No Secrets?

Answered a call yesterday. It was someone that seemed to know I was being checked for sleep apnea. Upon further questioning, they wanted to provide home screening for sleep apnea.

Necessary equipment would be sent via Fed-Ex to my home. After using the equipment for three nights, it would be returned to the supplying company. Then, I would have to give the data to a local physician for interpretation.

I’ve already visited a local doctor and sleep clinic, five miles away. Why did I need equipment shipped from Chicago? I already had the highest rated doctor and clinic in the area.

This past Tuesday I was tested for digestive issues.  They found a small hiatus hernia.  No, surprise to me.  I’ve had reflux for years, and take meds for it.

I thought, at first, this could have been the sleep clinic, with scheduled dates for sleepovers at the local lab.

How did the caller know about my sleep apnea inquiries? Apparently, someone is selling mailing lists? They knew of my WEB MD queries? Anyway, nothing’s a secret anymore.

After the Dust Settled

After some detective work in the neighborhood, I discovered how lowdown and dirty my neighbor’s little charade was.

She claimed, her plumber told her, the evidence was clear. I’d broken water pipes in her yard when I turned the front corner with my riding lawnmower.

When my scheming neighbor talks, in what is for her, normal conversation, you can’t get a word in edgewise. I tried to explain, “If you feel I’ve violated the law, why not call the police?”

Faster than a politician, she sidestepped the issue.  The plumber’s account of the incident was quite different.  She unwisely bragged about getting someone else–my wife and I–to pay for repairs and excessive water usage.

The plumber was livid.  He’d not implicated me in the slightest. Fat chance of him ever working for my scheming neighbor in the future.  The leak was due to previous shoddy workmanship by another plumber, when a sprinkler system was installed. He further stated, there was another neighbor, with the same problem, from the same inept plumber.

You can’t win an argument when someone is hellbent on deviancy.  I’m sure that if I’d called the Sheriff initially, Ms. X from next door, would have placed all blame on the second plumber.  “Well, I don’t know.  It’s not my fault.  That was what my plumber told me.”

I penned a letter to Ms. X, sent it through regular mail.  I expressed disappointment with her behavior–which had slanderous implications.

My wife read the letter and advised me to tone down the rhetoric in some areas.  “Lambast her, but  don’t besmirch her character,”  “What character?”  I answered.

The gist of the letter, we didn’t bother others in the neighborhood, and, in turn, didn’t expect to be bothered.  We paid our own way and expected others to do likewise.

There’d been other issues with Ms. X in the past.  None of them this blatant.  Of course she reiterated all past episodes, chapter and verse.  Even though those issues were thought to have been laid to rest.

Will there ever be an apology–as requested?  I wish I could say I was optimistic, but, I can’t.  My wife and I just want to be left alone.

 

What’s Your Frequency?

Not being able to receive programming from two of the four major US televisions networks, for going on two months, has become quite stale.

It’s no different than other abstentions of goods and services. Declaring a shortage of iceberg lettuce, then jacking up prices. Except, I am paying for services not received.

Meanwhile, Nexstar Communications and Direct TV continue their standoff. Nexstar owns a considerable amount of local TV stations–CBS, NBC, channels 44 and 55 locally. Each player in the stalemate blames the other.

Granted, summer replacement shows/reruns are nothing to brag about. I watch TV first thing in the morning, then for two hours before turning in to bed. I miss my favorite local station personalities.

I’m not a sports fanatic, but will not be given the opportunity to be one, this fall–if this stoppage continues. I’m locked into a contract with Direct TV. There would be a sizable penalty for changing.

Dish Network, the main competitor, is not immune to the same issues–rebroadcast of local stations. Tried an over the air antenna, in the past, and barely received one channel. My internet provider isn’t reliable enough for streaming. It may take some creativity on my part to solve these issues.

Another Birthday

This blog is celebrating its seventh birthday.  From a suggestion, It came to be.  My FB posts were like blog posts.  I no longer share blog posts with FB.  However, still share with Twitter.

There have been challenges to blogging this summer.  My wife’s health issues, most of all.  For now, she is on the mend, taking everything in stride. The vertebral compression fracture, which wasn’t at first discovered, gives her the most discomfort.

Something I didn’t need, was an attempt by miscreants to hijack my computer.  A sinister-looking red screen, fake error message, having to do with my browser, a toll-free number to call.  Their goal–it didn’t get that far–to hold my accounts hostage.  I stopped this lunacy with hard shut downs of my PC.

Why was I paying for internet security?  It didn’t seem to be working.  The laptop was attacked last night.  Shut downs were more difficult.  I had to take the battery out of its compartment each time.  I’ve since changed browsers.  So far, so good.

 

They’re Only Dollar Stores?

In response to Tanvi Misra’s 12-20-18 “Citylab” article, entitled: “Dollar Store Backlash.”

In some parts of the country there are NIMBY movements against the proliferation of Dollar Stores. Why are such stores perceived as threats?

They follow economic misery. ‘The retail meltdown…higher-end retailers in malls and shopping centers have shuttered, or consolidated. Compact low-budget Dollar Stores have easily slipped into vacant spaces left behind.’

Wages at these retail outlets tend to be lower. And there are fewer employees.

Dollar store products–especially convenience food items can cost more than at Costco or Wal-Mart.

Local retailers could be driven out of business. The same things were said about Wal-Mart stores.

Economically disadvantaged Dollar Store shoppers are discouraged from healthy eating.

Implications are that Dollar Stores contribute to “food deserts” and encourage racial disparity.

I suspect some of the areas petitioning against new Dollar Stores are the same areas that discouraged new Wal-Marts.

For an occasional can of beans, chicken broth, tomato puree to finish a recipe–my five minutes away Dollar Store, is better than Wal-Mart, thirty minutes away.

Close down my nearby Dollar General? NIMBY–not in my backyard.

More Questions, Few Answers

Tropical storms have been named for decades. Many lived on in notoriety–Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Michael–just to name a few. When did winter storms take on names? What is the purpose of christening winter storms? Is it to sensationalize winter weather events?

The effect on the public is the same as for tropical storms. There are those that panic; raid the store shelves for food, snow shovels. Disaster preparedness advice for winter storms, is, to stay home, instead of evacuation. With extreme snowfall, you’re not going to go anywhere, anyway.

I won’t dignify the latest PC shenanigans, as they’ve been applied to two traditional Christmas songs: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The PC movement spun off its axis years ago.  The Rudolph saga represented bullying–which was inappropriate? No Virginia, “Rudolph,” was a story about the triumph of an underdog.

I shudder to think what could be said about Santa.  After all, he’s described as a bearded “Jolly Fat Man” with a workshop full of loyal elves; faithful spouse, Mrs. Claus, waiting for his return on Christmas Eve; a stable with sleigh, and eight reindeer capable of an annual flight around the world.

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” Asked the prankster caller.  “Well, don’t you think you better let him out?”  The caller hung up to guffaws of laughter.

Telephone pranks, prevalent during my misspent youth–along with, “Is your refrigerator running?”  “Yes it is,” was the expected answer.  “Then you better catch it, it’s running down the road.”

Townsfolk knew they were kids from the neighborhood and meant no harm.

Aren’t junk phone calls annoying? During all hours of the day, especially at inconvenient times.

Telemarketers bad enough, political calls were the absolute worst. Always from the same numbers. Unfamiliar numbers, never answered. Didn’t unwanted callers ever get the message?

No call lists never seemed to help. Telemarketers and their ilk, had ways to hurdle such roadblocks. They used the local area code prefix to snare the unsuspecting. Robocalls randomly dialed number sequences.

Wireless phones were not exempted. Junk calls and text messages abounded.

Games played for commercial purposes, or games played by neighborhood pranksters?  I prefer neighborhood pranksters.