silver linings of polio and other travel tidbits

While searching for some travel items on Amazon, look what I found! I typed in “travel accessories”, in case you want to try it. I’d be curious to see if you come up with similar items.

Product Details

Simran SM-60 Universal Power Strip 3 Outlets for 110V-250V Worldwide Travel with Surge/Overload Protection by Simran

(Okay, that makes sense, but not for my needs. Let’s continue.)

Rick Steves Travel Gear Clothesline by Rick Steves

(Again, okay. I’m skipping the photos, since you get the picture:). It’s a rope.)

iPad Mini 5-in-1 Accessories Bundle Rotating Case for Business and Travel, Green by Gearonic

(Ditto.)
Product Details

Classic Accessories Fairway Travel 4-sided Golf Car Enclosure (Fits most two-person golf cars) by Classic Accessories (Jan 12, 2009)

(Hmmm. What else is there?)

CTA Digital PS Vita Travel EVA Protective Case with 4x Game Storage Pockets by CTA Digital (Mar 5, 2012)

(Boooring.)

humangear Gotoob Travel Bottles 3-Pack Medium 2 Ounce by humangear

(Boooring. Wait–I need that.)

Product Details

Pinterest by Pinterest, Inc (Aug 15, 2012)

  • $0.00
  • Available instantly on your connected Android device
  • Get inspiration from DIY, Travel, Food and other categories.
  • Apps for Android: See all 5 items

I think I’ll stop here. I’m not pinterested. (Sorry.)

I did order a few things for myself in preparation for my travels next week.

I made the reservations back in August, but it’s really hard to wrap my head around it that I’m actually taking off. Now, how to pack for over 2 months with one suitcase and lots of different weather possibilities? Australia was a breeze compared to this.

Israel is a complex country, in case you hadn’t heard. (I’m not going to discuss politics now. Enough people are doing an awful job of it without me joining in.)

Even the weather is complex. It can be gorgeous in the winter; it can also snow. We pray for rain in the winter. I will be there for long enough to have to really mean it. So I have my waterproof boots and shoes (yes, the 7 1/2 in the Land’s End actually is the right size, thankfully). I have layers. Enough to make an archaeological dig.

But I think I’ll skip the golf cart enclosure, although perhaps, if it rains enough, I may regret my decision.

Oh–the title?

Of course, you may have read about a polio outbreak in Syria and in Israel last month. I did, too, but I didn’t actually process that it may refer to me. Even though the Israeli healthcare system (the US should really take better notes) has taken care of it pretty well, it still could be lingering in certain areas. And should I take a risk or not?

I called my doctor and asked should I get a booster shot for polio? Does my blood work show if I am immune? Do you have on record that I had polio as a child? Please make sure to tell the doctor that fact–am I more susceptible because of it, like chickenpox/shingles, or does it create immunity?

Well, in the realm of the added unexpected, the nurse called back to say that the doctor said I was immune because of having it as a child.

Woo-hoo!

Who ever thought that would come in handy some day?

do i wish we could all re-set?

The other day, I went to my Verizon phone store, the one with the guy who could not be more helpful last year. I really needed his help again with my smart-allecky-phone. It was sending me text messages what seemed to be every 15 minutes from 6250 with the message VZWNMN:1. I finally figured out it was every time I received an email. Of course, I tried looking online first. Of course, I tried calling for tech back-up. They said I should just delete my email and then re-set it. I did not want to do that. I didn’t see how that would help with texts. And I just didn’t trust them. I didn’t have a personal connection and I didn’t think that they would succeed, even/especially since the online conversations concluded that they had no idea what they were doing, and even though they said it was all fixed.

So the visit.

When I entered the store, I waited just a little while for my guy to be available, but he had never heard of this before. He wasn’t giving up so easily. He also spent what seemed like an hour on the phone with Verizon tech support, But while he was we were waiting, I was also observing all kinds of other things going on. There was an interesting parade of customers. I would group them in two groups.

First, come the women without a clue.

I was, of course, one of them.

There was the woman who, from the back, looked like an overeager twenty-something, dressed in what I’m sure she thought was the highest of fashion and money. Probably the money was right. She came to ask why her phone was so slow and you can delete messages? And as you can figure out, once she turned around, I saw a woman (I think) older than me, but made me think– was I pretending to be so much younger than I am and who was I kidding? When she left, my guy said, “She’s one of our regulars. But I see that you knew that, didn’t you?”

I did. They were so very kind to her and they were being so very kind to me. I appreciated that even more.

Then there was another woman who came in to buy an Iphone, since she figured it was time for her to have one along with her husband and daughter, but she really didn’t need to have so many things on it, since she wasn’t going to use them, but shouldn’t she have the same thing and maybe she would have use of them? And I remembered that was me when I bought my smartphone last year.

Then come the men with no patience.  Need I say more? Neither did he. I think he likes talking with the ladies.

There was a TV on showing For Rent on HGTV. I do not have cable and I was not familiar with that show beforehand. I don’t think I’m going to look to watch it again, but it was there, so…

What was particularly interesting was that the real estate agent was obviously very pregnant. That’s a good thing to see that a woman can work and be pregnant and not hide behind a couch. Her name is Jody Gilmour, and I see from the google that she has been pregnant twice while filming the series, leading people to believe she’s perpetually with child.

My guy turns to the screen and then says, “Wow! She’s really pregnant, isn’t she? I don’t like to say that to a woman because I could be very wrong and that wouldn’t be good, but that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?”

We women in the store agreed that it was a good idea not to mention it first.

He then went onto telling us how his wife is due with twins this February and they are nervous because nothing is wrong. With their first baby, she had a lot of false positive tests which led them to believe that their baby would have all kinds of developmental problems and disabilities. They couldn’t believe that things would go so well because they realized how Complicated Life Is.

And if he hadn’t said “It’s a miracle that things usually go so well” first, I would have said it. But I assured him that I completely agree.

In the end, he decided that the only way to fix my phone was to re-set it completely.

But we know that it’s much more than that, don’t we?

may this truly be an omen

Surprise! This email actually did arrive on Friday, but after I had shut my computer/phone down for Shabbat.

Dear Mysending, (YES! They got my name right on this one!)

Congratulations! The repair of your item is now complete. Our service depot has shipped it back to you with tracking number: 1Z21A…………………

Please be sure to test out all of your item’s functionality as soon as you get it and if there still are any issues please immediately contact the service depot at the number they provide. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your claim, please feel free to give us a call at 1-877-555-1111.

It’s unfortunate your item failed, but this is precisely the reason a warranty was the right choice. When buying electronics or appliances from any retailer, don’t forget the SquareTrade warranty!

Sincerely,

The SquareTrade Team

Please Note: The bulk of SquareTrade communications are done through email. To ensure you receive important emails, make sure you add this email to your address book.

Now here’s the biggest surprise–guess what arrived today! And guess what has a new unbroken case!

But they didn’t send the really nice cloth that had protected the keyboard.

Which reminds me of a joke:

Smitty:  That’s very cool. The title track, “He Had A Hat,” for those that may not know, talk a little bit about what that means.  It’s kinda funny in a way, but just talk a little bit about why you decided to go with “He Had A Hat.”

JL:  Well, it’s just really a joke.  It’s the punch line to an old Borscht Belt joke, actually.

Smitty:  Yeah.

JL:  And we were just having so much fun in the studio, we were telling jokes and stuff, and it just kinda symbolizes the joy that we had of creating music and sharing music and just having fun in the studio, just hanging out, but anyway, the joke is about a grandmother that takes her grandson to the beach and a big wave comes and sweeps her grandson off the beach, and she’s distraught and she looks up and calls out into the sky like “God, please bring Mikey back.  I’ll do anything, I’ll do good works, I’ll devote myself to feeding the poor, and just anything.  Just please bring Mikey back.”  And all of a sudden a big wave comes and puts the kid right on the beach, and she looks up in the sky and says “He had a hat!”

Smitty:  (Laughs.)

JL:  So it’s just a funny old joke, but it actually has another meaning too, which is….I wear a lot of different hats because sometimes I’m an engineer, I’m a piano player, I’m an arranger, songwriter, I mean, that’s kinda the way it is in this music business these days.  You need to wear a lotta hats in order to survive because it’s kind of a tough competitive environment these days, but we just wanted to put out that vibe of fun and good humor that we had when we were making the record.  That was pretty much it.

another set of real-life emails

The government is broken. A lot of things are broken. I have fashioned 3 drafts of posts that I thought to write this week, one on the legacy of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and powerlessless. One on the Pew Commission and Jewish continuity. Another on to-do lists and their limits.

But I’ll write instead about my laptop.

Did I ever mention how it fell ‘way back in Australia and the case cracked? I had waited to get to a safe time without travels in order to send it in to get repaired.

I did. Three weeks ago, at least now. And I’ve been trading emails back and forth to the company ever since then. Okay, I gave them a few weeks to repair it. They said 5 days. I figured 2 weeks is what they meant.

This the first round of emails:

From: Warranty Help
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 3:47 AM
To: mysending
Subject: Regarding issue:

Hello Mysending,
I apologize for any inconveince caused. 

As per your concern, I have sent an email to our repair depot, to get an update on your claim status.

However, as a courtesy, I have issued you a full refund of the warranty price and the warranty is now completely free for you.

Moreover, your warranty will still continue and is active and in good standing.

The refund will reflect on your account within 3-5 business days.

Square Trade also offers warranty for any electronic item that you will be purchasing from any retailer and retailer’s website within 30days from your purchase date. We also cover eBay purchased electronic items as long as they are within 30days from the purchase date or the auctions close date.

You can also reply to this email or call 1-877-WARRANTY (1-877-927-7268) US & Canada only, 24/7.

Thank you,

Jessie
SquareTrade Care Specialist
re: Ticket [#00035…..]

Your comment:
I tried calling your phone line to find out what has happened to my laptop. I sent it in over 3 weeks ago. I sat on the phone for at least 20 minutes only to be disconnected. Here is my warranty

8/26/2013 – Claim Approved (more….)
This is my response:

Thank you for your response. I don’t really care about the refund, since I paid it in good faith (not that I’m objecting to receiving it), but I just want to know the status of my laptop! Are you considering putting in another way to find out such a status? This seems pretty round-about.

Basically, I need to know the timeline and whether I should be purchasing another laptop before a big trip that I am making. I had sent it in the window that your site had made about repairs. I need accurate information.

Thanks again.

mysending

This is the email I got Wednesday.

Hello {!Contact.FirstName},

I really do apologize for the inconvenience caused.

As per your concern, i contacted the repair depot and got the answer that parts have been ordered and its really difficult to get these parts.

However, they will be delivered and installed by Friday.

Moreover, if the parts are not delivered by Friday then we will simply go ahead and process a reimbursement for you, of the purchase price of the laptop, so that you can purchase a new one. 

I really appreciate your patience and once again I really do apologize for the delay that has happened.

You can also reply to this email or call 1-877-WARRANTY (1-877-927-7268) US & Canada only, 24/7.

Thank you,

{!User.Alias}
SquareTrade Care Specialist
re: Ticket [#{!Case.CaseNumber}]

Your comment:
{!Case.Description}

 I feel like taking a red pen and crossing through all of the mistakes and sending it back to them.

It’s Friday today. Should I create a poll to see how many of you think that I will actually hear from them today?

Should I be happy that they’ve refunded my money?

No! I just want my laptop back.

And for them to use spell-check.

And my name.