Surviving Fire Season

This has been an interesting fire season for us.  Our town had 2 wildfires while the Santa Ana winds were blowing last week.

Day 1 had an evacuation area that surrounded the school I work at.  Literally our side of the street wasn’t evacuated but directly across and to the west of us was under mandatory evacuation.  It sure did make releasing students interesting!

Day 2 had an evacuation warning at the house.  We got the cell phone alert at 3:30 am.  Thankfully it wasn’t mandatory.  I think they do that in case the wind shifts, which it didn’t.

Hopefully that is the end of it for us for a while.  Our last mandatory evacuation was about 25 years ago.  Flames got within 100 feet of the house that time.

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Picture from the hillside looking down at the fire.  Not sure of source – from CNN.com

Canceling Protection One/ADT

ARGH!  We decided to cancel our home security monitoring through Protection One.  How difficult is this, you ask?  VERY!!!!!

We recently had our cable-based internet router die – just straight up quit working one day.  We spent the evening returning/exchanging it at the local office.  They also gave us an updated wireless modem.  After setting it all up, we realized our landline wasn’t working (service provided by our “cable” provider.)  After another hour on the phone with them, they claim all is perfect.

3 days later – count that – not 1, not 2, but 3 days later we can’t set the alarm when we are ready to leave the house.  Evidently our backup battery for the cellular backup option died because the system was unable to use the landline.

A technician came to the house a few days later after being told we needed to have a software update.  John took the afternoon off the deal with this.  The technician arrives, does the update, yet still can’t get the landline option to send a signal for the alarm system.  The “only option” is to upgrade to cellular for “ONLY” $5 MORE PER MONTH.

So now our monthly bill is up to $67.  We have a discussion after the technician leaves and decide that is just too much.  We can probably get a different alarm system cheaper and technologically more advanced.

I call to cancel and they remind me that we have been “loyal” customers for over 10 years.  Yep, we know how long we’ve had the alarm system and still want to cancel.  Now starts the drama!  I forgot about the 30 days notice requirement.  I assumed they would cut us off at the end of the pre-paid month.  NOPE!

Website says you can’t cancel online – you must call and have them convince you that you are putting your family at risk by cancelling.  Then, get this, you have to send an email to cancel.  Cancel date is based on when they receive your email/written request (which they don’t tell you).  Thankfully we emailed as they told us we needed to email.

Can you believe we “missed” the cut-off for canceling at the end of the billing cycle by 2 days??  (According to our contract, we need to give a 30 day notice.)  They then claim that our contract states that we need to give notice prior to the next billing cycle and that our cancel date won’t be in 30 days (Nov. 7) but Dec. 5th because of the billing cycle requirement.  They also have someone call multiple times trying to offer us a 36 month contract for $50 without updating any of the technology.  They did eventually offer no monthly payments until 2020 but with no upgraded equipment.  They finally agree after a week of emails and phone calls to cancel at the 30 day mark (Nov. 7).

How hard is it to just stop monitoring the system?  They claim it is very difficult.  My guess is all that happens is they “flip” a switch and we are off.  Anyone know anything about this side of it?

The icing on the cake is today we got a bill for $15 for the cellular upgrade.

Now what do we do with the ancient equipment?  What will happen when we try to disconnect everything?  Will the alarm still sound?  Can they remotely wipe out our system?  Will that mess with the landline?  Not looking forward to Nov. 7th.

Caught Up!!

I am feeling very accomplished this evening.

  • I’m all caught up on my blog reading!
  • All of my grading is finished for tonight
  • AND my lessons for the rest of the week and next week are ready to go.

And it is only 7:45 pm.  Guess I need to catch up on my blog writing!

Feeling . . .

We are feeling a little overwhelmed emotionally.  Sometimes life throws lemons at us and it feels impossible to make lemonade.

Barb’s mom started having medical issues in January requiring surgery, rehabilitation facility, hospital again, rehabilitation facility, and hospice diagnosis in early March.

John’s uncle passed away in early March the same week Mom was put on hospice with a funeral on March 23.

Our brother-in-law (John’s sister’s husband) committed suicide on April 2.  We are still feeling shock, anger, and guilt at not noticing anything out of the ordinary.  Services are next weekend.

Discussing and putting all of this in writing made us realize we’ve had a lot happen in a short amount of time.   We know things will get better, not on our timeline, but on His.

 

A few California population statistics

So yesterday’s rant about people who rant about California got me to thinking about population numbers.  Here are some statistics:

Los Angeles county has about 10,163,507 people in 2017.  This is more people than 41 other states!

Los Angeles county represents about 25% of California’s population.

If you combine to form the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles county,  Orange county, Ventura county, Riverside county, and San Bernardino county), the population is about 17,877,006 people based on the 2010 cenus.  (*I included Riverside and San Bernardino counties because a majority of their populations are within 60 miles of downtown Los Angeles.)

Only 3 states – Texas, Florida, New York – have a population larger than the Greater Los Angeles area.

The Greater Los Angeles area now represents about 45% of California’s population.

If our state/area is so horrible, why do we have so many people here?????

 

Sources:

http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/ca/los-angeles-county-population/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Los_Angeles

California Population. (2018-03-14). Retrieved 2018-08-1, from http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/california/