There’s a little March Madness in the air and it’s not just on the basketball court.
Mother Nature’s shenanigans lately are leaving us longing for Spring, even though the weather we’ve had the past two days IS more typical for March. We sure were spoiled by those balmy days back in February. Here in Southeast Michigan, we are lucky our March madness was no “snowmageddon” like Winter Storm Stella. For the second day in a row, I suited up in warm clothes, slipping on the snow boots instead of walking shoes, just like most of you.
When I opened the screen door, I glanced over at the big thermometer on my neighbor Marge’s back deck, and noted it was 20 degrees, just like the weatherman said, but, in reality … the wind chill made it feel like only 3 degrees. It was so blustery and cold, and where did that three-foot-high snowdrift in front of the door stoop, and all along the side of the house come from? I had to high-step out the door over the drift, and hop out. Soon my booted feet felt the crusty ice patches below the snow. Ugh!
Nope, this white stuff is not going anywhere soon.
I was already feeling miserable before the storm door slammed shut, muttering under my breath “this is for the birds!”
But, even more miserable than me, was one of those very birds, a plump robin who was perched on the top of the cyclone fence, feathers puffed up in an effort to bar the brutal cold from its body. Though robins are not my favorite species of bird, (as you well know if you are a long-time follower of this blog), my heart did soften a bit when I saw him sitting there, as I do feel badly for any of our backyard critters who must survive in these Winter elements. Marge told me that after the wicked wind blew through last Wednesday, only one of the many squirrels’ nests remained in the huge trees in back of our houses. The wind tore the rest down and scattered them in neighbors’ backyards. So, this morning, I glanced up toward the sky, to those bare branches in the massive trees, to see if replacement nests were already in place – there were none. Well, obviously there are no warming centers for squirrels, so where do they hang out in this freezing weather? I am curious about their welfare, even though I am not inviting them in for coffee and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anytime soon. My heart is not quite THAT warm.
So, are you all over the time change nonsense yet, or did the snowy weather just trump EST’s exit and DST’s arrival? I reset all the clocks on Sunday and did not have to bother with the car clock. I will confess that I left it the same way all Winter, after asking the tech to set the time when the car was at the dealership for its last recall. Maybe by November, I’ll consult the manual and make myself a cheat sheet on setting the clock, to keep in the glove box, like I did with the Regal.
While I am comfortable with computers, and able to deal with most of the quirks that come with the territory, it is the other techy things that throw me for a loop sometimes, and those categories waver between “high-tech”, “low-tech” and “no-tech”.
Like my cellphone for instance.
Now there’s a story that still confounds me.
Last week I was sitting here in the kitchen, working away and minding my own business, when I heard that familiar singsong noise, the one when you turn the cellphone on or off. Okay, fine and dandy … except I was here, the phone was a room away, and I ALWAYS keep the phone turned off. I frowned, shook my head and thought perhaps I imagined that noise, so I dismissed the incident. But, the next time I got out of the chair, curiosity got the better of me, and I went down to my room, took the phone out of the case, and, it had indeed turned itself on and AT&T had left me a message. Hmmmm. What was even stranger, is that there was only ¼ worth of battery power left in the phone, though I rarely use it and charge it regularly. For the most part, that phone rarely leaves my fanny pack, where it is strapped on, for any emergency that might come up while walking or running errands.
So, I turned the phone off, put the charger on it, and six hours later, it was only charged halfway. The following day it kept turning itself on and sending me messages about how many minutes I had left, and it kept depleting the battery. Exasperated, I knew Meijer had a big sale on Saturday so I decided I would get a new phone.
At Meijer, I perused the selection of simple phones, picked one and went to the counter to get some help. The girl was friendly and when I told her about the cellphone-with-a-mind-of-its-own issues, she suggested I remove the battery cover, take out the battery and ensure there was no dust in the battery cavity. Me, the skeptic, said “okay, I will try that, but I’m going to get this new phone anyway for now, since it is on sale … just in case that idea doesn’t work.”
I had not yet tried the sales associate’s “fix” for the glitch, when Monday at mid-day, the phone was up to its hijinks again, but this time it was chirping with a red icon that announced there was zero battery life. Annoyed and frustrated, I figured I’d try her suggestion, and, if it didn’t work, I’d pull the battery out for good until I could get to the phone store. I did the “fix”, charged the battery and woo-hoo … the phone was as good as new in an hour! This low-tech trick fixed the high-tech glitch … so, now what the heck do I do with the new phone – keep it or take it back?
Which leads me to another story …
This phone was the first electronic device I have ever purchased at Meijer, as anything else in the past has come from Best Buy. So, when the helpful young miss unlocked the phone from where it was hanging, she handed it to me and I walked to the cash register at the electronics counter. She noticed my full shopping basket and said “you can pay for the phone when you check out if you want”, so I thanked her and off I went.
I only use the U-scan when I go grocery shopping, no matter how many items I’m purchasing. I can triple bag, or pack things the way I like, to make it easier to unload at home. So, I scanned my way through the items in the shopping cart, all my wonderful buys at the big sale, and then I got to the cellphone. I walked over to the U-scan station clerk and asked for her help. She unhooked the anti-theft device and handed it back to me, so I promptly put it at the end of the belt with the rest of my already-scanned items. Of course, I assumed that by virtue of unlocking it, she had scanned it in as well … and, if you use the U-scan line, you know if you are mindlessly scanning lots of items, and put one on the conveyor belt without scanning it in, the machine is savvy and will let you know you made a mistake by flashing a message … it’s a sort of silent hand slap.
After I fixed the phone, I decided I no longer needed this new phone. So, I went to dig out the receipt and see if there was any policy on returning electronics spelled out on the receipt. Imagine my chagrin to see the phone purchase was not on the receipt! The girl didn’t scan it in … but, neither did I!
Well, Mama raised me right, so I called Meijer and asked for the store manager. Breathlessly, I explained my faux pas, then said “please don’t send a pair of Lincoln Park’s finest to my door before I can get back to the store, and, that would be after this snowstorm is over, okay?”
He heard me out, laughed, and thanked me for my honesty, then told me to come back whenever I wanted to, and not to worry about this issue. Whew! I even offered my credit card number to transact this purchase over the phone, but he said he could not take it verbally – it must be done in person. He asked for the model number of the phone and said he’d leave a note at the customer service desk. He conceded that there was a definite technical glitch and someone needed to check out the U-scanners ASAP.
Yup, I agreed, then added “this high-tech stuff just kills me sometimes.”
So, let me see if I’ve got this scenario right … I take back the phone that I never bought, but just hand it over at customer service with no money or credit card tendered. Kinda/sorta makes no sense does it? So, I think I’ll just buy the phone, then keep it in reserve to make everything a whole lot easier.
If all life’s problems were solved so easily – no Plan “B” would ever be needed, and oh, how simple life would be!