And I had this dream about two stores, KB Toys and Burlington Coat Factory, located on opposite sides of a mountain. Both stores and the mountain were surrounded by a very complicated maze of roads. (which probably means that it's Northern NJ :) ) So the dream sequence started with quite a bit of driving around trying to find my way in with the aid of a not-too-helpful Streets & Trips map printout.
I got to the KB Toys side of the mountain first. So I entered the store. It was actually quite a large toy store with both a ground level and a lower level. When I got to the lower level, I saw the entrance to a tunnel that evidently went through the mountain to the other store. So I entered the tunnel. It was a rather long tunnel. Midway through the walk, I encountered a dragon going in the other direction. It looked like someone wearing a cartoony dragon head and gloves. (Visualize a character from Dragon Tales as a partial fursuit.) After the midway point, the tunnel started going uphill and it got a lot steeper. I didn't know it was possible to get tired and out-of-breath in a dream but that started to happen. And then finally, I arrived at the other store and the dream ended there.
Interpretation? Well, a long tunnel could symbolize... uh, never mind.
Since I woke up earlier than usual, I headed out to find the Deer Run geocache. It's by the Packanack Brook in Tall Oaks Park in Wayne. It's in a flood plain and there's nothing quite like walking across a frozen swamp on a chilly morning. (I didn't say that it's good. Just that there's nothing like it. :) ) Got FTF on this one, which was a surprise because it had been listed for more than a day already.
But we're getting way ahead of ourselves because I have to tell you about last night's dinner and what happened there. I had a strange craving for Chinese-style fried noodles in sauce. (MSG deficiency probably? :) ) So I went to the nearby Chinese restaurant and had Chicken Pan Fried Noodles.
The restaurant had some unusual clientele that evening and no, I'm not referring to myself. There were two ladies at one table and they ordered a whole head of cabbage. I didn't know it was possible to order just a head of cabbage at the Chinese restaurant so that was weird. I'm not even sure who would go to a restaurant to eat just cabbage. That looks more like the kind of thing I would come up with at home because I'm too lazy to prepare more than one ingredient.
At a second table, there were two ladies and a man. One of the two ladies kept talking about Taiwan and big business in Taiwan, etc, etc. The man was a professional opera singer. How do I know that? Because during the meal, he got up and sang opera! He mentioned that he was making a CD on which he will be singing a bunch contemporary hits but in an opera voice. (Okay, I guess this kind of musical experiment is worth a try.)
He also told a story about how he went to Celine Dion's voice doctor. Now first of all, I didn't know there was such a thing as a voice doctor. Don't they just go to an ENT specialist? Anyway, he said that he called them and as he was on hold, the phone system played one Celine Dion song after another. (I think I would go crazy if I had to listen to one Celine Dion song after another, but I digress.) So when the receptionist answered the phone, he said jokingly that there was so much Celine Dion on the phone that he was wondering if the doctor was Celine Dion's doctor. And then the receptionist answered yes, that's because the doctor was indeed Celine Dion's doctor.
And now let's go forward to this evening, when I went to Palisades Center, which I'm still wondering why I go to since the Rockland County 8.125% sales tax is so burdensome. Actually, I went to pay the Sprint bill. After putting the cash into the payment machine, I went to browse the picture phones.
I really only use the cellphone for a few things:
- Calling the bank to see if they have straps of singles for Where's George.
- Getting geocache information via wireless web.
- Receiving Where's George hit notifications via text messaging.
Apart from that, no, I don't use it to call very many people. Most of my (mis)communication is done online and that's probably why after a while, I alienate everyone I know and go back into a hermit-like mode. (but I digress, as a man who alienates everyone will often do)
As I was looking at the picture phones, a sales rep came by to ask if I needed assistance. But of course! I asked him about the phone rebate. So he went to check my account information. He told me that I was elligible for a rebate but I would have to upgrade to a 400-minute calling plan because my current calling plan was below $35 a month.
WTF? I said, although not in those exact words. My plan was $40 a month! No, he said, it was $29.99 a month. No, I said, it was $39.99. (Sometimes I'm stubborn and cranky like that.) Finally, after going back and forth about half a dozen times over the number, he checked again and told me that $29.99 was the base rate and the extra $10 was from the Vision plan. (which gives me unlimited text messaging, wireless web, etc, etc, etcetera)
The explanation is my plan was an old one that provided 300 minutes for $29.99. Sprint raised their calling plan rates so the $29.99 plan is now a 200-minute plan and the $35.99 plan is a 400-minute plan. So the effect of inflation is either to take away 100 minutes from the $29.99 plan or to add $6 for 100 more minutes that I'll never use. I said that I didn't need 400 minutes, so the sales rep suggested that I call Sprint and negotiate with them to get the rebate even if I keep my current calling plan.
Naturally, I have other options:
- Forget about picture phones and just carry my camera around. (which is the current status anyway, at least until this phone stops working)
- Cancel my Sprint account and switch to another carrier. The advantage here is I can get whatever introductory offers Cingular or Verizon Wireless have. The downside is I actually do like Sprint's payment machines now that they've upgraded the bill acceptors.
- Learn the smoke signal Internet protocol. :)