Friday, May 24, 2013

With pen in hand (sort of)...

Greeetings, all.  Hope everyone will have the chance to enjoy a three-day weekend, as I am.  Or will in about two and a half hours.

Strange week for me next week.  I'm working two days, then starting a ten day vacation for which I am MORE than ready.  My wife and I are driving to Colorado to spend some time with family there.  We'll try to resist stopping to see the "world's largest prairie dog" or visit Colby, Kansas, an "oasis on the plains," as their signage beckons.  Or pay our respects in Russell, Kansas, hometown of former Senator Robert Dole.

No, we're looking forward to getting to and being in Colorado, one of the nicer places I've had the pleasure to visit regularly.  We'll mostly be in the Denver metro area, although there could be some day trips to other areas.  My wife and I have not spent any time discussing or planning, but since we'll have MANY hours in the car on the way there, I think it'll be pretty easy to think about this and decide.

We had a mini-garage sale last weekend.  No, we didn't sell any mini-garages, but we did sell a few things here at the family manse.  Nice to remove some unwanted stuff AND make a little money in the process.  We have thusly inspired our son and his wife, and they're having a real extravaganza tomorrow morning.  Come one, come all.

I think I've mentioned that I like my XM--sorry, it's now SiriusXM--Satellite Radio.  We have it in both cars and I listen online via my computer or iPad when I'm deskbound.  They had some sort of issue with the latest Flash player over the past week are were out of commission for several days.  If anyone from SiriusXM is reading this, I'll accept my prorated refund any time now.

And our local cable company is about to become TimeWarner, having been purchased some months ago.  We even got a "transition kit" in the mail, which means I'll have to change my e-mail address at some point and heaven knows what else.  And since I live in Kentucky, which awards a "franchise" to a single cable operator per geographic area, I'm sure a rate increase will be coming shortly.

Speaking of that, I apparently dialed a long-distance number in error from our home phone about six weeks ago, and hung up as soon as I realized that I had done so.  Now, we haven't used our home phone line for an outbound long distance call in MANY years, so imagine my surprise when our most recent phone bill arrived today.  Bear in mind that this is now the 24th of May, yet this call, which occurred on April 1 (April Fool!) and is just now being billed.  Anyway, the call lasted one minute (minimum billing duration) and was priced at 40 cents.  But in making that single call I incurred another $6.30 in additional charges.  I called AT&T to discuss, and was told that there was nothing they could do, naturally.

But there was something that I could do, so I asked them to cancel their involvement with my local phone service.  Not being able to dial a 1-plus long distance toll call will prevent a recurrence, but, my goodness, after seeing this, no wonder the local phone companies are diversifying into Internet connectivity and cable TV to try to defray all of the money they've lost.  My 80-some-year-old mother-in-law is about the only person I know who uses her home phone exclusively for local and long distance calling.

So I hope you have a great weekend.  Next time you hear from me I will be writing while breathing the crisp Rocky Mountain air!

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