Nothing Says “I Love You” Like a GPS Locater

The Garmin nuvi 260

My husband (I just decided I will call him “Gadget Man)” just bought me the Garmin 260 GPS locater. Now, I had asked him to wait until the prices really dropped on these GPS things, but he insisted I needed it. Gee, I’m not sure he’s right about that. Just the other day I phoned him at work in a panic because I was lost going to the La Leche meeting I had been to at least four times in the past. I needed him to look on a map and tell me how to get there. It turns out, I was only five blocks away, but I was completely stumped on how to get there from my location. Indeed, I have no sense of direction. Living in Chicagoland, I rely on the lake being to the east. If I can “sense” where the lake is if it is not in my view, I at least know North, South, East and West, but that doesn’t get me very far. I even get lost in the town I grew up in, even though my mom and dad still live there! Gadget Man knows his way around better than I. Anyway, I got this new GPS thing and I’m sorry for the money we spent on it, but I’m psyched to try it out. Also, I think the gesture was pretty sweet. Wish me luck!

Hey Comcast: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Fire photo

We get cable from Comcast, and anytime we have a problem, we get the same response, “We will open a ticket and someone will call you within 48 hours.” No one has ever called us in regard to the alleged “open ticket” or the problem we called about. This last time, we couldn’t get the latest episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm on On Demand. We called and they tried to “resend the signal.” When nothing happened they opened the ticket and told us to wait 48 hours for the telephone call that would lead to a resolution. When that phone call never came, I telephoned and, after waiting over twenty minutes for an actual person, I asked for a supervisor. I was told the supervisor was busy and she would call me back. “Excuse me if I don’t believe you,” I said calmly, “but you never gave me that 48 hour phone call, we still have the problem, and I don’t want to wait for a phone call for someone to explain to me why I haven’t gotten the first promised telephone call.” “I promise I will walk it over to her desk, her name is Susie,” he stated. “When will she call me back?” I asked. “Well, she has a lot of phone calls to make, so it may be a few minutes.” Guess what? That was almost two weeks ago. Did we get our telephone call about our problem? No. Did the supervisor ever call me to talk to me about the phone call we didn’t get? No.

Oh, and one more thing. Before we hung up, the guy who promised to take the message to the supervisor told me that it was HBO’s fault, not Comcast, that the recent episode of Curb wasn’t available. He gave me HBO’s telephone number. I knew he was full of it, but I called HBO anyway. Of course, it was a Sunday and no one was there. On Monday, I called HBO again. “Unfortunately, that person at Comcast was not accurate,” the HBO representative explained. “As soon as the show airs on HBO, it is made available to the cable company. If you can’t get access to it, it is Comcast’s fault, not ours.” I knew Comcast was lying to me. They will say anything just to get you to go away. They will even promise you a credit, but they won’t give it to you (at least that has been my experience). Then you have to be willing to sit on the phone for another 2o minutes to get a few dollars off for a credit, and it may or may not appear on your next bill. Right now, I’m so pissed I am just not willing to sit on the phone and complain about them again.

Does anyone else have these problems with Comcast? Does anyone like their cable company. We are so ready to switch. I’m not advocating anything, but kudos to Mona Shaw a retiree who got so fed up with Comcast and their bullsh-t that she took a hammer to the company’s office equipment. Oh, if I had a hammer . . .

Jesus . . . camp. Just DO Something!!!

This is Paster Becky Fisher talking to children in the movie
Paster Becky Fisher from the movie
Jesus Camp. Have you seen this movie? Please do. It is a documentary that follows a couple of children and an evangelist for children. Ok, as you all know, I’m Jewish, so there’s a bias right there. I am very interested in religion, my husband has “caught” me listening to Christian radio on a number of occasions. This movie was fascinating and disturbing at the same time. First, these children are encouraged to “Go to war for Jesus.” I’m not clear who these children are instructed to fight (nonbelievers?), but is it a Christian ethic to “go to war?” What happened to “love thy neighbor” and “turn the other cheek?” Evangelist Fisher suggested that if Harry Potter were a real person, and if he had been alive in the “days of the Old Testament,” he would have been strung up and killed. Her audience actually clapped at the thought of killing a child! (I just started reading the last book yesterday, so please don’t tell me if Harry Potter goes “bad” ). The pastor tells the children they can change the world — great. Does she teach them how to help and comfort the poor, heal the sick, clean up the earth? I didn’t see any evidence of that. Everything is pray, pray, pray. Where was the “DO”? One of the homeschooling moms in the movie was so proud of the fact that her son didn’t believe that man was the cause of global warming. Ah, that’s a good reason not to “DO” anything to help the earth. Oh, well, if there is pollution, perhaps praying about it will solve the problem.

My aunt and uncle are born again Christians. When they were having financial trouble, I asked them, “What are you going to do?” My uncle’s answer was, “We are praying.”

My childhood rabbi once relayed this story: There was a terrible flood and a man was forced to go on to his rooftop to avoid drowning. While he was on his roof, he prayed to God to save him. Meanwhile, two strangers in a row boat came by and asked him if he wanted help. He replied, “No thank you, God will provide for me.” Next, the Coast Guard whizzed over and invited him on the boat. To them he replied, “No thank you. God will provide for me.” Finally, when the water was almost to the top of his roof, a helicopter with a ladder hovered over him “No thank you!” he shouted to the pilot, “God will provide for me.” After he drowned and met God in heaven, he asked, “God, why did you forsake me?” God replied, “Forsake you? I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?”

My thoughts: Prayer is all well and good, but actions are more important! I used to carpool with a born-again Christian. I asked her if I was going to hell because I was Jewish. She meekly replied, “Yes, sorry.” I inquired, “Even if I devote my life to helping others and never break a single commandment? Even then would I go to hell?” “Yes,” she answered, “because you must believe that Jesus died for your sins in order to go to heaven.” Ouch! What does that mean for poor Mother Teresa (since it recently came out that she had her doubts about God)? If she’s not going to heaven, I guess I don’t stand a chance. If you are a believer or a non-believer, it is all the same to me. Just get out there and DO something positive. Help yourself, help others, help the animals, help the earth. Hey, since so many of us are not going to heaven anyway, let’s make our heaven right here on earth (this is probably pure blasphemy, isn’t it?)

New Rule: The President Who Starts a War . . .

Let’s amend our Constitution (or the Executive Branch can just say so, to them it is more powerful than our Constitution anyway) to say the the President who starts a war or invades a country, must spend at least two years taking up residence in that country following his presidential term. I’m serious. As you know, I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning (and even registered this position via my unanswered letter to my President, and yes, you are my President even though you don’t want to acknowledge people like me). Now that we have been there and have really f–ked up the country, I’m not sure getting all the way out is the way to go. I do not want any more soldiers to die, but I don’t want us to abandon the country we screwed. What really makes me mad is that we are not letting Iraqis to come to our country. I think, since we messed up theirs, they should be able to seek sanctuary here. Anyway, if the President knows he (or she) will have to live in the country he invaded, then perhaps he will go in with an actual PLAN before invading. Did we make it “safe for democracy?” Heck, no one wants to live there now (except for Iran, which will eventually annex it an then use all those weapons we issued to Iraq against us and anyone who tries to stop them). Phew, I’m done now, at least for this morning.