J. Michael Combs at the Boathouse

Living in the desert, 80 miles from the nearest town, has its ups and downs.

The up part:  Saturday night I didn’t get to see Bruce Salmon and Michelle Alany at the Starlight or Ted Arbogast and Chase Peeler playing jazz at the Boathouse because my band, the Fabulous Vortexans was playing an outdoor concert in Lajitas.

There is amazing live music everywhere, all the time here.

The downside: cell phone service and internet access is fairly primitive.

Another upside: all though it takes a long time to download files from the internet, there are several entertaining places to hang out while you’re doing it.

I set up my repaired iMac in the studio at the Terlingua Store, opened my recording software, and was greeted by a notice that said, “No internet connection. Logic must download massive files before you can use it.”

No problem. I boxed up the huge 27″ computer and headed down to La Posada Milagro, where there is internet access, great coffee, and a majestic view of the ghost town.

my office at La Posada Milagro
my office at La Posada Milagro

Accessing the internet and starting to download the first file, the computer informed me it would take 43 hours.  I ran a speedtest on the internet, and it was .6 MBPS.

Three hours later, after a few fun conversations and a long break to hang out on the porch, where a huge jam session was taking place, I gave up and headed for the Boathouse.

The internet there was a little faster:  1.7 MBPS.  I started the download (remaining time, six hours) and had a fine time. Dinner with friends. Music with J. Michael Combs and his expanding band. Shannon delivered five bags of fresh greens from the community garden.

Four hours later, the first file was safely on the hard drive.  I packed up the iMac and drove to the American Legion, where a fierce pool tournament was in process.  I set up the iMac and downloaded a few more files (almost 3 MBPS) while watching my neighbors play pool.

Then, to the cabin (6 MBPS) where, overnight, the rest of the files were downloaded.

Thinking back, I reflected on the day and the gifts it brought.  Great music, dancing, an amazing sunset, delicious dinner, conversations with friends, and a hilarious pool tournament. Yes, there are some frustrations associated with living out here.  It’s worth it.

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