Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lost Connection

We’ve been having trouble with our phone service ever since we moved last April. The phone goes dead while I’m talking for no apparent reason. Whenever I report the malfunction to our carrier, they magically reset it from there main office – if there is such a thing - whatever has to be reset. Then the phone works again for a few weeks.

When we moved and my husband first told me he was bundling everything to reduce our monthly cost by $100, my response was, “Is this the same phone/cable company that disappeared for weeks after the hurricanes?”

He said yes, and agreed that if we had problems, when the introductory offer was up after a year, unless they renewed the deal, we would switch back to our old phone service if we had any problems.

Anyway – when our phones went dead two weeks ago, service told me that our phones were not compatible with their telephone service. I pointed out to the person I was speaking with that the phones work 99% of the time, and if they were truly incompatible, they wouldn’t work at all. Then she kept insisting my phones were analog, despite the fact I repeatedly told her that the phone was clearly labeled “digital.” I must have worn her down because she agreed to set up a service call, but at my cost. Then, after more heated words were exchanged, the cost was waved.

When the technician arrived – a week later - he informed us we needed new batteries for all of our phones. “They have to be changed at least once a year. When they’re all low, phone service cuts out.”

We’ve had the phones for more than five years and I think we’ve changed one battery because that particular phone read “low battery” whenever in use and told him this. The technician said we were just lucky. After he left, Hubby told me it was my fault because the phones probably cut out when all the phones are out of their cradles at the same time – something I’m guilty of, which drives him nuts. When he worked, I ran around the house before he was due home and put all the phones back in the cradles. Since he is home, I find searching for the phones gives him something to do. (He does not think this is funny.)

The local store that sells the special phone batteries was out of stock. It seems a lot of the portable phones – not to be confused with cell phones – went dead after the unusual lengthy cold snap we had in South Florida. I have no clue if there is a connection, but I’m glad the store was out. When we told our son the story, he told us it may be cheaper to buy all new phones – the kind that use cheap batteries- than replace the 4 batteries in our present phones.

By next week hopefully our new phones will be in place. Then when our phone service cuts out, an operator will tell us we set them up incorrectly. Unfortunately, she will probably be right!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Too Much Bursting

Living on a six star cruise ship – what I call the active adult community I live in – has one downside, and that’s the upsizing of my waist since we moved in less than a year ago. Since we didn’t move a great distance from our old home, we still socialize with all of our Florida friends from that location. We relocated to an area where many of our old New York friends, who retired to Florida, settled. Add to that mix, all the new friends from our “cruise ship,” there is never time to say, “I’m bored.” My active social circle has tripled. Is there such a thing as too much of a social life? Absolutely not. It’s just I’ve never learned to handle constant exposure to yummy treats. To make things worse, I have to keep cake and snacks in the house to serve in case we decide to have friends over the last minute – something that was unusual while Hubby and I worked. For me these “goodies” are bad because I’m drawn to “company” food like ants to sugar at a picnic.

When we join friends in their homes – before or after dinner – Hubby is not tempted no matter how delectable the spread the hosts serve. That’s why he’s the only diabetic I know who doesn’t need to take the expensive pills others take. Me? My mother taught me to empty my plate. On New Year’s eve, there was actually one cake per person for dessert. Other than my husband, who only ate a piece of the sugar-free cake, the rest of us had a sample of all of the anything but low calorie desserts.

Last night we had New York friends over for cocktails before dinner. (Diet soda, salty nibbles, and cheese – cocktails just sounds better than diet soda and pretzels). By the time cocktail hour was over, I had nibbled enough calories for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I still had a meal to eat and after dinner coffee and cake back at my home to go!

Before she left, my friend said she could see that I truly had adjusted well to the major move because I was bursting with happiness.”

Hubby glanced at my too tight jeans. “Bursting is the key word.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Night, Night, Sweet Cableless Dreams

Our new television had a stroke last night. We lost picture and sound. “No signal” flashed its ever-threatening warning that the television needed expert advice. Hubby started by calling our cable company who, after reading the scripted advice without success, told him to call the manufacturer. I was stunned that they, like the cable company, had 24-hour service to guide electronically clueless seniors like us revive their televisions late at night.

I don’t know which one – cable or manufacturer - asked if we had a Wii – an electronic game you hook up to televisions – but Hubby made the mistake of saying, “Yes, our grandkids were playing with one when they were here last week.”

At first, the expert didn’t care when Hubby told him the truth – it was hooked up to another television in another room. The expert immediately diagnosed the Wii, which had been unhooked five days previous, packed up, and was now hooked up to a television in a basement in Atlanta, was the cause of our problem. I guess when Hubby repeated this to him several times in an anything but soft voice, the expert digested what this meant and then read pages from a different script. Somehow, the picture returned – without sound. Neither the cable nor the manufacturer would accept blame for the problem – but the cable company was willing to schedule a service call.

Since no repairperson can show until Friday, we bribed our Florida son with his favorite dinner and he came to see if he could help. He fidgeted with some stuff, unhooked something that begins with a series of alphabet letters, rehooked it up to restore sound until the cable company comes.

I miss the old days when televisions simply turned on and off and had no extra boxes with all sorts of programs attached to them. However, look at how many new jobs all these gadgets have created – like the writers of scripts to read to ol’ folks at 11 o’clock at night. They know we desperately need the sound of the television to put us to sleep. Last night, instead of listening to the television for our bedtime story, we listened to an unknown voice read a very useless script. Tonight, thanks to our son, the news broadcaster will hopefully bore me to sleep once again.