It seems that airport layovers are the best time for me to blog. I've only had a handful of posts since my last long layover in August. Traveling in and out of my area (Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada) requires a layover in Toronto to get to most interesting places in the United States or western Canada. Unfortunately those layovers are commonly 3 to 8 hours. :(
I'm writing this post from outside gate 109 at Pearson Terminal 1. There are no easily accessible power outlets that I can find so thankfully my AMD mobile processor is not too rough on my battery when the wireless NIC is disabled. But forget about Internet connectivity. If I had a dialup account and didn't mind paying long distance, I could STAND at a pay phone. Yea, that's right, stand (or buy a really long cable I guess and then apologize a lot when people trip over it). Or I could sit in the Expedia.ca cafe where there are also phone jacks to use dialup but it's on the wrong side of the security screening area. And it's still only freakin' dialup. This is a brand new terminal in the biggest city in Canada for crying out loud. And every third passenger seems to have a laptop. There's a bookstore every 50 feet selling the same paperback novels but no convenient Internet service, nevermind a high speed connection (wired or wireless).
Yes, that's right, I'm a connection junkie like Joel from Canada from Canada, though not really ashamed of it. For that matter, I don't think Joel is really ashamed -- he just thinks maybe he should be. ;)
Ironically, we used to have free wireless service in our little 4-gate airport in Moncton (YQM), but I don't think it's available anymore -- the last few times I've flown out I couldn't obtain a connection in the pre-boarding area. But it was fantastic when it was there. I certainly don't expect free service and I don't expect the connection to be as fast as what I'm used to at home or the office. But give me a little something... please! Let me connect while I sit outside my departure gate -- I just want to check my email, download some RSS feeds, and open up some browser windows for some airport/airplane reading. I don't want to download a movie or MP3s. But some people would, so a provider just has to build a business model that takes that into account. For example, it doesn't seem unreasonable to provide a throttled connection. Give everyone the first 15 minutes free (based on MAC address) and then charge something reasonable for additional 15 minute usage periods. Or the make first 5MB of bandwidth usage free and then charge for additional bandwidth usage.
The flip side, and the original point of this post, is that the lack of an Internet connection keeps me from getting caught up in email and research, allowing me to do some thinking and writing. I have a month of blog post ideas backlogged (backblogged??) in my head. By taking advantage of the offline posting capabilities of software like Sauce Reader, it's easier to take the time to write the posts that I have not taken the time to write previously because I've been too busy. So maybe if I travelled more I would be a more prolific blogger...