Got some great new refrigerator art from South Carolina compliments of Grace Yearta.

Don’t remember whether I mentioned it before but we never did finish putting the gates on the rabbit fence. George’s deck project moved to the forefront and has been the focus of our attention ever since. We ran out of concrete on Friday and are waiting for a new shipment to arrive at the local ACE Hardware later this week. I had put up wire mesh pieces at the gate openings as an interim measure to keep out the rabbits. Yesterday George’s renter, Harley, told me that he and his bride had been walking down by the garden and he saw a rabbit climb through one of the temporary gates. The wire mesh is 2”x4” so it’s almost impossible for me to believe that a regular size rabbit got through so small an opening but he swears he saw it happen. That report spurred us on build and hang the permanent gates. The picture shows one. It literally took us a full day to make and hang the three gates but they are truly masterpieces of gatedom.

New Gate
New Gate

Anyone that’s thinking of getting the Virgin Mobile broadband modem for connecting to the internet while on the road, don’t. I’ve used the service for a couple of years and have been happy but all that ended when the modem failed. That set off a sequence of events which ended up with them suspending my service with a cash credit still on the books. There’s no way to talk to a human being other than at a remote call center with no authority to remedy any administrative problems. Basically I ordered a modem from them after my original unit failed only to find that the unit they sold as a replacement would not qualify for the Walmart service plan I’d been subscribing to for a couple of years. I sent the modem back right away, per instructions, with an RMA and bought another identical unit from Walmart. Virgin Mobile claimed they never got the unit back although the Postal Service had a record of it being received and signed for. I called AMEX and had them stop payment to Virgin and gave them all the information regarding the transactions. Based on that, VM suspended my service. They’ve been getting $20/month for a couple of years now so it really seems crazy to me that they would drop me over a $50 dispute that is clearly a mix up at their end. Even if they assumed that the Post Office was faking their records, wouldn’t you think they’d want to keep a long term, paying customer? Interestingly my neighbor George has been getting the same treatment with regards to a Virgin Mobile return modem. In his case, they claim he didn’t pack it correctly – which I know personally that he did. He too stopped payment on his Discover card and purchased a T-Mobile modem and contract instead of Virgin Mobile. He’s been happy with it so that will be my next move, take the Virgin Mobile modem back to Walmart and trade it in on a T-Mobile replacement.

On top of all this internet drama, George decided to install a new side gate to his property and in the process of digging a hole for one gate post, cut the telephone line to his house. We fixed that without getting the telephone company in the loop and about 30 minutes later, digging the hole for the other post he cut the main line for the neighborhood. So as of this moment, we are without internet and telephone – virtually incommunicado.

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