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Jan 24 2016

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The Sounds of Silence

In a surprising development, the weather folks here in our nation’s capital actually got it right and we had a doozy of a snowfall this weekend. In our very scientific use of a yardstick, Don and I are guessing that we hit the 24- to 25-inch measure, and our power stayed on (with an outdated power grid, a major victory!). Have you ever noticed how incredibly quiet it is when no vehicles (or people) are moving? Cassie has been able to hang out in the front and supervise our snow shoveling.
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I know that my NTCA members in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas are all entertained by watching this adventure, and I have greatly appreciated all of the shoveling tips, including lift from the knees not the back, but my back still hurts today. However, as a Midwest transplant, I will note that having 6 million folks trying to hit the road—when the roads actually reappear—and the question of where the snow will actually go is always an exciting set of logistics. As for my neighborhood streets, we are hoping for a plow by Tuesday. That does not bode well for my scheduled trip early Tuesday morning to our Asheville office, especially given the current status of my street and the ratio of my car size to the snow level!
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However, our team made wonderful adjustments at the end of last week to get out to our Wireless Symposium & WiExpo before the chaos and are now waiting in Florida for our members to arrive and partake in a very comprehensive and timely program on wireless issues impacting smaller carriers. This conference is timely given the recent release of our wireless survey that continues to show the challenges smaller carriers have in reaching roaming agreements and having access to marketable handsets. That ability to do advanced planning on the travel front is the advantage of the weather service hitting this forecast with enough time to plan accordingly. Of course, planning accordingly also includes making sure that I had enough ingredients on hand for pots of chili, soups and, of course, chocolate chip cookies. My rationale is completely sane since my exercise routine for the next few days is comprised of a lot of shoveling and walking through snow between my knees and thighs.

Don and I have spent hours (literally) shoveling a path to our front where our cars are parked. (We live on a hill with an alley, and it will be March until that alley is cleared!) We shoveled a swath of the backyard for Cassie to use as her doggy outhouse and a path to the garbage cans in the alley. However, as soon as a snowplow does appear (we’ve been warned that that will likely not occur until Tuesday), we also know that the mounds of snow in the street will end up back on our cars. Sigh. Guess I have my workout routine set for the week ahead. At least Don and I work well together, we coordinate our shoveling adventures together, and he works out of the study and I roam between the kitchen counter, in front of the fireplace or in the family room with Cassie.
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However, the beauty of technology is that while the rest of our life is in chaos, for the most part, work can carry on with the use of our broadband connections. I have a bag full of tasks, calendars and projects that I wiped off of my desk on Friday afternoon. Between my handy BlackBerry, iPad and MacBook, I can get done all that I had hoped to this week, including remote meetings with our Asheville team.

I know that millions have been impacted by this weather as well (including my youngest, Kelsey, who got a surprise 26 inches in NYC, but already has all of her roads and sidewalks cleaned), including many NTCA members who continue to do a yeoman’s job of battling tough weather conditions to ensure that their consumers can have access during weather emergencies. I hope everyone stays safe and warm.

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