corollary: Not everything on the internet is up-to-date/accurate

Living in Massachusetts for the past decade (plus) has spoiled me for all things internet, and electronic tools, gadgets, online reference/research, and even just getting around. (Yes, I have a GPS, but I get a bigger view of the errand run on my laptop than on I do on my minuscule Tom-Tom One®.)

The reliability of the location information, the banking kiosks, the local calendar events, etc. are much better in Massachusetts than here in Florida. Most, if not all, event information includes dates, street addresses (with links to mapping and driving instructions), email contact information, and phone numbers. Florida? Not so much. Add this to the growing-bigger-by-the-minute list of reasons NOT to move here when I retire.

Hypothesis: People in Massachusetts are more likely to use the internet for information than people in Florida. When you know your customers will catch you if you neglect to update store locations, you tend to keep it current. (CVS and JoAnnes Fabric Store—I’m talking to you!)

When in Rome Florida, I have found the Yellow Pages to be more a more reliable reference than the internet. Very disconcerting!

On-site electronic banking tools are not the same nation-wide (even for the same bank)— I found a local branch of my bank here (one of the Uber banks that is just shy of world dominion—I do not mean that in a nice way) and drove over to do a deposit and withdrawal.

No self-service kiosk in site.

I did locate (hard to miss, actually) the four-lane drive through. No deposit slip, no withdrawal slip in sight. Pneumatic tubes bore the check for deposit to an inside clerk who then interrogated me as to my home state, how I wanted the slips to be filled out (line-by-frickin’-line for each of the deposit and the withdrawal slips), required me to accept the tube of papers back to sign/authorize/return for processing, and finally… returned my bank card, my drivers license, my copies of the afore-mentioned slips, and my cash.

To be honest, I think she was as flabbergasted with me as I was with the archaic system she operated with on a daily basis. Back in the mid-90’s this was how I used to do regular banking in NJ. With kids in tow, you really prefer the drive-throughs but you come prepared with slips filled out, etc.

You can find a bazillion things (stores, insurance companies, car sales lots) within a five-minute drive here in the Clearwater/Tampa Bay area. You can’t walk to most of them. I don’t think they believe in usable sidewalks. There are parking lots and there are roads. Areas with sidewalks seem to surround residential neighborhoods, but INSIDE the neighborhoods I saw no sidewalks. Admittedly this is a small geographical selection of a very large state to base this hypothesis on, but it is where *I* am, so it is statistically valid IMHO.

If it weren’t for the lovely warmth and sunshine, Florida would have damn little to recommend itself to me!

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