Über Kuel


Yesteryday while at work during my lunch hour – my cell phone rang. As I leaned over to pick up my Motorola RAZR (that’s right…I don’t have an iPhone – yet) I squinted then pulled it back at arms length trying to focus on the tiny call ID digits.

The display read, Jim Cornell – Home. That is very odd.

See, Jim is in Germany (going on 2 months now) and the phone number is from his house in Baltimore Maryland – I must have forgotten to delete it from my phone when he moved.

Maybe I read it wrong. Squinting again; I realize I’m reading it right. Suddenly a flurry of thoughts flash through my head:

  • Did someone break into Jim’s home in Baltimore and call me?
  • Is Jim back in the States, back in his house…in trouble and calling me?
  • Is this the beginning of a race-against-time thriller where a mysterious phone call from a Supercomputer AI throws me into a series of increasingly dangerous situations–using the technology of everday life to track and control my every move?

I do have a very over active imagination…

Buried in the back of my mind, a distant memory of an iChat conversation I had with Jim about a month ago begins to surface. Something to do with a Vonage modem I recall.

“Okay….” I answer tentatively.

“Hola Hermano!” Jim responds.

Although I recognize the voice, I’m still hesitant and judging by my tardiness to respond. Jim jumps in.

“They just hooked up my DSL, so I plugged in my Vonage modem and decided to test it by calling you first.”

Again, I only utter one word, ‘Wow…” then a smile begins to creep across my face.

“Isn’t this great!?” Jim asks.

I finally snap out of my disbelief and astonishment when the ends of my smile reach my ears. Jim did it. I’m talking to someone half a continent away – 7 hours into the future!

Okay not really in the future but they are 7 hours ahead of the US. The “future part” just makes it fascinating.

Jim explains that during his move to Germany, he had packed his Vonage modem but did not disconnect the service. The hope was that once he got high speed internet access in Germany, he could plug in the Internet phone modem and dial a number just as if he was calling from Baltimore, Maryland. And guess what? It worked. He was basically calling out of Germany, to a phone number in Baltimore, to a local number in San Antonio TX.

Now he’s gonna get a 2nd San Antonio number and give that number to me and his Mom (okay it should be the other way around – his Mom and me) so that if we call or he calls – it will be a local call…to Germany. We just have to make sure we don’t call him too late, you know with the 7 hours (into the future) time zone.

That was not just cool – it was Über Kuel.


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