Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patrick Deja Vu

We had a long, drawn-out celebration of St. Patrick's Day, especially considering we aren't even Irish!  Hey--it's fun to have family traditions.  So Nathan signed up to bring dessert to Bible study on Friday night.  He made these yummy brownies with a mint cream layer on top.  Mmmmm--I love chocolate and mint . . . He enlisted Caleb's able assistance to make green rice krispie treats.  Luke and I picked out (green) mint brownie chip ice cream during our trip to the commissary that afternoon.  Plenty of yummy greenness!

Saturday morning I put the corned beef brisket in the crockpot, but I didn't any other vegetables because I wanted to make colcannon and soda bread to go along with it.  Then Bob and I headed over to Costco to look at new cell phones . . .

Bob and I got our first cell phones back in 2005, right before he had a 2 week TDY to Colorado.  We got new phones again in 2008, around the time of our big trip out to Utah.  Both times we just got the free phones.  We always had Sprint as our carrier because back in 2005, they were the only carrier to get reception at our house, which is down a little hill.  But in between then and now, new cell phone towers have been built in the area, and we figured reception wasn't a ptroblem anymore, especially since we knew our neighbors had Verizon and AT&T as well now.

Recently we have really become aware of an extremely annoying "quirk" with Sprint, namely that we don't get our voicemail messages until a few days later.  So for example, Bob called me last Tuesday afternoon, looking for a friend's phone number.  I gave it to him and didn't think anything more of it until I got out my phone to call him Friday afternoon, on our way back from the commissary.  Hey!  I had a new voicemail at 3:39, which was weird because it was then 3:50, and we'd been driving for a little while to get off base and onto the highway!  I listened to the voicemail, which happened to be left by Bob--Tuesday morning.   I was glad I listened to it, becaus he gave some other details about a work situation that he never mentioned again, assuming I had heard the message!  Grrr.  This happens fairly regularly for us, and we weer just sick of it. 

So Sprint was not an option.  That left Verizon and T-Mobile at the Costco kiosk.  We spent awhile there, but T-Mobile just had so much better prices, as well as a better military discount by far.  Bob and I walked away to consider things, and we sat down under a big umbrella on some patio chairs there in Costco to talk.  While we were talking, and older couple came up and started examining the table, which had a firepit thing in the middle of the table and a lazy-susan sort of thing on top of the coals.  We discussed the table for awhile with the couple, and then they sat down in the other 2 chairs.  We ended up talking with them for about 45 minutes!  They are retired Army, and one of their sons is a USAFA grad who flies F-16s.  The wife was a realtor, and Bob has been thinking maybe he should do more with real estate (he has his license but has been really too busy the past few years to do anything with it), so they had a long conversation about real estate, among other things.  Anything, we all just really clicked, so it was like this fun double date in the Costco patio funriture section. 

Eventually we headed back to the cell phone kiosk, while our new friends Jack and Joan went off to finish their shopping, LOL.  There we told our very friendly and helpful salesman Diego that we were going to go with T-Mobile, and since the prices were so good, we were going to get 2 smartphone (HTC Sensation, I think), along with 2 free phones for the boys to take, like to practices or whatever.  So getting those phones and setting them up took approximately forever, and we finally got home after 7:00--much to late tos tart cooking potatos and baking bread.

Fortunately Bob spotted an email from our homeschool group saying that a Subway near us was having a grand opening celebration with all regular footlongs for $1!  So I put the corned beef in the fridge for tomrrow, we piled in the van and drove over there.  We did have to wait a little while, but it was worth it!  Of course, we weren't eating until after 8:00, and all the kids still needed baths and showers, so it was a later night than I had planned all around, but still--yay!  We had new phones!

Until we took them out and started playing with them.  Then we realized that we basically got no reception whatsoever in our house.  Well, that's not entirely true--we did have 1 bar out on the back deck and 2 bars as long as you sat in the big chair in our schoolroom.  Other than that--nothing.  Hmmm.  Now the smartphones did have wi-fi dialing, so they did actually work, once we figured out how to get the phones to recognize our wi-fi (althought he salesman had already told us that keeping wi-fi enabled all the time was a huge battery drain--great, one more thing I need to remember to turn on/turn off all the time!).  But the other 2 phones were useless.

Sunday morning on the way to church, we kept checking the reception.  We had to drive 2 miles to get a good signal.  So Sunday afternoon after we got home from church found Bob and me back at Costco, spending another afternoon with our good friend Diego (Jack and Joan were NOT there, at least that we could see, LOL).  This time we knew exactly what we wanted (only 1 extra phone though, since Verizon is more expensive), but the kiosk was even busier, so it still took forever.  We didn't get home until 6:30, at which time I rushed into action, making the colcannon and soda bread.  There was no way I was waiting ANOTHER day to eat this meal!  We ate our Irish meal Sunday night, with basically no leftovers--just enough for Bob to take to work for lunch on Monday.  I'm definitely making 2 briskets next year, and a boatload of potatoes.  I did make 2 loaves of soda bread, so there was enough of that. 

Now Bob and I are just trying to figure out our new phones (Droid Bionics).  I am definitely not technological enough (or interested enough, frankly) to figure tons of things out.  That's what I have all these boys for!  I did send one text to Amy, just to prove that we do indeed now have that ability, and now I can answer the phone without hanging up on you, so that's a step in the right direction.  Oh, and I installed the Facebook app on it yesterday during a down time at Rivendell.  No games though--the boys don't need any more temptations to spend time playing those kinds of games!

1 comment:

Pilot Mom said...

I've always been able to use my Verizon phone at your house...upstairs, downstairs and on the main floor. It is okay, some people it just takes longer. ;) However, I am jealous that it is a smart phone or whatever they are called. But now we can talk all we want because we are Verizon to Verizon!!! :D Oh happy day!!! LOL!