Skype Is The Best Thing Ever

If you are fortunate enough to travel frequently (or unfortunate depending on the length and destination) you may find your self missing out on events or just missing someone. With my schedule I often find myself missing special events that my kids participate in. Now I’m not just talking about missing one of Jenna volleyball matches or an extra great practice session that she wants to talk about, but sometimes just simple everyday things that bring joy to everyday life.

Matt has discovered the joys of shopping at the Salvation Army thrift store and donating back to them as well. He would much rather spend an hour or so looking for great finds at the store on 75th and Lemont in Downers Grove or the impressively large store in Oak Lawn, than go to the mall and waste his hard earned cash. I have followed his lead in finding some nice items for welding class and for the marathon as I mentioned in my post on January 10, 2010 all in great shape and purchased for pennies on the dollar. He has been collecting shirts from all the major league baseball teams as well as other items that relate to MLB, like caps and glassware. He also has had a few good finds related to the actual implements of the game like baseballs, gloves and bats.


So back to my reason for this post ( I tend to wander but I hope to get better at this as time goes on). Today he scored a really nice pair Nikes, an MLB shirt and a few other items. Normally a phone call to explain his find would be nice but we agreed on a Skype video call so he could show off some of his score. I have a little Logitech Quick Cam for Notebooks (mine is an older version) that I can clip to the top of my laptop and at home we have a webcam connected to our Media Center PC which servers up media to the big screen in the back house. The family can sit on the couch and do a video call with me from anywhere on the planet (limited only to available bandwidth).

We started a video chat after my client visit, diner and a quick run (more on that pain tomorrow.) I find that a video call is much more engaging as I am able to enjoy his expressions and animated gestures, things that you just can’t pick up with a simple voice call. Being two time zones away can be difficult when you are so close to your family so Skype has been one of my most awesome purchases ever. You can get a free account, but I opted for the $3 per month unlimited calls to Canada plan to cut down on the cost of calls to the customers up north (I’m all about saving money).

If you are able, donate your lightly used items to organizations like the Salvation Army. They could really use your help. Or if you have large items or non ‘Consumer’ items, consider giving them away via FreeCycle. Freecycle is an organization that allows you to give and get stuff for free. Instead of adding to the landfill, there may be someone who can use that old bird cage or extra three stacks of shingles that you don’t need anymore. Many communities, including mine have a local chapter. Check it out and help someone out.