Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Back Pages: Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham...

My Back Pages: Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham...: I left my house and realized that I had left my phone behind. I asked Sheryl to run it down to me on her way out. After I left, I still had ...

Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham

I left my house and realized that I had left my phone behind. I asked Sheryl to run it down to me on her way out. After I left, I still had this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. Driving down to Mount Vernon, I noticed that New York State has now purchased a fleet of smaller, unmarked, SUVs for the purpose of traffic code enforcement. This is just to let all who travel the highways of New York State, these SUV's are very nondescript and that the way that they are being placed on the highways makes them look even more like a regular citizen's vehicle. Anyway, not far from where I got on, there was very large, reddish brown coyote on the shoulder, much bigger than the coyotes that I am now so used to seeing in the area.
 All the way down to Mount Vernon, I kept having this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. I just couldn't shake it. I pulled up to my Aunt's Apartment house and called her. While I was waiting for her, I checked and rechecked everything that I normally carry with me. Everything checked out. My Aunt came down, and I told her my feeling of missing something. She said "Well, let's go get breakfast, and maybe it will come to you."  I drove into Pelham and, as usual, there were large box trucks double parked up and down the street. I saw a space while I was waiting for the light to change, but someone came out of the side street and took it before I could get to it. As the light changed and I continued down the street, I noticed that there were several parking spaces on the opposite side of the street, so I looked around quickly for a place to turn around. There was no traffic coming in the opposite direction, so I pulled into a small parking lot to turn around. Just as I did so, I heard "Whoop, whoop" and the police officer who had been behind me, flagged me over. I pulled into the parking space, and he began to lecture me about pulling a U-Turn when It was clearly marked that no U-Turns were permitted! (It Wasn't) I explained to the officer that I had not seen and signs, and he wave his hand vaguely at the street and said "They're all over the place! I don't know how you missed it. But, I'm in a good mood this morning"  (You could have fooled me, since his ears were bright red and he was yelling at me like he though that I was deaf.) "I'm going to give you a warning this time. One warning, that's it! Next time, I'm gonna give you a ticket!" I contritely thanked the officer and promised to sin no more, well aware that there were plenty of people out there willing to stone me to death for my offense. I put money in my meter, and took my poor, traumatized Aunt Mary by the arm and went in for breakfast. Aunt Mary said. "Signs? What signs? There's no signs anywhere. I was going to give him a piece of my mind if he gave you a ticket!" Aunt Mary may be  96, but she's still full of fight, and she had her cane with her today. I silently thanked the powers that be that all the cop did was yell at me. I didn't want to think of what would have happened if he had done more.
 So, we had a nice breakfast, sat and talked about things in the world and how much better life used to be. (The same thing my grandfather's generation had said 60 years ago.) When we came out to the car, there was a ticket on it. I looked, and it said invalid registration. Now, I have a handicapped sticker, but not an invalid registration.... wait.... she meant 'Expired'! Now, I knew what had been nagging me since I left home. I had the new sticker sitting next to the computer at home. It had come yesterday in the mail, and I was going to put it on before I left the house this morning.
 A worker came out of one of the stores and told me that if I went directly to Town Hall, they would either cut my fine in half, or throw it out... so, off i went.
 Pelham Town Hall is, to put it mildly, not hive of activity. The town clerk sat dozing in front of his computer just inside the front door of the building. After several minutes, he roused himself from his torpor and I explained what had happened. He asked me if I had the new registration with me. I told him, no, if I did, it would have been on the windshield, where it belonged. I told him that I could access the receipt through my iPhone. "No, I'm sorry sir, that will not be enough. It's going to cost you $20.00"  I reached in my pocket and pulled out some bills. I peeled off one twenty dollar bill and handed it to him. "NO, sir." He said. "I said $40.00" And he handed me back my twenty. I found another twenty and handed both to him. "I'll give you a receipt." He said and wrote one out. I thanked him, he grunted something unintelligible to me, and went back to nodding off.
  I took Aunt Mary on her errands, the whole time feeling like a wanted criminal, and thinking that, at any moment, a swat team of police would block me off, order me out of my car and handcuff me after they had made me lay, spread eagled on the ground. I pictured Aunt Mary swinging her cane like a latter day Davy Crockett at the Alamo, before being subdued by a Taser. I breathed a sigh of relief once I dropped her off. She was still mumbling about the "Damn cops..." as she got out of the car.
 Driving home, I felt like I was going to be stopped at any moment by one of the Statey's that sat along the highway. Luckily, I made the return trip without further incident. That was my morning. I hope everyone else had one that was at least as much fun as mine! Just kidding, friends. Have a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Verizon Showing It's True Colors Again. (And they ain't red, white, and blue)

You've got to hand it to Verizon. For chutzpah, they manage to exceed every other greedy corporation out there. Today, they have announced a rate increase for all FiOS subscribers. They are increasing the download speeds for some, while increasing the rates that subscribers will pay. Here is the new rate table.

Standard 15/5Mbps service: (Was $54.99/mo) now up $10 to $64.99
50/25Mbps service: (Was $74.99/mo for 25/25Mbps) remains $74.99
75/35Mbps service: (New offer) $84.99
150/65Mbps service: (Was $94.99/mo for 50/20Mbps) remains $94.99
300/65Mbps service: (Was $199.99/mo for 150/35Mbps) now $204.99

For some subscribers, this means paying $10.00 a month for no increase in speed., and for the top tiered speed, you will go to $204.00 a month. Poor Verizon. It seems that it just cannot get by on the record profits that they are already raking in, they need to stick it to the consumer more. This, on top of cutting more jobs in the US, and shipping more jobs overseas, and the recently announced rate package for Verizon Wireless Data packages and the end of unlimited data options. Meanwhile, the silence of congress on the job drain is deafening.
Thank you, Verizon, for being such a Patriotic Company. You do so much to help ensure that America's economy continues to stagnate for the average American Citizen, while some profit from the suffering of others. You look to squeeze your workers more and more. You wish to desert your retired workers, and take from the them the health care plan for which they all worked over the years. You look to abandon the traditional  Land Line Business which enabled you to get to where you are today, citing the route that technology seems to have taken the business. Forget the fact that millions still rely on these lines as their only means of communication. Even with your FiOS service, you seem to have stopped expanding it, because you are in negotiations with Comcast to turn the FiOS business over to them, and for them to offer Verizon wireless as part as a Quadruple Play. This would start the Verizon retreat from offering wired services, to eventually offering only wireless.This  will be lucrative for both companies, but a disaster for the consumers. So, as you continue on your mission to rip off the consumer, and turn your back on the American Worker, I have only this to say to you: "Terrific! You make me proud to have worked for you!"..... Not!