Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost Perfect Day

Today was an almost perfect day. I say "almost" because I spent it all alone. The weather was ideal - sunny, around 80 and not too humid, with a nice but not overpowering breeze.
I was able to get lots accomplished too. De-rusted the heat pump cover, re configured the hurricane windows, washed the car, refinished the teak tables, and got an 8.5 mile bike ride in to boot.
Tomorrow will be a "no sweat" day, meaning that I am not gonna do anything that makes me sweaty and overworked. Maybe a bike ride but nothing too strenuous since my real job will be to get things ready for me to leave and Pat to arrive. Hopefully, I won't forget the bananas and some Oriole cookies.
I hate to depart for Virginia but it's nice to know that I will be coming back and soon. This place really grows on a person when the weather is nice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Its shaping up to be a nice Memorial Day Weekend. Weather-wise it's great - sunny and clear. This has been one of the longest periods I've stayed at Topsail and we've seen quite an assortment of weather - rain, wind, sunshine, and clear skies. There's a large shrimp boat trolling just off shore, a good sign that shrimping season is back and believe me, the shrimp around here are good.
We have been doing lots of entertaining this week. Friends from Long Island, friends from here, Cousin John - wow! I think today will be a restaurant day, Pat needs a break.
Later, we'll go down the street and see how Judy's yard sale is going (we've got some stuff in there too). Then, maybe to Camp LeJeune for some grocery shopping but I don't want to waste a good day on the island by shopping in the commissary. Maybe later we'll pull out that (expensive) tandem bicycle and go for a ride. I might even drink a beer this evening, who knows.
Well, here's to all those who served and who are to be remembered on this day. Without them, and the support of their families, we'd probably be a lot different a country than we are today. Later!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We are all basically screwed!

It's been my practice to try to keep these blog entries light and uncontroversial but there's a time to laugh, a time to cry, and now a time to whine. First the good news. Graduation went well today at American University - lots of people walked the plank and many family members attended. The graduation speech was good, not too long, and very positive....all good things.
Tomorrow is head for the beach day and, one would think, a cause for celebration, relief, and expectation of a pretty good time. However, my excitement has been diminished considerably by the realization that our system, our way of life, the very fabric of our once great society - competence and personal responsibility, are gone. Here are some recent examples:
1. Forward the mail: Easy, right? Nope. It was to start today but was still delivered and a call to the USPS 800 number indicated that the form was never turned in by the carrier. So, I had to do another, online and at a price. Something that used to be so simple is now a problem.
2. Air Conditioning System: It has always worked fine, that is until just after our semi-annual preventative check last week when it started blowing hot air and the outside unit failed to come on. Furthermore, the preventive maintenance guy didn't even change the filter even though a new one was sitting right beside the unit - what professionalism.
3. Comcast Cable Internet: For several months now, more like for a year now, our Internet has been coming and going, as have service persons. Finally, at Comcast's urging, I switched the modem but still the thing goes down almost daily for an hour here, another hour there, etc. I scheduled a Comcast technician for yesterday, 11 AM - 2 PM and received a confirmation. Guess what? No Comcast person came and this was the second time this has happened. The story was that he called and there was no answer, probably because I was either in the bathroom or outside cleaning a gutter. The arrangement never had a stipulation that I answer the phone in order for the guy to come - heck, I made the appointment and, unlike Comcast's people, made sure I kept my end of the deal. Can you say "Fios"?
Anyway, I am venting but the point of this, and other things like the McDonald's people not understanding the difference between "Southern Chicken Sandwich" and "McChicken", and all the other crappy customer service I've been experiencing almost on a daily basis, I have concluded that we are doomed, society as we know it is over, and we're all in for a perpetually running screwing for ever.
Addendum - May 23: Tried to set call forwarding before we left Virginia but it didn't work. A Verizon person said we had it, set it up, and it worked for a day. After it stopped working, I called and now Verizon tells us the call forwarding feature we've paid for all these years doesn't work and we can't activate it since we're not at our home phone, refusing to accept the fact that the first person had it fixed briefly. Who do I switch to since both Verizon and Comcast are equally terrible?