Posted in random, technical difficulties


I remember visiting my parents’ home during a college break and asking my parents how long they were going to make me suffer with a rotary dial phone in the hallway.  Then, after moving to Texas, I swore I’d never call them unless they invested the $3 a month for call waiting because they were either always on the phone or the computer and every time I tried to call them I got a busy signal.
Fast forward to 2010, and I’ve reached another telecommunications growth spurt.

Recently, I changed car insurance companies.  On their bill, website and every other form of advertising and information, is an 800 number that includes the word CLAIM.  On their bill, website and every other place I looked, they did not have the alternative (the actual numbers) listed anywhere.

Because I was in the middle of entering the number in my contacts I decided to go to the internet and Google traditional phone pad to get the letters corresponding numbers to put in my phone in case I ever had to call in for a claim.

I have not had a traditional house phone for nearly three years now.  I have a traditional phone I can plug in the wall somewhere (and by somewhere I mean it’s probably in a box in my closet), but my cell phone’s keypad is a combination number/qwerty keyboard – so the letters would not match the numbers CLAIM represents. 
I can access a traditional keypad on the touch screen on my phone, but to be honest, I hardly use it.  I either use the readily accessible keypad or just choose a contact and push to dial.  Besides, to have to look up what number corresponds to a number is one of those tedious things I shouldn’t have to do if the company would just print the full number in addtion to their “easy to remember” CLAIM. 
I have been cell phone shopping recently and have seen many cell phones that do not have a traditional phone keypad readily accessible.  People speak, “Call John” and the phone obeys or they have speed dial, or they access and dial in many other ways. Even at work I hardly dial more than four or five numbers at a time and most of the time I use shortcuts the phone provides for me.  People rarely traditionally dial these days if they are out and about with their cell phone in hand, and almost no one uses a traditional keypad to text from these days, either.
Heaven forbid my phone gets smashed in the accident and I have to use some random cell phone that has a traditional keypad that’s more difficult to access or in a lot of cases, not even there.  In times of crisis, I might remember 800 CLAIM** but might not want to work that out in numbers in the middle of the chaos that would cause me to have to remember it in the first place.
I searched all over their website and couldn’t find CLAIM translated anywhere and this amused me somewhat, so I called the insurance company and had a nice chat with a lady named Anne.  I told Anne I was not calling for a claim but to ask (since their website had no way to contact except by phone) whom I should talk to about this.  She pulled out her own cell phone and started laughing because she, too, had a phone with a combo number/qwerty keyboard and said that if she had a traditional phone keypad on her phone, she’d never seen it.  Anne is my age and we both agreed that as traditional phones faded into the sunset, their website’s information should keep up with the times.
I wonder what stories I will tell kids when they complain about using a hand-me-down phone that is “so far behind the times.”  I will tell them, once upon a time, we even dialed seven numbers instead of ten and see how they marvel at that.  Or, perhaps, when I left the house, if my car broke down and I had to make a phone call, I had to knock on someone’s door or find (gasp) the soon to be extinct pay phone.
This experience brought to mind one of Bill Cosby’s routines where he said he asked his father for a nickel and he would get the old man’s life story, including, “when I was your age, I walked to school uphill, both ways.”  I find that story even moreso amusing now, because I find myself telling those same kind of stories!  With technology changing every few months, however, this doesn’t make me feel old, it makes me feel fortunate to appreciate what the new gives me in convenience… except when I need the numbers that correspond with CLAIM…
Posted in technical difficulties


(They promise me the post/order thing will be fixed asap)…

And, all old comments went the way of the dodo because I am a blogging dodo… 🙂

Posted in technical difficulties


Our DSL is now SUPER FAST… so much better than dial-up. While “offline” I read a couple thousand pages of the Harry Potter series and I started a new book called, Girl Finds God, by Lauren F. Winner. I will blog more about that book as soon as I finish it. So far, it’s been a great read.

Thought to Ponder: On the way home, I meandered through back streets to avoid long waits at traffic lights… and though it may be a slightly longer route to get home, at least I am in motion the whole time, and therefore, the journey itself doesn’t seem to take as long. I laughed as I realized I do this, then thought, “Why can’t I seem to do that in other areas of my life? Why can’t I stay in motion?” A thing to make you say, “hmm…”

Jene’ is off to Republican headquarters to watch the election results trickle in for today’s primary. For the first time in my life I got to vote for someone I know and not only that, I know he’s the best man for the job (it’s so rare to be able to depart from the lesser of two evils voting). He is also an ornery man (it’s always the quiet ones) who likes to grab people’s feet during scary orc sections of Lord of the Rings. Anyway, I will update you on Victor’s progress for his re-election bid for Railroad Commissioner of Texas. Jene’ had planned to be in Austin with Victor & family to watch the election results, but she had a job interview today (HOORAY) and couldn’t make it out of town.

As for me, I got turned down for another position at another church, but they sent me a nice rejection letter, and it was personalized and did not say, “Dear Applicant.” I am working, however, every day this month, which will produce two healthy paychecks in a row. WOO HOO! I can’t tell you the last time that happened… well, yes I can… this time last year.

Other interesting tidbits since I blogged last:

– I cooked meat this evening and I do not smell like the meat I cooked. Bonus. (last week I had to shower after the Great Bacon Incident II)

– I had a craving last week for Maneschewitz matza bread, though I’m not Jewish and matza is not a regular part of my diet. I’m a different combination of “ish.” Amish… Scotish… Irish… and other “ishes.” Not sure what that means, but I will probably pick up a box the next time I pass the kosher section at Kroger’s.

– I learned the cash register system at the bookstore (where I’ve picked up the extra days) in about 10 minutes and even though the little scanner/barcode reader thingy didn’t work most of the time, I did quite well. Kudos to me. I guess all that playing with my toy cash register when I was little paid off.

– I have not yet seen Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I wanted to wait another week or two so I can go to the theater and weep — and not in front of 400 people. It’s still tough to get a ticket to this movie in Houston. From what I’ve read and from the reactions of people I know, Christian and non-Christian, this is a worthwhile movie on which to spend your money.

– Sunday, I went to Mickey D’s to try to win a million dollars, but alas, I wasn’t the chosen one for their contest. Sad, but true.

– I finally received my Hershey’s T-shirt (the one I won January 1st – the good omen T-shirt). It’s a long-sleeved, white T-shirt, with a Hershey bar on the front. Underneath the Hershey bar, it says, “Sharing is Overrated.” Now that I’ve received the shirt, let the good omens turn into good results!

That’s all I can think of right now… I’ll most likely blog again soon. Did you miss me?

Posted in technical difficulties


Everyone’s acting like nothing happened. Next.


Our DSL is switching over to another line, so as of Monday we’ll be without high speed internet access for 5-10 days. I will be able to access e-mails with dial-up, but whenever I try to blog with dial-up, the results are frustrating. So, if I can blog, I will blog. If I can’t, I will talk to y’all in a couple of weeks. Gives me a chance to catch up on correspondence and reading, right?

Posted in technical difficulties


I will download virus protection software and run it at all times.

I will check Windows Update on a weekly basis and download all the security packs suggested.

I will do a backup (at least once a month) of documents, pictures, my address book, and other things that are a pain in the bum to replace and reassemble.

I will toss my cookies, delete my temporary internet files, and do other maintenance on my computer on a regular basis.

I will resist the urge to purchase an Apple computer in self defense.

I will hug all IT personnel the next time I see them walking down the hallway after saving my computer and all my hard work on the job…again.

I will hug my rooomate/friend/brother/neighbor who fixes my computer at home… again… every time I forget to do one of the above and a virus or worm bites me in the bum.

If I fail to do any of the above, may I never log onto the internet again.

Repeat as many times as necessary… (because my roommate is tired from fixing everybody’s computers this week! So far, she’s saved 23… and 24 will be saved as of Saturday)

I already adhere to this pledge (though I didn’t until I bought my current computer), but this is for all the people who woke up Tuesday and found that their computers wouldn’t work. I’ve already experienced the horror of almost losing everything on my computer… and I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I also just want to say that all the people who have issues with Bill Gates need to get a grip and leave me out of their fits of petty jealousy or whatever it is they think they’re accomplishing.

I’d love to run into one of these hackers, punch them in the face and say, “Hack this!”

Posted in technical difficulties


I had this wonderful blog written on July 22nd, commemorating the 9th anniversary of my sobriety. It was deep and meaningful, and when I pushed “send” our DSL cut out and sent my wonderful ramblings into cyberspace. So, rather than try to reconstruct perfection (ha ha), I’ve decided to move on. Maybe on my 10th anniversary next year, I’ll treat myself to something extra special… any suggestions?