It’s impossible to unsubscribe

I ended my little foray into subscribing to out of town newspapers. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to unsubscribe. So I am hesitant to start subscribing to more of them.

I had wanted to get e-newspapers for various newspapers around the country, just to get some idea of what’s going on. You know, subscribe for a few for a few months and then move on to other papers. it’s a trip around the world, or at least, the country. But it’s a chore to cancel the subscriptions.

You call up, tell them you want to unsubscribe and they ask you why. With the New York Daily News I told them, “Because I am in Miami.” And then they go on, “But you should keep it because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” And this happened with the Asheville Citizen-Times and so many others.

With the Asheville Citizen-Times, the woman went on and on and said she could get me the paper at lower cost. And I kept telling her, but I live in Miami. I had only subscribed because I had planned to go to North Carolina this summer, but never did end up going.

She told me her plans of going to Philadelphia changed because of the virus so she understands and then she went on, “But I can get your a lower rate for the Citizen-Times for only ….” Salespeople. Gotta hate them.

When I unsubscribed to the Miami Herald, I received phone calls daily asking me why. One reason was that we had an inept delivery person and when the newspaper didn’t arrive, I didn’t even miss it. What was the point of paying for the newspaper if I never read it?

I am back to subscribing to the printed Herald – they wore me down. I’m expecting calls from the Citizen-Times, NY Daily News and others now.

Eddie Van Halen

I’m feeling really bad about Eddie Van Halen’s passing yesterday. I’m not sure why. I mean I loved Van Halen, but I loved so many other people who passed, but I don’t feel devastated over their deaths.

I didn’t feel devastated over Michael Jackson, but I did over Prince and Tom Petty. I felt devastated over Audrey Meadows, but not Jackie Gleason. Weird, right? Anthony Bourdain really hit me hard. A friend in my head.

Maybe it’s the state of mind we are in on the day we hear of the passing. I can’t figure out why else I would feel so bad for some people and not others. All people I don’t know and never met.

But they were all part of my life. Part of my youth. When they pass away, is a part of my youth passing away?

I always remember when 1983 was turning into 1984, the first video MTV showed right after midnight was Jump, by Van Halen, the first video of 1984. I think it was the premier of the song or maybe just the video. But of all the New Years eves, this one always sticks in my head. I can picture myself in the family room in front of the tv, sitting on the floor, and I can picture my mother in the kitchen on the phone, probably wishing Happy New Year to someone at that midnight hour. But that’s one of my special memories of two of my favorite years – 1983 and 1984 – Van Halen performing Jump, which was the first time I had seen and heard it.

Snoopy license plates!

The states of California is offering Snoopy license plates. The extra money raised goes to California museums.

“This street-legal, DMV- and PEANUTS-approved license plate features Snoopy doing his signature happy dance. Plates for cars, trucks, vans, commercial vehicles, and motorcycles start at just $50 ($103 for personalized plates).”

There are over 1400 museums in California.

I want one. Only I don’t live in California. 😦

If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry

So things have been sucky around here lately. I didn’t have a/c for three weeks and finally got a brand new system, but now there is an unrelated leak. There’s been leaks in this building since the day I moved in. And now there is another.

I saw this comic on Instagram Saturday night and could not stop laughing. We have a neighbor’s text where the whole building is part of it, so I texted it to everyone. And it got a lot of laughs. Unfortunately, it is so true around here. When there’s a problem, it seems as if you are on your own.

Recently, one of my rooms was flooded out and it’s still damp. I think it’s from the roof, but who knows and around here, who cares. I always liken our condo building to Anna Madrigal’s boarding house from Tales of the City.

One of my leaks years ago was water coming out of the light fixture! When it rained hard, water poured out. The only saving grace was that it was directly over the bathtub! True story!

The other leaks were not so fortunate.

This current leak now is in a spare room that I use for storage, so I didn’t notice it right away. We think it is from the room again, but not sure. I had a leak detector out and there is another one coming next week.

I ended up tearing the carpet out myself, so now it’s just a cement floor where it’s a bit easier to control the leaking as it builds up slowly. I had a guy coming over, a handyman I use, but he was unable to make it, so I did it myself. One of my neighbors offered to help, but I just cut up the carpet myself, doing small pieces one at a time. When I finished I got a text from the handyman who said he was on his way! Too late!

Anyway, the comic above is “Manchild Manor” at The comics are so funny there, check them out!

‘Are you a cartoonist?’

I had flooding here. Yup, another thing gone wrong in 2020. Anyway, two insurance adjusters came over and they were looking all over the place.

One asked me, “Are you a cartoonist?” I smile and said proudly, “Yes I am!” and I gave him my card.

Isn’t that cool? I guess he saw things around my office which made him guess right.

When his partner’s phone rang, it played The Jetsons theme. The Universe sent me two perfect insurance adjusters.

It’s all about communication

When I look at today’s comic, it reminds me of a few years back, maybe 15 years ago. I have an online business that can be operated anywhere. But 15 years ago, even though it is the same business, which can be operated anywhere, I still felt tied to the office/home.

I had a neighbor, an attorney, who spent her time between New Hampshire and Miami and she told me, “It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you pick up the phone!”

And I always remembered that and it made my life so much easier. She said, “You can be lying on the beach, and I don’t think the client cares, as long as you answer the phone!”

Ironically, I’ve never been a phone person and I avoid answering the phone, I prefer email, which has suited my business very well. But I do answer the emails quickly, especially since I have my phone on me 24/7, but even back then, before iphones, I answered emails quickly.

It’s all about communication. Even from the beach.

The affogato cartoon

Today’s cartoon may be a flop. Not sure. If you don’t know what an affogato is, it makes no sense. I think I only learned about an affogato a few years ago at a local gelato shop. I loved them and had them often.

I just laugh when I see this one. You either know or you don’t.

An affogato is gelato with espresso poured over it. I usually would get chocolate gelato with this. You get them separately usually and you pour the espresso over the gelato yourself. Try it. The mix between the cold and the hot and the espresso and the gelato is so great.

Fall is here

So Fall is here! I’m going to miss the cold weather this year. I am usually in NY in October and November. In October, I go for Comic Con, which is postponed this year. Picture it – Comic Con and the fall leaves and cool crisp weather. Although I can remember a year or two ago when it hit 80 degrees in NYC in October.

But New York is full of Batman and Superman and all sorts of Cosplay people. It’s like a precursor to Halloween earlier in the month. Mix that with the cool air and turning leaves and it’s the perfect time of year. And then a month later I head back for Thanksgiving with my family. This year I was going to do one of my usual things – spend a few days in Boston and then take the train down to NY later in the week.

That fall trip by train through New England is pure pleasure. I wrote about one trip one time, which was more about inside the train than the actual views outside. I overheard two older ladies talking behind me the whole way and it was pure delight, you can read it here: “A delightful train ride.”

Last October my cousins and I went to the Hudson Valley and we picked pumpkins and apples. One of my all time favorite days. You know when certain things in life stick in your mind forever? Well that day is one of them.

There’s always next year.

Emojis are my spell checker

Ever use emojis as spell checkers? What I mean is that a lot of the time if I’m not sure of the spelling of a word while texting, I spell it until the emoji pops up, then I know that is the correct spelling.

Recently I did it with avocado, not sure if it spelled “avocado” or “avacado.”

When the emoji popped up, I knew the correct spelling, which of course, I could have used the emoji instead of the word.

I have a neighbor who has avocado groves. Every time he texts, he puts three avocado emojis at the end of the text. I guess he feels it is subliminal advertising.

Emojis are the hieroglyphs of today. Will we end up using them as our language one day? I know so many teens do. What’s old ancient is new again. They don’t even teach cursive writing in schools anymore!

European Woman Examines Egyptian Hieroglyphics – Sean Sexton, 1900

The system is down

So I think I jinxed myself for doing that thermostat comic because the a/c had not been working for days. The guys that came out to clean the coils, screwed up everything. They came back a number of times, but still it would not perform correctly.

I did manage to get another company to come out Friday and they said the compressor was broken (which wasn’t like that before the other company got their hands on it). So now I need a brand new a/c, which I was expecting for years since it’s an old unit.

And it’s odd, but on Friday morning I woke up to no cable tv. I checked online and saw that the neighborhood was out. I called ATT Unverse just to get an ETA on the repairs. I guess when you are self isolating, tv is important.

But rather than tell me it was the neighborhood, some lady told me it was only my house that was down. She had me jumping through hoops for over an hour – turning the system off, rebooting, going through every tv in the house, disconnecting wires. She almost had me take one tv off the wall but refused.

She said she was going to send new dvr/cable boxes out, which would take a week. I asked her to send a cable guy out instead, she said they couldn’t do that. I said, “I pay you $500 a month for cable and phone service and you won’t send a repair guy here?” I asked her if she had ATT Uverse, which is out every other day, she said no. NO!

The other night I was watching something on the ID channel and just as they said, “The murderer is . . .” the tv went dead. Another time I was also watching a home make-over show and just as the reveal was coming on at the end, the tv went out! I just gave up and went to bed.

This reminds me of my old internet company – Earthlink. They used to host my business website. When the site went down, 99% of the time it was due to their servers being down. Which is fine, as long as it wasn’t me doing something wrong. But I would call up to check to be sure, and you know what? they never admitted it was the servers until making me jump through hoops first.

The first thing was always, “Do you have the site backed up? I am going to remove all 300 pages!” I would always yell, “NO!” Don’t do that.” They would have me then doing all sorts of things, rather than just say, “Yes, the servers are down, they’ll be back up soon.”

And we pay these companies all this money to jerk us around.