Coffee heat rising

Another Day to Cope With….

One of the joys of old age seems to be that almost every day of your life is filled with hassles, most of them entailing trips to doctor’s offices or efforts to keep your personal infrastructure running. Today’s menu includes both of those.

Something has happened to my ancient land-line phone. When I’m talking to someone, they complain that I’m “breaking up” and they can’t hear the conversation. I have no problem hearing them, so apparently the issue is with the out-going function, whatever that is. Cox, after a long and annoying runaround, agreed to send someone out to try to fix it. Which of course he’ll be able to do only if the problem is with Cox’s lines, not if the problem is the gadget itself.

He’s supposed to appear between 8 and 10:30. Let’s hope (against hope….) that he actually shows up in that time frame. Because I’m supposed to appear, too: at the dermatologist’s office, an hour-long drive across the city. I’ll have to leave here by about 11:30 to get there on time.

So there’s exactly no wriggle room there.

A signal joy of old age, at least for people who have lived all their lives in sunny climates, is that your skin sprouts carcinomas like an Ohio farm field sprouts corn. Since the last time I saw Dr. Derm, I’ve developed at least three and probably more spots that will have to be cut or frozen off. Whee! I can hardly wait.

If the Cox guy says the problem with my phone is the devices, then I’ll have to stop by a Best Buy and pick up another set of phones that don’t make me crazy trying to work them. Assuming such phones are still being made….

The ones I have came from Costco. There’s a Costco on the way back from lovely Avondale, but it’s in a part of town where I’m not at all comfortable getting out of my car. Plus the first (and last) time I went into that store, their staff was astonishingly rude to me…. So I’m not about to go back there.

If I have to buy another phone, then, I’ll have to go to the Costco wayyyyyy up on the freeway, halfway to freaking Flagstaff, or the one all the way over at 44th street. I’ll be spending the dermatologist’s time at 107th Avenue. Streets in Phoenix are on the east side of Central Avenue; Avenues are on the west side…that’s 151 blocks of hectic city traffic to contend with: a good 20 miles from my house. The Costco I usually go to is 23 miles from the derm’s office and 9 miles back from that Costco to my house: 32 miles through crazy-making, dangerous traffic. In the rain.

The likelihood that I’ll be able to find a new land-line phone is slim to none, o’course. Most folks have thrown those out and replaced them with cell phones.

Now…that’s nice….except….

a) I am all learning-curved out. Try as I may, I can NOT figure out how to use the expensive iPhone my son gave me a couple years ago. He gave me the phone just as the plague was coming down on us. Result: the classes on how to use it that took place in a local senior center were shut down. They’ve never resumed. The class that the Apple store offers, wayyyyyy to hell and gone on the northwest side of town, was a ridiculous joke.

b) It’s another thing to lose. If I don’t set it down in the SAME PLACE every time I pick it up, I’m going to lose it. That’s not a “maybe.” That’s an “absolutely positively.” Then I will spend heaven only knows how long banging around the house and the car frantically searching for it…give up…and finally several days later — after I’ve bought a new phone — find it. This is not a device that works for old folks, for people whose lives have any distractions whatsoever,  or for those who aren’t memorizing every goddamn step they take as they move through life.

c) It’s something else for phone solicitors to pester me with. I’ve managed to block most phone soliciting on the land lines (at the expense of blocking all incoming calls from the west side and from many area codes).

I get up to ten nuisance phone solicitations every day. Blocking area codes and certain prefixes cuts this to two or three pestering calls per day. My phones are set up to minimize that harassment.

Change my number over to the iPhone and…yeah. Here we go again!

It appears you can replicate the area-code blocking on an iPhone, sure. But you have to pay for the privilege! Natcherly.

Lordie! It’s after 7 a.m. Gotta start running…


P.S. Just to frost all those cakes, I go to let the dog out and find…it’s raining!

Ohhhhh Hell & damnation. It’s hard enough to schlep to the far, far west side under the best of circumstances. But to do it while dodging around repairmen AND coping with the homicidal drivers on slick, wet roads…dayum!

I may have to call the dermatologist and reschedule, if they’ll allow it.


Cox guy in. Cox guy fixes phone. Finds defective cable. Fixes. Cox guy out.

Meanwhile, adding a litle chaos: pool dude in, pool dude paid, pool dude out. Dog gets into pool area but, for a miraculous change, does NOT fall into the (icy-cold!) drink.

Doctor’s appointment canceled: saved from THAT unholy hassle.

Lost iPhone found. Plugged back in.

It’s ten minutes to ten.

Now…if the dust will just settle….maybe I can have breakfast???

4 thoughts on “Another Day to Cope With….”

  1. OMG, you did all that before breakfast?!? You better than me!
    I have a cell phone but it’s not a smart phone. I can’t afford one and I don’t need one at this point in life. I have exactly three places where I put it down in my home. The bookcase in my living room, sideboard in the foyer/front room, bedside table. I no longer have a landline, so I’ve got to keep up with this one!

    • Wellll…. B’fast didn’t happen until nigh unto 10 a.m.

      My son gave me the smartphone, which I also would not be…uhm…inclined to afford. But, being wise in the ways of son-hood, he refused to teach me how to use it. About three days after the gift, the senior center up the street that offered iPhone lessons to Old Buzzards closed. And since most people think using a smartphone is akin to breathing, I’ve played Hob trying to get someone, anyone, to show me how to use it.

      I’ve marked the set-it-down places with small dishes. These serve effectively to remind me to PUT THE DAMN THING DOWN WHERE I CAN FIND IT!

      All that notwithstanding… What a brave new world we live in. 😮

  2. I had the same experience when I got my new iPhone, as did my brother. Fortunately, I have a tech savvy friend who always has the latest gadgets. She showed me the ropes and, by using it regularly, I was slowly able to figure out apps, texting, etc.

    My brother paid a young person of his acquaintance $40 to clue him in and answer his questions.

    • Hmmm…. Now THAT is a good idea. The neighborhood web page is awash in young folks, this being a fast-yuppifying place. Maybe I could put one of them up to showing me how to use the gadget. Trade them their smarts for, say, my cookies or chocolate fudge. 😉


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