This morning Jennifer was getting ready for her expedition to the Six Flags amusement park in Massachusetts -- this is a three car expedition -- and they wanted to use cell phones to keep in touch in case one of the cars got lost on the way. I keep a cell phone in my glove compartment (we've swapped cars for the day -- a nine month old Toyota Corolla vs. a nine year old Honda Civic) and she wanted to know the phone number of my cell phone. I haven't a clue (well, I never call myself -- the only time I can recall receiving an incoming phone call was two years ago when we needed to coordinate picking up my eldest at a train station on our way to my niece's wedding) but we have caller ID on our home phone so I just dialed our home number. The phone began to ring immediately but the number on the caller ID box was very strange looking, too many digits. I pressed the Off button on my cell phone but phone continued to ring until the answering machine picked up and we could hear "Hi, this is Sean" so I quickly picked up the phone.
It was late Sunday night there -- early Sunday morning here. He said he was surprised to hear me pick up, thought I'd be at work (he had the time difference reversed, thought the U.S. was ahead of Australia). He sounded very tired, said that jet-lag had hit him. They had taken a ferry to the Zoo so he had spent hours walking around the zoo which can be tiring. He was excited about an Italian restaurant they'd gone to for dinner, said the food was excellent and wondered if I'd eaten there (no, I hadn't). He thought that they were going to go to the opera some night and he thought that would be cool. (Huh? This is a kid who listens to Techno remixes! Oh, okay, actually he has an interest in a wide variety of music... but he usually listens to Techno.)
Besides carrying cash he also has an ATM card so he can get money from his bank account while in Sydney... He's converted his cash to Australian dollars... but he has also withdrawn money from his account... so I suppose when I hit the supermarket I'd better slip some more money into his account (we use a bank that has a branch in the supermarket and has Sunday hours).
[Why is my fifteen year old kid off on the other side of the world? Check my August 17th entry for details.]
Do you remember radio? Bev Sykes' entry for today talks about Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor and his Lake Woebegone stories, which then reminds her of radio in the days of our youth. It turns out she was also a fan of my favorite program when I was a kid: Big Jon and Sparky. So I searched the web a little bit and found this article by a professional ventriloquist who thinks Sparky may have been what pointed him toward his profession. Even better, I found Old Time Radio Kids' Shows, a site that even has some brief RealAudio sound clips from some of these old programs, including Big Jon and Sparky -- boy, that really took me back to listen to their theme song (Teddy Bear's Picnic). Bev's entry also got me to thinking about other shows I listened to when I was a kid. I knew there was a western show, something about the B-Bar-B ranch... and the Old Time Radio site had a sound clip from that one too... Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders
[I also found several sites with audio cassette recordings of old time radio programs for sale. I think I'm going to have to study their catalogs... maybe I can drop some hints around the house regarding Christmas presents?]