Ghost Car App

My husband is an independent driver – does Uber or Lyft sound familiar? He drives and enjoys it. He is also a gadget guy and has found a driver app that allows drivers to share their actual location with another person – besides the regular app for the rider. I am unsure of the actual name of the app but that’s not really important in this post. What IS important is what this app is supposed to do. When the app is turned on, I receive a message which shows me his location – and whether or not he is online, enroute, or on a trip. This comes in handy when he is working late into the night or when we have an appointment and he isn’t home.

He has had this particular app for a few months and it has always shown his vehicle as a blank square. Can you see it in this picture? It’s an outline of a box. That’s all. I call it the Ghost Car. The car is not there. It’s just a box that moves along the highways.

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Last week when we had all that wonderful white snow fall from the sky, he was Uber-ing and had to go to Illinois. The area in Illinois that he was traveling does not have Uber yet when he shared the location with me, guess what happened? If you guessed a car appeared, you are correct! Can you see the car that looks like it is sitting in the middle of nothing? That is him in Illinois.

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Now what I don’t get is how does an area that has this particular driving app available NOT have a real car while an area that doesn’t, is able to show up as a car? I was so excited when I saw it appear that I had to take a screenshot. Partly because I wasn’t sure how long it would last. And it’s a good thing, too, because as soon as he jumped over to an Indiana tower, the car went back to being a ghost!

These are things that make me scratch my head… 🙂

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What’s in Your Photo Gallery?

My life is turning into the crazy cat lady. Thankfully, I only have two. But I look at my photos on the phone and there are two or three photos of the cats to every one of my son. That has to scream “help!”

According to the teenager, this isn’t a cry for help. He assures me the photo ratio is perfectly normal since the cats are cute. I think it’s really his way of saying he doesn’t want to have his picture taken. But I’m just guessing…and I’m Mom, so I might not know what I’m talking about. (I don’t think he is at that stage yet, so I could still be smart.)

My goal now is to take other photos – I have others, but the cats are more interesting. Want to know the boring ones? Pictures of my odometer. Yep, had to travel for work and write down the mileage. Riveting, right?

Tomorrow I will get back to more interesting photos! Tonight, I leave you with the last one I took…

A Different View

Thankfully, January is OVER!

Working 50+ hours a week is not fun. I work in the corporate world in which claims have to be filed according to statutes. These statutes have no flexibility. So when the year started, there were 300+ claims to be checked and not enough hours in the day. There were three of us working 10 hours a day, with the sixth day being 5-8 hours. Talk about TIRED! BUT goals were met and happiness was spread throughout the land.

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During the chaos from work, a nasty little virus named “bronchitis” came for a visit. Unfortunately, it definitely out stayed it’s welcome. Having spent almost the entire month in the house, the bug was finally stomped and the family was set free.
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Just when I thought the month could slip away into the abyss without further issues, I receive a phone call from my husband. He decided he wanted a different perspective…with the truck. Thankfully, both of them were fine and the truck runs great.

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Thankfully, we can now focus on February…and make January a distant memory.

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Adventures of life with a teen

I may not understand my children 100% of the time, but what parent really does? Surely not me.

Having three of them hasn’t helped me. They are still like aliens to me at times. For instance, we were sitting in the truck, waiting for someone, when my teenage son blurts out “do you realize that teens and babies are similar?” I couldn’t help but think to myself where is this conversation going, but as the good mother that I am, I asked for clarification. Matt explains “all babies and teens so is whine, sleep, and complain.” As a mother, it makes me oh so happy to think that my brilliant NASA-leveled intellect of a son had an epiphany about babies and teenagers. Great.

Matt went on to ask which would I rather have, being that I am not a baby person. I reassured him that I will take teenagers over babies for two reasons: 1) teens can relieve themselves without any input or direction from me and 2) they are able to speak about what is bothering them – and if I desire, I can choose to not listen to them while doing so without the baggage of guilt.

Though I am not sure if he appreciated my honest answer – the whole ignoring the child part might have turned him off – but he followed up with asking “how did you ever survive having three children?” As if I would admit to being in the fetal position, with a pillow covering my head, while repeating “make it stop! make it stop!” In truth, it all goes to the credit of my husband and his crazy, insane shifts, allowing him to take care of the babies during the night so I can sleep blissfully unaware. (And no, I did not ignore my children as babies or toddlers. I was very much involved in their development and daily activities.)

What possesses a teen to compare himself to babies? Anyone have an answer for me? I wonder if it had anything to do with shopping at Walmart earlier and having to witness a full-blown toddler tantrum.

At any age, they all look sweet while asleep…

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The Big 4-OH!

Birthdays have been celebrated by a phone call, card in the mail, or silly emails amongst friends and family. This year, however, while I was hoping for my birthday to fly under the radar…yeah, like THAT was going to happen!

Turning a milestone age is like having a bright neon arrow pointing at you for the entire world to see. Or in this case, black crate paper twisting around the ceiling the entire length of the hallway.

I arrived at work to a doorway of black…around the office was strung signs of old age…literally. “Over the Hill” and “Entering the Golden Years” were hanging from the door, window, walls, and desk.

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“Over the Hill” and “Entering the Golden Years” were among the signs hanging around my office.

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Yeah, I heard them all. Right down to the box of Polygrip and corn cushions my boss gave me.

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The highlight of the day was the cake – my good friend made sure I had THE perfect one. Who else would argue with a baker for a Christmas cake in March?

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Though we don’t usually celebrate birthday’s in outrageous ways, I must say this one is among my favorites. The birthday celebration carried on through the week and officially ended this past Sunday – after a trip to Kentucky which was given as a birthday gift! More about that trip later…

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Atlantic City, New Jersey

Welcome to Atlantic City.

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The airline hostess explains the debriefing process and points to the tarmac of the Atlantic City airport. You stand up, take your carry-on luggage and off you go to the car rental booth. The airport started out as a municipal airfield and is considered one of the first in the country.

You leave the airport behind, thanking God for the invention of GPS as you make your way along the roadways to your hotel/casino along the beach. You pull up in front of the hotel, allow the valet to take your car into the six-story parking garage, and check into your hotel room. (Let’s face it, you can afford the best on this trip!) Up to the top floor you go and look out the window to see the breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean sprinkled with sun sparkles.

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You let yourself get lost in the moment before going over your mental list of what you hope to accomplish in the next day. First thing’s first, you head down to the casino to see for yourself what the lure of the glimmering lights are about.

You can hear the musical dance of the slot machines before you enter the doorway, where your ID is checked by the doormen (after all, you are as young as you feel). The room opens up to rows of machines and tables where people are placing bets and laying down cards. What a sight.

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You sit, play a few hands and win before strolling outside in search of lunch. When you exit the building, the wind off the ocean greets you and plays with your hair. Taking a deep breath, you can smell and almost taste the salt in the air. The seagulls are racing each other along the beach to the sounds of laughing children. The beach is a sea of umbrellas and blankets, sprinkled with a touch of sunglasses, suntanned bodies, and flip-flops.

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The boardwalk is only 5 miles in length and was the first in the country. There are a multitude of shops, arcades, game booths, food stands, and bars lining the boardwalk. Lunch is served at Animations, located in Bally’s Park Place Casino & Resort. Handy if you wanted to drop in for another round of Black Jack or Texas Hold ‘Em.

You stroll further along to Steel Pier where there are multitudes of games and rides. Looking over the edge of the pier, the Atlantic Ocean seems endless. You spot a few large boats along the horizon and momentarily wonder if they are fishing boats or large container ships, heading towards the New York Harbor. You feel as if you are in your own world here. As you spin around, you decide to ride Crazy Mouse as a tribute to your youth when rattling cars on rails didn’t make you fear for your life.

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Afterwards you decide to drive over to the Absecon Lighthouse, located on the northern end of Atlantic City. The Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest in the state of New Jersey and is third tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. The lighthouse construction took three years to complete, lighting the Absecon Inlet for the first time on January 15, 1857. Although the lighthouse was deactivated in 1933, the light still shines every night.

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As the afternoon fades into evening, you see another side of Atlantic City. The neon lights of the hotels and casinos seem to wake up the city even more as strings of cars make their way into the many parking garages of the casinos. After dinner, you find yourself sitting on the beach, watching the moon brighten the darkening sky. Turning towards the Boardwalk Hall, you enjoy the free 3D Light & Sound Show, Duality on the facade of the Boardwalk Hall.

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As the laser lights dance you reflect on your day and hope to make it back in August to watch Thunder Over the Boardwalk – a fantastic display of various military planes that fly anywhere from 50 feet to 14,000 feet above the water. But for today, now, the escape from the daily craziness of life was worth the short trip. Next time, you might fly into Newark Airport and drive down the Garden State Parkway to experience the rest of what Jersey has to offer. Until then, you make your way back to your hotel for a good nights rest before flying back to the real world.

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