Wednesday, October 21, 2009


And it feels so good.

Okay, probably silly but I've been left out in the cold for the past few days. Last week our landline phone went quiet. I know many have opted to live without a landline, relying solely on their cell phone and I suppose if we got reliable reception at home (that would be anything that DIDN'T require heading outdoors in order to make/receive calls) I would consider it.

As it is, we've got not one, but two, dedicated phone lines in our home. A necessity when the kids were at home and pre-cell phones. The first line (the main line) is used for telephones and telephone messages. Our second phone line (which I could technically do without now that the girls have moved out and Chris is tethered to his cell phone and doesn't object too much or too loudly about having to wander around outdoors on the property for hours) handles everything else - the DSL, the tvs, the fax line.

It's been a great situation...until last week that is. First the phone line went dead but fortunately Verizon has 24 hr. service online and I easily placed a repair request. My appointment was for Friday and they gave me an ever-so-convenient time slot - sometime between 8 am and 7 pm and they guaranteed my phone would be fixed.

The technician arrived, unbeknownst to me, and began exploring the problem outside. When that didn't help, he needed to move indoors and check things out there. Anyone who has seen the inside of my house knows that a) there are not terribly many phone jacks (particularly for a house of this size) and b) those few jacks are well lots and lots of furniture. It was no easy task to get everything moved for the technician only to be told that he couldn't figure out what had happened but he could get one (and only one) jack to work and that it would serve for both lines. all worked great...until about 30 minutes after he left (and coincidentally ten minutes after Gerry arrived home).

Then the second line went silent and it wasn't too long before I realized just how dependent I had become on this technology. Not having a phone turned out to be not so much a problem - no phone calls interrupting us watching tv and our not having to deal with every organization currently soliciting phone donations. It was a bit quiet here and really wonderful.

That same pleasure did not extend to the second line going down. NO EMAIL??? Yeah, that's just (truly) not working for me! Transfer money to my son's account? Not happening! Begin ordering gifts for the holiday? HA!

As the disconnect continued on into yesterday, I finally had to resort to packing up my little travel laptop and heading to the closest Starbucks, at a cost of $6.50 ($2.50 for my tea and $4 for a 2 hour connection fee!). I waded through my email, postponing everything I could and dealing with the rest while hoping my battery would hold out.

Today Verizon promised to send a technician out to fix our second line and get my connection to the real world re-established. In anticipation, I empty out our "black hole" closet - the one that holds our coats, our ski clothing and ALL our coats. It is not a small task. But it is the only way to gain access to the crawl space which I was sure was going to be required this time since everything else was moved and checked out the last time.

Suddenly, without warning or any visible aid from a human, the line was once again working. Apparently just moving the crap (I mean priceless belongings) from the closet was sufficient to scare it into operation.

When I get caught up on my email, I'll be in the foyer playing Tetris with our belongings, trying to get it all magically back into the closet. (Chime loudly if you're emailing me!)

~later, tw

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Please Don't Go...

Last night we took our newest grandson (Jax) to see his first ever Mariner game (along with his mother (our daughter, Jenny) and an assortment of friends and family). Though the temperature was a bit chilly, it was definitely a lovely evening in early October. Between oohing and aahing over little Jax, we all enjoyed sitting in the outfield, occasionally watching the game and relishing what well might be Jr.'s last home run. Franklin Guitterez made the night even more special by tossing a ball into the stands for our nephews and the Mariners capped off the evening with a 2-1 victory over Texas.

Today (Sunday), Jenny, Jax, Gerry & I took in the final home game of the season. The skies had cleared overnight and were cloudless and beautifully blue for this final game. The 32,000+ fans on hand were not disappointed. As he came to bat for the first time, Jr. acknowledged the crowd's cheers and then it was back to business.

Finally, in the bottom of the 8th with the Mariners holding onto a slim 4-3 lead, Jr. came to bat, possibly for the final time as a Mariner, possibly for the final time ever. The crowd immediately rose to give him a standing ovation, but in typical gamesmanship, the Texas manager called for a pitching change and Griffey never left the on-deck circle. We remained standing, patiently waiting for the new pitcher to warm up and then the announcer once again called out "Now batting, Ken Griffey, Jr.!"

We cheered but he was focused. The pitch - 91 mph and he connected immediately - a "seeing eye single" to centerfield. Gerry said that he thinks it's the first time he's ever witnessed a curtain call standing ovation for a single! The game was close and Griffey's not particularly fast, so it was no surprise when the Mariner manager pulled him for a pinch runner. But it gave us one more chance to cheer the kid we'd all watched grow into the man he's become.

When in the top of the 9th, David Aardsma threw that final pitch and Rob Johnson caught it for the final strike, the crowd erupted one more time. This team which had played so abysmally last year, setting a record for most losses ever, had turned things around so dramatically in just one short year. There are lots of things one could point to that helped create that metamorphosis - the new general manager, the new team manager, some player acquisitions. But in my opinion (and I doubt that I'm alone in this one), the biggest single difference between this year and last year is summed up by the single word: JUNIOR.

Kenny - please don't go. Please bring back the magic again next year. Please make baseball fun once again for the players and the fans!

Mariner management - You've taken a chance in the past on Eric Bedard, Heathcliff Slocum and Carlos Silva, all players that cost you a lot financially and failed to generate wins or a fan base. Take a chance on re-signing Kenny. You absolutely won't regret it!

~later, tw