Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly
Small Business and the Internet
By Mike Gould
On The Move
Shakey Jake Woods
Here we go again: after a scant six years in our present place in the country south of Ann Arbor, we are moving to a smaller house with a much bigger basement, and… a 20’ x 30’ outbuilding for my workshop and laser storage! “Whoa, dude”, as Neo would have said. Or maybe Ted. Or was it Bill? One of those Keanus… We’re pretty excited around here at MondoDyne Whirled Headquarters.
My sharp-eyed wife Salli found the new place as she found our current house: online. She is working in Lansing part time and is soon to move to full time. The hour and a half commute from our current digs is becoming problematic, dealing as it does with I-96, M-14, and the deadly US-23 south, home to texting drivers, spun out semis, and general motor mayhem. From our new home Salli’s drive will be a scant 25 minute drive up US-127 which is freshly paved and has nowhere near the amount of traffic as her current trek.
So she started looking at houses in that area, with an eye towards a move in 2018. But then she found the ideal place and things got serious. We will be deeper in the country; the nearest neighbor is a quarter mile away. Surrounded by trees, cornfields, and no pesky ponds to generate mosquitos. I could set up my amplifier in the backyard and crank my guitar to eleven and nobody cares. Eden.
Off We Go RSN
We don’t close for a month or so, so I have lots of time to get my act together, which is good as we’re really talking about five acts, an intermission, and maybe 3 scene changes. We will have to orchestrate stage hands, grips, dolly operators, lighting directors, best boys, and box office, to continue the theatrical metaphor. A lot of drama. So this is chapter one on how to move five small businesses down the road to a new city, a new basement, and a new connection to the internet.
I covered our previous move in an article about Repeaters (URL below), detailing how I needed a phone/internet gizmo so my phone would work in the basement of our current house. Our new place is a few miles north of Jackson, and the phone is the first thing I tested in the new basement. Four bars, immediate connection, all good.
I should say I am a classical troglodyte: I almost always work in the basement of whatever house I am in. I don’t live above the store, I work under the house. It’s nice and cool down there, and generally quiet (except when the furnace or AC kicks in – the new furnace is at the other end of the basement, instead of the other side of my current office wall: bliss).
My current gigs are: writing (duh), Macintosh consulting, designing web sites, commercial and event photography, and running Illuminatus Lasers. Most of these I can do anywhere there is access to the internet, especially writing these articles (which I have every intention of continuing). I need to figure out the photography work. I may be commuting a lot to Ann Arbor for this, and I hope to expand my clientele to Jackson. Oughtta be a few folks in need of photos and strobe-age there.
There is a shopping center at the corner of I-94 and US-127; I see this as being my go-to place for just about everything as we become Jacksonians. Most importantly, there is a sushi place and a Chinese restaurant nearby.
Next big job is to get internet. Having good phone access is important, as it means I can hot-spot my phone to provide WiFi, but a better solution is a wire or a dish. The current occupants of the home are elderly and don’t use the internet at all. Yeah, hard to believe, but such folk still exist. The weird thing is that I got a strong WiFi signal there, which I think came from a dish I saw being installed on a neighbor’s roof when we were there. I think they may have it cranked a bit too strong – have to talk to them after the move.
No landline to Comcast, as with my current house, so I guess we’re talking Dish. This will be new and different, but several people I’ve talked to say it works just fine in all sorts of weather, so I’m optimistic I can continue my biz as usual. Frontier is the local communications monopoly, so I did some advance research. Not good: in order to quote me a price, we need to define a channel plan, and in order to do that, they need a credit check. No problem, as we were just approved for a mortgage, but as we are currently slated to move towards the end of October (long story), they have to do the check within 2 weeks of installation, so I have to call back. Online research shows this at around $100 a month, which is cheaper than my current Comcast, so we’ll how that goes.
I grew up and have lived almost all of my life in Ann Arbor – I know where everything is, most of my friends live here, and Salli and I are very involved with cultural events – UMS, Summer Festival, the Ark, etc.. I foresee a lot of trips down 94 back to town for concerts and such. But… Jackson isn’t exactly a cultural wasteland and I’m looking forward to seeing what is available there.
When I was very, very, young, my grandmother lived in Jackson and I remember my dad driving us there down Jackson Road, as the interstate hadn’t been built yet. Now we’re driving on I-94. A lot, probably. Should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Previous move - Repeaters: http://mondodyne.com/b2b/smbiznet.159.shtml
Mike Gould is going up the country, baby don’t you want to go? He was a mouse wrangler for the U of M for 20 years, runs the MondoDyne Web Works/Macintosh Training/Photography mega-mall, is a laser artist, directs the Illuminatus Lasers, and welcomes comments addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.