Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Couple Of Questions...

I don't know where the children are, and I don't care. I can't seem to get enough of the quiet, you know? I'm going to end up in a padded room.

Marriage question: If your husband goes out and buys himself an MP3 player and figures out how to use it all on his own, including (but not limited to) how to download podcasts from ITunes....is that a midlife crisis type of thing?

What's the big deal, you ask? Understand that Larry still can't figure out how to access our voicemail. He can't find the phonebook on his cellphone. I think even the toaster puzzles him a bit. So what's up with the MP3 player, huh? And why didn't he get me one?

Vacation question: We're going on a long-planned trip in a couple of weeks, a real trip where we stay in a fully furnished cottage that we rented (over the Internet) months ago. No bunking down with long-suffering relatives, no "let's go camping, that's more fun!" prevarications - an honest-to-goodness vacation is going to happen to us, where we will spend at least as much time at the destination as we spend in the car. Exciting, right?

So! If the very nice-sounding person that we sent mucho money to for a deposit last January (before we needed the new car, but let's not think about that) hasn't answered our e-mails for the past week, he's just busy, right? He's busy fluffing the pillows and cleaning the sofas and generally making sure we get our money's worth out of this vacation cottage - that's why he doesn't have time to communicate and reassure us that, yes, he is still in the country.

Or this is a scam and all those pretty pictures on the Internet represent some cottage that does not belong to him the way, say, half our vacation money now does. That is another possibility. What do you think?

You know, I have really been looking forward to this vacation; unlike last year, this year I have a nifty laptop I can sneak into my luggage so that I don't have to be deprived of blogging while away from home.

(I know, I know, let's not think about what's so wrong with this whole situation, all right? I have a problem, I admit it. Now go away.)

But I just checked and there is no AT&T wireless access where we are going. Now what am I supposed to do? I'm betting holding up a wire coat hanger in the air above my laptop doesn't facilitate Internet reception, does it? How about bunny ears?

You young 'uns who don't know what I'm talking about - here's a picture. We old folks used to place these contraptions on top of our television sets (the sets weren't flat back then, so you could put stuff on top of them) in order to improve the picture on the screen. No, we didn't understand how that worked, either. But it did.

And if the picture were still fuzzy, we would put tinfoil on the tips of the "ears." I have no idea why. And if that particular technological innovation failed to work, someone would have to lift up the bunny ears (complete with tinfoil) and wave them around until the fuzziness went away, at which point everyone else would shout, "That's it! Stand still!"

At least, that's what happened in our house. Kids today don't know how good they've got it.


  1. The vacation home people need to answer their phone!!! Crazy.

    I think your hubby doesn't care about the voicemail or phonebook. They learn what they want to learn. He may be scamming you pretending that he doesn't get your messages. Test him with a fun voicemail for a quickie.

  2. The vacation thing would worry me an eensie bit. Maybe you could call the tourism people for the town (assuming they have one) and have them double-check on the situation for you.

  3. Nah, it's not a midlife crisis thing. It's an open invitation for you to spend equal amounts of money on something for yourself.

    I, by the way, plan on angling this unexpected kids-in-school thing into a phone that allows me to check my email. I'm going to need a better cell phone plan, right? Just in case the school needs to get in touch with me? A (MUCH) better cell phone seems to be in order, too. And see, if you had a phone like that, you wouldn't be completely out of touch at your cabin, right? (I'm fuzzy on the difference between cell phone coverage and Internet coverage, and as far as I'm concerned, it all works by magic.)

    No answers on the vacation cabin guy, sorry.

  4. I usually lurk, but I just died laughing at your description of bunny ears! That is EXACTLY how it was at our house. Although, I still have a tv in my house that you can set things on, & if not for that digital transition thing, would probably have bunny ears too.

    I'd be a tad concerned about the vacation home. If it gets too worrisome you could always check the local police station to confirm that owner/address do exist. I'm sure it's fine!

  5. I say e-mail and call that cottage guy EVERY 6 hours until her responds. No fair when someone messes or stresses you about your vacation.

  6. Ah, what you need is to know where the free hotspots are. Public libraries usually have them, and sometimes the town office or chamber of commerce or local coffeeshop. You can find out ahead of time where the free hotspots are via sites like http://www.free-hotspot.com/.

    And if you're feeling defensive about it, take heart. You're not the only one:

    ...also, you can guess how I happen to know about this, plus other useful things like the free hotspot at my local Panera Bread is perfectly usable from the parking lot...

  7. My hubby got an MP3 player too! And it seems to be very important to him, so important that it has to be in his ears constantly, unless he is directly interacting with someone. So trying to get his attention while he's doing something is highly frustrating. I hate those things, it's like intentionally shutting everyone out. I find it kind of rude. Maybe that's just me and my situation here.

  8. AnonymousJuly 21, 2009

    Uhm- how did you come about this rental? VBO.com? if so I think that's a legit site- otherwise I'd start driving to knock on that person's door.

  9. We had a gigantic antennae mounted to the top of our house. We were just fancy like that.

    Maybe there's a Panera Bread near your cottage...FREE WI-FI!

  10. It's always scary renting something via the internet. Three years ago we took the boys to Italy for the first time and prior to our trip we rented a renovated farmhouse in Tuscany that we found in the internet. We landed in Milan, drove 4 hours through the hills of Tuscany, and we could not find that darn place. Finally, just when my husband was accusing me of getting scammed, WE FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a chance...but in this case it was SOOOO worth it.

    So, I am sure your cottage exits and that you and your family will have a wonderful time.

  11. I'll send positive thoughts your way about the cottage. I'm sure everything is fine and the owner is just busy... maybe even on vacation!

    And it's not just "old" folks who know about bunny ears... we don't have cable or anything, just the old-fashioned antenna on top of the tv. Although with the switch to digital tv, we now get a whopping TWELVE channels. It's a whole new world.

  12. Oh, the memories! I remember the rabbit ears. I hope your vacation goes well. We had (well, I had) a few moments of panic just before we left on our vacation. All went well.

  13. Maybe a week "unplugged" will be really nice...provided it's spent in your vacation rental! I'm certain your landlord is tracking down nice chocolates for your pillows as I type this.

    As for the MP3 player? Mr. D just got a shuffle and I had to teach him how to operate the thing--but he's revved up to run now, so that's good. Funny how your man is so selective about technology, but I wouldn't panic unless he starts wearing leopard print thongs.

  14. Ah, the bunny ears and tin foil; those were the days!
    I agree with Jenn; call and set your mind at ease about the cottage.
    You made me feel better about the fact that I thought I was the only blogger w/o a laptop. Of course, now you've got one, and I will too.....
    One day...
    Enjoy your vacation!

  15. Whoa, girl! I felt like I have been away for a century! Your blog is so different---thought I had come to the wrong place.

    I'm a bit dizzy right now....

  16. I am also sure you will have a great vacation!
    We duct taped rabbit ears to the top of our T.V. once just so we could get the right reception.