Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Pretty Damn Good

Dozens of different spices adorn a store’s rack.

I remember years ago one night deep in the Panamanian jungle finding my Special Forces Communications Sergeant talking on the radio to his wife back in North Carolina. I was amazed at this and had him explain to me the alchemy of phone patches, amateur radio operators, and HF signals that enabled him to do this. Wow, talking to your family while on deployment!

Fifteen years later I have daily running conversations with my wife, 8,000 miles away. Granted she’s a bit of a techy-geek and is armed with several bright and shiny communication devices at any given time, but the fact remains that it’s not much different than being home and at the office all day. We chat about the normal things that married people talk about, make plans, ask about the day, how are the kids, vent about issues at work. It’s all very normal, but at the same time quite remarkable.

Certainly none of this is a substitute for being there. I know some guys, however, that hook up their web cams every night and chat with their families. Others, me included, send pictures and other multimedia of their day, maintain blogs, make Internet calls, or trade video clips or text messages. You’re limited only by your own lack of effort or knowledge. It’s clearly not a way to run a marriage or raise your children, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be.

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