Sunday, June 28, 2009




Ken and I finally made it back on the Pickleball courts again this weekend!! Can’t say we played very well, but it was great to feel the courts under our feet and to have the paddles in our hands!!!



Ken serves while Harry watches in amazement!!

Mike does the playing but Faye is ready for anything!!

Gilbert displays his commentary on the whole thing!!!

Here's the group that played at Chesapeake Bay the day before we played. Our friends Ralph and Mary are front and center; Karen is second on the right. Harry's the photographer!!


(See article posted June 22 on how I lost my cell phone modem.)

As I said earlier, when I agreed to a new two-year agreement with Verizon in May, my plan was changed without my authorizing it, and we were being charged per Megabyte used on the internet. I was dumbfounded to receive a Verizon bill for $464!! Needless to say, I was very upset and immediately explained the situation to the local Verizon Store Manager. He said he would contact his “contact” in an attempt to reimburse the charge and to return us to our original plan.

Guess What!?! On June 24, I received a call from our Verizon Account Manager. He made some offers, and I countered, and he offered again. Ultimately, Verizon agreed to immediately credit $419 to our account (the charge for megabytes used). They would not agree to return us to our original plan (America’s Choice, 450 Anytime Minutes). We would have to remain on the new Nationwide Basic plan, 450 Anytime Minutes. The Monthly Access charge would remain the same, $39.99 (plus taxes, etc.). But what would happen about using my cell phone as a modem??

GET THIS!!! Verizon has added their V-Cast, V-Pak feature to our plan. The V-Cast, V-Pak feature, allows you to tether your cell phone to your computer using the software called VZAccess and use your cell phone as a modem to connect to the internet for e-mail or internet exploring, etc. (This I did under our old plan, but had to use our cell phone minutes.) However, with the V-Cast, V-Pak feature you have UNLIMITED MEGABYTE USAGE, ANYTIME, DAY OR NIGHT!!!!! Has no connection to your cell phone minutes. The charge for this feature is $15/Month!!! That’s right - $15/Month!!! WHO KNEW???

When we tried to upgrade our phone before, we were told we had to have an internet plan that cost $60/Month in addition to the normal cell phone charges!! So we never upgraded our phone. Now, they say we can upgrade our phone with no change to the current plan.

In addition, our Account Manager arranged for us to receive a Verizon credit for the $15 monthly charge for the V-Cast, V-Pak feature until February 2010, the date our original contract expired. After that date, the charge will be $15/Month indefinitely, unless we choose to change it!!

I’ve checked the plan details of our new plan at the Verizon store in Newport News, and with Verizon Customer Service on the telephone. Both confirmed the details as stated above.

The only thing we did not get is the 100 Bonus Minutes we had under our old contract (Verizon changed that). But, the jerk who called me about the two-year agreement in the first place had promised 100 Bonus Minutes until February 2010. So, I’m still working to get those added to our plan.

Right now, I have to say – WE’RE HAPPY WITH VERIZON!!!

Incidentally, recently in their Newsletter, Geeks on Tour discussed using your cellular service for your broadband Internet connection and the Verizon 5 Gigabyte per month limitation on your usage. This 5 Gigabyte limitation does not apply to the V-Cast, V-Pak feature!!


Ken’s Grandson, Russell in San Diego, graduated from the 8th Grade, going into the 9th. Congratulations, Russell – GREAT job!!!
Here is Russell with his dad, Rich. Russell has really grown tall-l-l-l-l since the last time we saw him in 2006.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yes. I was so stupid!! Last month I got a call from someone (I thought a Verizon rep.). He asked if I wanted to sign up for another two-year agreement with Verizon. I’ve been happy with my service, so I said “OK, but do not change my plan!!” I explained how I was grandfathered under a plan (America’s Choice) and for $5.99 a month I could use my cell phone as a modem to connect to the internet and e-mail. Someone else came on the line to confirm what we had agreed to. I said again, “OK, but do not change my plan.”

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Verizon advising that my bill was ready for viewing and would be automatically deducted (as usual) on July 04. The amount of the bill was $464!!! I immediately called CS, thinking there was an error. She told me the charge was for megabytes used for the internet!!! I stated that I had used my phone as a modem as I had for the past four years. She told me I had a new two-year agreement and as a result my plan had changed to Nationwide and under the new plan I was charged per megabyte!!!

I immediately went to the local Verizon store and talked with the Manager there, explaining how I had told the telemarketer several times not to change my plan, but my plan was changed. Also, I gave him a copy of my contract dated February 2007 that does not end until February 2010. I still have eight months remaining on my current contract.

He understands my plight. Apparently, my contract information was entered incorrectly in their records, and since my contract does not expire until 2010, my account should never have been turned over to be called about a new agreement. He is currently contacting his “contact” about refunding the outrageous charge and voiding the new agreement and reinstating my America’s Choice Plan. GOOG LUCK with that!!

In the meantime, I can’t use my cell phone as a modem and must rely on WiFi at a remote location. That’s what I’m doing today.

After the fact, Ken’s son, Mike, said, “Don’t ever make an agreement over the telephone!”. Strangely enough, my daughter, Stasia, said, “Don’t ever make an agreement over the telephone!!”

I hope you learn from my mistake.


Last Thursday evening I joined our friends, Lois and Gene, at an outdoor concert at the local Short Pump Town Center. It was a huge crowd gathered in the center of the shopping center to hear the “Kings of Swing”, a local group with that “big band” sound. The band was great. The weather was great. The friends were great!! And the food was great. We had coupons for free Chic Fillet sandwich with the purchase of drink and a side, which we bought before the concert and enjoyed while listening to the music. The entire evening was GREAT!! Thanks Lois and Gene for a good time!!
Here is the crowd at the Town Center. See the tree on the left. A little to the right of it is a slightly visible street light under the Crate & Barrel name. We are seated somewhere between the two!!
This picture shows the entire band.

A close-up of the brass section.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Mike and Diane took us out to dinner tonight for in celebration of Father’s Day!!! The restaurant was Mimi’s CafĂ©, a new restaurant that just opened in Short Pump a few weeks ago. Already it is one of their favorites (and with good reason)!!

A funny thing (I thought). The waitress, a really cute young lady, kept coming to our table asking if she could take our dirty dishes. She would pick them up as soon as someone was finished with a dish. Several times I had to grab my bread and butter plate or my salad bowl to keep her from taking it. The four of us kept laughing about it. When she came around again, I had one more bite on my dinner plate, but Ken gave it to her anyway. She said, "You've had it long enough. It's somebody else's turn now!!" We all thought that was a pretty good come-back!!

Thanks, you guys, for a great time and delicious dinner!! Love you!!

(Where the heck was my camera???)


Guess What!!!

Ken’s knee has improved so much he is now able to get up off the low sofa without too much problem, so we don’t need the six inch form pads to raise the height of the bed anymore. Now we need to get them out of the motor home!!!

Can you or anyone you know in the Richmond or Gloucester areas use two very nice, very firm, very thick foam rubber pads? (Each pad is 26 X 36 X 6 inches thick; together they are 6 feet long). And, they are YOURS for the taking!!! Give us a call: 804-301-8465.

These pads would be great to make a very nice “Day Bed” (as we well know);
Great as a "Day Bed"!!
Or they could be used as a mattress for visiting grands; or as really, really neat floor pillows; or cut-to-shape for chair cushions!!! The possibilities are endless!!! WOW!!!
Great on the floor as floor pillows!!!
Possibilities are endless!!!
Remember -- They are YOURS!!! What a DEAL!!! Give us a call: 804-301-8465.


Good Pickleball friends Karen and Harry and Mary and Ralph arrived at TT Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday afternoon for a couple of weeks’ stay.

We met Mary and Ralph in July 2004 –taught them how to play Pickleball, took them for a boat ride up the Piankatank River where we got caught in a deluge of rain, and introduced them to Euchre. They in turn talked us into playing water volleyball where I immediately jammed my arthritic thumb!! Ouch!! It was a lot of fun.

A few years later, Mary and Ralph met Karen and Harry on the Chesapeake Bay Pickleball court. They have been best of friends since that time. They usually meet here once a year, usually in July. Geez. Seems we've know Karen and Harry for a long time, too. We were all here last July 2008 when our friends Wayne and Nancy stopped by Chesapeake Bay on their RV trip East.

We could only say “Hello” and “Goodbye” because we were scheduled to leave the park on Wednesday morning for our “week out”. However, I was able to join the four of them for some of Mary’s delicious home made banana pudding! Harry threatened to buy up all of Wal-Mart’s old bananas so Mary could make lots and lots of pudding!! UUMMMMMMMMMM

Fortunately, we’ll be back next week before they leave. We’ll get to play around with them then!

Monday, June 8, 2009


My friend, Suzanne, and her husband, John, left TT Chesapeake Bay for Pennsylvania this morning. I will surely miss her. Except for our “week out”, the two of us spent hours every afternoon doing line dancing here at the Campground. Sometimes she showed me the steps; sometimes I showed her something I remembered. Then on the weekends I would teach other campers and Suzanne was always there to help.
Here is a group of beginners we had on Saturday

Here we are again doing Water Aerobics in spite of the cold, cold water!! BURRRRRRR!!!

Thanks again, Suzanne, for all of your help and for all the FUN we had!!! Hope to see you soon.


Good News!! Ken’s recovery from knee surgery is going very well. In fact, when we moved from the Richmond Elk’s Lodge back down to the Chesapeake Bay Campground on June 3rd, Ken is the one who drove the RV! We go into Gloucester for Physical Therapy two days a week – Ken for his knee and me for my hip which is still bothering me but is a lot better now.

A part of Ken’s therapy continues to be Wii Tennis. Here Rick and Mike came to challenge him, but ended up challenging each other! What a backhand!!!

A couple of weeks ago when we were riding around the campground on Mike’s golf cart, we saw Jenny and Gilbert (of the Golf Cart Race). Jenny had knee replacement surgery in February and has made remarkable progress.
Jenny and Gilbert
Jenny and Ken could not resist the opportunity to compare knee surgery scars!!
This weekend Jenny tried her hand at Pickleball!! Maybe it won’t be too long before Ken is back on the court!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


May 31 – While we were in Richmond for our “week out” from TT Chesapeake Bay, I discovered the Annual Greek Festival was being held in town. Even though Ken could not go, I called all of our hometown friends to see if anyone was going so I could join them. No one was going this year!!

A day later, our friends, Lois and Gene, called to say she had a great recipe for a Greek dish and invited us to their home for our own private Greek Festival!! We were also joined by friends Karen and Dennis. (The six of us have been friends for YEARS!!). It was great seeing them all again and having delicious Green Moussaka. Thanks, Lois and Gene.
Faye, Lois and Karen
Moussaka, made of eggplant, potatoes, eggs and who knows what else. UMMMMMMM!!
Incidentally, Lois is the friend to whom we gave a Purple Shamrock many years ago; and she, in return, gave us starter plants for Ken to give his daughters in Florida. Ken took a tiny bulb from one of those starter plants and planted it for us. (See March article, “Follow the Purple Shamrock”). I thought now would be a good time to show how much our Shamrock has grown.

Shamrock as it was in March and late May.