Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AT&T U-Verse

The phone company took away my old fashioned DSL service and held me hostage until I agreed to "upgrade" to the new and improved service which will allow the phone company to offer the equivalent of cable TV to eager little consumers.

I awoke one morning to find my Internet service gone and it wasn't restored until I made an appointment for installers to come to my house and bolt on the "upgrade." They were nice guys, the outside guy in the white shirt sweating a river as he bolted on the new box. The orange shirt was supposed to install the inside box to make it all happen seamlessly.

Unfortunately there is a problem with the network on my street or on my island somewhere so all AT&T's workers and vans cannot install twelve gigabyte U-Verse service for the moment. Unfortunately they cannot restore my dreary old six gigabyte DSL service either so I am cut off from the world. I will have to lurk at MIckey D's or the library for the next few days, or weeks until the glorious new Internet world can be streamed into my house.

I understand that the phone company has to compete with the cable companies and most people want TV service in their homes (I don't and I don't miss cable at all), but this upgrade will double the cost of Internet service to $55 a month and increase the speed to a level which I do not need. This snafu is emblematic of our high tech world where what we want matters less than what the one percent want and their engineers can deliver. I dislike being reminded I am a serf. The corporate slogan ungrammatically delivered as "Think Possible" reeks of irony in my small world.

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The Food Palace On Fleming

Faustino Castilo, a Cuban cigar worker immigrant opened a grocery in Key West in 1926.

There are two food palaces, one on White Street and this one on Fleming just off Duval. It's an odd thing but people who live in Key West dislike traveling between the two halves of the island. Considering it's just four miles long, tip to tip, you'd think it would be no big deal crossing town to shop for groceries.

Yet it is a big deal and I find myself, the inveterate traveler, groaning at the thought of having to go downtown to complete a chore. Weird but true, it's the island effect.

Jimmy Weekly is Fausto's grandson, a former mayor currently sitting on the city commission and can still be seen working in the family business. Fausto's is surviving in a country that reveres chain stores and this week Publix is opening a newer and bigger and better chain grocery in Key Plaza.

This store is in business because it answers the demands of the shoppers. I love the funky Home Depot pots used in the vegetable section. In the cheeses you will find every kind of exotica, Sardinian sheep cheese to name but one. I bought a roundel of mango cheddar and it turned out to be very good. But there again I like almost any cheese except goat.

I remember shopping in New York where wine can't be sold in the supermarket. Eat your heart out New Yorkers. This is what impulse wine shopping looks like. Cartlidge and Brown make a nice merlot which Fausto's happens to sell.

They also have a nice little website which may be of interest if you miss Fausto's check that website which features Jimmy Weekly smiling maniacally, as he should living the dream as he does in his hometown.

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