Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter traveling...

Ugh. Tomorrow, bright and early, we are taking off from Kalispell, heading to Spokane, the first leg in our trip home. I think for each year I get older, I get that much more anxious about traveling. Tomorrow should be a doozy. I don't even know how much snow Kalispell has, and Spokane has about the same, if not more. Eric practiced putting the chains on this morning, and I got the windshield fluid switched to the non-freezing kind. I'm expecting about a six-hour ride, the payoff being we get to go to the Tennessee/Gonzaga ladies basketball game, spend the night in a hotel, then do it all again the next day.

But I do remember fondly the days when I would hop in my little front-wheel drive tin can with a Diet Coke Big Swig and a king sized package of Twizzlers, maybe a bag or two of funsize Twix, around 5:00 in the afternoon and just drive until I was home.

Christmas was really nice. My biggest payoff was that I snuck and bought Alex the Samsung Gravity Lime phone she had sort of wanted back in November. We had decided not to get one, mainly because they were kind of expensive and that would have been pretty much the only thing she got for Christmas. Also, she wanted me to switch phone companies to Verizon, who apparently has cooler phones than T-Mobile. But when I checked into the current airtime plans, T-Mobile still has the best plans for us. (Also, I have a sentimental attachment to T-Mobile in that I was/am a big Jan Ulrich fan, who was a professional cyclist for the T-Mobile team - sue me, I can't help it, I miss him). Then I realized we got Eric's paycheck early, I still didn't have anything for Alex, and when I checked it out, T-Mobile did give me a discount.

She was SHOCKED. I had even been trying to prepare myself for the moment she opened her present from "Santa" and turned to me and said, "Oh, so I guess this means we don't get to switch to Verizon?" instead of looking all thrilled, which is what actually happened. It was totally cool. She spent the next four days texting her fool head off, which was okay because I was happy she was so happy. But I did have to mention to her that when I see a family in, say, Target and the daughter is walking along behind the rest texting, I always think to myself, "Ugh, nice family." So what I wanted from her is to please keep that in mind in the future when the new phone is not the coolest thing in the universe.

Anyway, we are heading home tomorrow, which will be nice to have a few days before things start up again. Usually we hang here until the last minute, but with the basketball game in Spokane, we've been planning on being home for New Year's when, I can assure you, I'll be in my bed by at least 10:00. A far cry from the days of my youth...

2 comments:

Bounty Hunter said...

Another thought: You could encourage Alex to get her FCC ham radio license. Then she could talk with her friends via text, voice, computer, or via 2 way TV, FREE and independent of the phone company, cable company, and cell phone company.

Many kids now are turning ham radio into an educational learning opportunity (physics, math, geography) and their own unique way to communicate with their peers all around the world, and also to help during times of disaster.

For example, the recent snow storm in the northwestern states knocked out 911 services and ham radio operators who who the government called upon for help.

Same thing during hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes. Many Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and regular old school kids are turning to this great hobby to learn AND help and keep in touch with each other, all at the same time.

Here is are links to find out more:

http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/class_pages/laroche/ham_radio/

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html

http://www.arrl.org/ARISS/

http://www.arrl.org/scouts/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ham_radio

Warnell said...

I love the memory of the diet coke and twizzlers. Remember how it would piss you off that mom worried so much if I even drove to Missoula, yet she didn't blink if you drove through the night from Washington? And that was before cell phones! It's still snowing here!