Playing catch-up

Yep. I’ve been gone a while. Come on. You’re used to that.

Like the new digs?

Okay, Okay. Here’s the gory details: It hasn’t been a great year. In one of my Tweets I mentioned the Lesson Learned was not to say things on New Years like, “This one’s got to be better. No way could it be worse than last year.”

Ha. Ha.

We’ll start off with my twelve year-old son falling during PE and cracking his head on concrete, resulting in a severe brain concussion, two trips to the emergency room (sometimes symptoms wait a few days to show up) and multiple CAT scans, all without the benefit of health insurance.

Nope, still haven’t been able to find much beyond my current part-time job. Even if we could afford private health insurance, at that time, we couldn’t have gotten it anyway, having pre-existing conditions. My wife has diabetes and high blood pressure. I’m an asthmatic.

Concurrent with that joy, a very nice police officer did his job and noticed my car’s inspection sticker had expired. Getting the old hoss fixed to get said sticker cost over a thousand bucks.

To get to the crux of the story: we wound up missing a mortgage payment, and found ourselves in that rapidly expanding club of folks whose houses were in danger of foreclosure.

That’s behind us now, and things are more stable, but in the meantime sacrifices had to be made. And of all the bills that were also howling for attention, there was one that represented something we could survive without: the phone and Internet.

The landline phone is quite the artifact now; my wife and I both have cell phones, and I have a smartphone from another job, so I wasn’t completely cut off from the offline world; I could also access it from work (for the half-day I’m there). The major impact, besides not being able to maintain a couple of Websites or read my webcomics while I ate lunch, was that I had gotten very, very used to having all sorts of information at my fingertips, at a moment’s notice. That’s the sort of thing that makes writing very easy.  Wait a minute – did anything like that ever happen? Hey, yeah it did! and What does a neutron bomb really do? I had a good reason for wondering that last one. Really, Mr. Federal Agent, and thank you for reading my blog.

Though I have to ask to ask where you were when my old Blogger account was getting overrun by comments in Chinese. I’d love to know what was going on there. My romantic side says they were communiques aiding some freedom-loving revolution, but more likely they were saying stuff like, “Hey! Who needs Viagra?”

I love my Crackberry, but the browser’s pretty pokey, and the screen is, well, small.  It’s time for my eye exam, and I keep taking off my glasses and holding the phone up to my face to read the tiny print. Nothing sadder than an old geek, is there? Following weblinks in Tweets was problematic at best.  The Crackberry is bloody wonderful as a field tool, but when not in the field…

I am optimistic that I’ll get broadband access back later this week. I’ve been fairly vocal on Twitter (probably much to the ire of my few followers), and wow, lookit that, WordPress allows me to blog from the Crackberry.  I’m too fond of listening to myself rattle on in print, so I doubt I’ll use that function TOO much – this entry is being typed at home, and I’ll sneakernet it to my work computer tomorrow morning  – but that is a heck of a thing.

I find that overall, I’m not enjoying the 21st century as much as I though I was going to – but there are parts of it that are pretty damn cool.