Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Message to AT&T Users

I don't usually do this but I was flatly pissed off by AT&T this evening. I called in to find out where all my minutes are going each month. I don't talk a lot on my phone and the most calling I do is to family members. We are all on AT&T and are supposed to be talking to each other free. Well, the friendly representative who handled my call told me that I was not receiving any mobile to mobile minutes because "it's not on your plan."

Come again?

I have a Blackberry. When I upgraded last time I took the Blackberry plan which I was given to understand included all features such as mobile to mobile calling. The friendly representative I spoke to informed me that this was not so and that I must have misunderstood. Then she offered to upgrade my plan for an additional $20 a month. I hung up after threatening to move to a different provider, to which she made no reply.

A few minutes later another rep called to see what had "upset" me "so badly that you hung up on the other rep." I was happy to share this with him. He then explained that there must have indeed been some mix up when I got my Blackberry and proceeded to add the mobile to mobile feature onto my plan for me. I also got an additional 100 anytime minutes per month. My bill only goes up $2.68 per month. That's more like it.

Okay, this did smooth over the edges of the first call. But I warn everyone reading this blog: Check out your AT&T plan and make sure you aren't being ripped off because you might not be getting what you thought you were supposed to. AT&T isn't very interested in you unless you mention changing providers. This is bad business. BAD BUSINESS.

I hope AT&T is reading this. In today's economy, shady dealings with customers can have far reaching repercussions. Especially when the power of the internet is on the consumers' side.

Friday's Author

If you're looking for a good, meaty mystery featuring a new kind of detective, look no further than Josh Aterovis. With titles like Reap The Whirlwind, Bleeding Hearts, All Lost Things, and The Truth of Yesterday to his credit, Josh has created something of a franchise with his teenage sleuth, Killian Kendall. Killian is the first gay detective in literary history who is still in his formative years. He has a way of getting under the facade that the antagonists of these stories construct and putting together often obscure clues to end up with a climax that is very satisfying indeed.

Josh writes about Killian because when he was a teenager himself there were no literary characters like him. Josh saw a need and he filled it. His fans enjoy his work immensely and the backdrops of his characters resonate with readers because they are real, identifiable; much more than the average two dimensional images which are painted by mundane writers. Josh hits a nerve because he feels it on a personal level and he is able to relate this to his audience with ease. This is, without question, what a true author should be about.

Fabulous Friday

The immortal Patsy Cline. Perhaps the best female singer of the 20th Century, Patsy possessed a silken soprano voice that brings chill bumps to the skin whenever you hear it. Putting on a Patsy Cline CD, it seems like she’s somewhere in the house singing instead of emanating from the stereo speakers. Patsy’s voice was a true instrument that she used to its fullest potential.

It is almost impossible to believe that nearly fifty years have passed since Patsy Cline died. At the tender age of only 32, Patsy took with her to the grave the hopes and dreams of the heights she might have climbed had she lived. She couldn’t have gone a lot further than she already had, but oh how it begs the imagination to wonder where her stardom could have taken her. She’d already ruled the country charts, crossed over to the pop charts, and she was the first country artist who topped the Billboard Hot 100. She was a Vegas hit as well as a star in New York. She could seemingly do no wrong.

In this clip from the early 60’s, Patsy shows just what made her the biggest thing country music had ever produced. Wearing a headband that covered the scar she received to her forehead in a disastrous 1962 car accident, Patsy was just back on her feet and returning to work when this was shot. Her voice had never sounded better. She was at her peak and enjoying every minute of it. She was, simply, Patsy Cline.

This Day In History: December 3

1818 - Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the union.

1828 - Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.

1835 - In Rhode Island, the Manufacturer Mutual Fire Insurance Company issued the first fire insurance policy.

1910 - The neon lamp was displayed for the first time at the Paris Motor Show. The lamp was developed by French physicist Georges Claude.

1931 - Alka Seltzer was sold for the first time.

1947 - The Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theater.

1948 - The "Pumpkin Papers" came to public light. The House Un-American Activities Committee announced that former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers had produced microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.

1950 - Paul Harvey began his national radio broadcast.

1964 - Police arrested about 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley. The arrest took place one day after the students staged a massive sit-in inside an administration building.

1967 - In Cape Town, South Africa, a team of surgeons headed by Dr. Christian Barnard, performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky. Washkansky only lived 18 days.

1973 - Pioneer 10 sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter. The first outer-planetary probe had been launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, on March 2, 1972.

1980 - U.S. Representatives Frank Thompson, Jr. (D-NJ) and John Murphy (D-NY) were convicted on Abscam charges.

1984 - In Bhopal, India, more than 2,000 people were killed after a cloud of poisonous gas escaped from a pesticide plant. The plant was operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary.

1987 - U.S. President Reagan said there was a good chance of progress toward a treaty on long-range weapons with Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

1988 - Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State University won the Heisman Trophy.

1990 - A collision, on the ground, of a Northwest Airlines DC-9 and a Northwest Boeing 727 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, resulted in a fire that claimed eight lives.

1991 - After nearly five years, Shiite Muslim radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Allen Sutten.

1992 - The UN Security Council unanimously approved a U.S.-led military mission to help starving Somalians.

1992 - The Greek tanker "Aegean Sea" ran aground at La Coruna, Spain and spilled 21.5 million gallons of crude oil.

1993 - Britain's Princess Diana announced she would be limiting her public appearances because she was tired of the media's intrusions into her life.

1994 - AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser died at the age 47. She and her two children were infected with HIV because of a blood transfusion.

1995 - Former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan was arrested for his role in a 1979 coup.

1997 - Pierce Brosnan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 - In Ottawa, Canada, more than 120 countries were represented to sign a treaty prohibiting the use and production of anti-personnel land mines. The United States, China and Russia did not sign the treaty.

1999 - Tori Murden became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone. It took her 81 days to reach the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands.

1999 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander as it entered Mars' atmosphere. The spacecraft was unmanned.

Friday's Flashback

Howard Jones had one of the biggest hits of 1986 with No One Is To Blame. The British born Jones has a tenor voice that drips nectar whenever he croons and back in the day he was known as the Sultan of the Synthesizer. The incredibly intricate arrangement in No One Is To Blame is a fine testament to the talent and the sheer commercial appeal that this rocker used to propel himself to stardom.

All this aside, No One Is To Blame is a true jewel of a song. The lyrics are just lovely and they resonate in the mind long after the tune has ended. You’ll find yourself humming along to the chords for hours. It’s simply beautiful to listen to and the fact that it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 proves not only that it was one of the 80’s most successful singles, but also why it remains a popular radio fixture all these years later.

Jones is still touring and he’s still a major star in the UK. As the video for his biggest hit shows, he can do it with the best of them. This one will still be going strong in another twenty years.

Thought For Today

“People want economy and they will pay almost any price to get it.” – Lee Iacocca