Saturday, August 7, 2010

For the Times They Are a Changin'

by Pa Rock
Connected Parent and Grandparent
This morning I spoke to each of my children, one of their spouses, two of my grandchildren, and my sister who was walking the streets of Las Vegas. Total cost for all of that talk: sixty-eight cents!

Thank you, Skype!

My first call was to Tim and Erin in Kansas City (where everything is up-to-date!). That was a video call via Skype, and it cost nothing! Nada, zip, zilch, nothing! Not a freaking farthing! I had the pleasure of seeing them while we spoke, and they had the horror of seeing me up close and personal on Sunday morning. (It was still Saturday evening in the states, and Tim asked me not to spoil the future by telling him what happened!)

Tim instructed me on how to use Skype as a simple phone - because Molly's computer is having issues and Nick hasn't learned to Skype yet. I had to give Skype ten dollars by credit card to buy phone time in advance - .112 cents per minute. (They charge for the regular phone, but not for the video connections. Don't know why, but it works fine for me.)

I called Nick and spoke for several minutes. Boone had left before I called and gone back to his mom and grandparents' house, so I called him there and we chatted awhile. (Boone is such a grown-up sounding young man!) Later I called Gail, having forgotten that she and her eldest, Dr. Heidi, are visiting Reed in Vegas this weekend. We talked briefly. My final two calls were to Molly. First I got her answering machine and burned up a couple of minutes because I couldn't figure out how to hang up over the computer. Then I called again and got her - and also got to talk to Sebastian!

Every word with everyone was crystal clear!

Did I mention that all of that talk ran a mere sixty-eight cents? Yeah, I guess I did.

Forty years ago on Okinawa it was cheaper to send a telegram that it was to telephone to the United States. There was only one alternative to international long distance, and that was to go to the MARS station, some sort of military shortwave setup, where a ham radio operator would connect a caller to another shortwave radio operator in the states, and the stateside radio operator would then make the call to the person to whom the caller on Okinawa wanted to reach. It was as convoluted as it sounds.

Cause de jour: Maintain net neutrality and keep the Internet free! Keep the greedy bastards at Verizon and Google at bay. And, oh yes, Facebook still sucks!

1 comment:

Carla Brown said...

I told you so! I told you so! Way to go!

The above statement made by someone who had to edit the statement because she misspelled her own name! (Old age is a bitch!)