07:52 – It wasn’t as minor as we’d hoped. Barbara’s dad had a bad fall yesterday afternoon about 1400. No one notified Barbara for almost an hour. She and her mom and sister spent the next eight hours or so at the emergency room, before they finally admitted her dad at least for overnight. Barbara finally got home at midnight. Her dad is okay for now. They ruled out a stroke or TIA. At this point, they think a cardiac arrhythmia caused her dad to lose consciousness momentarily and fall. The hospital was actually ready to release her dad last night, but Barbara told them she wasn’t comfortable taking him home in his current state. He was still having trouble breathing and showing signs of CHF. So they’re keeping an eye on him for a while until they’re sure it’s safe for him to go home.
10:38 – I no longer have a cell phone. When I called Barbara on her cell phone yesterday, I thought I’d better check the balance on her Boost Mobile prepaid cell phone. So I went over to the Boost Mobile web site and logged in. Sure enough, she was down to something like $8. Then I noticed something strange on her account page. The call I’d just made to her had been charged at $0.75. That was really strange, considering that Boost Mobile bills in one-minute increments and Barbara has a flat $0.10/minute rate. So how could a call cost $0.75? As it turns out, it was a three-minute call, but Boost Mobile increased their prices as of yesterday from $0.10/minute to $0.25/minute. Geez.
So I decided just to give Barbara my PlatinumTel prepaid phone, which costs only $0.05/minute and just order another one for myself. The trouble was, they had only four phone models on offer, and none of them were clamshells. I carry a cell phone in my pants pocket, which means I really need a clamshell model. Oh, well. I’ll just wait until they have more models in stock. For now, I’ll do without.
As it turns out, BoostMobile is “encouraging” people with iDEN phones to buy new phones. BM still has something like a million iDEN users, and Sprint is in the process of shutting down their iDEN network. Apparently, they’ve already shut down thousands of iDEN towers nationwide (which explains why Barbara has had problems with spotty service availability for the last few months) and they plan to shut down the network completely as of next June. It was time for Barbara to get a different phone anyway. She wanted a clamshell model too, so I just gave her mine. So today she’s giving her new cell phone number to her sister and parents, who were the only ones who had the old one. Once she does that and clears any current voicemail, she’ll just shut down her old phone and let it die when the time expires.