When did I stop trusting people so much? Somewhere in between the time I gave some guy $20 on a Berkeley street because he had "missed his bus back to Oklahoma" and when a plumber told me my pipes would last me only a few more months before I’d have to pay "thousands in repair bills" (that was 4 years ago)&#8212somewhere between there I just flat out stopped trusting anyone I didn’t know who wanted money from me.

Before I went on my SF trip the manager of the VW service department came to me and said, with eyes reflecting the painful worry in his heart, "You’re Going To Die If You Don't Get These Tires Replaced Today". A second opinion from another shop was, "Eh, you have at least 10,000 more miles on them. Probably more." My 600 mile trip to SF turned out fine.

Verizon, for four days now, has offered a different reason as to why I haven't had DSL or phone service. They've all been terribly friendly about it, "It's probably a bad cordless phone, unplug and see what happens!" or "It looks like it's fixed! The computer says the line is good!" even though I'd get home and it would not be fixed. But for some reason I kept trusting them.

Each Verizon character seemed to be more friendly and more of an authority than the previous character. This morning's character was a gentle old man who featured a Canadian accent. He calmly explained what the problem could be ("Oh, the previous technician didn't tell you about that? I will make sure she knows aboot it…") and promised me he could have a person on-site by tomorrow.

I already decided I'm going to cancel my DSL and phone service and go with a cable modem and my cell phone, but because I've been paying for inside wire insurance for so long I'm going to make them come down and fix whatever problem exists.

Totally unrelated post-script: our IT department has named our two most recently installed printers "Blink 182" and "Outkast". This is pretty much the beginning of the end, I'd say.