Saturday, October 28, 2017

East Wind Rain. A Tough Week. All hands on deck.

Rain came in last night. It's settled right over us, and is supposed to keep raining through tomorrow. It's not a storm though, just a "soaking" rain and some wind.  My wife is firmly ensconced on the couch upstairs, with a fire in the fireplace, her little dog at her feet, and a nice warm blanket. It's a good day for tv viewing if you like fashion shows on the Evine network, QVC, or QVC two. She has been wanting some kind of hoodie thing she saw, so I told her to go ahead and buy one. That will keep her happy and busy all day. She's not been feeling well lately and I thought she could use a day of being pampered. We all need that, at one time or another.

Here's a song that pretty well covers how this week has gone.  Do you remember it?  Fortunately, the source of my aggravation has not been marital. It's just been weirdness.

First, the indoor cat scaled a set of shelves, got up on the cardboard box the router and modem were in, and whizzed on them.  No more internet.  I  went to town, bought another router, but couldn't set it up. Called the NetGear tech support, got a "foreign call center" fellow.  He couldn't understand me, I couldn't understand him. Two hours later, between the two of us, we got the router working. He kept assuming I knew things about computers that I didn't. If my son had been here, it would have taken him two minutes to get this thing up and running.

Then, there's AT&T. I ordered a new smart phone as a congratulatory present for my son, who has gotten a much coveted promotion at work.   I got an Indian lady on the phone. She told me that since I am a Direct TV customer, I could have a free phone identical to the one I bought for my son. I thought, why not?

She said it would cost me $18.75 plus $2.56 tax. I said ok.  When I got off the phone, I checked my on line banking account. There was a debit for $2.56 and a debit for $198.27.

Called AT&T back. Got a black lady. She said there was no such thing as a free phone for Direct TV customers. She told me I had to pay for the phone because I had signed the "on line" order authorization.  She struck me as being one cut above a rock, intelligence wise, so I asked to speak to her supervisor. The Supervisor came on line, and it was clear immediately that she was a "BLM" type with no time for crackers. She hung up on me.

Called AT&T back, got a white lady. She said my son's phone would not ship because you can't order a phone and have it sent to an address other than your billing address. She said that not only did I have to pay for the  "free" phone, but I also had added a fifth line, which would cost me an additional $40.00 a month for the line and an additional $20.00 a month for the "smart phone data fee."

So I waited a day, found someone who actually knew what was going on. My son's phone did ship, I did get the phone I didn't order, I returned it, they dropped the extra line and they SAY I will get my money back when they get the phone back.

AT&T is the absolute worst there is to deal with. But AT&T is the only coverage up here, and I've had AT&T since cell phones came out. I'm not sure I want to cancel my plan and try to find an equivalent which will accept our four phones. "Too hard" category.

The Tao of Sponge Bob.

Life is hard, and then you die....

Everybody has weeks like this. At least, we're starting a new week and surely it will be better!


Remember the "dossier" the British guy came up with, alleging President Trump was guilty of all sorts of perverted behavior?  "Somebody" gave it to the FBI, which then gave it to the Clinton's to use in the campaign. Then it turned out to have been completely fictitious?   Now it transpires that the  Clinton's and the DNC paid to have it fabricated in the first place.

Oh,well.  It's the circle of life:

Defending the home and family is an all hand's evolution. Life is not safe, it has never been safe, and people who rely on the sardine defense (there are a lot of people, so maybe nothing bad will ever happen to me) often wind up on the morning news as the latest set of victims.

Women can be just as effective in defending the home as men, if they're given the chance. They need the proper training and equipment, just like a man.  Protecting the home and family is a joint responsibility, and if the kids are old enough (and the video below shows they don't have to be teenagers) they need the training and the conditioning to turn to when needed.

Below is  a video on why armed citizens are a good thing, and why you can't afford to let the Moon Bats prevent Americans from defending themselves,  why citizens shouldn't  wind up with empty hands when the door gets kicked in. (13 minutes duration)


  1. Hi Harry :) In weather like that, I would be right up there with M...with Jack under the covers to keep me warm! :) You're very sweet to pamper her. I got that treatment yesterday when my leg pain got horribly worse (I'm having odd zap-like pains in my left knee)...Alex made me a bath and then set up his "beach chair" in the bathroom with trivial pursuit cards for us to play. It was very nice! We like when our men pamper us! :)

    LOL at that cartoon. You know, when we get "non-local" customer service agents, we INSIST on speaking to someone who lives in Canada, or worse (no offence lol) the States. Otherwise, we hang up and try again. We've had discrepencies between foreign agents and local ones too...Agents with attitudes piss me off...and I immediately hang up. Alex is better with those people so he handles most of that stuff. I have zero patience.

    You are right about women. At least I can speak for myself! I won't allow anyone to hurt my family, despite that anxiety I suffer, I'm like a lioness. Survival of the fittest...Darwin had it right.

    1. Rain, I'm sorry you are having trouble with your legs. Things like that wear a person down, because it's recurrent. I'm glad Alex is taking good care of you. Life is easier to get through when you have a partner. I wouldn't have made it this far without M.

      I dread calling any "customer service" outfit. I always try to work through "chat" if they offer that option. If nothing else, I have a record of what they said. I don't have a very good track record with getting things done through customer service and I try to come up with my own work throughs when I can. This time, I just didn't have any choice.

      I've always thought it was a mistake to raise girls so that they lack basic skills. When my father died, my mother had been married to him for more than fifty years, and my mother didn't even know how to pump gas into her car. She could not pay her bills because she had never had to deal with those responsibilities. To this day, my middle brother attends to all her financial affairs. My wife was raised the same way. After we got married, I was able to teach her some things about managing money, and having some financial accounts in her own name. My daughter will see that she is ok once I exit the scene.

      I especially believe girls should be raised to be aware of their surroundings, and to be able to handle whatever life throws at them. I hope my daughter will find a good partner and settle down some day, but until then she has to take care of everything on her own. We are a close family and stay in touch, so whatever else, we can always rely on three other people.

    2. Hi Harry,

      I was having a similar discussion with one of my blogging friends about upbringings. She was saying that a friend of hers said that as soon as he could walk, his dad had him out on the farm working. I think that's very good though the poor man got criticized for it. Most kids are coddled too much...George Carlin has a good bit on You Tube about kids...he's so offensive, I love him lol...anyway...I was brought up in a suburban atmosphere and was never taught any basic survival skills more less any other skills. I had to teach myself to cook, do laundry, knit, take care of my car, do my own finances etc...Without getting too much into it, I was out of there at 17 and never looked back. I will say that my first apartment was a total dive in a terrible crack-house type of neighbourhood...and I had a lot of dangerous situations. That taught me to look out for myself.

      I had a rough time during the 1998 ice storm that knocked out water and power for weeks. I made it my mission after that to get smart.I worked at Dunkin Donuts on the midnight to six shift then at a very sleazy hotel 6 mornings a week as a chambermaid (where a black pimp offered me the "chance of a lifetime" eeeeeegads), then went to university for my degree in the afternoons. I was determined to "make it", that's where I learned my business skills.

      I was so innocent out in the world and I learned most of my lessons the hard way. Here's a good example, I remember after buying my first car in 2001...about six months after I bought it, I was at a gas station that was full-service. The guy checked my oil and said "Ma'am it's BONE-DRY"...I was so embarrassed and said, "Oh there must be a leak, can you fill it up please?" without giving away the fact that I had no clue I had to refill the oil...anyway, that was nearly 20 years ago and I know a LOT more about cars now! :)

      In my upbringing, we were taught to be good Catholic obeying wives...I went to a convent taught by nuns for my early "education"...our gym classes consisted of aerobics (to stay fit for your husband) and square dancing (to be properly social)...OMG...!!! That convent was raising little Stepford Wives!!! I do like square dancing...but not for learning to be social at "tea parties" lol...

      Anyway, I'm glad I got my re-education in the real world and I'm still working on my self-sufficiency skills. A little bit at a time! :) Your blog among many are really teaching me a lot, so I'm very thankful for meeting you! :)

    3. Rain, I'm sure sorry life pitchforked you into the world like it did. You have done very well, given all that you had to go through you certainly beat the odds and turned out to be a very pleasant, good person.

      My father and mother were very strict. They grew up in the 1930's, in Southern Baptist towns. They hadn't changed a lot when they had us in the 1950's. My dad was very strict, belonged to the old school "spare the rod and spoil the child" philosophy. We were not close. My mom was a typical Southern woman of the time. She took care of the house while the kids were at home, my dad worked and took care of everything else. My mom started teaching when we were old enough to stay at home alone.

      When I left high school, I immediately went into the Marine Corps. From one highly controlled environment to another. Even in college, everything we did was controlled by the reserve unit, and all our friends were from that unit.
      Then I moved up here, and it was the kind of environment where you learned or you left.

      I admire the fact that you worked, even if the jobs were not prestigious. My grandfather used to tell me that any job was an honorable job if it was honest. He had to support his family during the Great Depression, and he worked a lot of jobs that were not "prestigious" but he worked. That's what mattered.

      At any given point in our lives, we are the product of everything that went before. I am hypersensitive to security. You have anxiety attacks. That's because we went through experiences that made us the way we are. But you know, I think a person who makes it through is stronger for those experiences. I don't feel badly about who I am, and you have every reason to be proud of yourself. From being dumped out with nothing, you have a nice place, a good partner, and life is good for you up there.

      I'm actually envious of you and your blog! You just started and look how many people you have visiting and commenting every day! Way more than I do, and I've been doing this for years! Good for you, Rain!

    4. kids need to be taught 'life skills'.
      we were not, and i told mom when i was in college,'do you realize that neither my brother nor i know how to do even such a simple thing as to buy a bus ticket and travel anywhere, much less anything else practical.'
      she just looked at me.
      i'm still in the dark about most things.
      our daughter is a bit better prepared and knows how to shoot a pistol and check the oil in a car, among a few other things. wish i could teach her more but i am too ignorant.
      however, there is the library.
      i hope God has suitably rewarded the guy who invented the library.
      you can learn anything! we are there at least twice a week.
      now there is the internet where there are videos [you have to be careful] and i have watched people build things and can things and lay out gardens. it is great.
      it is said that a moth emerging from the chrysalis must struggle or its circulatory system will not work and it will die or be crippled because the wings won't spread out.
      it is good to have some purpose and a bit of a struggle for humans to become properly functional.
      God bless Rain. she has come through and out the other side.

    5. There are a lot of families out there who are making a huge effort to insure their kids have enriching experiences and learn the ropes. I know Alissa, Lisa, Kevin, and a lot of the other young people whose blogs I read move heaven and earth to train the kids right. I feel sorry for the kids who just get left at home every day to watch television and play video games, I know that happens too.

      We have been driving to adjacent counties to use their libraries recently. Our library never gets any new books, but by motoring around the mountains we can keep finding books we want to read. We can also order books on line from the library book sharing system, but they take a long time to come. Also, I like the library because you can find new authors you like.

      Rain is a nice lady. She recently agreed to keep some dogs for a Moslem, who said he was going back "home" for a visit. Then he contacted her and said he wasn't coming back at all. She is trying to take care of all those dogs now rather than abandoning them to the SPCA. You can tell a lot about a persons character by how they handle situations like that.

  2. if you ever called the irs you know it is as bad as a t & t.
    you wait for more than an hour--keep a book handy to pass the time-- and then their advice turns out to be wrong, but you get in trouble for it , not the one who gave you the advice.
    you wonder who trains these people.

    1. I have had a couple of run in's with the IRS , both of which cost me a lot of money and left me with a very bad impression of that organization. The recent acknowledgement of the IRS that they intentionally harassed conservative organizations such as the tea party under Barack Hussein doesn't do anything to improve that perspective.

  3. Good for you for pampering your wife! You win today's "Hero Husband" award for that!

    Our internet choices are AT&T or Charter. Had AT&T for a long time but got tired of them raising our services (and bill!) without permission, plus adding charges for things like conference calls that we never made. Liked Charter at first, until their 12-month special turned into a 24-months "special" which meant they raised the price a 2nd time after we'd had them for two years and told us that was always the deal. But - as long as their allowed to get away with it and gov doesn't care about consumer rights, it will only get worse.

    I do remember that song! Flashback! Rather appropriate for life in the U.S. today.

    1. We are stuck with Windstream for internet. Nobody else offers internet access in our county.

      AT&T is awful about misinforming you on what their plans cost, which is why , when I can, I only talk to them on "chat" so I have a record of the conversation. Alas, this time around, something so simple as ordering a single upgrade on a phone turned into an absolute nightmare. No two AT&T customer service people told me the same story, and two of them were really rude. It's been even worse since AT&T bought Direct TV. They may be one company now, but someone forgot to tell the Direct TV people about it, as there is absolutely no coordination between the two entities.

      M is a good wife. In many respects, she's calmer and more practical than I am. She never loses her temper. I've been a lot happier since she retired and we could both live up here together, without her having to leave on Sunday afternoon to go back to where she taught, and only getting home on Friday night. She did that for five years....

      The song about sums up this past week, but I have high hopes that this week will be calmer, more tranquil.

  4. Remember the good old days when you could call in to some big company and get a clear speaking American on the line? But alas those days are long gone. I get down right ticked off when I have to speak with some lady in Bombay who gets testy with me when I don't understand her. The nerve. The worst of them are the so-called "help remove the virus on your computer" people. --Troy

    1. If this international call center business is part of "globalism" I could sure do without it. I hardly ever actually talk to someone at one of those places if I can help it, I use "chat". But on things like technical support, you can't do that. That "help remove the virus on your computer" scam is aggravating as the devil, I've been hit on with that too.

      The quality of life is not what it used to be.

    2. you know how we were told that computers would make everything easier and more secure!!!
      ha ha ha !!!

    3. I well remember when there were no digital computers. I saw Grace Hopper, the lady who was largely responsible for the first big IBM computer at a seminar once, in 1981. Even at that time, there were no home computers.

  5. Harry, hope you wife gets to feeling better soon. I am traveling back from turkey as we speak. I was the only one in my company lucky enough to have a visa. I am looking forward to gett8ng back to the south east and enjoying some of the cooler weather.

    I agree that home security is the responsibility of all who live there. My girlfriend has gone from never firing a gun to being a great shot with her favorite full size 38 special. We also are friends with a like minded couple. I work with the guy and the girls are good friends. The ladies know how to handle the guns and now that the couple has had a child the guy has come to me for advice on a lot more preparedness topics. He realized that I was not crazy and it is not just gums and ammo. It is good storage and gas and generators and propane and water storage/filtration. I have a mountain cabin retreat and he has a lake house. Having close friends that are prepared is nice. I can't stand guard 24 hours a day if it does not the fan and you never know when you may need help cutting up downed trees or something.

    Never dealt with at and t but I have dealt with Comcast. I imagine it is about the same.

    Me and the girlfriend enjoy your postings. Stay safe up there on the moumtain.

    Curly wolf

    1. Curly Wolf, you have put your finger on one of my vulnerabilities. With just two of us up here, I have to rely on the dogs and the electronic security devices to warn me if I have unwelcome guests. Up until a few months ago, I did have a group of associates who were coming here in the event of a big , long term problem. Unfortunately, people who take preparedness seriously have been moving out of Georgia as the situation here in terms of crime, illegal aliens, unwanted "refugees", taxes, and other quality of life issues deteriorates. Now most of the folks I was counting on have either joined more proactive groups, moved to places in the neighborhood of Rawles' Redoubt, or moved to their own retreats and no longer need access to mine. The only person who will be coming here now is an ER nurse who's a friend, and anyone the kids bring. I know most of the current thinking is that you need at least a dozen active individuals to maintain a security watch in TEOTWAWKI, and I'll be lucky to have half that.

      I would certainly like to read your blog if you have one.

      I spent a lot of time in Izmir, Dyarbakir, Konya, Ankara and Istanbul back in the early 80's. Turkey was pretty nice back then, but now, with it becoming less secular, I don't know what it would be like.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Harry,
    If you have to use AT&T for coverage, consider one of the discount carriers which use their network. Cricket Wireless, Consumer Cellular and Net 10 run (or can be selected to run - Net 10) on AT&Ts network. Generally their customer service is on-line but beats dealing with non-English speakers. I use a similar service, Republic Wireless, which runs on Sprint and am very happy with that for about $15-20/month. If you already have a phone it has to be compatible, though their Android phones are reasonably priced $100 for the low end) and we've had no problems - all five of the family are on that service.

    1. I appreciate your taking the time to go over that. I'm not that up to speed on how all that works. I do know that when I first got a cell phone, it was a "bag phone" that was about the size of a regular phone, and you carried it around in a leather bag. If you went outside the coverage of your carrier, you had to pay roaming fees. But all that seems to have gone away now. Now, I pay a $40.00 fee for each phone line, and an extra $20.00 for each "smart phone". We get to use 2GB of their data a month, which is never enough, and they automatically sell us 2 GB more if we go over, which we do every month. That costs $15.00 more.

      I really need something simple that will work here and in Cincinnati, or, where ever my son and daughter transfer to in March. Looks like it will either be Jacksonville, Florida or Raleigh, North Carolina at the moment.

      I know there is some kind of problem with phones being "locked" to AT&T, so that if you change carriers you can't use the phone you have, but that's all I know about it.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I am going to try to sort through some other carriers, although I know Sprint, at least, is not very honest when they are trying to get you to change over.

    2. had sprint. terrible!!
      have boost now and no complaints yet.

    3. I don't think I have ever heard of Boost. I don't really understand all the nuances of cellular service, but I am trying to educate myself, at least to the extent that I will know when the cell company is manipulating me or lying to me.

  7. Oh my gosh I can't stand when I call to get help from someone, and I just can't understand them at all.

    Once I handed the telemarketer call to Isaak when all he could do at the time was babble. I could hear their frustration. Isaak was happy he could talk on the phone. I was laughing my ass off!

    I hope it stops raining soonish. We had a cold front come through. It's been windy, but no snow or rain.

    1. Strange, isn't it, how sometimes you have just had all you can stand. I feel a lot of resentment towards companies like AT&T that outsource their technical support and customer service to India. Yes, it's cheaper for the company and helps pad out the seven digit salaries the top hogs get, and stacks up the green for their golden parachutes. But it degrades the efficiency of the service, deprives Americans of jobs, thereby decreasing tax revenue and increasing social services expenses. I'd love to dump AT&T and find some outfit that does not do that.

      We had rain and high winds, again, this weekend. A tree came down in the forest near the house, and I found it yesterday. It was a pine about 50 feet tall, fell down slope across the Jeep trail, but happily only the top 20 feet or so was across the trail. I was able to clear it because the top was much thinner than the main part of the tree.

  8. AT&T, Netflixs, Comcast. Oh, the stories I could tell about terrible service over the past 20 years or so. And the pain started before the Apple phones came out. Husband had said he would never use an AT&T product again but had to give in with the Apple iPhone came out. He's a tech kind of guy...We've reduced our Comcast to mostly just internet but they still keep upping the cost. Need to stop the service for a month or two to be able to get the price again of a "new" subscriber. Next, Netflix would have slow download speeds during a period of time when they were fighting with some other company who was providing the bandwidth. Husband kept calling to complain about the speed and the company Comcast? would say it was all our fault. After some 20 calls over several months it came out that Comcast? was on purpose slowing the speeds so Netflix would pay them more. Husband was steamed. All that said, we feel your pain.

    1. It's obscene, the way some American companies have started manipulating the customers to squeeze more out of them, for less service. Outright lies from customer service reps to the customers are the order of the day, and half the time, you can't understand Panjet Patel on the other end of the line. It gets really frustrating, and obviously, you and your husband have traveled down the same long , bumpy road I'm on at the moment with AT&T. I wish I could tell them all to just drop my service, but I need a land line, the whole family needs the cell phones, my wife likes Direct TV programming, and I like the internet. While there is some choice among cell phone companies, you either have to choose Dish Network or Direct TV for satellite tv, and Dish Network is even worse than Direct TV. We have only one option for internet, the local phone service, Windstream. They are pathetic but they have a monopoly on the internet service here.

  9. I have Verizon, been good to me. Almost 4 years now. Did I tell you my oldest is trying to become a reserve officer for a PD one town over. Just waiting for the final OK. He wants to be a cop. I pray he stays out in the country vs City. Every day I watch Fox News and I'm not surprised what they talk about. Clinton & the DNC sounds about right.

    1. Good luck to your son. I'm not sure I would want to be involved with law enforcement these days, but then he's young and not worried about things older people do.

      I have heard of Verizon but I don't think they have any of those little offices in town. I will take a look at them on the internet. Thanks for the heads up.

    2. My phone is pre paid. $40.00 a month. Walmart has them I think. I got mine at Best Buy this time.

    3. You have one of those phones like my wife and I do, it's really for calls and texting. That's all I really need, but I have my two kids on the same plan (they pay for half of it) and we need a plan for two smart phone lines too. I agree, for the older crowd like us, smart phones are pretty much overkill.

  10. That song still creeps me out after, what, 45 years?

    1. It really is a bit unnerving. I think it's been about that long, yeah.

      The other think about crazy people that always sticks in my head is the line from The Pink Panther "every day, in every way, we are getting better and better."