22 Dec

An Epic Struggle

Roughly imitating the style of David Thorne, following are the details of an epic struggle to cancel an alarm monitoring service for a house you no longer own or live in. Any similarity to current events is strictly unavoidable.

From: David Thorne
To: Accounts Receivable Department
Date: Tuesday, September 30 11:31 AM
Subject: Monitoring Service

Please cancel our monitoring service. The service was paid for until the end of the month and we have since sold the house and moved to a different province.

Thank you,

David


From: Accounts Receivable Department
To: Alice Borden
Cc: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday, September 30 1:18 PM
Subject: FWD: Monitoring Service

Please process Mr. Thorne’s request.

-– Forwarded message —
From: David Thorne
To: Accounts Receivable Department
Date: Tuesday, September 30 11:30 AM
Subject: Monitoring Service

To whom it may concern,

Please cancel our monitoring service. The service was paid for until the end of the month and we have since sold the house and moved to a different province.

Thank you,

David


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday, October 1 9:47 AM
Subject: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Good afternoon,

Please be advised we required 30 days notice to cancel your service.

The cancellation is processed 30 days from receipt of request to cancel.

Thank you,

Alice


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday, December 16 9:10 AM
Subject: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

As of today’s date, we have no record of receiving your cancellation request & the October annual invoice has been issued.

Please call us to have this done. Alternately, you can send a signed written request to the Accounts Service Centre.  Please remember to include your account number if sending your request in writing.


From: David Thorne
To: Alice Borden
Date: Tuesday, December 16 12:43 PM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Alice,

I am so sorry you missed the e-mail your accounts receivable department forwarded you two and a half months ago. For your convenience, I have enclosed it for your files.

David

-– Forwarded message —
From: Accounts Receivable Department
To: Alice Borden
Cc: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday, September 30 1:18 PM
Subject: FWD: Monitoring Service

Please process Mr. Thorne’s request.

-– Forwarded message —
From: David Thorne
To: Accounts Receivable Department
Date: Tuesday, September 30 11:30 AM
Subject: Monitoring Service

To whom it may concern,

Please cancel our monitoring service. The service was paid for until the end of the month and we have since sold the house and moved to a different province.

Thank you,

David


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday, December 16 2:04 PM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

David, I am sorry, but we cannot cancel an alarm monitoring account unless you call the cancellations office OR provide us with a written request.

Alice


From: David Thorne
To: Alice Borden
Date: Wednesday, December 17 10:05 AM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Alice, although your company provided us with outstanding service while we lived there, I don’t feel obligated to pay for monitoring at a house we no longer own in a province where we no longer reside. As I had requested two and a half months earlier, please cancel the service or, alternatively, send the invoice to the new owners.

Thank you,

David


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday, December 17 11:22 AM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

David, in order to cancel your alarm monitoring account, you must call the cancellations office OR provide us with a written request.

Please also provide us with your current address so we can send October’s invoice to you.

Thank you,

Alice


From: David Thorne
To: Alice Borden
Date: Thursday, December 18 10:55 AM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Alice, thank you for your e-mail. I would be delighted to pay for monitoring services for the new owners. Even though I’ve never met them, I’m sure they’re wonderful people. Please send the invoice to the following address:

Disneyland
Los Angeles, CA 94512
Attn: Mr. Mickey Mouse


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Thursday, December 18 11:29 AM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

David, if you would prefer not to continue the service, you must call the cancellations office OR provide us with a written request.

If you provide us with a valid current address to send October’s invoice, because you have been such a valued client, we are prepared to waive the interest charges on the overdue account.

Thank you,

Alice


From: David Thorne
To: Alice Borden
Date: Thursday, December 18 4:15 PM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Alice, I can’t thank you enough for waiving the interest charges on an account I am desperately trying to cancel for monitoring a house more than a thousand miles away that I no longer own. It’s moments like these that I know I made the right decision in choosing your company over your many competitors in the field.

Nonetheless, as much as I would like to stick with your service, I really must cancel the account. For your convenience, I’ll spell it out for you more clearly.

C
A
N
C
E
L

M
Y

A
C
C
O
U
N
T

Thank you,

David


From: Alice Borden
To: David Thorne
Date: Monday, December 22 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: FWD: Monitoring Service

Mr. Thorne, as of today’s date, we have no record of receiving your current address where we can send October’s invoice. As the bill has yet not been paid, I regret to inform you that monitoring services at your old address will be suspended immediately.

To reactivate your account, please submit payment to our collections office.

Thank you,

Alice Borden

14 Dec

Old MacDonald Had a Road

Old MacDonald had a road,
E-I-E-I-O.
And on his road he spread some salt,
E-I-E-I-O.

With a bag of salt here,
And a bag of salt there,
Here salt there salt,
Everywhere salt, salt,

Old MacDonald had a road,
E-I-E-I-O.

09 Dec

A Trek to Grand Island

Yesterday, with the good weather, I took a two-wheeled trek across the border and visited Grand Island for the first time. I know there are some of you who haven’t heard of this island that lies between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, but it offers many scenic trails for a cyclist.

20141208_05_384_sb_at190
Luckily, the construction on Buffalo Avenue at the foot of the nearly mile-long bridge that has been ongoing for much of the summer had been completed, but the walk across this bridge was the biggest obstacle for me.

20141208_06_i190_sb_tollbooth-halfmile
I have a case of bridgeophobia and being in such close proximity to transport trucks on I-190 in the middle of the Niagara River did little to ease my anxiety. Fortunately, I made it across with little difficulty and I was even able to stop a couple of times to enjoy the view of the skyline on the Canadian side.

20141208_07_i190_sb_tollbooth
Vehicles travelling on I-190 have to pay a toll upon entering Grand Island, but I didn’t. Just because it’s me.

20141208_08_i190_nb_ngrandislandbridge
As you can see from this shot at the southern abutment of the bridge, there is a dedicated trail that goes underneath and proceeds south through Buckhorn Island State Park.

20141208_69_marsh
View of the marsh restoration project.

20141208_37_324_wb_welcome
Welcome to Grand Island.

20141208_62_grandislandblvd

20141208_15_324_eb_firstmarker
This trail links up to Grand Island Boulevard and NY 324. Readers from the SPRM will notice there is not a speck of snow on the ground. It’s OK to be jealous.

20141208_21_324_eb_whitehavenrd

20141208_23_324_eb_roundabout
There are trails that cover the shoreline, but for today, I just stuck to Grand Island Boulevard and took advantage of the wide shoulders on both sides.

20141208_54_324_kellys
Passing by Kelly’s Country Store. Mooooo.

20141208_32_324_wb_past190
Past this roundabout is another dedicated trail that leads to the South Grand Island Bridge.

20141208_25_i190_sb_sgrandislandbridge

20141208_27_i190_sb_sgrandislandbridge
This bridge is 600 feet shorter than its cousin farther north and connects to Tonawanda and Buffalo. I will save a crossing of this bridge and a return to Tonawanda for a future trip.

20141208_47_mcdonalds
In this midst of this 51.8-mile outing, I needed a place to stop. There were two Tim Hortons locations at opposite ends of the island, but neither one had a bike rack. This McDonald’s did and that’s why they got my business.

20141208_66_324_wb_190north
Returning back to Niagara Falls, cyclists take the on-ramp for I-190 north and turn off onto the trail that goes back through Buckhorn Island State Park. NYSDOT again gives a helpful reminder that pedestrians, bicycles and horses are prohibited on I-190. If you want to ride your horse to Grand Island, you’re probably out of luck.

Since the pedestrian crossing on the eastern span of the bridge was closed, I had to cross on the western span where I was facing traffic while walking my bike. It was a little scary having those transport trucks coming at you and comedian George Wallace, who often jokes about the relatively minor difference between a Mack truck and a Ford Ranger, has obviously not walked across this bridge. Nonetheless, I made it back to the mainland and returned home without incident. As Arnold Schwarzengger says, “I’ll be back.”