St. Louis Sports Online

Eric Niederhoffer 

St. Louis SportsOnline

columnist & principal photographer

A Dinosaur on Technology and Baseball 29 March 2003

Disclaimer: As I get older, I grow more conservative and act much less like the adolescent I once was. This is reflected in the way I access the Internet and follow our local International pastime.

I access America Online through a telephone modem. It's a relatively slow dial-up service through my Apple 500 MHz G3 powerbook (my wife's new Dell Dimension 4550 at 2.66 GHz seems blazingly fast by comparison) but gets me everything that I need at this point in time. It's not that I am allergic to technical devices or technology; I maintain my own web site and process and post both digital photography and audio. But somehow, I don't see why I would need to buy into AOL's call to broadband, especially when AOL is not providing the ISP connection.

For those not familiar with the Internet and ISPs (I might assume this probably does not apply to you because you are reading this column), AOL can be your avenue to the World Wide Web (WWW) by calling a phone number that enables your computer to connect to the vast number of sites comprising the universe know as the Internet. In the case of AOL broadband, AOL does not provide the connection; they simply serve as a content provider and require you to gain access to the WWW through some other method such as DSL (a telephone or dish-based connection) or cable (a cable-based connection, very similar or even identical to how you would receive cable TV).

Now why would I want to maintain an account with AOL if I progressed to direct access of the Internet? One reason might be to retain my AOL screen name and e-mail accounts so that I did not need to send notices to all those people needing or wanting to contact me. Another reason might be to retain the ability to sign on to AOL and the Internet when I travel. This latter reason assumes that there will not be an explosion in broadband hookups at any of the cottages that my wife and I like to visit when on vacation.

In the words of the hamburger lady: "Where's the beef?"

I also enjoy listening to Cardinal baseball on radio (the conservative KMOX, AM 1120). It is relatively cheap; the retro handheld radio cost me $9.99 (plus tax) at K's Merchandise and it runs on two AA batteries, which I have not changed in at least 9 months. The radio has an earphone connection so that I can listen while my wife fills the condo with other noises, although only one earphone works because the plug is stereo and the connection is designed for mono.

There are a number of good reasons why listening on radio beats going to the stadium:

So why would I want to actually visit Busch stadium? Is there something that the Cardinals provide that would really get my attention and keep me entertained for 3 hours?

I guess one might say that I am losing my youthful passion for the national sport, at least the motivation to travel to the stadium when I can kick back and put up my feet and read while listening to Mike Shannon and Wayne Hagin on my trusty $10 radio.


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