Wow, really enjoying the new phones and services so far on Verizon!  Who knew we’d ever be able to get voicemails in TEXT format and even receive faxes on our regular cell phone numbers!?!  I feel like I’ve been missing out.  Not that I use faxing a lot, but we use it at work, and I sometimes need it for personal business, so maybe it’ll come in handy.  Sure would have come in handy a few years back when I had my small business.  It’s interesting how it works:  When someone sends a fax to your cell phone number (I didn’t believe this would even work until I tried it myself) you get a voicemail that tells you there’s a fax for you.  The voicemail system gives you the option of immediately printing the fax if you’re checking your voicemail from a fax machine, or you can enter an “alternate destination”, which can be the number of ANY fax machine.  So I entered the number the fax machine I was near and in comes the fax!  Why I, of all people, am surprised by this, I don’t know.  I guess I just never conceived of a solution like this.  Could be pretty handy.  Now if it could just take that one extra step of converting that fax to a PDF and actually placing it ON my phone, now THAT would blow my mind.

Verizon also just started their “Unlimited” plan at the same time I was in the middle of switching to them.  I looked at the details though–particularly how they throttle down your speed after you hit so many Gigs of usage, and also the price bump of $40 more than their highest non-Unlimited plan (which is what we have) for our 3 lines.  I could see it being pretty popular, especially for families, but I don’t think we’ll have any problems with the 8GB+2GB+2GB+2GB we get per month (2GB bonus per line for life) without the throttling.  With that, and the unlimited full-sized photo and video storage capacity for as long as we keep using our Google Pixels, we’ll stay put for now.

Murder mystery from 1979

I found some interesting newspaper clippings in my dad’s things recently when we cleaned out his house. My mother liked to clip and save articles that involved friends or family, and she stored them away for future reference. Three of these clippings I found gave me some chilling flashbacks to something that happened when I was 16 years old. On Saturday evening, May 27th, 1979 our family went to the outdoor theater. We returned home at around 1:30 am and when we got out of the car all of us realized there was a strong smell of smoke in the air. Not seeing anything obviously visible, we walked around the neighborhood to find out where it was strongest. It wasn’t coming from our house, to our relief, but something was obviously burning. It quickly became clear that it was strongest straight across the street from our house. My dad walked up to the door of Mr. Bosman’s house at 6612 20th avenue and felt the door. It was very hot. He then opened the door, while at the same time I stood out front telling him he’s not supposed to open it. Smoke poured out of the door and it was so thick he didn’t try to go in immediately. He shouted across the street to my mom, who was on our porch, telling her that the fire was here, ‘call the fiire department!’. My mom basically panicked at this point and kept asking questions like “what should she say?”, “is Mr. Bosman ok?”, etc.. I was standing in front of the house and told my dad “I’LL call them!”. This was back when there were Emergency Fire Boxes on most street corners around town that contained a telephone link directly to the fire department. Most kids were well-trained about these boxes and when they were supposed to use them, so I quickly ran down to the corner, opened the box, picked up the phone and connected to the Kenosha Fire Department. I explained that the door was hot and my dad opened it and smoke is pouring out. They asked if anyone was inside and I said I didn’t know. My dad had gone into the house, found Mr. Bosman, but couldn’t tell if he was ok or not. He didn’t give a lot of information, probably because I was just a kid, and my mom was too upset already to handle more. The Fire Deparment showed up in a few minutes and took over. Mr. Bosman was found dead, and that’s about all I remember from that night. I remember that his death was somehow ruled a suicide, but we found this rediculous, since he was found with several broken ribs and several wounds to the head. How the heck does someone do all that trying to kill themselves?!?! All of the details are in the three articles my mom kept, so I thought I’d post them here, since I scanned them anyway, to preserve them digitally. The articles were very yellowed and close to falling apart, so I scanned them greyscale and sharpened them up a bit. I put all three articles in one PDF file, so you can download it and zoom in on the text to read each article. Bosman Articles – 1979