Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So, just how long are the 12 days of Christmas?

Over on my Indians-related blog (, I finally completed my "12 Days of Christmas" giveaway. Go ahead. Read that again. I know, I know... You see, for the second year now, I have offered to give away bunches of baseball cards in the format of 12 so-and-so, 11 such-and-such, and so on, to anyone who requested a gift pack. The only 'rule' is that the requests have to include at least a couple baseball teams and preferably a player or two. This is so that I can create a variety but also in case I run out of a particular team.

The first time I did it, my "12 Days Giveaway" actually went on until January 23rd because I was so late in being able to get gift packs together. This year, I got an earlier start, and beat my 'record' by nine days! So, you see, even though it is a tad past Christmas, I am getting better at it... Of course, Shan is glad the whole thing is over so that I can finally clean up the mess of cards that have been taking over the house since I started this year's giveaway...

I have to admit that I went way overboard with my card buying for this year's giveaway. I thought I was going to run out of cards, so I bought boxes and boxes off of eBay. Well, those certainly came in handy, but, um, well, let's just say I could open my own card shop with what is left over... I actually now have MORE cards than when I started. Ooops.

That's okay, I will use those to send to folks that I regularly trade with, plus I may actually break down and sell groups of them online. We'll see.

Today's adventure led me to the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. I was strongly encouraged to attend a seminar being conducted by Cisco. No, not the singer (Sisqo), and not the food distribution people (Sysco). These are the networking people you may have seen ads for on TV. Though, right now, I cannot recall what the ads say, so chalk one up for ineffective advertising.

The invitation I got said the seminar would last from 8a-5p. Talk about a long day... Instead, there was no 'seminar' as it were, but rather a room full of companies that work with Cisco placed around the perimeter where one could visit with the rep behind the table(s) to talk about the various networking gizmos and gadgets (and Cisco itself had tables). This was a 'come and go' type arrangement as opposed to a 'sit in a chair all day and listen to us preach at you' situation.

It was great! I talked with each of the vendors, got a lot of helpful information and then was able to go off on my own afterward. Okay, 'go off on my own' translates to this: Emily had been sick all night with some kind of stomach thing, but never got to the vomiting part (more in a moment). I called Shan after she had sent me an email about Emily. I told Shan I'd head toward the house and call when I close to see if Emily needed to come home. It turned out that by the time I got close enough, Emily was fine. I spent the afternoon answering emails from the house. I have to say that working from home was kinda nice.

Ah, back to last night, er this morning. Evidently, Emily was up around 2am for quite a while with the sick feeling in her stomach. Why say 'evidently?' Well, you see, I slept through the whole thing. How Shan hasn't either put a pillow over my face or simply started beating me with a bat yet is beyond me. Lucky for me, she hasn't thought of those... or at least hasn't told ME if she has.... Then again, writing it down here, knowing she will be reading this before too long may not be the smartest move I've made in a while. Ah, well, roll the dice, cast the stones...

sidenote: if I don't post anything, like EVER, after this, you might want to send for help... just sayin, I could probably use it... Then again, by the time you decide I wasn't posting anymore, it would have been way too late for help... You might want to check my facebook status for good measure then... :-)

By now, I'm sure you've heard of the 13 year old girl that had like 14528 text messages in a month, right? Well, her plan does have unlimited texting, so there was no bill outside of the monthly one. Someone figured it up and it translates to something like one text message every two minutes for the time she is awake.

The average comes up to about 484 messages a day. I don't know why, but I thought it would translate into a much higher frequency than that. Okay, so let's say she can't text in school though. That's like 6-8 hours, right? So, if we take out 8 hours for school, her average comes up to one text per minute for every hour she is a wake and not in school (solid 8 hours).

Have you ever watched your kids text? Once a minute is nothing. I've seen Tyler send and receive 6 or more messages in a minute. Granted, 14500+ messages is insane. Now, I don't know if that's how many she sent only or if that includes receiving, too. For the sake of discussion, let's say it is sending only. Okay, so let's say she does not text at home while eating supper or doing homework. How long would that be? 2 hours per school night, spread across the month evenly would come up to, say, 6.5 hours a day of actual texting time. That comes up to about 5 messages every 4 minutes (roughly). Really? Is that all? I'm thinking it's a wonder most kids don't have texting numbers that high.

I would venture that a lot of us 'older folks' don't see the appeal of texting. I mean, if you are going to be using the phone anyway, why not just call? Here's my thinking on that... Why call? Do you remember spending hours on the phone with your best friend when you were younger? Sure you do. How much of that time was 'wasted' by either not saying anything at all (both of you watching the same tv show and making comments every once in a while). Or how much time did you spend going back and forth with the "whatcha doin? Nothin." exchange?

Well, kids are doing the same thing today, but instead of being on the phone with ONE person, they are doing it with several friends at the same time. I don't know about your kids, but Tyler still talks every once in a while in addition to texting. But, really, it's faster to get what you want to know with a quick text and a quick reply.

Another issue we have out here in the boonies is signal strength. It takes very little to send out a text message, but we drops voice calls all the time. Why fight the whole "can you hear me now" thing if all you have to do is send a text message?

The 13 year old girl's parents have restricted her to no texting after supper. So, I would be interested to know what she does in order to communicate with her friends. Does she TALK to them? Does she get on her computer and IM them? Let's say it's the latter. Let's also say that her computer is in her own room. So now, where the girl may have been in the living room watching tv with the rest of family while texting, she is in her room, using IM to talk and is now pulled away from her family. Did that solve anything? Did it really help anything? Again, I have no idea what the stipulations are, I'm just thinking out loud, er online, er well, you know what I mean...

Okay, I better play the "Dr. Phil" card here a moment and say that 'ideally,' we would turn off the texting, turn off the computers, and (gasp!) turn off the television in order to find something more constructive to do as a family... I agree, but realistically these days, how often is that going to happen? We're a multitasking society. The thought of sitting down and doing one thing at a time probably would drive many of us bonkers... (btw, i found the pic online, not my own creation... dang it.)

Unless, of course, we're talking about sitting down for a round of SingStar... :-)

1 comment:

  1. Dean and i text at least every morning. He is not allowed to be ON the phone at work, but he can fire off a quick text to me when using the men's room. My girlfriend Lisa and I text alot. Nik texts me. I agree with you. It's quicker and more to the point to get or give info via texting than having to talk on the phone and ask how someone is and the kids and the wife and their job and on and on. Not only that/ It's more private. You don't have to worry about being overheard........