Vagabond Blogger: K-Mart Department Store…Wait, what?

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So, I was in the Kuh-Mart today, because there is no S-Mart.
(“Shop smart, Shop S-Mart.” Anybody? C’mon! Army of Darkness? “This is my Boom-stick!” Anybody? Really people…)

Anyway, I was at the Kuh-Mart today, finding my way around. They have remodeled and changed things around quite a bit since they bought Sears. As I was doing so, I noticed the strangest thing: internet kiosks. W’huh? It even said “K-Mart Internet Cafe” on the wall above the neat little row of computers. And get this, it’s Free.

After the jump we’ll take a look at Today’s Blue Light Special on Public Internet Access.

So, K-Mart. Yeah, I know. The store in question is located at 6310 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, just East of Fairfax, across from the Grove and Farmer’s Market, sharing the parking lot with Whole Foods and the CVS Pharmacy.

You know the one I mean.

I actually shop there quite a bit. I mean, it’s K-Mart. They have pretty decent prices on a great many things. I’ve been going there for many years. They have now bought Sears, so their supply of decent name brand stuff has actually grown; Craftsman Tools, anyone? Martha Stewart, Home Essentials, all that stuff’s there, too.

And free internet, apparently.

The computers are remarkably easy to find. I initially thought they were for applying for a job with the store. A few places now seem to be putting in Work Stations for potential employees to fill out applications. They’re right upstairs, on the main floor, just before you cross into the Little Caesar’s Pizza Pizza place and across from the bathrooms. There were four or five Dell computers.

You get an hour free. You have to agree to a EULA by clicking a radio button. Uh, yeah, sure. Don’t surf any porn and plot your World Domination schemes elsewhere. Whatever. This takes you to a tricky little Welcome page.

The most obvious link takes you to a page where it asks you to give up an e-mail address to register. For an hour free, that shouldn’t be a big deal, if you have a dummy web based e-mail set up. (And you should anyway, I think.) However, this is not necessary.

If you simply click on any of the catalog or shopping links, (these are smaller and to the right) instead of the registration link, a fairly standard IE Browser window pops up, and you’re on the web, no problems and no registration required. In fact, if you hit the Home button from here, it takes you to a page similar to the Welcome screen, but with links to all the standard Web Based E-mail Hosts, instead of the registration nonsense.

I saw a printer next to one machine, but I didn’t see any info on printing services, and someone was using that machine.

There’s an hour timer when you start browsing, but I logged off and then back on with nothing but an eight second delay. There are signs posted that point out that the machines are, indeed, for K-Mart customers only, and ask that you be courteous in their use, which is perfectly reasonable. May this advice be heeded at all venues.

And there ya go: Free Internet at the K-Mart. Whodathunkit?

K-Mart on 3rd St is open 8AM to 10PM Seven Days a Week. They can be reached by telephone at (323) 933-7306. I’m not sure if any of their other locations have internet access, but then again, I’m not entirely sure where another K-Mart in the L.A. area is located.