Sunday, July 20, 2008

DieselGeek and Grandy Camp

Just the other day when I was talking to my mom about their American-made vehicle woes and other things, she mentioned that my two nieces are going back to Drrrrdanelle with them soon. Wow..a second Grandy Camp for the kiddies - they'll have fun. What a grand thing it would be to get CP in the same place as the lovely little nieces...hmmm.

This is a great idea, but the TDI is about to roll over 100k and needs a timing belt changed. We've been on several trips and a year ago when we bought it, the odo said 78k. Last night the LW and I bit the somewhat interest-laden bullet and purchased the parts for the TDI's timing belt repair. I've got the rest of the necessary things and should be able to knock it out without too much hassle....other than the 100+ degree temps and afternoon desert rains, that is. Mmmm...mechanicin' once again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It's potty training time around here and it's been tough on both of us parents. CP is deathly afraid of pooping and it's frustrating the hell out of us. We hate to really take her anywhere because she'll wait until the most inopportune moment to load her panties. The LW has dealt with this on a 3:1 ratio to my chances at it.

Yesterday I pretty much got a definitive vote of no confidence from her on the potty training (..and parenting) front and had to get in the car and leave the house swearing. I figure that holding CP down at the potty even though she's crying isn't all that torturous when I know that she's about to poop on the floor. The LW thinks that this is "ruining" her and making her all that more afraid of pooping and of me. While that may be true, I feel that there comes a time when coddling and letting the little one do what she wants to do needs to be replaced with stern parental steadiness .....and that's what I supply. It's a tough go either way. Add to this a muggy 80 degree house and it's a recipe for some serious fun and games.

On a happier note, CP was the belle of the ball again at the track & field event. She did the 50M and the softball throw, and the long jump, I think, but this time added the 200M. I missed most of it while taking photos, but heard other people talking about how she stopped at every relay blue line and would wait for the LW to say, "ready...set...go!". This kid is a funny one and everyone got a kick out of seeing her run.

New Memory

I don't know how many of you have used them before, but is the best. I had some problems with their chat support yesterday, but that's probably outsourced to a generic call center like most other places. Calling NewEgg's customer service line was the ticket and it got my problem (caused by "Brown" - see previous post) handled quickly.

I called after the chat person asked me if I'd like to have a refund or a replacement. Well, I need the equipment so I asked for a replacement...only after this did I find out that it would take 7-10 days to get the replacement on the way. That's a no go, so I called NewEgg customer service. I talked to a nice lady and told her the story of what had happened. She said that they'd finish the claim with "brown", but that I needed to order another unit. Well, that's my only option for getting one, so I said here's the kicker....the NewEgg CSR said that when I ordered the unit, to set it up for overnight delivery and they'd credit the shipping charges ($25) back to me. I did as she said and my shipping was credited. In addition to this, the hard drive showed up this morning ahead of the time that FedEx said that it would. It's now formatted and handling the load of raw photos that were waiting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Brown Did for Me

I use for computer stuff and they ship UPS. Well, yesterday I cursed as I watched the UPS truck pass our house only to stop 3 houses down the street. I thought that he might come back because evidently they don't have anything on the truck that tells them that there are other packages for that area on the truck. It's happened before. This time I wasn't so lucky. I checked the tracking number and it showed "delivered - front door". There's just one problem, they delivered it to someone else's front door. Getting the package (a hard drive for my photo business) has proven to be an exercise in futility since the neighbors aren't home and the UPS depot won't answer their phone calls from the national customer service folks. So, one of my neighbors has my hard drive, I've got photos that need to come out of the camera to be processed for sale, and all I got from "Brown" was "I'm sorry". What a joke.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tucson Track & Field

Tucson Parks & Recreation has a track & field series that is really great. The only bad thing is that tonight is the last night of this term. I've been taking photos at the event for a few weeks. The LW got tired of CP on the sidelines not too long ago and decided to enter her in some of the events. I'm glad that she did because CP absolutely loves it! She does the 50M run (not really a dash), long jump, and the softball throw. It's the highlight of her Tuesdays and she can't wait to go. Here's the costs $2 to enter your little person in as many events as they want to try. The staff are really nice to the kids and they put up with the chaos with a smile. There's even a guy there with kids who compete who owns a Papa John's franchise out on Silverbell - he sells mini pizzas for $2 each.

I really wish that the city could advertise this series a little better next year. We wouldn't have found it if we hadn't been in the park one day and seen a lot of people running. On Thursdays, the same series hosts distance running events at different locations. Here's the tiny little tag line from the city's website:

July 1, 8 and 15 - 6:30 p.m. - Adults: $3/children: $2

2008 All-Comers Track and Field Tuesdays continue for the summer. Includes long jump, softball throw, shot put, high jump and various dashes/runs. Contact the Sports Office at 791-4870.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Health Care

Some of the problems with health care in this country became very clear at our house yesterday for this self-employed person who is married to a contract tech worker. I took CP to the doc for a shot and a checkup and they told me that I needed to pay them right there. Well, the LW and I have high deductible insurance, but usually our stuff still runs through the insurance for system for the discount that they've negotiated - well baby isn't covered. The lady at the front desk made sure that I heard this and didn't really want to hear anything else. "Well baby isn't covered, you'll have to pay today." On we went. I tried to explain that it goes through the insurance and then we pay the discounted rate.......nothing. So, we get called in and all is well with the doc. Her nurse comes in and gives CP the shot and we're on our way to the billing desk. The nurse, by the way, was the quickest with a syringe that I've ever seen. It was over in a blink and CP didn't even have time to react before the brightly cartooned bandage came out. Well, we got to the desk and all that the lady there wanted to tell me was that I needed to pay and that well baby visits weren't covered by my insurance. She called another girl over and that's what she said too. I argued that it should be run through the insurance and she eventually realized that too, but she said that she didn't have the authority to allow that. Well baby visits aren't covered. Well, I was at the point where I was going to bitch slap the whole lot of them, so I paid the bill and left, only to find a new Acura TL parked so close to CP's door that I couldn't open it. So we walked around to the other side, cleared the seat and I put her inside. This wouldn't have been a problem regularly, but it was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock outside. After I cleared the front of the car, soaking wet by this time, I yelled at the lady sitting in the car and asked her whether "she always parked like a dumbass!?". Then we left.

$300/month for insurance with a $5000 family deductible and well baby care isn't covered. It's time to bail out of this country because it's going to $hit. All the lame-ass fox news types (my parents included) want to do is bitch about how bad socialized health care would be and how high taxes would be. Just let one of them fall off of a company payroll with a heart condition and see how much they like life after their cobra coverage wears out. The rat bastards will be crying for socialized health care when they have to tap a 401k just to afford Blue Cross. They might just get a taste of being treated like the rest of us.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

1 Chicken Down

This morning as I was chasing our main garden destroying chicken out of said garden with and old yard rake, she expired. I don't recall doing anything to press her out of the garden that I haven't repeated on several occasions, but there was a flurry of chicken feathers against our low flimsy fence and then it was over. I have mixed feelings about it really. I'm glad that my garden will be safer and that the chicken I most despised for waking me up is gone, but this was the LW's favorite layer and she's understandably saddened by all of this. This incident has put me, and the chicken on the stove right now, in hot water.

In other news: it's hot. It's about 80 inside and sticky right now with the swamp cooler going. Ahhh.... the rainy season.