Monthly Archive: August 2008

Phony Sprint Customer Support

This post is NOT related to the previous one.

Someone called a short while ago and identified themselves as Sprint Customer Support, and asked for my Security Question.  I looked at the caller ID — and it was NOT identified as Sprint, just had the number.  Wait a minute, didn’t I see that number before?  These idiots have called me before, and I ratted them out at that time.  If you’re a Sprint customer, DO NOT give information to anyone calling from this number:


The lady was very evasive to my questions, and offered to handle the contact via email if I so chose.  I informed her I would be very skeptical getting an email that was no better identified than that call was.  Surprise!  No email.  Maybe I was supposed to give her my email address — but if she was from Sprint, that information is on my account number.  She did not even know my name.

If you page back far enough in my postings, you’ll find this number or a similar one mentioned in another post, I’m sure of it. 

Sprint does not have 866 numbers.  They have confirmed that with me on previous occasions.  If I remember my research from before, someone gave out their information and wound up with a new phone being billed to them (NOT from Sprint).

Caveat emptor.  Indeed.


UPDATE: In the Egg on my Face Department, this number turns out to be a new service center for Sprint in Lenexa, KS.  In the immortal words of Rosanne Rosannadanna:  NEVER MIND!

Phone Service?

Just griping… you don’t have to read this…

I have had cell service with Nextel (Sprint) for some time.  It was the cheapest service I could find.  I got a Motorola i710 with my new service (it was not only free, but they paid ME $100 to take it for one year).  Needless to say, I found out why they were paying me to take the phone.

So I did a bit of research, and found that the i850 was a similar phone but with much better reception.  To get this phone for $50, I had to extend my service contract by 2 years.

That was about 5 months ago.  The i850 got WORSE reception than the i710 did, and within 3 months one of the keys only worked if you pressed it in a certain way.  So I wrote to Sprint and asked what they could do.

Well, I had a lot of go-rounds with various tech support and customer service people, but when I finally convinced them that (a) I do not have transportation, (b) the nearest repair center was in another county, and (c) I was (at least technically) handicapped, they sent me a new phone (and I had to return the old one in a prepaid mailer).  I was amazed to see that the new phone was an upgrade to an i880, which had a lot more features but was still a similar phone.

I then became amazed that the phone would not charge.  After more rounds with tech support and customer service, they told me that this was a refurbished phone, and agreed to send me yet another one… but since I had not sent in my i850 yet I might get charged for it on a bill (they would take it off my bill if that happened, so long as they eventually got all my old phones back).

I got the new phone, another i880.  This one held a charge, so I was happy and mailed back the i850 and the other i880.  Then it started locking up on me while I was trying to place a call or send a text message.  As the days went on, it did this more and more, and the only remedy which worked was to remove the battery, put it back in, and then start the phone again.  So today I sent another email to customer service.

After a few more emails, they have offered to send me a NEW (not refurbished) i880.  I could have ordered another phone, but it would have likely cost me more money.

At any rate, the phone, when it works, is great… and I’m stuck with the service for another 19 months.  Don’t you just love these things?

…and in case you were wondering, I left of a LOT of bitching that happened between getting results…  but have found that yes, Sprint DOES employ some good people, and they apparently are Americans too… I get tired of foreign customer service — I don’t have anything against foreigners, but I know that it means another job left the country.


Well, things are extremely busy right now.  I have been busting my butt on the Homeless Network’s computer project — got one machine finished and another one within a memory chip (on order) of being done, 3 more likely to get done eventually.  AHN also got their CD cashed in and put back in the checking account, and we’re busy spending it as well as possible… going awfully fast though…  among other things, we got annual bus passes for the people who have been showing up on a regular basis, which will save us a lot of money over the monthly passes we have been getting and also protects them from us running out of money for the next year.  (Got 5 passes, 3 of them Handicapped — HC passes are $60 per year, Regular passes are $120).  Also bought a pair of shoes for each of two regular members.  And so on… it never ends, at least until the money runs out.

I get to rest up this weekend (if my schedule does not change), and then go fix some bicycles at Habitat on Monday.

I have started a little tiny business selling malas (meditation beads), sold a couple of them on Tuesday.  The money is going into Pathways Sanctuary and will be used to build my stock.  I spent about $94 on stock a month ago (3,745 Rupees) and have some pretty nice ones.  I need to develop a page to sell them and attach it or link it to the Pathways Sanctuary site.

Haven’t touched my guitar in months.  I really think that part of my life is falling rapidly behind… but then I got a contact through MySpace that a company wants to add one of my songs to their latest compilation CD, which compilations they claim have been quite successful… I get paid with 50 CDs that I can sell myself…

I have not been sleeping well or regularly, and my cycles are way off right now.  I’m as stable as I ever have been, just a bit out of kilter from the sleep issues.  Having a great time.  Hope you are the same.


New Article

For some odd reason, I went to bed very early (for me) tonight… and woke up 4 hours later with my next article in my head for my series, “Door to the Beyond: Paganism and Mental Health”.  So I got up, wrote it up, and emailed it to my publisher,  It should be on the site in about 10 days.  This is my 16th in the series (although one was a guest article).


More Bad Advertising

SmartBalance – Put A Little Love In Your Heart

SmartBalance is a new margarine (read: TransFats) made mostly of Canola Oil.  What, you may ask, is Canola Oil?  Where can I see fields of Canola growing?  The answer is: Nowhere.  There is no such plant.  What is being sold as “healthy” Canola Oil is the oil from a genetically-modified strain of rapeseed (Don’t you love the name? Wonder why they changed it?).  Rapeseed, without being genetically modified, is HIGHLY toxic, and there have been no studies to prove that genetically-modified rapeseed is NON-toxic.  It got lumped on the “GRAS” (generally recognized as safe) list while you (for that matter, nobody except the paid-off “scientists” in the FDS) were not watching. 

Oh, by the way, “Canola” was developed from the words “Canadian Oil”, because the genetic modifications were performed and patented by Canadian scientists.

Why is Canola Oil sold in so many health food stores as “healthy”??? Do they think that genetic modifications made in Canada DON’T COUNT???

If you want a safe, buttery spread — use butter.  It may not be free of fats, but it is free of modified fats.  Better choice, use ORGANIC butter, that way you don’t get all the rBGH with it.  We got sold that margarine was better than butter in the 50s, and have found by now that every component of margarine is NOT better than butter, so why are we just trying to find a better margarine?


More Ahimsa

For those of you who do not know, “ahimsa” is the principle of non-harm.  I have chosen to look at it from the opposite side — not as a judgment or punishment for harming, but a celebration of and taking responsibility for when harm cannot be avoided.

Think about it — even a species which decided to curl up and die rather than harm another living thing is doing harm.  There are the species which it was intended to feed upon which would then be multiplying out of control until another species stepped in or was created to fill that role, the species which may have been intended to feed upon them and now has to find new food sources… even the plant life that was supposed to grow where this hypothetical species lay down and died, which cannot grow in the presence of so much protein and metabolic breakdown… it goes on and on.

As has been said many times before (and not a few times by me), life feeds on life.  If we could all be Breathaireans, even that would do some harm to some part of the ecology we live in. 

For a full discourse of my concept of Neo-Ahimsa, please read my article at Pathways Sanctuary‘s Philosophy page.

Today, while taking a lovely shower, I thought of another extension of Neo-Ahimsa – being grateful for those who lived and died to create new things for us.  At the moment, I was thinking of the early plumbers, who lived to create pipes out of lead to bring us running water — and often died early and nasty deaths from a life of lead poisoning.  I instantly said a prayer of thanks for their sacrifices over thousands of years.  (If you did not know, the Latin word for lead is “plumbum”, and is why the elemental symbol for lead is Pb.)

My thoughts then went out to the millions of workers who lived and died building highways.  I remembered that thousands died alone building one highway from Ouray to Durango, Colorado.  Most of these were virtually slave laborers, but I don’t know of anyone who refuses to drive that highway just because it was built on the backs of slaves.  Under this idea of mine, you would not refuse to drive it, you would utter a prayer of thanks for their sacrifices while traversing this (or for that matter, any) road.

In a nutshell, ahimsa is not punishment or guilt.  It is gratitude.


Dream Notebook

I’m a bit more tentative about posting my dreams here, now that more people are reading them, but I’ve lost a lot due to various computer crashes and have only recovered those I’ve posted in emails and here… so here goes.


I was somewhere looking for Laura.  I drove from one small town to another, and parked my car near a row of houses that ranged from old to primitive, some with 3 or 4 storeys.  After a while I found someone who knew her, and they said she was down at her “spot” and gave directions.  There were a couple of kids who helped or hindered me finding this place, and there was something about the landlord only allowing parking for one hour and charging for it… it took a bit more than one hour to get to this point, and I paid the parking (somehow).  When I got down to the place, it was a pool with an almost-vertical bank of something like moss or clover down to it.  Laura was in the pool.  I don’t remember how I got down to it.  We didn’t say much, or touch, or anything, but it felt good like love.  Then I somehow found out or remembered that I had to get to “Snowmass” right away for some reason.  I couldn’t climb out of the pool without ripping up the banks of clover (I tried some, which distressed Laura somewhat).  After giving up on the attempt (Laura said she didn’t know any other way out of the pool), I looked to my right and there was an absolutely easy path up the bank, not vertical at all.

I had to go to my “room” and get something, then run to my car before the landlord towed it (it was slightly over an hour again).  I then took off…

Next scene I was riding in the back of a large car (like a 40s Ford), with my parents driving and with me, Aianna, and her son Tristan (about age 6 in the dream.  I was kind of huddled down, because for some reason I was naked and didn’t want the other people on the road to see.  Aianna was both disinterested and unconcerned, and Tristan didn’t even notice.  I was reading some magazine alout, bits of it, and there was something that Aianna took as me making a joke about Tristan getting kidnapped, which offended her… as I do care about her, at LEAST in a sisterly way, I was upset that I offended her but did not remember saying anything like that… also, as I was huddled up/down against her, being naked, it made things quite a bit more uncomfortable with her being mad at me.  I apologized as best I could, and finally she cooled a bit… so I quickly kissed her on the cheek.  She said that, apology or not, I was not going to get a kiss out of her, and I said I knew that, which is why I snatched a kiss at her cheek, playfully. 

Apparently my parents were driving us to meet Aianna’s mother (someone whom, in real life, I have not met), who was driving from the other direction and we were to look for her in the range of certain mile-markers.  We were concerned when we got to the range, and started looking harder each time we passed another mile-marker.  Finally she was spotted, and my parents started to pull over, at which point I was even more upset about being naked, I certainly couldn’t meet her mother that way.  I had no pants… except (magickally) those green furry pants by my feet.  Oh boy, these were awful, but I pulled them on.  Aianna was also in a panic, she felt the short-sleeved shirt she had on was certainly scandalous by her mother’s standards… she was more worried about the shirt she had on than about the silly bright green fur pants I had on. 

And the dream ended right about here.  Interesting that I was a rather grown-up 40ish in the first part of the dream and a kidlike mid-20s in the 2nd part, Laura didn’t look like herselt at all (but was pretty) and Aianna looked almost exactly like herself (Tristan was a little fuzzy but was obviously Tristan, although almost the age he was when I first met him 9 years ago), and I never saw my parents while they were driving.

(Note to readers who are less aware of the people in my life:  Laura was my 5th and last wife; Aianna is my “little sister”, who adopted me about 9 years ago instead of wanting to go out with me, and Tristan is her real-life little boy, although he’s not so little anymore.)


There are people who think I’m not as horrible as they are

I hope they’re wrong


That’s my response.  I just received a copy of the PostSecret book.  I’m crying my eyes out… I hope it’s catharsis and growth, but what if it’s just awareness of how awful I am?  Too many of these I could have written, but I probably would not have believed Frank would read them.  I’ve only read the first 10 or so pages.

I will point out that I am making this statement at a time in my life when I have never had so much self-esteem.  It just sometimes feels like I’m lying to myself about that… nobody else wants me…

I want to laugh about this.  I can’t right now.


I got an early jump on my next phase of removing my indebtedness through hard work, with much help and prompting from my mother.  At the end of the three years of this loan, barring any other unforeseen developments, I will have reduced my indebtedness from $17k to $6k, and will only have 3 companies I’m in debt to.  I will not be so pressed against the wall during this 3 year period either, although until it’s over with I’ll not really be eating well.  Will I be out of debt before the End of the World? (re: Mayan Calendar)  Who knows?  But I’m not going to give up.

Read my lips.  No new girlfriends.