Monday, February 18, 2008

Brave New World

Judging from the results of my extremely unscientific survey, it just may be that the sound of the newspaper hitting the front porch in the morning will soon go the way of the clinking of milk bottles being delivered in the early AM. Soon people who read the print edition of the paper will be considered rather quaint, like those people who smoke pipes or sew their own clothes. It is quite possible that you do have to be a bit old-fashioned, as Bia put it so nicely, to want to sit around the kitchen table drinking coffee and looking at the newspaper with your spouse. In fact, Larry and I attempted to do that very thing this morning - but our conversation was soon interrupted by 2 little girls who, not understanding that we were trying to save a dying tradition, deluged us with requests for food and crayons and general attention. Maybe when we are old (and the kids are grown), we'll be able to sit around on a Sunday morning with the papers spread out before us and coffee and bagels on the table - that is, if there are still papers to spread out. If not, I guess we could sit there side by side, each with our own laptops, e-mailing each other articles that we enjoy. But I can't imagine that scenario feeling quite as cozy.

Enough! It's a brave new world out there; adapt or perish. And in my ceaseless effort to adapt, I have wasted countless hours trying to figure out the cheapest way to have reliable phone service in the 21st century. Currently we use a combination of voip and cellphones with prepaid minutes; but driven mad with envy by my friends sporting nifty cellphones with free shared minutes and cameras and maybe even the ability to launch a nuclear war by pressing the right button, I once again plunged into researching all the different cellphone plans, looking for the best deal. Which turns out to be...(surprise!)...voip and prepaid minutes. Damn. I really wanted my entire life to be on that cellphone. Maybe next year.

Oh, and all of you on those cellphone family plans? Plus a house phone? You're spending a heck of a lot of money.

Half the kids are sick, but no one is vomiting or keeping me up all night; so I'm good. And I managed to score some Children's Sudafed the other day - almost impossible in these crazy days of hyper-regulation and FDA scare tactics. I think I could have gotten my hands on marijuana more easily. As it was, I thought they were going to fingerprint me before I walked away from the pharmacy counter.

This winter has been a bust for us. I'm packing up all the snowpants and sleds tomorrow; we won't be needing them until at least December. I hate snowless February's. I think I'll move to Canada.

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27 comments:

  1. I can always tell when I talk to someone who uses Vonage. It drives me batty b/c there is a delay on their line, kind of like when you call Australia. I know it is cheap but it is miserable to listen to on the other end.

    I just put the kids boots and snowpants away too. Which only means that March will be the snowiest on record! Winter without snow is just depressing.

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  2. When we moved from Horrible Old Apartment in September to this one, I gave up my metro line that I'd had since June 1993. I have a significant discount on my family cell phone plan through my employer. LittleBit is very responsible about her usage. We have just enough phone at home to run the DSL, and I don't give out the new phone number. I have shunted the difference between what I was paying for the metro line and what I am now paying, into to debt reduction and never miss it.

    I will save even more once LittleBit is an old married lady

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  3. fairly odd mother - We use Voicewing, and there is no delay at all. You can't tell the difference between that and a land line.

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  4. Having delivered newspapers not so long ago, I dont think they will ever not be. So many people have the stupid paper, (on Saturdays and Sundays I would deliver 1273 papers - you should have seen the van. It was packed roof to floor, over the entire back, and all the seats, and when I brought a kid with me to help out they had to fight to get a spot)and so many people complain about the stupid paper. It got here at 6:01, and its supposed to get here by 6:00. and stupid stuff like that. Even with all of the complaining those people did, I loved that job. To bad the gas prices are so high, or I would go back.
    ~Jennifer

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  5. I will never give up my newspapers.

    The New York Post is my guilty pleasure (even if I have to hide in the bathroom, with the door locked, to read just a few pages).

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  6. bonnieandclydeFebruary 18, 2008

    You know that when you pack up the snow things you have practically GUARANTEED that we'll get a blizzard? If so, I'd appreciate it if you could wait about another week so I don't have to drive in it? Thanks. :D

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  7. I'm glad I'm not the only one who frequently scrutinizes the phone bill. We actually got a good deal going on thanks to my husband's employer where we each have a cell for less than we were paying for his previously. And we've dropped the land line down to basic only, not even long distance. It's saved us about $25/mo.

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  8. You stop by for some winter here in Western New York. As for phone service, our power and cable constatly go out (the wind is whipping and ripping the lines as I write) so using the Internet isn't as reliable out here. For some reason, the phone lines stay intact. As for reading the paper with Larry, by the time you'll need your "reader" glasses, you'll be able to sit and read the paper together. (That is, when you remember where you put your "readers.")

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  9. First of all I love you blog, I'm usually a lurker but had to comment, we are having our 5th "snow day" in two weeks.

    We still get our small town newspaper, but it's down to three pages on a good day. They finally quit delivery on Saturday, not enough happening.

    As for snow out small town has officially gotten 30" in the past two weeks. This happened after my husband promised the snow birds next door that he would shovel their walk if we had any snow. (We hadn't had any all winter until they left.)

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  10. I'll gladly ship you a box of snow! We just got another 12 inches yesterday. ARRRRGH.

    We always scrutinize over phone bills and cable bills and newspapers too. Although we can downsize on most things, my hubby will NOT give up his paper.

    *le sigh*

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  11. Don't get me wrong. I *want* to experience the cozy sitting reading the paper with a cup of coffee & a bagel, but your scenario was basically what happened whenever I tried... *sigh* Actually, when we moved into this house, I planned on decorating the sunroom for just that purpose. Huge, overstuffed chairs and the like. Guess how it turned out... benches with baskets full of toys spilling out of them. It is now "The Playroom." So much for ANY adult cozy-time.

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  12. Oh no! Good luck with all your phone research. We have a house phone. Mr. D has a phone through work and he got me a separate cell. We have no fancy features though, not even caller ID or call waiting...kicking it Old School for pennies in Wisconsin:)
    I wish I could send you some of our snow. Or at least send you magic drugs for your kids...

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  13. Please don't tell me how much money I'm wasting on a family plan w/texting, etc. etc.

    We have a landline also--solely in case we have to call 911--landline 911 calls go the police whereas cell phone 911 calls go to the CHP. I once spent 10 minutes on hold w/911 at a pool. Luckily there happened to be a parent at the pool who was a paramedic.

    I willing to pay for the peace of mind.

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  14. I'm a paper-readin' kind of girl. I'd love to read it in the morning but, alas, in my small Tennessee town, the paper does not arrive until 2:30pm! Drives me freakin' nuts.

    Congrats on the Sudafed find. Maybe you could sell it to a meth dealer and make some cash.

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  15. julianne - Are you kidding? We need the stuff too badly to think about selling it on the street.

    And, everyone who has offered to ship me some snow, thanks! I'll take it.

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  16. Bite your tongue - the winter here this yer has been absolutely unrelenting!

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  17. No kidding about the phone stuff. Since I moved to NM last April I am now on my third phone plan. Lucily in my area we have Cricket, which gives you unlimited everything for a flat monthly fee. Take my advice and stay AWAY from Vonage, it is Satanic.

    BTW my parents still read the paper newspaper and I do think it's quaint. They use paper maps too!

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  18. I love my newspaper! I'm always bugging my friends who don't get a newspaper because they don't know what's going on locally.

    It was 80 something here in Florida today. I hope never to see snow again. Of course, my 7 year-old, who has never seen snow (poor deprived child) would love to come visit ya'll with the 30 inches. Although he has no idea about the freezing cold that goes along with the pretty snow.

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  19. jodi-mother of sixFebruary 18, 2008

    Being retired, reading the morning paper is an hour's pleasure I'm not going to give up. I sip my coffee (!% milk and spleda), read just about everything while I eat peanut butter toast.
    On the days I don't have my newspaper (mix-up with vacation stops), I don't know what to do with myself and nothing tastes right.
    And I can't call circulation about the missed delivery with any result after 8:30 a.m. Being retired, I don't get up that early if I don't have to.
    I do admit that the newspaper isn't as "full" as it used to be when I spent 2 hours with it each morning. I think the internet news stuff has affected that. But it's not the same eating peanut butter toast in front of the computer!

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  20. "I hate snowless Februarys" -- OK. I'm going to pretend that you didn't say that.

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  21. Just stumbled on your blog. didnt want to be rude and not comment, it does feel like voyeurism somehow. We have VOIP thru the dreaded comcast. its ok. we have old boring cell phones thru vonage. We do pay too much, but only bc there is no way to get out from under a cell phone contract. Cell phone contracts are the only thing in life more binding than marriage in the Catholic church.

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  22. I love reading a paper, though I only do it on Sundays now, and not every week. During the week, I read my news online.

    Good luck with the phones...and the sick kids.

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  23. I sew pipes and smoke my own clothes.

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  24. Oh I love my daily paper. I miss it so much when we live overseas. I just don't enjoy it nearly as much online.

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  25. Came across your blog today and now I'm going to dig out the phone bill from my "to do" pile and do something about it, finally. BTW, we still have our milk delivered -- in bottles. I wrote about it a couple days ago and was amazed at the response. It seems we're the only place left in America with milk delivery -- we're just north of Denver, not exactly the dairy state.

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  26. I'm killing the paper news. I won't get it because the paper ends up all over the house. I had a salesman beg me to buy it and use the paper as firewood. Is that lame or what?

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  27. Don't feel guilty if the newspaper is strewn around the house. It's cheaper than insulation and makes you look smart.

    Buy a newspaper, save a journalist!

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