It looks like problems similar to mine can sometimes be solved by using various DHCP clients. Right now I have dhclient, but it looks like DHCPCD might be better for wireless networks. If no one else has an idea, I will try that out at Starbucks to see if it fixes my IP address problem. Another client I have heard about is called 'pump', but it is mostly in older posts so it may have been abandoned by the developer.
A second question is if there is a recommended way to create a script that brings up the Wireless connection on demand, allowing you to have multiple configurations for home,work, and Starbucks
What I have so far is create multiple ifcfg files, one per wireless network, and I have made a script for my home networks called startHome.sh . It runs fine as root, but I would like it to be runnable by joe user ( me ) using something like sudo or suid. One thing I cannot do is have it start automatically at work as it would trip the wireless intrusion alarms as I am not authorized to use it there. It takes the security folk about 5 minutes to show up at the desk of someone with an unauthorized wireless connection after they turn it on, lol. I don't want that kind of attention. No thank you.
Any ideas for my original question or for the additional one would be much appreciated.