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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Christmas in May

I've been having fun with my new iPod. I got it a few weeks ago but it was only last Friday that I was able to outfit it for its primary purpose, in-the-field bird identification. On Friday night I installed bird calls onto it for pretty much every North American species that sings, squawks, chirps or tweets. Now, whenever I go birding, if I hear something I don't recognize, I can take a wild shot chirp in the dark at identifying the bird by its song by listening to likely 'suspect' birds on my iPod.

The bird songs I installed are from the Eastern & Western Stokes Field Guide to Bird Song. I used BirdPod Maker software to tweek and arranged the Stokes guide. The BirdPod Maker helps the iPod list the various bird songs by habitat, eastern or western half of the continent, etc.
The Stokes bird song guides were reasonably priced but the BirdPod program was UBER expensive!

Know what I keep my iPod stuff in? A small beaded tan deerskin pouch with a fringe of tin jingles that I made a long time ago - the two together are a perfect mix of my love of the old and new stuff.

Speaking of stuff, about a week ago I received a check and some settlement papers and a chart from State Farm Insurance concerning the theft of my 'stuff' in March, two months ago to the day March. The Statefarm chart listed my stolen items. Each item had its own row with fourteen additional columns of numbers - none of which made any sense whatsoever to me. I am not stupid, but honestly, Clarence Darrel wasn't good enough of a lawyer to figure out the meaning of the chart.

So last night I called the State Farm offices and asked WTF? The explanation from the agent made perfect logical sense and there is NO way I could have discerned as much from reading the damned charts or its accompanying letter. I told the insurance agent they ought to hire people who speak English and can convey information so people can read and understand the chart. Honestly, if that letter & chart were an assignment in an English class the writer would have earned an F for reader comprehension.

The upshot of the letter is let's say my stolen spotting scope had a value of $1,000 dollars in the first column. The policy paid directly to me $500 for the scope. I could, if I wanted, take the $500 and that is that. But as I want a replacement spotting scope I am short $500 for replacement. So what I will do is purchase my $1,000 spotting scope and turn over its reciept for to State Farm who then will dish out a check to me for the outstanding $500.

Now why the heck didn't the letter just say that?

So, now if I like I can go on a shopping spree to replace the remainder of my stolen stuff. The shopping to replace all the stolen stuff is rather like some bizarre sort of Christmas.