Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Can you hear me?"

Over the past couple of months, off and on, (which means, whenever we feel like it and we've the time), I've been reading a book to Walker over the headset. I can do this whilst sitting here in the lounge...I can stretch the cord of the headset to reach the sofa, so I have often ended up laying down on it while reading....and I can use my laptop set up in the bedroom.

Sometimes we just don't want to spend hours and hours in front of the PC, but we want to spend time together, so the laptops are ideal. Walker has at least 3 laptops in his house. One set up in his tv room...one set up beside his desktop...and one permanently set up, upstairs in his bedroom.

This allows us some flexibility to spend time together, but not having to be upright when we're tired. I've been known to cook dinner while talking with him or sitting in my lounge chair, feet up on the ottoman, giving myself a french manicure. I've done many things with the headset attached to my head...about the only thing I haven't done is hang out the washing.

To begin with, we used to chat via the Yahoo programme, then discovered MSN had better sound quality. The problem we had is my ISP and the cost of it each month. When I switched from dialup to broadband I went on a contract stating that I would use no more than a certain amount each month. With 3 computer users and 4 computers in the this household, I felt that 5 gigs traffic a month would be plenty for us. Due to god knows how many downloads of music files (Ryan) and patches for whatever game Cameron is now stomping his way through....plus the voice chatting between Walker and myself, we sucked those megs down the ISP faster than you can say "OMG, we're gonna go over the limit again!" For each block of 500 megs over the limit I had to pay another $10...this can equate to a fair amount when you're supporting two teenage boys on a part time wage...and we're all contributing to falling over the limit by 4 or 5 blocks a month.

Month after month we continued to race past our allotted amount. Walker and I tried talking less....I spoke to both the boys about some of the sites they were visiting...we all attempted to do our bit to keep the usage down...thus keeping within limits. This helped a little, but we began feeling restricted in some sort of way. Cam was waiting impatiently til the roll over at the end of the month to see how many megs were left and if there were enough for him to download whatever patch he needed for Half Life 2 etc....Ryan was told that he had enough music files for the moment and under no circumstances was he to add to it. I was getting to hear my sweetheart's voice less and less. That was enough to make me throw a tantrum right there people.

I whined at Cameron.."Couldn't you find some other audio programme we could use that won't suck the megs out so swiftly??". Bless my son, he came to me one day to say he thought he'd found something. And indeed he had. He gave me the name of a programme that gamers use while running around buildings shooting and killing each other. TeamSpeak2. I downloaded my own personal server...gave the IP number to Walker and we were away laughing. The megs fell to a reasonable amount. Cam could download whatever he wanted...Ryan went back to adding to his music files. The birds sang, the sun continued to shine and the world was a better place. Yay!

Now Walker and I can talk whenever we like and we take advantage of this new found freedom....as often as we can. It's not always possible of course, if you know what I mean *nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more*. When Walker connects to the server this lovely electronic female voice comes up saying "New Player". When I disconnect - "Your connection to the server has been terminated". When Walker disconnects I hear "Player left".

I started reading "Good Omens" to Walker a couple of months ago (Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman). It's about good and evil, angels and demons and the Apochalypse. Funny, lighthearted reading and told from quite an interesting perspective. This morning we were lying in our respective beds...only 10 pages to go...all the main characters in the book were coming together in one place, to take part in and witness the end of the world as they knew it. This is the time the TeamSpeak chose to start acting up.

Walker: "Eh? What was that?"
Me: "Can you hear me?"
Walker: "I can now, I think I missed something though"

I read back over the last few sentences

Me: "I hope you can still hear me, cos I aint reading that over again."
Walker: "No no, (silence) ok"
Me: "I'm getting hungry...are you hungry?"
Walker: "Yeah, but (silence) for (silence)....lol"
Me: "Eh? What? What did you say then? it seems to be breaking up, I think the server's playing up"
Walker: "I said *raising his voice* I WANT TO EAT YOUR PUSSY!"
Me: *groan* "oh God, we're only 2 pages from the end of the book, we can't stop now"
Walker: "Yeah ok, keep going then"

*reading faster now but breathless and stumbling over the words*

Me: "One (silence) to (silence) now"
Walker: "Eh?"
Me: "Damn, (silence) is getting (silence)"

Lady Robot Voice: "Player Left" - dead connection.

Me: "shit...Shit...SHIT!"

Phone rings...I snatch it up in anticipation...

Me: "Walker?"
Cam: "Hi mum, I'm finished...ready to come home now"
Me: "Oh, hi honey, yeah ok, give me 10"

*beep, beep, beep*

Me: "Oh hang on Cam"
*Click*
Me: "Walker?"
Walker: *voice dripping pure sex* "Hi Baby"
Me: "I have to go get Cameron now, he's on the other line...Sorry babe" *sigh*

Suffice to say, the book is going in the fire. Ok, that's a lie, I aint no book burner, but the thought helped, although it didn't allay my need. Pftt. I have no problem with the occasional blip on any audio programme as long as I get to hear him....and I have no problem with driving my son to work or collecting him when he's finished.

But come on! *smacks hands sharply* Timing, people! TIMING!
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