when you have to start selling your stuff to put gas in your car. We had gas in our car, but not enough to take her to school for three days, which was the period of her suspension. Had we taken her to school for one day, we would not have been able to go anywhere at all. We had already sold anything that could bring us a fair dollar. Jenni even pawned her ring with no hope in sight of ever retrieving it.

The behavioral issues associated with Kyra’s conduct are not uncommon for a child with autism. It would seem that the bus was not staffed with those who would be able to cater to a child with special needs. Despite her being picked up from our home by a bus for special children, we found out that she was transferred daily to another bus en route to Model Elementary school. This other bus is run by someone who considered our daughter to be too autistic for them. She was suspended because her needs were just too damned special for the incompetence of the bus company that operates for Floyd County’s school system. Well, as long as they make their money, to hell with us. Right?

We decided that Kyra would be best off home schooled. Soon thereafter, we lost our account with ATT.

Surely, there had to be a way for us to connect to the internet. We drove around Swan Lake Mobile Home Community with my smart phone ready to pick up a signal. Despite losing service with Verizon, the phone still has WiFi capability. We figured that we could just go to the hot spot each day to check our email and voice mail on Google Voice. We got an intermittent signal on our street that was very poor, but on the street behind our home the signal started to grow as we made our way down the road. It peaked right outside the manager’s home. No wonder Sarah wasn’t concerned about our internet connection. Hers was just fine.

Jenni decided to go talk to Sarah to see if a solution could be reached. As members of the community, it would be simply splendid if we could actually receive the free community WiFi. I had a strong suspicion that the meeting would not go well. When we moved in Jenni asked Sarah for something; we just wanted the extra window panes that were missing from our “energy efficient double-paned” windows. Sarah’s response was that they do not do those kinds of windows. I can only conclude that energy efficiency is not a concern of Swan Lake, so we covered the widows with plastic and changed every bulb out for efficient bulbs. It took us a couple of months to pay for all that, but we did it and it brought our electric bill down by fifty dollars.

Anyway, during Jenni’s office visit, Sarah responded just as I had predicted. The free community WiFi was free for those who could actually get the signal. Everyone else would just have to pay for their internet access. If we wanted cable internet, Sarah told Jenni that we would have to go through Swan Lake and pay for cable service first. Swan Lake owned the land, the wires, the cable boxes and we would have to pay them if we wanted to use their cables. My wife was also told that they would spare no expense boosting the signal; otherwise, they would charge for the internet access.

Jenni also asked Sarah for the owner’s email address but was told that he was a very old man and did not have an email address. We were hoping that we could beg him to boost the signal or even start a petition that would encourage him to do so, but we still don’t know who actually owns this place. Maybe he is a computer illiterate hermit living in a log cabin somewhere in the mountains. Who knows?

I took a walk behind our home to find a hotspot. I sat on the ground for a while to do some tweeting and chat on Facebook. On returning home, I could hear my wife talking from inside our bedroom. Once inside I found out what she was doing. She had opened our window and placed my laptop on the sill. At that particular spot, she was able to sign into Skype and make a call. She is so smart! That is how we have been going online. Unfortunately, however, the signal is not always good but when it is I can do some things online. Still, it is just too darn cold outside to sit in front of an open window for too long and it can’t be good for the electric bill with the warm air rushing out into the great wide open.

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