Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Ring-A-Dingy...!

I hate to admit it, but I finally broke down and bought a cell phone.

Before you start reminding me of how much I hate them, let me explain the reason behind my getting one. My Vonage modem gave out a couple of days ago after several years of use. This meant that I was going to have to buy another modem, and at the monthly cost...low as it was...I decided to take a closer look at my options.

I had been seeing the ads for the MagicJack for a while. I even had read a couple of reviews from other bloggers like our blogging friend, Wretha . The MagicJack had a lot in common with Vonage...unlimited local and long distance, both working off the Internet, both cheaper than the phone company, both using plain phones without any extra purchase! The one main difference was the cost! Vonage was $24.95 a month...the MagicJack was only $19.95 a year! That's right, a YEAR!

Now, I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack, but even I could see that the MagicJack was a lot better deal! So I got one...! I now only had one problem. As I said, the MagicJack is Internet powered. That means that during a storm, like a hurricane ...if the 'net goes down, so does my phone! Normally that's not a problem for me, because I hate phones in general...but with my Mother getting on up in age, and some health issues being factored in I figured that I needed a way for her to reach me, even if the power went out.

I had already purchased a cell phone for her, but during a power outage, she would not be able to reach me...so I broke down and bought a cell for myself!

Anyway, now she is covered, I am covered...and I have more phones than I'll ever need! Oh well, sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and do what is necessary because of the circumstances! Just don't think badly of me, OK?

Now, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit, my friends...and please, turn off that phone for me, OK?


Marie said...

I think that you made a smart choice--money and family-wise. So I say, good job!

HermitJim said...

Hey Marie...
Sometimes we just have to do things we may not like! That's what we prepare for...doing the necessary.

Hey, I sure do appreciate you coming by today...!

Felinae said...

Hi Uncle Hermit,

Sounds like you made a good wise, sound decision, for everyone involved.

I would love to have a cup of coffee with you.

Oh, and it's not a problem for me to turn off my phone. I always practice good phone etiquette :D

I turn if off if I am in stores or restaurants, matter of fact, the only time it is on is when I am riding shot-gun in the car or at home.

Kinda makes me wonder why I have it at all. LOL!

Have a great day and enjoy your new phone. :D


HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
I sure am glad to hear that you don't talk on it and drive! That really burns me up when I see that!

I knew that I liked you for many reasons, now I know another!

Having one is just like insurance, I guess!

Thanks for coming by the patio today, my friend!

Anonymous said...

So why didn't you post your phone number? We'd have a lot of fun with that.

Enjoy your coffee.

Anonymous said...

Heck of a nice price for that magicjack - I'm a techno holdout too, but thats sounds like a deal too.

I'll keep reading your blog, but only if you promise to 'bedazzle' the phone - I WANT PHOTOS BUB! :^)


Have a great day HermitJim!

Baby Sis said...

Thanks, Bubba. I love you for doing something you hate, but thinking of others and helping those of us less prepared. Shows, once again, why I love having you for a Big Brother!

Hugs -

Did it MY way said...

Good morning Jim;

I'm with you-hate phones.

I went kicking and dragging into the 21century to. Have the Majic Jack, and the cheapest senior plan for the verizon cell phone. The things I do for my kids. They bitched because after I sold the shop and the condo they had no way to reach me...I thought that was good. lol

But like you say family first.

I thnk you made a good deceison.

See Ya

JoJo said...

Good morning my Special One, Good for you. I have a freind who has magic jack and it doesn't work so well in the mountains, but she has verizon also. We all have verizon around here becuase we can call each other all the time at no minutes cost. Love it.
You did right with all that goes on in this world today and to be able to keep in touch with your mom. Have you taught her how to use it and keep it charged? :)
Lets sit out and have some coffee it is beautiful this morning.

HermitJim said...

Hey Kris...
That's all I need ! All of my many fans calling day and night!( NOT)

Actually, I don't mind any one having my number...except fund-raisers, salesmen, telemarketers, religious organizations, tax collectors, ex wives, and all of the automatic number dialing robots in the world trying to sell me new siding!

Hey, I do appreciate you dropping by today!

Hey Anon 715...
Can you imagine someone even carrying that thing around, or even admitting to owning it? People are so nuts sometimes!

I do appreciate the visit today...!

Hey Sis...
AAAwww, you're gonna make me blush! I do appreciate the good thoughts this morning, though!

Good to see you here this morning, sis!

Hey Tony...
Funny how we do what we can for family in spite of ourselves, huh?

Guess we could always turn off the phones and tell them " I got one like you wanted, but I never said I'd leave it on!"

Hey, thanks for coming by, Tony!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Sorry to hear that your friend has problems with her service in the mountains, but here in the city mine seems to work just fine!

The main reason I got one was to give mom a way to reach me if she went somewhere and had car trouble.

Now if I could get her to carry it, all would be good!

I sure am glad to see you here this morning, sweetie!

vlad said...

and now the good news
This is good to know if you in the group the administration thinks may be a potential resistor and terrorist. So far as I know that group includes all living males.
Take the battery out of your cell except when you wish to use it.
It says here that They (aka certain unnamed federal agencies) can track your whereabouts and listen to your conversation thanks to your cell phone even if it turned OFF. That is handy in case They want to send an ambulance to help you, or a SWAT team to kill you.

excerpt The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a "roving bug," and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.
The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone.
end excerpt

Wretha said...

Hey HJ, you'll like your Magic Jack (MJ), once you get it set up, you don't even need to have it turned on, if anyone calls you and leaves a voicemail message, you get an email with the voicemail , you can screen your calls. Just don't forget to actually call yourself from time to time to delete your messages. I only plug mine in when I am going to be using it, making a call.

In the entire time I have had my MJ, I have not had ONE telemarketer call or any other unwanted call, no worries about that, at least not yet. They don't seem to have these phone numbers, yet...

Go for the 5 year plan, pay for 3, get 2 free, it's the best deal going. Now that they are selling in every store you can imagine, they have the infrastructure to be around for a while.

Don't bother with their customer assistance, it's known to be horrible, well they gotta pinch some pennies somewhere... go here www.magicjacksupport.com/ sign up (free) and you will get all the help, tips, tricks, hacks you can handle. I have gotten better and faster technical help here than you could ever get from the official source.

Catman said...

Big Lots has out of favor TracPhone models, new in blister pack with a prepaid ten minute airtime package, for $10.00.

New airtime cards can be purchased anywhere from 7-11, Target stores, to truck stops.

These phones are cool because they're not activated like phones with a contract attached to them, and don't have a name and address attached to them.

HermitJim said...

Hey Vlad...
I remember reading about this a while back! Sort of scary, what the PTB can do if they want!

I very seldom talk on my phone, and the cell is off most of the day. I usually only have it on at night when the other one is off!

Since I live by myself, the only time I talk out loud is when I'm yelling at the cats...

Thanks for the information this morning, buddy!

Hey Wretha...
So far it has performed very well. I think that it's a much better deal than anything else going right now...

I hope you don't mind me putting your link on the blog this morning, but since you gave me the first idea of the MJ, I wanted folks to know about it!

I really appreciate you dropping by today, my friend!

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
The Big Lot store near us closed down and moved to a more affluent part of town! Maybe I could have found some of those phones somewhere else, but for now, I'll just use this prepaid from Virgin Mobile.

I really don't want one...but gotta have it, I reckon!

Hey, thanks for taking the time to come by today, my man! I appreciate it!

Wretha said...

Hey HJ, of course I don't mind you putting the link to my blog, spread the love! I appreciate it very much.

Let's see, I like my MJ, it works better than a cell phone (out where I live), it is slightly worse than a land line, but they have gotten better and better. For me, it's just about the only option, I refuse to have a utility pole planted on my property for financial and personal reasons.

One thing I have discovered is at least on my computer, I can't do anything else on my computer when I am using my MJ, it makes both parties sound like Max Headroom, so when I want to use the MJ, I shut down all other programs, plug in the MJ, use it, then I unplug it. That is what works for me.

Oh I almost forgot to add, the MJ does not play well with satellite internet connections or dial up. You need a fast, broadband connection, such as DSL, cable, wireless and such. If you can stream a movie without much lag, then you should be ok with your MJ. If it doesn't work for you, just take it back where you purchased it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Wretha...
I just use the same phone I was using with Vonage, and so far it works fine. When I get moved, it may be a different story, but I'll deal with that when the time comes!

I can still use my PC while on the phone, but then I'm on broadband!

Do you use satellite internet?

Wretha said...

No, we don't have satellite, we have wireless broadband internet, my neighbor uses satellite, that's how I know for sure the MJ will not work with satellite, it has to do with the delay, lag that occurs between the computer/phone and the satellite.

That's good that you can use your computer at the same time you are using your MJ, I suppose it's my cheapie laptop, just not enough computing power.

Be sure to check out that unofficial MJ forum, I can't tell you how much that has helped me.

Oh, another thing you might want to do, especially after you get a bunch of phone numbers programmed into the darned thing, make a backup copy of your phone book, use your computer to look at the memory stick/MJ unit, look for the file called AddressBook.xml, copy this to a safe place, this way if you ever have to reprogram your MJ unit, all you have to do is copy that file back to the memory stick/MJ unit, believe me, it's lots easier than trying to reprogram each and every phone number you have one by one.

HermitJim said...

Hey Wretha...
Thanks for the info! I'll do that!

Kyddryn said...

Poor Mister Hermit, sir, dragged kicking and screaming into modern times.

I still have an actual land-line for a phone at home. I know! And...the one phone I can count on when the power is out is from the late seventies and could double as a home defense system, it's so sturdy. I love it.

I was considering getting the MJ, but decided against when I learned I can't keep my current number. Oh, well.

Welcome to the age of ringing pockets and your bottom making phone calls when you aren't looking!

Shade and Sweetwater,

Meadowlark said...

I'm a bad guest. I keep my phone on. If my kids or husband have an emergency, I want to be there. Same with my parents.

If your mom were ill and needed you, would you want to say to yourself "Gee, I wasn't there because my phone was off"?

Of course, I can do this because I don't really get any social calls on my phone and anybody I'm around can either deal with the fact that my family is more important or they can not be my friend.

But I'm mean that way. :)

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
After 16 years of working for the phone company, I don't mind doing without a phone. But with the need being here for mom needing me, it was necessary.

I always have at least one phone turned on...

I could care less about what my number is...as I never call myself anyway! When I had my cabs, it was a different story!

Thanks for coming by today, K...

Hey Meadowlark...
I can see you keeping your phone on, but in my case it really isn't all that necessary!

I live alone, but right next door to my mom. She has a button I got for her to wear that rings a bell in my house if she falls or something.

Most of the time, I don't go anywhere...and if I do go to the store, I will take my phone with me and have it on vibrate.

At least one of the phones at my house is on all the time. The Magic Jack during the day, and the cell phone by my bed at night!

So, I've done what I ca...and the rest I have to put in the hands of a higher power, ya know?

Thanks so much for coming by today!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I would never think badly of You for having gotten a cell phone! They are handy for those reasons You say! I usually have cars that has seen better days, so I have one (but we call them Mobiles) for that reason. I never knows when my cars wants to die :-) :-)

Unfortunally in the last big storm we had here, the masts for the cellphones fell, so they were no use during the time they were neded :-) :-) :-)
Have a great day now!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
I considered the fact that the cell phone towers might go down in a bad storm, but they are more likely to stay up than the buried phone cables or the Internet, at least here.

No way to cover all the bases, I guess. You just do what you can!

Hey, buddy, I appreciate the visit!

Angela said...

Yeah, I had to get one a little bit ago also. After I blew a tire on the freeway 3 hours from home and used somebody else's cell phone to call him, we decided it very well could have happened 3 hours in another direction where there aren't as many people around to help and it would be safest if I had a cell phone of my own to call him if I need to. Ugh. So now I tote around a phone just in case.

I've used the alarm and calendar on it a lot more than the phone call part of it. Very useful to get a beep when I need to go pick my daughter up from kindergarten or son has soccer practice or scouts or daughter has piano lessons. That has been worth it. The phone calls I can do without.

HermitJim said...

Hey Angela...
I guess this one has a lot of extras on it, but to tell the truth I don't even know or use them if they are on there!

Emergency use is what they are intended for, and remembering to pick up the kids falls under that list now days! And, of course, flat tires!

Thanks for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

2 soup cans and some fishing line is cheaper than a phone and more fun, ( if your 12 years old)

HermitJim said...

Hey Off Grid...
Man, I remember those days of the tin can phones...back when we made our own toys!

The quality wasn't that bad, considering!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Diane said...

OMG! First I am so proud of you and second I hate to be last to comment. It nearly took me an hour to get to the end so that I could say my piece.
Guess that is what "popular" means...HermitJim Rocks!

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane...
I'm certainly glad you made it to the comment section, my friend! Some days I get a lot of comments, and some days I don't!

I'm so pleased with each and every one of my readers, believe me! When I first started blogging, I felt proud to have 5 or 6 followers...today I'm just blown away every day!

A lot of friends included in the folks that come by each and every day and I just consider myself very lucky indeed!

Thank you so much for coming by, Diane!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Well it's about time you got one of those things Jim. I hate them too, but I also feel kinda naked without it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Hermit...
Guess I needed one, but Damn...I sure hate the idea of having it!

I'm just too old and too stubborn to get used to it, I reckon! Although I will have to have a phone when I get to the country, for sure!

For someone that likes things simple, I sure am getting into some complications!

Hey, thanks for stopping by, my friend!

MsBelinda said...

Hi HermitJim, its like you read my mind I was looking for info about the MagicJack and from this post learned that with my dial-up connection I wont be able to use it.

I know how you feel about cell phones, I gave mine up 3 years ago. Only had one so my mom could be able to reach me but now that we live together I no longer need it.

You are a good son!!

HermitJim said...

Hey MsBelinda...
I am so glad that you were able to get some information from this post and the comments. My readers provide so much information that I learn from...it's amazing!

I don't know about the good son part, but I do what I can. I think for her, it's comforting to know that she can reach someone if she needs them.

I sure am glad that you could drop by today...it means a lot! Believe me...!