Sunday, April 15, 2018

Don't Go With Sprint if You Want Good Service: Inadequate is Ok By Them!

     I used to have a cell phone contract but went with Straight Talk and was totally pleased not having a contract. But my son went with Sprint because he wanted an iPhone, He asked me to take one of the phones but I did not really want to...well the lousy service and high cost is why.

     Sprint has constant dropped calls, our texts do not always go through, there are areas where they are not deliverable. This is in the city where my son was promised great service. So we have been trying to cancel the service because it is so substandard...

     Tonight we were told that the signal is fair by tech support. I was sent to customer service and we were told by a manager that the service is not inadequate enough to allow us to cancel the contract. Hmmm so what is inadequate enough? I mean that is a far cry from great.... what they promised!

     So for Sprint inadequate is good enough, fair signal is ok. It is fine if the people you call can't hear you or calls are dropped as a norm. Texts don't send and oh yea, the GPS only works if you have a cell signal. They charge a huge monthly fee for bad service and they are ok with that! They wont' even discount their fees.

    We are stuck since they do not care that their service is extremely lousy, so once the contract is up we will not renew but then maybe they don't care...they get you to pay a huge amount of money for poor service..not caring that you are upset even when you tell them you will not renew.....they must make enough that they do not need repeat service.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Review: Bahama Bucks

     When I first tried Bahama Bucks I thought it was ok. I was not super impressed but my mom and aunts love it. They make sure to go every time they are in the Mesa/Phoenix Arizona area.

With Cream
     So I decided when we were in Mesa a year ago to give it another try. I learned that I LOVE Bahama Bucks and the Bahama Mama Rama.

     What is a Bahama Mama Rama you ask?? Well it is a different kind of shaved ice treat. You get ice cream and then the shaved ice and flavoring and then you get a cream on top of the shaved ice. At first I thought it was the cream I did not like but, the other day I accidentally had them put it on and I determined that I love it!
Without Cream

     I have moved to the Surprise Arizona area and sadly we do not have a Bahama Bucks nearby...I love it so much though that I make it a point to get one whenever I am in the Mesa or Phoenix area. I have to drive an hour but it is worth it.

     I discovered a location that is only 33 miles form me in Laveen, AZ so now I go there when I am not taking a trip to Mesa. Yes I make a special trip to get a Bahama Mama Rama. It is that good! I enjoy it that much!

     I think my favorite location is on Southern in Mesa though because you put the little umbrella in the post outside showing your love of their treats.

     I need to try some of their other wonderful looking treats but I am a creature of habit and since I have to go so far to get one I tend to get what I know I love.

     If you are ever in the Phoenix area be sure to check out Bahama Bucks and try a Bahama Mama Rama!!

+Bahama Bucks
+Bahama Mama Rama

If Teachers Only Worked During the Time they Get Paid Lessons and Grading Would Be Ineffective

      As a teacher my thoughts have been turned toward how it might look if teachers only worked the hours they are "clocked" to work like other working class folks.

     Most people go to work, do a great job at work, put in their hours and go home. Once they are off the clock, they are off the clock. They get to go home and either take care of the responsibilities home life brings or go have fun. They are able to spend time with family and enjoy life.

     It is a different picture for teaches. They go to work early so that they can run copies, pick up around the room and prepare for the day. They work their tails off all day to keep on top of things. Yes they get prep time but it is usually a whopping 35-40 minutes where they run to the restroom - because teachers have to learn to hold it most of the day. They try to plan lessons and grade papers but really that small window of time is not enough to really get much done. Many times they have meetings and other commitments during this precious planning time. Then comes the 30 minute lunch where they also rush to the restroom, find some time to eat, don't drink liquids for fear of needing to pee and just take a much needed brain break. Then its back to the rest of the day where they teach and manage their classroom. The bell rings, the kids leave and they run copies and grade papers until well past their contract time. Finally after wearing tired of the classroom they pack up a bag, take papers home to grade and post. Sometimes this takes until 7 or 8 at night....

     Weekends are just as eventful. They get to enjoy one day, sometimes two but before the weekend is over it is time to lesson plan. This can take hours depending on the resources available.

     "But they get afternoons in many schools free of students." Yes they do but, those are meant for professional development. Those are times the teachers go to school. There is no planing time written in for teachers those days. Actually there is in most districts no actual planning or lesson time written into the day. The small chunks of time are simply not enough to effectively plan and grade.

     If a teacher only worked the hours that are paid lessons might not get written, assignments would not get graded or posted and well, the class would be in complete chaos. Nothing would get done.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: User Beware-Looking for Cell Service? Sprint is Not the Way to Go

     I was free of a cell phone contract and not really excited to get into another one. I was happy with my straight talk even though sometimes I could not make calls when I moved to my new home. I was always able to use my data and send a text. My calls never dropped in my car, just inside my home.

     My son had purchased a Sprint contract because he was promised great cell service at a great price. Hmm famous last dishonest words in my opinion. He was told it was only $138 a month but that is before all of their fees which make it $198 a month.

     He talked me into joining him on his plan. So I did. It is the worst service ever! Calls are dropped constantly, many times you can't even send a text and most of the time the data does not work. Then there is the GPS service which will drop in the middle of the city for no reason.

     He has tried to get out of the contract because of the extremely poor service but recently was told since he is in a service area he cannot get out of the contract.

     However three months ago when he began complaining he was told by one of the Sprint employees if he did this BIOS thing on the phones and that did not work he could be released from the contract. That was a lie.

     When he called to tell Sprint that the BIOS thing did not work he was told that he could get an amplifier to make the phones work better in the house. That the service in our area is weak. Hmm don't people get cell phones so they work everywhere not just at home? If that was what we wanted we would get a landline.

     He told them that calls drop all of the time, sometimes you cant' even make a call. Texts don't send much of the time and data doesn't work often. The GPS thing is also an issue.

     So yet after another call they said to report to the opt out e-mail system. He did that and was told since there is service at the house he cannot be released from the contract.

     Sprint is not about customer satisfaction! We are not satisfied customers at all. It is the worst service ever. The phones should work outside of a Sprint area, they do not. You should be able to text or make calls but are not most times even in the Sprint area. I know with Verizon even when you are outside of their service area your phone works because they bounce off other towers. Not with Sprint, your phone does not bounce off the towers, at least ours don't.

     Many times I have needed my GPS to get places in the city only to have it go out on me. That is very bad on the freeway because it will not connect again until I pull off to find a place with wifi so I can connect. I never once had that happen with Verizon or Straight talk.

     When I call places now I tell them my number right away in case the call is dropped. Then I tell them I have Sprint. They just say I need say nothing more, they have the same issues with Sprint and know all well how poor the service is.

     We are stuck with 6 more months of this lousy service so will be throwing away $1600 more on something that does not work properly.

     I am here to tell all who read this not to get Sprint, their service is pathetic and they do not wish to satisfy customers.They don't care if calls drop on a regular basis, sometimes you are not even able to call out. You call somewhere and are put on hold only to have the call drop just when the person answers, texts do not send much of the time, data rarely works and GPS signal is poor. They do not care. They hold you to the contract for substandard service. I will be so glad to be done with them and again stress those who want good cell service to look elsewhere!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Death Road: The Point of No Return

In the 1930's a road was built connecting La Paz to the Amazon Rainforest region of northern Bolivia that is so dangerous it has been named "Death Road." People take their life in their own hands just by traveling on Death Road.

Death Road also known as "the world's most dangerous road", is a one lane road that is ten feet wide with extreme drop-offs of at least 2,000 feet. Visibility can be very poor due to elements such as fog, rain and dust. Rocks can loosen because of the muddy road causing the road to become damaged. Because of the narrowness of the road there are no guardrails, even if there were, the road is so unstable that they would probably not hold up if they were hit.

Passing another vehicle on Death Road is extremely dangerous. The right of way is never given to the vehicle going downhill. The vehicle going downhill must move to the outer edge of the road while the other car passes putting it in danger of falling off the edge of the road. Many times the wheels of the vehicle are partially off of the edge of the road with the 2000 feet drop-off below. The two vehicles must stop for the pass to be negotiated so that the vehicle going uphill can pass.

Image result for pictures of death roadThere are times when vehicles absolutely can not pass each other on the road, which requires the vehicle going downhill to back-up. This can be extremely dangerous due to the narrowness of the road and the twists and turns.

It is even more confusing and dangerous to drive on Death Road because the vehicles are required to drive on the left side when taking the road whereas they drive on the right in the rest of Bolivia. Driving on the left side of the road gives the person who has to pull over when passing a better view of the outside wheel of the vehicle so that it can be turned to stay on the road when passing.

On July 24, 1984 one-hundred passengers were killed when the bus they were taking went off the road into a canyon marking it as the worst road accident in Bolivia.

In 2006 a new road that was twenty years in the making was finished connecting Bolivia and La Paz. The new two-lane paved road bypasses the most dangerous sections of Death Road.

Death Road is not  traveled often anymore however thrill seekers still travel Death Road. It is a popular road for mountain bikers. It is still extremely dangerous and mountain bikers have died while riding on Death Road. It is a road where a person might find the point of no return.

+Death Road

Picture courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shining a New Light on Valentine's Day

     Sometimes I find myself becoming a bit cynical about things...then something happens that makes me stop and rethink my cynicism.

     Valentines Day is one of those things that I have been extremely cynical about for many years.  i have thought of it as a time for people to express love and caring on this one day when they don't care the rest of the year. I have thought of it as day for the guilty to appease his or her guilt ridden conscience by showering the victim of the guilt with lavish gifts. I have thought of it as the day for huge companies to make loads of money on things people really do not need. (Similar to Christmas). I have thought of it as a time for a person to look good and loving to others when really they don't care a bit about them.

     While for some these things may hold true, thoughts entered my mind today and brought a new light to Valentines Day for me.

     First of all I received some extremely sweet and thoughtful gifts from my students. These darling children. It is not always easy to express how you feel so it is nice having a day dedicated to spreading love and kindness. Granted we should do this every day but who can afford gifts on a daily basis and honestly we don't have time to give every day, nor the money. So for these kids it is a time when they can show how much they appreciate their teachers and each other. I think the most special gift for me was the note written on a piece of paper from one of my students telling me how much she appreciates me. It was nothing fancy but from her heart making it priceless.

     I think the biggest revelation for me though was watching my decorate a booth for a couple at the restaurant where he works. The man wanted to take his girlfriend to a nice dinner so my son decorated it for him. This made me remember how thoughtful my son was of his girlfriend. He did not simply buy her flowers on Valentine's Day. He showed her love every day of the week and he bought her flowers on a regular basis. Not so appease for a fight or relive his guilty mind but simply because he loved her.  Her flower vase was never void of live flowers. What a wonderful testament of love. He did not hawe to do it, he did it out of love. I could see him being the one to decorate a restaurant for his girlfriend.

     So with these thoughts in mind I decided that while it might be superficial and many people do only buy things to ease their troubled consciences...there are just a many or more people out there who simply use the day to express their love and go above and beyond because it is in their heart to do so.

+Valentines Day

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Importance of Delta's: Focusing on Positives Only is Food for Delta Growth

     Last school year and the one before I belonged to Specials PLC meetings at our school. If you don't know what a PLC is or Specials are, PLC is Professional Learning Community and Specials are the art, music, gifted, PE teachers, librarian, and in our school also Dine teachers...We had a meeting together to discuss what was happening in our classrooms and how we could collaborate together to meet student needs.

     Most times meetings can be dreadful but I must say I looked forward to our Specials PLC meetings every week. We talked about our positives and laughed about our deltas (negatives). Sometimes our deltas far overshadowed our positives but that made it even more comical for us. These meetings made me smile and feel good. It was also a time of camaraderie.

     I was visiting with some of my friends from my school and talking about the deltas. I am so thankful the district put the deltas on our notes, they wanted us to write them down.I got to thinking of how important those were. It was important to get the deltas out in the open so that we could move past them. If you only focus on the positives you can't get rid of the negatives. We were not complaining, we were not whining we were simply getting out in the open the things that were deltas, the things that got us down, the things that sometimes were out of our control.

     At some of our meetings we would start in on our deltas. We all knew what each others deltas were because we talked about them other times too. Then we would get to positives and sometimes struggled to find we would laugh at that fact and pull something silly our of the air...then we would laugh some more. Not just a little chuckle, sometimes we would laugh so hard we would cry. Then we would leave our meeting and feel free of those particular deltas for the time being.

     I think that was one thing that kept us sane. It is important to recognize the deltas, get them out in the open because well, in reality no matter how much you try to ignore them, they are there. If you don't get them out in the open they fester like an open sore and will eventually rot your insides making it impossible for positives to bloom.