Saturday, January 05, 2008


I shamelessly stole this picture from my daughter's blog! Go ahead, sue me SME!

Today, I felt the need to extol the virtues of our modern day technologies. The internet is an invaluable tool for keeping families close, no matter how far apart they live!

For the past 7 years, SME has lived 1100 miles away from us. The first year was agonizing! SME and her then husband couldn't afford internet service, and our current long-distance service was incredibly expensive. There were months that we had $200 long-distance bills.

The following year, after her marriage broke up, SME and Doug got together. Doug had internet service, HALLELUJAH! Then I discovered the joys of 10-10-297, which provided $.03/minute long-distance service to Canada. We bought a speaker phone so we could share holidays and family gatherings with SME and Doug.

That same year, we bought Z a Lego Studios set for his birthday. L discovered that the computer camera, that came with the set, could also be used as a webcam. We immediately ordered another Lego-cam and gave it to Doug for his birthday. From then on, we have been happily sharing birthdays, Christmas, new pets, and other events via webcam. It's like having a magic window into each other's homes.

I must warn you that there are hazards to viewing each other's lives. One night, I got up to use the bathroom while L and SME were webcamming. I didn't know that Doug was there too. I think he's still traumatized after viewing me in my undies! Also, Z still hasn't forgiven his brother-in-law for making us watch him clean their living room carpet with his new shampooer.

In 2005, SME introduced me to the wonders of blogging. Now we had another way to participate in each other's lives. We also had the added bonus of meeting many wonderful new friends here!

Yesterday, SME's 30th birthday, found SME despairing at spending a lonely birthday alone, while Doug was at work. I don't think so! Yesterday afternoon, Z, Hairry, and I spent well over an hour with SME, Doug, and Sophie, via webcam. We watched SME open her gifts from us, and viewed Doug's gifts to SME. We got to see SME gleefully put on the Gumby shirt we gave her, while Doug clowned around juggling oranges. We also got a full-screen view of Sophie's curious bunny eye examining their webcam.

Later, when L got home from work, he shared birthday greetings with his "little girl". L can't hear well, so he and SME IM each other while on the webcam together. L thoroughly enjoys the webcam conversations they have!

Life, with our beloved daughter living so far from us, would be unbearable without the miracle of our modern technologies!

BTW, I think SME looks pretty good for a 30-yr-old broad, don't you?


At 1/05/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Yes, that's a cute picture. 30? Bah, she's young.

Too funny. That's why I'm careful with turning off the webcam. My youngest brother is in Korea and the webcam and instant messenger saves us hundreds of dollars in phone calls. In fact, I'd rather use a webcam and instant messenger than a telephone.

I have one brother ten miles away, and another on the other side of the country. Plus, my parents live out of state. So it's funny you mention the money aspect. the internet has brought us closer without the big bills.

At 1/05/2008 2:20 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

ZS, wow, you guys must have a screenful of webcam windows when you all get together!

Our internet bill is worth every penny! We get entertainment, shopping, affordable contact with SME and other friends and relatives, and an invaluable homeschooling tool. All for a little over $1/day.

You're right, 30 is nothing! I never gave my age a second thought, until I turned 50.

At 1/05/2008 3:38 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

How wonderful that modern technology allows to "be" in each other's living rooms. Well, most of the time anyway.

At 1/05/2008 3:50 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

30 year olds are pretty hot, aren't they? ;)

I don't know what I would do without my webcam and skype or yahoo.

At 1/05/2008 4:56 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Squirl, our computer is in our bedroom, so we have to be extra careful not to traumatize anyone. ;)

Yes Courtney, you 30-yr-olds are HOT!
Our internet was down for a few days last year. I couldn't believe how dependent we are on it.

At 1/05/2008 8:42 PM, Blogger Kelly Malloy said...

Isn't technology grand?

At 1/05/2008 10:30 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Hey if she is an old broad at 30 what does that make me on the 25th of this month at 31..???? LOL.. An OLD WOMAN!!!!!! LOL.. No I have to say we each look real good yet. We have web cam some where but finding it and the disk to go with it is my problem. that is how my mom kept up with the girls when they were smaller. I prefer e-mail and messanging and my blog now too rather than phone calls but sometimes I just feel like talking to another person. Technology is nice but sometimes you have to hear that voice on the other end..

At 1/06/2008 1:19 PM, Blogger SME said...

Technology has indeed been a's fantastic keeping in instant touch with far-flung family and friends, from Taiwan to Wisconsin! It's always great seeing you guys.

Sorry you've had to watch Richard juggling oranges and doting on his vacuum cleaner, tho. What a ham, huh? ;D

At 1/07/2008 7:57 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Technology is wonderful sometimes, and she doesn't look 30, she still looks like a young girl.

At 1/07/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I'm so glad to hear a story about technology actually facilitating connection rather than interrupting it.

At 1/07/2008 2:09 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Kelly, it depends...

Tweets, you're both still a couple of kids to me. ;)

SME, his juggling show was cute. The shampooer, not so much. ;)

VV, when she was home last summer, our 24-yr-old waitress thought SME was younger than she was. (Don't tell SME; I don't want it to go to her head.)

WC, I think it's all a matter of choice. At our house, WE control the technology, not vice-versa.
Most of the people I know let their cell-phones control their lives. Not this chick!

At 1/07/2008 6:06 PM, Blogger Blue said...

She doesn't look anywhere NEAR 30, dammit!!! LOL You look terrific, SME.

Thank heavens for technology...and blogging!!

At 1/07/2008 6:07 PM, Blogger Blue said...

p.s. 30-31 OLD????


At 1/08/2008 6:58 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Eh, 30 isn't that bad. I don't know if I could live that far from my immediate family. I mean, I could if I had to, but I'm sure the tubes would help an awful lot.

At 1/08/2008 5:47 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

I would make a comment about your daughter.... but I'm thinking if wifey found out - both you and your daughter would hear the gun shots from way up there.

At 1/08/2008 7:52 PM, Blogger SME said...

'K, you can do another post already. Sheesh. ;D

At 1/09/2008 2:03 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

She looks terrific!! SHE'S JUST A KID!

Enjoyed this post, underwear and all.

Tell L. he's not alone in the hearing deficient category. I'm here, too. Hello, L!

At 1/09/2008 3:26 PM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

That's an interesting post. I imagine that there are some people who exclusively use their web cams while wearing only underwear :-)

I suggested a web cam to my relatives, but so far, it's a no go.

At 1/09/2008 4:30 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

LOL Blue! At 30-31, they're just starting to earn experience points. ;)

Laura, if it wasn't for the tubes, I'd be terribly depressed about SME living so far from home.

Ryan, LOL, she IS a cutie, isn't she?

SME, I haven't had the time! :(
Besides, I love seeing your smiling face at the top of my blog.

Cherie, my parents still refer to L and I as "the kids", so I guess SME will still be a kid at 40 too. Of course, she'll always be her Daddy's "little girl". ;)

Bummer about your hearing!
Poor L has been without working hearing aids since November, thanks to a SNAFU with our health insurance. :(

ZF, LMAO, good point! We nerdy, family type webcam users are probably in the minority.

My parents aren't real enthusiastic about viewing our webcam either. I don't get it. :(

At 1/09/2008 6:24 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Adorable! Isn't it wonderful you are able to keep in touch so well. It would be a heartbreaker to only have snail mail between you.

At 1/09/2008 7:55 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, it would be doubly tragic when dealing with the Canadian postal service! It often takes 2 WEEKS for a letter to get to Edmonton from here! I truly believe that their mail travels by dog sled.

At 1/10/2008 6:22 PM, Blogger SME said...

Dem's b-day package got here today!

At 1/10/2008 10:16 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME, I rest my case! That package qualified as a letter, and it took 3 weeks to get there. Must've been tough sledding. ;)

At 1/14/2008 1:18 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

My hearing aids have been on the fritz for awhile, too. I learned to read lips when I was little, before anyone knew how bad my hearing was, so I get along pretty well.

But still, I miss them.


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