Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Ranting today

I’m gonna rant for a bit today.  There are days when I feel like I’ve fallen down the Mad Hatter rabbit hole where nothing works the way it should.  My life is more comfortable and manageable without all the modern helpful devices.  Give me paper and pencil.  Give me buttons and dials.  Give me a shopping cart and shelves of product to touch.  Let me see my kids and grands in person not just as a face on a 5 inch phone screen.  Let me push, pull, and use my strength to do everyday tasks instead of showing me how to exercise my thumbs.  Give me the devices we used 60 years ago and I’m in my heaven.  Some days I wish I could find a cave to live in and become a hermit.  Technology is making everyone lazy and ignorant.

Image result for 1940 wall phone clip art free

Do you realize that even in the remotest and the poorest areas of our world; places where there is no plumbing, no power grid, and no stores for shopping that the people have cell phones and internet?  Cross a dessert in Africa and there are cell phones. Visit a very remote village in the Andes mountains and the people have cell phones and computers.  People living in garbage dumps in Manila have cell phones.  People living in cemeteries in the Philippines will be seen with a cell phone.  What’s wrong with this world?

Ok you want to know what set me to ranting today?  It was technology of course.  After being an AT&T customer for about 62 years I’ve decided its time to get a divorce and go with a new phone and internet company.  AT&T customer service is absolutely HORRIBLE!  We don’t even get the luxury of talking to a real person.  Robots answer the phone and robots tell customers to unplug the phone then plug up again which never fixes the problem.  When someone manages to get through to a live person at AT&T the problems only compound.

The real problem is technology.  People cannot think or reason for themselves anymore.  I had a problem with my phone so I called customer service.  After getting past the robot and talking with a live person the problem wasn’t fixed but made worse.  I called again and went through the robot to a live person.  It wasn’t fixed but made even worse.  I called again.  It wasn’t fixed but made the worst ever.  The more times I called the worse the tech problems got.  Soon I wasn’t getting calls from family and eventually I couldn’t call them either.

Image result for 1940 wall phone clip art free

Its strange but at first I had the feeling all my phone issues were deliberately caused by the workers in the call center.  That was before it dawned on me (I should have remembered) how people are loosing their ability to think for themselves.  Reading from a script on a screen is not thinking for one’s self.  Reading from a script that is not your native language must be very difficult.

I called to get changed to Spectrum (USA owned) and it was a very pleasant experience.  No robot hassle at all.  The only robot question was for my zip code to transfer me to a regional office.  It was a very pleasant young lady that I talked with and she answered all my questions.  The appointment for the actual transfer is Friday.  Spectrum has customer service offices right here in Louisville.  The nearest office is only a couple blocks away if I want to talk face to face.

Related image

In the tech world January is the main change everything month.  I’m behind on reading and working with all the new stuff.  This week I received a notice that google+ is going away and all photos will be deleted.  I have to figure out what to do with the photos I have stored there.  Do I even want them?  It will take time to look through them all.  Switching to a new phone service means my email address will change.  That’s going to give me some added frustrations.  My email address is the log in name for almost everything I do on the internet.  PayPal, Amazon, WordPress, yahoo groups, and so forth all use my email address for log in user name.   One by one I’ll have to figure out how to make the change.  I’m hoping youtube will come to my rescue.  Hmm, my youtube account should be changed too.

While I’m making all these changes I might as well clean up my computer and update the security.  I have a couple thousand photos on it and my family tree too.  I have blogs I follow and other bookmarked sites I want to save the addresses.  Just in case you don’t see a post from me for a couple weeks its only because I’m busy reading instructions and switching things over.  Maybe watching a few youtube instruction videos too.

28 comments on “Ranting today

  1. Linda
    March 2, 2019

    I also have a free “Hotmail” email account, and when I changed internet providers, before I made the change to the new provider, I switched my sites to my Hotmail email address. Then when I got the new provider I just went to those sites and entered my new email address. Was quite easy and painless, and I had no trouble logging into anything. I still use the free “Hotmail” email account for some things and it is there when I want to change providers again.

  2. A. L Stanek
    February 18, 2019

    It is 2/18…where are you? Did I miss something about you taking time off? Awaiting another post.

    • Anita
      February 18, 2019

      Thanks for asking. Yes, I’ve been taking a few days to switch phone & internet company. Changing all my email subscriptions for the websites I use frequently is an exercise in patience because the internet times out after about five minutes. My nephew is going to help me next weekend. My daughter had another surgery to get a skin graft. I spend most of my time helping her. I have an update post in the works.

  3. Tracy
    February 18, 2019

    I down-graded my life to manage my anxiety, and just as once I looked for ways to live frugally now I look for ways to simplify and de-stress.

    If vendors won’t design things with me as consumer in mind I don’t want ( or need ) their products. We lived without them before and I can again!

    I don’t like the way the world is, never-ending greed of a few whilst people are suffering, customer service which is anything but, technology embracing constant invasion of privacy, and frankly in the case of for-profit basic rights/necessity things which should not be for sale ( like water, healthcare, education ) exploitation.

    Enough already!

    • Anita
      February 18, 2019

      Thanks Tracy. I’ve been doing the same thing the last few days.

  4. Lilli
    February 7, 2019

    Technology has come a long way and just drives me nuts. My phone needs to be rebooted because the phone company is doing some sort of service something or another. My phone won’t charge until the phone is rebooted.The phone is completely dead. You can’t reboot a dead phone. catch 22 . My phone is now worthless. This company has no live customer service. You have to email them. You then get sent some standardize computer links to 1000 different links to fix your problem. Except, there is no fix. After posting on Faceboom, they offered me two months of free service for my unusable phone. I’m unable to cancel this account. So tomorrow, I will have to call and replace my credit card that attaches to this account so that I do not continue to be billed for a fairly new phone that doesn’t work and I can’t cancel. A competitor fixed my problem. I have a new phone with new number because just to really make me angry, my number can’t be ported over. So I’m out a hundred dollars and I’ve lost my number. I also am now paying $11.00 more a month. There’s just nothing worse than bad customer service. Listen closely and you can hear me growl.

    • Anita
      February 7, 2019

      Yes, I think I heard your grumbles all day here. Oh no, maybe that was just thunder and storms I heard. In the past bad customer service was a firing offense. Now its just normal behavior. The trouble seems to be that we seniors remember our parents teaching us the golden rule. We were taught to be kind and respectful of others. Our minds believe its still that way but its not. Young people don’t know the golden rule.

  5. Cath young
    February 5, 2019

    I’m with you on this. I’m having trouble too.

    • Anita
      February 5, 2019

      Trouble with phone or trouble with tech stuff or something else?

      • Cath young
        February 7, 2019

        All of it. I dread getting a new phone or computer. I fear changes and problems with any of the electronics because I have no clue how to fix anything. Sadly, I’ve become a slave to high tech. My cell phone is a fixture to me. So many people communicate with me via it.

        My cousin moved into a room into the house and wanted cable so we got it. Somehow it appears it has messed up the WiFi as that has intermittent gone out. The signal is definitely a lot weaker even though an automatic “upgrade” was included in bundling the cableceith it andca free modern phone line is included. Compsny is blaming on fsctvI have my own WiFi equipment instead of payjng the monthly fee for theirs.

        I still don’t understand my phone completely. My computer is so slow and glitchy, I should get a new one. But the very idea of transferring everything from old to new scares me. I feel I need to hire someone to set it up for me which cones out to more than the cost of the computer. My kids say to get a lap top but I just can’t assess the advantages and disadvantages

        My cell phone and Comcast (WiFi and cable ) are a huge chunk though my cousin pays the cable part. He has been a God sent in that he helps caretake the house and property and pays a little rent that basically covers my utilities bills.

        I don’t see how people on Social Security or other fixed pensions are surviving. It’s so difficult to repair anything that breaks these days, and expensive to get it done. I know my dryer is on way out (noisy when using, getting louder). The computer had been on my list for a year. I so want a dishwasher or at least have the ancient one that I’m scared to even open that’s in my kitchen replaced with a cabinet because it’s got to have muck inside. I really could use a utility sink; my kitchen one is a single, beat up shallow small one. A grinder in it would be so useful too. But my list just gets longer.

        I think it’s terrific you got a new computer and have it running. Go, Anita! And you make me realize that I’m not alone

        • Anita
          February 7, 2019

          Yes life for seniors grows more financially difficult each year. Especially single seniors.

          We live in a throw away society now and we are expected to replace rather than repair anything. Its not like the old days when things were made to last for years and be handed down to family. These days anything electric is designed to last only as long as the warranty. After the warranty runs out its time to replace. Paying for extended warranty is a waste of money because “normal use wear and tear” is not covered.

          You misunderstood me. I don’t have a new computer. I have an old desktop (tower) computer. You must have thought I meant dust cloth type cleaning but I was talking about going through old files and photos to delete the ones I don’t need anymore and updating the security software to the latest version. When this computer is beyond repair and it becomes necessary to replace I won’t get another one. I will become a tech world drop out. I don’t expect it to last forever but is easier to get fixed than a lap top.

          I believe I remember AT&T bought Comcast/Time Warner after getting congress approval a few years ago. That may be why you have problems. ATT is not an American company anymore. I know you don’t like change but asking friends what company they use and if they are satisfied doesn’t hurt. You might as well get educated ahead of any need. I’m going with the one that had the most recommendations from family. I won’t really know if I’m happy with it until I use it for awhile. You might also want to look into using Netflix instead of regular cable channels. My daughter uses it but I don’t. She told me it saves her quite a bit of money. I believe she pays eight dollars a month.

          • Lilli
            February 7, 2019

            Anita , streaming is a great way to watch tv inexpensively.. Amazon prime has a great tv streaming lineup. We pay 1/2 price using our EBT number for verification. I think it’s 6 or 7 dollars that way . You’re still paying monthly with your regular debit card, the food stamp number just verifies your eligibility. You can Google Amazon medicare/Medicaid discount and it will take you to the link. We pay 45.00 a month for unlimited internet. My one time purchase of 30.00 for a Roku box allows us to stream all kind of stuff and much of it for free. We bought a 12 month subscription to Hulu on Black Friday for 99 cents a month. With many free 30 day trials, you can stream and try many different sites. If you Google free streaming deals, you can find lists of deals. Recently there was a deal where you could pay 25.00 for a month of Sling tv and get a free Roku.

            • Anita
              February 7, 2019

              Lilli, I watch tv for free. I’m not eligible for food stamps. I have a Roku and sometimes watch a Hallmark movie. I don’t really watch a lot of tv. I like listening to recorded books much better. As long as I’m listening and not watching then my eyes and hands can be working on something instead of me just setting.

        • Linda
          March 3, 2019

          A dishwasher would be lovely, but to afford that I would have to give up eating and running the furnace, and I am kind of attached to both of those. Monday the high is supposed to be 9 degrees. So I am washing the dishes myself, at least my hands will be in hot water.
          I have a desktop computer running windows XP, and a lap top running Windows 7, it is a bit slow, but I can get a load of dishes done while I wait for a site to come up. Last winter the freezer stopped working it was almost 40 years old, Good thing it was winter, just put everything in crates in the garage. My kids got together and bought me a chest type freezer for Christmas and my birthday.

  6. Angela
    February 4, 2019

    I am enjoying reading your blog. I see you mentioned Louisville. Are you in Kentucky? I live in Lexington. Spectrum does give good service but the price I pay for phone/internet/cable bundle is really high. Sure wish we had another alternative besides Windstream here in Lexington.

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Well howdy neighbor! Yes, Louisville KY. My AT&T was just under $100 for phone and internet only. Spectrum is half that amount. I don’t have cable tv. I cut the cable cord several years ago and have never regretted it. I use a regular rabbit ear antenna and get 24 channels for free. We call it air tv. I could get 47 free channels but the big warehouse behind my house interferes with the free tv signals. If I could get an old fashion rooftop antenna the warehouse wouldn’t be a problem.

  7. Linda in NE
    February 4, 2019

    I hope you have good luck with Spectrum. Technology changes sure do get tiresome. I finally had to break down & buy a new laptop. The one designed for Windows 8 just wasn’t cutting it any more with Windows 10. Can’t tell you how many times I reinstalled Win10 over the last year because after a while everything would just lock up and battery life kept getting shorter. We have been through several Internet companies here in my small town. After about the second change I got a Gmail account. Constantly getting new email accounts was too much of a hassle and people, especially genealogy contacts, lost touch with me. Much easier to have a separate email address that doesn’t depend on the Internet provider.

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Thanks for the suggestion Linda. I had completely forgotten about my genealogy contacts. I’m going to sign up for a gmail account and send it to them. You’re right it would save going trough a hassle later if things change again.

  8. KAYTHEGARDENER
    February 4, 2019

    Good luck to you, NaNa, on changing all that computer stuff!! I think that it is harder than dieting to lose many pounds!!

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Hee, hee, it sure is.

  9. Donna
    February 4, 2019

    I totally agree with your thoughts and comments! Our laptop got the blue screen of death. Computer guru could not revive it. Years of photos gone. I know, I should have backed them up and didn’t. My fault. So our 11 year old laptop, my best friend which I knew how to use (mostly) with Windows 7 is gone. They don’t make laptops now, they are notebooks with Windows 10. Connecting wasn’t too bad once I figured how to navigate a little. Connecting to my printer was a different story! I tried for a week, everything the paperwork and downloads said to do many times. Finally called when the automated helper only made things worse. A very nice young lady worked for 2 1/2 hours to (finally) get it to work. She was very nice. I hope I never have to call again. Life seems to be getting harder to deal with on every way. Ordered some vitamins online. Foubd out I was charged twice, once for a “precharge” and again when it shipped. The company said the extra charge would disappear in a couple days. Said it was “the way my bank did things”. But my bank does not know anything about that. Good thing it was on the first of the month or I might have been in the red. Never had a charge like that in the last 3 years I bought from them. Had to go through the automated system before finally getting a “human”. Everyone on the other end speaks English with a thick accent that I usually have to ask them what they said twice or more. I used to tell them I could not understand but now I tell them I have a hearing oroblem and they are much nicer. Sorry this is sooo looong. I needed to vent.

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Don’t worry about long comments. It helps all of us to read what is happening to others. Maybe its happening to someone else too. I have a very difficult time understanding people with thick accents. I have to ask for repeats and also tell them to please speak slowly. I try to be kind because maybe they have a difficult time understanding my southern drawl.

      I think the desk top computer will not go away any time soon so I’m going to keep repairing the one I have. I can’t carry it around with me but its great for writing a blog and for working with online genealogy sites.

      I agree totally that life gets harder to deal with everyday. The tricky sale ads are what I hate most. I call them bait and switch ads. The worst ones are restaurant window ads. What looks like a good sale price is not what is pictured.

  10. Ruth
    February 4, 2019

    I’m probably worse off than you when it comes to technology. But I just get my teenage grandson to do whatever I need when it comes to that stuff and he will write down any passwords, etc, that I need to have. Sure saves me a lot of frustration although I know it’s not thinking for myself.

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      I sometimes ask my 3 year old grandson to help make things work at his house. He knows every button and what it does on every device they have. He even knows how to operate the insta pot. When things get so screwed up I can’t find a way out I go to the professionals. Sometimes frugal doesn’t work.

  11. Lynda
    February 4, 2019

    I have one of those old phones in your first picture. Mine is 1950s, black and fully functional. Sigh, our latest visit from the phone man has made it obsolete as now our whole house is gone digital. 😓 Then again, I don’t miss that RIiiiiiiinnnng! Even on the lowest setting it made me jump out of my skin while deep in quiltville and working on my latest creation. Your secret is out. Best not to use your newemailforsignin when you make these changes. I recently read that the best and safest codes are simple phrases. No crazy random alpha numeric, just a phrase that is easy for you to remember with no spaces… I’ve made an example in this comment. 😉

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Thanks for the tip Lynda. My email was the sign in name but I have passwords that no one but me would know or understand. I think a temporary g-mail may help with a transition. Worth a try anyway.

  12. Cynthia
    February 4, 2019

    Argh! how frustrating. We have had Spectrum for a few years now and have been basically satisfied, but it has not been without frustrations either. I don’t envy your having to change all that stuff. Good luck!

    • Anita
      February 4, 2019

      Thanks. Were your frustrations with customer service or something else?

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