Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Kid on the Skype


Here at the Burning House, we admit to being behind the times.

We actually like listening to albums on compact disk, and don't understand downloading very well. There is even a vinyl record player here in this office. We like books. The kind printed on paper and bound on the side. Our can openers are not electric. We hang some of our laundry up on a line stretched taut across part of the back yard. We do not have cable television, and do not want it. It took us years and years to open Facebook accounts. We have no plans to use Twitter. We have acquiesced to a cell phone but held out for years -- and we embarrassed all of our friends with our recent joyous discovery at checking email on our telephone. Apparently, people have been doing that for years.

And it has been years since our friends gave up telling us to get on Skype. Which means, of course, that we have just gotten onto Skype and find it really neat and everyone else is already over it.

The timing was motivated by a couple of events, mainly our two children. Their grandparents in Rhode Island rarely get to see them except on photographs, and Skype began to look like a good way to dangle the children in front of their far-flung relatives. At my urging, my father also set up Skype on his computer, and on Monday afternoon I sat Gabriel on my lap in front of the computer.

"Who is that?" I asked, pointing at the screen. There was my father. Gabriel smiled and said, "Grandpa Row Aylin." (Grandpa in Rhode Island)

Then, "Grandpa Row Aylin" waved and said, "Hello Gabriel."

Gabriel was a bit spooked by that. The people on television had never spoken to him before.

This alone was worth the price of the webcam.

It was also on Monday that I was interviewed, via Skype, for the on-line news source Sweeping Zen. Whenever that interview gets published -- assuming it does not prove, in the light of the editor's desk, to be unutterably boring and unworthy of publication -- we will provide you the appropriate link.

Because we know how to do that, now.

2 comments:

Kelly said...

I like being a part of both worlds. I have a large library of music at iTunes, but still have all my LPs and a record player. I love my Kindle, but nothing will take the place of real books.

I've never felt any need for Skype so haven't gone that route. You made me laugh out loud with the description of Gabriel's first encounter.

Oh..and can openers? I don't even own an electric one. The hand-held kinds work best. :) And despite scoffing at Twitter for ages, now love it!

quid said...

I'm hanging in both worlds with Kelly. No electric can openers in my house. Lost the LP's in the divorce, but have (and still buy) music on CD, although I also have a collection of music on my phone and in the Amazon Cloud.

I loved the Skype story. It's perfect for long-distance grandparents. I don't know if you remember, but Donna was trying to get us enthused about Skype about the time of the Pearlsoup breakup. She was ahead of her time!

quid