It took nearly 12 hours for AT&T to restore my Internet today, a fact which boggles my mind. Yet, even more frightening than the time that it took to reconnect me to the outside world, is the notion made abundantly clear to me that the Internet has become more essential to me than even air conditioning. Anyone who has endured a hot humid summer day in New Orleans knows full well the breadth and import of my previous statement. Air conditioning is not something we throw away lightly here. It is practically a required part of living well in the Big Easy and coping without it is seen as something people do begrudgingly as in the case of the indigent or those forced to live on a fixed income. I am neither, yet I now recognize the essential nature of the Internet and its impact on my life and business. I can no longer perform work without e-mails or access to the Information Superhighway. I cannot blog, cannot Twitter, cannot see Facebook, cannot update my websites or find out anything of substance without my connection to the world wide web. And let us not be mistaken: I need to access the Internet with all due speed via fast access, unimpeded in my progress as I seek out current updated information. I would sooner schvitz (sweat) and feel the oppressive heat and humidity rather than give up my multiple wireless and wired connections. Trust me. I am hooked. I don't believe there is a 12-step program for this particular addiction, but perhaps admitting the problem is the first step in the process. All I know is that I need a plan B. I now recognize I can't go without Internet access any longer than a few hours or I risk very real consequences in my life. Hey buddy, can you spare me a line?