knowledge

All posts tagged knowledge

Buying a new cell phone

Published November 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

I will say, I am becoming quite the expert on purchasing new cell phones.  Over the years, I have been a customer with almost every major cell service provider.  I don’t have the best luck with phones.  I think it’s because I use them so often, they just wear out when I’m not dropping them into water or inflicting some other damage to them; completely on accident, mind you.

Yesterday, the time had come.  My 11-month old, Note 4, was telling me we were through.  It really hurts when you love your phone and it refuses to reciprocate.  That being said, I started researching my current plan, and found I was eligible for an upgrade.  I found a comparable replacement; same phone, newer model.  Why is it so difficult to just make the switch?  Ok, so I don’t have the best credit, but I do pay my bill.  Well shucks, a deposit is still required?  I’m not really feeling that option. After speaking with customer service, then the retention people (who can pull up my account), being offered a lesser option, and then finding out the representative really has no interest in retaining me as a customer, all goes quiet when I hang up the phone.

What to do….

CALL A COMPETITOR!!!

A girl has to shop around for the best option, right?  Well, the quoted price, was better, lower monthly cost, and it would only take 1-3 days to get my new phone with shipping.  Ummm….hmmmm…my phone is dead.  Last resort…need to go to the teenage hangout, over-priced, too many stores in one location destination…THE MALL!  (que scary music)

I first head to the store that repairs shattered screens.  Perhaps it’s just my battery.  Could be.  Also could be the charging unit. The $58.00 quote to replace the charging unit, not guaranteeing to fix the issue, is what drove me to my carrier’s store. Let’s try to work this out so I can be in touch with the rest of the universe, shall we?  No such luck.  I get a mid-20s kid (yes I can say he was a kid) who wasn’t that sure on plans, was going to charge me more for the phone vs online and I’d still have to pay off the old plan since I didn’t pay the monthly fee to waive the upgrade.  LOVELY!!!

Went to the competition’s store.  It was PACKED!!!  Thinking, “just great…I have to be at a meeting in 70 minutes”.  I check-in and let them know I must leave in exactly one hour.  “We’ll get to you as soon as we can”.  Ahhh, the polite, “sit down and wait you’re turn” brush off.

I was lucky.  I was the second person waiting for assistance and the person ahead of me needed a Spanish-speaking representative, so that bumped me up to first place.  I had been noticing all the indecisiveness while observing the other customers while waiting for my turn.

I witnessed people not having any idea what plans were available.  One woman had to call someone and discuss her options before committing.  Another couple must have gone through every available option.  All of these people were well into being serviced prior to my arrival at the store.  One person concluded their transaction while I was waiting.

It was my turn in just 20 short minutes.  The rep approaches me.  I say, “I need to be out of here in 25 minutes to make a meeting.  I know the phone I want.  You just need to tell me is it cheaper to add on to my husband’s plan or create my own plan.”

He stepped right up to the plate.  Cheaper to go with the hubby’s plan.  “What color would you like?”, he asked.  Simple response, “Whatever you have in stock.”  He counters with, “now that’s what I’m talking about”.

After covering the additional charges, trading in my phone, purchasing the new phone and porting over my number, I was out in exactly 25 minutes!  I didn’t get a chance to swap all my numbers over, but my old phone barely allowed us to factory reset it for the trade in.  I was done before ALL the people being helped when I initially walked in.

There is no excuse for a cell phone purchase to take hours; and yes, I’ve seen it happen.  Take 20-40 minutes to review information on-line, get phone stats, review plans and make a tentative decision BEFORE visiting a store.  Then, go into the store, play with the phones and make that decision while you are waiting for assistance. Ask a few plan-related questions to clarify anything you aren’t sure of when it’s your turn and finish the transaction.  Doing a little “homework” can save you from the rep selling you items you don’t need or want.

I see this as a way to be considerate of others.  Get in, get out and be on your way!  I for one don’t have all day; even if you do.

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QOTD: Topic – History

Published July 18, 2015 by lynn k scott

“Human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.”  (Howard Zinn)

Homeschool and Curriculum

Published May 16, 2015 by lynn k scott

Many people use Facebook as a means to have hundreds of friends, complain about the world or use it as their only interaction with the outside world; my focus is a slight bit different. I now only have a small handful of “friends” (under 30 of them), I primarily use Facebook to buy and sell items and network.

Yesterday, a woman posted she was having a garage sale.  She was a teacher and had 10 boxes of books she wanted to downsize.  If you ever thought no person truly gets giddy at the thought of garage sale, then you’d be wrong.  I adore garage sales and I love going to them when I know they will have specific items.

As with most homeschooling families we may be winding down like public schools.  Summer vacation is on the cusp of summer, yet we have another aspect in our educational world most parents don’t need to consider:  next year’s curriculum. I had already reviewed several “boxed” curriculums, selected the one we were going to use, and started searching for deals to save on the cost of buying new.

When the teacher was able to confirm she had a lot of 4th grade material, my preselected curriculum went out the window. I could hardly sleep that night, because I needed to be there early.  They say the early bird gets the book…I mean worm. Well, I was the first there and the teacher and her mother (a retired teacher), started pulling out all sorts of books for me.

I also kept sorting through the mountain of books and adding to my ever-growing pile of books and supplies.  I primarily kept to teaching books.  Many of them had exercises already in them that my daughter could complete.  While it’s not a Christian-based curriculum, it’s pre-Common Core.  With the family budget being what it is, I conceded that I would download and print the Christian aspects for next year.

The books I received aren’t necessarily a teacher’s manual that would correspond to a student workbook, but there are plenty of options in the books I did purchase.  The woman asked if I minded binders.  She had three of them, full of history, reading comprehension, non-fiction work.  It was sorted, organized and something that would have taken me hours of research, several reams of paper, and several ink cartridges to print out on my own.  Do I need to raise my hand or will a “hell yea I’m interested” be sufficient?

I was able to score some 5th grade learning material as well.  If my daughter needs to elevate her learning next year, I’ll be ready.  I might need to pick up one history book.  However, all in all, I’m fairly sure the materials I walked out of that garage with are easily several hundred dollars.

Not only did I receive books, workbooks, binders, science cards and test prep material, I also picked up some supplies.  I found some study cardboard for project, a table of the periodic elements, a small abacus, a minerals chart with the minerals attached that can be felt and examined.  I found a measurements foam cut-out, miscellaneous shapes and colors (math related), geometric shape models, slices of tree (to see the rings) play money, ruler, protractor, magnets, a compass, patriotic stickers (for projects) etc. I even picked up a brand new game of Mancala.

When all I was said and done, 9 bags and an one hour later, I paid a whopping $53, loaded up my trunk and was on my way. This was not the curriculum I had planned for this year, not even close.  I really needed to put that $53 to other bills; however, I took it as a sign.  It was an immense savings.  Granted, I will have to do a bit of organization and a little more prep-work to utilize these materials, but I believe this was the best decision for our little homeschool.

I will do a couple fundraisers for next year’s curriculum.  Now I can spend the next couple months organizing for the next school year.  My daughter will continue math and language arts through the summer.  It will not be a rigorous summer full of school work, but it will keep her geared toward what she will be learning and we won’t need a week or two of review.

I smiled when I thought about my big score this morning.  Homeschooling allows for flexibility.  This was proven when I was able to choose what materials we’d be using.  I was set on one curriculum, for weeks in fact, and then right opportunity came along, with a bit of flexibility and that was changed in the course of 60 minutes.  Welcome to homeschooling!

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Did you know….

Published April 17, 2015 by lynn k scott

Did you know that one, you should never forget your phone at home when you go out, even for an hour?

Did you know, while you are out, your uncrated dog can trip your home security alarm?

Did you know, it wasn’t his movements that tripped the alarm?

Did you know, when you have a breed, who is half German Shepherd (GSD), they tend to be a bit protective, esp. in the house?

Did you know, if your protective GSD mix perceives a threat or sees an animal in your backyard, and he rushes the window, it trips the alarm stating “glass breakage”?

Did you know we got home in time to cancel the police response that a certain canine prompted?

Did you know a certain GSD mix will return to being crated when we aren’t home?

Did you know looks are deceiving?

Here is the culprit, trying to eat his canine brother’s new dog dish.  Apparently, it’s meant to be a toy, but no one told this human about that, who promptly removed it from said culprit’s mouth.  Ahh life with canine kids….never a dull moment.

Reeses

                                     Reeses

I feel like a dodo bird

Published April 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

I feel like a dodo bird; the last of a dying breed.  Ok, so the dodo is already extinct, but I feel that when I die out (and those like me), today’s youth will be worse off.  Perhaps, I’m being over-dramatic and old fashioned, but a simple incident today really made me think.

We were out having lunch.  The place we were eating always manages to cross-contaminate (gluten) my food, so I figured, what the heck.  If I’m going to be symptomatic, might as well enjoy what I am going to eat.  I order fish and chips.  Now, here on the West coast, people love tartar sauce (excuse me for a second while I make the ‘yuck’ face).  Back East, there was tartar sauce, but cocktail sauce was more prevalent.

I ask my server if they had cocktail sauce.  He answers negatively.  I then ask if there is horseradish available.  Yes, there is. SURPRISE my dear young chap, you do have cocktail sauce.  You are just inexperienced in the kitchen to know what ingredients make up that tangy sauce.

Before our meal arrives, our server is sent home from his shift and a new waiter introduces himself.  He was told I needed horseradish with my meal.  Again, lack of training.  I had to ask for a small bowl to mix it in.  No spoon was given and the small bowl was half full of horseradish.

Ok, so it appears I am making enough for 10 tables.  Good grief!  I emptied most the horseradish on my plate, added the ketchup, a couple teaspoons of lemon juice, a good mix and I’m done.  Shocking how if it doesn’t come out of a bottle, people are clueless as to how to make something so simple.

As our plates are being cleared, I had to tell the poor chap, “FYI…should you get another request for cocktail sauce, they really only need about a tablespoon of horseradish.”  I lifted the ketchup bottle and told him he gave me enough to make enough to fit into the contents of the bottle.

He laughed.  Said he had no idea, but he wanted me to have enough so he didn’t have to go back to get me more. Really?  Nice gesture, but that’s wasting company product and your job is to accommodate, if need be.  He appreciated learning how to make the cocktail sauce.  We had a chuckle about it.

It still amazes me how little servers know about food.  Today’s servers are not like I was when I waitressed.  I took pride in my food knowledge.  I learned about what I was serving, how it was prepared, what was in it.  The younger hospitality service generation just doesn’t have the same work ethic,

I am like the dodo bird.  When I am extinct, interactions like today, will become a thing of the past.

She talked to me

Published March 25, 2015 by lynn k scott

It’s a double-edged sword watching your youngest child grow up.  While my little one is only nine years old, she is the last of my children.  I’m done.  I have done my Earth-populating duty.  She’s the youngest of five and someone else can pick up the child-bearing slack henceforth.

The other night, while using her “practice” knife (aka a paring knife) to cut tomatoes for tacos, my daughter decided to have a talk with me.  She needed to address some pressing issues.

“Mom.  I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m growing up.  I’m cutting tomatoes, I can make my own eggs, and I’m learning to cook more and more.  You need to work with me.  If I’m old enough to cut tomatoes, I am old enough to cook more on the stove.  I can reach the sink now and do the dishes without a step stool.”

She was so serious; so matter-of-a-fact.  It made me smile she thought she needed to take the initiative and let me know how she’s not a (young) child any more; that I needed let her grow.

I admit, I am a bit sad she’s becoming so independent.  However, not sad enough to begin the procreation process again.  Just making that point clear.  On the flip side of that coin, I enjoy watching her independence grow. My lil miss has been an enormous help in doing daily chores that I just don’t get to everyday.  Granted, she’s motivated by a small allowance, but she still does the chores on her own.  If she forgets, she doesn’t get paid for that day.

Learning to do laundry, learning to cook, learning to shop, learning to make responsible food decisions.  A transformation is taking place and I have a front row seat.  I am in awe and saddened at the same time.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am doing my job in raising a responsible adult, but I miss my baby.  In my baby’s stead stands a young woman who will continue to grow in body, knowledge and independence.

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