DIY effort fixes the problem

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was going to try to fix my phone char?ger, which for some unknown reason ended up in the driveway with the plug still in the car.

I am happy to report that I did fix it and now have a spare for my truck. All it took was some solder that I found in our basement and a new solder gun, as my old one didn?t heat hot enough to melt the solder. It took some electrician?s black tape to tape everything back together. It is a function of usefulness and not of beauty.

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I was reminded again why I try to buy in Kansas if I can?t buy local. Here?s why.

When our previous janitor, Linda Ewert, left she bequeathed her industrial vacuum cleaner to us. The bag finally got so full it wouldn?t suck anymore. I went down the street to buy a replacement, but they did not have it. So, I went online and found three for $12 plus shipping, which was ground and would take a week.

This was dumb, I thought, so I called the company and found out that Janitorial Services in Hutchinson or Wichita had them. Since UPS headquarters for Hillsboro is Hutch, I called them. As a bonus, I talked to real people both times. The woman in Hutch?in?son said they would send 10 bags for $16 and they would be here the next day.

Problem solved.

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If at all possible, I like to do business with companies who have real people answering the phone.

And I don?t really believe the message that says, ?Listen carefully as our menus have recently changed.? Something about that doesn?t seem true to me.

I think they just don?t want to talk to you. What really gets me is when they ask you to say the answer. That is when I start yelling.

When the recorded voice asks me to repeat because it didn?t understand, I yell even louder and that usually gets someone on the phone.

Websites are another matter when no phone number can be found. For that reason the Free Press phone number is at the very top right of our home page.

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What else is new? Postage went up again May 31. This time first-class stamps went up 3 cents as did post cards.

The cost for standard mail and periodical mail also increased. But the good news for you is that the Free Press subscription is still free.

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Everything we are reading says the big daily newspapers are struggling, but that community journalism is for the most part thriving. Especially when there is local ownership.

Word is that USA?Today will no longer be in print possibly in five to six years.

And free papers like ours deliver the audience that advertisers are wanting.

There are few family-owned dailies remaining in the U.S. When the big corporations take over, the focus turns to profits and everything else ranks well below. Most of them still make money, but not the massive profits they once made.

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If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@
hillsborofreepress.com.

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