Monday, November 28, 2011

A Little This and That

Isn't this a gorgeous shot of the sky?  I'm pretty amazed at myself, but all the credit goes to the camera.  Actually, this photo was taken from a Smart Phone.  Hubby and I went to look at some living room furniture out in Queens, and my son had asked if I would stop and pick up his phone at his friend's house to save him a trip.  On the way back I started fooling around with it, and the above was taken as returned to Brooklyn on the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway).  This phone takes better pictures than my you can see below. 

Saturday afternoon there was a knock on my door, and my first reaction was, "What now?"   It's been extra quiet around here lately.  My landlady has stopped harassing me 3 or 4 times a day for the same nonsense.  Should have had hubby call her a long time ago.  I'm a wimp, and she knows it; he's not.  And the son upstairs has not been knocking with his nonsense either.  All I wanted was a little peace my last month here, and I am pleased to say I am getting it.

The reason he was knocking was that he had the above package that I'd won at my dear friend, Jo, over at  My Grama's SoulThe gift included everything one needs to pamper oneself...a delightful shower wash, a magnificent handmade journal which I cannot wait to begin writing in, a fleur de lis bling ring, a pretty little votive holder which is going to take center stage on my planned 'welcome table', a pretty print, a wonderfully smelling grapefruit/mint soap, a sensational little book "Anyway, Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World", and a wonderful little hand made card. I only wish I had a little more talent with MY camera so you could really get an idea of the special meaning of the gift.

On Friday, with only four days left on my Norton virus program, I decided to renew, and as usual, it turned into an annual stressor.  I began trying to log in at 8 pm and by 8:30 was just about climbing walls.  Took me 25 minutes to find a phone number and even longer to get a live voice on the phone.  Had to listen to Live Voice #1's sales pitch for 20 minutes until I finally had to get rude and ask if he speaks English.  "I've told you umpteen times that I am happy with the program I have, and that is all I want."  After that, he asked me if my computer ran slow and offered me a technician who would log onto my computer and straighten it out.  And, all for $39.99.  By now I am sweating, shaking, and ready to scream.  Finally, he gets the message and passes me onto a tech who will help me to renew.  

Four times I have to repeat my email address to this tech.  Four times until I had to do each letter separately--m as in Mary, x as in Xray, t as in Tom, etc.--and ever so slowly.  Finally, he gets it.  Then, he informs me of the program that I have.  I KNOW what program I have.  I've had it for 4 years now, and this is the fourth year I am being tortured by these people when I try to renew.  Finally, we get to the good part, the part where I am going to pay.  Now, I have to repeat the debit card number almost as many times and as slow as my email address.  We go through the whole ritual, and he announces that the card is invalid.  "What do you mean it's invalid?  It is not." And so, we once again go through the card number...extra, extra slow this time.  This time he tells me that their system will NOT accept a debit card.  

Now, I am seeing red.  I paid last year with a debit card.  Oh, but that was Chase, a well-known bank.  This card is from TD Bank which is not so well known.  "What difference should that make?" I reply.  "I come here because I want to PAY money to you, not get money from you.  Before I can even begin I am given a liturgy of upgrades that Norton feels I should have.  Why doesn't Norton practice what they preach?  This is the only company who has refused to honor my debit card."  It is now exactly 10:49 and I have accomplished nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, and boy was I furious.  Well, he did give me an extra 30 days to give me time to go to the store and BUY a new Norton to install since I told him I do not plan to change banks or obtain a credit card just to satisfy Norton. Any suggestions on a virus program as good as Norton?  Personally, I love their program, but hate their system.

On a happier note, I had to go to the office this morning to resign my lease.  When I first got the message asking me to come and resign, that there was a problem it was like, "Oh no,"  Turns out that the legal rent had been figured wrong, and I was being overcharged.  Here in New York, in rent stabilized apartments, the rent can only be raised by so much percentage...even after a party leaves.  They cannot raise to exorbitant rents to the new tenants....not that my rent was so high.  $1150 is not bad in this day and age, and now it is even lower...$1114.73.  And, the lease is for two years, not one year.   

What fantastic weekend this was!!!!


  1. Good morning Mary.....I'm glad you received your little surprise...I am always a little concerned when mailing things during the holiday season.
    I have a Mac so I can't recommend an anti virus program for you...but I know there are lots of good ones out there.

    Anyway.....sounds like your weekend did end on a VERY GOOD note! You certainly deserve it sweet lady..



  2. I'm so happy to see photos here! It's been too long, Mary. You have to take 'em and take 'em and take 'em, to get the *hang of your camera.* In no time, you'll be taking magnificent night photos, with your own cam!!!!

    Just gotta' keep at it. :-)))))

    All of which adds up to...... I fully expect photos of the whole process of getting your new "Nest" fixed up, as you want it. Lots and lots and lots of pix!

    And I'm gonna' pout and moan and cry, if you don't!!!!!!!!!!!!! ,-)

    Just warning you! :-)

    Glad the weekend was mostly on the great side!!!

    Gentle hugs,
    "There are so many good shops here. ... One can step out of doors and get a thing in five minutes."
    "Northanger Abbey," by Jane Austin

  3. Whoa baby!!!
    That was some rollercoaster ride. I shit you not!
    Comcast includes Norton protection in their package. Can I hear an "Amen." You betcha!
    I'll have to go back and look at your goodies. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. :0)

    That is " some phone " to take that kind of a picture. It could be a postcard!
    Wishing us both a good week... if not GR8

  4. Congrats on receiving such a lovely gift, everything looks great! I know you are counting down the days, if not the hours till you are moved!! I can't help you with the anti-virus thing. My husband is the techie in the house, I just click "sign in"!!! Good luck.

  5. lovely gift and the picture is beautiful...i use a free antivirus and have a firewall that comes with windows far, so good :)

  6. Hi Mary,
    I hate Norton too - not for the product, but the service and if you try to delete it from your computer - it just won't go away!!

    I download free virus software. It's called Avira Antivirus. Free. There are higher versions you can pay for but the basic works fine for me. I just use it at home.

    Nice to have a gift come in the mail! Lucky you - and how thoughtful of Grandma's Soul.

    Good luck with your move. I'm all moved in with minimal furniture. Still have to shop for living room and dining room stuff. Can't decide what I want.

  7. You can use that lovely gift of pampering from Jo to get over the stress of renewing your Norton anti-virus program! Talk about good timing!

  8. Grrr...I'm feeling all frutstrated now just by listening to your story! Geesh already!

    I actually use two free by AVG and one by Malwarebytes watches the front door of your computer and the other the back door. Also AVG is excellent and I've been using them for some years...I know they have programs you can purchase as well. If you need more info just email me. I know too their is a program by Avast out there that is supposed to be really good...all are downloadable right from your computer chair at home and very easy to do. That with your Windows firewall should keep you safe.

    Yah, I don't deal with pushy salespeople at all, either give me what I ask for or I'm outta here, plain and simple...I can get very assertive and sometimes known to be a Beahtch but it is my money after all and I don't have to deal with nonsense. Nobody should have to.

    I do however love your photos and lucky you for winning Jo's lovely giveaway.

    And...lucky you for getting a more reduced rent! Yaaaay!

    Hope you have a Better Day Today Mary! :)
    Brightest of Radiant Blessings to You!

  9. NO NO NO more Norton!!!! WEBROOT is the best program by far, used it for 8 years and wouldn't be without it. AND they all speak AMERICAN :)

    I was so glad you won Jo's giveaway, I told her you, if anyone, needed it the most. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. Can't wait to see your new digs!