Saturday, September 20, 2008

Checking out Gibbons @ the Local Zoo

From the Zoo
I write to you from my local zoo. No really. No metaphors here, folks, I’m literally at the zoo as this is written and going up on the web.

The Girl has an assignment for her anthropology course that requires she visits the zoo. She must track – minute by minute – the goings-on of a particular monkey or primate of her choice. This is a two-hour task that is supposed to be spread over a handful of days, which she is cheating and just doing today, and dragging me along. Thanks to my MacBook, though, we’re allllrriiiight…

Accessible Hotspots rock
The zoo happens to have a free wi-fi connection that I’m making use of. I find “free” wi-fi here and there and I must say I really appreciate it. I think it’s a really cool concept, even if you did have to pay to play.

It’s nice to be able to get online about wherever you are, and although “free” is a nice concept, someone has to pay for it, and I honestly don’t mind having to pay. What I mean is, it cost me $2 admission to get in. I think that’s a fair deal, no? You do business with some place, they give you free access while you’re there? Sort of a fringe benefit. The way I see it, that makes perfect sense, and is a completely fair way to do things: the customers are in essence paying for it still, so they share it! Wonderful setup!

It’s so good, in fact, that when I was in college (yeah I did that), as part of a group project in the last class before getting my BA in Business, we wrote up a business plan for a new coffee shop that did just that: Gave free wi-fi to customers. I thought that since people like their wi-fi and they like their coffee, instead of running it like Starbucks does and charging you for BOTH, why not combine the payment? Do business with us – buy our coffee – and we'll throw in the internet. And to keep the lines clear for the people frequenting the establishment, we set up a system whereby each customer was given a username & password to gain entry from the access point, that would be good for 1 hour. This way, the customer gets “free” access for being a patron, and it keeps the freeloaders out. When your hour’s up, you buy something else to get a new username & password; nothing big, a cookie, a drink, just something that creates a receipt.

Dammit, it really was a great idea. And I would have run with it, except that I really don’t do the whole coffee thing. At all. Damn though, I should have done it with like Ms. Field’s or something. I dig cookies. Free wi-fi with a cookie. I could dig that.

Primate update
The gibbons are really cool. They like to play and they look like slightly out-of-proportion, miniature humans. And I want one. They hoop & holler and generally look to have a lot of fun. And they’re cute. THey seem to be asking me to pick them up and hold them. And I want to.

Huh. I seem to feel a fairly strong paternal instinct for all kinds of animals. However, I despise kids. Yeah I don’t get it.

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