Time Warner Cable and Burglars

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

It was late February 2008. I was living in a 2 bedroom condo near Walnut Hill and Webb Chapel in Dallas. I didn’t have a lot to do that day, but I went to visit a couple of near by customers. Even though the neighborhood was not known for being pristine and crime free, I had not had any significant trouble since residing there in 2006. I locked my door, but not the patio gate, as was my normal procedure when leaving. I had finished with my first customer, and contemplated going home for lunch, then returning to the other customer. But I decided I would just rather get it all done, and then when I got home, I would be done. When I did arrive home, about 1:45pm, I noticed the door was messed up some. I instantly thought that workers doing some work around the condos might have been working on it. Then, when I got inside, and noticed some computer parts in the living room that had been upstairs, I wondered why someone I had given a key to my condo had come by and moved my stuff? After realizing that something bad had happened, and not knowing if they were still in the place, I dashed outside and to the town home office. There I was informed that one of the employees had chased three teens from my condo. He wasn’t successful in catching them, and it probably was a good thing he didn’t. They took some stuff, including a handgun (I didn’t have a safe then) and my cable box. The cable box is what this story really is about.

Obviously I couldn’t watch TV. So after the emotions of being burglarized eased, I was able to go about the insurance, police reports and everything else to get my life back in order. New steel door, dead bolt locks, safe, burglar alarm, etc. Then, I went to Time Warner Cable (TWC) near my office. I had called by phone to inform them of the burglary and stolen cable box. I also asked for a value so I could claim it on the insurance. No one could tell me a value. Even with a supervisor, face-to-face in the office, I could get no answer on what the amount was. No one at TWC would provide me with an invoice. They did give me a new box, though, and I gave them the police report.

I filed my insurance claim, listing the cable box, but no dollar value. I got a check less deductible for all my stuff (except the cable box.) Texas Fair Plan was exactly that! FAIR! Thank you, Russ Davis.

One service issue I was having with TWC was concerning High Definition. Seems I was paying extra for HD, but EVERY night, I would lose the HD signal. Some times it was for a few seconds, most of the time it was for a couple of minutes. They made two or three trips to test the lines from their system to my box. Every time, they could not find a cause. Once they reburied the cable to my condo. So fast-forward to Oct 2009. We bought a house in Allen. Since I knew I would be leaving TWC, I decided to stop paying for service. And of course I got the phone calls from collections. Even months before making the decision to stop paying, I had been trying to get TWC customer service to do something about the outage. It got to be a game: call in, first person couldn’t help, would check with a supervisor, supervisor not available but would call back. I documented 49 times (YES, FORTY NINE TIMES) that I was promised a supervisor would call me back. A couple of times, I did get to speak to a supervisor after being passed from the customer service representative. But they would always say they would investigate further and call me back. And those failures to call back are included in the 49.

I did say ‘fast-forward’ right? Okay, now we are moving from the condo, and I have disconnected my TWC. I go to take back my equipment, and the guy says: “Where’s the other box?” I had actually forgotten about the stolen box. But when I realized what he was talking about, I remembered what the supervisor at the TWC center in Irving, near my office, had said when I pressed her for an invoice: “Don’t worry about it.” At this point, I am VERY upset. Weeks later the collections calls and other things started happening, and I decided it would be me against them, and I wasn’t going to give in! And I didn’t. I told multiple callers from TWC that they could have a supervisor call me, and one never did. I did finally get a bill for a couple of months of over due service AND $325 for a cable box. I just laughed.

Then one day, I was checking my credit, and there was a “bad debt” from TWC. So, I finally decided to see if I could slay this dragon. I sent the invoice of $325 to Texas Fair Plan. This was in March 2011. They paid it! Then I went to the TWC center near my office again. I wanted to pay what I rightfully owed, the cable box cost. I got to speak to a gentleman, Antwon Whiteman, Retail Supervisor. You won’t believe what he did. He LISTENED to my issues, he APOLOGIZED for the trouble, and he TOOK CARE OF IT! I told him that he was fighting an uphill battle and that I hoped he was rewarded adequately for his service at a place that seems to have forgotten what customer service really is. He wrote me a letter that I can post to any lingering credit bureau blots.

Needless to say, I had less trouble with the burglars than I did with TWC. But in the future, if you have issues with TWC, try to talk to Antwon Whiteman.

New Friends and Old in 2010

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

As we enter the last week of 2010, I am grateful to have made so many new friends. Moving to a new city gives you ample opportunity to do so. Hopefully, 2011 will present additional chances to expand my friend circle. With that in mind, I can’t help but realize there is a small circle of friends that we all call ‘close friends.’ After reading “The Power of Who” by Bob Beaudine, I want to make sure that I become a good friend and that my good friends are mutually benefited.

I recall a passage that I read a few years ago. I do not know the original author, and I may have made some changes to the original document. Regardless, I now present for your reading pleasure the definition of Real Friends.


Are you tired of all those sissy “friendship” poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

  1. When you are sad – I will help get you drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.
  2. When you are blue – I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
  3. When you smile – I will know you finally got laid.
  4. When you are scared – I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
  5. When you are worried – I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining.
  6. When you are confused – I will use little words.
  7. When you are sick – Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don’t want whatever you have.
  8. When you fall – I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

This is my oath…I pledge it till the end. Why, you may ask. Because you are my friend.

Send this to 10 of your closest friends, then get depressed because you can only think of two and one of them isn’t speaking to you right now anyway.

Remember: A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body. Let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.

Jokes I like to share

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet..

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”

Memories of great childhood restaurants

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

It’s funny what your adult brain thinks of when it wants to reminisce. Mine took me back to summer trips my family would make to Weatherford, TX. Just after you get off I-20 in Hudson Oaks, there is a restaurant, R & K Cafe. I don’t remember if this is the exact cafe, or what the original name was, but my memory is of the sign that hung over the door going to the kitchen. Here is my best recollection:

“Seville, dar dago. Tousand busses inaro.
NOJO, dems trux.
Summit cousin, summit dux.”

Being a child prodigy (chuckle) I knew exactly what it meant. And so did my father. But he also liked a good joke. So, he copied it down and took it to some coworkers to see what they thought. Dad worked for the City Of Dallas, and had quite a few Dallas Police Department friends. He took it to the ones that were supposed to be good at deciphering. Amazingly, dad’s friend did not know it said: “See Willie, there they go. A thousand busses, in a row. No, Joe. Them’s trucks. Some with cows in, and some with ducks.”

Now I want a chicken fried steak.

It’s Time, the State Fair of Texas.

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

I love this time of year. A break from the heat, football, and the State Fair of Texas! My daughter and I started a tradition years ago of attending together. Seems the others in the family didn’t find as much enjoyment of the fair as we did. So, even now, she wants to go to the fair with her daddy. And daddy sure wants to go with her. It really is a magical time!

Here are some hints for those that want to save some $$ when heading to Fair Park:

DART Combo Ticket: Available at Kroger Food Stores. $16 buys 1 general admission to 2009 State Fair of Texas & round-trip transportation on DART the day of your visit. The new green line drops off at front gate and a second station is located within easy walking distance to the MLK entrance.

Dr Pepper $3 Tuesdays: Every Tuesday, bring an empty Dr Pepper can and enter for $3. Most rides on those Tuesdays (excluding the Thrillway, Texas Star & selected other attractions) are 5 coupons.

Dr Pepper $5 after 5 p.m.: Bring an empty Dr Pepper can to any State Fair admission gate after 5 p.m. and enter for $5.

Kroger “Three for $1” Wednesdays: Admission is $1 for each visitor bringing 3 cans of food for area food banks.

Coke $4 Thursdays: Bring an empty 20 oz. bottle of a Coca-Cola product and enter the Fair for $4 admission.

FREE Thursdays for Senior Citizens 60 years and older.

FREE Cinemark Thursdays: Free admission with a Cinemark Theater ticket stub on Thursdays.

KISS-FM “Fridays at the Fair”: Half-price admission and half-price rides after 5 p.m. on any Friday. Must present coupon printed from KISS-FM website for admission offer. Half-price ride wristbands will be distributed from KISS booth outside Midway Arch from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Fridays only.

Dickies Day: Friday, October 16, wear and show your Dickies logo clothing item at the staffed tent outside the gate and receive a voucher. The voucher is for FREE admission on Friday, October 16 only.

Any Day McDonald’s Deal: McDonald’s offers $4 off General Admission with one of their State Fair coupons (available on tray liner or bag stuffers) any day of the Fair. A free child ticket (with purchase of general admission) coupon is also distributed by McDonald’s. Offer may not be combined with any other offer.

McDonald’s is your kinda place…

Hope to see you out there!

Ahead of the Curve

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

We’ve all heard the term “getting ahead of the curve.” Simply put, it is a reference to driving. You want to turn your wheels, adjust your speed based on the approaching curve. This will keep you in control and guide you smoothly through to the desired direction.

As in driving, event planning has some nasty curves that dot the road landscape. Here are the key things you can do to “get ahead of the curve” and have a successful event.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Any cliche about planning can fit here, but it isn’t just trite commentary. PLAN PLAN PLAN. And plan EARLY. What kind of things need to be secured early in the process?

  • Venue – Get the location locked in. And make sure you have adequate facilities for your event.
  • Entertainment – Your entertainment vendor(s) book many months and sometimes years in advance. If you want quality entertainment, be sure to look way ahead, even if it’s just to pencil in the date.

Expand On Success

What has worked before? Was the event given good reviews by the participants? Did they say, “Let’s do this again next year!” It is exciting to put on a successful event. The problem comes in trying to best the previous event. Add a little extra, or equally as good, eliminate the unnecessary. For instance, if everyone loved the DJ and dance last year, why not add a strolling magician? For the wall-flowers, they will have even more to enjoy!

Post Mortem Isn’t Just For Dr G

Get reviews. Find out what worked and what didn’t. Keep an event notebook and update it with the after party details. And don’t forget to show your appreciation to the vendors that helped make your event a success. Even a personal note shows your gratitude.

So there you have it. Short and sweet, simple and doable. Now go out there and have a bang up time!

Who Else Loves To Eat?

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

One of the ‘benefits’ of moving to a new city is trying out new places to eat. In many cases, the places are the corporate or franchise stores, but it’s still exciting to see if they deliver what you are accustomed to receiving.

So, I think I will write about my adventures in the culinary visits around Allen, TX. This may include Plano, Frisco and McKinney, but I will try to focus on Allen. Eventually, I want to visit every Mexican restaurant in the area. Mainly because I love Mexican food, but also as a service to my fellow enchilada aficionados. Additionally, when I visit such places, I will attempt to gain the marketing and entertainment factor of being the ‘house magician‘. Who knows, maybe a free meal or two will come my way.

So far, I haven’t had a terribly unpleasant dining experience in Allen. I will mention that Cheddars on Stacy Rd does have very tasty selections, and price was quite reasonable. I do wish they would consider having a magician to entertain while waiting. During rush hour, there is a good bit of a wait.

More reviews and quips will come in the following days. In the mean time, clean your hands before dinner, and for those that eat with their fingers, clean them after too!