Verizon landline: opt for unlisted

I suspect Verizon sells their 411 list to foreign telemarketers or shady companies. These lists are called “leads.” People pay good money for contact lists such as what Verizon sells to these companies. Tell them you want unlisted, otherwise you will be bombarded with very little way of stopping the calls.

After Verizon goofed and didn’t make my number unlisted I was wondering why these telemarketers had suddenly got hold of not only my number, but the name associated with the account. I did not give out the number to anyone! These calls came in within the hour after I got connected. Four or five a day. After I changed to unlisted and changed the number, ensuring old calls would not be forwarded, the calls stopped entirely.

Blowing the whistle again

I submitted the following complaint. I am future-posting this because some of this information could be used in a destructive way against me. See below:

Complaint Summary
I called Verizon to set up landline telephone service, and I am not sure of the exact date, but this form forced me to specify a date. The customer service person was polite, but this has nothing to do with my complaint. I asked her for the cheapest landline service. She sold me Regional service, promising me that this was the cheapest they had. I asked how much and she said it would come to $48 approx. I asked if this included taxes and she claimed it did. I also told her I wanted a totally unlisted number. She said it would cost extra but I said I wanted it anyway.

I had no issue with the installation. But I found out through Bankrate/Credit Karma that Verizon made a hard check on my credit score. I never consented to a credit check and in fact, I would have paid a deposit to avoid a credit check as what Verizon did, completely without my consent, harmed my credit. I was furious.

Next thing I found out was that my number wasn’t unlisted as I had requested. I cannot be listed as I have been stalked. It’s my understanding that if I tell a telephone company I do not want to be listed, they should take this extremely seriously and make sure I am not listed!

I called Verizon and asked them to change my number, do not forward from the old number, and do not list this new number. I told them I was upset with the previous representative for not following what i had asked for.

Then I found out that the Regional Service price quoted did not include the taxes. The original price, $48, was now going to be over $70. For only a landline! Insane!

I printed out the application for Lifeline, assuming this was my only option. I also considered changing telephone services to save money. I called Verizon to see how much this insanely high phone bill was going to be with the Lifeline added. They told me that I’d have to switch to Basic, the lowest-priced plan they have.

Now I was doubly furious. I believe the original representative was on commission and totally took advantage of me. I have worked in customer service myself and I can say with certainty that it’s totally illegal to sell based on deception. She lied about the total price, and she also lied by telling me the Regional was their cheapest. She collected info for me such as my Social Security number without asking me if it’s okay to do a credit check, and this was done without my consent.

I have switched to Basic now. The cost will be less than half of the cost of the Regional.

I am hoping this resolves the issue. However, my concern is deceptive marketing on the part of Verizon. Deceptive marketing is not legal! How many customers have they cheated like this? How many are paying more than they could pay without realizing it? How many receive their first bill and are shocked, or possibly cannot pay the high bill? How many women are found by their stalkers because of sloppiness by the local phone company? Do these companies realize the risk they’re putting people in?

What would you like the business to do to resolve your complaint?
I am alerting the Attorney General of this fraud in order to protect other consumers. I would like Verizon’s word to me, to the Attorney General and to the general public that they will cease deceptive marketing.

***

Blowing the whistle is addictive. I hear that from other whistleblowers also. I have read that it takes a certain personality to become a whistleblower. I would imagine the following:

A strong sense of social justice
A strong sense of fairness/equity
Awareness of right and wrong, understanding of ethics and human rights, and a strong conscience
The ability to express oneself in writing and/or in speaking
The ability to take risks for the sake of others
Determination, energy, self-motivation
A sense of altruism

And…to survive it all, a decent sense of humor.

Spell-check helps, too.

This guy is a crook….

Read and laugh…

North Shore Eats Part 1: Meet Greg Bates – Unemployed Deadbeat Who Hides Child Support Money By Using Big Facebook Group To Extort Local Restaurants For Free Gift Cards And Cash

Great kpb. Turtleboy Sports! Keep on exposing the truth. Looks like the Patch picked up this one and on and on.

Why I don’t bother with videos and YouTubes

I am far too impatient for YouTubes and videos. I am a text learner and I do not learn by listening to someone yap. If presented with someone talking, unless it’s a famous lecturer or TED Talk, I would prefer the text version so I can shut down the yapping and quickly read the text.

Let’s put it this way. People speak at 120 words per minute. When I speak publicly I speak at 100 words per minute. By the way, that’s why I am “good” at public speaking! I do not rush!

Conversationally, the average teen speaks at up to 160 wpm. After trauma (hospital abuse when I was 53 years old), my speech got very rapid. This is a common reaction to trauma. Now, I, too, speak in conversation at 160wpm, although when I do a public speech I am at an even 100. Oddly. It is also very common to have a different “stage persona” than the way you are in real life. By comparison, a eulogy is spoken at 80wpm or slower. My speech called “When the Chips are Down,” which I hope you all listened to, was done at about 80 wpm.

Now if that’s speaking speed, the speed of speech on videos would be the limit to how fast we pick up the text to the video. But how fast can a person read? Any faster?

As it turns out, yes. The average adult reads much, much faster than that. 250wpm. And college students read at 300wpm. This is due to the fact that college students read all the time.

I am not sure of my reading speed, but since I read and write all the time, I suspect it is faster than I have thought. I am so frustrated with people’s insistence on narrating what I would rather just read to myself very fast! I don’t want it spoken aloud since this is going to slow things down way, way too much. I can read and comprehend faster if we do NOT read aloud, and reading aloud, in fact, insults me.

I do not “learn better” if I hear the words. I “learn better” if I can read at a speed that’s comfortable to me, not way too slowed down, not mechanical, not someone else’s speed, and not narrated by some nice, affluent-sounding, happy white lady. And it drives me nuts when she sounds like a bot.

Sometimes, too, I’m insulted by the oversimplified diagrams and charts. I do not need “kinesthetic learning” nor to be told “click here” just because someone insists if I do not, I’ll fall asleep on the job or in class, like I need a babysitter. I do what I am assigned, then, we can all sleep just fine.

What is this with PowerPoint? As a public speaker, I’ll clue you all in. It’s to help the speaker stay on track. It is not to help the audience one bit. It’s a little trick because most speakers are totally boring and have no ability to be entertaining on their own, using text and gestures, without “slides” as a crutch. Little secret I’m cluing you all in on.

(“Slides” also can reveal ahead of time to the conference organizers what the presenter will be presenting, so they can control and censor if they want. I had told NEDA/BEDA that I would not be using slides, but handouts which I would supply myself. Apparently this was too scary for them, because they do not like human rights activism, so they canceled me, ha ha!).

I’m insulted by video learning, but that seems to be the way of current education. Narrate everything. Hand us text, then, read it aloud like we can’t actually read. Or too lazy to do so. Or assume we’re all auditory learners. I am frustrated with this style of teaching. Saying nothing is known as “tolerance” but I am tired of that, too.

Please, please, hand me a text version. And shut off that damn yapping.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I alone here?

 

WTF? Group home with no fire exit!

Check this out! This needs to be flipped to an investigative journalist.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/barnstable-hyannis/hyannis-burglary-suspect-tried-suffocating-woman-police

I don’t know how to spell her name. Liz Kowalski of the Boston Globe should investigate. Her address is in my email but too far back to search for. She is the one who looked into the Arbour Hospitals and broke that story. Please note: No ground floor exit is a fire hazard and those residents were in an unsafe situation! What other abuses were going on there that may have provoked this man to do this? We need to ask questions and not just stupidly claim he was some evil “mentally ill” monster. If there was no bottom floor exit, this is very very serious. This wasn’t even a hospital, it was a lower level of care, a residential facility. Flip this to her, please. C’mon you guys, let’s do some serious activism here.

That “me too” question, regarding academia, in case you’re wondering

I guess you folks are wondering if I ever had problems with any of my professors making passes at me. After all, I did a lot of school. I did have trouble with work situations. I was raped when I worked as a dishwasher. They left me alone when I worked for McDonald’s, though. Working, on the whole, sucked badly. I could hardly wait to get back to school all summer long, every summer! I was too smart for work!

As for college…no. No sexual advances, not from professors. Not even close. Not at UMass. From other students, yes, almost all totally mutual. One or two, not mutual, but these were not situations where power inequity (such as student/professor) was an issue, none except male/female, the male being stronger, so I’m leaving that aside for now.

At Bennington, you bet I heard stories. Such sexual issues were very common. My friend had to deal with sexual advances from ___ professor who was known to do that to the struggling female students. I told her to report him. She didn’t. Another was also known to do such things. He left me alone, though. Not one made advances toward me. Maybe my brains intimidated them.

At Emerson, I went though almost all of my academic work with no issues nor sexual conflicts whatsoever. I made it clear I was “taken” if ever I was worried.

One time there was a close call, I’d say it actually was an “advance” or perhaps an “offer.” No further than the “offer,” not forced nor coerced, just offered. I was firm.  I am taken, and that was that. But clearly, this was an offer. I believe he wanted this to be mutual. He was married, too.  I am not saying anything more.

At Goddard, no question about it, no advances, no difficulties whatsoever. I loved the time I spent there. There were stories going around but nothing I could really verify, and I doubt any of it was even close to true.

Academia served me well, but I suppose it is a world that is part of my past. Life should be like that. You shouldn’t have to worry about guys hitting on you in your daily life. It is too stressful to live like that. Way too stressful.

Essential medicine: Lobelia, garlic, cayenne

These are essential medicines and two of them you can find in your grocery store! Garlic you find in the produce aisle and cayenne (red pepper) is a spice! Lobelia is a little harder to find.

Don’t give any of these to your dog. I would not. Why? We don’t live in our dogs’ bodies and in my opinion, medicating dogs in any way is like treading in a place where we don’t belong. I feel like I’d be playing God doing that. It feels like I’m violating Puzzle and I would not do that. I do adjust her diet according to her taste, but giving her herbs and drugs on my own, absolutely not, simply because I cannot even begin to guess how she feels. I can only observe very carefully. The best I can do is to work together with a vet I trust.

Now as far as my own body goes, that is different. I feel my body, I notice stuff carefully. I have noticed now, for instance, three times I have had odd reactions to antibiotics. For instance, the anti-b’s I took for cataract surgery gave me an unpleasant reaction and I had to limit my intake. These were anti-b drops.

Now you may be saying, “Oh no, you have to follow doctor’s orders!” Think through this one logically. When you have an existing infection, you need to take the full course of anti-b’s. I didn’t have an existing eye infection. These drops were being given prophylactically. So even the doc admitted (when I pressed him to admit the truth) that the anti-b drops weren’t needed for a full course, only as preventative for a very short period.

I also had to take steroid drops. I noticed minimal side effects from the steroids, but eventually I stopped those, also, likely before I was supposed to. I’m fine! The object is to prevent inflammation. I took Turmeric (a spice) internally every day to reduce systemic inflammation and I have had a very smooth recovery from the surgery. I also took Vitamin C, not in huge doses but it’s my understanding that Vit C is vital to eye health anyway. Vit C is part of my “insomnia vitamin cocktail.” I take 1000 mgs every night of that.

Lobelia is a great herb for depression. I am really never depressed. I feel that I am not depressed mainly because I do not see a therapist. Therapy causes self-absorption and that, my friends, causes the worst ever depression. Think on that one a bit if you are in therapy and depressed! I would recommend Lobelia in the morning because if I take it at night, it gives me too much of a lift. Taking it in the morning will improve sleep at night (oddly).

I also take 5HTP in the morning, which improves sleep at night. 5HTP is iffy as long-term use is unresearched (which doesn’t mean it’s “unsafe,” it just means the stuff isn’t patented so they don’t put money into researching and don’t want you to know the stuff actually works). I think if you take it you should put yourself on “vacations” from it now and then.  If you take 5HTP also take B6 in the morning.

5HTP might be effective for binge eating for some people. Do not increase the dose beyond 300 per day. Often, decreasing the dose increases effectiveness! For instance, if 200 isn’t working, try 100. I have read story after story of people who take 600 per day and wonder why the stuff is ineffective. Do not combine 5HTP with antidepressants nor with Abilify due to risk of serotonin syndrome and other complications. Please!

Cayenne stops bleeding and will stop a heart attack, according to my naturopath. I tried drinking cayenne and water mixed together and yes, it did stop a stubborn nosebleed a couple of winters ago! Just drinking the stuff did it. You can also make a poultice of cayenne and apply it to your skin. In small quantities, it will induce a hot flash, but in larger quantities, it will be overkill and reduce hot flashes. I have really stopped all hot flashes since I started taking cayenne. I can also tolerate the heat better and I do not need AC. We are having a heat wave and I barely need to run a fan. It is such a relief to be over those hot flashes once and for all.

Have a healthy day you guys!

Should you buy drugs off the internet?

Well? Should you?

Yes and no.

Yes to vitamins. You can get good deals on vitamins you have shipped to you, especially something you take in large quantity or something you take long-term.  Most powdered vitamins (bulk) are cheaper are purer than other forms. By all means, you’re better off with capsules or powder than you are with tablets. I’ve heard that anything with magnesium stearate is not good, you need to stay away from that additive, however, this is unverified.

Some liquids freeze during transit! If you are having liquids shipped, make sure you keep this in mind. Oils are likely okay. Tinctures usually are not considered flammable as the alcohol content isn’t above 45%.

Don’t buy antibiotics off the internet. My issue with this is that in most locales in the US, it is highly illegal to have them brought in.  If you need an antibiotic that badly, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing a doctor that you need one. Or go to another doctor. If you have gone to five docs, and not one agrees then maybe you do not need antibiotics for that common cold you have.  If, on the other hand, you have strep, go to a doctor. Do you really want to wait a full month for a package that might not even arrive?

Don’t buy Viagra or similar. Again, the legalities of this are really hairy and I bet a lot of that stuff you get is not really Viagra. Don’t buy Viagra with intent to sell. You will get into a lot of trouble for this. What if the person you sell to dies?

Don’t buy speed such as Ritalin, any benzos, or any scheduled drugs. This, again, will get you in serious trouble. Don’t buy opiates.  You might be able to find painkillers pretty much anywhere. Don’t buy them online.

If you buy pharmaceuticals on the streets, if you insist, stay away from name brand drugs and stick to anything that has gone off patent. This is my logic, but I might be wrong here.  Older drugs are more plentiful, cheaper, sell for less, are sold worldwide, made by many companies, and aren’t exclusive to one company or one manufacturer. A brand name drug is likely to be copied and sold as original, but isn’t. It is a copy, not even the same, not a generic even, lotsa filler. Think: the Walmart version. Remember the cheap-looking stuff you buy there, lower prices, imitations only. The prices are likely high and what you are getting is either inferior or totally not what your dealer claims it is.

Now some of you might be asking why I am even talking about this. Isn’t buying drugs off the street totally illegal and dangerous? Is it? Yes. Doing so it something I do not recommend.

Do you want to go to prison? Most do not. Do you want to be killed? Most do not.

Going to a psychiatrist is the most risky thing you can possibly do. You are guaranteed a psych diagnosis. You could get killed by the drugs you are given. Mental patients die 25 years too young. You could get hooked on the drugs (if you can’t stop, you are!). You could get locked up! See? I told you…PRISON!

And ask any junkie. A psych ward is ten times worse than most prisons out there.

Hmm…shall we stick to the internet?

I’m giving you a fair choice.  Shrink? Or dealer? You know, they talk about alternatives, right? Or is there barely any difference?

 

Turmeric and estrogen

The reason Turmeric is recommended to prevent breast cancer (and it was proven in a medical study!) is that it lowers estrogen! Raised estrogen (from HRT or “the pill”) puts a woman at risk for breast cancer! My friend told me turmeric “contains estrogen” but from all the research I can see, maybe my friend had the research mixed up. Turmeric is an anti-estrogen spice! This is good news for men who may need a testosterone boost if sexually harmed by psych drugs.

If women have raised estrogen, they, too, can notice lowered libido. If estrogen is too low, bone thinning can occur, but I highly doubt turmeric on its own can cause bone thinning. Does anyone know?