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April 11, 2013

Easter brought plenty of dinners to attend

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — We are most happy to report that we did very well this year in the “Easter Dinner” category. In fact, we managed to take in two such dinners, the first of which was a family get-together held on Saturday night at the Fly Creek home of Alice and Harvey Eckler.

The gathering was treated to a fabulous ham dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables, broccoli casserole, coleslaw, bread and two kinds of pie, chocolate and lemon. In attendance, in addition to us, were Alice and Harvey, of course, Mike and Michelle Eckler and their sons, Michael and Matthew, Gail Eckler Nagel, Michael and Shelley Eckler Sullivan and Shelley’s sons, AJ and David as well as AJ’s girlfriend, Shennie.

We also enjoyed our second Easter dinner at the American Hotel in Sharon Springs with a friend whose husband was out of town Easter weekend. Our dinner there featured a shrimp cocktail, salad, rack of lamb, mashed potatoes, gravy and maple cream layer cake with vanilla ice cream. It, too, was fabulous. And both of the dinners were, in our opinion, traditional Easter meals.

However, we have had the rather dubious experience, while visiting friends in New Jersey, of partaking of roast turkey on Easter. It simply did not work for us. Nor did we think that the idea of having corned beef and cabbage, which we understand was served in at least one household this year, quite lives up to our expectations for Easter dinner.

However, as much as we enjoyed our Sunday Easter Dinner, we must say we were stunned when we realized, after we were seated, that the teenage lad at the next table, who appeared to be there with his parents and grandmother, was, for much of the meal, involved in playing a game on what think was his iPad. We so wanted to lean over and ask, if he was more interested in his game than his dinner companions, why he had bothered to join them for dinner. But we did use our better judgment and keep our thoughts to ourselves at the time.

We can well understand the use of electronic media to amuse young children while dining out, but we really think we would be inclined to draw the line on such behavior by teenagers. Besides, we did not particularly enjoy seeing the iPad in motion every time we looked up from our meal. To say that we found it to be distracting is an understatement. While we greatly enjoy watching people, we really have little, if any interest, in watching people’s iPads. The only saving grace was that the user of the iPad also used earphones so we were not treated to the sound which we assumed accompanied the game.

But then, we tend to always run into problems with media items. For example we recently wanted to return a cable television box and some sort of a television adapter to Time Warner Cable. So we innocently called Time Warner to inquire if we might return the items to the store in Oneonta. We thought it would be an easy yes or no call. But alas, that was not the case.

The gentleman who answered our call, immediately pulled up our account, as if that had anything to do with our question, and demanded that we give him our pin number before he could talk with us. We, of course, were completely clueless about any pin number. He then told us that we had picked it ourselves in June of 2011. We so wanted to tell him that that was almost two years ago and we are old should not be expected to remember such a thing. But we didn’t. He then asked us what the last four digits of our Social Security number are and when we told him, he informed us that was not our Social Security number.

We then moved on to trying to answer the question posed as to what amount we paid on our last bill. After locating our checkbook, we told him our last payment was made on March 8 and gave him the amount. That too was incorrect. Not only was the amount wrong, but the date of our last payment, so we were told, was March 16. We had no record of any payment on March 16. We told him our next payment was going to be made on April 5 and gave him that amount, which seemed to match the amount he claimed we had paid on March 16.

At that point, he told us to pick a new pin number after which he finally answered our question, pointing out however, that we needed to bring all sorts of documentation with us to Oneonta so we could straighten out our account, which we did without the benefit of documentation and in half the time it took us to get an answer to our innocent question on the telephone. But of course, the gentleman on the telephone did thank us for choosing Time Warner, as if we really have a choice in the matter.

And finally, while there was interest is using the name “Purple Perambulator” for our recently acquired walker, there was also the thinking that it is really a rather cumbersome name. However, the name “Lavender Landrover” was suggested by a reader. It is a name with which we were immediately taken. Not only is it easier to say, it also acknowledges the fact that the walker is really lavender, not purple. Thus, chances are when we are next seen out and about we will be accompanied by none other than the Lavender Landrover.

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