Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Just Chillin'

Not a lot new here, I went for a job on Saturday down in Novi, I didn't mention it because I thought maybe we had an odd number of things crossed and that was what the problem was. They said they would be making calls one way or the other on Monday or Tuesday but Mommy hasn't called to tell me that they called so I guess not. Sunday was bitter, bitter cold. We went to Gordon's Christmas party at G's in Houghton Lake (we brought the family standard cherry pie cake, except we made it with apples and spice cake). To say I was looking forward to going would be stretching things way beyond the imaginable, they were having free drinks and kareoke, the other employees are Bob, Robert, Ronnie, and a bunch of young kids. But I had a great time, I spent most of the time with his boss who went to Holy Redeemer until the third grade when they moved to the east side, his dad graduated from Holy Redeemer. Al, Gordon's boss, is retiring from the police force after 33 years and used to ride with the Big 4 and spent 20 years as the Harbor Master. He's a great guy that really has no clue how to run a restaurant, it's a family business his father started it in West Branch and his brother Chris has been running it for years, this past year Al bought Chris out of the Houghton Lake store and has been trying to run it from downstate with his 23 year-old daughter in as a manager. She wants to be everybody's friend and the restaurant lost money this year. Al is hoping to turn things around next year as he retires January 3rd and will be spending more time up north.

At one point I was talking with Al's wife and one of the barely legal and yet over the drinking limit waitresses asked Gordon to dance. He danced and then went to the bathroom, the waitress came over and started apologizing for dancing with him and leaving me with Pat (Al's wife), I said not to worry about it that I was doing what I wanted to do. Five minutes later she was back gushing about how she hoped that I wasn't mad at her for dancing with my husband. Like I was the slightest bit worried. I just looked at her and said that I had been married way too many years to concern myself with who he danced with. She then turned to Pat and said that she wanted to dance with Al too, but she was afraid that Pat would get mad at her, Pat laughed and said "we've been married just as long dance all you want." There was a lot of really bad kareoke and some pretty darn good kareoke. They shut down the party at 1:00 and then we had to clean up since the were open for business at 11:00. Bob and Dorothy left pretty early and I drove the rest of the West Branchers home. When we passed the bank in West Branch the temperature was registering -14! I've got to assume that the thermometer was in the wind and included the wind chill, but it was cold!

I got all of my Christmas presents wrapped, pretty easy since my list is down to almost nobody this year. (Just the kids and a couple of regifts.) Robin is going to bring hers over on Thursday for me to wrap, she used to just use my paper (I bought paper three years ago after Christmas and haven't had to buy any since) but it frustrates me, even though I have a ton of paper to watch her wrap, so it's easier for me to just do it. Plus I do enjoy it.

Bryan has been teaching me sign language, I remember most of the letters but always forget some like k and x. He was asking Megan one day if something was D and she was getting frustrated because she had no idea of what he wanted to know was D, I finally looked up and realized he was doing the sign for D. I was pretty amazed.

Tomorrow is laundry and library - how much fun can one person have in one day.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tis The Season

For school Christmas Pageants
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In other news I got a call today from the company I interviewed with and they have made an offer to someone else. The search goes on.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Is it only me?

The Sunday before Thanksgiving I went on line to my bank’s web site and paid my bills, just as I do every month. I enjoyed the holiday just as if everything was taken care of. The week after Thanksgiving I get a call from Cellular One saying that they have not received payment for my cellular phone. I explained that this was probably because I do not have Cellular One service I have NPI Wireless. They explained that NPI was now part of Cellular One and that my payment was overdue. I told them that I had paid the bill on line through my bank on 11/22/04, they said they would make a note of that and that they should receive it shortly. I got another call on Thursday that they had still not received payment. I told them that the payment showed on my bank statement. They asked what address I had sent the payment too since they do not accept electronic payments. I looked it up through my bank and read them the address. They replied, “Oh, that’s the old NPI address the payment needed to go to ‘blah, blah, blah’ Cellular One’s address. I pulled my bill, and explained that the bill came from NPI with the NPI remit address on it. This did not faze them in the slightest, “yea well the payment should have been mailed to the new address.” I was then told that I could make a payment over the phone if I liked, but without payment my service was to be disconnected on the 14th. They advised that I call them today (the 13th) to verify that they had received payment. Incredulous, I said, “I as your customer received a bill for your service I sent in payment for that bill to the address you told me to send it to, you at some point changed your mind about the address you wanted payment to go to and because of this have not yet received my payment. I would suggest that you put a post-it on your computer to remind yourself to call me – your customer – to make sure that my service is not disrupted.” They explained that they could not do this and that my service would be turned off on the 14th. I explained that I had procrastinated finding a better plan since my contract with NPI was up anyway, and that I was sure Verizon would be glad to have me. I then went to my bank’s web site and sent an email to customer service explaining that a payment showed on my statement but the company the payment was sent to claimed to not have received the payment, giving the bank the pertinent company information, amount and date of payment. On Friday I received a reply that the check had been cashed on December 2nd and if I could supply a fax number they would fax a copy to the company in question. So I called Cellular One, where I was told that my account was not overdue that they had received payment on November 29th. When asked why someone called me on December 9th to tell me that I needed to make an additional phone payment, the rep was able to read the notes on the phone call and verify that the phone call had been made but was unable to explain why. I really need to stop procrastinating.

Today started early with a list of errands to run, I needed to go to the court to get something notarized, go to Wal-Mart and get packing tape so I could go to the post office and ship the California package, go to the library and pick up books, and the office supply store to fax the notarized papers. The courthouse went fine, I should have known then that the day was not going to be easy. I forgot my phone so I stopped at the house to get my phone so I could call the library when it opened and give them my list of books. (Our library is closed until the new year, they had planned to stay open during construction but cannot, so they do window delivery of books if you tell them exactly what you want you can knock on the window and they will check them out for you. They are on line with a library service so I can search books and make sure that they are checked in when I make a list of books.) For some reason I thought I could do K-Mart since it was closer, but they didn’t have rechargeable batteries or barbeque fritos so I went ahead down to Wal-Mart. They had the batteries and the fritos, but would not make the 8x10 picture for Kathy since it was a professional photo. I gathered up my purchases and went to the self check out, I love those, unfortunately I’m not so good at clearing the security crap they attach to the batteries, although I did swipe it over the star like they told me and I was stopped going out of the store. They determined it was the batteries and they were on my receipt so I was cleared to go. With the wind whipping me around I got the package together (did I mention we have a winter storm warning?) and headed to the post office. There was no parking out front so I circled the block a couple of times until there was a parking spot open. I got in waited in line, put my package up and was told, “Well, you could send it first class that’ll take one or two days and is $15.75” there’s nothing that important in there, the total contents of the box isn’t much more than that. So I asked what my other options were, “well, you could send it parcel post that will take 4-6 days” “and how much is that?” “$15.35.” A decision was made to try UPS, I know we have a UPS I pass it all the time when I take the back road into town. I’m in town, so all I need to do is take the back road the other way. OOPS, must be the other back road. So now I am out of town, drive around to the other back road, yep there it is. Back up, turn into the totally empty parking lot, think aren’t small towns great, see sign that says Customer Service open 3-6pm. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go out again later today. Back into town for the Office Supply store and library (same parking spot for both). Go into Office Supply first so I won’t have all those books in my way, hand paper to clerk and tell them I need it faxed, clerk goes into office and comes back charges me $2.12 (it’s usually $3.18 - $1 to dial phone and then $1 per page) I asked if the price had changed clerk said no $1 to dial phone and $1 per page, I said it’s two pages – oh you want to fax both of them – back into office. The library had all of my books ready and I was on my way home. Now all I have to do is my Tuesday cleaning (Wednesday morning is trash pick up) since I have a second interview for the accounting administrator position tomorrow at 1 – cross all crossable body parts!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sean turns 4 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004

Angels in Silent Pictures and When They Are Sleeping Posted by Hello

Friday, November 26, 2004

Were Not Kwadin Anymore

What a long week, but it sure was fun. First I went downstate last Friday for a job interview that went very well. It’s an accounting administration position so it incorporates that two things I enjoy the most. So start crossing fingers and toes. Then I went to Mommy’s to see Adrienne and await the arrival of Jackson and Erika. The TV was muted to the Pistons/Pacers game while we watched Jackson, and we looked up to catch what we thought was the end of a rare fight in basketball. It turned out to be only the middle of an outright ugly brawl. Another black-eye for Detroit sports. One article I read regarding this disturbance mentions John Stewart’s take on Detroit sports when he is discussing a massacre of five people, in his book John says, “this is back when 5 people dead was a massacre and not just a Detroit Piston championship celebration.”

Saturday and Sunday were busy with the kids and getting things ready for our trip to Kewadin. Mommy and Adrienne got here Sunday afternoon, after the Lions disappointing loss to Minnesota, and we went off to Ponderosa for dinner. Sunday night was relaxing in front of the TV with American Dreams for Adrienne and Mom and football for Gordon and me.

Monday morning we were off to Kewadin with Mom and Adrienne on the bus and Gordon and I following in the car. We started in St. Ignace where we said hello to our angry bees and pouting gophers. We had lunch in the new restaurant at the casino and Mom and Adrienne boarded the bus to continue to the Soo. Once we were checked into the hotel and unloaded into the room we ventured down to the casino for a while and then took a ride to Brimley for Bay Mills Casino and then King’s Club for gambling and dinner. I don’t think I have been on a Monday before and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds at any of the casinos. Usually we nap around 8 pm during the casinos’ busy time and go gamble around 3 am, this time we were able to continue gambling throughout that time period and go to bed at a decent hour.

Up early (early is a relative term) to get Mom and Adrienne back on the bus to collect their package in St. Ignace. The hotel was great and allowed Mom to check in for Tuesday night before the bus left so we were able to just move our stuff down the hall instead of having to load it up and then unload it later. Gordon and I followed the bus down to St. Ignace and collected Mom and Adrienne, we gambled there for a short time and then got back on the road, more casinos to see. With a stop in Hessel we returned to the Soo and crossed the bridge to the Canadian side to check out what they had. We dropped Mom and Adrienne at the casino and Gordon and I went to the mall to pick up some favorites that are only available in Canada (Aero candy bars!), of course we were not able to leave without checking out all they had to offer. We found a great place called the Bulk Barn that had the best display of bulk items I have ever seen, and many, many items that I had never seen. I found the coolest thing there the fact that they rented cake pans and had hundreds of them lining the walls. They also had an extensive display of cake decorating items including colored sugars and sprinkles in every color imaginable. Gordon picked up some salt and vinegar popcorn salt that smelled so strong I immediately declared that it could only be ate when I wasn’t home. In Zellers we found the Aero bars and a Hershey bar called Sidekick, it is like a Three Musketeers with peanut butter in it. We also found some sea salt and pepper potato chips by Lays for Gordon. We went back to the casino to meet Mom and Adrienne who declared the casino a wash so we went back to the US to gamble there. We had dinner at the casino and drove back to Brimley in an attempt to earn enough points to get Gordon a birthday package. Unfortunately the points earned on this trip will go towards next year’s birthday but we did qualify for a $10 gas coupon. We had filled up before going to Canada so we didn’t need a lot of gas, and the coupon was only good at the Bay Mills gas station so we refilled up on the way back to the Soo ($3.45 worth, but out of habit Gordon pumped in the cheap gas), back in the Soo we played the gold tokens that Mom had accumulated. Playing $90 in tokens we cashed out $56 in quarters and split that 4 ways. By then it was nearing midnight and I was done. As Gordon and I made our way back to the lobby to go to the room we heard music coming from the concert hall in the casino. The Guess Who was scheduled to play the next day and they were rehearsing. Right out side the concert hall was a lounge area with comfortable couches and coffee, so we got comfortable and listened to them rehearse. At one point Gordon said that he wanted to go in and tell them that he would like to hear American Woman, and sure enough they started playing it. Mom joined us after a while, and they stopped playing. The lead singer came out to get a cup of coffee and we thanked him for the entertainment. With the show over we went up to the room for some much needed sleep.

Wednesday we checked out and drove down to St. Ignace for senior day (OMG Gordon qualified!) and more gold coins. We said goodbye to our gophers and bees and returned to West Branch just before the arrival of Erika and Jackson and the start of the snowstorm. Mommy and Adrienne met Erika at the hotel and helped her unpack. Gordon, Megan, and I met them up there after Megan got out of school for pizza and swimming. We then came home to begin preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.

The turkey was juicy, the potatoes perfect, and the company awesome for dinner on Thursday. Jackson absolutely loved the cat, Erika not so much. After dinner things got hectic as more people started arriving, soon we had a houseful of kids and parents. Adrienne had her camera going so look for pictures soon. We slowly threw them out of the house – although some are still sleeping on my couch.

Friday started at 5:30. Since I had not gone anywhere on Thursday I had to clear the now frozen solid snow from my car and then I made my way to Wal-Mart for the mad rush of shopping. I was extremely impressed with the way they ran the sale, as you came in they handed you a printed out sheet with their main sale items and what aisle they could be found in. They must have had every employee working as anywhere you turned there was somebody there ready and eager to help, with cashiers standing in front of the registers. I picked up everything that I remembered I wanted and was out of there by 6:45. I came home, finished my email to the interviewer from Friday, typed this up and am awaiting the boys in about an hour (Sabrina just woke up, had breakfast and is now reading a basketball card to me – did you know that Jay Humphries is a ga uh a rd?). Mom and Adrienne are stopping by before they leave for Indiana, but I’m guessing that Erika and Jackson are already on the road.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Best Laid Plans

The plan for yesterday was to drive down state, leaving here between 2-3 in the afternoon, go to the tobacco store, go to Mommy's, go to a meeting and be back home around 11. The reality is around 11 Monday night Bob called and asked if I could take him and Dorothy down state with me on Tuesday since he bought a new car down there that they needed to pick up and Dorothy can't drive at night. They do a lot for us so of course I said yes. He then said that he got off work at 5 and should be ready to go by 5:30, eew. I said the sooner the better as my meeting started at 7 and though you are never late for a meeting I would like to get there as early as possible. He said no problem. As Bob was Gordon's ride to work on Tuesday, Gordon would be getting off at the same time and could go with us. Gordon called around 4:15 and said that they would be leaving Houghton Lake in about a 1/2 hour and be here around 5:30. He then called at 5:10 and said they were at Dorothy's and ready to go. Now ready is a relative term and I know what my relatives mean when they say ready so I went to Dorothy's. Ready there means, we still have a few phone calls to make, put some chicken on for those not making the trip down state, and oh yeah make a pot of coffee to drink on the way down.

Finally on the road several comments were made about Mario Andretti and about my pilot's license but nothing was said about hurtling through space.
At one point we had a visitor who wasn't a freeway traveler as we were making a trip to Bay City I offered to take the side roads but was told the freeway was fine. As I was getting on to the freeway, with a speed limit of 70 where I knew the only two people going the speed limit or less were somewhere in front of me riding side by side, I heard, "Is it just me or does it feel to anyone else that we are hurtling through space?" I slowed down and drove under the speedway the rest of the way.
So I just continued on my way. Many comments were made about where they get gas, and the lack of space in the back seat. But I said I'm planning on stopping at Grand Blanc at my gas station unless anyone needs to stop sooner. They all said they were fine, and my gas station came through for me with the best price on the freeway. Of course stopping for gas is also relative and in this case included fixing up hotdogs, changing minds on drinks and going back in to get napkins. We made it to the car dealer at Plymouth and Telegraph by 7:45 (they closed at 8:00) I assume all went well since I dropped Bob and Dorothy off and have not heard from them yet.
We made it to the meeting and then to Mom's dropped off stuff, picked up stuff, took stuff out, down, and off. Missed the tobacco store but I will be back down on Friday for a job interview. The interview is on Northwestern between 13 Mile and Middlebelt. I picture 13 Mile and Middlebelt crossing, so Northwestn must run crosswise. I will stay and see Adrienne but can't stay for the pizza party as I have kids on Saturday. But Adrienne and Mommy will be coming here on Sunday and then Kewadin on Monday.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Watching Football

Watching football with Bryan used to be a struggle. He loves watching the game and spent the entire game saying “who’s winning?” “who do you want to win?” “is that the white team or the blue team?” “how many touchdowns do they have?” from the moment the game started until the final buzzer. At which point became “who’s playing the next game?” “who do you want to win?” “is that the blue team or the white team?” “how many touchdowns do they have?”

But he’s finally starting to get it. Watching with him on Saturday (MSU v WSU) was like watching with a whole new kid. When the game came on he said, “they’re tied – nobody’s winning and nobody’s losing.” We moved on to explaining first downs, that if they went past the yellow line they moved the line and got four more tries. He would watch real close and if the didn’t make it would count down the number of tries they had left. All the while watching the top of the screen to see if a flag was thrown. He was amazing, then the quarterback threw a pass out of bounds and he reminded me of Erika as he yelled “Foul Ball!”

We didn’t really root for MSU as we much as we rooted against WSU. A loss for WSU meant if U of M beats OSU this weekend they (U of M) go on to the Rose Bowl. MSU came through with a final score of 14-49, lots of touchdowns. (Pronounced sushdowns.) GO Blue!

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Okay anyone trying to get to the yahoo pictures try again and let me know if it works. Apparently they updated their system, just signing in seemed to work and I was able to access them after signing out but I may have had a cookie on my system.

All is fine here, I have all three boys today and Megan. Megan can be extremely helpful unless she's not. She gets along with Bryan a lot like Melody got along with her when they were the ages she and Bry are now. Of course Megan does not remember it that way, Melody was mean to her for no reason and Bryan is a brat that deserves for her to be mean to him. But she will be leaving soon for cookie booth, and then I will be on my own.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Playing with the toys. We have under the tree all the fun noisy christmas stuff we have collected over the years. With the boys here we had many different carols going all at once. Tomorrow when we have Sabrina and not Joshua the kids will be putting on the rest of the ornaments which are in the cookies boxes right now. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Family Values

Yesterday as I watched reality TV it hit me that this is the best reflection of Family Values we have. Through these mommy switching shows we have 'met' 20 or so different families. All real families, this is not the Brady Bunch where everything works itself out in a 1/2 hour, or Springer where - well you all know who goes on Springer, but real families. Now I am willing to admit that the producers picked the quirkiest of the quirky for the show, and of the two weeks that are taped we only see the juiciest moments, but we are given an insight to the daily lives of a wide variety of families. Each of these families has their own set of family values. And what a wide range of values it is, there seem as many variances in family values as there are in red nail polish. And yet each family works in its own way. In each family the kids were taken care of and loved. There was no abuse or neglect. I think one of the clear differences was this week's Monday episode, one family had walls full of animal heads the other more crosses than the unknown soldier cemetary, and yet each family had their own unique connection with a god. America is great, and unique, in that diversity. The ability to worship at the altar of your choice, whether it be synagogue, mosque, chapel, church, TV, or refrigerator. This is what I am fearful of when the family is no longer allowed to pick their own alter, as laws designed to make us better people are decided by people who clearly define what 'better' is based on their own altars.

The other great line from TV last night was on West Wing when a homosexual senator wanted an ammendment to ban all marriage he said, "You don't approve of my lifestyle and I don't approve of yours, so let's take the government out of the business of marriage and put it back where it belongs in synagogues and churches, and casinos and department stores."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Day of Mourning

I must have slept through the announcement that today was a day of mourning and no new blogs could be posted!

I'm not sure who Milo2020 is but here is my reply:
Depends on your concept of God. Personally, I would have to believe that someone who considers this election proof that God hates America, or that God had any say it in at all would see this as a move towards God. To me this election clearly shows that the American people are ready to remove the separation of church from state and move towards a society closer to the Taliban. The proposal in 11 states that passed adding the definition of marriage to being between one man and one woman, is clearly a biblical declaration bent on stripping human rights from a section of the American population. The election of a man clearly against Roe V Wade, who created Faith-based initiatives (one of which the Helping Marriage initiative goes into homes of low-income, non-married with children couples counseling on the benefits of marriage and assisting the father - the mother needs to be home to take care of the children - in getting a job) shows that the American people see government and religion as serving the same purpose in their lives. And the willingness to demand the same religious beliefs of the general public as religious beliefs become law. It's starting to seem to me that the terrorist have already won, all of the freedoms that they hate us for will slowly slip away under a Bush administration and a republican run congress.

In other news, locally we were successful in ousting our local prosecutor. One huge ego which will have to find a new nest.

I have not seen any new commercials, with the 3 hours per day that have been freed up by political ads one would think they would find something interesting to fill it. But I guess it's like a baby getting potty trained, you feel like you should have all of that diaper money just lying around but even the first week it is sucked up without notice.

All in all a pretty blah day with no new posts to give a ray of sunshine.

Never Underestimate the Stupidity of the American Public

I know that they said it was going to be a close race, but I really just assumed that the pollers weren't talking to the correct people. I mean Danielle had my phone number, and yet not one poller called. I certainly thought Kerry had it in the bag when Green Bay beat the Redskins on Sunday.

Listening to the radio as I drove back home tonight they were talking to a nineteen year old student named Emma waiting to vote in Ohio. She got to the poll at 2:00 in the afternoon and was finally able to cast her vote at 11:57, almost a full ten hour wait to vote. How many people couldn't wait that long? How many had jobs or families that they had to go to?

As I type this some networks have given Ohio and 269 electoral votes to Bush meaning the best Kerry can hope for is a tie to be broken by a Republican House of Representatives. I am totally stunned at the thought of another 4 years of Bush.

Locally, Michiganders are no smarter than the general American population and have passed the casino and the ban on gay marriage proposals. Speaking with someone the other day who herself had been married three times, she said she was against gay marriage as that would damage real marriages. I asked her which one of her marriages it would have affected? What I wanted to ask was which one of your husbands would not have married you had he had the option of marrying another man? I really just don't get the way some people think. But with another four years of Bush I'm sure I will be seeing more and more that is harder and harder to believe.

Oh well, California came through, Michigan is still to close to call but Kerry is leading. Indiana only needed 500,000 more flip-floppers and we could've had 'em. And we all know in Florida "My brother Jeb has some votes set aside for me, for me!"

This election will probably not be official for days, and even those of us unemployed must sleep.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween more available at htp:// Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Explain That To Me One More Time

The phone rings and:
Me: Hello
Them: Hi, is this Gretchen Gerth?
Who is this?
My name is Danielle is Gretchen there?
Danielle from what company?
The publishing company, is this Gretchen?
The publishing company? What publishing company?
Is this Gretchen?
Now I want to know what is going on
Yes, what publishing company?
Oh hi, my name is Danielle and I'm with the publishing company, were really sorry about your magazines not arriving on time and we want you to know that we will make sure that you receive every issue on your subscription and we want to continue your subscription for an additional 60 months free of charge.
I did have a problem a few months ago with Entertainment Weekly getting here late and I called them, they corrected it.
What publishing company?
The one for your magazine.
Which magazine?
All the magazines your get at your house.
And which magazines would those be?
Correct Answer: TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Discover, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Parenting, Good Housekeeping
Oh I don’t have that list here, but even if you want to change your magazines you can. I just need to get…
You don't know what magazines I get, but you are going to give me a free 60 month subscription to all of them.
Yeah, if you'll just answer a few questions.
What kind of questions
Like what is my credit card number?
Do you still live at 128 N. Valley?
And are you happily married or happily single?
What is this happily crap?
I'm married
Oh congratulations
Even though I left off the happily, I am still congratulated. I should have told her I was widowed yesterday, but they probably have a line there for widowed.
And what is your occupation right now?
I don't see what this has to do with my magazines
I just need to fill out this survey first, what is your occupation right now
Okay, well right now I am unemployed
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,
Thought maybe I'd blown it and didn't qualify for their free offer
What does your husband do?
He does General Labor
Oh, that's hard my husband does that too,
I thought maybe for a second that I had said drugs out loud.
Ok somebody's going to call you back to confirm the answers on the survey and then you'll get the paperwork in the mail, you just need to send it back with $4.99 per week
What - $5.00 a week
No ma'am it's only $4.99 per week
For what
For this service to keep your subscriptions going and if you want to change magazines you can - say you don't want to get Glamour any more you can change it to Vogue.
OK so I'm supposed to pay you $260 per year for
I don't know about the year, it's only $4.99 per week for all of your subscriptions.
Well that's $260 per year, for subscriptions I already paid for.
Yeah but say you don't want Glamour anymore
I never wanted Glamour to start with. You tell me that you're going to send me 60 months at no charge, except for the $4.99 per week.
Yes that's right.
That's not right that's ludicrous, you want me to pay $4.99 per week for subscriptions that I have already paid for, and can cancel at anytime all by myself if I so choose and then subscribe to another if I so choose.
At some point Danielle hung up

Totally non related there is a Chocolate Festival show on Food channel right now, one line I really liked was the 12 Step Chocolate Program - make sure you are never more than 12 steps away from something chocolate. Of course then one of the facts they flashed before commercial was that a single chocolate chip provides the average adult enough energy to walk 150 feet. The other thing they had was international chocolate delicacies, the one from India was naan covered in chocolate syrup. If I remember correctly Jackson didn't care for the naan, but I'm willing to bet you didn't put any chocolate syrup on it.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Time to Think Green

Those of you who know me, and I'm not sure anyone reading this does, know that I would never root for the Green Bay Packers. Especially not against the Washington Redskins. But folks I beg you turn your think red off and begin to think green. For, in election years when the Washington Redskins play at home on the Sunday before the election a Redskin win also meant an incumbent win for the party in the White House. Superstition, undoubtedly so. But a chance I would not like to take in an election this close, with the solicitation of more and more dumb voters. Fortunately most of the people I know, who spout how Kerry will raise taxes and put Suddam back in charge are good at pretending they know everything based on the few commercials shown on Nick at Night, don't even know if they are registered to vote much less where to go or how to do it. I am planning on driving down to Mom's to vote on Tuesday depending on the work situation.

Work - I have no idea what happened with the Kelly job, the only thing that I can figure is that I was too smart. I did spend a lot of time fooling around on line, because I got the feeling they were tired of me standing in the door of their office saying "OK what's next". But Kelly had originally told me that it was a long term to permanent position, and when I first talked with my supervisor there she told me they were looking for someone permanent. Kelly will tell me nothing other than the assignment has ended. Oh well, live and learn. I regret giving up the other position, but I did what I could with the information I had at the time. I have scheduled three interviews tomorrow with temp agencies in Saginaw, Snelling (which is not affiliated with the Snelling downstate who will not work with me now), Kelly (which is affiliated but is separate) and American Personnel Services which has a position listed on a job web site that I use. So we will see how those go.

In other news, my bank statement this month reflected that they had closed my account due to a long term negative balance. I received a letter today that they have finally resolved my disputed charges and agree with me that the charges were fraudulent. I should now be able to go and clear out that account, although I have checks for that account and not for the other. Decisions, decisions, if I postpone them long enough they tend to work themselves out.

Megan had a band concert last night and it went very well. Each grade (6, 7, 8) played one song, and then the high school marching band played a few, and then the high school jazz band played. They were all good in their own way, (6th played the best darn twinkle twinkle little star I have ever heard.) The only real boring part was the teacher carrying on in between each session. Did you know that a study in 2000 showed that students exposed to music scored 98 points higher on their SATs? He told us (read it to us) over and over again, I guess he felt that his audience had never been exposed to music and as such were dummies. The gym was packed and he was ecstactic at the turn out of parents he'd had never seen so many come to one event. Having been exposed to music (I think Neil Diamond and Simon & Garfunkel count) as a child I was able to determine that this was the first time all of the towns band's played on the same night at the same place, bound to improve the gate. But I try really hard not to talk derisively about Megan's teachers.

That's all from the WB.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Easy come easy go

Not quite sure why, but Kelly Services called me on my way home tonight and told me no to report tomorrow, that the assignment had ended. They told me to call in the morning and I will, and will let you know more when I do.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sabrina and Chelyn more available at Yahoo. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Bryan turns 6. More pictures available at Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jumping Ship

So the job is going along fine, getting used to it and they to me. When Tuesday morning there is an accident on 275 so I am late for work, while sitting in the traffic jam Kelly Services calls and offers me a temp to perm administrative assistant position paying the same I am making with Snelling (well maybe slightly less as it is a 37.5 hour work week). Since it s administration, which is really what I want to do, in Romulus, I tell them yes. I call Snelling on my first smoke break around 10, and they are not happy at all. And tell me that should I ever need their services they will not be available to me. Oh well. I had also called them earlier that morning to tell them that I was going to be late, as is their policy, do not call the client that you are working for call them and they will. Well they didn’t. It took them until around 4 to call the client and tell them that I would not be back, and they had told me not to say anything, not that I was having chats with anybody there anyway. But the folks I was working with gave me their phone numbers and told me I could use them as a reference.

For this new job I first had to take a drug test, I am assuming I passed as I know a lot about drugs. The new job is from 9-5, so I went first thing this morning to Kelly for the drug test. They gave me a paper and sent me to Quest Diagnostics. Now Kelly is on Hubbard just east of Southfield. The directions for Quest said to take Mercury to Michigan, go right on Michigan to Monroe, left on Monroe and start looking for Quest. Mercury sounded familiar but I didn’t remember where it was, so I asked the person at Kelly who replied, “I don’t know, but you can take Southfield down.” Which is what I would have done in the first place if their directions hadn’t said take Mercury. So I get to Michigan and then to Monroe, make my left on very busy, very congested roads, and putz along looking for Quest Diagnostics, which is about 2 or so miles down the road past Outer Drive between Carlysle and Darthmouth, (Their directions for getting to the job had me go back to Kelly and start from there, they are such fun people.) I get in for the drug test about 8:30, of course they don’t do drug tests until 9:00, but the person who does them arrived about 8:45 and took me in. Never having taken a drug test before I wasn’t aware of the security involved. They pat you down to make sure you don’t have anything under your clothes, lock up any belongs in a safe in the bathroom with you, give you a cup with stern instructions not to flush or wash your hands or in any way run any water while taking the test. Pee and open the door. Once the door is open the guard on the outside can stop listening (now there’s another job I don’t want), comes in dressed in full bio-hazard gear, pours the pee into a smaller jar sticking labels over the top for me to initial that it is indeed my pee.

I get out of there and head out to Romulus. Between Middlebelt and Inkster, between Goddard and Wick, the company is DHL Smart and Global Mail. The directions from Kelly tell me to look for a green and white sign that says Airport Complex. There’s Airport Plaza, Airport Business Center, Airport Industries, all in various colors, but I have never been good with colors. I see colors differently than a lot of people. So when I get to Goddard I turn around and try again. There is a sign that could be called green and white that says Airport something. Go to the second building and into the door between truck bays 7&8, sure enough the second building has a door between truck bays 7&8 that says Smart Mail on it. The door also has big signs saying “Please use other door” fortunately I can figure out which other door. I walk into a huge warehouse full of mail buckets and people standing around. Nobody pays any attention to me so I go over to an area that has a desk and ask for Lisa Johnson. Someone is kind enough to lead me around the warehouse to the front offices. Apparently the back door is where Kelly is supposed to send the warehouse staff, I however get to use the front door from now on! (Except for cigarette breaks.)

I am now sitting at the front desk the phone has rang a total of 6 times today, I have gone over everything on the daily checklist and am bored to tears. But at least I have access to the internet so I can type this in word and email it to myself and then post it when I get home.
(or before as the case seems to be)

Gordon called and left me a voice mail earlier saying that the couch was now permanently in the house. I haven’t heard the details, but I know the plan entailed taking out windows. Good to know it all happened without me having to get involved. I love it when things work out that way.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Okay I’m back.

Working – The first week I hated it, last week I could barely tolerate it, hopefully this week it will move up to tolerable. One it is temp work, so there are no benefits involved and not a lot of pay. Two, it is accounts payable entry, which is pretty mind numbing work. The first few days were straight out of my nightmares, come in there’s a stack of invoices on your desk, enter invoices, come back a new stack of invoices on your desk. The third day was more challenging since I had completely caught them up on all of their invoices and they were not sure what to do with me on Friday and oh yeah before the mail comes on Monday with new invoices. So I started working on clearing up old invoices that had problems and could not be entered (by someone other than me). Most of the problems occurred because this stuff could be done by a monkey and they were out of monkeys so they ended up with the person who thought they needed to think about it. The basic process is a PO is created when something is ordered, when it is received a Receipt is entered against the PO, when the invoice is entered it needs to match to a Receipt. Sometimes there may be discrepancies, for example a lot of what is ordered has fluctuating pricing (metals, gases, etc) and the price may be up or down, I was told 10% above is okay anything over needs to be approved. Some of the problems I had to solve were: PO number was not clearly identified as such, instead of putting POXXX on the invoice they just put the number in a box labeled customer PO number (invoice has handwritten on NO PO NUMBER); quantity received on Receipt is 680.388 KG @ .45 per unit and the invoice is for 1500 LBS @ .20 although both the receipt and invoice have an equal dollar value handwritten on invoice NO MATCHING RECEIPT; quantity on Receipt is 59,756 @ .00035 invoice is for 59,758 @ .00035 again NO MATCHING RECEIPT. In some sense it reminds me of raising children, they spend more time figuring out why they can’t do something than it would take to just do it. But I have cleared up all the easy ones, and am now working on the more complicated ones and it is at least a little challenging. Of course there is still a stack of new invoices on my desk most mornings (not tomorrow as today was a holiday for postal workers). They have someone that opens the mail (imagine having a job where all you do is open mail, thinking about that just made what I’m doing more tolerable), takes it out of the envelope and stamps it received. Then (I believe) proceeds to shuffle it so that if an original and duplicate invoice came together they end up at opposite ends of the stack to allow you time to forget that you entered one already when you run into problems entering the duplicate. The dress code is professional which means my feet hurt most days. But for now it works, and is most likely for as long as I want it.

I spent all day Sunday just watching football, a lot of great games. None better though than the awesome Lions. Gordon, of course, bet against them on his football card, that is pretty much all it takes for the Lions to kick ass. A lot of good games though.

I have cut down on TV considerably, gave up on Survivor, never tried Housewives, Boston Legal was too flaky for me, tired of Without a Trace, didn’t care for Joey, missed Savages when the taping screwed up the first week and then just didn’t try again, was glad to see Steve and Nicole win on Malibu, but was disappointed that Sam and Scotty’s went for less than Rose and Barney’s. I would like to see that again in a different city. I really like the Apprentice this season. And I like the new mommy show just as much as the old one, I can’t believe they are doing it for no money though, I do like the way the couples get together at the end to discuss the switch.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Something is better than nothing

Snelling called today with a temp offer. The job could be a week, a month, or a year. It is working in the AP department of an automotive company (FCI Automotive) in Novi. I start Wednesday, so I will be driving down to Mom’s tomorrow night and moving back in my room!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Jobs – Friday I went to Snelling Services and took their tests to be one of their many available temps. I first took a basic office skills test consisting of math, filing, spelling, and grammar (commas). I scored 100% percent on all but the grammar (isn’t that a surprise), on grammar I scored 68%. They said their average was 50% for the tests except for math and grammar, math is 60% (they give you a calculator to use) and grammar 30%. I also caused much confusion finishing the test before the person that had started before I arrived (and before I filled out my paperwork). Thus when someone was done they took the first set of paperwork put it with the test results and called me in for the interview, when I didn’t respond to the name called they noticed the name on the paperwork and the name on the test results did not match. Why is it everywhere I go they need to hire me! I did the interview, and then took some more tests. I took the Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Accounts Receivable, and Accounts Payable tests. The Office ones I got them all (I know because after each task that you are asked to complete it comes up and says “you have successfully completed the task – would you like to go on?” The AP and AR not so much, I have never actually worked in either of these departments just filling in where necessary and with AR I have created new processes and procedures. But I am sure I missed some of the questions for example: Who needs to approve a credit memo: A. Purchasing Clerk B. Accounting Clerk C. Office Manager D. Controller E. Vice President? There was no way to ask the questions, How much is the credit memo for? Is the controller anal retentive? They were very impressed with my scores although they were unable to get my scores for the accounting tests as they forgot how to do that, but assured me that there was someone that could. They had no definite assignment so I left there with a handbook and some time sheets in case something comes up. On to second interview of the day.

The second interview was with an electrical company that does electrical installations for new constructions. They are looking to replace their office manager who is their only administrative support (other than a niece that comes in occasionally to answer phones and will be leaving soon to go to college). I thought the interview went well but I think they all do. I have yet to hear back from them.

Mom came home on Tuesday to two messages on her machine for me, one from Kelly Services and the other from Superior Staffing. Kelly is for a long term temporary position in Romulus with a shift from 2:30 pm to midnight. All I knew was that it was office help and the shift. I called them first thing yesterday morning and scheduled myself to go in and take their tests yesterday and then interview with the actual hiring company. I got to Kelly Services early (as I always try to do) and it was a very good thing. Their office is located in Parklane Towers on Hubbard, close to Fairlane. Parking sucked to say the very least. I filled out their paperwork and took their tests, Office skills, Excel, and Word. Everything went fine until on Excel they asked me to do something, I did it and it said, “That is not the correct answer would you like to skip or retry?” What? I reread the question, made sure I understood what they wanted, made sure I was in the correct cells, and redid. Again, “That is not the correct answer” but this time my options were quit or go on. So I went on, getting a question wrong. After completing all the tests I again interrupted the coffee klatch and said, “Now what?” They all started scrambling, one set up a video for me to watch while the other three tried to figure out where my interview was. I was told the video was 12 minutes long and they would know where my interview was when it was complete. The little video player they had had a second counter on it and it only reached 500 some seconds, which I thought put it at less then 10 minutes but they didn’t give me a calculator so maybe not. But it certainly did not give them enough time to find out where the interview was. When I completed the video they had an address but no one had been to this location so they were trying to call Martin the Account Rep to see where it actually was. I asked if they had a computer I could use to do a Map Quest and they said “Good Idea”. Martin came in just as I was leaving with my map and handbook in hand. He said he had never been to this location but he was sure MapQuest was right, wished me luck and I was off. I had no idea at this time what the position was or whether it was a temporary position working for Kelly or a recruited position by Kelly and actually working for the trucking company. I got there early found the building (big building with lots of trucks) I drove around the area (Between Inkster and Middlebelt, and Wick and Goddard) and a half hour before the interview was to start went into the parking lot. Here I discovered my dilemma, door one said 400 and had no name on it, door two said 500 and had Geologistics on it. The company I was looking for was Eagle Global Logistics. So I called Martin, he told me I was looking for Eagle Global Logistics, I asked if maybe they also went by Geologistics, he said that maybe they did. I said are you sure the address is XXX, he said yes the address is XXX suite 100. Oh, suite 100 that may be helpful. I drove around the building and sure enough in the back was another door with 100 and Eagle Global Logistics on it. Once there I spent about and hour with the Human Resource person and 20 minutes or so with the Customer Service Manager. Again, I thought it went well, but what do I know I got one wrong on Excel.

The second call from Superior Staffing is for a long term temporary (possibly permanent) position in Northville for Osram Sylvania Automotive Lighting. It is a sales administrative position. I have been dealing with this Superior Staffing for a week. They would call Mom’s and send me and email. I would reply to the email and then return their phone call and each time it was exactly the same thing. However on Monday since Mom was in Kewadin and they did not talk to an actual person and just left a message I guess they decided they didn’t need to also send an email. They wanted to set up a phone interview with the Human Resource manager out of the New Hampshire office. I set this up for today at 9:00. When she hadn’t called by 9:50 I called her, she apologized and we talked for about a ½ hour about what they are looking for and what I can do to fill that need. I now meet tomorrow with the general manager of the Northville office at 9:00 am.

TV: Survivor was okay, having watched some reality tv I wasn’t totally disgusted however if I have to choose I would take AR any day. I like the Apprentice so far and have agreed with his choices. I would have liked to see Michael win BB, but can live with Drew winning it. I was thrilled for Chip and Kim to win on AR, when Christie gave her little Karma speech and how Karma would catch up with Chip and Kim I just thought “be careful what you ask for” and sure enough Karma did catch up. When they were climbing the mountain I told Gordon they needed an eating task. Those young couples were horrible at the eating tasks, while Chip just dug in and did what he had to do. I not impressed with any of the new shows this season. I can tolerate Listen Up and stuck in my Monday comedies I’ll probably watch it. Gordon and Megan really liked Lost, I didn’t get to see it as I was driving home at that time, but Gordon said I wouldn’t like it, and I trust him. Comic has not thrilled me, some of the stand up is okay but I could not care less who is voted off. Putting Carrottop on did not help in my opinion. I have the Dr. Phil prime time show on tape to watch in case there is ever nothing on again. Adrienne did you see anything in the GMA show that we had missed?

I have to go to the laundry mat today, and personally I can’t think of anything more exciting.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'm Back

I’m back. I know you all missed me terribly, and I am sorry to have been gone so long. I could give you a long detailed excuse but it doesn’t really matter does it.

So where did I leave off?

My plan for picking Melody up was to get up fairly early on Friday and nap from 8 until midnight when Gordon got home from work. Leave here at 2:30 and drive to the airport to get her. Everything went as planned except the nap part, the nap was only from 10:00 to 11:30, I forget now the reason but still remember the loss. We waited outside the security checkpoint and Melody arrived right on time. We went downstairs to collect her bags (why is it that the first 10 or so bags that are placed on the carousel belong to no one?), with bags in hand we turned to leave and realized that we did not have Megan. I looked around and panicked. Melody and Gordon assured me that she could not have gone far, I did not find this very assuring as I knew that and had looked as far as she could have gone and she was not there. Melody started walking amongst the crowd and Gordon suggested I find the bathroom and she if she was there. She was, apparently she had told me but could not wait for an acknowledgement that I had heard her. This trip to the bathroom cost me a dollar as it put me in the parking lot for one hour and one minute. I thought since I was now paying for an additional 29 minutes we should use them driving around the parking lot, but emotions were running high so I didn’t even suggest this.

We stopped at McD for breakfast and then went to Mommy’s where many went to sleep. Having taken my nap earlier I was unable to fall back asleep and anxiously awaited Jackson. Erika and Jackson arrived right on time, followed shortly after by Robin and her entourage. We headed up to the pool and enjoyed the last good weather of official summer, (I think it was also the first good weather of official summer). Heather and Sabrina brought with them the rain and the official party moved to Little Caesar Funland. The kids had a ton of fun and the rest of us had a ton of pizza and crazy bread. I had forgotten how loud and obnoxious those places are, thousands of kids running and screaming. I guess it’s a good thing that as you get older you forget things more often, this way my own grandkids have a chance of going there with me. Steph and Arn left us at Funland and the rest of us went back to Mommy’s. Sean, Bryan, and Sabrina ran around in the front yard playing tag. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I watched what are now the big kids running around in that same yard. At one point to voice his displeasure at appropriate playthings Sean said, “I’m so boring” I told him that I couldn’t disagree more.

Once all of the extras had left for home, with cell phones preprogrammed to call when they were lost (and they did), we settled in for a quiet evening of Big Brother and Jackson. Jackson was fascinated with the Just Jack show on Mommy’s computer screen and his face registered surprise when Sammy’s picture came up as if to say, “hey wait a minute where did you get him, he’s mine.” I can’t vouch for anyone else but I slept well that night.

Sunday we went to breakfast and then ventured out to see the other half of the family. Most of the other half was busy with their own holiday weekend schedules, but we were able to spend some time with Grandma Gerry and Darryl. And then went to Dawn’s new house and played a little with Devon. We then got on the road to home with a stop at Great Lakes Crossing for a mall fix for Melody.

Monday was a trip to see Dustin in the Cadillac area. The barbecue was rained out so it was pizza again. Melody met the dogs, and Dustin played guitar for us. The drive home concluded Melody’s scheduled events for her vacation.

Tuesday morning I got up bright and early for my interview in Farmington Hills. The car sounded funny when I was leaving the house but the faster I went the less I noticed it, by the time I was on the freeway I hardly noticed at all. Someone else driving down the road did though and flagged me down to let me know I had a flat tire. In my professional clothes on the side of the freeway I as able to use (personally for the first time) the handy dandy air compressor Bob and Dorothy got me for Christmas a few years ago. I refilled the tire and drove on. I stopped at 202 and bought a pressure gauge and rechecked the tire. It was still full so I continued on. I stopped again around 134 at a rest area and the tire was still full so I drove on to the interview, arriving early I went to a different area of the parking lot and rechecked the tire, it was fine. I thought the interview went extremely well, but I have thought that about almost all of the interviews that I have gone to. They told me they would be making a decision next Monday or Tuesday (it is the next Tuesday as I type this – oh well).

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. Melody pretended like she lived here, coming and going as she pleased, stopping occasionally to ask, “What’s for dinner?” I’m not sure of the significance, but I bag up all of the trash every Tuesday so Gordon can put it out for Wednesday pick up and this last week the trash was full by Saturday, coincidence that Melody was home? Could be.

Melody is back in California safe and sound, although she will probably be emotional for a while, as she has to start missing all of us all over again. I know I certainly missed seeing that lump on the couch this morning when I got up. Heather automatically drove to our house last night and came in for a while before she remembered that Melody was not here and she doesn’t like the rest of us.

In other news, my bank has still not cleared up the fraudulent charge stuff. And I have two interviews on Friday; one is for Snelling for temporary work, and the other with an electrical company in Livonia. I have a Nar-Anon picnic on Saturday so I will be staying overnight at Mom’s.

Friday, September 03, 2004

12 Step program for reality TV

One - came to believe that I was powerless over network programming and that my life has become unmanageable.

I think I am there. Our T.V Schedule said that the Lions were on last night from 7:00 to 10:00 followed by GWB until 11:00, News until 11:35, Letterman until 12:35, US Open Highlights until 1:05, and then Craig until 1:35. Then Big Brother would be on. When we turned it on at 10:30 GWB was on but he did not go off until 11:30 - now I don't know if the game ran late and if it did if they would postpone the prez or if he just ran long but this was putting BB even later. We watched the News, skipped Letterman and turned back for the US Open highlights on the off chance that they got smart and decided to put BB on earlier nope 1:05 US Open highlights for about 10 minuts, the other 20 minutes of the show someone sang, someone rapped and they talked about the players. Then Craig, now I have watched Craig occassionally (and heard that last Friday was his last day with the show) and it's an hour long show. He is only listed for a 1/2 hour so I assume since it was a rerun anyway they would just be abbreviating the show - nope. What was supposed to be on from 1:05 to 1:35 was now delayed due to program overrun starting at 1:35 and ending at 2:35, if I had planned to tape BB I would have been so upset. Megan (who doesn't have school today for the long Labor Day weekend) fell asleep on the floor way before BB was even supposed to start so we recorded it for her. Our system goes into update mode automatically at 3:00 just as Drew said I vote for, Gordon was able to cancel it quick enough to hear Adria. I feel so bad for Will, but thankfully it is a double eviction week and he will be getting someone new on Saturday. Then for BB to have you pay to see the nomination ceremony that took place "sometime later tonight" - which I'm sure was before we saw the show at 11:30 CA time. I so can't believe I care - Mommy you are going to tape on Saturday if we are not able to watch live right?

Job interview Tuesday 11:00 in Farmington Hills EZView 360, position is Project Coordinator.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Who lost the ocean?

I know the globe is constantly changing, it becomes evident every olympic year when I don't recognize the names of 1/4 of the countries. But why didn't someone tell me that we had lost an ocean? Geography had never been my strong suit; I have a general idea of where things are at; the closer to where I live they are the more I can tell you about them. For example I know that Ohio is south of Michigan, but is Kentucky south of Tennessee? I just don't know. I know they are in the same general area. Give me a wooden puzzle with the capitals written on the wood I can put everything right where it belongs, even foreign countries (old foreign countries not these made up ones for the Olympics) I do believe. I am good at that, I can remember the facts, just not where they go. So today I am quizzing Megan on the spelling of the continents and oceans for her quiz at school tomorrow. I said Antarctic Ocean, and she laughed. She told me Antarctica was a continent not an ocean. I held that Antarctica was a continent and Antarctic was the ocean. She kept laughing (imagine your own child laughing at you) so I looked it up in the Geographical Names portion of the dictionary (an older model) and it said Antarctica or Antarctic Continent body of land surrounding the South Pole. Antarctic Ocean ocean surrounding Antarctica. This did not quell her giggles as she brought me her Social Studies book and the picture of the earth and said, "Okay where is it?" it wasn't on there. When I looked up Oceans it said "the earth's oceans are divided into four Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic" I distinctly remember learning there were 7 continents and 5 oceans. You'll be happy to know there are still 7 continents but apparently we have lost an ocean in the few years since I went to school (maybe many years since I was in the 7th grade). Today was meet the teachers day at school so I went prepared to address this with the Social Studies teacher. The SS teacher was at the front desk along with the English teacher. The SS teacher was a bit younger than I and the English teacher about my age. When I questioned the SS teacher about this she was unaware that there ever was an Antarctic Ocean, the English teacher said, "then what's the 5th ocean?" The SS teacher replied there are only 4. So nobody there knows what happened to the 5th ocean. Hopefully I have enough sisters in academia that somewhere I can get an answer to this.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Wonderful Weekend

Back home again after a wonderful weekend. The wedding was great. Steph looked almost grown up. Watching her pretend to be an adult on Saturday was reminiscent of watching her think she was an adult so many years ago. As I have said many times Steph was always aware that there were different rules for adults then for kids, she just never seemed to grasp that she was one of the kids. Now I have a hard time grasping that she's not a kid anymore. But the wedding was beautiful and Steph was an adult. Making adult decisions, I guess that's the scariest part for me. The world will soon be in the hands of people I helped raise, what the hell do I know about raising people, kids was one thing - people is a whole nother world.

For those of you keeping up with the blogs you know one of Steph's worries was that she would be stuck with a lot of fish at the end of the wedding. I stated that I would not be bringing any fish home, well Steph had nothing to worry about and I was wrong. Megan brought a fish home, on the way home she decided the fish needed a name. I thought Cat Chow would be a good name but Megan didn't like it. So we decided on a name that commemorated the occassion on which we got the fish - Stephanie and Arn Got Married - so his (or her) name is Sagm (the g is silent). I think Cat Chow will be more appropriate in the end, but what do I know.

Jackson was adorable, his range of motion has widened to the point where nothing is safe anymore. Erika put a box over the cord from Mommy's lamp so he couldn't chew on the cord, Jackson was terribly pleased with this as he could pull himself up on the box to reach where the cord plugged into the wall, who would of thought his Mommy could be so accomodating? Rumor has it that he had a rough night, but I slept in the living room and the only problem was a cranky Erika about 2:00 in the morning.

Texas Hold 'em was fun on Sunday since the weather was not swim appropriate. The forecast for Saturday is much better.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Just a few things that drive me crazy

Pop up ads - where do they all come from? My ISP now has pop up ad blocker and it has successfully blocked 75% of the pop ups that I get but I still get way too many. The most irritating this is when the pop up ad contains a bad URL. At some point many moons ago somebody on my computer downloaded, accepted, signed up for, or in some other way put something called incredifind on my computer, this program intercepts whenever it takes more than 5 seconds for a URL to come up. It eats up all the system resources, stopping everything that I want to do, to tell me that the URL I have requested is not available. It gives me 100 choices for similar URL's and then lists 1000 categories if I just want to use one of theirs. It's annoying enough when it is a URL I wanted (I get it a lot on Stephanie's Blog, her's seems to take longer to come up), but when it is a forced URL that I certainly never wanted I get really frustrated. As for just pop up ads that one that looks official telling you that there might be spyware on your computer has confused even some of my brighter friends.

The Bank - I am still in arrears with my bank for the fraudulent charges they gave me provisional credit for the charges but had to leave the overdraft charges and are charging an additional $5 per day of overdraft. I got a computer generated letter last week stating that I needed to bring my account current immediately as it had been overdrawn for over 30 days. I called the bank to talk to the signatory on the letter (and kept very calm and reasonable now that Mel is signatory on similar letters). She said "did you contest the charges?" I told her that I had and that they had removed the charges but not the overdraft fees, she said "that takes a couple of weeks" I told her that it had been over a month. She told me she would look into and call me back. She did call back and say that they were just about done and would be removing the overdraft in a few days. Today when I checked they are still there. However I did earn .27 in interest last month. A month when my account was in overdraft status every single day. Go figure.

Dish satellite service - I have never been happy with these people and I am sure I will never be happy, I did settle into a lull of contentment after they gave me all of the credits that I wanted. For those of you not in the loop when I had Dish installed in January I was supposed to get 2 boxes each working 2 TV's, they did not have 2 in stock so they gave me 1 that worked 2 TV's and 2 for individual TV's and then charged me for the additional box. Early last week I received a call from Dish telling me that they were going to be in my neighborhood installing and asked if I wanted a satellite dish - I asked if this was in addition to the one already on my roof. They said "Oh, do you already have dish satellite?" I said "yes, unfortunately" that last word was of way too many syllables so they asked "how do you like it so far?" I replied that I hated it but was stuck with a year's contract, reading from the script they then asked "can you give us the name and phone number of a few friends who don't have dish network?" keeping in mind that they called (and hung up on) me I replied "Are you out of your freaking mind!" I thought that was that, silly me. The way the two TV system works is there is a box in my living room that controls both the living room and my bedroom. The remote in my bedroom is some kind of special remote that goes through walls. Megan's remote will not work in my bedroom to change my bedroom TV, but will work in the living room to change the living room TV. My remote no matter where it is in the house changes my bedroom TV. This all seemed cool, until they were in my neighborhood installing a system somewhere else (possibly next door as we have new neighbors). I was set to tape poker yesterday morning as I screwed it up Tuesday night. When I went to watch it all I had was my system going through a series of test things, you could see how someone was arrowing over and selecting stuff. Point the dish, select the transponder, and then the fun part set up a favorites list for the channels that you watch all the time. They set up a list to include food network, game show channel, and A&E only. The way the system works is you select guide and it shows you the current listing of channels each time you hit it, it scrolls through you favorite lists and then finally all channels and then all subjects. We keep it on all subjects because this shows you only and all the channels you actually subscribe too and have never set up a favorites list. Most of what I am telling you now I learned the hard way yesterday since when I turned on my TV it was on A&E, this did not make sense to me since the last thing I had taped was ESPN. I thought shit I forgot to set it up to change to ESPN to tape the poker I'm going to have two hours of A&E, but we hardly ever watch A&E. Oh well, I rewound the tape and saw that I had all of this other stuff - system set up stuff - I still wasn't understanding why. I stopped the VCR and tried to change the channel on the TV but if the channel I tried was under 110 it went to 110 food network, if it was over 118 it went to 118 A&E. I thought I had lost all of my other channels, but the living room was working just fine with all the channels through the same box. Maybe this is just God's way of keeping me in touch with trouble shooting. Because I quickly went to guide and saw that only those three channels were listed and that it said Favorites 1 on top, when I hit guide again all channels appeared and then once again for all subjects. I deleted the favorites list completely from the system and put the system back where I wanted with all my channels, still without poker though, good thing they run it all week long. Now my concern is did this just happen because they were setting up the system, or does this work through walls remote travel through the neighborhood? Everytime they change their channel will it change mine and vice versa (is that right?)? So far it's been alright but we shall see.

and I shall keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

So let's catch up -

Job Interview in Tawas, rejection letter almost beat me home.

That's about all that is new, but I will probably go on for another 600 words or so.

I'm not sure of our plans for this weekend, Gordon has to work on Friday - oh yeah did I mention that while I spend hours each day reading newspapers, combing the internet, perfecting cover letters, updating resumes, dressing up for interviews, driving zillions of miles, and have only to show for it a dozen or so rejection letters, Bob mentioned to Gordon that they needed a dishwasher at G's in Houghton Lake was he interested, Gordon of course said yes. He has Saturday off and we are waiting to see for Sunday, but I just talked to Steph and we will definitely be there for the wedding. Steph had called to see if Megan could spend Friday night with her. Megan would have loved to, but Gordon doesn’t get off until midnight. If he doesn’t work on Sunday we will stay down there and hit our Saginaw meeting on the way home. What is Jackson’s schedule?

Melody is coming home soon, again I have no plans. I just know she wants to see her babies, I'll just be playing chauffeur. Quite frankly I am not even sure if she is planning on staying here.

We went up to Cadillac last night and saw way too much orange and red on the tress for this early in the year; the yucky weather is going to mess with my fall color.

Still totally captivated by the Olympics. The men's gymnastics judging was more like the ice-skating this year, makes for good drama but no so much for the sense of sport. I preferred the swimming set up to the track and field, I liked the way before each race was a blurb on the bottom of the screen that told you what the race was, what stage it was, and who the held the records. They probably tell you this stuff if you aren’t in fast forward mode, but I could read it all in FF mode for the swimming.

BB – I am tired of the twins, I can’t believe I ever actually rooted for Natalie to be able to come into the house on her own. The whine that Nikomis put them up for no reason, I guess they felt that if they said it often enough and louder it might become true. A of course had a great reason for putting up Will she didn’t think he was playing the game to his fullest ability. Whatever. I am liking Nikomis more and more each episode.

AR – what a difference an attitude makes. Chip is the greatest antithesis to Colin. Before the last night's show started I said I would like to see the twins gone, and am a bit disappointed that it was not an elimination round, but I really don’t want Colin and Christie to win. Colin because he is a jerk, Christie because she apologized to him because he was such a jerk.

What’s going on for Kewadin after Thanksgiving? Since it is a two night, we can drive and then we will have the car for Saturday to go to Brimley and Canada if everyone brings their birth certificate. We can even ditch the bus in St. Ignace and take the long way home past Victories and Turtle Creek. We are more than willing and happy to host Thanksgiving the schedule that I got has the bus boarding in West Branch.

Megan starts school tomorrow; she of course is absolutely thrilled. She exhibits this by moaning every once in while, “Why do I have to go to school.” I tried to help settle her down by having her clean her room and go through her clothes, I remember how much fun that was for me when I was her age. But she is just at that age when she doesn’t appreciate all I do for her. Oh well.

So you all know everything I do now. If I learn anything else I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

What do you say when there is nothing to say in 2789 words or less

One - Yes, the Lions trouncing the Steelers is reality tv, preseason reality but reality none the less, the have to let the fans get their hopes up for the maximum effect when the real season starts.

Two – What happened to the ads? I only see ads on Steph and Mel’s blogs. On Erika’s where she has Jackson’s age the line is partially cut off. Like the screen is too small to hold it all.

Three – The Olympics are awesome. I loved the Greek synchronized divers, and the Japanese male gymnasts. Watching both you hoped for an error so the US would get the gold – or at least a medal for diving – so Megan and I are yelling “Fall, Fall, Fall, Wow.” We watched the rowing repechages after reading Mom’s blog, but not Dad’s definition, so later after the definition I went out all intelligent into the living room and said to Gordon you know those repechages we watched this afternoon, he said “Yeah, for the loser boats” I said, “Never Mind.” I read an interview in Time Magazine today with Bob Costas, when asked if he could be an athlete at the games what would he want to be doing, he said that the coxswain of the rowing team would be manageable (Megan wants that job too). The US female gymnasts reminded me of the Russians last time, visibly disappointed in the silver. They were lucky to get that with all the mistakes they made, what happened to little Courtney McCool (I’m not sure if that really is her last name, but we seem to have forgot what it was), she didn’t do anything in the finals. Gordon is a bit disappointed to not see Curling in the schedule; we all have fond memories of watching curling on channel 9 as kids. The swimming is great, I loved the enthusiasm Michael Phelps showed when winning the gold for the relay, much more it seemed than for his individual one earlier in the evening. I vicariously feel part of the team. I watched Iraq win a soccer game, the commentators talked about how the game is becoming more popular with the fall of Suddam as one of the mean sons liked the game so much many people were afraid to play as there was harsh punishment for a bad play, reminded me of learning to play Euchre. Soccer just seems so hard, the field is huge, bigger than a football field, and yet they are constantly using the whole thing, not just a little piece at a time like in football. Sort of like the field hockey but that was just to hard to figure out what was going on. Water Polo was cool though, that goalie has a tough job. I like beach volleyball much more than regular volleyball, both of them are much better this year with the rally scoring. I watched some ping pong, are the tables smaller? The equestrian stuff is okay, but slow, on fast forward it looks really cool. In fact it looks a lot like the white water stuff, which those of us here have agreed would be awesome to do if it was motorized and we didn’t have to paddle. We watched some Judo, but it is too much like wrestling, the fencing was interesting but what did they do before they had light up helmets?

Oh yeah, I have a job interview on Friday with the Tawas Chamber of Commerce. It is for a full time temporary position running through November or December when they are restructuring the staff based on hiring a new head person. I have to write a paragraph of no more than 100 words on the benefits of visiting the Tawas area. So expect something to proof for me tomorrow.

I think that is all the life sucking stuff I’ve got.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Real Reality TV

So after watching the Lions trample the Steelers last night our CBS station ran BB at 12:30. The football broadcast had Detroit UPN up in the corner so I am assuming that Mom got it on channel 50, and BB was on at normal time on channel 62. We don't have a UPN station (thus no Amish Kids). So I had thrown a tape in to tape the Olympics to watch after BB. At 4:00 am we are on the edge of our seats as Sandano comes oh so close to taking the Gold. Even fast forwarding through the Road Race (wow did they go fast on FF), we didn't finish the tape until close to 5:00. It was interesting watching the Men's Gymnastics, I loved the way the commentators kept showing us how far the Russians had fallen in their program, showing one Russian slip up after the next. I'm sure the Russian Channel had a similar tape of American slips as we had no shortage of those last night. Of course we were privy to the reasoning for the American's problems, the change in judging for Blaine Wilson and Brett McClure, I'm sure the Russians have no such excuses or we would have been told.

Tonight we have a meeting in Saginaw and are taping 5 hours of Olympics, 2 hours of Poker on Travel Channel, 1 hour of Poker on Fox Sports, and 1 Hour for the Days on ABC. It's a good thing I don't have a job to get in the way of all of this.

Other than that not much new here, Megan is home and back in routine. I trounced her in Tri-Versity last night. Tonya, Mike, and Jake were up last week, camping about 2 miles from the house. We visited them on Wednesday, it was way too cold for the kids to swim but they had fun at the park and putt-putt. We had a campfire with roasted hotdogs and S'mores (note correct spelling thanks Ris). There are some pictures up on Yahoo, nothing spectacular though.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Memory Like A Hawk

Time to get the Megan. When I took her to the airport we had a bit of a hassle getting me to the gate to wait with her. As you can read in my post of July 20th when she left. So I told her then that to pick her up I would try to get to the gate but if I couldn't I would be right outside the security checkpoint that she walks past to get to baggage claim. She was not happy about this, but felt she would be okay. I explained to her that when Grandma picks someone up, she doesn't even leave her house until the plane has landed and the person being picked up has called her, that way she gets to baggage claim about the same time as the person is picking up their bags and is ready to go.

So plans have changed just a little, I am going to go to a meeting and Grandma is going to drive Gordon to the airport to go in and pick Megan up. I explained this to Megan yesterday, assuring her that he would try to get to the gate, but if not would be at the security checkpoint. And that I would then meet them at Grandma's probably about the same time they got there. We talked about the time change how she would be leaving at noon and not arriving until almost 8:00, and I would be at Grandma's around 9:30.

Then today I get a call from Kathy, as she is sitting at the gate with Megan waiting for her plane to leave. Megan has told her that Grandma is picking her up instead of me and that Grandma doesn't even leave the house until the arriving person has called after the plane has landed. I reassured Kathy that we were aware that Megan is only 12 and that Gordon would be there to escort her to baggage claim, at the gate if possible and if not at the security checkpoint. And yes, the security checkpoint is on the way to baggage claim. And that Grandma was willing to leave prior to the plane landing and wait outside of the airport carefully dodging Airport Security.

Kathy has explained where the air sick bags are and Megan will be taking her Dramamine one hour before takeoff, so hopefully she will arrive in her own clothing, and Gordon will recognize her.

Keep in mind Mel, that I am much like my own mother, and you are not 12. See you on the 4th.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Blasts from the Pasts

On Saturday Gordon and I drove up to Petoskey for an open speaker meeting. We got there early and walked around downtown Petoskey for a little while. At one point we passed a little hole in the wall bar that looked closed, but much of downtown Petoskey looked closed. There were tons of people walking around and 75% of the stores were closed at 7:00 at night. So anyway, this bar had a board outside with coming attractions and listed for the 22nd was Pete Kehoe. Couldn't be our Pete Kehoe, I read the rest of the board from the 22nd up and noticed on the top it said December. Sure enough the last entry was 31st, New Year's Eve bash. We got home very late, and went to bed, but I couldn't sleep so I got on line for a while. I did a google on Pete Kehoe and sure enough it is our Pete Kehoe, although you will see from this link that he is using pictures of his dad on the web site, maybe he wants to convey the more mature look.

Then on Sunday I had a 2:00 meeting in Troy and a 7:00 in Saginaw, so I left Troy about 5:00 and needed a soda. I didn't want to stop at one of the main freeway exits (Jocelyn Road, Baldwin Road - remember those from going to Grandma's and the beach - Jocelyn Road had a drive in - key word had - now it has a major mall and tons of restaurants and Michigan left turns and yuk!) So I got off and the first non-commercial exit - Dixie Highway - to avoid traffic hassles. Sure enough there was a gas station right off the exit - Erika would have been proud. Coming out there were no left turn signs, and once you made a right there were signs that said North I-75 straight NO U TURN. So I continued along Dixie highway expecting an entrance at some point to I-75, as I passed the Whoopee Bowl, having seen no further signs for I-75, I turned in and made a left out back to the original entrance. The Whoopee Bowl was closed for the day, but appeared to still be in business.

Gordon was not much impressed with either of my discoveries, thank goodness for blogging.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Common Sense Everywhere But Not A Thought to Think

I got the camera back. I loaded the pictures, I wrote a blog. I put the card back in the camera, turned it on to make sure my new batteries worked and it beeped with an i in the top screen. Having no idea what the i meant I tried to take a picture the LCD Screen lit up with card full. Funny I deleted all the pictures. So I closed the camera and went to look at the pictures on the disk - the screen lit up No Pictures. Hmm, I opened the camera it beeped showed me the i and said Card Full. If I was on Jeopardy I would have said "what is TV Guide" for full with nothing in it. I did this three or four times with the same results - can we say what is the definition of insanity? I tried formatting the card and still got the same results. I tried reformatting the card, and still got the same results. I tried holding the camera upside down.

Now mind you I didn't have a manual, as this was a hand-me-down from Erika and not Mom. (I got a hand-me-down phone from Mom recently that had a post-it attached to the manual that said battery changed 06-24-96). So I went on line.

total digression - I couldn't get the living room vcr to timer record the other day - I don't usually need the living room as I use the office and the bedroom but on Tuesday I had three things at 9:00 to record. I had been unsuccessful in the past in the living room so I tested it by setting it for two minutes from the time I was doing it to have it record, I turned the VCR off and it did not record. I re-programmed it and left the VCR on it did not record - Again I did not have a book since it was a hand-me-down (trade) with Robin. So I went on line to see if they had a manual on line I could download. They had a manual for sale for $1.67 but the shipping and handling was $5.50. I sent an email to customer service and they replied immediately that you have to hit the timer record button for the VCR to put itself into timer mode.
Olympus had a wonderful site where I could download the manual in PDF format. I recommend this even if you have the manual at home. In PDF I could search "Card Full" and it brought me to each place in the document where those words appeared. Unfortunately they recommended formatting the card. Been there done that. I searched Error Messages for the i and it meant the camera had information for me such as Card Full. This was all so very helpful. The manual came in four documents a quick start guide and manual broken down into 3 49 page sections. So I started reading the quick start guide. The camera has lots of buttons and stuff on the back, before which I had no idea what they meant. I had figured out the basics, change the time to Michigan not Indiana time, turn the flash on, view the pictures. But that only used 2 out of the 8 buttons. The quick start guide showed card set up as what I had thought was a trash can with the lid up, I had assumed this was delete. In a way it is, it allows you to delete all pictures on the Card, there weren't any but I tried anyway - still didn't work. It also allows you to format the card in the camera, hitherto I had formatted on the PC, so I tried that - still no luck. It was getting close to time to leave (if Robin was on time) but I really wanted to take pictures. So I looked at the top screen for any information and I noticed an SHQ in the corner. I did a search on that, this indicated that I was storing High Quality photos and you can store less of these on the card. So working with the manual I figured out how to change this and lo and behold my card was no longer full. This would be common sense. But now I am home and I have time to think.
So I go back into the set up, on SQ - the lowest quality picture my camera shows that I have room for 160 pictures. This number is smaller than it used to be back when it was working fine for the higher quality pictures. So I go back into the menu and set it for HQ which is the medium quality pictures and my camera says I have room for 588 pictures, dare I try SHQ which totally freaked out the camera this afternoon. Of course I dare, 294 pictures. So why...oh who cares, it works. I now have a manual and I may even read it. In the mean time Deer Acres pictures are up on Yahoo, and later I will tell you what a rip off tourist con it is.

Catching Up

Okay, Okay, I know I haven't posted in a while. But really nothing is new here. We did go out on Saturday to Dustin's house, but I forgot the camera there and I was waiting until I could post pictures with the blog. So here it is. The pictures are on yahoo click on this and it will take you there.

For those of you who don't know Dustin is a friend of ours that recently found his biological mom, and has gone to live with her in Mesick. Mesick is halfway between Traverse City and Cadillac and consists of an IGA the size of Mark's Market, two bars, three gas stations, and a church.

Dustin's Mom is Connie, his sister is Brandi, and his step-dad is Pete. The most important occupants of the house however are Rocky and Aurora. I was told they were pit bulls, but very well trained pit bulls. Somehow, I think I have managed my whole life to never see a pit bull before. The picture I had, I now realize, was more bulldog, than pit bull. So I was very surprised by there appearance. They were however very well trained and behaved. Seanie would keep asking, "are they letting the dogs out?" with a slight tremor in his voice, but everytime the dogs came out if they didn't run right up to him he was chasing them down. Brian took a few pictures in the house of the dogs, Aurora is the one poking her nose through the coffee table. One of Bry's better shots.

Pete came home and made wonderful burgers and hot dogs on the grill. I was extremely impressed, as I am not a big fan of gas grills, might as well cook on the stove. But the burgers were grilled. I'm not quite sure how he does it, and don't want to know as barbecuing is not a skill I want. The boys then 'helped' Pete load up some wood out of the garage for our fire. We had a wonderful campfire with some mores and everything. It was a good time. And with a fire pit, these guys have now become my favorite people and I intend to spend more time there. The batteries died before the campfire so I didn't get any pictures of it. I have to learn either to bring extra batteries, or not let Bry take pictures. I am getting extra batteries now.

We left late, and Gordon forgot the camera. He was in charge. So really blame him for the delay. We are leaving soon - I think - for Deer Acres with Robin, Jeremy, and all the boys. So I should have more to post later. Unless Gordon forgets the camera.