If You Pay For It – They Will Come.

First major storm of the year (well, let me rephrase that) the first major “Thunderstorm” of the year rolled thru here with a vengeance last night.  Took some roofs off some homes north of here, and the siren’s went off at 1:30 a.m. this morning.  It is always hard for me to go back to sleep after something like that.  It has a tendency to pucker me up a bit (makes me tense).  Do you know the difference between a Tornado and a Hurricane? 

I don’t either.  But somebody is going to lose a trailer house!

I see where my friends in the Government are going to loan a “MEXICAN COMPANY millions” of U.S. Tax dollars to build a toll road in Texas (0utside of Austin).  I don’t understand the logic of this, why are we loaning people “outside the boundaries of the United States” contracts to build infrastructure “inside the boundaries of the United States?” 

We have an economy that is going to hell in a hand-basket and folks being laid off left and right, so we are sub-contracting out our in house business to other countries?  I am kind of liberal in my views.  For instance, “I would never throw gasoline on a politican and set him on fire.  But if I did come across one that was already on fire, I wouldn’t put him out either.”  But I have to tell ya, I don’t understand this one at all.

We have toll roads in Oklahoma, lot’s of them.  First one went in around ’55 I believe it was.  It was going to be a “temporary thing.”  Just until it was “paid for.”  You know the drill, I believe it is $4 a car now for 100 miles.

A note in a plastic bottle, cast into the Pacific off the coast of Seattle in 1987 has surfaced in Alaska in a remote fishing village.  “This letter is part of our science project to study oceans and learn about people in distant lands.” A fourth grader, Emily Hwaung, who is now a 30 year old account in Seattle wrote the note. 

As a small lad, growing up in California, I tossed numerous bottle messages in the surf, but never did I hear anything back.  Probably did not have enough stamps on it?  The shelf life of plastic in the environment is something like 100 years.  Think about that for a second, that means that EVERY PIECE of it that was not destroyed, but rather tossed or discarded, is still with us.  Plastic has been around for about 50 years now.  Al Gore recently installed 33 solar collectors on his home (we didn’t burn the bathroom light all night one day this week, we are doing our part).  Thirty-three panels, that seems like over-kill to me.  Figures to be rather expensive for the “regular guys” eh?

Some guy in Oregon came home the other day to find about thirty people in his front yard, toting off all his stuff!  It appears that someone had posted a message on http;// www.Craigslist.com that he was moving out of state and giving all his stuff away. 

When he approached the people about it, they refused to give him back his stuff, saying “that they had read it on the Internet, so it had to be true.”

April’s fools day … In 1981 the Herald-News in Roscommon, Michigan, (a place where 3.6 billion people have never heard of) printed a warning that scientists were preparing to release 2,000 “freshwater sharks” into three area lakes as part of a government funded study.

Figuring my tax burden tomorrow, ten a.m. please pray for me.  Life can be so dog-gone tough, just getting thru one day at a time, and sometimes presents itself as a monumental chore.  This week has all the earmarks of a grinder, and it is only Tuesday.

I have to admit one thing tho’.  It is awfully nice, coming in here, sitting down to the keyboard, cup of coffee, and writing something.  For the past few weeks I have been hammering this web-page-thingy together over at WordPress.com (http://ldsrr91.Wordpress.com), day and night, and it has taken its collective toll.  It is so nice to not have to twitter, tweak, flitter something, it relaxes my widget like you would not believe.

If these elected bozo’s can give the Mexican’s millions to build a road “Deep In The Heart of Texas,” then they should be able to provide me (a disenchanted disgruntled angry tax-payer) about eight tanks of gas and a five hundred dollar bill.  That is in addition to what is already on the way.

“I wouldn’t mind paying taxes, if I knew it was going to a friendly country.”
         Dick Gregory.
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Can You Hear Me Now?

Bought a new “Can you hear me now” cell phone yesterday. Man, talk about taking it in the shorts! This thing cost $218.00 and some change, I also had to sign up for a new two year contract, and give them the name of our first born male child.

There is no such thing as “customer loyalty” in this country any more, I have been with this group of people over eight years, but they still make me sign a two year contract? Make all those folks on Judge Judy sign the agreement; leave the rest of us alone.

The telephone also came with a rebate that I will more than likely never see. Rebates irritate the fizz out of me, “You are being denied your claimed rebate, because YOU did NOT cross ONE T on your application, and YOU forgot to dot an “I” on line 74.” I would rather have the money at the counter.

Don’t give me a lousy rebate form. Give me the $50 off the phone at the counter.

By the time I bought all the things the telephone required (IE: case, USB cable, and the other incidentals) it was close to $300.00. And to make matters even worse, when I got up this morning, it hadn’t even bothered to make the coffee, even tho’ it was plugged into the receptacle right there next to Mr. CoffeeMaker.

No toast either, what a rip off!

Another thing (with me, there is always, another thing.) For that kind of money, you would think they would put a stronger vibrating pager do-hickey in the thing. I could stand around all day calling myself, find a nice private place and just hit re-dial all day long. Yeah, I know that is sick. One other feature that might be neat would be a “Get-To-The-Point” button; I would pay a little extra for one of those.

Speaking from a personal consumer standpoint, I don’t see where any of this busting up the baby bells and tearing down of the telephone company by the U.S. Government has helped us. The seven independent companies have merged back into 3 companies serving the US, with one significant difference; Evolution in the marketplace has expanded the phone companies reach from plain old telephone service to Cellular, Television, Broadband, movies on demand, and a host of other services, which brings us back to AT&T once again using it’s monopoly to hurt consumers.

Cingular recently became part of “the new AT&T”, and they make sure to say so when customers call. Prices for Cingular’s Short Message Service (SMS), which enables text messaging on cellphones, were raised by 50% recently from 10 cents to 15 cents per message sent or received.

Send a picture? Twenty-Five cents … Ka-Ching!

Of course who can blame them, Sprint was the first to make the move to 15 cents shortly after merging with Nextel. Now that the 2 out of the 4 major carriers left in the US charge 15 cents, Verizon has decided to follow suit, announcing plans to increase prices for SMS messages to 15 cents starting in March. T-Mobile, a German owned company, is the only major carrier left charging 10 cents per SMS.

Each merger comes with the “promise” to regulators and shareholders of a stronger leaner company with new synergies better able to compete in a changing marketplace. In practice, however, it appears consumers are now left with fewer choices and higher prices. If you are not buying into any of this, then go out today, and purchase a new telephone, you will quickly realize that there is a small nugget of truth buried here.

So after dodging sixty drivers talking while driving, taking important messages at 70 MPH (Whadya mean you’re late .. Pregnant! Ooooopps, sorry about that buddy) I manage to make it safely to the driveway and the sanctity of the home.

Opened the book, read the instructions in ENGLISH because it is a lot easier to understand than FRENCH/SPANISH. Which was for some strange reason printed upside down, what is that about? Now I have picture in the phone, MP3 Music, Caller ID, Auto Re-dial, E-mail, you name it! I can reach out onto the World Wide Web and figure out what the weather is doing.

I can even get Martha Stewart for goodness sake. But I cannot get thru, you are currently twenty-fifth in line, your approximate wait time is ……. Uh …… How about forever?

The first call out of the bag, the very first time this $300 piece of marvelous engineered technology which was made and assembled in Viet Nam rings … A voice on the other end, very rudely, not polite at all … demands ….”WHO IS THIS?”  Personally, I am waiting for Caller I.Q. … This is a feature I really need.

Having increased my total word count for the day, I will now return you to your regular programming. If you are a member of the Human Race, please press #1. If you live on the planet Earth, please press #2. If you have personally had contact with aliens from another space and/or time or have seen Elvis please press …

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Cell Phones

April 2008

  • 01: CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW Cellphones, lousy business practices, caller I.Q.
  • 01: IF YOU PAY FOR IT THEY WILL COME Mexican toll road being built in Texas
  • 02: LIFE IS TOUGH Prose
  • 02: SI HABLA THIS English only speech issue in Philly Pa
  • 03: GIVE UP SURRENDER High gasoline, it is only going to get worse
  • 03: CELL PHONES Breaking up of Ma Bell and how it hurts the consumer
  • 03: OKLAHOMA Prose
  • 04: COME ON WEEKEND Gray wolves, mind games, border issues
  • 04: LOVE BOAT Sea going rest homes, retirement
  • 04: OLD CHARLIE Totally new look for a loser, humor
  • 04: TUNA FISH Humor, marriage, life
  • 04: READ MY LIPS Dirty underwar, internet surfing, misc
  • 04: INTRUSION UPDATE Computers pedal power, ecology
  • 06: MOSES DIES Ben Hur is gone, Charleston Heston dies in Hollywood
  • 06: ENGLISH CLASS Highschool, youth, looking back
  • 06: LOOKING THRU THE KEY HOLE Try and cheer up, jeeeeeze.
  • 07: GETTING HITCHED IN ARKANSAS Marriage laws change in Arkansas, humor
  • 07: UFO BLATHER Roswell New Mexico, political BS, humor
  • 08: BLUE SKY Prose
  • 08: DO OVER If we just had it over to do again
  • 09: THINGS CHANGE Life changes and how we adapt to it.
  • 09: OVER MEDICATED Laughter is good medicine.
  • 09: LIL DINKERS Small children and the wonder of life with them
  • 10: SHOCK n AWE 50,000 volts of pure stupidity, dumb things men do
  • 10: FAMILY TREE Ancestory, smart bombs in Tulsa, kids
  • 10: RAINY DAY THURSDAY U.S. presidential race
  • 11: BREATHE DEEP Fart it could extendyour life, humor
  • 11: READY TO GO Teenagers, body piercing, jewelry
  • 12: NORTH ON 74 Crescent Oklahoma, trucking, the American Highway, Nostalga
  • 12: IN DA HOOD Neighborhood going down hill, big oil
  • 13: INFORMATION OVERLOAD Ecology, Indianna Jones
  • 14: MONDAY COMING ON Disney, Las Vegas, western states water woes
  • 14: HOPE I AM READY Nostalga
  • 15: MODERN SCIENCE Smoking, sex, humor
  • 16: ONE MORE DAY Okies, boogers, life, humor
  • 16: BY THE NUMBERS Internet banking, IRS, economies, money
  • 16: GOLD FISH Grandchildren, marriage, life
  • 17: MISSING LINK Computer malfunction, no support
  • 17: RICE IN CHINA World food issues
  • 17: TRUTH OR SOMETHING LIKE IT prose
  • 17: SKY IS FALLING Bad science, humor
  • 18: BLOOD LINES Border patrol, hookers, nipple rings
  • 19: YOU SUCK Internet critics
  • 19: ARM CHAIR TRUCKING Yosemite Nat. Park, getting away
  • 20: LIFE IS GOOD Front porch musings, nostalga, getting away
  • 20: GREEN GRASS Painting the front lawn green, envy of the neighborhood
  • 21: DEATH BY BLOGGIN Heart attacks, too much computer time, economy
  • 22: HOME GROWN Gang bangers, wanna be’s, home grown terrorists in USA
  • 22: NITE SKY The Milky Way and a million other stars, Flagstaff, Arizona never looked so good
  • 23: BOOGEY MAN Bad dreams, nightmares, humor
  • 24: AROMA THERAPY Govt. handouts, public housing, humor
  • 25: TGIF Positive attitudes, trip to the mall
  • 26: NO SALE Bad times in the private sector, economy
  • 28: PORK BARREL Frivilous wasted spending by Govt.
  • 28: WHATS A MAN TO DO Prose
  • 29: LOOSE CABOOSE Pork Barrel spending caboose motel in Pa.
  • 29: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING Hannah Montana Debacle
  • 30: SLOWING DOWN, NO WAIT Bush blames Congress for America’s ills.