Best Petsitters in Durham

Herman, Aremid, and Zellouisa don’t agree on much, but they are unanimous in praising Bull City Pet Sitting for providing the best, funnest, most loving care when daddy has to go somewhere. Heather and Jen treat them all like their own. Herman needs belly rubs, Aremid needs lap sessions, and Zellouisa needs head-butts, and they all get plenty of TLC from Bull City Pet Sitting. Aremid and Zellouisa have both had special medication and food needs over the years. Herman has special needs just in his social ineptness around other canines. Heather and Jen always do a tremendous job with my critters. I’ve been using them for nearly six years, and I recommend them whole-heartedly to the pet-owners of Durham!

Herman at the vet How many pictures of Z on her back do I need?
Aremid atop bookcase (Nov 07) (9)

Bye bye Sprint!

One of the mistakes I made in 2007 was re-upping with Sprint for yet another 2-year-contract with the upgrade to a new phone back in January. I’d been a Sprint customer since 1998, having gone through at least 5 different phones. As of today, I’m free of Sprint! It might be difficult to imagine how one could be so happy to be rid of a cell phone service provider. I think I captured some of my frustration earlier this year, but their customer service throughout the years has been horrible.


So I signed up with Verizon, whom Consumer Reports ranks as the top service provider. For the type of phone I need, there’s not much difference between one provider and another. I need reliable customer service. The January 2008 issue of Consumer Reports cites their reader survey showing that only about 40% of wireless customers received good customer service from their provider. However, with last-place Sprint, that percentage was just 20%. Some people may be happy with Sprint and may have even been fortunate enough to either never have needed customer service or have had a satisfactory experience with them. I was not so fortunate, I can’t warn people against starting new service with Sprint enough, although after this post, I probably won’t need to so public ever again.

I’m paying the $200 early-termination fee, but I’m fine with that, because I just got over $200 back from Costco for returning my old phone. (My purchase was grandfathered into Costco’s old cell phone return policy; they’ve since changed their policy to just 90 days).

First Internet Bank of Indiana

First Internet Bank of IndianaI think I may have mentioned this recently, about how FIB kicked ass, particularly banking specialist Melissa. I’d like to award FIB banking specialist Shari with the Toastie Customer Support Rep of the Month award for March. She just reversed a couple of nasty fees for me that were due to my own negligence yet worthy of pity.

Don’t let your bias against all-things-Indiana stop you from looking into First Internet Bank of Indiana if you’re looking for a new bank. They provide excellent customer service, and when you’re dealing with the delicate issue of your personal finances, you want people to assist you who aren’t halfway around the globe and sticking to a script.

There’s my plug. If anyone actually uses them as a result of my testimonial, let them know I sent you, and maybe they’ll reverse more of bank charges.

Whoring for Fresh Step on my blog

Back on May 12, I wrote about my disgust with Arm & Hammer Multicat litter.

Today, I received this email:

Hi Toastie,

My name is Maureen [I’ll omit her last name]. I came across your blog and read an entry regarding your disgust with Arm & Hammer Multicat cat litter. I thought you might be interested in trying out and perhaps discussing a new innovation in cat litter on your blog.

This spring Clorox launched a new and improved Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter with odor-eliminating carbon. This is the biggest innovation in cat litter in 20 years – the carbon in this new-patented formula helps to eliminate odors on contact, so odors are neutralized before they leave the box. The new formula has the same cat-activated fresheners and clump strength and is still 99.9 percent dust free. So it is just as clean and safe for your cat and home as the previous Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter.

The new Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter has granules containing odor-eliminating carbon. Carbon helps to eliminate odors by grabbing them and holding them to its surface. In addition, the new Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter contains a patented antimicrobial agent to help fight the growth of odor causing bacteria.

So what does all this mean for you, a pet lover? Basically – the new and improved Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter will deliver maximum odor control and will revolutionize the cat litter experience for you (and your feline friends!).

We would love to send you two free full-size samples to try. If you’re interested, just reply with your mailing address and I will ship it right out to you.


So I wrote back and gave my address so I can get some cat litter coupons. I neglected to tell her that I’m already using Fresh Step, but that I don’t find the product she mentioned suitable enough for my cats. I actually get Fresh Step Scoopable Cat Litter with crystals because the crystals seem to be the last piece of the puzzle that makes for the only cat litter I’ve ever bought that really works. Mo, if you’re reading this, I should still get the coupons, because I am discussing Fresh Step’s fine products in my blog.