Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Monday, December 12, 2005

Phone's Dead

Well apparently we've been lucky.  Since we've gotten here, our phone has never been out.  All of our friends who are also newcomers to the island have been complaining about how often and how long their phones go out for.  Well today we finally got hit, and our phone is dead.

Luckily we've been preparing for this ocassion, and we have 3 backup plans (before we go to smoke signals, that is).  Gerald and I have two cell phones on different networks (which are working great).  Plus we have an Internet phone number through Skype.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

4,000 lbs of stuff

We recently decided to sell our house in Millis and move to St. Croix full-time.  (If you're interested in a beautiful 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house on a private lot with a gurgling brook in Millis, MA, send me an email, and I'll hook you up with our realtor!)

Part of that meant moving all our stuff.  We decided not to move any furniture (except for one piece).  So we expected that there wouldn't be very much stuff.  Well, after piling up books, computers, games, CDs, treadmills, TVs, and kitchen appliances, the total rang in around 4,000 lbs!

We used Allied Van Lines to move.  They came to our house in Millis and carefully packed up every piece.  The movers were phenomenal; very careful, friendly, and professional.  They packed everything into large wooden boxes, which would then be placed into a cargo container and put on a ship.  Then the ship sails from Boston to St. Croix, and they unload it when it arrives and bring it to our house.

It's just arrived, so now we have cardboard boxes all over our house waiting to unpack.

Monday, December 05, 2005

How Not to Change a Tire

This one's from Gerald...

Every once in a while. Just every once in a while. Why can't a simple thing in my life be simple???

Tim and I have been planning to put new tires on the truck for about a month, then Brien and Susan came down. We all know what happened then! Woopie, new baby!

Last night we went out to dinner at Cheeseburgers in Paradise with some friends down from MA for the week. Gravel parking lot. Screw in the tire. Ok, made it home safely with no flat. Scotty (one of the friends from MA) was going to come by this morning, run to the auto store to pick up a patch plug kit. He came by but the tire was holding air so we decided it would probably be ok if I drove on it again to go buy new tires. So I did, but...(here's where it starts to get complicated!)

The guy who sells tires doesn't mount tires. This is St. Croix. You go to the tire guy, buy your tires, then go to a tire "shop" to get them mounted. Seems simple enough, right? Simple unless you have a screw in your tire.

I made it to the tire guy, bought 4 new tires. Headed off to the tire shop to get them mounted. Got less than a mile and had a flat. How on earth did that happen you might ask? Well, dumbass me was driving with a screw in the tire (I really thought you'd get that one.).

So I pull into a shopping plaza. Called Tim. Asked him to call Scotty to come help me. He couldn't reach Scotty by phone, so he rode his bike down to their house. No one home. He rode back to our house to call me. I told him to call our friend Julie. Surely she could help or know someone who could. Her assistant Jill picked Tim up and brought him to me so we could change the tire. Oh...but we couldn't find the tool you use to lower the spare from under the truck! Yeah, ok, still with me?

So Jill calls Honnie, our realtor here. Honnie has this woman who changes her flats for her, so she called the woman to come help us. Woman calls me on cell, I tell her where to find me. She comes but it took her over an hour to change the tire. I swear, it must have been the first truck tire she'd ever changed. She didn't have a clue. But imagine if you will, Tim and I standing there watching this woman crawl around on the ground changing our tire...there's a picture for you!

Anyway, she finally got the tire changed so we got on our way to the tire shop. He got us in relatively quickly, put the spare back under the truck, mounted and balanced the new tires in about 45 minutes and we were off! Finally! Headed home to clean up, relax, and figure out what we would do for supper.

About a mile from the tire shop we go around a curve and hear a sound like we had clipped an aluminum can and sent it scurrying off across the road. Hmmmm. Ok, next curve same sound, except much louder and this time accompanied by some very alarming clacking noises. Oh yeah, this is Gerald's life. So I whip into the parking lot of a closed Feed store before the tire could fall off. It nearly had. The lug nuts were barely hanging on. So Tim gets out the lug wrench and proceeds to tighten down all the lug nuts.

Yes, we actually DID make it home and are about to go have some supper. But an hour or two errand turned in to an all day affair for me with drama at every turn, literally. Such is my life. Please...trade me???