Well it’s a balmy 53 degree fall day in Nebraska and both trees in the state are starting to change color. I freely admit that is an exaggeration but if you read my blog, you get my point. Just a quick point that has nothing to do with anything. None of the houses in our neighborhood have peep holes on the doors. When we built ours there wasn’t one and we had to pay extra after closing to get one installed. We live in a very friendly neighborhood and maybe it comes from all those years of living in Michigan, but you don’t open the door without looking first. That just seems like common sense. Some people have big glass windows next to the doors to look through. That lets people see into your house or you have to put up blinds. And if you look through there, the person on the other side can see you so you can’t pretend you aren’t home. I would tell my kids, “If you don’t know who is on the other side of that door and your mother and I are not around, don’t open it. Pretend you aren’t home and they’ll leave.” You can’t do that if they see you. It just seems strange. Oh well. People out here are more trusting. I should like that. I try very hard to not be political in my writings but I can say quite firmly that I will not miss all the political ads and phone calls. I’m on the “Do Not Call Registry” and I still get political and telemarketing calls. I can see why so many people have done away with their home phone completely. They are a pain in the neck and only 1 in 30 calls is actually one I want to take. I find myself screening every call. Remember the days before caller ID when you had to wait for the machine to kick on to find out who was calling? If you wanted to talk to that person you had to hurry to the phone and pick up. The person on the other end of the line knew what you were doing. Caller ID makes it so much simpler to screen. Still, I will keep my home phone as I have relatives outside the country and the cost of calling them on my cell phone is prohibitive. If I recall, it’s about .25 per minute. Just out of college my best friend entered the Peace Corps. and was sent to Guatemala. I was poor and just trying to make it as a newlywed. There I was explaining to my wife that I was going to be getting and accepting a collect call from my best friend (another woman) that night and it was going to cost me $2.00 a minute. For those of you who don’t remember the days before cell phones or deregulation of the phone company, long distance charges were ridiculous. My wife was furious but said I could only spend $20.00. So when my friend called, she had come out of the mountains down to Guatemala City to find a pay phone in the middle of the street with cars passing by and people verbally abusing her. When I picked up the phone and accepted the charges I started by saying, “I can only talk to you for 10 minutes.” Well that ticked her off for 5 of those minutes and then we were able to say a few words before the alarm on my watch went off. (Yes, I had a digital watch.) After I hung up I felt terrible. My friend was mad at me. My wife was mad at me. And I had just spent $20.00 which was hard to come by in order to feel that way. I think of that every time I consider losing my land line. What would it cost if I called Canada? Ouch. I don’t want to be that guy with the stop-watch again. I think it’s better to stick with my home phone and deal with the telemarketers.
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