In Sparks, I went to the Verizon store to get a replacement telephone. I assume that my old phone has now been thrown in the trash once the person who picked it up discovered that it no longer works to make free phone calls and texts. After some discussion, the guy there found a simple phone that was just my type, except that they were out of them, and I had to head down to the other Verizon store, this one about a mile south of the Atlantis/Convention Center in Reno.
I had been scared to touch the actual service plan on my account because it was relatively inexpensive and all the new plans appeared to me to cost more. Furthermore, most of the other plans appeared to be aimed at people who spend every waking moment with a telephone taped to their ear gabbing at someone. I don't use a lot of minutes; I just want a simple phone so I can make and receive calls at need. They suggested that their prepaid plans with simple phones would save me $8-10/month over what I'm paying now. With some difficulty and multiple attempts, they were actually able to get one of their prepaid simple phones activated and my existing telephone number attached to it. The phone works; it can call other phones, and if you call my old number, the new phone rings. Unfortunately, because of the way it works, it appears that all of the existing online Verizon account information doesn't work anymore, nor have I as yet been able to create a new account on the old phone number, which they say doesn't exist. I'll give it a couple of days. I want to set the account up to automatically recharge itself (from one of my credit cards) on the prepaid plan without me having to go through the rigamarole of buying prepaid cards and typing them into the phone.
I found another good reason for buying the phone in Nevada over California besides wanting to have the tax benefit my adopted home state: California applies sales tax to the nominal retail price of the phone, not the actual price after all of the incentives. Nevada only taxes the actual amount you're charged net of discounts.
So after around $100 (including some accessories like a new case, and including the "upgrade charge" for moving my old phone number onto the new phone, I am once again online and if you have my phone number, you can call me again. If you happen to have left me voice-mail in the past two days, forget about it; I'll never get it because the new phone starts over from zero. Also, I'll have to start recreating my address book. Fortunately, the new phone comes with the feature that allows you to backup your address book online, so the next time I change phones (voluntarily or not), I won't have to worry about this.
Thanks to spending >2 hours running around Reno/Sparks dealing with Verizon, I didn't get home until nearly 8 PM. It is quite hot and will continue to be very hot through Wednesday, which is when we leave for Sacramento.