Phone Trash

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 Aging & Attitude

   Remember being a nine-year old and selecting a number from the telephone book; dialing the number and addressing the party by name, Mr. or Mrs. Smith, to ask; “Is your refrigerator running?” When the reply was “Yes,” I delivered the gem of a retort, “Well, you better go catch it,” and hung up the phone doubled over in laughter with a room full of my closest friends.

That was summer fun in 1957. That and playing Gin Rummy under a weeping willow tree or collecting discarded cigarette butts from the gutter to smoke after straightening them out.

Phone trash became more sophisticated in 1962. We lived in Hensonville, N.Y. and had a party line. Our number was two digit, eight -seven; an operator much like Lillian Tomlin on Laugh-In connected you to the party to whom you spoke. A telephone hullabaloo erupted when my boyfriend, Ronnie King, wrote my brother’s girlfriend, Lillian St. Claire, a hand written letter, saying he would give her a ring when he came upstate for the summer. He stuffed the letter in an envelope and glued a three-cent stamp in the right hand corner. Ron meant he would call her on the telephone but Lillian, a drama queen, used the line out of context to set the Windham Ashland Jewett High School reeling and all party lines smoking.

Today phone trash is real a dilemma I experienced when all four phones in our home displayed the prompt, still connecting. Since the batteries had recently been replaced, I gave it time, and waited until 10:30 PM to contact the Bright House customer service line.  A recorded message said, “Most problems can be corrected by pushing the reset button on the “Box.”  Crawling under a desk equipped with a flashlight and cake tester to reset did not work, and consequently used my cell telephone to speak with a live person.

An hour conversation determined an on-site visit is needed and someone would be out between three and five pm the next day. I had inadvertently reset the router box and now did not have wireless internet service as well. It is now after midnight.

Promptly at three PM, the doorbell rang and to make a long story short, after testing all equipment the technician determined I needed new phones. It was likely the power pack was faulty and more unlikely I would be able to buy one. I had to go shopping.

A day and a half later, we had land line service. I am still working on the internet.

Here is the dilemma, what to do with the four telephones, four new batteries, one answering device, three phone docks and one power pack that might possible work.

  • Donate to  Goodwill
  • Sell on Craigslist
  • Convince my neighbor she needs them for her grandkids to play house.
  • Save the four batteries, (although they do not fit my new phones someone I know might have phones they do).
  • Throw everything in the garbage and pray Zero Waste blogger, Jen, does not haunt my dreams.
  • None of the above and have a suggestion to leave in comment box                                                                                                                                                                                   ….just saying

High Definition

Aging & Attitude

My husband can never die. One of the many, many reasons is his ability to surf the TV channel guide. My television viewing is dependent on him. Just when I’ve remembered that Lifetime HD is 1137, it’s not. The local newspaper does not list High Definition channels but I have a dated program locator (aka guide), with several notations about changes, although not enough to entice me off the couch, into the study, and rifling through a file cabinet.

He’s still alive, sitting in his chair so I double-check, “Lifetime is 1124, right?”

“No, it’s number 1237. All HD channels have been regrouped in the 1200 range.”

“How would I know that?”

“It was in the newspaper, remember I told you.”

“I….Forgot.”

Bright House also mailed a flyer about Channel Lineup.”

“That was a TV Guide?”

He is a sweet man. Surely, I can figure Television viewing for myself.

Sunday I study the News Journal television guide, and with a highlighter make note of the day and time of my favorite programs and copy the information in a daily calendar. It does not work.

The shows I like are on at 9PM and later, The Closer, Mad Men, Men of a Certain Age, that lawyer show with Cathy Bates, not Andy or Jackie, you know, Harry’s Law. Typically that’s about the time we switch. I swap whatever I am doing for TV and he retires to the bedroom, saying, “Don’t you want to see such and such?”

“Yes! Thanks for reminding me, Mr. Wonderful.”

In the morning I phone Bright House and after pushing several prompts hear a voice say, “I’m Murray your customer service representative, how can I exceed your expectations?”

Now we are talking.

                                                              ….just saying