Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Telephone Companies

Asked Cathie if the offer of a room in her Grass Valley house next weekend was still valid. "Yes." I may decide to spend the two days at the "Fellowship of Friends" reunion.

Spent about five hours at the Santa Rosa Junior College library today. It's quite a gift to have access to this remarkable, modern facility. I wrote a note to Dr. Andy Valla, an audiologist the Jessica and I met at the UCSF Medical Center. He's now in a private practice in San Rafael. I explained the difficulty Jessica is having with the digital hearing aid, and asked for his suggestions on a course of action.

Afterwards, I stopped at "Chelino’s" for some dinner. Outside, an exquisite day.

At home later, Drew called. "Why don't you get a cell phone," he asked, obviously irritated by my "slacker" status. He regards. this as irresponsible and "passive-aggressive", in that I force others to call me.

As I've often explained, I am ambivalent when it comes to phones. During my travels, I was dogged by two major telecom companies who claimed I had unpaid balances, even though I provided evidence that my checks were received and cashed by the companies. The accounts were simply not credited properly. The confusion was entirely due to administrative screw-ups resulting from merger activities and the transfer of accounting books. That did not stop one of the carriers from sending my account to collections. I still receive notices that I'm in default!

The telephone utilities are inefficient, nightmarish bureaucracies. I cringe any time I have to deal with them. The fact that they left a live telephone line into my apartment (incoming access only), which I can offer others as a way to reach me, does not in the least trouble my conscience.

Drew is suffering from a severe case of gout, forcing him to idle his right arm. This is a major problem for a writer!

This evening, I stepped out into the dark. The wind carries the fragrance of wild grasses drying on the surrounding hillsides. On the road, this experience was part of every day. "You can have this, if you want."

Watched a couple of movies tonight: Deliver Us From Evil (concerning child abuse in the Catholic Church, and efforts by the leadership to cover up the problem - not unlike Congress!) and Little Children, a well-crafted, well-acted, but very disturbing look behind the veneer of suburban life.

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