iPhone lost at Post Office and Found in Mailbox

Yesterday my husband lost his iPhone.
Yesterday it was hot, so my husband decided to leave his jacket at home before he left for the post office to mail a couple of letters.
At the post office he set his iPhone down on the counter while he was looking for some money to pay for the postage. Normally he would have just put the phone in his jacket pocket, but he didn’t have his jacket with him.
After he was finished, he left the post office, got in his car and drove to Staples. On his way into Staples, he decided to go back to the parking lot to get his iPhone. He thought it wasn’t such a good idea to leave it in the car. When he got to his car, he realized that he’d actually left his phone at the post office,not in his car, so he drove back, thinking that it would still be there waiting for him because surely they would have kept it for him. But, sadly it was gone and no one had seen anyone taking it.
When I arrived home he told me the sad news and we put our heads together to try and figure out how to get it back. Two days before, he’d downloaded the new software for the iphone with the “Find my iPhone” feature on it, but unfortunately he hadn’t activated it yet so all we could do was call the telephone company and have the number turned off. They told us that the telephone would still be able to receive text messages, so we wrote lot’s and lot’s of them, begging the person who found the phone to return it. We promised good things to the honest person who found the phone and returned it. I also called the number many times hoping that someone might answer. I wasn’t sure what I would say, but it gave me something important to do in the crisis.
We spent the day working (at separate jobs) and distracting ourselves from the loss. We had talked about the fact that we wouldn’t be able to replace it. It was new and my husband only had one, because when he signed up for a 2 year contract with T-Mobile here in Germany, it was not expensive. To buy a new one without signing a 2 year contract would be VERY expensive.
As I drove home late yesterday afternoon I was fantasizing about how wonderful it would be if, when I got home, the telephone would be in our mailbox. I thought “wouldn’t it be neat if some nice person had just magically found it and put it in there.”
I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I had a right to have a fantasy if I wanted one. (This is of course, another subject for a another post, when I write about Mental Health and how I one day lost it!)

After I had made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to check my email, the doorbell rang. It was a woman who lives up the street and her 8 year old son. She asked me if I’d found my iPhone. I was confused and said that I hadn’t lost my iPhone, but then I realized that she knew something about a lost iPhone. What were the chances of that???!!!! I became suspicious and I asked her to tell me more.
(I didn’t really know this woman very well…I’d met her in a fasting group 2 years before, but I didn’t really KNOW her.)
She said that she’d found “my” iPhone on the ground outside of a bar next to the store where she was doing some grocery shopping. Her son had said “look mom, it’s an iPhone” (actually,he said this in German,because this story happened in Germany)
She said she didn’t know how to turn it on, so she’d asked a neighbor to show her how. While she and the neighbor were tinkering around with it, I had called the number and she saw my picture light up on the phone. She said to herself (in German) “Hey, I know her! She was in my fasting group 2 years ago. I think she lives down the street!”. So, she came over and dropped it in my mailbox. Have I said what a nice woman this was?
Yesterday afternoon she happened to see me driving down the street on my way home and came over to see if I’d found the iPhone in my mailbox.
I thanked her and her son profusely. I couldn’t stop telling her how grateful we were.
Today my husband went over to her house bearing gifts.
It was a very happy ending to a day that we thought would end very differently.
I think the moral of this story is: Fasting is good for you.

Three Budget Rent a Cars in Eight Days

Flat Tire on Freeway April 14,2009

Flat Tire on Freeway April 14,2009

I’ve just returned from a trip to Los Angeles with my daughter. It was very stressful because our rental car broke down twice.

The first time was on the second day of our trip. We had driven all over L.A. and I was parking the car in front of my dad’s house when it just died. I tried starting it again and again and it wouldn’t start. Then I left it alone for 20 minutes because I thought that maybe I’d flooded the engine. I tried it again and it still wouldn’t start so I called the emergency roadside service from Budget Rent a Car.

They sent a tow truck out to me with a new car on it. Even though it was an inconvenience , I thought the customer service was quick and friendly. The distance from the airport to my dad’s house is almost as far as the distance between Essen and Köln.

Then, last Tuesday, April 14th I was driving in the fast lane on a 7 lane freeway (14 lanes, if you count both sides) on Highway 5 going South, when I heard a strange noise. I asked my daughter, who was listening to her iPod, if she’d heard it too, and she said “yes.”

The sound grew louder and I asked her to check to see if a helicopter was flying above us because that’s what it sounded like.

She said “no” and then I realized that the sound was coming from our car.

At that moment I thought “hmm, I’d better slow down and get out of this lane and drive the 6 lanes over to the side of the road in case something is wrong with our car.”

At the same time I noticed a small truck to my right doing funny things. He was driving in a zig zag pattern across the right 6 lanes of traffic and waving at me. As I crossed over to the right, the car started to rumble and bump and I realized that it was the tire that had blown out. I barely made it to the side of the road when the tire came off completely and I couldn’t drive anymore. The man pulled up in front of me , jumped out of his truck and ran over to our car. He asked us if we were okay and told us that he’d been trying to slow all of the traffic down so that we could get over to the right side of the freeway and out of danger.

He was our angel! I couldn’t believe that this man risked his life for us.

He asked us if we needed help but I told him that I had an emergency roadside service number from the car rental agency that I could call. He waited with us until he knew that help was on the way and he gave me his card and left. He said I should call him if the tow truck didn’t show up and he would come back to help us.

After he told us that he’d been trying to slow down the traffic, I realized that lot’s of cars had been honking at him and at us, but I hadn’t even noticed. It was like a dream sequence in a movie without a soundtrack, except for the noise in our car. I didn’t panic, I just responded with my instincts and luckily they were quick enough, even though I felt like it had all happened in slow motion.

After we stopped, I called the emergency roadside service again and they said they’d send out another tow truck. While we were waiting, a California Highway Patrol car stopped and an officer got out and came over to our car.

He was very nice and he asked us if we needed any help. I told him what had happened and that we were waiting for the tow truck. He said if we were frightened, he would stay with us. I couldn’t believe how sweet and kind he was. I told him that we were okay and he said that if we changed our mind, we should just dial 911 and the operator would send him over to us because he was patrolling the area .

The tow truck arrived and the mechanic changed our tire. He could barely get it off of the wheel because it was torn to shreds. He had to break the hub caps off because they were bent and he couldn’t get them off. He finally managed to cut it off and we applauded. It was very dramatic.

He put a small tire on that looked like a donut and told me to not drive over 55 MPH. (not very fast)

I called the car rental company and told them what had happened and where I was and they sent me to the nearest airport , John Wayne Airport in Orange County to pick up a new car, our third.

We are now back in one piece in Essen and happy that we don’t have to rent another car until July.

On the Road With My CPAP Machine

I’ve just returned home to Germany from a 10 day trip to Los Angeles. I took my CPAP machine with me and it was absolutely no problem.
At the security checkpoints, all of the agents knew what it was and no one blinked an eye. I didn’t need to show the small ID card I received from the hospital.
The CPAP machine worked instantly when I plugged it into the electrical outlet in L.A. with an adaptor. I didn’t miss a night, except for the time on the airplane.
My doctor told me that there is a CPAP machine that runs on batteries that one can use on an airplane, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to freak people out with a mask that looks like an oxygen mask on a long flight.

I Love My CPAP Machine

I haven’t written in 2 weeks because I’ve been very busy sleeping.

Two weeks ago I spent 2 nights at a sleeping lab where they tested me for sleep apnea.

I have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It’s a sleep disorder.

That means that I stop breathing while I sleep, sometimes up to 35 times per hour. This is not good for my brain or body, which need oxygen to function.

The doctor said I had a choice; I could have an operation with a 50% chance of success or use a CPAP machine (Continuous Postitive Airway Pressure) with a 100% rate of success.

Last week I had 2 appointments at the sleep lab: Monday and Thursday nights. I slept with the CPAP machine for the first time Monday night. Tuesday morning I woke up and felt like “a million bucks!”
I had energy the entire day and didn’t yawn or feel tired once. It was an incredible feeling.

I was so excited, that I called up the hospital and asked (begged) them to let me ta a CPAP machine home that night to practice with until I returned on Thursday night. They agreed and I’ve been sleeping with it ever since.

I feel re-born. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to make it through the day without constantly yawning and feeling tired and stressed.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize that I was tired and stressed. When I was together with people, I always had energy, but when I was alone, I always felt like taking a nap and often did.

The CPAP machine is not loud.

The mask I wear is comfortable. I chose the mask that covers only my nose. It’s very soft and flexible.

My husband is not repulsed by it.

He says it’s better than listening to me stop breathing.

I’m actually falling in love with my machine because I feel so fantastic.

The only drawback is that when I go to sleep at night I now look like Darth Vader .

140 Spaces Worth of Words

Another day in the Twitter trenches is over. I have many new followers. Today’s total is 328, but I’m still not exactly sure why. I just keep getting emails  saying that I have a new follower. I try to write little notes to them saying “thank you”, but it’s too difficult to keep up with it all. I’ve made a few connections with people in the form of direct messages, but there’s never really a chat, only 140 spaces worth of words.

I keep asking myself, what it takes to be interesting on twitter? I asked my Peeps or Tweeps  but no one answered. I guess because they’re not really my Peeps or Tweeps yet. I haven’t earned their interest. Most of the people following me are only following me to grow their own list of followers. I’m not having fun yet, probably because I spend most of my time thinking of something clever or meaningful to say in only 140 spaces. I feel like I’m at a really, really big party and I’m the only person not drinking.

Three things I learned about twitter today

1. It’s who you know.

2. It’s  like high school.

3. It’s nice to have followers, but nicer to have friends.

I began my twitter adventure yesterday. I read a blog post that said if you follow 12 well known people on twitter, you’ll attract many followers.

I was curious and I wanted to try it.

It works. When you follow a well known person, or have them on your list of friends, their “famous” name appears at the top of your twitter feed for a moment and it looks like you are friends with them.

Followers of that person think you might be important and they decide to follow you too.

After becoming a follower of the chosen 12, I found a list someone had posted that had names of 249 people who would follow you back if you followed them. On this list were people like Obama, Nasa, Starbucks and Guy Kawasaki. I clicked on a few of them to follow and right away I got several  auto- responder emails informing me that they’d be following me too. I think there is some sort of contest going on to see who can get the most followers.

I was feeling lucky, so I registered for a site called ifollow where 700 people will follow you if you follow them. I was on fire!

I clicked on about 20 new friends and waited.

It felt a little like the popularity contests in high school used to feel to me, as I clicked on the names I thought “please follow me too.”

I realized this was not mentally healthy for me but I was hooked.

Then, after trying to read many (7) of my new followers profiles to decide if I wanted to follow them, and sending “thank you for the follow” messages to many of them, I gave up. It was a bigger job than I had expected.

I stopped to eat some pizza with my daughter and realized that in my robotic  “get more followers” frenzy, I had forgotten that I was on a low carb diet.

I knew at that moment, after the pizza was gone of course, that things had gone too far. I was in over my head.

My mailbox, that I had so painstakingly emptied last week when I was in my  GTD “getting things done” mode, was filled with over 150 emails from people who were following me. I realized that I didn’t know any of them.

None of my friends use twitter. They’re all on Facebook. I know that I’ll meet some fabulous people on twitter, but I’m not sure how long it will take me to get to know them. To relax, I logged on to my Facebook page and talked to some old friends. The world seemed  somehow slower, calm and peaceful there.

What are your experiences with twitter?

Does anyone have any tips for me?

Is there a better way of managing my tweets?

Should I increase my meds?

Today I learned how to Twitter

Today I spent some time, more than I want to admit, learning how to use Twitter. Well, there isn’t much to learn at first, because you can only type in 140 characters or spaces for your messages. I think the point is to keep everyone in the world updated on your life at any given moment.I keep reading that it’s very important to have a twitter account if you have a business because thousands of people are twittering every day and it’s an easy way to connect with them.

So, a couple of  weeks ago I registered on the twitter website: www.twitter.com but then I got a little disappointed because I didn’t have anyone to follow and far worse than that, I thought that no one would want to follow me. No one I know in Germany uses twitter. No one I know is even the least bit interested in it. I felt so alone…

Then, this morning I read a post by Krish on www.bloggertalkz.com called 12 People to Follow and Go Viral On Twitter. The list of the 12 people was originally from Darin Rowse who writes www.twitip.com, http://www.problogger.net and www.digital-photography-school.com.

Well, amazingly enough after deciding to follow those 12 people,  in a matter of hours I was following 39 people and better yet, 27 were following me!

I’m still not sure what it’s good for, but I feel like I’ve got my little wings now.


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