Monday, January 31, 2011

Voca Flags

In my last post, I mentioned that we wanted to fly Air France, but we weren't certain they flew to all the places we wanted to go. They do and we will.  We leave on 22 June.

I was checking my minutes with AT&T and I noticed they had charged me for one (count it - 1) minute, for a call Robb made to me, but it is not supposed to count against my minutes. So I called them and complained. The result was they gave me 1,000 rollover anytime minutes. Nice!

Geoff has stated on many occasions, that he hates going to London because it seems more like India or Pakistan than London because of all the immigrants. The other day, he received this from one of his friends in England:

UK’s Bedfordshire Police’s rules regarding terrorists and dangerous criminals

If they’re non-Muslim
• Consider the most opportune time of day to be able to arrest suspects with minimum resistance • Apply all necessary force to enter the premises and arrest suspects accordingly.

If they’re Muslim:
• Community leaders must be consulted before raids into Muslim houses. • Officers must not search occupied bedrooms and bathrooms before dawn. • Use of police dogs will be considered serious desecration of the premises. • Cameras and camcorders should not be used in case of capturing women in inappropriate dress. • If people are praying at home officers should stand aside and not disrupt the prayer. They should be allowed the opportunity to finish. • Officers should take their shoes off before raiding a Muslim house. • The reasons for pre-dawn raids on Muslim houses needs to be clear and transparent. • Officers must not touch holy books or religious artefacts without permission. • Muslim prisoners should be allowed to take additional clothing to the station.

I just read an NPR report about an American consular member being charged with murder in Pakistan, and a thought occured to me (yeah, strange I know, but it does happen from time to time) where and how do these people so conveniently come up with American flags to burn at these demonstrations? Has anyone else noticed? Wherever in the world the demonstrations may take place, there are always several "convenient" flags to burn in protest of the US.

À la prochaine, mes amis.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Phone Email

Well, we've done it. We're booked in Paris, Madrid and Prague. I'm so excited because Prague is beautiful and we've never been there. Now, we just have to make the airline reservations and we're good to go. We're hoping to use Air France, but we're not sure they go to all those cities.

Since I first wrote the preceeding information, we contacted the same tour company we used last time.  They've arranged all the flights and we only have to get up early once; from Prague back to the US.

I emailed PayPal today because I called to check on a refund and I got the dumbest clerk in the history of clerks. She could not understand that I wanted to know if the refund had been made. She kept reading my charges instead. I finally got tired of dealing with her and asked to speak to her supervisor. She didn't hang up on me, but she did put me on hold. After ten minutes, I hung up, called back and spoke to a woman who answered my question the first time I asked. As I am wont to do when I get pissed at a person or a company, I fired off an email (god, I LOVE email) in which I told them the whole story and mentioning the name of the good agent (I couldn't remember the name of the stupid one). They replied and it must have been a real reply because they mentioned the woman's name. I don't think much will change but it makes me feel so good to be able to send emails in these situations.

They say your hearing goes first. Tonight at dinner, Robb said, "The asparagus is chewy." I replied, "Well, of course, it's chilly with all that cold sauce you just put on it." I've been doing that more and more lately.

BTW: the picture of the 'art in unlikely places' was taken with my phone camera. I love knowing that I'll have a great camera with me no matter where I go. I cannot begin to count the number of times I regretted not having a camera with me.

I have spent most of the past week trying to upgrade my phone from Android 1.6 to the newer 2.1. After many, many attempts and failures, I'm happy to report that I've finally succeeded. However, if you're on my Gmail list, don't be surprised if you get some kind of totally strange email. I'm not sure why but apparently, it's because my online Gmail is synched with my phone.

Dumb, dumber and dumbest: Burglars snort ashes of a man and two dogs after they mistook them for cocaine

À la prochaine, mes amis

Monday, January 17, 2011

Harvey Sticks

I did manage to get up early enough one day to call the German shop (though can't remember what day it was). They told me the package has been re-sent to me. I don't know what day they sent it, but it hasn't gotten here yet. They originally told me it would take about six weeks, so I guess I have to give it a couple more weeks at least.

I am still loving my SE Xperia X10, but I can't figure out what or how the charges apply to my usage. I haven't gotten a bill yet, but my 'billing period' ends on the 27th or 28th of the month, so I guess I'll find out then.

Robb continues to improve but he's still not 100%.

There seems to be some kind of "art" thing going on in the city because things like this are appearing in the most unlikely of places.

Bought some Sesame Sticks at the market today. Damn! They are so good.

This was our Christmas decoration this year.

À la prochaine, mes amis. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Supplemental Phone

 A few weeks ago, I got a letter from AvMed. AvMed was my Medicare supplemental insurance provider. They informed me that my doctor was no longer accepting AvMed patients (thanks for keeping me informed, Doc). After calling the doctor's office, I learned that he is not accepting Medicare patients at all, no matter what insurance they may have. Apparently, he has decided that since Medicare is  cracking down on fraudulent claims, he wouldn't accept any more Medicare patients. That, along with some other problems I've had with AvMed, prompted me to start thinking about changing providers and I joined the Humana program. When you join a supplemental program, you most often (though not always) have to change doctors. Humana recommended a guy and I went for my first appointment Wednesday afternoon. I have to say I was quite impressed with the new doctor.

Another thing I've changed is my cell phone provider, after years with T-Mobile. After returning my HTC EVO (See the tears in my eyes?  I LOVED that phone!  But I've found another that I like just as much.), I kept looking for something to replace it at a reasonable cost. I found it with AT&T. My phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, is amazing even if it is only Android 1.6, instead of the latest version, 2.3. It has a four-inch screen and a camera with 8.1 megapixel resolution (which for all you iPhone lovers, is about five megapixels better than the iPhone). Did I mention that in addition to the 8.1 mp for still pictures, it also takes HD videos? And it cost me a whopping ONE CENT! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this phone. Well, it's not really just a phone is it? It's basically a hand-held computer on which I have access to the internet, GMail, Google, Twitter, Facebook, most of the world's newspapers, language translators (French, German and Spanish), a currency converter which allows me to keep track of the dollar versus the euro and a bunch of games.  Did I mention I can make FREE calls using Google Voice?  If I listed all the things to which I now have access on my phone, this would be a very long post. Oh, and I can also make and receive phone calls.

I've called the German shop at least three times now about my returned package, and they keep telling me they'll look into it and get back to me, but so far, they haven't done anything. I'll try again Monday, if I can get up in time.

God was responsible for the Big Bang, not science, says Pope Benedict  "The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism - the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible - and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world." Don't you love the way they just dismiss the "Word of God"? Well, the Bible isn't really true, word for word, only the parts we want you to believe. Sorry, folks, you can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is the "Word of God" and every word is true, or it's just another book of mythology.

An Introduction to Net Neutrality: What It Is, What It Means for You, and What You Can Do About It.

McDonald's Wi-Fi Blocks Gay Sites!

Tip of the Day: Never ask a vampire for a blowjob!

Bis zum nächsten Mal, meine Freunde.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!