Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Merry Christmas from the island
Yesterday, when I looked out from my upstairs balcony I saw two strange things on my vacant lot next door.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I like to eat
This one is fairly easy to put together. The ingredients are simple.
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/3 onion chopped up
3 stalks of celery chopped up
1 tomato cut into small pieces
McCormick “Perfect Pinch” original all purpose seasoning (salt-free)
Fresh ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a casserole.
Sauté the onion and celery pieces in olive oil in a fry pan until the onions are limp. Sprinkle them with the all-purpose seasoning and ground pepper. Put enough on so you can see the flecks.
Put a few of the vegetables in the bottom of the buttered casserole. Put the chicken thighs in the casserole and fill in around the sides with the vegetables. Put a lid on the casserole and bake it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Fresh homemade bread is good for soaking up the juices.
If you save some of this, stir some sour cream into the juices and refrigerate covered. You can heat up the leftovers in the casserole in a microwave the next day for lunch.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I'd like to be . . .
The card made me think about where I grew up. There were snow days in Slingerlands, New York but no horses and buggies when I was a child there.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
In the neighborhood
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Important December tasks
Saturday, December 04, 2010
I got the green light(s)
You don’t have to read this next part. It is tedious and just for a public record.
I was on the telephone talking to AT&T people starting at 8:15 a.m. Teresa asked me “Is you modem hooked up to your phone line?” She said she would transfer me to a DSL tech.
I waited on hold until a mechanical voice told me to give “the three digit transfer code followed by the pound sign.” I didn’t have any three digit transfer code. After a pause the mechanical voice said, “Good bye” and disconnected.
I called again and was told by Amani that the installation status was complete. She said she would transfer me to the tech support desk. The person there kept calling me Catherine and I kept saying my name was Christine. The tech support lady looked up my account and asked for the secret code number. I gave it to her. She told me “the order did not complete at this location.” She asked if I had filters on all my telephone jacks. (I do.) She told me, “You are required to troubleshoot your own equipment.” I said I didn’t know how to do that. She said she would transfer me to “Support Plus.”
Sherry, a remote tech at Support Plus, told me there was a charge for their service unless I had previously signed up for a $6 per month insurance policy. I had not signed up. Sherry said there was in-home service at a cost of $179. I did get a bit heated in my response to her. She said, “I appreciate your frustration. I understand.” She advised me to call the “Retention Department” at 1-866-240-7221 and perhaps they could help. I called and got the same mechanical customer support voice asking if I was calling from my home number. The wait time for an agent was to be five minutes.
I tried calling again at 9:15. The customer service person, Anita, said I had to agree to talk about other products they had available during our conversation. I agreed. After I had given my telephone number Anita addressed me as Catherine. I corrected my name, gave the secret code, and explained my basic problem about having no DSL hookup since November 22. Anita said, “There’s nothing I can do, I am just customer support.” She said she would try to talk to tech support and put me on hold. She said if we get disconnected, “call 888-722-9337 and give the 396 plus pound as your transfer code.”
A very nice man named Fernando from Broadband Customer Repair came on the line. “I’ll run some tests on your line,” he said. He then began instructing me about what to do. He had me disconnect a yellow cord and put a black cord into the back of the modem. He had me disconnect the power from my router. He had me disconnect my old modem. Yellow cords, black cords, green cords. I was down on the floor on my knees for about three-quarters of an hour with Fernando giving me each new step. He had me try to go online to a special AT&T website. It didn’t work. At last he said he would have to transfer me to a technician to get in touch with the original tech that installed the new, stand-alone jack. I heard a woman say, “Get a ticket.” Then at 10:51 they hung up.
I called the number I had for Francis, the original tech guy. I left a message.
In the meantime, I called the 888 number. I reached a fellow named Don. When I gave him my telephone number he said he would have to transfer my call to California because he was in the mid-west. Slarron came on the line and asked me questions about my TV and cell phone services. I told her I did not have TV service because I received it free over the air with rabbit ears. I said I had a pre-paid GoPhone. She said the tech department would have to make an appointment to send someone to my house.
Francis called at 11:40. He said he had to get a ticket number and he would call back. He did, he came here in the afternoon and all is well.
Here is my welcome letter from AT&T which arrived on Wednesday. Perhaps this is why everyone kept calling me Catherine.