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Technology: Aaaccchhh!

While I might not be able to live without my internet, getting out among nature’s wonders and birdwatching are what keep me sane. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.”—Thomas Sowell

Internet Service

          Never mind that our family didn’t get a television until I was 14 years old, and today I don’t even own one, I can’t live without the internet. I go a bit crazy when it doesn’t work, which is exactly what happened about a month ago.

Can I have a bone? I’ll sit in your lap to chew it — and petting me will calm you down. Translation by Pat Bean

It started with interruptions to my service and a message that no internet service was available. About five minutes later, my internet would magically be working again,

After a couple of days of this annoyance, I decided to report the problem, which turned out to be a difficult task that took almost two hours. I waited, I talked to people on the phone, I chatted online and was transferred back and forth between staffers numerous times before someone finally said the problem was most likely my modem and a new one would be sent to me, and that when it arrived, I should return the old one.

After three more days of intermittent internet service the new one, or so I thought, arrived via UPS. I immediately switched the two modems out – and found myself with NO internet service.

So it was that I found myself back on the phone for another two-hour session of waiting and trying to communicate with idiots who kept transferring me around from one to another before I was finally told the problem evidently wasn’t a modem issue and a repairman would have to be sent out to investigate.

Here I got a break. While I was envisioning several days more without internet service before that could happen, I was told a repairman was available that afternoon. About four hours later a congenial guy with a modem in hand knocked on my door.

“I checked all the lines so it has to be your modem,” he said. On investigation, he discovered, and told me, that the “old” modem, which I had originally been sent in February of this year, was out of date, and the “new” modem sent me was even older than that.

          He then hooked up the truly new modem and within a few minutes I had perfect, fast-speed internet service. He then took both the old modems with him.

You think that would be the end of it. Oh! No!

Yesterday I got an email informing me that if I didn’t mail back my old modem, I would be charged $150, My patience, if I ever actually had any, was at an end. I looked down at my canine companion Scamp, who was getting concerned about my state of mind and yelled. They want me to pay $150 for a modem that doesn’t work!  I translated his response as Can I have a bone?

Finally, I settled down and called them once again, but never got through to anyone. I then went to online chat and wasted another hour before the idiot chatting with me said I would have to wait until the charge was actually billed until they could remove it.

As I said: Aaaccchhh!

          Bean Pat: To the repairmen, all of them, who continue to work through the coronavirus crisis, to keep technology working for those of us who can’t live without it. Thank you.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

 

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     “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” Aldous Huxley

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

As a wet-behind-the-ears journalist, I learned not to believe everything I was told. The lesson came the first time I wrote about a stranded family in town with a dying child. The article I wrote poured money into their pockets. And then, after they had fled the area, I learned it was all a scam, one they had also pulled in a town the next daily newspaper away.

Will the real Regina Brett please stand up.

Will the real Regina Brett please stand up.

I was never taken in again because I learned the art of double checking, and double checking again. It’s a habit that’s proved more valuable than ever since the Internet came along.Now while I love the web, it’s not the purveyor of truth that a good, investigative reporter is. Anyone can say just about anything – and does.

That fact was jammed home to me this morning when I read a great blog by Soul Writings, which quoted 90-year-old Regina Brett, Plains Dealer newspaper columnist, about the lessons she had learned in life.

There were 42 of them, and I found every one of them to be great advice. The blog was accompanied by a photo of the 90-year-old Regina wearing large black spectacles. I loved the image of her wearing gaudy jewelry and bright colors.  I think old broads, perhaps because I am one, rock.

But something didn’t ring true in this old journalist’s head. So I started double-checking.

There really is a Regina Brett, I discovered, and she really is a columnist for the Plains Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. But she’s nowhere near 90, although she really did write a column called Life’s Lesson. There were 45 of them, not just 42, however. And she recently updated the column to include 50, as that is the age she is turning.

You really can’t believe everything you read, you know.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Soul Writings http://tinyurl.com/aoqzwen It’s still a
good column, but here’s the real one. http://tinyurl.com/yzl3szz .

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Larry Kangas in front of a tiger mural he recently painted for a San Diego retirement home .

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly. — Arnold Edinborough

I love the Internet. It keeps me in touch with loved ones and friends while I’m all the way across the country. I can see pictures of my great grandson as he takes his first step, and keep in touch with a son’s who’s halfway across the world in Afghanistan. 

It also adds an extra dimension to my travels, from researching my destinations to answering a head full of questions, including a recent one about who was the artist that painted a fire house in Morton, Washington, which I wrote about August 2.  

My curiosity, which I guarantee is greater than the one that killed the cat, wanted to know more about the artist. I was sure I had seen other work by him in my travels.  

With only the signature “Kangas’” to go on, I searched the Web and discovered the artist was Larry Kangas of Beaverton, Oregon, and that he has been painting big for over 35 years – and is still going. 

We exchanged a couple of e-mails, and I learned that he has painted his murals on everything from walls in private homes to aviation museums. As a U.S. Air Force navigator for 21 years, aircraft have been one of favorite subjects over the years.  

Assisted living facilities have been the beneficiary of his most recent work, however. 

“Must be those boomers,” he says, adding that “I am one.” He said the idea is to bring in the mural artists to paint some “memories.” 

Thanks Larry, for yet another one of those interesting travel surprises that keep me wanting never to leave the road. And thanks to the Internet for letting this “inquiring mind” learn a bit about “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey always liked to say.  

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