Saturday, April 10, 2021

Low Cost Cell Phone Provider Excels Compared to Major Carrier

 I don't know if America's love of spending two weeks pay on a Cell Phone, and then spending two days pay to pay for the connections and fees, but I have. I own a year old one generation back cell phone that was closer to $1,000 than $500.00. I am with a major provider and spending $70.00 a month for a cell phone connection on a group plan.

As long as I am somewhere with free WiFi, everything works well. Go to a big box store or city side road and I may as well be in the middle of the desert. This has been very troublesome to me. What am I getting for all this money that wasn't available back in the days of wall mounted pay phones? I'm getting broke is all.

I went on the hunt for a cheap cell phone and provider. I had been hearing and seeing advertisements for a well awarded cell phone provider that almost no one has heard of. I wanted to check out their cell phone service. I also did not want to leave my old service unattended for a month as I do need to live in the real world.

After searching the web, I went to a store where this provider exists. They do not have their own stores as far as I am aware. They have a fairly no frills web page. To me this means they are working hard to keep costs down and sharing those savings with their customers. I did wonder if they are keeping costs down on the service they provide.

I purchased the cheapest Android phone they have, about $65.00. I also purchased a monthly service with three gigabytes shared data and unlimited voice and text for about another $28.00. My expectations were pretty low as the total cost for a cell phone and service is only a little more than my connection fees for my primary phone. The service alone, is less than one-third the cost.

This phone is not as fancy as my primary phone. It does however do everything I use my primary phone for, only barely noticeably little slower, like a second or less in the real world. Screen resolution and camera resolution aren't as high as my primary phone, but they are acceptable, to me at least. My few simple games play just fine on this bottom of the barrel phone.

I have spent a few days with one phone in each front pocket. What I am finding is surprising. In the big box stores there is no such thing as dead spots there are with my major carrier. On the road, there is little to no wait for maps to update. When group texts are sent, this cheap little phone and the other phones trade places as to which phone announces the message arriving first. These are high requirements for my cell phone service.

Phone calls connect a second or two seconds slower, and some of my calls when I ask, they say it's not quite the same as they are used to hearing, but, "not bad" either. The only real shortfall is Bluetooth connection to my vehicle. There is noticeable lag when making a call, and calls on my end sound more distant on the other end.

However for the difference in price is amazing. I have a phone costing one-tenth what I paid for my main phone, and a solid connection for one-third of my main provider with only hair splitting differences in service. Especially when what were problem area connections no longer exist with this "new to me" provider.

I have forty-five days to make up my mind or cancel. I will be canceling this service with my $65.00 smart phone. Unless something serious happens, I will create a new account with a sim card for my main phone. Oh, and it looks like I will be dropping my overly expensive lackluster provider. I will write an update in a few weeks about how my experience was. 

In the moment, I feel angry, feeling like I have allowed myself to be robbed for a number of years of illusions, having quality of service go down as the price went up. I think in the cell phone provider industry as in other areas of life, major players have become too fat and lazy. As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a changing".

I am now finding it is a good practice not to be blindly satisfied with the phone and service I have. I will save a lot of real world money over the next years that can go to something more important, like vacation. Paying a few months of paychecks for a cell phone and service provider that offers little or nothing over what is out there, if you are willing to do some research, is over. Take a chance, see what you can do with your cell phone costs.

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Other Easter Celebration

 I created the earth and made all the plants and animals. I gave people a place to live that allowed them to live and prosper in without using a lot of work. Once the population grew large enough, the weather changed, drying up life as they knew it. They were forced to find new ways to feed themselves.

Then the problems started. At first it was petty stuff. Minor theft, lying, things like that. Then alcohol was created quite by accident. Grains and fruit were were rained on, and beer and wine were discovered. Eating plants that made their minds and thinking warped followed.

People were struggling to feed themselves, and became jealous of others for what they thought they were lacking in their life. Men had to compete for mates, food and places to live. Everyone had to find food or work to grow it. Food for the predators became scarce as men started eating meat in place of vanishing grains and fruits. Predators started attacking people as a food source. People learned  fear and violence against others. Not too long after that the first murder was committed.

The first murder caused by jealousy led to other crimes. Crimes against women, crimes against neighbors and especially crimes against strangers. Ownership and taking from the weak started to become a way of life. Peace and cooperation were no longer a major part of most people's thinking.

People started acting so hateful and angry, I decided something needed to be done. What I hoped for my world was not working. People lost their way and direction. As I looked over the world, I could find few people who lived the way they were meant to live. In cooperation and sharing, with respect for one another. I made the decision to wipe out this world and start over. I flooded the world, erasing most people and animals. I gave the world a fresh start.

People who survived now lived as they were intended. They needed each other to survive and thrive. Old ways of life die hard, and it was almost no time, when the problems from the old world were starting to infect my new world. Eventually my new world was every bit as disappointing  as the world before it. It was time to think of another plan. Why do people find it so difficult to manage free will...

I created a plan to send my "Son" to the earth. He lived a happy life. Going to gatherings, weddings, and arranging his own meetings and functions. He enjoyed a happy life, and used this life as a platform to reteach people how they could live. My Son did those things needed to establish credibility and authority among the people. Then he started to teach.

My Son showed people a new world, a better way to live. However I did not want want my Son to be on earth too long, or people would feel they were losing their free will. I determined for him to be on earth about half of a human lifetime.

My Son did warn people with his real message. He told them he was not there to save the world, as people wanted, but to destroy the world. He would create a new world for those that wished to live in it. A world of peace, harmony, bounty and cooperation among men. He told people they had choice. Live in the old world as it is, or become a part of his new world.

To people with closed minds, there was only one world and one way of live. To those that heard and understood my Son's message there was the new world. People could live in the new world, be happy and prosper. Some people listened and understood they were being offered a better way to live, and chose the new world. 

Many people, because they felt threatened by the idea of this new way of life, chose to stay in the old world with all its problems and shortcomings. They were fooled by their idea of freedom and true freedom.

Differences were subtle. Live in the old world, where there was not enough pie for everyone to get their slice, or live in the new world, where everyone's needs would be met. 

Those who chose to live in the old world, saw those living in the new world as meek, helpless and spineless. They did not, and do not understand, might does not make right, and there is enough to go around for everyone if one is willing to let go of old thinking and old ways, letting go of the chains they willingly wrapped themselves in.

I look down on my world now, and the world is changing slowly. More and more people are choosing to live in the new world I created for them. However their life is still difficult because they are forced to live with one foot in the old world and the problems they created.

A world of greed, hate, fear and destruction of all types. My new world is taking root, growing from a carefully nurtured seed into a healthy plant. Rejecting the new world is opting for life of strife, pain and frustration, never having enough. The old world is a life of illusion.

My plan is over time, my new world keeps growing until the old world is completely destroyed. Then all people will be able to live as I intended. Free will is freedom as long as people continue to make better choices. This makes me happy. I am weary of destroying my creations and creating new worlds. I prefer people tend to their world and make it a better place for all people.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

I Use a Microfiber Bath Towel and I Like it

Save money! When money is tight, doing laundry is very expensive. I found something that saves money every laundry day. It is a towel that doesn't get stinky because it dries out quickly. You may wash it in your bathroom sink, wring it out and hang it up to dry. That is one heavy cotton bath towel you no longer have to pay extra to dry at the laundromat or your electric bill!

Nothing earth shattering in itself, but online I found a microfiber bath towel with silver threads in it that make it anti bacterial and anti microbial. Please check this fact for yourself as that is what was written on the package. My towel seems to be what it says.

My total cost was about $15.00 which is steep for a bath towel. I think in about three to four laundry loads, your should break even as you won't be drying big, heavy cotton towels. You can launder it if you wish, but it can not be placed with a normal load and dried with a normal load. Hence the bathroom sink is the best place I have found to wash it.

Using a microfiber towel is different to say the least. It took about three weeks of after shower use before I got used to using mine. I still use a cotton towel to dry my hair, but it is not a bath towel size and my hair is all I use it for.

If you try to use a microfiber towel as a regular towel, you will become quickly frustrated. With a microfiber bath towel, instead of the usual toweling off as you do with a cotton towel, you use a different approach.  Hence the three weeks 'training' for me to get used to it.

Using a microfiber bath towel, you lay the towel on your wet skin. The towel will cling to your wet skin. Wipe your hand slowly across the top of the towel. Unless you are drying a part of your body with bumps and dips, one or two wipes across the top of the towel is all you need to get dry. When your skin is dry, the towel will slide around or fall off. For your back, what I do is pull it over my back like a cape, bend forward, and slowly pull it off my back. I do this twice.

The first couple of weeks this new way of drying off after a shower felt really awkward and I had to pay attention to what I was doing. Now drying off with a microfiber towel is automatic, and I no longer think about it. I find this is quicker than a cotton bath towel as microfiber is really fast and efficient.

I purchased my microfiber towel in a bath size. The company recommended a larger size is not needed and I agree. It would be a waste of money, and maybe no more efficient. I am sure the company would be happy to sell more of their largest towel size, but they are honest in what we really need.

For a savings comparison, the average person likely uses one or two bath towels a week. Washing isn't so bad, but drying time is costly. My microfiber towel with silver threads in it sees the bathroom sink once a week. A (very) little laundry soap, warm water and a rinse or two, and the towel is clean and ready to be used in only a few hours. 

Quite a savings even if you do not need to watch every penny. I have used my new towel for almost three months now, and never want to go back to using heavy cotton towels that get mildew if not carefully dried after each use.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

 Customer By (03/23/2021 06:40 PM)

I buy groceries at Xxxxxxx. Since it opened it has been the most convenient. Looking at most of the vehicles in the parking lot, and the neighborhoods it is convenient for others too. I shop at Xxxxxxx twice a week, and generally spend between $100 - $150 a week.

I am afraid my Xxxxxxx Grocery shopping is coming to an end. For the third time, I spent over 15 minutes in line waiting to be checked out by a cashier.

Xxxxxxx claims they want to keep people working, but that is not true. There are four cashier registers and only one has been open with the long wait time. I use a cashier because I want my neighbors to keep working.

There are three other grocery stores within two miles of me, and there are delivered groceries from other businesses. I am about to start looking around as I find your customer approach unacceptable.

I may only contribute forty to sixty dollars a week to your income, but over the last decade that has added up. If things do not change soon, that income stream will dry up.

Xxxxxxx wants bigger profits by eliminating jobs. Pretty sad, you talk the talk but do not walk the walk Xxxxxxx.

Hello Michael,

Good afternoon, we hope you are doing well today.

We want to thank you  for providing your feedback about self-checkouts.

While our company tries to find ways to better our customers' needs and to provide great customer service and friendly environment in our stores, we fully understand that not everyone enjoys the self-checkouts. Which when you provide us your feedback this is helpful on real time feedback of a service. We will let our Managers team here know of your feedback of this feature in store#XXXX, in Albuquerque,NM.

The correct Managers team will then review this to see what they would like to do for this store going forward.

We want to thank you for contacting Xxxxxxx where we are always happy to help.

We value our customers feedback and concerns, so we can deliver great customer service in our stores and for our communities.

Best regards,

Xxxxxxx customer care

Wouldn't it be great to feel your comment was read and understood, instead of read and replied to with an unoffensive candied response?

My above comment and the reply are perfect examples. Real People are being replaced by self checkout. Some of my neighbors are out of work now. Self Checkout has it's purpose, but eliminating jobs and frustrating Customers should not be one of them.

Essentially stores with self checkout turn Customers into unpaid employees. Or put another way, Stores get away with charging more for the same product because costs are lowered by self checkout.

With so many source streams available to meet Customer needs and wants, claiming your Store managers are idiots who do not notice they let most of the Cashier Staff go, and there is an unusually long line in the one lane with a Cashier is not an acceptable response. This comment was made about someone who went to college, earned a degree and paid their dues to become a store manager. Yet their Corporate Bosses ponders whether they are incompetent? I really doubt a local store manager is making this decision. This is a corporate decision turned into policy.

I understand the company does not want to put anything in writing to make them responsible or liable. However making your local Store Managers appear to be brain dead is also unacceptable. If I wanted a neutral candied response to my issue, I could have wrote it myself and saved time and energy.

Perhaps the efficient pool of candied response makers in this company should be converted to store floor workers, then they could provide corporate management with a clear picture of Customer issues?

Business does not want to be regulated, and Business certainly does not want Unions. It appears in the short term, this business at least does not want customers who do not line up to self checkout.

If this were just me, I would not mention it as a problem. I have however seen shopping carts of abandoned food that a Customer left because they too are tired of waiting for a real cashier. I also heard their comments and by the third time, I have joined their disgruntled ranks.

Now, corporate bean counters can count the beans, and adjust the prices to absorb losses such as mine and other disgruntled customers. Eventually, bean counting and price adjustments will catch up to businesses such as this, and they will either need to change rapidly or go under.

As I mentioned there are three other grocery stores close by, and there is online delivery. I do not need to do business with any certain grocery store that fails to take my needs into consideration.

In wrapping up, this and other Businesses should know by now, a happy customer tells a few people. An unhappy customer tells the world. Which customer should they prefer?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Reality Revealed is a Table For One

As much as we crave stability in our lives, the reality we base our world on is not stable. Reality is a table for one. Your reality is different than the reality of anyone you know. That thought is hard to grasp, but it is true.

I was a child, riding in the car and my Mother was driving. I was about eleven or twelve maybe and the strangest thought struck me. I told my Mother, who was used to hearing strange ideas and statements from me, "We each live in our own reality. We share some of our reality with each other, but no two realities are ever identical." Of course my Mother was caught off guard and probably never thought much about reality in her lifetime. Most of us are right there with her.

A few quick examples of our differences in realities are our very individualistic beliefs in: God, Ghosts, UFO's, Bigfoot, and other thoughts and ideas we take for granted. As we identify with a particular thought, group, or religion, we only see our slice of a shared reality.

Ghosts are a great example. Many people believe Ghosts are real. Ghosts become opaque from there on (pun intended). Are Ghosts dead people, are they evil, hostile, intending harm, or helpful and comforting? Are Ghosts solid, ethereal, made of light or something else? Can Ghosts help or harm us? Different thoughts on any subject is what splits our reality away from the reality of others.

We take our version of reality very seriously. We were born and raised in our reality. Our reality was taught to us by our parents, and later by other adults and friends. As we go through life, most of us search out people who share much of the same reality we do. We are most comfortable with people like us.

Reality for the most part resides in our ego. Ego is our view the world. Ego is a finely tuned lens that almost instantly discerns those like us from those not like us. Ego further classifies others on how different they are from us.

We also keep much of our own reality a secret. What if we hear strange noises or voices and no one else does? See apparitions and no one else does? Feel like someone is watching us when we are alone? See visions? We rarely talk about any of these happenings. We learn at an early age from our parents what can be shared and what is private. Drilling down on the aspects of our own reality is a private subject.

If someone is brazen enough to admit to hearing voices, seeing things, or feeling things touching them in public, and act as if it is normal, we see them as mentally unstable at best. It doesn't matter if we have had the same experiences. Our experience was fleeting, their experience is disturbing.

People who hear voices, have invisible people around them or see things may be different from us. What they experience however is as real as what we do not experience. Because we are not experiencing something does not make it unreal.

If you were cloned, your clone would look like you and act like you, but would not be you because your life experiences and emotions can not be duplicated in any detail. Your clone could be raised having many of the same life experiences as you. But your clone would be another person, and not an exact copy of you other than physically. Think about it.

Our world is an interesting place. You can (within reason) be anyone you want and believe anything you want. Once you identify with a belief, you will find strong evidence supporting what you believe. Anything you strongly reject, you will also find supporting evidence of why it is not true.

If you want to be a Hollywood Star you may. If you want to run a business that is there for you too. Family or no family, the choice is yours. You can be an Introvert or Extrovert. You can run away and join a hermitage (if you can find one). Only your Ego sets the limit on what you can currently do. You can even be a UFO hunter if you wish. It can all be yours. Strongly change your mind and your Ego follows.

Our world changes shape to match our beliefs. We only see our beliefs in action safe by our Ego's tunnel vision. Think of the many ways this is phrase is said in many different formats: "Change your thinking, change your world". This common statement said in its many forms is one of the basic tenants of life.

However much we wish to feel we are like everyone else, and think we go through the same struggles and have the same joys in our life, we do not. Our life and our reality is an individualized, personalized experience for us and us alone. We do let people in, but they never see the whole picture of our own personal reality.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Don't Risk Your Outdoor Safety With a False Sense of Security

Walking in the park today, was an older man walking with a metal collapsible baton, fully extended. As we closed the gap towards each other, he moved his baton (threateningly to me I thought) to face me. Really, I am part of this silly safety charade at a quiet park with lots of other people around in the middle of the afternoon? To anyone looking for trouble, the behavior this Man was displaying is notice he is a victim in the making. What was the real threat other than in his mind? 

This older Man had an invisible sign that said "TARGET", floating above his head. If anyone feels threatened by walking or being in any location, such as the park, don't go there. Be smart, don't be a victim. Your body language doesn't lie.

If you, like the older Man, carries one of those metal collapsible batons, can you really use it? More than one telegraphed swing? If any situation escalates, that baton is going to be taken away and used on you. I don't know many people who could go toe to toe with an overly aggressive person. It is safer to risk being harassed or perhaps pushed around a bit, than beaten with the metal baton you were carrying.

As strange as it seems, a hockey stick is (or used to be) allowed as a carry-on in an airplane. A hockey stick, fighting cane, wooden cane, or a walking stick can formidable defensive weapons if needed, and you are well trained how to use it. Trained means continuous practice, not buying something and carrying it with you.

At the very least if you can not avoid a confrontation, you may be able to keep someone away from you for a precious few seconds. Sometimes the threat that the attacker may be hurt ends any thought of confrontation. The older Man at the park today thought this, but it was enough for him to hold his baton upright, let alone attempt to defend himself with it.

If you need to feel safer, Amazon (at least) sells a half glove with a permanently mounted pepper spray container in the palm. Buy a wooden cane or make yourself a walking stick from a think dowel from a big box store. There are numerous videos on YouTube on how to use each item for self defense. It is up to you to practice and gain competence with them or they will be useless for any kind of defense.

Finally, there are usually enough people walking afternoons in the park, I really doubt someone could be assaulted. While a few people might start to record, others will come to your assistance. There is safety in numbers.

If you feel threatened walking at a park, or wherever you walk, go to Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco or Sam's, any big store, and walk in the store. Do not go to the park and make yourself a target foolishly sporting a metal baton you can't really use.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Gluten Intolerance and Red Meat Connection?

 This is about Gluten Intolerance and Red Meats, or rather lack of red meats and a change in gluten intolerance. Let me mention up front, I do not know if one is related to the other, though I have thought for a number of years that diet drives a lot of health issues. This may be diet change or it may be the natural course of allergies coming and going if there is such a thing.

Up until about nine months ago, I ate beef or pork every day. My beef and pork meals were as lean as is reasonable, but never the less, it was a rare day when I did not eat beef or pork something in at least one meal.

Before Covid-19, I also ate a number of varied vegetables. I focused on vegetable color. I loved going to a salad bar and getting all the red, purple, greens and other different colors of vegetables available that day. I would top my lunch off with a vegetable soup and spinach or broccoli.

In the months since Covid-19, it has been rather sad in the colored vegetable department. Canned green beans, corn, wax beans and peas are the best there is. It seems these are the only vegetables that sell from supermarket shelves. Which is okay as I have purchased fresh broccoli a few times only to compost it a few weeks later. Same with fruits, suddenly no interest in fruit either.

Beef and Pork has been replaced by chicken and fish, mystery meatless burgers, and one nasty gluten free pizza every few months, when I have forgotten haw bad they are. Soups, meatless or chicken chili, eggs, hot and cold oat and rice cereals and corn tortillas. With a few changes, I am eating mostly what I was fed as a kid, minus beef and pork every day.

Some years ago, I ate wheat something every day. Sandwiches, noodles, etc. I was also sick a lot. Mystery Illnesses. It's sinus season, cold season, flu season, food poisening from eating out. A family member was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, but I had to get online and read to understand what that meant. Most of the articles were a description of my life.

I immediately stopped eating anything wheat, and three days later I started feeling better. The longer I did not eat wheat, the better I felt. The downside was the more time went on, the more sensitive I became to anything wheat. I bottomed out at maybe an eighth of a slice of bread once a week, at best - which I never ate except by accident. I feared anything wheat by this time.

Back to last May. Suddenly beef and pork were off the menu at home. I was sure, I would not be able to quit eating beef and pork. Changing to fish, chicken and turkey did not sound like fun. No red meats actually sounded really boring. Learning to live without wheat, I made the decision to live without red meat too. Another menu deletion to get on with.

About a month later, in June I wanted something red meat. I ate a BBQ pork sandwich. My stomach did not like it at all. A month later in July, part of a beef dish. Same result. Like wheat, it wasn't worth it to eat red meat any more. I would get too sickly feeling.

In August after four months of almost no red meat had passed. I got the strange feeling I could once again eat wheat. I had no desire to, but I felt like I could. A few weeks later, sitting in a doughnut shop watching the people I was with eat their doughnuts, I thought I would take a chance and eat part of a doughnut.

It was sweet and greasy, but it tasted okay otherwise. I waited for the bloating and the pain followed by constipation, and it did not happen. Wow, that must have been a fluke. A few weeks later, I had a chocolate cookie with my coffee. No ill effects. The other night, I went full tilt, and ate a plate of breaded orange chicken with brown rice. A full meal of breaded orange chicken. No ill effects. I felt fine.

I have no plans to start eating wheat anything as a regular part of my very boring gluten free foods, but suddenly I can eat something with wheat without getting sick. So many things changed, especially with vegetables in my diet. However no beef and no pork was the biggest change.

Really I have no idea what changed in me that I can now eat wheat without fear, and I think it is related to not eating beef and pork meat. That is the biggest change in my diet and seems to have  reversed almost a decade of gluten intolerance.

If you, like me, are adult gluten intolerant and eating red meats, it may be worth the effort to give up red meats for a few months and see what happens. As we both know, a gluten free diet is boring, and one more change to it, doesn't really mean that much. If you do give it a try, good luck, and let me know how it works for you.

Low Cost Cell Phone Provider Excels Compared to Major Carrier

 I don't know if America's love of spending two weeks pay on a Cell Phone, and then spending two days pay to pay for the connections...