Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cell Phones


Everyone has a cell phone these days.  Though they can be useful, it amazes me the number of people who cannot do anything without a cell phone attached to their heads.  What surprises me most though is that almost everyone has one, yet the companies have yet to come up with cheaper options.

My family consists of my husband and I.  We use approximately 60 minutes a month between the two of us.. sometimes more if we (or at least one of us) are out of town.  So we pay for alot of minutes that we don't use.

We've been with Company "A" (I'll forgo real names here), for 1 1/2 years...mostly because we've been stuck in a two year contract.  Our phones have never worked correctly since the minute we got them....Company "A" has been no help...the best they can do is allow us to purchase other phones at full price.  Good customer service there.  I've been through more batteries than you can imagine, and I finally realized it has to be the phone and not the battery.  Hubby's resets itself to factory settings everytime you turn it off.  Figuring we're only 6 months shy from the contract ending and our phones now rarely working at all...we figured Compay "A" would give us a deal if we would renew the contract.  Ah.....who were we kidding???  Best deal they can give us with a 2 year renewal now is 25% off the full price of a phone.

I set down and did some figuring....it was cheaper to buy out the current contract and go with another carrier then it was to pay 6 more months that we weren't able to use.  So we began the search for new cell phones.

Company "B" has the biggest selection of phones and also is the only one currently selling the phone I wanted.  I go to their website, hubby goes to one of their stores.  At the store, they offered a 700 minute shared plan for $69.99 plus $29.99 text messaging package (due to my stepchildren that is necessary).  My phone?  $94.99; Hubby's?  $69.99.    Online, however, it was a little different....since this company rolls over your unused minutes...we would have more than enough minutes to share...online I found a plan of 550 shared minutes, with $9.99 additional for 200 text messaging package (which is more than enough).  My phone? $49.99; Hubby's? 24.99.  Hmmmmm......

We continued to search.....I came across www.wirefly.com .  Here I could get the 550 plan with the 200 text messaging plan through the same company and both phones were FREE!!!  We visited another store location to look at the phones to make sure they were the ones we wanted.  They offered the 700 minute plan....my phone was out of stock.  We went to yet ANOTHER location....again 700 plan (make note - research online before hitting the stores, there are plans they won't tell you about)...we mentioned the 550 plan...and oh yes, they do have that plan.  But when it came to phones.....Hubby's was free and Mine was $24.99 IF we chose a multi-media plan.
We began to realize that all the plans were the same, but the prices of phones varied from location.  We came right out and told them we could get the exact same plan and the phones FREE online...as they didn't offer to match the online deal we turned to leave....another couple was looking at phones, the guy said "We can get them cheaper online."  I don't know how anyone in the stores are making commission.

We opted with wirefly and are now waiting for the phones to arrive.  I can't wait to tell Company "A" what they can do with their phones.







 







Thursday, June 14, 2007

De Plane, De Plane!!

As my regular readers know, flying is a new experience for me. After the smoothness of last month, I expected everything to be a breeze this time. Alrighty then......

The flight to NY was uneventful. The flight home, however.....

I arrived at JFK in plenty of time for my flight - 2 hours a head of time as a matter of fact (it's what is recommended, but not really needed). Take-off time was 11:10 a.m. At about 10:55 a.m. we began to wonder why we hadn't started to board. Then the announcement came explaining there was an electrical problem on the plane and we were delayed pending repairs. Hmmmm....they didn't keep us updated. As a matter of fact they just kept putting "teaser" times on the board. At about 12:00 Noon, a few of us decided to head for the Bar & Grill around the corner for lunch - but it was not to be so....we were informed that the plane could be fixed at any minute and we must stay near the gate to board. At 12:30 p.m. they let us board. But the plane still wasn't fixed.

The flight attendant explained that the part the runs the air conditioner while the plane is on the ground, was not operating. They were trying to get it charged but it wouldn't stay charged. More than likely we would have to go without air conditioner but once in the air we would have it - apparently another part works the in air air conditioner. That was fine with me, just get us in the air!!! It's only a 40 minute flight.

At about 1:15 p.m. (yes, everyone...they boarded us with no intention of taking off) someone asked the flight attendant what the delay was (the maintenance people had long since left). She replied that they just happened to find more luggage and was loading it. Alrighty....where was this luggage and why wasn't it loaded with the rest???? At 1:30 p.m. we finally took off.

I would like to say the flight was uneventful...and for the most part it was, however, somewhere in the air we hit what I thought was turbulence. Since it's only a small commuter plane, the plane actually tilted and jerked. The flight attendant explained that it had not been turbulence but actually the wind coming off the wings of a much larger plane near us. Hubby told me there's a name for that..... I think the airline calls it a "near miss"....I call it a "near hit". Okay, so maybe that's not true...but you get the picture.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back From New York Part 2


So I'm back!!!!!

The weekend was fabulous, but sad.  It's sad that "A Moon For The Misbegotten" has closed and Kevin is no longer available to see perform.  I attended the Saturday evening show and the closing show on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon we went to the stage door to be in the front after the matinĂ©e show.  Kevin came out looking absolutely gorgeous as usual.  I had the photo of he and I (when he was wearing the shirt I gave him) blown up to an 8x10 and ask him to autograph that for me - which he more than happily did.  We attended the evening show later and I still get that heartbreak feeling for him when his character is breaking down during the second act...even though I was expecting it.  The man cried real tears.  I was in the third row to the left of the stage and in that particular seen he's directly in front of you.  We went to the stage door after the show and it was packed...it was a little harder to get to him, but I was able to get some good pictures by holding my camera up high and just hoping - lol!!!

On Sunday we attended the closing show (boo hoo).  I was on the aisle seat, 5th row on the right side (we had all gotten our seats at different times and therefore weren't seated together, the others were in 2nd row).  I sat next to a very nice couple and I chatted to them about my last trip to the play and such...they were very nice and friendly.  During the intermission, I was offered one of the second row seats by a lady who wasn't able to stay for the entire second act and was looking for an aisle seat to be able to leave more discretely.  She didn't have to ask twice!!!  So I ended the performance in the second row!!!

Kevin gave a speech after curtain call, thanking everyone for coming and saying they'll be back.  He also said they would be cheering Eve Best on tonight due to her Tony nomination (she lost unfortunately).

We went to the stage door again, which was very crowded and chaotic.  I managed to get myself to about the second row.  Fortunately, the lady in front of me, moved away once she had her autograph and then Kevin was directly in front of me for several minutes while he signed in that area.  I pulled out my Playbill and had him sign that (though I really didn't need another one - but well, can you really have too many??).  I took many pictures of him while he was standing there and was so happy to have that photo opportunity!!!

Kevin and Eve needed to leave immediately afterwords to get to the Tony's.  We waited awhile and watched Kevin exit in his tux and then Eve came out in her evening gown.  It was very exciting.

Next Kevin trip???   LONDON-SPRING 2008!!!! (yes, hubby just rolled his eyes and groaned).







Back From NY Part 2


So I'm back!!!!!

The weekend was fabulous, but sad. It's sad that "A Moon For The Misbegotten" has closed and Kevin is no longer available to see perform. I attended the Saturday evening show and the closing show on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon we went to the stage door to be in the front after the matinée show. Kevin came out looking absolutely gorgeous as usual. I had the photo of he and I (when he was wearing the shirt I gave him) blown up to an 8x10 and ask him to autograph that for me - which he more than happily did. We attended the evening show later and I still get that heartbreak feeling for him when his character is breaking down during the second act...even though I was expecting it. The man cried real tears. I was in the third row to the left of the stage and in that particular seen he's directly in front of you. We went to the stage door after the show and it was packed...it was a little harder to get to him, but I was able to get some good pictures by holding my camera up high and just hoping - lol!!!

On Sunday we attended the closing show (boo hoo). I was on the aisle seat, 5th row on the right side (we had all gotten our seats at different times and therefore weren't seated together, the others were in 2nd row). I sat next to a very nice couple and I chatted to them about my last trip to the play and such...they were very nice and friendly. During the intermission, I was offered one of the second row seats by a lady who wasn't able to stay for the entire second act and was looking for an aisle seat to be able to leave more discretely. She didn't have to ask twice!!! So I ended the performance in the second row!!!

Kevin gave a speech after curtain call, thanking everyone for coming and saying they'll be back. He also said they would be cheering Eve Best on tonight due to her Tony nomination (she lost unfortunately).

We went to the stage door again, which was very crowded and chaotic. I managed to get myself to about the second row. Fortunately, the lady in front of me, moved away once she had her autograph and then Kevin was directly in front of me for several minutes while he signed in that area. I pulled out my Playbill and had him sign that (though I really didn't need another one - but well, can you really have too many??). I took many pictures of him while he was standing there and was so happy to have that photo opportunity!!!




Kevin and Eve needed to leave immediately afterwords to get to the Tony's. We waited awhile and watched Kevin exit in his tux and then Eve came out in her evening gown. It was very exciting.

Next Kevin trip??? LONDON-SPRING 2008!!!! (yes, hubby just rolled his eyes and groaned).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Walmart Photo Lab Experience

Once home from NY, I loaded my pictures from the camera to my computer and downloaded them to the Walmart Photo Website to order prints. Yes, I know I could print them off at home, HOWEVER, there were so many I figured it would cost me a print cartridge anyway...so I should just have them printed. I chose the Waynesboro store and paid in advance online. I was told the photos would be ready by 7:45 p.m. on 06/12/07 (which was the date I was ordering them).

Course I knew I wouldn't pick them up at that time and I didn't get there the next day either. So today, I stop at Walmart and go to the photo counter (remember it's now the 14th - 2 days later and I paid for 1-hour photo prints).

Photo counter is very busy, plus there are contract workers throughout the store driving motorized ladders around practically running people over (no beeps or warnings if you're in the way). Once they reached their destination, the ladder would go up and they began drilling at the ceiling - somehow this seemed to be a safety hazard to me. But that was the least of my worries.....

Photo counter is busy and ONE person is working. When it finally got to be my turn, the girl couldn't find my photos ANYWHERE. She insisted that I apparently had chosen the wrong store online and since I didn't have my confirmation with me, she couldn't help. So back home I go, find the confirmation and go back to Walmart to the photo counter which is now busier.

She finally gets to me a second time and proceeds to look it up. As soon as she pulls the confirmation up online a label prints out and miraculously the developer begins to shoot out my photos. She then tries to tell me I apparently did not CONFIRM the order online and it must of happened when she did it. I then asked her to explain how I had gotten a confirmation number if the order wasn't confirmed??? She had no answer, but agreed that the order had been placed 2 days ago, was promised by 7:45 p.m. 2 days ago and was never processed.

While I'm waiting for the photos to be developed, another employee shows up behind the counter. "Officially" she was on break and shouldn't be behind the counter she advised me, but she stopped to help and then offered this advice to me: The photos have a guarantee to be ready by a certain time and of course mine were not...therefore I'm entitled to a full refund (since they were prepaid) and I could do that online or stop by customer service on my way out.

I get my photos and head to customer service, explain what I had been told. They all have blank looks on their faces, they find a supervisor. She calls the photo department, the girl that told me that is now gone and the original clerk does confirm that my photos were not ready on time but says the "refund" was between the other employee and me and she has nothing to do with it. They call a Manager and he authorizes the refund.
By this time, they have the name of the employee who gave me this information and apparently the information is wrong and they also informed me that you cannot get refunds ONLINE.

I got the refund and they were nice to me about it, but some employee is in allot of trouble....



Friday, June 15. 2007 Barbara wrote:
It all starts at the top. A company that does not care about its employees is not going to give good customer service. I just read that pilferage is way up in Wal-Mart's stores, a lot of it by employees, because they cut back on security personnel. Some workers are responsible, also, for their dishonesty and lack of work ethic. As they are considered disposable, there's not much incentive to do a good job. Despite all that, I put up with them and shop there occasionally, because I can afford their prices.

Monday, June 18. 2007 Joanne wrote:I've had bad experiences with them too, Laura. This was with my London pictures. But....I didn't do it through the website. I took in the memory chip AND rolls of film that I took the traditional way. I got a mess. Some included the CD (which I ordered on all of them) some included ONLY the CD and no prints. The double charged me on one roll and didn't print all the pictures on the memory chip. I didn't get negatives on some of the rolls. It was a complete mess. It took me four trips back to the store before I got all my photos -- I think. Never again. I use Snapfish now and love them.

~ Joanne

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

It Doesn't Really Matter.....Really!!!


Being a Spacey Fan means you put up with quite a load of crap from others in one area.  On a daily basis someone walks in my office, sees a picture of him and says "You know he's gay, right?" 

Well...no I don't know he's gay and neither does the person making the statement...it's just a common belief that he may be because he chooses not to discuss his personal life.  When I go to the defensive....I hear "Didn't you see the pictures of he and that guy in the Hollywood hills in "put any tabloid name here" magazine?   Yes, I would believe just about anything that appears in a tabloid (rolling eyes) and since back in the 90's it was proven they often impose two separate pictures together to make one, I can't take that as proof.  Or they have the:  "His looks and mannerisms are gay."  What exactly are "gay looks and mannerisms",  I have to laugh at the mannerisms part as the person normally saying this possesses some of those mannerisms themselves.  Or there's "How about that mugging incident in London?"  Yeah, well what about it?  Only gays get mugged in London?  Or the ever popular:  "He's never been photographed with a woman."  Oh really?  Tell that to Diane Dreyer, Sheryl Crow, Mini Driver, Helen Hunt and a bunch of other unnamed women he's photographed with on many of the photo websites throughout the years.

For the most part the above is done in a teasing way, especially when it comes to my co-workers and friends, but on occasion you come across those people that really want to push your buttons.  Those people are normally the faceless, nameless ones on the internet.  Over on the imdb.com board a day doesn't go by that a new thread doesn't go up insisting he come out of the closet, or someone has a friend of a friend of a friend that Kevin's hit on (always male), or they know someone that works for Kevin that says he's gay (so much for those privacy contracts you normally sign when working for a celebrity).  You get the picture.  Some of the fan owned Kevin boards do discuss this issue in a more civilized manner, but my favorite fan board "Legacy" (at Yahoo groups) chooses to not allow this type of discussion.  The moderators feel that since Kevin doesn't discuss it, the board doesn't discuss it.  We as fans need to respect his privacy.  And I must agree.

I know Kevin has dated women, I know there are speculations regarding his personal life, I know he does not discuss his personal life.  But if Kevin were gay, it wouldn't change my opinion of him - why should it?  He'll still be a great actor, he'll still be a great person and he'd still walk out the stage door after every show and sign autographs, and he'd still be straight in my fantasies.   The only way that "gay" issue could affect anything is in a "sexual" sense.  I know I'm never going to sleep with or be married to Kevin Spacey, so his sexual orientation has no emphasis on my being a fan.  However, if I'm a fan that believes that I WILL be with Kevin one day, well....I've crossed the line from fan to stalker and I guess that issue would be a problem (among other things)....but there is no other reason that THAT should affect whether you're a fan or not.

I had another fan tell me that Kevin stated several years ago that he wasn't gay (he did) and that if it would turn out that he is gay, well she'd lose all respect as that means he's lied to all of us.   Ummmmm....okay....can I give you a quote from an interview Kevin did last year for Elle (UK) '06: 

Question:   But isn't the quid pro quo of fame that you get the acclaim and riches, the audience gets to know the star? Kevin:  'I'd look any fan in the eye, and say you have no right to anything from me except the best performance I can give.' >>

( http://www.drivingmrspacey.com/ELLE-UKaugust2006.htm

Or how about the recent interview with Gotham Magazine (Summer 2007):

G: Don't you think it's unusual that you've been able to keep your personal life private?
KS:
It's rare, yes. I was just raised really well by parents who said, "You have a right to design your life the way you want." I think people need to embrace the idea that every human being is different. So I'm different! So embrace my difference and allow me to live my life as every person ought to be able to live--which is how they choose. And I'm living my life how I choose. In no way, shape, or form am I hiding, or am I terrified. I'm having the time of my life living my life. I just happen to believe that there's a public life and there's a private life. Everybody has a right to a private life no matter what their profession is. I don't think any degree of bizarre social pressure or media intrusion [means] I have to participate.
 ( http://stage.gotham-magazine.com/cover.php

But of course he's best quote is:  "I find it sad that by not talking about who I sleep with, that makes me mysterious. There was a time when I would have been called a gentleman."
In my opinion, you're not much of a fan if this issue matters to you.  I'm also tired of the people (you know who you are) that keep trying to push him out of the closet.  I didn't have to make a statement that I'm heterosexual, so neither does he.  In this day and age, this issue shouldn't matter.  And if someone is gay, and chooses to not disclose that - they should have that right.  Case closed.