Lately, times have been tight.
I’ve been rationing my driving to save on gas, and wearing lots of sweaters at home to reduce my home oil burning needs.
Over the weekend I cleaned my fridge because, well, it was empty anyway. But that’s not to say I’ve been starving. No, it seems that when times are most desperate, a dose of creative thinking and a willingness to dig to the very back of the cupboards can yield tasty results.
Somehow, out of what seemed like nothing, on Saturday I cooked up a delicious moose stew with wild rice and potatoes. And on Sunday I threw together a lovely salmon alfredo sauce for the last bit of pasta I had. These were two totally unexpected feasts that generated enough leftovers to get me through the week (though a cheque arrived yesterday that put some of the essentials – like salt – back into my cupboards for further cooking adventures).
This morning I was met with an even greater shortcoming than empty kitchen cupboards: my internet connection was down and Northwestel Cable couldn’t send a technician until next week to fix it. Who can live that long without an internet connection?
After a couple of hours of weeping and lamenting over having missed the Palm WebOS developer webinar this morning, my creative gears kicked in again.
I jetted down to the Northwestel store on 2nd Avenue, endured the ever-epic queue therein, and signed up for a Navigo wireless connection.
At first blush a second internet connection for one household might seem a tad extreme. But considering my data consumption needs, I’m likely to actually save some dough. (Nevermind the fact that my business depends on internet access.)
I regularly exceed the paltry 20 GB data limitation of the Northwestel Cable Ultra package, paying anywhere from $60 to $100 in overage fees each month (an expense which, no doubt, contributes to the state of my fridge). By signing up for Navigo’s Advanced service, I get an extra 10GB of data for just $55 per month. That’s half the cost of Northwestel Cable’s $1-per-GB data overage fee.
More to the point though, I get redundancy. None of Northwestel’s internet access offerings could be reasonably considered stable or dependable, as each of them is well-known to fail regularly (this is the second time this week my Cable connection has failed). So by doubling up on services, I can be somewhat certain of remaining online.
The other bonus is portability. If I ever want to play the über-geek at Starbucks, I can haul my Navigo modem out and surf whilst sipping an Americano. (Note to Outsiders: neither of the Horse’s Starbucks offer Wifi. Go figure.) Of course, I would rather just visit the more-comfortable and better-coffeed Baked Café and enjoy the free wireless broadband there, but I’m just saying…
Unfortuantely, though, Navigo is no match for Cable. It’s advertised as performing about one-tenth as well as its sibling service, and my speed test results confirm this:
Compare that to what I’m getting with Cable, which is itself an under-performer (northwestel cable service revisited: it’s still lame in comparison).
But Navigo will probably work well as a backup internet service and as a way to augment my data needs. As long as it helps cut down on my monthly overage fees, I’ll consider the service worthwhile.
So I sort of think of Navigo as that desperate salmon alfredo I threw together with the final remnants of my cupboards’ contents: it’s not my first choice for a meal, but when times are tough, a little creative thinking can often save some cash.