Monday, February 25, 2013

Verizon and Dumb is Foreveer

     A couple of nights ago, around 8:00 PM, the doorbell ran.  "Who is it?"  A muffled voice answered "Verizon."  We said, "if it's important come back when it is daylight."  So, two days later, the doorbell rang around 4:30 PM.  Still daylight.  "Who is it?"  "Verizon."  So I opened the door and a "young blond woman" said that she was from Verizon and did we want to save some money with our Verizon bill.
     I asked what we had to do to save the dough, and she then pulled out a small computer and started entering data.  At that point, a young man came by and she asked him for "the code."  I bristled.  It was cold.  The door was open.  She was sitting on my steps.  "Why weren't you prepared?"  I asked.  "You knew you were coming here.  You should have had this all done before you rang my bell."
     "I am prepared," she said.
     I changed the subject and said "where did you go to school?"  She said that she graduated from Temple and when prodded, she said that she majored in PR.  Then she asked me what kind of work I did.  I told her that she would never understand.
     I hung around the open door, a little longer until I was really freezing, and I saw that she was no closer to telling me how much I could save if I did something that she never revealed. Then I told her never to come back and shut the door.
     If she thought that she was going to make a sale, or sign me up, or earn a commission by irritating me, she was very wrong.
     I have to agree with Judge Judy:  beauty fades, dumb is forever.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

City Avenue Special Services (CASS)

     When I first heard the proposal for CASS, I questioned my long time high school friends Joe Manko and Lita Cohen.  I could not understand their enthusiasm for creating this political haven for politicians who had no other job or job prospects. They were unable to explain their rationales then, and they still can't.  Their premise was that there would be a decrease in crime, an increase in property values, and we would all get together, hold hands, and applaud.
     As far as I can tell, there are still bank robberies, store hold ups, house break-ins, car thefts, and beggars.  Just check the police blotter every week.  The men and women in their red jackets ride their bicycles up and down the streets, and sign in and check in at the stores.  Big deal!!!  I asked them what they do and they bragged that they give directions to people who ask them.  Another big deal!!!  I do that all the time and I don't wear a red jacket or get paid by this boondoggle.
     More of my anger has surfaced since the CASS hired Miller Brothers Electric of Conshohocken to put in new lamps and lighting on Bala Avenue.  Seems harmless enough even though the company is not a Lower Merion Company.  But, in the course of their street and electrical work, they damaged our house.  The house shook violently, the walls in the kitchen cracked, I ran outside to ask them to stop, they didn't.  A few days later, 3 people from the company came into our house to "explain" what they were doing, as if that would magically stop the vibrating, and fix the cracks in our walls.  Our LM Commissioner was here too.  He heard and felt the vibrations and saw the damage.
     Seems, like this should be a simple fix; however, our insurance company, Allstate with whom we have had our policies for 50 years, and who we have paid for 50 years, said that we are not covered.  And, since CASS hired Miller Brothers Electric and not Lower Merion Township, our community representatives are trying to deny responsibility.
     We have been tax payers, in our same house, since 1969.  What gives?  And, every  year, we receive a letter from CASS saying that if we are the owner/occupiers of our house, we don't have to pay CASS any additional money.  That's good.  I don't see what CASS is doing to deserve any money or any more good feelings or cooperation from Lower Merion.  Lita Cohen and Joe Manko have removed themselves from representing Lower Merion.  Now it's time for the new representatives to remove Lower Merion from CASS. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


     In 2010, during one of our trips to Wisconsin, we toured Hooks Cheese Company in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  We received the tourists' tour of cheese making and sampled their famous cheese.  Their Colby cheese won 1st prize in an International Contest but our favorite was the 10-year-old cheddar.  We also bought bags of cheese curds, those freshly made bits of cheese that separate during processing.  Delicious.

     We are reminded of our excursion because of an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer titled "He's got a way with fried cheese curds."

Doris Duke

     Today's New York Post writes about Duke's teen kin that can't pay tuition.

     We were lucky enough to tour Shangri La, Doris Duke's 4.9 acre estate in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head.  This gorgeous mansion, a tribute to Islamic Art is maintained by the Honolulu Academy of Art.  The major domo, Jinadasa deSilva, who was in charge of the house during her lifetime, told us that Doris Duke's father gave her just one piece of advice - "trust no one."

     Her father died in 1925, when she was just 13 years old.  She was left in charge of his vast 50 million dollar estate which she grew to 1.5 billion dollars.  Doris Duke never cared what anybody wrote about her.  She never agreed to interviews and therefore, one cannot separate truth from fiction.

     We do know that she was very tall, over 6 feet, and very blond.  She was an expert swimmer and diver and had an Otis designed moveable diving board installed at her pool.  One push of a button raised (or lowered) the diving board.  She enjoyed the company of Duke Kahanamoku and his family.

     She married and divorced James Cromwell but they never had any children.

     We were curious about Islamic Art.  It turns out that there are no representations of humans, only animals and flowers.