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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paper, pencil, and pen vs. smartphones, tablets, and computers

Was there any need  for paper, pencil, or pen  now that there were computers tablets and smart phones? Some would say no, others would say yes. For me, this was a “middle of the road’ issue. There were times when electronic gadgets were loved by me, other times my wish was that they worked better.

When there were activities at church with my Sunday School Department Fellowship next week and my class Fellowship Dinner next month in Decatur Texas, putting these things in my phone saved me the trouble of keeping track of sticky notes or finding a pencil with a point or a pen that works in the kitchen. In doing this, it also worked with other appointments made with doctors and my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor because the office location was shown on a map. Sometimes, this helped the cab driver in knowing the best route to take. Unless the note was in front of me on the side of the microwave, that was the only reminder available. With a smart phone reminder, there is a sound that went of other than the basic default whistle when one got mail or other notifications.

Other times, my wish was that these electronic devices worked as well as they were supposed to. My on line writing depended on internet access. There were three times last year when my internet access was needed and was not working. It was important for me in keeping the encyclopedias my brother kept insisting was no longer needed now that there was on line access. My distrust of my internet connection justified my keeping those books. They held up the second to the last shelf with my jewelry boxes on it. The shelf supports gave out before my sister moved in 2005.

1.  February 14-21, 2013 Problems with setting up the appointment on the customer service line almost cost me my job with the Examiner. After complaining to a supervisor, Time Warner Cable gave me a discount on my bill until February this year.

Last April, while talking to my Aunt on the phone, two of my WordPress blog posts were written like that before. It gave me something to do while waiting for the problem to be fixed. While this issue got fixed, there were other blog posts  and pieces for me to start.

2.  May 6, 2013 After getting my smart phone, someone in my apartment complex cut my cable wire and hooked it to their box. The technician told me not to pursue the people who did this because an inquiry took too long. It was a prank done during graduation week  at MSU and there were a lot of people moving out anyway. I got a credit on my bill for the two and a half days of having no internet access.

3.  October 5, 2013 Sometime during my mother’s visit that afternoon and 9:30 p.m. there was no internet, cable or wi-fi access. With all of the Sunday School teachers unable to teach being otherwise occupied either in another part of Texas or another state entirely or physically hurt, this left us with no teacher or prepared lesson. Without internet access, there was no way of my teaching the lesson on adultery that Sunday. The lights went out three times before the technicians got it right. Working in the dark was not easy anyway. The light from my phone kept me from panicking.

Like a Girl Scout, a writer was prepared  always keeping paper and pencil or pen handy to jot down their ideas. Stephen King wrote a review of a long ago popular movie using plain notebook paper and pen. My uncle, who resided in Florida, still wrote his blog posts longhand, in draft before typing on a computer. There were benefits to  this “old fashioned” way of doing things.

It helped me maintain the old time skills of writing learned in elementary, junior high, high school and college. One of my college English professors told me my writing skills propped up my grade in class. Another told me that there was no need for the evening class another professor was trying to get me to take. With my command of the English language, there wasn’t any need for Structures of the English Language, taught after the current class by the other teacher who gave that compliment.

Today was a good day for doing things semi-old fashioned way, hence my “middle of the road” answer. My use of Microsoft Works to set up my next few blog posts made it that way. Because one might’ve needed their cell phone to call a cab to get home, it was better carrying pen and paper in jotting down information. One needed to conserve the battery.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wanted: House for rent. Quiet cul de sac preferred

Up until a week ago., my mother told me a house wasn’t a good idea. Growing weary of hearing my neighbors noises really got on my nerves. For the last six years the pendulum swung from one extreme to another. A detached house on a quiet cul de sac would’ve been nice.

One of the problems with renting an apartment or house, there were a few things that bothered me but all this had to have been asked before signing an application or lease:

1.Section 8 Housing required everything in my bank account plus 20 hours outside the home. When most of the places accepting this situation found my not being able to meet income requirements, they laughed in my face or made smart aleck remarks about my getting a job. They also appeared on hand to inspect the house’s condition and what the owner had in it. My smart phone would’ve been a red flag to them.

2. Was there easy access into and out of the apartment? If not would the complex have done that? Most of the apartment complexes looked at by me said they weren’t required to do so, so the application was not filled out and signed by me either. One allowed alterations to the inside, but the expense to return it to its former state was the tenant’s responsibility.

Luckily one of the apartments looked at by me that didn’t work out recommended my current residence. There was no ramp upon my arrival here, but they built one in 2002 and had it redone in 2007 correctly. Even though there were no discounts on my rent until 2005, all was well until 2007, when my neighbors behavior began to change. If they weren’t hollering loud enough for neighbors to call the cops, they were having loud intimate relations.

 It was a good thing my knowing my rights as a renter. My lease stated a few things:
  • Rent was due on the first of every month but the deadline was extended a day, from the 5th to the 6th. The office opened at 8:30 a.m. Rent was late if the clock said 8:31 a.m. and fees applied.   
  • Visitors had a 72 hour rule when staying with a tenant. After that time notification had to be put in writing if it were any longer. 
  • Community Rules: Rowdy visitors were warned of their behavior. Three strikes and an eviction of the tenant took place, This included any noises that disturbed the neighbors and caused them to complain to management such as blaring music, arguing inside the house and outside.. 
  • There were to be no home based businesses on property. Tenants got suspicious if people were running in and out of another tenant’s residence. They might assume illegal drugs were being sold, which was a felony and a lease violation. 
  • If there were a problem with a tenant, one was to call the appropriate people first, then tell management. To avoid retaliation, never confront them alone. 
  • Lock the car and apartment door. There were three locks on everyone’s apartment door, use them.

Those were a few of the rules in my first lease signed in August  2001. Now, after 13 years at the same place, my wariness increases as new neighbors came and went during that time. Recently, Mom told me of a house near Southwest Parkway. It was previously occupied by an elderly person, so it was easy getting in and out of the house. Unfortunately, the rent was too expensive. With utilities included, it was $600 a month for that two bedroom. There was another problem. With nine months left on my lease, breaking it would’ve been detrimental to my bank account. Because income requirements were unable to be met by me, they gave me a discount because my income came from the government.

In order to terminate my lease, the nine month discount would’ve had to have been paid back in addition to the administrative fees for breaking my contract. That left a black mark against me because the new landlord would‘ve been notified of that which made me a risk. It was better leaving in 2007 when management was more willing to waiver those fees, but no one else offered the perks I had here. Most of the apartments only gave one month at a reduced rate just to hook the prospective tenant.

My problem with the other places reviewed by me was that they were not ADA compatible either inside the apartment or outside. If they stated the We weren’t required to speech, the application wasn’t filled out by me because there was no obligation to. One apartment complex allowed alterations to the inside of the apartment, but the tenant had to pay to put it back as was. It my have taken them five years to fix the ramp at the end of the sidewalk, or get sued, but it was fixed.

One thing that shouldn’t happen was renting a house and having to vacate in 72 hours because the landlord sold it and the new owner demanded the occupant leave in that time. It happened to one of the former members of my church. They moved four times in as many years before changing churches.

There was a thought of moving to the other apartment complex down the street, but it was the closeness of my neighbors that deterred me from that. And the easy access rule of my own.  There was plenty of time for me to decide where to live between now and the end of February 28, 2015


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