The week thus far…

So… what a week it has been. Perhaps I should start back this past weekend, when Mary and I went down to the lake to have dinner and visit with my parents for one last time before they start their trek back south to get ready for the upcoming school year (they teach at a private school in Maryland).

Anyhow, before dinner I went for a swim — an activity that I enjoy, but don’t get to do very often because I’m often stuck up here in Bangor instead of being able to spend time down at the lake.

There’s a large, flat rock partially buried in the lake bed a couple feet beyond the end of the dock (it sticks up out of the bottom about an inch or two), and it serves as a great place to step when getting into (or out of) the water.

I forgot it was there, and I kicked it. I whacked my foot a good one, and my toe (not my big toe, the “index toe”), was in quite a bit of pain. I stifled a coupel of choice vulgarities (my cousin was visiting, and her two kids — ages 5 and 3 or thereabouts — were down there on the shore), clambered out of the water, and limped up the hill.

My toe was sore for the rest of the evening. When I got home (around 9:30pm or so), I took my shoes and socks off, and found a lovely sight. I’d describe it… but a picture is so much more descriptive in this instance.

Ain’t that a beaut? That was actually taken first thing Sunday morning. The swelling has gone down by now, and that lovely blood-clot red has faded to a dull purple bruise, and it doesn’t really hurt (unless I’m not paying attention and bang my tow on something). Based on the recovery time it wasn’t broken or anything (not that I could have done anything about it, even if it were).

So that was one adventure. The next one wasn’t as physically painful… but it was a bit more annoying.

Okay… on Friday afternoon, after I got out of work, I headed over to the comic shop where I get my bi-weekly (more or less) fix. While getting out of the car, my cell phon e fell out of my pocket onto the pavement. The back popped off and the battery fell out. I scopped it up, popped it back together, and everything appeared to be just fine.

Come Saturday (the day I smacked my toe), I noticed I was having some trouble. The phone kept dropping signal, occasionally displaying the message “Please Insert SIM card” (for those of you without cell phones, the SIM card is basically what makes a cell phone work).

We called customer service, and learned that we had two choices — we could try to get the phone fixed (and pay for the repairs out of pocket), or submit an insurance claim (since we were paying an extra $4 a month for that option). The only cost for the insurance claim would be the deductible, so we decided to take advantage of that. We were transferred over to the caim office, and found out that the deductible was $110.

To hell with this, we thought. We can probably buy a compeltely new phone for not much more than that.

So when we got back into town (about 8:30 that evening), we headed out to the mall, where an outlet of our cell phone provider is located (we usually go their downtown store, but it wasn’t open on Saturday night).

The guy there took a look, and determined that the problem was in the little flap that holds the SIM card in place. It had gotten loosened by the fall (apparently), and as a result the SIM card was loosing connection with the phone circuitry. Fixable? Possibly. Worth it? Given that the phone is about 2 years old… not so much.

So, in order to get a deal on the new phone, we upped our contract. Not a problem — we’ve been very happy with our T-Mobile service (even if their insurance program is a bit of a scam). The choices for noew phone come down to the Motorola SLVR for $140 or the RAZR for $200 (with a $50 mail-in rebate).

Not wanting to spend $200 on a new phone (even with the rebate), I opted for the SLVR.Signed the paperwork, put down the money… no problem.

Well… slight problem. After we got out of the store, I tried to go to download ring tones and such. No dice. The network didn’t recognize the phone. We call customer service (for the second time that day).

Turns out… T-Mobile doesn’t support the SLVR. While I can use it to place calls, I can’t access any of the extra or enhanced services provided. So, more or less, the guy sold me a worthless piece of hardware.

So, the next morning, Mary heads back to the store, intent on getting satisfaction for the problem (by getting the RAZR for free). The owner happens to be working, and is extremely apologetic. It’s policy that they disclose the fact that T-Mobile doesn’t support the SLVR, and the fact that the sales guy last night didn’t… well, it doesn’t bode well for his contrinued employment.

Unfortunately he can’t just give us the RAZR. He does, however, take back the phone from the previous night at full value and sells us a RAZR at a slight discount. Problem solved, the new phone works (and looks) great, and in the end (after the mail-in rebate) will cost us only slightly more than the SLVR did.

Another successful adventure… even if it was a convoluted and annoying process.

Well… this has been a long post already, and I need to write some checks to go out in the mail tonight. I’ll catch up with even more of the adventures of the past few days a bit later. Ciao!