Thursday, August 18, 2005

Skyping Mad

By the time we return to the apartment from dinner with Modestas and Jolanta it is nearly 11:15 PM. Just nearing time to touch base with the kids and people back home. As we are 8 hours ahead – 11:00 PM for us is the middle of the day at home – so it is a perfect time to Skype with the kids, check e-mail, check business mail and get some day to day stuff done. The problem with that – I don’t get to work on the Blog as much because we have three people who would like to use the Internet connection – so once again I find myself in the back of a car – touring the back roads of Lithuania and writing my Blog from nearly a week ago! Once again I promise myself to get caught up!

Which brings me to a bit of house keeping – if you are checking out the Blog for the first time – the first entry is located at the bottom of the Blog and the newest entry is located at the very top. So if you want to read everything in the order it occurred – start from the bottom and work your way up. I suppose I should have added dates to each title – next time!

Back to this installment. We are back at the apartment and it is now time to touch base with the kids. Our original plan was to Skype the kids. For those of you who do not know what Skype is (how can you not – over 14 million people use it), Skype is a free internet VoIP service (Voice Over Internet Protocol) – basically you hook up a headset and microphone to your computer and use it as a telephone. As long as you call other Skype users the call is free – if you call a land or cell line then you pay a per minute usage fee. Not a bad deal when you are trying to communicate over-seas. Nearly everyone here in Lithuania that has a computer with an Internet connection uses Skype. In fact, some of the smarter folks – like Lisa’s cousins Linas – use it for their business as well. A great way to save on overhead! In either case, the original plan was to Skype the kids on a daily basis – but since we were are only able to access the Internet through a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service – basically a wireless internet connection utilizing radio waves) card and service our connection is not fast enough to support the Skype call without becoming frustrated with the feedback. So instead we switch to the IM (Instant Messaging) capabilities with Skype. It is just as nice but we do not get to hear the kid’s voices.

Now I don’t remember what happened exactly – all I know it was an innocent slip by Nikki our youngest daughter. Apparently she let slip something that she should not have and the conversation turned into a thirty minute tongue lashing over-seas! Yelling at your kids through IM can be somewhat challenging – how do you intimate someone in basically a letter form? So we resort to all CAPS and minor swear words: hell, damn and the like. We know we’ve been effective as all of the kids individually sign off with a “Love you…”.

But this all takes time and as I said earlier by the time everyone is done checking their e-mail and Skyping home – it is nearing 1:00 AM – no time to Blog. So I find myself on Thursday morning – August 18th – nearing the end of our trip – still writing about Wednesday August 10th!!

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