Monthly Archives: August 2009

Vonage, day 1…

So far, so good! Number ported first thing today. Got a email transcription of a voice mail from the Terminix guy (my dog kept him pinned in his truck, he said, and please reschedule when the dog is in the house) and I knew it was working! I’m sure she was wagging her tail while barking.

Anyway, after hearing about good Vonage experiences from many of my geek friends, I ordered it. We’d switched from Roadrunner (phone, TV, ISP) back in June to AT&T Uverse (TV, ISP) and AT&T phone. AT&T’s Uverse VoIP is now available here, but it seemed that the time was right to go to something that would be more portable (and hopefully even a touch cheaper). Install was totally plug & play, into a wired ethernet port on the Uverse 2-Wire router.

I like the “visual voice mail” feature. I’ve got a Google Voice number, and find Google’s equivalent very handy. I know I’ll get a lot of use out of this. Set the voice mail to email both Jan and I.

Turtles!

On vacation this week (actually since July 31) at Emerald Isle, NC. We’ve been having a great time, but this is the first time we’ve been here in August in a while, and the first time we’ve really paid attention to the hatches of sea turtles. Over the many years we’ve come here, we’ve seen turtle nests, several each summer. However, we actually saw several turtles extracted from nests that had boiled (hatched) three nights previously, and we invested several hours sitting, waiting at two nests. We missed one, as it boiled several hours after we’d left the beach one evening.

Tonight, though, we got lucky! First, we saw 16 turtles dug out of an earlier nest. Cool! This was about 6:15PM. Then, we settled in for the evening watch. It’s really not bad to sit and wait, as the beach cools, and the surf pounds a few feet away. At about 9:30PM, seasoned volunteers began to see signs of impending hatching. This continued for the next 45 minutes, until in one push, the whole nest (count was 118 turtles) “boiled” up and headed down a causeway constructed by the volunteers. This path is needed to keep the turtles from fanning out on the beach and ensures that most will successfully reach the water.

I’ll do it again next year, but I’m glad I don’t have to sit up tomorrow; I’m losing my beauty sleep πŸ˜‰

Why can’t we be logical and reasonable and get along?

I probably should be more active in the political process than I am…I try not to throw gasoline on the virtual fires with hyperbole and vitriol. I was catching up on reading the online version of the NYTimes (gee, too bad I couldn’t get my Sunday Times delivered to me on vacation) and two articles in particular struck me…one on the health care debate, and one on the Twitter DDoS attack. Both seem to be variations on a theme. If you are loud and noxious in your verbiage (voice or virtual), then you keep civil and rational political discourse from helping to achieve real, viable solutions to our problems.

The health care system in this country isn’t perfect. It does cost too much. I’m fortunate in that I have good health care coverage, and will have it in retirement, but we need to think beyond our own wallets. Lots of things need to change…and yes, I agree that tort reform is one of those things, along with universal coverage. Is a government-run system the right answer? I don’t know. Maybe we should try it and see. Medicare seems to have very satisfied customers, even those who don’t know it’s a government program πŸ™‚ However, because the actions of a minority of folks with more volume than thoughtfulness drown out discussion, we can’t have the conversation we need to have. The Twitter DDoS is the same sort of thing. The Russians and Georgians have substantive differences that need to be talked out; engaging in polemics and doing things to shut down a rational speaker (from what little I know of the debate) while ignoring the collateral damage is irresponsible. Is it reasonable to just yell louder than the other guy? No. Do we have to tolerate those with different opinions than our own? Yes. The Norman Rockwell ideal of civil respect for the opinions of all is not the world of today, I fear. Does it really bother you to let others talk?

Beach vacation…

We’re now a few days into our 2 week beach vacation, and beginning to be very mellow. Even the dogs are mellow πŸ˜‰ . Arrived at EI late evening on 7/31. Somewhat hectic as cleanup by #1 son from previous weekend left a few gaps πŸ˜‰ . Windy with some t-storms over the weekend, but the plants were all happy to get a good soaking. Our neighbors came down for a few days, arriving Sunday. Enjoyed fellowship, good food and good wine. Jan cooked shrimp cakes (think great crab cakes but made with shrimp) on Sunday, a paella on Monday, and Galen cooked a great venison roast on Tuesday. Sunday evening we saw the “Turtle Patrol” clearing out the last few baby loggerheads from a nest that hatched last week. Took the boat to Bear Island (aka Hammocks Beach SP) on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, we saw the tracks where a turtle had come up the night before to lay a late season nest. Perfect weather. Tuesday, there was one other boat at Bear Inlet. Wednesday, we had it to ourselves in the morning. In the early afternoon, though, a flotilla arrived, and we decided to come on back to the house where more wine was chilling.

Galen & Sandra have headed back home today. We’ve done a bit of cleanup around the house this morning, after having a 3-latte breakfast. Plan to go down to the beach in a couple hours when the tide is low and go for a nice walk with Jan. Probably swim some today as well, after Jeff gets up.

More company this weekend, as Jason & Jenny are coming for a few days. My sister is fixing dinner (her famous crabcakes) at her house in Swansboro on Sunday. Will probably go to Bear Island on Sunday, and then a couple days next week as well. We’ve got a new 2-person float that we’ll use to pull folks down the ICW πŸ˜‰

I could get used to being on vacation…this is good stuff!