Friday, June 22, 2012

Staying Connected

Remember back in the day when we didn't blog or use social media, and often went weeks without going online? It really is hard to imagine in this age of living online, and certainly there is great merit in disconnecting completely for a long stretch. On the other hand, I used to always dread having to wade through hundreds of email messages when returning from a long trip. I'm not a big fan of surprises, especially ones that induce stress and anxiety.

After pondering the options for the last few months, I finally decided to take the more connected approach, especially since I wanted to keep close tabs on some friends and family members with health problems. Initially we were going to just activate the 3G service on my iPad, which would have meant having one connected device, but instead, I settled on a Verizon mobile hotspot, a very generous birthday present from my mom. This little device is pretty impressive, connecting to Verizon's 4G or 3G service and transmitting a wifi signal to our two iPods, two iPads and one laptop.

This doesn't mean that we'll be online very much, but it will be most convenient. We won't be streaming much video, since it uses lots of data, but it will be great for occasionally chatting or skyping with family and friends, as well as checking in with Facebook and email, posting blog entries and listening to Pandora on rainy days (if we get any).

Now that we have the technology figured out, we are in the process of list making using the very cool Paperless iPad app. List making is typically Gail's domain—it's one of her specialties, but I'm starting to get into it. I'm realizing that every time I augment a list, the stress level goes down. There's so much to remember between now and July 1st, so the more we write down, the easier it will get.

Now that school is out for all of us, we just have Saturday's bike race at the Watkins Glen speedway, then a solid week of organizing, cleaning, planning and packing. This next week will really go by fast!!

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