Saying No and Yes

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.I feel like the person in Hawaii who accidentally pushed the button to alert everyone of incoming missiles last year. My earlier post, “Saying No” was not meant to go live. I composed and scheduled it last week, then had a change of heart. I thought I’d un-scheduled it when I changed the status to draft but apparently not. I have since removed the post and apologize for any inconvenience to those receiving it by email.

Instead of my Tuesday posts, I think I’ll say no to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge, but I haven’t yet made a decision. I’m definitely skipping it this week because I have too many things going on, and there’s a remote chance I’ll lose Internet connectivity later in the week. Here’s the story behind that.

Last week, two days after Christmas, I woke to find no Internet connection. I called CenturyLink, my current provider, but all I got was their automated system, and just when I thought a human being would finally answer, I heard a recorded message saying there was an error or that all circuits were busy. I tried several times that day, and finally in the afternoon, I didn’t even get the automated system. Instead, I got a recording that said the number was no longer in service.

Since I don’t have a smart phone, I had no way to look for information online, so I called a friend who found sketchy information on their Facebook page. Later, she told me she’d seen on the news that the company was experiencing a nationwide outage, which could take up to forty-eight hours to fix. I resigned myself to two more days without the Internet, but miracle of miracles, it started working the next morning.

However, the lack of communication between CenturyLink and its customers during the outage is inexcusable. Even the power company had a message on its phone system during an outage last year, explaining the problem and giving an estimated amount of time it would take to fix the problem. This time, not even CenturyLink’s Facebook page provided useful information about the outage, which not only affected Internet but also phone service and even 911.

I haven’t forgotten last year when I was without Internet for six days. Apparently, it was just a matter of flipping a switch in the local office, but the person in the local office responsible for doing this was away for the Christmas holiday, so that didn’t happen. This is also unacceptable.

Yesterday, I contacted Spectrum, one of the few Internet options available here in Wyoming, and was pleasantly surprised to almost immediately reach a friendly young man with an American accent who was easy to understand, compared to the clipped foreign accents of the representatives from CenturyLink I’ve spoken to in the past. When I told this particular customer service agent I just needed Internet service, that was all he offered me. He didn’t try to sell any bundled packages like the folks at CenturyLink are in the habit of doing. He did tell me about streaming music and cell service, but I explained I could easily stream music with my Amazon Echo devices and that I was happy with my cell service with Verizon, and he understood.

A technician will come next Monday to install my new service. I’ll be paying about the same amount I was before, but I’ll be getting faster service, 100 megabytes, compared to the approximately 14 megabytes I was getting before.

Now comes the hard part, notifying CenturyLink, but I will stand firm this time. I won’t let them persuade me to re-consider with a lower price for my bundled Internet and cell service. It won’t be worth it if I have to endure such shoddy services as I have in the past year.

If they cut me off in a huff, so be it. I plan to finish my online work before calling them so I’ll be covered in case that happens. If you don’t see a Song Lyric Sunday post from me later, that’ll be the reason. I’m ringing in 2019 by saying no to slow Internet speed and bad service and yes to faster Internet speed and better service. I hope you all have a safe and profitable 2019.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Saturday Song: Auld Lang Syne by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Believe it or not, another year is drawing to a close. I hope 2017 was a good one, and may 2018 be the same. Since “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish song, I think it’s only appropriate that we ring in the New Year with a Scottish band’s version. Enjoy, have a great Saturday, and Happy New Year!

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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News from Abbie’s Corner December 2016

Abbie-1

As you read this, I’m flying the so-called friendly skies to Florida where I’ll spend about a week with my brother and his family before returning on January 9th. December was a busy month, as you would expect for a holiday season.

The whirlwind actually started the night after Thanksgiving when Just Harmony, my singing group, was one of many entertainers during the Christmas stroll in downtown Sheridan. We sang at a thrift store run by the local senior center called The Green Boomerang.

A week later on December 3rd, we performed for a Christmas open house at the Trail End Museum here in Sheridan. After that, our appearances came in quick succession: a memory service at Champion’s Funeral Home, an AARP Christmas party at a local senior apartment complex, a Big Horn Women’s Club Christmas party, and a Sunday morning service at Prairie Dog Community Church. We also sang at Green House and Sugarland Ridge.

I did some performing of my own with my guitar. The Monday after Thanksgiving, I did a poetry reading and sang for a cider social at Sugarland Ridge. The Tuesday after that, I sang for the monthly birthday party at Westview. The following week, I performed at Sheridan Manor, the week after that at Green House, and on the 22nd at the senior center’s adult day care facility.

On the 21st, I planned to participate in an open mic program at the senior center, but I was the only one signed up, so I played my guitar and sang for about half an hour while people played cards and chatted. The activities director asked me to come back any time.

I also went to a couple of Christmas parties. December 8th was our Friendship Club Christmas party at Ole’s Pizza and Spaghetti House. We ordered lunch off the menu, exchanged ornaments, and played Christmas bingo. On the 10th, Range Writers had its Christmas party at The Country Kitchen. Again, we ordered off the menu, and we exchanged gifts and each read something to the group.

Here in Sheridan, we definitely had a white Christmas. We already had quite a bit of snow on the ground. When I got up about eight o’clock Christmas morning, it was cloudy, but contrary to the weather prediction, it didn’t look like we’d received any new snow overnight. By eleven o’clock however, as I was waiting inside the kitchen door for the para-transit bus that would take me to the senior center for Christmas dinner, it was coming down. Actually, I think it was blowing more than it was snowing.

Despite the inclement weather, the senior center’s dining room was crowded. The delicious meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, asparagus, fruit, and custard was paid for by a local philanthropist. Someone played Christmas songs on the piano while everyone ate. I ended up eating and visiting with people I knew.

Afterward, as the bus made its way through the storm, windshield wipers at full speed, I wondered if it would have been safer to eat Christmas dinner at home alone. I had a mini beef pot roast from Schwann I could have cooked in the microwave along with some frozen mashed potatoes and green beans, but although it would have tasted good, it wouldn’t have been the same. Once I arrived home safely, I was glad I went.

Aside from my trip to Florida and my usual appearance at Westview’s monthly birthday party, I have no other plans for January. Just Harmony will start practicing music for programs in the winter and spring months. I have a completed full-length poetry manuscript I recently submitted to the National Federation of State Poetry Society’s Stevens Manuscript Competition, and I may send it out to other publishers and then resume work on the short story collection I started last summer, Welcome to Wyoming.

Here’s a song we associate with the coming of a new year. I wish you all a great 2017 and will have more news in February.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.