Comcast is Evil, Especially in Nashville

As I have been contemplating parting ways with Comcast, I came across this open letter to Comcast, and I feel it must be shared.

Credit goes to Stacie at https://staciehuckeba.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/an-open-letter-to-comcast-xfinity/

Hello,

My name is Stacie Huckeba I have been a customer of Comcast for over eight years.

I realize that it’s a dirty little secret and you don’t like to talk about it, but c’mon, between just you and me, you can admit it. Basically you have a monopoly on internet service, at least in terms of speed. It’s ok, I like money too. Nobody is happier than me when I deposit big fat checks. Sadly, I’m not quite as “connected” as you guys.

I’m a photographer and I think I’m really good, unfortunately, I live in a town with a plethora of talented photographers so I can’t just sit back and be lazy. I’ve sent emails to the Mayor, and Governor and even my Senators and Congressmen asking that they put in regulations to make sure I am the only photographer who can use professional and top of the line equipment in town. Weird, they don’t get back to me. One of you guys will have to tell me how you got them to do that for you. It would be so awesome to deposit those big fat checks knowing that I had no competition and could just be lazy, put out half-assed work and charge whatever I wanted because I was the only one in town who could deliver print ready work. God, I bet those feel so good going in the bank!

So, as much as I admire your business model, I am having some trouble. Back in November, I realized that I was utilizing Hulu and Netflix because of travel, work etc. far more than I was cable and I never had a land line to begin with. I mean can you even buy a phone that plugs into the wall anymore? I’m not sure.

I called to cancel my Triple Play Package and was talked into keeping it because I was really saving all this money by having it all. On a side note, I think it’s brilliant that the people who sell your services are all super easy to work with, you never have to hold for more than a second and you never have to get transferred. They can do everything through one representative fast and efficiently. They are also open seven days a week. While technical support and cancellation departments are a minimum hold time of twenty minutes, you get transferred sometimes 5, 6, even 7 times and each and every time, you have to start from the beginning with your name, address, account information and then tell the whole story as to why you called over and over again, making the whole process almost unbearable. And only having the option to talk to them during normal business hours is genius. I mean, how great would it be to have a person who booked all my shoots, (and there would be a lot, since no one else in town could do them) happily just raking in the money while I had another person who basically told all of my unhappy clients to get bent? God, you guys are so good!

Anyway, back to my problem. I realized over the holidays last year that I really was not using it and in late January, I called back and asked for my account to be downgraded from the Triple Play (I had the full package with the fastest download speed available. Again, your sales team is tops!) to just the internet at the Performance Starter for download speeds of up to 6 Mbps. I returned my cable box / DVR and other equipment in early February.

I was really having no trouble whatsoever with my service and actually had not really noticed a difference in my internet speeds whatsoever. In late April, I received a delivery from UPS from Comcast. When I opened it, there was a new cable box / DVR inside. I called about it and you know how this goes already. I spent literally over three hours on the phone in one of the most grueling, frustrating, infuriating series of transfers, hang ups, and different representative pass-offs, in history. It is a miracle I did not wind up curled in a corner talking to spiders. But alas, I had a photo shoot with Jason Ringenberg and some live chickens that day and had no choice but to get my head in the game. (I know you think I’m making that up, but I’m not. It really happened and I have the pictures to prove it.)

Jason and his chicken

The cliff notes of that three hour transfer are this. You guys never actually cancelled my services. I returned the equipment for no good reason, I could have happily been enjoying the Real Housewives in my spare time and didn’t even know it. After being told at least 6 times that I had called the wrong department (I only have one number for you guys and there is only one option for customer service so that always confuses me. I bet that is also in the business model and it too is quite brilliant). They finally conceded and issued me a credit for the four months that I had still been paying for what was supposed to have been cancelled all along.

You guys need to fix that part. Eventually, if a customer can hang on long enough and not dig out their own eyes with a spoon from frustration, you can usually get someone to go back through your records and find where you did what you said you did and remedy the situation. The customer wins that way. Not good for your plan. You need to make that part harder. Well, except that you did get to kind of keep all of my money. It’s not like you gave it back. So I guess it’s not a total wash for you.

So sure enough, once that was fixed I noticed real quick that the internet was way too slow and was not going to work for me, so I called back. You know how this goes too. I called back and within moments I had a representative on the line and he had me bumped up to the Blast package with download speeds up to 50 Mbps in just a few minutes. Easy breezy when you want to add on. It’s just so smart!

The problem is that my internet never did get faster. In fact, it got slower. I used your Xfinity speed test off your website and sure enough, I was barely getting 3 Mbps. I know better than to bother you guys right away, so I set out and did all kinds of things to try and remedy the situation. Clearing my cookies, changing my browser, running diagnostics on my computer, sending refresh signals and of course the first and main thing your representatives always push to fix the problem. I unplugged and replugged the modem and router in a myriad of combinations.

Sadly, the call had to be made. You know how this went too, don’t you? I called, spent a half hour on the phone with 3 or 4 representatives and then got hung up on during a “transfer” (You know I get you, and so you know that I know that sometimes “transfer” is code for “click, bye bye”.) I’m tenacious though, so I called back and this time spent an hour on the phone going through the same thing. I actually finally got to a retention specialist who confided in me that really the people that you talk to on the phone don’t ever really know what is wrong because it could be 100 different things. It’s really just a guess. He suggested I get a technician to my house. “Great idea. Let’s do that”, I said. Well, of course he can’t do that. Nobody in the “the customer has a problem department” can do everything like they can in the “the customer wants to buy something department”. So back I went on hold and I should have known, I got hung up on. God, that is so funny how you do that! I absolutely love it!

But like I said, I’m kind of tenacious, so I called back yet a third time but I went right to asking for a person to come out, so this time it only took another half an hour. I mean, thirty minutes to schedule a tech coming out is pretty good timing for knowing exactly what you need and asking for it directly. I wish it was that way everywhere I called. Wouldn’t it be awesome if it took thirty minutes every time you wanted to order a pizza or make an appointment with your Veterinarian or whatever. I could just sit around on my ass all day if every call took thirty minutes. Hell, I wouldn’t even need to get dressed some days. I could just sit here in my underpants eating cheese all damn day listening to advertisements and bad music while I was on hold. Man, that would be the life! You guys get me, you really, really get me.

As luck would have it, the only appointment you guys have is not for six whole days! And while I have told you several times in this note that I am all for being a lazy, until you tell me your secret about how you got the government to shut down your competition, I have to work. Jason Ringenberg has that Farmer Jason record coming out for Christmas and he’s gonna need those chicken pictures. I can’t upload those bad boys without proper internet and six days doesn’t really cut it for me right now.

Lucky for me, my neighbors are cool and are letting me steal theirs to get this out, but I can’t be using up all their data plan sending chicken photos. They are musicians and can’t get the government to shut down all the other musicians in town either. And we live in Nashville, we have lots of musicians, so they really have to hustle to make ends meet. I can’t ask them to up their data plan to accommodate me and some chickens while I wait for a week for you to come out here. My neighbors are assholes like that.

Look, I feel like we are friends. We understand each other, so I’m asking you to do me a solid and just this once, maybe you can use your pull to get someone out here before then. I wouldn’t normally ask, but since you’ve got a few hundred bucks of mine that I don’t really owe you anyway, maybe just this time you could bump me up in the line.

And since we are kinda friends and all, I’m gonna do you a solid too. I think you guys are awesome and misunderstood so I’m gonna take this whole letter and post it on my blog. I only get a few thousand views on my blog when I post one, but maybe if a few people could see you the way I see you they would quit talking trash and recognize you for the brilliant and genius business moguls that you are.

Please, don’t thank me now, getting my internet back to speed before Thursday will be thanks enough (wink wink. No pressure). See what I did there. I might not be Comcast, but you aren’t the only ones with a plan!

Your friend,

Stacie

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Happily Framed

On our cruise last June, my husband and I purchased several pieces of art for investment purposes, and we also won a free piece of art. All together, we ended up with 10 prints to frame. If you have not had anything professionally framed lately, it can be very expensive. Park West, the art vendor, offered to frame each piece for $349 each, but we hoped to find more affordable options that would also give us more control over the choice of materials.

We began getting our worked framed at the beginning of this year. Using three vouchers from a discount site similar to Groupon, we took our first three pieces to a business in Franklin. The work was well done, and I can’t say we were truly disappointed in the price for framing each piece; it was acceptable based on our expectations.

Then, I purchased a Groupon for $100 worth of framing for $40 good at the Plaza Artist Materials on Middleton in Downtown Nashville. In early March, I took our “free” print there for framing, and I was extremely impressed with the work and the price. The piece, which was about the same size as the three framed in Franklin, was framed just as well for half the price of any one of the others.

Feeling comfortable with the work, my husband and I took three pieces of art to be framed.  The work was completed in half the time estimated, and the quality of the framing was as good as before.  All three pieces were framed for $368 using acid free backing and UV protected glass! Below is a picture of my husband and the three pieces as we picked them up.

Photo by Angela Johnson

Photo by Angela Johnson

Quality, Value, and Friendly Staff: I highly recommend Plaza Artist Materials for framing and other art needs.

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Green Door Gourmet CSA Week 5

Green Door Gourmet’s Week 5 CSA (Week 3 for me since I pick up every other week becauseI have a 1/2 share) is as follows:

Photo Credit - Green Door Gourmet

Photo Credit – Green Door Gourmet

I can’t wait to pick up my food this weekend.  I will receive zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash,caraflex cabbage, savory cabbage,collards, kale, and broccoli.

While Green Door Gourmet has been growing organic food, this week’s produce now has the official certification. Congratulations, Green Door Gourmet.  You can read the announcement CSA members received below.

Dear Friends of Green Door Gourmet,

We are excited to share that Green Door Gourmet has officially been awarded Organic Certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Green Door Gourmet is the only farm of its size to receive organic certification in Metropolitan Nashville.

As you know, Green Door Gourmet grows a wide assortment of fresh produce, including up to 80 varieties of herbs and flowers, grown using natural methods which follow an organic, holistic model. As a local farmer providing fruits, vegetables and herbs to our customers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmer’s markets, and 22 local restaurants, it is essential we provide the finest quality organic grown and harvested products. Receiving USDA Certification further aligns with our mission of feeding Nashville, as well as providing customers the confidence of buying organically sourced food.

Green Door Gourmet encourages consumers to not only look for the Organic Certification label but to also investigate deeper when making buying decisions. Increasingly consumers are looking for not only chemical-free food, but food that has been produced with minimal negative impacts on the environment. Knowing how food is produced, including being able to talk directly with farmers, is the best way for people to buy food that is GMO-free and has been grown or raised in the most sustainable manner.

“Organic” is a labeling term for food or other agricultural products that have been produced according to the USDA organic regulations. These standards require the integration of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organic certification verifies that a farm or handling facility complies with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations and allows the farm to sell, label, and represent products as organic. Consumers choose to purchase organic products with the expectation that they are grown, processed, and handled according to meet USDA organic regulations.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We want to be your farmer, your CSA, and part of your weekly shopping as we provide local artisan foods in our farm-cooperative community setting.

 Thank you,

Sylvia Ganier

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Buying American: Supporting the U. S. in Tourism

The HH and I have been wrapping up our plans for our Great American Road Trip, which is our big trip of the year, and we are so excited. As I have thought about our travel this year, all of which is in the United States, not only am I excited about the trips themselves, but I am also thrilled that we are supporting Americans. As much as possible and reasonable, our expenditures are local to where we are at the time.  Let me explain.

We love traveling! We love experiencing other countries and other cultures, but this year our travel is dedicated to exploring, experiencing, and supporting our home: the United States of America. I have read that spending an unbelievably small amount of money each week on products and services made and performed by Americans create additional American jobs, and this is almost always in the back of my mind when making decisions on how to spend our money. Travel (tourism) is just another way to support Americans.

The week of New Year’s Day 2014, we supported Pensacola Florida. While we did stay in a chain hotel, the rest of our money was spent in local restaurants and grocery stores. The end of January and first of February found us supporting the local economy of Savannah, Georgia.  We stayed with family, and when we ate out, we ate almost exclusively in local eateries. Our entertainment was taking local tours. The middle of February, the HH was sent to work on the island of Maui in Hawaii, and I went along for about week myself. Again, we supported local as much as possible.  His company rented a local house for him, and we both ate in local restaurants and shopped in local stores.  We explored the island taking tours with local people or lessons, like the HH’s surfing lessons, from local instructors.

My husband finished his work in Hawaii, and then he joined the rest of my side of the family on family vacation in the North Georgia mountains.  While we stayed in a resort, the resort employs people who otherwise might have difficulty finding local employment. It was the local grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants that benefitted from our travels to this location from all over the Eastern U. S.

Back on the road again, the HH worked for about three months in New York, and I shared a tourist long weekend with him while there.  Yes, he stayed in a chain hotel and had to rent a car from the chain business with which his company contracts, but it was the local food and sites where we spent money that otherwise might not have been spent as we explored parts of New York and New Jersey.  We even supported one of the local baseball teams with our attendance and dinner at the stadium.

All through the year, my husband and I support local in the city and county where we live as well as in the surrounding areas; we have had a blast doing things like attending plays performed at local colleges and visiting the various local restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues in our area. Check out some of these stories by clicking here, and here, and here.

Now, my husband and I gear up for the Mother of all road trips down the Mother Road: Route 66. With our itinerary set, we’ve booked our lodging and have sights set on potential restaurants.  While fiscal responsibility requires that we use hotel points as we are able, the vast majority of our nightly lodging will be in local motels or B & Bs. Here are the names of some of the local places where we have made reservations for our trip out to L. A. and back home again.

  • Big Texan Motel, Amarillo, TX
  • Crow’s Nest B & B, Las Vegas, NM
  • Globetrotter Lodge, Holbrook, AZ
  • El Trovatore Motel, Kingman, AZ
  • Route 66 Motel, Barstow, CA
  • Prospect Place B & B, Hot Springs, AR

Restaurants will be almost exclusively the local spots along the way. Here are few that we have in mind.

  • Shoeless Joe’s Ale House, Chicago, IL
  • Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar, Springfield, MO
  • Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX
  • Kix on 66, Tucumcari, NM
  • Joe & Aggie’s Diner, Holbrook, AZ

Of course, we’ll visit many, many places along way that will include, but in no way are limited to, sites such as the ones below.

  • Lincoln’s Tomb, Springfield, IL
  • Meramec Caverns, Stanton, MO
  • Museum of Pioneer History, Chandler, OK
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Amarillo, TX
  • Pecos National Historic Park, Pecos, NM
  • Meteor Crater, Meteor City, AZ
  • Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, CA

Enjoy yourself, and help America!

 

 

 

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My Second Week of CSA Produce from Eaton’s Creek Organics Farm


Today was my second CSA pick up for the half-share CSA with Eaton’s Creek Organics, and as with my first, I’m thrilled.

Pick up is at the Country Crossroads Farmers Market located at the intersection of Whites Creek Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard, Whites Creek, Tennessee (northwest Metro-Nashville). Here is a photo made today of the smiling faces of those working the market from the farm.

Eaton's Creek Organics Farmers' Market Booth

Eaton’s Creek Organics Farmers’ Market Booth

The email preview of what was expected to be in today’s CSA listed the following: beets, chard, fennel, kale, garlic scapes, lettuce, carrots and mint. This is what I received with two exceptions.  Instead of mint, I received some absolutely gorgeous parsley. I was excited to also find a vegetable I’ve never cooked (or eaten) before: kohlrabi.

Here is a picture of my basket of fresh (harvested this morning), local, organic produce after I set it in my (hot) car.  (I got the air going ASAP). I really get a lot of food.  I weighed this basket of produce after I got home, and after deducting the weight of the container, I had almost 10 pounds of fresh goodness.

My week 2  (half share) of CSA produce from Eaton's Creek Organics

My week 2 (half share) of CSA produce from Eaton’s Creek Organics

In addition to Eaton’s Creek Organics, there are some other lovely vendors at this small market.  One is an old friend from the Clarksville, Tennessee, market: Louise’s Bread. I’ve met a new friend from whom I have bought local honey today; his farm is Hayzyhaven Farm in Greenbrier, Tennessee.  With approximately 60% of the hives in Tennessee lost in the last several months, I am thrilled to find local honey at this market.

Hayzyhaven Farm Honey

Hayzyhaven Farm Honey

 

I encourage you to get out at your local farmers’ markets and get to know your local farmers and other vendors. Remember that when you buy from these people you support local people and farms, and you eat my healthily, too.

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Recipe Finds for Enjoying CSA Fresh Produce

I spent yesterday and today cooking to take advantage of all the wonderful fresh produce obtained from the two 1/2-share CSAs we have bought from Green Door Gourmet and Eaton’s Creek Organics. Prior to cooking, I searched the Internet for recipes that seemed to be tasty and were not too complicated to make and that had good reviews.

Here are links to some of the recipes I used, comments, and a few pictures.

Mint Syrup: Simple and tasty, I can’t wait to try the mint syrups I’ve made in recipes other than tea. If you like, this can be used in making Mint Juleps.

Chocolate Mint Syrup Photo by Angela Johnson

Chocolate Mint Syrup
Photo by Angela Johnson

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche: This spinach quiche is awesome! I ended up eating 1/4 of it as brunch this morning.

20140603_104228

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Puff Pasty Quiche (after 3 pieces were eaten) Photo by Angela Johnson

Kale Pesto: This was my first attempt at making homemade pesto, and even I was able to do it.  I’ve not used the pesto yet, but the plans are to mix it with pasta for lunch or dinner one day this week.

Kale Pesto Photo by Angela Johnson

Kale Pesto
Photo by Angela Johnson

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower: In the oven now is Roasted Garlic Cauliflower; it smells yummy. I did add some cumin and cayenne pepper as additional seasoning.

Roasted Beets and Sautéed Beet Greens:  This was my least favorite of the recipes tried, but I don’t think it was fault with the recipe. First, I’m not really a beet eater, and I waited several days after picking up the beets to cook them; I was hesitant to give them a try.

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

Roasted Beets and Sautéed Beet Greens

Give these a try and let me know how you like them, or send me your tried and true recipes for me to use.

 

 

 

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Another Week of CSAs: Today’s Fresh Goodness from Green Door Gourmet

This afternoon, I made my drive to Green Door Gourmet’s Farm Store to pick up my CSA box for this week and a couple of tomatoes to compliment the contents of the box.  Here is what I received.

Green Door Gourmet Week 3 CSA - photo credit goes to Green Door Gourmet

Green Door Gourmet Week 3 CSA – photo credit goes to Green Door Gourmet

  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Green Curly Kale
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries

Now, what I am going to do with all of this kale? Between my two 1/2 shares of CSAs, I’ve received five (5) bunches of kale in the last two weeks, and I expect another bunch on Wednesday. I’m running out of recipes!  My poor hubby was afraid to eat anything by the middle of this last week, while he was working from home, for fear that it had kale hidden in it somewhere.  Does anyone have some wonderful ideas of how to use all of this kale in tasteful recipes?

Well, I’m off to wash and store all of this wonderful green freshness, and then I need to find recipes to use and plan menus for the week.

I hope you are enjoying fresh, local, healthy produce as springs is quickly moving toward summer.

 

 

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First CSA 1/2 Bushel from Eaton’s Creek Organics

Here is what I received today from Eaton’s Creek Organics, and I am quite pleased.

 

CSA from Eaton's Creek Organics

CSA from Eaton’s Creek Organics

Included in the basket above are the following:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 bunch escarole
  • 1 bunch (4)  beets with leaves
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 large green onions
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 quart strawberries (with a bonus quart)

How will I use all of this bounty?  The lettuce, escarole, and radishes are salad bound for sure; the spinach and green onions may be a part of the salad mix, too. Strawberries are “melt in your mouth” good, so they will be washed, topped, and sliced.  We’ll eat what we can today and tomorrow, and the rest will be frozen for later use.

I have several recipes for using kale, so I’m not sure in which one this bunch will be used, but since I  still have another bunch and a half of kale from last weekend, I’ve got to do some cooking. I’m looking for recipes to use the mint and beets; I’ve never cooked beets, so this is an experiment. At AllRecipes.com, I found this recipe, which uses the beets and the greens of the beets, and it looks like one I may try. This is another recipe I may try in order to use two or three different types of greens.

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Guest Post: Ten Years of Consulting by Jimmy Johnson

The HH is a fun person, and his writing is truly interesting and amusing to read.  Below is a post originally written as an email. I’ve only corrected grammar and punctuation as needed unless it would have taken away from his voice. I added a few words to make two points of clarification.  Otherwise, this is all my dear hubby’s.

Hi All:

As of last Saturday, I have been with Beacon Partners for ten years. Obviously, I love what I do, and I love who I work for and with.  Those of you who know me well, know that I keep track of everything, and in ten years that has not changed.  So, at the ten-year mark, I’d like to provide you with some information on what it means to be at Beacon for 10 years.

  1. I have worked for 24 different clients in 12 different states. Interestingly, Tennessee (where I live) is not one of those states.
  2. I have billed 16,690 hours for Beacon.  That is 280 hours, or 35 days shy of two years.
  3. I have rented 350 cars, mostly Mustangs and Camaros if I can talk the AVIS attendant into letting me have one (occasionally I have been able to get a Dodge Challenger).  By the way. I’m driving a Mustang this week. What do I have at home? A red Mustang named Reba (Yes. I sold Isabelle, the BMW Z3).
  4. I have had over 1,600 hotel stays. That means in the last 10 years I have slept in a hotel room for four and a half years.
  5. In the last 10 years, I have flown 330,000 miles. To put this in perspective, I have flown to the moon and a third of the way back. Ninety-five percent of that trip, I was asleep.
  6. I have seen the company grow and expand.  Most of you don’t realize that Beacon was in a different building when I started.  I didn’t go through orientation until I had been on client site for three months.  I remember when expenses were mailed in and done by hand.  Oh, and if anyone at the main office is listening, we used to get a clock when we made presidents club (closest thing I ever got to a trophy for utilization).  I still have the two I received; you owe me 4 more.
  7. Finally, in the last 10 years, I have had billings totaling in excess of $2.2 million.  I can’t wait to see Mr. Ralph’s new submarine.
image007

I do not know who is due credit for this photo.

For those of you new to the company, I hope this gives you an idea of what life on the road is like.  If you love it like I do, this is definitely the place to be.  It’s been a blast, I look forward to the next ten

Hope you enjoyed. Later…

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Greenway Getaway Results in Hungry Stowaway

The sun is shining, and the temps are moderately warm; high humidity is thankfully absent at present, so the family dog, Chewie, and I shared a brief escape from the apartment complex this morning. He and I walked one of the many Greenway Trails located in Metro Nashville. Today, our jaunt was down part of the Stones River Trail, which begins below the Dam at Percy Priest Lake.

Map of Stones River Greenway Trails Photo Credit

Map of Stones River Greenway Trails
Photo Credit

It was a great day for walking, and once past where the trail goes under I-40, one could almost convince herself that she was in the woods walking along a gently rolling river instead of in a metropolitan area.  Chewie was so excited; he had to stop, sniff, and pee (or attempt to pee) every few feet.  When passing other canines, Chewie wanted to charge over and share the dog handshake – the sniff – but he found that not all of the other dogs were open to that idea.  After all, we did not see any that were as large as Chewie.  Reactions varied from “come on and sniff – I’m ‘down’ with that” to “you just scared the pee out of me” to the teeth-bared warning of the police dog that said “stay out of my personal space.”

Before too long, the old boy was panting so hard that I didn’t think he would make it the 3 miles round-trip I had intended, so at just past 3/4 of a mile, we turned around and walked back to the parking lot located below the dam.

Once home and cooling down, I felt a stab in the middle of my back.  Struggling with sweat-drenched clothes, I finally was undressed enough to see that I had a stowaway from the Greenway who not only hopped a ride on my back, but who also decided to make me his breakfast.  The only skin not protected by clothing that I had not covered in all-natural bug repellant was the back of my neck, and as I worked to get the tick off of my back, I vaguely remembered thinking I saw something fall from a tree limb as we neared the end of the trail. Later, I remember feeling something on my neck, but I thought it was sweat rolling down.  Nope, it was a pesky, nasty tick!

The freeloader removed and ousted, I took a long, hot shower, soaping myself from head to toe while looking for other stowaways not content to stay in their wooded paradise.

Next time I head to a Greenway to hike, I think I’ll leave the dog at home, and I’ll be more careful to put bug repellant on all exposed skin. Once home, I think I’ll go straight to the shower to rid myself of any unwelcome guests who may have hopped on me for a ride and a meal.

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