Telemarketing Crap

I’ve noticed over the past year, that we have been getting a lot of telemarketing folks. I mentioned this to someone who reminded me that the Do Not Call registry originally expired after so many years. The rules changed in 2007 and once you add your phone number(s) to the list, they do not expire.

I finally got around to taking care of this today after my seldom-used cell phone call one and then the house phone got one.

Go here: https://www.donotcall.gov/
Information about it is here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm

There are exceptions. Businesses cannot add their number to the list.

And some organizations/groups are still allowed to call you:

#28: If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?

No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if you ask a company with which you have an existing business relationship to place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record of the date you make the request.

and

#31: My number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. After I bought something from a company, a telemarketer representing that organization called me. Is this a violation?

No. By purchasing something from the company, you established a business relationship with the company. As a result, even if you put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, that company may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or delivery from it, or your last payment to it, unless you ask the company not to call again. In that case, the company must honor your request not to call. If they subsequently call you again, they may be subject to a fine of up to $16,000 .

(source is same as second link above)

I entered in our house phone (a landline) and our two cell phones. I then got a 3 emails with a link to click to finalize confirmation. Total time was less than 5 minutes. Would have been less but I cannot remember my own cell phone number and had to look it up. I got the 3 emails almost immediately.

Speaking of birds…

Almost two years ago, Lorna and I were outside working in the yard when she saw this fairly large bird land in our bamboo. I grabbed my camera and got several decent images of it. We have no clue what it was. We were making it rather nervous so we left it alone and went inside. An hour later, it was gone.

Because I have so many pictures of it, I’m doing the “read more” thing so the page doesn’t take long to load for those who don’t want to see them. Not that it would hurt my feelings any. Well, maybe just a little.

Continue reading

Breast Cancer Walk

My brother’s mother-in-law, a wonderful woman named Betty, is doing the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk again. She says in her email:

Yes, I’m doing it again – I signed up for the 2009 Breast Cancer 3-Day! I had such an incredible experience doing the 3-Day last year that I’m going back for more. I’m so excited about this event, even though this year I really know what I’ve gotten myself into.

This event isn’t easy, but I promise you, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t believe 100% that it was worth every muscle ache, weary night and training walk!

And her page on the walk site:

I MUST walk again this year to honor my beautiful daughter, Karen. I again must honor her love, her positive attitude, her wisdom, her courage, her dignity her strength, her humor, and her unquestionable faith in God. Karen continues to fight metastatic breast cancer (liver and bones) daily since being diagnosed at the age of 26. She refuses to give up hope in her personal battle and encourages others to give it all they’ve got. We can only hope and pray that researchers can find a cure for this devastating disease. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME in my journey.

So, if you’d like to contribute toward Betty’s fundraising, you can visit her 3 Day Walk donation page. Feel free to tell her Paula sent you.

Misc. Updatages

In my buzz to get prepared for the GCLS Con as well as Real Life events, I’ve been neglecting some websites lately. There’s several I’ve not visited nor commented about here.

Bad news first. My good on-line friend, Winston Rand, died unexpectedly. I have a long list of RSS feeds and I at the least scan over the subject lines at least once every two days. So when I saw the same subject line had been there for much longer than usual, I went to visit his blog, Nobody Asked…. The title of the post was “Voice, Stilled“.

(snip)
Winston…he was a “pretty good guy.” This is how he wanted everyone to remember him.

Actually, Winston was a damn good guy. He was the most honest and caring and giving man I have ever known. I am so fortunate and blessed to have known Winston Rand, to have been married to him for 14 years.

Winston passed away Saturday, June 28, after a 38-hour illness and 3 surgeries totaling 12 hours in an attempt to save his life. His memorial service will be Tuesday, July 1, and will include things you may have seen on his blog, such as his recent post about the styrofoam cup that got tossed about in the traffic of life and found its resting place. His favorite song will be played — “The Rainbow Connection,” by Kermit the Frog, as well as a bluegrass version of Rocky Top.
(snip)

Roomie, what Winston called his wife on his blog, wrote the post. It is a beautiful post and you must go read it (link to full post and all the comments). Roomie is a writer and a damn good one, too.

I was struck numb by the news. Winston was so full of life, so full of crap, that it just didn’t seem possible for him to be gone. But he is. Or, he was. Winston posted another blog entry today titled Bring It On.

(snip)
Now I — and mind you, I am ashes sitting on the end table in the living room — am getting a $360 bill from AT&T for contract termination fees. Too bad, they say. No such thing as extenuating circumstances. They’re sorry I am dead. But they don’t care. I’ve got to pay that fee. It’s a contract, after all. A contract is a legal document. Legal documents go with you to the grave and beyond. They wish they could help, but they can’t. AT&T is a big boy and they aim to keep their side of the bargain.

So folks, I’m back! At least according to AT&T. I’ve got to pay my phone bill till January of 2010. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get my ass, uh, ashes up and together and get out and earn some money to pay that damn bill because, well, it’s a contract and AT&T really needs that $360!
(snip)

Sheesh. So even though you freakin’ die, you are still stuck with the phone bill?

***

Next up is some other bad news. Lew Scott is battling cancer. Three kinds, actually. Lucky him is one of those people with this “cancer gene” thingamabob. At any rate, Lew was doing good there for a while, but it seems he is losing the battle he was not going to win anyway. But he is giving it the good fight. His wife, Elena, is a good friend of mine. I hate that she has to go through this. I hate that any one does. You can read the latest over at her blog, The Scott Times. Please keep both of them in your prayers, whatever format they take.

***

On some good news, Sam Andersen is dong great! There’s a recent scare but it came down to a bad reaction to Sudafed, of all things! Sam is the son of another friend of mine, Jean. A little over two years ago, Sam was moving a car and somehow had a bad accident that resulted in major brain injury. Sam is in there but it is difficult to communicate with him due to a long list of reasons. At any rate, check out Sam’s story and Journal over at the Caring Bridge site.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 8, 2006 after a great day with his Dad, and friend Jim from CA at the car swap meet, Sam was involved in an accident within a half mile of our home. He was moving the car to work on a project in the garage..wasn’t going anywhere, and we were shocked to find him missing when the EMT and sheriff came to the door with the news. Sam was wearing a seatbelt..there are no marks on the road..or off..to help us understand what happened. It really doesn’t matter at this point. All we care about is is his returning to us..Sam is 19, the youngest of 6 brothers and one sister..and uncle to Rosie 5, Amelie 6mos, and Lily 4wks. We’re all waiting, Sam, especially Rose.

***

On a non-RSS feed-slash-subscription note, I am writing TWO Butch Girl novels. I can’t decide which one I want to write so I am doing them both. I know, I know, I’m bonkers. But knowing me, and trust me, I know me weller than you know me, I will settle on just one within the week. Or two. Hopefully by my January deadline.

New Magazine

I was cruising my fave crip site, WheelchairJunkie.com, when I found a post about a new magazine. The link lead to an article in The Daily News from Longview, WA.

Spokane 21-year-old starts mag for disabled young people
By The Spokesman-Review
Nov 20, 2006 – 07:16:56 am PST

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Look out O, Elle and Jane. Logan the magazine is here.

From her wheelchair, 21-year-old Logan Olson smiles back from the glossy pages of the first issue of the new fashion and lifestyle magazine for young people with disabilities, aptly named after her.

After all, the Spokane woman is the inspiration and driving force behind the publication. More than two years in the making, the premier issue is set to hit newsstands this month, full of savvy advice, tools for independence, and stories of inspiration.

The words “Because Life is Always Beautiful” leap off the pink cover.

link to article

The article didn’t have any links to the magazine’s website but I easily found it via Google. Logan Magazine is definitely geared to a young female audience. The “Tools for Living” has a large handled eyelash curler. (do women really curl their eyelashes??) Since I am way out of the demographic, I’m not getting a subscription. But I will be keeping track of the website. I’d like to see what the hip crip youth of today are up to.

SF/F Book Meme

This is a book meme my friend Sophia did so I decided it was worthy of my attention as well.

This is the Science Fiction Book Club’s list of the fifty most significant science fiction/fantasy novels published between 1953 and 2002. Bold the ones you’ve read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien *
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson *
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks *
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

My responses are…strange. Seems as though I start a lot but don’t finish them. What I do read, I rarely hate. And, many of those on this list I’ve never heard of. And, there are others that I think should have been on the list. Such as “The Ship Who…” books, The Crystal Singer, and Mote in God’s Eye. No Darkover or Valdemar books either. I’m pleased to see Ringworld and the Thomas Covenant books, but where are The Bio of a Space Tyrant books?

Oh, and I think there should be a “Heard of and always wanted to read but haven’t”, “Never heard of”, “by WHO?” and “Dislike the author and wouldn’t read their books if someone paid me” categories.