Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Smiths in Mableton, GA

This morning the idea hit me to make green lemonade and my Wyteria jumped on the idea before our daughters came home from school.

Our youngest daughter Hailey kept going to the nearby bathroom to see if her tongue was turning green:)

It may become a Smith family tradition on St. Patrick's Day and was tasty too.

Somehow the mind tricked my oldest daughter Rachel and my wife's mind in that they said the Irish Lemonade tasted "minty".

Atlanta Tornado Pictures

The world is really wanting to see the damage from this past weekend's storms here in metro Atlanta.

The best footage that I've seen is located on a CNN-affiliated site named i-Report which is actually taken by residents of the affected areas.

The storms were highly unusual in that Friday's storm hit downtown the hardest and a tornado had not actually done so since 1975.

We live in Mableton, GA which is located within "tornado alley" and usually feel the brunt of any high winds year round, but the storm featured thunder and lightning and subsided very quickly Friday night.

Yesterday at church, I heard that a hail storm really poured down in Lithia Springs, GA which is probably less than 7 to 10 miles away in Douglas County, GA.  Our pastor's car had multiple dings all over from Saturday's storm which also hit the east side of metro Atlanta within Lithonia, GA very hard.

I personally only saw tiny, pellet sized hail outside of our home.

I met a photographer yesterday who took a photo of hail from Friday and Saturday's nights storms and the hail was golf ball sized and clearly might kill you if you were hit by them.

I thank God that we were spared from the damage that is having a large impact on the other areas.  To my knowledge, 2 deaths have occurred from the storms.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Interesting Discovery While Going straight DSL versus Local Phone Service

After years of resisting an inevitable trend nationwide, I finally saw the light Thursday night and have switched our service to straight DSL and dropped local phone service altogether.

We can be more easily reached by cell anyway.

The point of no return was when I realized that we were paying over $400 annually for what essentially came down to caller ID service.  Taken together with a recent cellphone plan change, one utility bill (water) and another bill essentially becomes free each month with the new cost savings going forward. 

Our cell phones have pretty much become our cordless phones even at home, so there have been no benefits of having local in-house phone service.  We got burned this winter with several triple digit cell bills.  When the bills were mentioned to our service provider T-Mobile and the fact that we were on the wrong plan was undeniable, they provided a credit to us since we have had the service since 2000.

But the biggest discovery of this entire process is that the local phone number that we have had since November 1992 does not get thrown back on the open market after all.  The number is already permanently assigned as our DSL number anyway and can be reactivated at any other time in the future.

If this single fact had been known earlier, then the decision of dropping the local service could have been made a long time ago.

I know that keeping the number was a legacy of "old school" thinking that my parents and grandparents would have had years ago:)

Another thing that was interesting to me alone possibly is that my wife Wyteria made a comment to the effect of "I was ready months ago" when I explained my logic of the changed opinion:)  So you know how the wives are when it is said and done:)

I hope the above discoveries will help someone else if you have been thinking about it.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008