Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Almost April

Less than an hour to go in the eastern time zone. Not that it means anything other than flipping the calender. Another nice, sunny day, let the birds free range again. Only hit 41f for a high today. Still a little more snow melted making up for the inch we got the other night. A few more days and I'll be heading to Florida with my a couple of Hal's relatives, his mom and sister. I've never been there, hoping to see some manatees and Kennedy Space Center. That would be cool.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I just saw my first 2 robins of the season this afternoon. Not in my yard but one street over. Hope they don't mind what's left of the Texas/Kansas snowstorm that's coming through tonight and tomorrow. Still now spring has officially arrived.

Another Sunny Day

It may be chilly outside, only in the mid 30s but the sun is still melting a little of the ice and snow. Just got back from walking the pups in the woods, I'll take them out again in a couple hours. The chickens and guineas are wandering around the yard having a good time scratching in the dead leaves. They make more holes to take dust baths in than Luna ever did just for the joy of digging. I fear for my flower beds this year.

I set up voice mail on my cell phone today. Worked like a charm. Now anyone who calls me can hear my melodious voice and leave me a message even if my phone is turned off. Eats my minutes listening to them though.

Yesterday Hal and I met with a man who sells and installs outdoor wood furnaces. After the propane prices more than doubled last fall we decided we needed to do something else to heat our house and water. I have no desire to get into the global warming thing with people who think this is inefficient (I could get into the carbon footprint thing between wood and oil and coal, but I'm sure it's better explained already elsewhere.)  We can't afford propane if it keeps rising and even though petroleum prices came down, propane didn't, at least not very much. Petroleum prices aren't going to stay down either. Gas pump prices are already $2.15 per gallon for regular unleaded around here. And these furnaces are much more efficient than the open fireplaces that still get used. It will be nice to have a warmer house in the winter, too.

Hamburgers for dinner tonight. With potato chips and homemade dill pickles. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Time to go do some more useless stuff.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Net10 -- AT LAST!!!!

My 3rd phone was delivered yesterday afternoon via FedEx. I was not in the mood to deal with it then so I called the Net10 people this afternoon. This was a refurbished phone, I guess they were tired of sending me new ones? But it seems to be in good condition, no noticeable scratches or anything annoying.

But I called, talked to "Michael" who was understandable and explained yet again what had been going on (you'd think it would be documented somewhere in their database?!) We repeated numbers back and forth which I typed into the "Code Entry Mode" section of the phone and my phone number that was attached to the second phone was moved over. He tried calling and it did not ring. Then gave me the standard spiel of waiting an hour and testing. I said "sure, okay, yeah right" or something similar, and we said good bye. Then I called my cell phone from my home phone.

It RANG!!! I nearly fell out of my chair. At least I didn't drop the phone on the floor. I then called my home phone from the cell phone and it rang, too!! Whoa! Who'd a thunk it?! I called my neighbor's phone and got a busy signal. I walked over there and we called back and forth. It really does work!

I left a message on my mom's answering machine and later in the day she called me back on it. I still can't believe it! This must be a dream. To think a repaired phone works when 2 new ones did not. This is the way technology is supposed to work!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Screwed Boots

A year ago I slipped on the ice in the driveway and cracked my head on the ground. I required 2 stitches, there was blood everywhere and I had a nasty concussion. I did not lose consciousness so I assume that was the reason I did not get an MRI or CT scan. It took weeks for the bump to go away, in fact even after the stitches came out the skin didn't heal for weeks either, too much old blood buried underneath.

This winter I haven't had any such scares because Hal took matters into his own hands and doctored my boots with #6 3/8" long hex head screws. There are 11 in each sole and they have done wonders for keeping me upright and steady on my feet. They do slip a little if the ice is really smooth but there aren't a lot of patches like that around here and eventually the heads do grip the surface.

It feels good to have confidence walking again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Net10 Saga Continues

After spending an hour and 12 minutes on the phone Monday they suggested I wait 24-48 hours. I waited 75. Today I spent 2 hours 11 minutes on the phone and although at one point we got new and "interesting" results on the phone, still no working number.

So they're sending me another new phone. Same model as the second one, an LG200 flip phone, but I don't see how it's going to help. I asked him, he thinks the phone must be defective, otherwise, why didn't anything he did work? I'm still guessing that maybe Alltel just hasn't released the phone number to them? Not much I can do about it though. So I'll just wait till this one comes and make another phone call to their customer service reps.

But on a happy note, tomorrow is the first day of spring! Now if it would warm up again like it did earlier this week. Lots of good snow melt. Only reached 31.8f today though.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Believe it or Not....

That tracking number for the Net10 phone worked this morning and half an hour later FedEx delivered the new phone. Now, after spending more time with 2 different reps on the land-line phone for an hour at least, I do have a local phone number. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Yet. I've been reading a lot of complaints on line this evening, about Net10 problems and I am not alone. I have hopes that perhaps in a few more hours, (or even a week) this number might actually activate for real (not as their website claims that it already is activated). Some of the complaints I have read about have actually been resolved. I also noticed a lot of people who didn't get their problems fixed seemed to have been rude to the poor reps who are really only trying to do their jobs with a minimal amount of training.

It seems to be a nice enough phone although the original one seemed to get better reception. At least they increased my end date to June 1st and added the old minutes to the new one. Now if it just starts working everything will be great. It's possible it's a "porting" issue, I'm not going to try to explain that because I'm still unclear exactly what it means. Suffice to say, as Net10 rents cell towers from other providers, e.g. Cingular, and Alltel, and the message Hal gets when trying to call my cell from our land-line says "this number is not in service, Alltel 188", maybe it's just a matter of Net10 and Alltel getting together and finishing the activation.

But I'm not holding my breath.

(edited for typos)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Net10 Fiasco Continues

So my new SIM card arrives yesterday and after replacing the old one in my phone I call Net10 to get the new local number this SIM is supposed to give me. After talking to 3 people again, and spending 90 minutes on the phone the last guy determines it's not a SIM card problem but the fact my LG300G phone is using GSM technology and I really need a phone with CDMA technology. So when I suggest I just return this phone (which they won't let me do because it's more than 30 days old, but hey, it doesn't WORK people!!) "Alan" says they will send me a new phone, free of charge that will allow me to get a local phone number. He gives me a "ticket number" has me repeat it back to him, and takes my email address. I should get the phone within 3-5 days.

This afternoon, 24 hours later, I decide to check the status of this "ticket number" online (I did this the other day with the number for the SIM card and it worked fine). Their website tells me this number does not exist. So obviously, this "Alan" screwed up. I have now sent them a short yet detailed email about this non-existent ticket number and what is supposed to occur and got an email back saying someone will check my complaint out within 48 hours.

I need to strangle something.

In the meantime, I have a mostly useless cell phone with 288.5 minutes and it is running out of days. I have to renew it before March 23rd or I lose the minutes I paid for when I bought it. Want to bet how I get screwed next?!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Driven Nuts by Net10

I bought my very own prepaid cell phone in January. When I was assigned my number I called technical support because the prefix (those first 3 digits after the area code) were for a town that would be a long distance call for me. I was told I had to verify that first by making a test call and checking my phone bill. Sure enough, I was charged 35 cents for 1 minute on top of the 10 cents per minute that my cell phone deducts.

This morning I called back and made my case. The girl, for whom English was not her first language, but still was understandable, gave me a new phone number after about 30 minutes of back and forthing. I then had to wait an hour to test it. It didn't work. I went online to their website and plugged in a bunch of numbers provided for reactivating my phone. When I tried again I still could not use the number. So I called them back.

Person number two, a little harder to understand had me type many numbers into my phone again, kept asking me to be put on hold while he checked with his supervisor, etc. After about an hour of this I was told everything should work after waiting another hour which I did. Again, no joy.

Now I asked both these people about changing my zipcode, but the first gal said I couldn't do that unless I actually moved away. Person number two had similar difficulties.

The third time I called I got a third person and after explaining my problem yet again, he finally informed me that the new number would not work for me. After typing in more strings of digits a new phone number appeared which had the same 657 prefix of my original phone number. I again mentioned that that number is a long distance call from my home phone to my cell phone and made no sense. However, this person had little trouble being persuaded to try different zipcodes for me. Finally, we hit one that still had local prefix numbers available for my phone. The only problem was I would need a new SIM card which could take up to a week to be delivered. Then I will have to go through the reactivation process again. Still, if this is what it takes to get me a local number, that is fine with me.

My only question now is why don't their zipcodes and access numbers actually match as they do for the old landline phones. It sure would make things operate a lot more smoothly! Spending 3 hours on the phone for something that ought to be simple makes little sense.