Monthly Archives: November 2012

Untraditional Thanksgiving

Once again this year we chose to celebrate Thanksgiving in an untraditional way.  Instead of sitting around and making a huge meal and veg’ing for the weekend, we escaped.  We are putting our new trailer to good use.  Historically we head to the Portland Zoo around this time of year to let the kids see the Zoo Lights, which we have done for a couple of years.  We have also gone to Wildlife Safari for their Christmas lights.  This year we wanted to visit the Christmas lights at Shore Acres down by Coos Bay, Oregon.

We loaded up the trailer and the kids on Thanksgiving Day and headed south on the Oregon coast.  We booked into the campsite at the Mill Casino in North Bend.  Not the traditional place to take kids. The RV Park is away from the casino, yet we had all the amenities at the hotel.  The kids loved that we could use the hotel pool, the hot tub and, most importantly for them, the arcade.  We spent a fair amount of time in the arcade with the kids, aka the kid version of the slot machines.  There were several of those machines that you put in $.50 and get a cheap plastic toy.  Tristan decided he needed one of the plastic people holding various sports balls.  Unfortunately his first attempt got him the soccer ball guy and NOT the baseball guy he really wanted.  Three more attempts yielded him the same result.  He wanted to try again, but we headed him off. We then used this as a learning experience relating his desire to keep putting money in on the chance that he would get the guy he wanted to the people playing slots down the hall.

In addition to visiting the Christmas lights, playing around the campsite and swimming in the pool, we also went to a couple of beaches.  We found two really nice beaches on the way to Shore Acres.  The kids loved splashing around in the surf, checking out the tidal pools and digging in the sand.  All in all they got wet and messy, not exactly what Dad likes, but I tried to go with the flow.

Our last camping trip to the coast was less than stellar. This trip, however, was fantastic.  Everyone got along well; kids interacted well and did not fight.

Happy Trails

Nomophobia, Fear of Being Without a Mobile Phone.

We live in a world where computers are everything; we cannot seem to get through the day without them in some form or fashion.  Whether it is a laptop, desktop, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Droid, MacBook, etc., we have become addicted to these electronic devices that were supposed to save us time by increasing our efficiency and independence.  There is also a new medical term for those who cannot seem to put them down: “Nomophobia, Fear of Being Without a Mobile Phone.”  All this to say, we feel the need to be connected.

So what do you do when you are not connected? Do you have more than one device for a backup, borrow a friend’s, or just survive? That was the situation I was in a few weeks ago.  My laptop stopped recognizing the CD player.  I had put this off for some time as I was unable to fix the issue myself and knew I needed to take it in for repair.  It finally came to a head when I really needed to use it, so I took it in.  I felt like I was parting with a good friend and was constantly waiting for the call to come pick it up.  After two days I was able to pick up the computer.  I suddenly felt a little more complete.  Once I got the unit home, I powered it up to ensure the problem was fixed. It was a relief, or so I thought.

But when I went to open ITunes to sync my iPod, I got an error.  This was a new issue that was not present when the computer went in for repair.  Even with the error, iTunes opened and I connected my iPod.  Things still seemed to be working fine.  Once the iPod was synced, I went to use the iPod.  I noticed that all of my music and movies had been deleted.  OMG!!!

I had to take it back to the shop.  After four days it was determined that the registry was corrupt and the computer needed reformatted.  If you have ever had to have this done, you know it is like starting back with a new computer. You need to reload ALL of your software and set up all of your settings.  Luckily the store recognized their error and backed up all of my programs and restored them for me.  All-in-all the computer was gone for another eight days.

Luckily I was able to use my wife’s spare computer (yes, we have a spare).  All in all we have 5 laptops and two iPods that connect to the internet in our house for two adults.  Our son uses one of the laptops for school work occasionally.  Even with all of these resources in the house, I still felt disconnected and frustrated as my primary machine was missing.

These machines that were supposed to save us all this time have become the things that consume our lives.  They get used at work, and then we come home and go straight to the computer to see what we might have missed on the drive home.

Is this our new reality? Am I the only one that feels so connected to my electronic devices? Even when traveling we look for places where we can “CONNECT.”  It’s amazing that life actually happened prior to computers and the Internet!!!!