Monday, May 21, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

I woke up this morning at 6:35, looked at the clock, closed my eyes again -- and I didn't even think I was asleep but a few seconds later, it was 8:45 -- you know when you have no sense that time has passed? It didn't matter since I didn't have a particular schedule. The beautiful weather had disappeared and it was raining and cold. I was two hours out of NY with about 1/8 of a tank of gas. It would take me about an hour of driving to get to the last rest stop on the New Jersey turnpike where I buy gas for the rental car -- and unless the traffic is horrible, I can make it back to the rental car place with the tank still on Full.

Having grown older and wiser, I decided I'd just have to stop for gas opposed to seeing if I could stretch it -- first to get enough gas to make it to New Jersey and then to get the rental car on Full. It was raining and I wasn't looking forward to gassing up and I checked out of the hotel and just went to the first gas station I found. I was surprised to see a sign that said "full service" on one of the pumps so I went to that one, not really believing.

But, sure enough, a really nice man came out and I said to him that I didn't think there were any full-service places left and he said that he knows of three others in the area. I don't think I'd seen one in a long time. I can't say it was exactly full service -- no window cleaning -- remember when they'd check your oil? but I didn't care and I was glad I didn't have to stand in the rain.

Traffic wasn't bad, turned the car in, still raining, came home and all is well. When I got in the car this morning, I was sorry in a way to have this trip end. I really do enjoy my road trips.

So tonight when I turned on the TV, the remote control wasn't working well. It could mute, turn on and off, change the volume, but when I tried to change stations, the channel identifier would show on the screen as the next channel, but the actual channel would not change. I fussed and fiddled with it and then decided to call Time Warner Cable.

Got through surprisingly fast. Got a young guy who knew what the problem was which is that my signal needed recharging. Ok. He did the hocus pocus and the screen went dark, came back on and all was well. He then tried nicely to upsell me to the "triple play" of cable, phone and internet.

Right now, I pay about $108 for cable, which includes $12.95 for HBO. He asked me why I have HBO and I said to see Bill Maher and he said, "That's what everyone says." We agreed that the offerings on HBO aren't that great. I told him I was too old for porn and didn't like boxing, and he said, "That covers a lot of HBO." I pay about $65 for unlimited phone service with Verizon, and I pay $50 a month for my mobile WiFi, which I still would want to keep.

I told him honestly that I resisted it based on not wanting to pay twice for Internet and also I didn't like the idea of all my eggs in one basket. He offered me a guarantee of $125.19 a month for one year, but couldn't say what it would go to. He did point out that the cable and phone alone, forgetting about the Internet, would save me money.

He said that he'd give me free voice mail for a year which would then be $3.95/month. He said Time Warner would call Verizon (stupidly, that really appealed to me) and that I'd keep the same phone number. There is an overlap of two days where somehow my phone would be served both by the old Verizon and the new Time Warner.

I told him I still had to think about it, but I have his name and extension number so if I decide to do it, he will get credit for the sale. His extension is a seven-digit number and I joked with him that it sounds like a prisoner number and said, "are you a prisoner?" He said, "Only for 8 hours a day" which I thought was a fairly clever response. I might do this -- I didn't say this to Daniel (the Time Warner guy) but I really am not positively disposed to Time Warner -- for no reason I can name. I would say that for the most part they've been very responsive and I've been as trouble free as possible. Also, I hate change.

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