Tag Archives: finances

Larry

choose-joy

larry cable guyHey, all y’alls remember Larry the Cable Guy? Okay, after listening to the comedian for twenty minutes his bit got old with me. However, today’s whimper involves my cable internet and phone service, so I’m borrowing Larry CG’s persona.*

Restoring This Old House in particular could provide a month-long series on PBS, HGTV or DIY. So, Old School works well here.

Forget all the ads out there for bundles -and the fine print sales reps don’t mention till the end of the pitch. I’ve checked them all out for our area. Erin must live without her E!-TV, but we save for repairs and upgrades on the property from the entertainment and communications budgets. Utilizing satellite for television, cable for internet and phones we realize a minimum $20/month savings. Just don’t get me started on life without a DVR. Who knew one can’t program a VHS recorder without the remote?

So, our internet, land line and my (unlimited through Wi-Fi) cells services come to us from the wonderful people at “Mapper” Cable Company – who only recently came to our part of the Western Slope.

When I noticed cars stop in the street to talk to Mr. First Tech who was parked in front of the house, I thought, “My, this is such a friendly town!” It was actually the first sign that Mapper service is under par with my previous experiences in Chicago, Phoenix and Fort Worth.

Larry, our third tech in four weeks came in musing how customers don’t understand he’s dispatched from remote parts of the country, so he can’t just swing by to look into their problems too. “They seem to see red when they notice the Mapper sign on the truck,” he went on as he happily accepted some sweet tea. This actually is a friendly town – just sayin’.

So early Thursday Larry devoted himself to confirming Mr. First Tech and Mr. Second Tech’s reports – both now closed as PNF (Problem Not Found). A healthy hour later, he affirmed the frequent crashes I continue to experience are most likely ‘at the pole.’ To be sure he covered all bases he swapped out the modem and router for brand new ones (whoop-whoop) and promised to order a service check at the pole (technical paraphrase mine 😉 ). ‘Guess he liked the tea.

But this morning’s fitness walk complicated the whole unfortunate sequence of events when my flip knife wasn’t on my dresser where it had been Thursday morning – before Larry’s arrival. Seriously, flipping the car, every room, bag, laundry hamper… every square inch I use in the house for two hours didn’t locate the knife.

So try to imagine my reluctance as I explained to Ms Agent at dispatch, “I’m positive Larry isn’t a contractor. I have a keen sense about people. He’s not the kind of guy that would take anything from a customer. He’d been working on the dresser that houses the equipment where I also had the ‘tool’ that’s missing. It’s possible he inadvertently picked it up as he ever-so-considerately cleaned up after himself. I don’t want to generate a report that could ding the man’s record. I just want the tool returned.”

Ms Agent assured me contacting dispatch to reach Larry would be no problem for him or me. I know better. Back in the dark ages I worked dispatch for the same company (before Mapper acquired them). I told Ms Agent how to route a ‘Call Back’ (“it’s an industry term”). Amazed, she thanked me. For a moment I thought, “Cool, not that much has changed.” Then she had to go and say, “Yeah, going old school is healthy once in a while.” Shrew.

So, I no sooner hung up the phone when Girlfriend that had also visited us with Ellie Thursday afternoon, came bouncing up the walk. “Heya Roo! How ya doin?”

Goody, more tea…

The short story, Girlfriend saw the gruesome-looking flip knife on the vanity in the powder room – right where I’d set it so it’s hard, steel edges wouldn’t scratch our nice, oak toilet seat. Knowing we don’t leave things like that laying around for Eight-Year-Old-and-Very-Inquisitive-Niece to find, Girlfriend slipped it into her pocket meaning to hand it over to me. She washed her hands and promptly forgot all about it. Under a deadline, I didn’t walk the neighborhood on Friday, and I didn’t notice the knife missing from where I always, always keep it, on its very own tray on my dresser – until this morning.

Great, now I have guilt for ruining Larry’s career. At least I can now narrate in precise detail the whole new brand of frustrated humiliation, trying to contact Ms Agent again – it simply doesn’t happen. Fortunately, Mapper’s Billing Department STILL hadn’t called me back about crediting my account for all the down time. I spun the call so I could include cancelling the Old School, sequestered Call Back order to Larry.

Another Tech will be scheduled to check the pole issue tomorrow. Mapper’s got two strikes and one ball, so we’ll see. Now I must check next week’s schedule for the Elementary and NCIS episodes I missed during the move. Film at eleven…

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2

Joy image courtesy FreshFitnHealthy,  Larry the Cable Guy image courtesy Alchetron.com, Video clip from Toy Story courtesy YouTube

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Password

security lock

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In today’s story I’d received several security warnings advising me of attempted hacks, to change my passwords. Ack!  But as it happened the experience was positively enlightening.

Like most users, I have many accounts and I routinely change my passwords, need it or not – every year. Even doing that requires a lot of time. I know the drill and give it my best.

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So there I was, two months into this fiscal year, rudely confronted with the reality that I have no assets worth considering, moreover hacking. I recently estimated I make below minimum wage per hour in many states. That includes interest I earn shopping creatively. And I put away for this?.

I comforted myself by reviewing my career history. I once earned a very substantial income, especially considering I was a high-school dropout from an impecunious family and a single mother that married poorly (economically). I walked away from both relationships empty-handed, except for the four little hands holding onto mine. Sure, that’s figuratively speaking as the little hands were far bigger than mine by the second break up. My investments during my “good times” saw my kids through school and helped my mother for a season. And not much more.

Okay, so back to my point:

In my mid-teens I resolved to be financially independent and retire from my (yet undetermined) amazing career by my late thirties.
Then. Life. Happened.

Looking back now I won’t say I wouldn’t change anything. There’s just too much Young Past Me would do differently. But the bright Light I can’t miss or ignore is how fully, how well I actually live.

Sure there were some genuine tragedies to hurdle – some would have shattered or actually killed others. But Jesus led me, often carried me through it all.

As many WordPress bloggers remember every time they post a comment, our passwords are meaningful. His precious name is woven into my passwords, continuously encouraging and empowering me when I wane. (Remember here, I have nothing the world wants 😉 )

I don’t want to sound trite, religious or nuts, but that’s the fact. Back in the day, my siblings had to survive too. In-Laws? “fa-ged aboud it.” Likewise, some good friends slipped away into the past, but the great ones remain today. Along with Jesus they have my back, so I can be eternally grateful and happy – literally.

Of course I’d be delighted with a secure investment portfolio, but that’s mostly to have more than a bag of bones to leave to my family – to remind them how my love for them drives me, pushes me, that they are my treasure.

Greens Dec 1960 Sdale 001 Scan_20160510 Sdale 1981 001 2016jan30copy

My treasures never have been tangible or transferable. But they are recordable – and I am a writer.

 

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)

 

*Images courtesy ABSFreePics.com

All other images are private domain and not to be copied, downloaded, distributed or otherwise duplicated without prior written permission.

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Filed under A Door Ajar