Saturday, August 9, 2014

Comcast / Xfinity Update @comcastcares @comcastmike

Bottom line: the problem isn't fixed.

Update:
Started tweeting, found a supposed "secret" website page on a forum and sent info, sent an email to the address @comcastmike sent me...and continued to call every day. Not sure which worked, took a few days to get a response from any of them but finally a Mr. Spencer called. He hadn't read anything and didn't have a basic grasp of what the issues were so I updated him. He should have been aware, not good that an escalation contact wouldn't the info at his fingertips. It was a pleasant conversation but anyone who's tasked with calling under these circumstances should have had the background and been ready to act rather than starting (again) from scratch.

Moving on...

I mentioned that we'd waited on a tech again for Wednesday but they didn't show. We hadn't schedule it, became aware when the lady called Tuesday night to tell us they'd be out. I cancelled my plans to be here. He said it showed we had not answered when they called for the tech visit on Wednesday. Not true, a "real" person called & I spoke with her @ 5:30 p.m. Tues. No calls showing on my phone or the home phone --- course, if they called on the Comcast home phone could be it never showed since it only works sporadically.... However, I let it go. No point in arguing ---- especially since we'd already had 4 techs out and they all said they couldn't find the problem.

All the techs had said it was an area problem when they couldn't find an issue at our house, nothing they could do. Mr. Spencer said he didn't show an area problem. I found out later he can't SEE an area problem unless it's an outage or current calls. Anyway, he called the local supervisor or manager and arranged to have someone, a "super" tech, out to see us that same day.

The super-tech checked everything, said it was an area problem. He said Comcast was splitting nodes either this week or next and hopefully that would fix the issue. They thought possibly they had too many customers on one node and it was resulting in issues. It didn't happen this week or, if it did, it didn't fix the issue 'cause we're still having problem.

Haven't heard back from Mr. Spencer. I had erroneously "assumed" that he'd call back to check on us... ya know, like someone who 'cared' would have, right?

Also, I was given the local supervisor's phone number and told to call him on Friday. I called twice, left messages, no response. Thought maybe # was wrong so tried variations, talked with some interesting people but not the supervisor.

Received an email and a call yesterday saying a tech was coming out today from 10 - 12. I wasn't going to be here so didn't cancel my plans and missed the call totally from this morning as I was in class. No one asked me if I would be here before deciding to set the appointment. I think Mr. Spencer may have set it, seems like he said something about it but then he upped the ante and had someone come out the same day we talked. Maybe he didn't cancel it.

Long story, but we're still having the problem. We now possibly, probably, know what's causing the issue and guess we'll just wait and see. Up to one more week of spotty service, phone calls dropped, Internet in and out.

What I've learned is that Comcast really has a horrific system of keeping their customers happy.

My suggestions:

- have a system in place where after 2 or 3 calls the complaint is automatically routed to someone who follows up and has some authority to do something other than just send out another tech. Having to call daily to get the run around is ridiculous.
- we shouldn't have to call billing to ask for the guarantee they have on their site to happen. Only ONE of the many, many techs and customer service types I talked / chatted with mentioned it existed. It should be automatic, not something we have to beg to get.
- give that person, whether it be a supervisor or super-customer service type, the ability to SEE area-wide problems, to track issues, to use a bit of common sense. I'd suggest a liaison in various sectors who got the problem so they're at least familiar with the area and can talk with the techs, the supervisors, etc.
- do a better job of writing up what is happening so the customer doesn't have to repeat the same problem over and over. When we call and say, "it's still happening" then that info should be available.
- give people the option of reporting an issue with "multiple services" on the phone touch system rather than having to choose phone, internet or TV.
- follow up with customers. Most of us just want to be kept abreast of what's going on. We were told repeatedly that no one would be calling us to let us know when the supposed super tech type would be coming to track down the area-wide problem.
- Get some people working customer service who are pleasant. Some were, some weren't. None had a clue other than one super nice guy in Illinois, Kendrick, who impressed the heck out of me. The supervisor I spoke with was  rotten.

There are other things that have crossed my mind while dealing with Comcast/Xfinity over the past few months. Wish I'd written them down...but I've given enough of my life to trying to fix this issue. 

I used to work customer service and I used to go into areas with issues and organize them, turn them into profit centers. Comcast's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing and it comes across clearly to the customers. No wonder we're so frustrated with the service. .

Monday, August 4, 2014

Comcast / Xfinity... again

It seems that I only post to this blog when I'm having problems. Sigh. I am a 99.9% happy-type person and need to change the flow of this blog to more fit my personality. However, today it's another rant.

Problem: For years we've been having problems with intermittent service. In recent months the problem has been growing to the point where we're missing huge chunks of programs, missing ends of sentences, etc. Phone drops. Internet goes out. TV continually pixilates then goes blank, get a message saying to call Comcast if issue persists. Sometimes it lasts for over half an hour, and has been hours at times without any service. Been calling. Had tech visits.

I just got off the phone with Comcast / Xfinitiy again. A supervisor this time. (Side note: called from home phone, call dropped when phone went out, had to call back from cell phone).

Conversation went something like this:
Me: We've had umpteen tech support come out and each time they tell us there's not a problem at our house, it's an area problem. They tell us they can't fix it and they're escalating the problem.
Supervisor: You have a tech appointment today from 10 - 12.
Me: No one told us about it. And why would they be coming out again when they can't fix anything?
Sup: They have to check the lines.
Me: They've been out here four or five times to check the lines. The last time was last Wednesday. They gave us a window of 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. for their visit. We stayed home all day. They came out around 7 p.m. and said there was still nothing wrong with our lines. It was an area problem. They would escalate it again.
Sup: I see you have an tech visit scheduled from 10 - 12 today. They will check your lines. They can escalate the problem.
Me: We have been calling for two months. They come out. They check the lines. They tell us it is an area problems, not something they can fix. They will escalate the problem. Our phone, TV and Internet work only sporadically. Over two months. Numerous visits. What is the point of having someone else come to our house to check out lines?
Sup: We have to have someone come out before we can escalate the problem.
Me: They escalated it Wednesday.
Sup: A technician is scheduled to come between 10 & 12 today.

We played that game four or five more times before I said forget it. Which, I have to surmise, is their goal.

That is typical of what has been happening for the past two plus months. We've been patient. We have spent countless hours on the phone, waiting for tech support, following technicians around as they do exactly the same thing again and again and tell us the same thing again and again. I posted a few of my on-going Facebook posts below if you'd like more details of calls, etc.

Only one phone no-service person / chat person / technician has mentioned their supposed guarantee. Chat person. On one subsequent phone call I asked the guy about it and he said I need to call billing. I mentioned it to the supervisor today and he completely ignored me, said he needed to check to see our record. Went back to June, commented on it and said "Oh, I see a technician is scheduled to come out today between..." (you know where that conversation ended!).


It's 11:22 a.m. and they haven't shown up. Not that it would matter. One time the service people told us they were going to replace all our inside equipment. I asked how the phone modem could affect the television. He said we needed to have all our equipment replaced to make sure that wasn't the issue. When the tech type came out she said that was crazy (well, she didn't quite say crazy, but she did say that wasn't the issue). We did get an email receipt showing that nothing was changed out.

I'm going to be calling or visiting my neighbors over the next few days to see if they're on Comcast & determine whether they area also experiencing problems. If it turns out they ARE having problems then I'm going to see about getting some sort of group effort going. If it turns out we're the lone stranger I'll deal with it differently.

Either way I'm getting ready to spend a bit of time with Clark Howard, the state of Georgiia's folks and Fayette County government types who approve the Comcast contract. I also have some names, addresses and phone numbers of some folks on up the food chain.

----
I've been tagging Xfinity on my Facebook posts. No message. No response. Guess they must be overwhelmed with complaints.  Here's a recap:

July 31 Facebook post
A lot of you have asked me about what happened with XFINITY/Comcast. They came around 7. They did not conquer. In fact, they told us they could not conquer, that it wasn't an issue here at the house; replacing all our equipment as suggested / promised wasn't gonna happen. Supposedly it's an area-wide issue and they have been out trying to figure it out without luck. It is going to take Super-Comcast-Repair-Person with magical abilities in addition to being able to fly and use x-ray vision to potentially identify then fix the issue. This magic superhero will appear someday and our problems are promised to vanish...maybe...however, no one will call and there is no known timeline for fixing the issues. Gotta love a company that has those great commercials.

July 30 Facebook post
Transcript of chat with XFINITY/Comcast. I think you'll laugh. I cut out some due to length or privacy (.... to show missing bits).
Chandan > Hello -_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Chandan. Please give me one moment....
Me_ > My Issue: During last chat Christian said someone would call within 15 - 30 minutes. Still no call. Ticket #....
Chandan > To ensure we are on the same page, I understand that you need to know about ticket status Is that correct?
Me_ > I guess. We've been sitting here all day (again) waiting on someone to come out & fix problems we've been having for months. Time frame was 8 a.m. - 8 pm. We wanted to see if could narrow down time as we'd really like to do something other than waste ANOTHER day waiting... Christian said dispatch would call us within 15 - 30 minutes. Been longer than that, about an hour I'd guess. Just want to know when someone is coming out.
Chandan > I am here to provide you with excellent customer service today.
Me_ > Does that mean you're going to find out when someone is coming today?
Chandan > You have reached the right person. I can help you.
Chandan > I would now verify the account .....
Chandan > As i can see that technicain has been sent from our side to fix this issue.
Me_ > You're saying they are on the way? They're not here yet.
Me_ > Do you have an estimated time of arrival?
Chandan > Thank you for patiently waiting.
Chandan > I would reques you to wait. They are on the way. They will reach you soon
Chandan > Rest assured. As soon as possible
Me_ > On the way now or they'll be here before 8 p.m.? We've been waiting since 8 a.m. this morning. Your answer isn't giving me a window of time.
Chandan > I can understand how important it is for you. I will arrange a technican to fix this issue.
Chandan > They will call you before they reach
Me_ > I give up. All I wanted was a time frame. Last chat person said 15 - 30 minutes. Been well over an hour now. You're not giving me any kind of time frame, just another very vague answer. Calling before they get here could mean a call at 7:30 tonight. All I want is a simple "they'll be there in 30 minutes", "they won't get there until 6 pm." anything that's a little narrower.
Chandan > i can understand your concern. I apologize for the inconvenience
Chandan > you will recieve the call withing 1 hour from the technicain to fix this issue.


July 30 post:
XFINITY/Comcast update... still not here. No call. Went on-line & did a chat to see if could narrow down time-frame. Was told dispatch would call within 15 - 30 minutes to give us a time. Been about 20 minutes, clock is ticking. Funny --- chat guy ended by asking if we'd be interested in their Home Security system. After I stopped laughing (on-line chat, he couldn't hear), I politely typed that given the issues with all the rest of their services I definitely would not be interested. Can you imagine having a security system tied into a Comcast phone service that only works intermittently? I'd have to ask whoever was breaking in to hang on for a minute as I was calling Xfinity trying to get service so the alarm system could go off & notify dispatch so they could notify police... Might not be a bad idea though if I could hook it up so that every time the service went out they automatically notified tech support so I didn't have to waste my time calling...

July 30 post
More on XFINITY / Comcast... stuck at the house ALL day today 'cause they couldn't give me a window for arrival of tech support for this round of attempting to fix the problem. Well, they did give a window of sorts --- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

I've lost count of the times they've been out and SAID they fixed the problem. This time they are replacing ALL of our inside equipment and finally getting up on the pole to check the connections up there. Seems like that would have been their 1st stop, but hey, we're just the ones putting up with the intermittent service, not the "knowledgeable" (but very nice) tech types that stick gauges on connections & say everything works fine.

OK, said I wasn't going to vent anymore in my last Xfinity/Comcast post but am not thrilled about sitting around all day waiting for them to show.

On the phone when making the current call I asked about that famous guarantee on compensation for lost service if not fixed...the one that all their tech guys are supposed to share but never do...turns out you have to make a call to billing and beg (they didn't say beg, of course). Seems to me that if there's repeated calls on the same problem good customer service would entail offering something.

And yes, if I had a choice I'd be trying something else.

Vent finished.


July 14
Short update on my ongoing XFINITY / Comcast issues. I received a call this morning from them. It was one of the techs and he told me they'd identified a problem in the area, fixed it, and wanted to know if everything was working OK. Well, at the time, it was. He then wanted to know if they should cancel our Wednesday tech appointment. I explained that the problem was intermittent and thus I had no way of knowing if what he fixed would resolve our problem. Nice that they're trying. Could be they fixed everything. But I'm not cancelling the appointment!

July 13
Getting ready to VENT. On XFINITY / Comcast. For years we've been having issues, TV vanishing randomly, Internet going out often at the same time, & sadly we also have their phone service (yep, dumb move). Just got off the phone with customer we-try-to-check-every-box service. I know they have a check list. I know when you say certain buzz words they automatically pull up the appropriate list.

But we have been doing this forever. I've unplugged, checked wires, they've re-buried wires, they've left wires above the ground, they've left then swinging in the wind and been out to fix and been out to fix.

The random interruptions got worse so called again a few weeks back. Guy came on Friday. He buried the cable that's been above ground. I thought they were coming to fix the problem. Lady heard "above ground" and "assumed" that was the problem I guess.

Anyway, internet, phone & all 3 TVs out Saturday morning. Came back on by the time I finished workout so didn't call, figured maybe area issue. This evening happened again.

We have two separate lines coming into the house, one for TV, one for Internet / phone. Lady wanted me to unplug all 3 TV boxes, plus the ones in my office for computers / phone. I flat out refused. Told her there's no way that ALL the boxes were bad, logically two separate cables into the house and all those separate boxes can't all be broken / have issues.

Bottom line, they're coming out again on Wednesday. A few years back we had issues and they came out so many times & weren't able to figure it out that the area supervisor gave me his direct line so I didn't have to keep calling main # & go through rigmarole each time.

They've completely put in new lines (leaving stuff waving so we had to caution the lawn guy not to use his weed wacker). If there were ANY other alternative I'd be there. I am going to ditch the phone service, even though it would only decrease our bill by $2 due to the "deal" we have. It's not a deal when you go without phone service every for sometimes hours on end.

OK, I'm done. I know I went on LONG, but it sure feels good to vent.
 


----
OK, you get the gist, I'm not going through my Timeline to find more. I have posted a lot as I've been going through this revolving lack of service.  Waste of time but as I've written, it makes me feel a bit better.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Best Buy Blues...

I'm getting a tablet of some sort for my Christmas present. We decided to wait until after Christmas so we could shop in peace without the rush. We also thought we might find a better deal after Christmas.

My "go-to" place for computer type buys has always been Best Buy. We bought two televisions there recently, and picked up a Roku for Christmas.

We shop around but have been happy with their service, the prices, and their proximity.

Not so at the moment. I went in on Saturday to compare the various tablets, had pretty much decided I'd be getting one of their Samsung tablets. I have not decided which one would be best for my needs so I went in to ask questions. They were busy but not overly so. I went to the area and started looking. A woman was at the desk in the area doing something. She never looked up. I was there for over 20 minutes looking at the various tablets, comparing, playing with them, etc. Not once did anyone come ask to help.

I wandered around looking for someone to help, trying to catch the eye of someone. I'd try to catch the attention of one of the staffers walking by, waved my hand at one, but they all had tunnel vision, probably on a mission to help someone else. The woman at the desk had vanished at some point.

After going up and down a few aisles, circling the department, I finally gave up and left.

New Years day I wanted to buy a sound track to a movie I'd just seen and thought I'd stop in to see if they had it (one left!). We're looking for a washer / dryer so stopped in that department and looked. There was a guy in the department working at the desk... I had learned my lesson the previous Saturday --- I walked up and asked for help. He was helpful.

Then I stopped across the corridor to look at the tablets again. Given there was another couple looking at them I thought maybe between the three of us we'd catch someone's attention. They gave up before I did. They really didn't try to get help, but based on their conversation they were seriously contemplating buying one of the smaller tablets.

I wandered again but didn't stick for quite as long.

I guess I'll make the trek to some other store. The Best Buy is close and is about the only game in town if you have questions.  I think that H.H. Gregg has tablets, probably Sams, I may go check them out. Or I'll do what I probably should have done in the first place and do some research and shopping on-line. After all, I consider myself a semi-geek-ette. I should be able to handle it... but somehow I still prefer talking to someone who knows something.

To be fair, I could have gone to the guy at the entrance and told him I wanted someone to come to the area. By the time I was willing to walk to the front I was a bit frustrated and just didn't have the patience -- or time --- to talk with someone.

It won't stop me from buying again at Best Buy, but I am disappointed. If they'd been overwhelmingly busy I wouldn't have minded. Guess I just expect better...

Monday, November 18, 2013

What would you miss the most?

I just finished re-reading One Second After by William Forstchen. It's an interesting book, thought provoking and scary. It's a story about what happens after an EMP attack is unleashed on America.

I see that they're in production at Warner Bros. to make a movie with the book as the basis. I'll go see it.

The scary part of the book is that it's a true possibility. Many of the apocalyptic movies and books are so far removed from the realm of possibility that I would classify them as entertainment. The things that happen in One Second After could happen. I doubt it would happen on the scale that's depicted in the book, but even an EMP over our major cities would create devastating havoc for many, many years.

An EMP is an Electro Magnetic Pulse. I won't go into details, it's easy to look it up (and I'm definitely not an expert!). On a very-simplistic level --- it would wipe out, shut down, kill computers, cars with electronic components, airplanes, your electric can opener,  trains...anything that has a computer circuit or is run by any form of electricity. Here's a quote from the "About EMP" section on Forstchen's website: "In far less than a milli second the entire power grid of the United States, and all that it supports will be destroyed." (http://onesecondafter.com/pb/wp_d10e87d9/wp_d10e87d9.html)

Destroyed.

How do you repair things without electronics? Dams would shut down. Trains wouldn't run. Freezers wouldn't work. Electric power tools would be useless. Tractors, dead. Processing machines, kaput. Circuit board fried.

Most grocery stores have maybe three days of food. They rely on heaters, coolers, freezers and transportation.

How far are you from a grocery store? Right now you hop in your car and drive the five or ten miles. Unless you have a clunker from the 60s or earlier you vehicle isn't going to work. So... think about walking. Think about carrying the food home. Think about how fast those who got their first would clean out the shelves.

If you do have a clunker that works how are you going to fill the tank with gas? The gas station pumps aren't going to work.


No communication either. No radio or TV no Internet to tell us what's going on. No cell phones. No telephones, either. You wouldn't know what was going on with your son in college, your daughter who's visiting a friend across town or your parents living in another state.

Hospital equipment unable to function, elevators stopped or crashed... People in the inner cities would start to move outward hoping for food to live on. How long before the animals on the farms are butchered without thought to the future?

We gradually acquired skills and knowledge to bring us to our current wonderful lifestyles. What happens when all at once everyone loses everything? Most of us don't have even basic survival skills. Do you know what's edible in the forest? How to butcher a deer (assuming you could figure out how to kill it in the first place)? Know where the nearest stream is with fish? Could you grow a garden with edible food before you starved? Could you protect it from those who are out to survive any way possible?

Since reading the book for the first time I sometimes look at some of the things I take for granted and wonder what I'd miss most. Some of the big things are easy --- connection with family, communication, heat, air conditioning, FOOD. Transportation. Refills on medicines.

But, assuming I was one who managed to somehow survive for a period of time, I sometimes wonder what little things I'd miss the most?

I always think about toilet paper. Once whatever I have in the house is gone it's gone.
Toothpaste.

Bandaids.
Aspirin.

Shampoo.
Hot tea.
Napkins.
Contact lenses / replacement glasses.
Tape.
Music.

What about you? 

Here are a few links to get you started if you'd like to know more about EMPs:
http://onesecondafter.com/pb/wp_d10e87d9/wp_d10e87d9.html
http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html
http://unitedstatesaction.com/emp-terror.htm

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quick note on earaches...

I've been plagued since I was a child with intermittent earaches. No health issues, just have to make sure I take care when swimming, etc.

Monday started with an earache, much worse than usual. It got more painful as the evening progressed, none of my usual remedies made a dent. Even aspirin didn't ease the pain.

I did what most of us do these days when we can't get to a doctor, I hit the Internet and went on a search for natural remedies. I found a ton of suggestions, unfortunately I didn't have any of the items listed in the house... except alcohol and white vinegar.

I gave it a shot. Everyone had different mixtures -- 3 portions of white vinegar to one of alcohol, etc. I went with half and half. I put it on a cotton ball, grabbed a heating pad & went to bed to read. 15 minutes later I realized the pain was completely gone. It's been three days and it hasn't returned.

Next time I go to the doc I'll let her take a look just to make sure nothing's going on in there, but I imagine it was just the old swimmers ear. If it comes back, I'll head to the doctor.

Figured I'd take a minute & share just in case anyone ever ran into the same problem. I didn't see any horror tales or comments from doctors saying not to do it but whenever you / we go the route of home "repair" you / we need to be cautious... That's my official disclaimer . Be careful with your ears, eyes, and all the rest of your bod.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bad truck driver...

You can see there's traffic. he cut across from the far right to the middle lane, cutting off people in all lanes.
I was heading home from setting up an art show Friday on the north side of Atlanta. I was in the middle lane of I-285 between 400 and Spaghetti Junction, going East, when a truck on the on-ramp jumped AROUND all the vehicles merging from the ramp onto 285, cut across the full striped merge median, cut across the lane he SHOULD have merged onto (if he'd merged correctly) and almost ran me over getting in front of my car. If I had not slammed on my brakes I'd have been toast, along with a few other people.

He did it so quickly there was almost no time to react. Scared the heck out of me. Then it made me mad.



It wasn't like we were going anywhere fast for a while anyway, it was rush hour traffic as you can see from all the cars. I left Cumming, GA about 5:15 p.m. so we were truly in the middle of typical bumper-to-bumper Atlanta traffic.

I whipped out my trusty camera and took photos. This BAD J-Par Trucking driver is going to get someone killed at some point. I think he must have seen me taking photos because he slowed his truck-butt down when I passed him.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Facebook going nutty over email...

What goes with Facebook and these new @facebook.com emails? Getting rid of them is a pain. It's necessary to get rid of them, too, because they go nowhere. I understand that supposedly we're supposed to be able to email back and forth to the accounts ON Facebook? But I can send a message to anyone I'd like already by clicking on the "message" button on their page so that doesn't sound reasonable, or right.

I went in and made mine vanish from my Facebook info page. You can make them go away if you're on Timeline also. I could understand if they wanted to give everyone a FB email account...I did see the message on the top giving me the option to change my FB email name for a week or so before they made the magic change. I didn't understand WHY they wanted to give me a FB email, definitely didn't understand that they were going to make it visible on my profile page and do slide the one I had on their into oblivion.

You'd a thunk they've told us they were going to do this massive flick-of-the-switcharoo and explained why... If there was a button on the "your FB email is blah-blah-blah" box that was on top of the page for a while, I missed it. It would have made more sense to have a message saying "We're getting ready to make you have this account and we're going to make it your default email and show it to the world". I might have paid some attention if they'd had a big warning.

Of course, I gather it's a big split as to whether most people on FB even know they have a new email!

I happen to like Facebook, love keeping up with my family and friends, and love meeting new people. The exposure to things I would have missed is fantastic. It is a bit time consuming and addictive though. I'm trying to tether back a bit.

Did you notice they gave you a new email? that it was listed on your info / about page? Did you change it? What do you think about Facebook? Google+? Pinterest? Twitter? So many ways to keep in touch these days, so little time to live life away from the computer...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lines of Privacy in a Relationship

The relationship of a friend just ended because one of the duo was snooping into private documents. I don't know enough of the details to know whether it was curiosity, jealousy or just different lines of privacy that caused the guilty party to snoop.

What it did bring up for me was the ending of one of my relationships years back.

I caught my guy reading my diary / journal. It had been in a drawer, hidden, not a place where there was any excuse for him to look and possibly find it. He read enough to start asking questions about things in the journal. Nothing incriminating or bad about him. However, I used the journal to vent feelings on issues, worry out problems, or walk myself through choices.

It wasn't the kind of stuff that anyone would want to share with another, and while lining out choice or venting feelings even I understood they were fleeting and many times not even how I truly felt once I put them on paper. I always destroyed the journals after I filled them.

It destroyed our relationship as I didn't want anyone who'd snoop, violate my privacy, and then, to make it worse, start questioning me about things in the journal during our attempt to work it out. I truly felt violated.

Today I believe that there are lines in a relationship. There should be some privacy allowed for each party. I wouldn't pick up a piece of mail belonging to my significant other and open it, or read it without permission. I don't go through drawers or closets.

I was curious, what are your lines? I realized everyone's lines are different. My ex brother-in-law walked into my parents house the first time he met them, went straight to the fridge, opened it and took something out to drink. He didn't ask, didn't wait for them to ask. It was an assumption on his part that he was welcome to whatever was in the fridge. He also would open any closed doors and take a look if he walked by them... Those are two big no-nos in my book!

Would you log in and read your spouse or significant others' email? Open a piece of mail directed to them? Go through his or her closet? office desk? Is it a trust issue or just different lines of privacy? Do you feel like your significant other has the same lines as you?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Falderal and Hendersonville, NC

Don't you love the word "Falderal"? Obviously my spell checker doesn't 'cause it's popped the squiggly red line under the word... what foolish nonsense. Ummm, well the definition of falderal does include foolish nonsense....

Anywaze, the reason I'm going along on what some might call a worthless trifle is 'cause Falderal is the name of a winery in Hendersonville, North Carolina and I fell in love with their wines over the weekend!

I did a show with my son up there over the Memorial Day weekend. Someone from the winery posted a comment on Facebook inviting their friends and fans to visit them. I popped a comment back saying we were going to be up there working the show, would love to stop in but knew we wouldn't be able to do it (long days when you're working a show!). They said to let 'em know where we would be and they'd bring us a sample! Wow, how out of the way, above and beyond nice --- and obviously someone who cared about promoting their wine (very good business sense).

Saturday afternoon someone DID drop by with a sample. Yours truly tried the "Nantahala White" which is a peach chardonnay. Absolutely loved it. Turns out the winery was just a few blocks away! So, long story short, we bought two bottles of the Nantahala White, plus two bottles of their "One Pink Toe" which is a raspberry zinfandel. Ditto on how good it is...

The BAD part about this story is that they can only sell in North Carolina. The GOOD part is that a lot of my friends live up there or nearby, or vacation in the area, so at least I can encourage them to buy and try. Even better, my sisters and I have been talking about a girls weekend in Hendersonville. Not because of the wine, it's a trip we've been talking about for a while. However, we will definitely be stopping by the winery to get the weekend started on the right foot if you know what I mean!

Prior to our girls weekend, we'll be having a girls night and Falderal wine will most assuredly be part of the night!

Hendersonville is a great place to visit and live based on my discussions with the locals. I've done the Memorial Day show for three years now and each year I am more impressed with the area and the people. Finding a great winery just adds to the attraction.

Here's what the label has to say about Falderal Winery: All wines made by Falderal Winery are hand-crafted in small batches to ensure high quality and full flavor. Our wine is crafted locally from the finest juices from all over the world! Once you try it, we know you will agree."

I agree.

www.falderalwinery.com --- haven't checked, but maybe they can ship! If they do, I'm gonna try some other wines.

Addendum: I just popped over to the Falderal website. You must, must go check out the wines they carry! Shoot, I may have to buy one of each and line them up on a shelf just for comments when people come to visit. Great names, great labels, lots of fun: http://falderalwinery.com/our-wines/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jury duty update

Great news -- the case settled so I don't have to serve. I found out that I was not on one of the panels that would have been selected anyway, so settle or not I wouldn't have to go through a trial.

On a side note, yesterday I heard a story about the troubles they were having in Fulton County (Atlanta, GA) getting prospective jurors to show up. If I heard correctly, only 17% of those who get the notice actually bother to show up. Wow. That's sad. They're getting ready to crack down and start fining people up to $500 for not showing up. They are also offering a one-time amnesty for those who show up and sign up (and show up) for jury duty in the next month.

Here in Fayette County I'd guess we had close to 100%. The room was packed. I found the experience very well run, informative, and pleasant. I didn't want to spend my time sitting in a courtroom but believe it's part of our system and my "duty". Shoot, if I ever have to go through a trial (please, no, no, no) I'd want someone like me on the jury...

Monday, April 23, 2012

If only I had Allstate insurance...

Turns out jury duty is for two state civil trials involving insurance carriers. I'm thinking if I had Allstate or Safeway insurance I would probably not be someone desirable on a trial.

Right now Sheila Studdard, State Court Clerk, is putting us in groups of twelve and querying whether we have either of those insurance companies. I'm on panel five. There are eleven panels.

Crud, I have to come back on Wednesday. I was planning to take my daughter-in-law shopping for her birthday. They just announced that the trial in question was being deferred to Wednesday and that everyone who didn't have either insurance company would be coming back... grrrrrr....

First time for jury duty...

Well, it's almost 8:30 a.m., my check in time for jury duty. I, along with over a hundred others, got here early and am now sitting in the room wondering what comes next. There's still a long line of people checking in.

I was surprised at the number of Sheriff's deputies hanging out down by the check-in screening area. I wonder if people give them grief or try to carry in contraband. I brought half my life in anticipation of being here for a long time. I have my laptop, two bottles of water, a book, snacks, paperwork, purse with all the usual paraphernalia. I did remember to take the mace off my keyring and, just to be on the safe side, I left my ultra-large barrel mascara in the car. I used to have a metal compact that always triggered the sensors when it went through the scanner --- for some reason when it was slightly angled I was told it looked like a grenade.

Not much else  to share at the moment. I showed my ID when I entered the room. They didn't catch the fact that there was a discrepancy in the name on my ID and the name they listed, but I wasn't going to point it out. I then came in and signed in. Now I sit.

Some people have attempted to get out of duty, and succeeded, while I waited. One had been convicted of a crime, the other just postponed their "duty" for another day. The room is filling up. If I counted correctly there are at least 160 seats plus some extras scattered in the back. There's still a line waiting to get in and it's now 8:33 a.m. I think we're going to fill up the room.

Nuff for now. I'm waiting for the band to set up, the music to start, breakfast to be served, coffee, tea and crumpets...