Thursday, May 31, 2012


Back in March I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.  It was kind of a birthday present for myself and my rationale for getting it was that I wanted to be able to take notes on it and easily transfer them via email as I act as secretary for many of the organizations I am involved with.  It worked great and for a while I was very happy with it.  Then over the weekend I tried to use it to look at some videos and could not get past the welcome screen.  For some reason I was getting an error that said there was an error with the process  This came up and no matter how many times I clicked the Force Close button I could not get past it.
I looked online and found that the process com error sometimes comes up when the tablet has gotten halfway through a download and it stops because it either it lost power or lost connection.  Whatever it was I was not able to do much of anything.  I did an online chat with Samsung and they ended up telling me it needed service because I could not perform the steps they suggested to do a factory reset.  It turns out the nearest service center is in Plano, Texas.  Great : (
I was, however, able to connect it to my laptop and download all the documents I had created on it.  This is a very good thing because a factory reset wipes out all your data.  It took a while to do the reset because I could not really access the power and the volume button, which you need to do when you do a factory reset.  You see I had also purchased a Zagg Bluetooth keyboard and the cover of the keyboard fits so tight I could not get the tablet out.  I pushed and pulled and finally had to have my husband grab one end and pull with me.  We finally managed to wrangle the thing out of there and I was able to perform the necessary steps to wipe out the possible offending program, or whatever it was, and start over.  Of course I had to reconnect with my home network and set up my email again, but after doing that I was back to normal.  All of the apps that I had downloaded from the Google Play store were automatically downloaded again.  Pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


For the life of me I will never understand why people commit crimes. These days if you do something wrong they will catch you and put you away. Our state is pretty tough on some crimes, especially crimes that involve guns. There are mandatory sentences that will put you away for at least 5-10 years depending on the crime if you use a gun – even a fake one. Going to jail for doing a stupid thing that you may have done in a fit of desperation when you felt you had no option puts your life on hold and sometimes permanently.

If you do a more serious crime, like shoot someone, obviously 5 years doesn’t enter into the picture. It’s a lot more. Why would anyone risk doing it? Do people actually want go to jail? I shake my head whenever I read the news and see young men committing crimes like shooting someone because they want the other person’s iPod, or killing their best friend because they had a beef with them. Is it really worth throwing away your life? Yet the prospect of going to jail doesn’t seem to stop some people from doing the deed. I guess they don’t believe they will get caught.

Jail doesn’t really do anything to teach a person. It just warehouses people until their sentence is over. It is especially true now with our current governor who cut education in jails as well as schools.  No, jail simply allows people to spend all their time networking and learning about what others have done. All it does is make an offender, especially a young impressionable man who made a stupid mistake, more of a criminal when they get out. Then when they get out they have a record and are scarred for the rest of their lives. They have a really hard time getting a decent job, they may not be able to get school loans to improve their education, and they may not be able to have resources available to them that others have. One stupid mistake and you are messed up for life.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t put people away, and there is something to be said for being hard on crime, but there has to be more available for the person after they get out so they can put that kind of life aside and start over again. Resources should be easy to find after you have paid your debt to society and people have to have a chance to build trust in others. Above all, there has to be something else that really deters crime. My jury is still out as to whether jail is it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lifestyle Change

I have been flirting with the idea of going vegetarian again.  I did it once several years ago and it was total failure.  My husband hates vegan and I don’t see any real reason to go there unless I can stop cooking meat altogether so this is going to be a major challenge.  I frankly don’t see the point to trying to eat a plant based diet if I have to cook meat for him. 
At any rate, the other day a coworker, who is vegan, loaned me a book called The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.  The coworker loaned it to me because I had asked her for a recipe for granola and it is in the book.  Also in the book is a whole narrative of how Silverstone went vegan and why she supports it.  There are medical testimonials in there from various doctors as well touting the benefits of a plant based diet. It seems to make sense so I am willing to "dip my toe in the water", as she says, and learn more about it. 
The last time I did this, I gained a lot of weight because I ate way too much pasta.  Now that I have the vegetable garden going and we have been enjoying wonderful salad greens and some other things maybe things can be a little different.  In addition I have learned to control my eating issues and hold them at bay and eat healthy, natural foods with the Mediterranean Diet Plan.  I had tried to cook Tofu in the past and disguise it from my husband but that didn’t seem to work all that much.  I do cook one or two vegetarian meals a week now but if I can somehow phase in more, that would be great.  I do know that the whole meat production is a huge drain on the planet and by doing one or two meatless meals a week we can help reduce that a little.  The bottom line is that it is all about being healthier and doing my part to treat the earth with respect and love. What can be wrong about that?

Friday, May 25, 2012


The other day I saw a commercial for Comcast or some other cable television company and they were touting how great their prices were.  In the commercial, a woman was shown sitting with her husband and family and said gleefully that even they could afford it as her family was on a budget.  I immediately thought that if she were on such a tight budget then why are you subscribing to cable in the first place?  She could save over $100 a month and buy more important things such as food or gas.  It just really riled me that the poor people out there were being suckered in with this type of advertising.
I live in an area where the level of poverty is more visible than other areas.  My husband and I moved there because we could not afford to live in the town we grew up in and now we are really involved in the area and don’t want to move.  Besides our house is paid off and at our age, we don’t feel like having another house payment.  However, as one drives through our town one sees satellite dish after satellite dish.  Why are they spending money on TV when they could be saving it or spending it on essentials?  Television out of the air is totally sufficient.  But that's just me, I guess.  
Sometimes, I am just so puzzled when it comes to people's priorities. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


They say that when men get old, they get distinguished and when women get old, the just get old.  Well I don’t know about that because some men I look at look really old.  But what I think it comes down to is lifestyle.  The rich and famous have the resources to live fabulous lives; they travel, they are able to exercise when they want to (and often have home gyms and trainers), but most importantly they are able to eat well.  They can afford good, nutritious, healthy food that is cooked from scratch and doesn’t contain hug fructose corn syrup and a myriad of chemicals.  Those chemicals preserve food, not humans.
As I have gotten more and more into my garden and buying fresh, local food, I take note of the people who shop at various markets.  Those who shop at Wegman’s for example, look better than those who shop at Shop Rite.  The ones that shop at Wegman’s seem healthier, they seem more put together, and they look less weathered.  I am totally convinced that it is because of money and that’s a shame considering the majority of us are in the 99% and don’t have a lot of money.  Is it because we have to be concerned with every cent and if you don’t shop carefully you will end up buying highly processed foods because they are cheaper?  Yes, good, organically grown vegetables are more expensive and fresh ingredients to make a meal can end up being more expensive if you aren’t careful, but look at the back end and the cost of the health problems if you eat highly processed foods as a daily fare.  I think it all weighs out in the end.
The bottom line is that we all need to continue the fight to make every American aware of the importance of real food.  In the long run it will save money on health care and I think it will make us happier.  We can all be a nation of people who age like George Clooney and reduce the possible prediction that 42% of our population will be obese by 2030.   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Magnificent Flower

The peony in my garden has finally bloomed and it is magnificent!  I love those flowers but it amazes me so that they are so top heavy and without support flop all over the place.  I wonder what was done in ancient time or in the wild to make them stand tall.  This is actually the first year I have used supports.  I traded a support for some strawberry plants with a coworker.  I am so glad I did because I think I have never seen the blooms on this plant look so good. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seed Company

For the last few seed orders I have ordered online at Victory Seed.  They are a company that specializes in open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties.  I have found that they have a great selection, their seeds come well packaged, and they have speedy delivery.  I ordered Arugula back in March and I have harvested many great tasting leaves since then.  I am doing successive planting of the lettuces and radishes and have had a wonderful supply of salad greens since the last week of March.  I almost have too much for my husband and me!
I recently became more aware of the importance of planting organic, open pollinated seeds.  Hey, what can I say, this gardening thing is still relatively new to me!  I am leaning more toward open pollinated seeds because I am growing now to be able to save my seeds later, and with the hybrid stuff I understand it could be a gamble that you get the plants you put in the ground and what comes back from the seeds with the hybrid stuff.  In addition, I am trying to get more and more organic and the idea of open pollinated seeds appeals to me.
So give these people a try and see if you like them.  They also have a blog.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Creative Husband

Sometime last year, my husband talked to the owner of a bicycle shop whom he knows.  He asked that the owner call him if a bicycle was brought in that was beyond repair.  His thought was that we could paint it up and display it on the wall of our house over the flower garden.  

A few weeks ago the call came through that a bicycle was available.  It was in a flood and was too rusted out to have anything done about it, at least as far as putting it back to riding condition. 

So we went over and picked it up and brought it back to the house.  We took the wheels and started painting.   We decided that if we hung it from the fence rather than on the house, we could enjoy it while sitting on the patio.  Besides we would not have to cut off the handlebars.  So he put up a piece of board in the spot that a fence panel was (it had been missing for a while and our neighbor did not replace it) and hung the bike from there.  I think it looks pretty cool, and a really different piece of “artwork” for the garden.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I am a competitive person.  I am not so competitive that I have to win at all costs, not like my brother whose competitive nature launched many a childhood fight.  Maybe it is because he is my younger brother and felt he had to beat me at every game we played, but playing a game like Monopoly was a cut throat sport with him and not much fun.  I will not do things that are immoral or dishonest to win at something – I am not that person.  But I have been known to work to beat others at things such as sports or work achievements.
So it kind of surprised me that my love of cycling was impacted by my competitive nature.  I found this out because I have been wondering why over the last three years that my husband and I have been cycling that I have been slowly losing enthusiasm for the sport. At first I was thinking it was just plain boredom, but the other day I realized that it is because I just want to beat my husband at something.  In the beginning I was the stronger, faster rider.  Now he is and I know I cannot beat him any longer so I have given up and I don’t push myself.
It was an interesting discovery. I believe husbands and wives play these little games with each other because they can fight the battle of the sexes in a comfortable setting.  They don’t verbalize this with each other, or maybe they don’t even realize it, but I think that competitive feelings can cause a great deal of conflict in some marriages.  There are plenty of things that I am better at but instead of being happy with those things I have feel that I have to compete and be better at everything.  Is my competitive nature increasing with age, or do I need to compete with him to improve my self-image?  Oh well, another mystery to figure out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scary Statistic

Here is a sobering fact.  I read an interesting article recently that stated that in about 18 years from now 42% of Americans will be obese.  It seems like far away and in some respects it is, but it really isn’t but the good news is that it allows us time to make changes.  Obesity is a growing (pardon the pun) problem in this country and will increase the amount we spend on health care for things like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and associated illnesses that come along with those things.  While the pharmaceutical industry is licking their lips with anticipation, the issue is a really serious one and one that can be changed.  We all must have the will power to make it happen.
First and foremost, we have to stop eating processed foods, especially foods with high fructose corn syrup.  We have to campaign with our wallets and purchase fresh food with ingredients we can pronounce.  If we demand the food industry will deliver.  We need to demand that people on social programs providing dollars, are able to purchase good food that is not processed.  We need to teach them to cook and perhaps to garden and grow their own foods.  We need to teach our children what to eat and what not to eat and teach them not to be swayed by Captain Crunch and others.
The municipality where I live now is one of lower economic means and we have just begun to introduce a community garden partnering with a local church to hold cooking lessons.  We got a huge contribution in the form of extra vegetables from a local gardener and will be kicking off a grand opening in two weeks.  Many communities in this country are doing the same so there is hope that this trend can be turned around.  We need to attack it nutritionally, naturally, and knowingly so that more and more people can work towards a healthier future.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wear Purple for Peace

Today is Wear Purple for Peace Day and I am wearing the required color.  Apparently aliens also like that color so if everyone wears purple today, then we may expect some aliens to arrive shortly.  Purple is the combination of blue and red, so the joining of political parties could be a peaceful thing.  Purple is the color of grapes and drinking wine can make you peaceful – well relaxed at any rate.  Purple is the color of the sunset, which is a very peaceful thing to see.  Purple is also the color of Lent in Christianity.  It is also the color of the domestic abuse awareness ribbons.
I wasn’t able to find out how this event came about, but how can you really argue about peace.  It should be is the lifelong challenge for all mankind.  It is the International Day of Peace at any rate, and that has been celebrated for the last 30 years.  It is a day for cease fires and non-violence worldwide and if wearing purple will help bring awareness to peace measure then I have no objections to it and wear it proudly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Self Driving

Google has won a tremendous battle in the state of Nevada by getting a license to test drive their self driven cars on real roads.  An article appeared on the web that talked about the approval and how they plan to identify the cars with bright red license plates.  There is a lot of insurance that Google has to buy and they need to have two people in the car while it is on the road, one being behind the wheel.
I think the invention of self driving cars is wonderful and can help a lot.  I would really love to see more public transportation efforts, but barring that, having cars that will prevent accidents is a great advancement.  You can’t go wrong with that especially if it removes the potential for people like my mother to be on the road commanding a vehicle that can cause such a great deal of damage.  I have blogged about distracted driving before so I won’t really get into it again, but suffice it to say that self driven cars is the next big thing to come along and kudos to Google for making it happen.

Monday, May 14, 2012


There is a commercial on television for Jello Temptations where a mother is shown talking to her kids in a tent obviously in the back yard of some suburban home about the “Choco Beast”.  Suddenly the dad jumps at the tent silhouetted by the light and the kids go running into the house throwing the dessert at the mother.  Every time I see it I laugh but I also think about the reality of that situation.  Maybe the mom is doing a good thing and teaching the children about stealing and lying, but maybe, just maybe those kids, if this were a real situation, would end up being scarred for life.
Childhood traumas are particularly harmful if caused by a parent.  If a parent, one who is supposed to be a child’s safety net, causes physical or emotional pain to a child, their whole emotional welfare is at stake.  Child abuse, as with most domestic abuse situations, that transcends social economic levels as well as many cultural moirĂ©s.  It can perpetuate itself in the lifecycle as many children who are abused as children abuse their children later.  In addition, many children turn the violence out and bully others because it is a way for them to strike back, or they turn inward and allow others to abuse them. It can start the cycle of domestic violence as many boys who are abused as children grow up to abuse their wives.  With 905,000 cases in 2006 and growing every year, you can see that this is a wide spread issue.
Many parents view spanking and other corporal means of punishment as harmless.  They quote the axiom “spoil the rod, spare the child” as the reason that spanking is warranted for a myriad of transgressions.  It builds character, they say, but what it can really do is sow the seeds of pain, despair, anger, humiliation, confusion, and anger.  But most importantly is that child abuse can cause a continuation of a cycle of violence.  Child abuse is no laughing matter and is a worldwide issue that needs our constant vigilance and attention. 

Friday, May 11, 2012


Since I have been on this good foods lifestyle plan (note I didn’t say DIET), I have been really sensitive to what others are eating and drinking.  Here at work I am constantly hearing the sizzle of soda cans opening up.  Knowing what I do now about the dangers of soda I cringe every time I hear it.  Soda has ingredients in it that are actually toxic to the body.
Doing a quick search on Google I found this article.
Soda Pop (or carbonated soft drinks) has an alarming amount of sugar, calories and harmful additives in it that have absolutely no nutritional value. Studies have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Despite this, soda accounts for more than one-quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States….and we wonder why we can’t lose weight and why we have health problems.
 I encourage you to think about it, especially giving it to your children.  Personally I am not too concerned about caffeine, but soda has a whopping amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is not only ubiquitous to soda but apparently most processed foods these days and a huge danger. 
I think I may have talked about this before, but one can never say enough about the dangers of HFCS.  Not only is it bad for your teeth, but it is highly linked to diabetes, hypertension, and liver damage.  If that were not bad enough, but now there is a suspicion that it also has toxic levels of mercury in it probably from the pesticides put on the corn during the growing season.  This is especially alarming since mercury exposure can result in irreversible brain and nervous system damage in young people.  Since our kids are the ones that are consuming so much of that stuff, this particular affect is especially alarming. I just wish I would have not given this to my kid when he was growing up, but I didn’t know it then.
So the next time you see the enticing ads for a cold refreshing soda, just dripping with the condensed water from the ice cold liquid in the shiny can, think about the dangers behind that tonic.  Think about the cold icy fingers of illness instead.  Maybe that image will steer your clear.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Highlands

Over the weekend, my husband and I traveled to The Highlands, an 18th century Georgian mansion and gardens, owned by the state.  They were having a community day and had free house tours and special demos throughout the day.  We wandered through the formal gardens and then attended a tour given by one of the volunteers.  It was really interesting to hear about the history of the house, and to see the progress made on the restoration of the house.
I am somewhat familiar with old house restoration as I am involved in restoring Selma, which was home of Revolutionary War General, Andrew Porter.  Like The Highlands, Selma is of the same age, but unlike The Highlands, Selma is nowhere near in the state of preservation as The Highlands are.  The building is totally useful and sustainable.  I suppose as it is owned by the state, there are more resources available.  That is until recently when all its funding has been cut.
I think it is important that people realize our history.  Houses like The Highlands and Selma give us a unique glimpse into our past and allow us a way to understand where we came from.  It was a great experience to be able to tour the grounds and be sent back in time wondering what life must have been like.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens

I stumbled upon a BBC series on YouTube about the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens that was produced in 2010.  The gardens are located about 10 miles outside London and has a very impressive collection of live plants from all over the world as well as a seed collection housed in a very secure location to help with extinction.  The gardens are over 250 years old and spans about 300 acres.   Once the “playground” of the royal and very wealthy, it was opened to the public in 1910.  Since that time, it has expanded various buildings, exhibits, and displays including an annual plant auction.  Their horticulture school is one of the most prestigious in the world and many come to study there.
This garden is definitely on my bucket list.  They are open pretty much every day except Christmas but in July I understand that they have an open air concert series which features fireworks at night.  I would love to see that live as I love fireworks at any time.  Although in the spring, their flower exhibit is supposed to be the largest in the world.  But whatever time I see it, I anticipate it to be wonderful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I work with a guy who always has a story.  It seems as if every day, something goes wrong in his life; his house, his car, or his health.  He and his wife recently purchased an old house which needs a lot of work and while the people are working on it, they are living in a rental.  Even the rental has issues with things like electricity, plumbing, and the like and we are always hearing about the myriad of problems that he is going through.  The other day, our team threw him a surprise baby shower as he and his wife are expecting their second in a month or so.  He was genuinely surprised and grateful to us for doing this for him, but of course at the shower stories were shared about yet another issue that was going on. 
I am not sure if it is simply because he is a good story teller or he draws attention to himself, but he seems to go through more drama than the normal person.  He is a nice enough guy – always cracking a joke and has a great sense of humor as well as a wonderful work ethic, but there is always something going on.   I guess there are just those people who have such experiences in life and seem to go through a tough time.  Whatever the circumstance it makes for a good story and it makes me feel lucky that those things are not happening to me. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Behind the Scenes

On Saturday Norristown held its third Arts Hill Festival.  The weather cooperated and the day was filled with music, art, dance, and food.  My husband and I volunteered, more because our good friend was a coordinator of the event, than our love for the arts and were at the site at 6am.  We started by running cable for the lights and sound – just like we did last year.  I was then given the responsibility of managing the main tent which comprised of two stages with alternating acts on each.  My main job was to make sure the acts arrived on time, went on at the right time, and had what they needed.  I had a few volunteers helping me, one of which operated the lights. I then ended the day pulling the cables out and helping pack up.  It was basically a 12 hour day and at the end I was really no good for anything else except relaxation.
I am not sure many people think about what happens behind the scenes at such an event.  There are many others who help get the show on the stage operating the lights and making sure the sound is correct, along with all the other facets of the show.  I think this experience has helped me understand that there is much more to any performance than meets the eye.  There are people who are working long hours to make sure you are entertained and these are not just the people on the stage.  It is a package deal and if it all goes well one never notices the “little people” because they are concentrating on the show.  The stars of the show get all the attention with the paparazzi following them and all fans screaming, but in the world of entertainment to me the real stars are the ones behind the scenes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Whirly Gigs

We have a huge problem with squirrels in the garden.  They are constantly digging in my various beds and either digging up things that I have planted or eating young seedlings.  I have tried putting chicken wire on things but that is a challenge with things like peas and other vine-type vegetables and it looks horrid.  As I gazed into my garden and tried to think, I hit upon the idea of using whirly gigs as a way to distract the little critters. 

We had about 8 of the whirley gigs in the basement that are metallic and colored for the July 4th holiday.  They are very sparkly.  At first I put them in the corners of the garden mounted on the posts that are holding up the wire fencing that I used as a trellis.  But then I thought that the squirrels are not going to be looking up when they get in the garden, they are going to be looking down at the yummy veggies they are about to eat.  So I put several of them in the beds themselves.  So now my garden looks as if I have decorated it for the holiday and the little whirly gigs are gaily spinning round.  It worked for a short time and then we noticed more digging.  I think that the whirly gigs are working only for the birds.

The squirrels are a totally different matter.  Whirly gigs do nothing to disuade them.  But then I found a product that actually works and is organic.  It's called Critter Ridder and it contains natural oils of cayenne, black pepper, piperine, and other ingredients.  On several reviews it says it is okay for organic gardening, so I am keeping my fingers crossed it's okay but still rinsing my vegetables well before eating.  We have sprayed it on many of the beds and are noticing that the squrrels are definately staying away.  I just hope it continues.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pick It Up

Now that it is spring and the warm weather is coming on, there are more and more people out and about.  A result of this is that there is more and more trash on the streets in my town.  Littering is my one and biggest pet peeve.  People who litter make me madder than a hornet but I am afraid to say anything to them for fear of getting shot.  I frankly don’t understand why people leave their trash lying on my sidewalk and it gets me so mad everything I see it.  I have been known to shout out expletive deletes and call people names when picking up other people’s candy wrappers, cigarette packs, and even crumpled up paper towels from my front walk. 
As usual when I am struggling for an answer I turn to Google.  I searched under the phrase “why people litter” and found some sites of interest.  The first hit was a site in Arizona about litter called Don’t Trash Arizona.  They basically concluded that people litter intentionally.  According to them the most common demographic who litters are single men 18-34.  That fits in my situation because those are the people I see walking down the sidewalk in front of my house.  Also, apparently they don’t consider candy wrappers and cigarette butts litter. I suppose from a sociological standpoint these people feel justified in throwing their trash on people’s lawns because they are oppressed.  Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but think about it. If people think they are put upon by society maybe they are likely to say “F it”, and drop their trash because they want to anger others.  Letting someone else clean up after them makes them feel important.  I subscribe to you it’s not too far-fetched a reason.
So maybe that’s a better approach.  Give these people jobs.  Give them a reason to be happy with the community they live in.  Help them to feel worthwhile.  In affluent areas where there are higher levels of education and pride there is far less litter so to me that’s a possible answer.  It’s a much harder situation to address but a better reason than nothing so I am sticking to it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Zero Tolerance

Our local paper printed an editorial recently about the zero tolerance policy most schools have.  In it, the author indicated that most times, situations should be taken on a case by case basis, rather than a blanket zero tolerance.  I must admit that I totally agree. 
My son had a situation that ended up suspending him for three days.  He was found with a small pen knife in his backpack along with brass knuckles which he was going to use as an art project.  Due to the school’s policy, he was taken to the local police station and fingerprinted and then sent home with us.  Admittedly, my son was no honor roll student, but still, this kind of treatment served as just another notch in an already hardened view he has against the police.
I understand the reasoning behind such a policy but the administration of these policies can only cause heartache for many students.  One hears story after story of students who otherwise are stellar performers having a situation that because of these policies have issues that follow them onto college.  It marks their records and ends up giving them and their parents a really bad taste about their high school experience.  There are often very simple reasons for why they are in possession of a small penknife or other transgressions, and many times it could be handled in a way that will not permanently scar them.  I believe it is time to take a giant step backward to a time when school boards and administrations have a little faith in their students.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Nominal Fee

I have to admit that I am really bad when it comes to my credit card bills.  I rarely review all the charges and frequently forget to pay my bills on time.  I usually just pay the balance each month it comes in and don’t think anything of it unless the amount looks way out of whack. 
The other day my husband reminded me that we had received several calls from a credit card company on our voice mail and I hadn’t called them back yet.  I figured out they were just trying to sell me something.  So, last night, I finally called only to find out that what they were calling me about was an unpaid amount of $2.43.  It seems that the last time I paid the bill I didn’t send the correct amount and then I didn’t use the card for a month so I ended up having an overdue amount of $2.43.  The person was quite insistent that I pay this amount right away and offered to take my routing number and account number to pay it over the phone.  I replied that I didn’t feel comfortable with that and asked her to just include the amount on the next month’s bill, but she was so adamant about it, that I finally spoke to a manager and ended getting the amount removed after threatening to cancel the card.
I just can’t believe that they put all that much trouble into such a small amount.  If it had been 10 years ago, I am sure that I would not have gotten this much flack, but now any amount unpaid is a huge inconvenience and has to be rectified even if it’s just $2.  It costs more than that to even write a check these days and doesn’t seem worth the trouble.  I am also sure all of the manpower costs were over $2.43 just to call me and end up arguing about it on the phone.  But I guess they are worrying about the pennies when they should be are worrying about the dollars.