I have decided I love the idea of shared open wifi. I am right now at my parent's abode in New York (Long Island, actually), and, as I suspected, they didn't install their wireless. But, their neighbor (who knows which one) has wonderfully provided password-free wireless. Yay! It's a bit flakey (seems to be much better outside than inside,) but it seems to be working, for now.
So, I give a big anonymous blog thank you to the neighbors, and to anyone else who provides free wifi to people who they might not know.