Saturday, December 30, 2006

And Now...

Okay I know it's been a while. But get over it.

I'm sitting here loading I-tunes in order to load music on Megan's new I-Pod and I have some down time. An I-Pod those of you who know me may say, but I thought you were at Wal-Mart at 3am the day after Thanksgiving to buy the $88 5GB RCA MP3 player. Yes I was, and I do believe that is the last RCA product I will purchase. I tried an RCA Camera at Easter that I have never been able to work. The MP3 player was an even bigger disaster. It was really cool if all you wanted to do with it was walk around and look really cool, however if you actually wanted to listen to music, not so much. No matter what I tried, or which program I used I could not get any songs to load on to the player. Although I know very little about MP3 players I'm pretty good at figuring out computer programs. I found the manual on the installation CD which told me all I needed to do was drag and drop songs through explorer, however no one told explorer which placed a big X over the device when I tried to drop on it. Through Media Player whenever I tried to sync the songs prepared and then stopped. Yahoo Jukebox had my hopes up as it when through each song on the Kellie Pickler CD taking a couple of minutes on each one only to come up at the end and say "Problems occured loading the following tracks" and then listed each and every track. That was the final straw and we went back to Wal-Mart where they began with "we have a 15 day return policy on electronics" tried "we can only exchange for the exact same thing and that was a one time only thing" fortunately no hysterics were necessary for a manager to be contacted and a full refund was agreed upon. This worked in their favor as I spent twice as much on the way out with the I-Pod. Hopefully this will go smoother.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Oh No You Didn't

Kathy had once posted about a friend of hers that had written a book, the title may have been, Is It Just Me. It was something about how many unpleasant encounters this person had with other people in consumer situations. I thought about this a lot as I too seem to have more than my share of unpleasant encounters, is it just me? I may be a little too involved to determine the answer but I don't think so. For example:

I was at Meijer's the other day, for once there was not a long line for the cashier and I was actually impressed. There was one person in front of me and she had already paid and was walking away when I began putting my purchases on the counter. (Chips, Pretzels, Hamburger, and 1 of 5 Sodas.) The cashier's phone rang just as she began ringing up my stuff, in the time it took to ring this up I learned that the previous customer had just had a baby, was not breastfeeding, did not have a social security card and could not apply for social services because of this, and that her and her husband were in the store frequently often attempting to scam the store with price label switching among other things. When the cashier got to the soda I told her I had 5, she rang up 6. I told her I had 5 total and that she needed to take one off, she sighed heavily as if this was a burden but took off the extra soda, without counting how many had rung through. I then swiped my credit card and said "it's credit", I waited a while and the cashier said "You need to put in your PIN", I said again "It's Credit". Again the heavy sigh and she said, "You're going to have to start all over" to which I replied, "Maybe if you weren't so busy on the phone I wouldn't have to start all over again." The cashier then says into the phone, (are you sitting down?) "I'm going to have to call you back I have a very rude customer." Oh No You Didn't. At this point the rant began, "Rude customer!, I'm rude!.........I would like to speak with your manager." The manager came and I explained what had happened, the manager expressed her apologies and thanked me for letting them know. And although I know that going to a manager really did not change anything, it let me vent a little (not that I didn't call Gordon as soon as I got in the car, and repeat the story to mom when I got home, and then tell everyone at work the next day.) Anyway, try as I might I can't find any personal culpability in this.

In other news, at a very pleasant shopping experience at Bed, Bath and Beyond I came upon a Twinkie cookbook (although I was there for a clothes hamper I could spend a day in the kitchen department just looking.) The book was interesting until I got to the meat section, Pigs in a Twinkie: sausage, twinkies and syrup. OK, pancakes are sweet, people put whipped cream on belgian waffles. But when I turned the page to the turkey sandwich I had to slam the book closed.

Last but not least we had an incredible thunder snow last night. Thunder, big lightening, all while it was snowing. The effect was awesome to watch. The snow on the ground this morning, not so much, especially for those of us on crutches.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In No Particular Order

Well slightly particular, I will get rid of the yucky stuff first. The decision was made and life support was turned off for Gerri Wednesday (10/11/06) morning, she passed away shortly before 1 am Thursday. It was one of the hardest things to do, and yet it wasn't. I don't know how to explain it better than that. Keep in mind though that if I ever do that again I get to be the one in the bed with the morphine drip.

On a lighter note it was mentioned in The Week that the leader of Iran Muslims has decreed that it is okay to masturbate during Ramadan as long as it is not intentional. I can not imagine the end of that sentence.. I accidentally.......

Mommy has left for California during the most important time, so I am saving all of the political tracts and phone messages that she receives. I'm not sure if she can change her absentee ballot that she already mailed if any thing interesting is found in this stuff. I guess if I were her good daughter I would go through all of this and highlight any good stuff, but I'd rather just throw it all away. Maybe we'll take that route.

I've heard rumors that Melody is here, and there have been a few sightings but they have not been confirmed.

Vegas is coming up really soon, and since I took three days off when Gerri died and am now taking another three days I will be working close to 30 hours Monday and Tuesday to get caught up. But I'm sure Vegas will be worth it.

That's it for now, my house is being invaded by hungry people looking for spaghetti, maybe Melody will be one of them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Truth in Advertising

I really meant to post this weekend and then time just got away from me. Other than alot of rambling, the only truly interesting thing was a sign I saw on my way home this weekend. From my office I take Lahser up to Square Lake Road, the drive up Lahser is very pretty with lots of colorful trees and nice homes. On Friday one of these homes had a sign out front that said "Upscale Garage Sale" I laughed so hard.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturn is a whole nother planet

First the good news, the recent outbreak of e coli has been traced to spinach.

Mom mentioned that it has been a really long time since I have blogged. (And to give credit where credit is due many others have also mentioned it, some repeatedly.) However, I told mom that the reason I have not blogged is that there is nothing going on in my life that is truly mine to blog about. Most of the stuff in my life is going on around me and blogged about on the appropriate blogs.

I did however have a couple of interesting stories this week: Worth about 10,000 words or so.

On the retail end our Walgreen’s opened. Of course it is right where any respectable Walgreen’s is across the street from Right Aid. But when God opens a Walgreen’s he must close a Blockbuster. I knew of course that Blockbuster would be closing having a niece in the biz. But no notice of any sort was given, on Tuesday Robin went to pick up a new release movie coming out that day. She was told that their shipment had been misdirected and that the new movies would be there the next day. On Wednesday when she went up there the store was completely empty with a note on the door stating that if you had any returns to drop them through the door and that appropriate legal action would be taken for any materials not returned.

On the traffic end, Thursday, while driving home I was unfortunate enough to be traveling behind two gentlemen with VSP* syndrome. The good thing about driving home on Thursday is that you beat the weekend traffic; the bad thing about driving home on Thursday is that the construction that is moved for the weekend traffic is still in place on Thursday. So, just as we were cresting the Zilwaukee Bridge the traffic came to a crawl and after a short distance we came upon a sign stating that the left two lanes were closed in two miles. We were in the middle of the three lanes available. Of course knowing that two lanes were closing in TWO miles traffic started panicking with the need to get all the way over to the right immediately. I, of course, do not have this issue and continued to cruise while I could. I then came up on the VSP victims. In their manly-men pickups the size of Montana they decided to prove their machismo by controlling the traffic on a major interstate. Now I am familiar with, and have a slight respect for, the maneuver by semi drivers to maintain the pace of traffic in these types of situations, where they block the lane that will be closing and force the merge point where they are, while keeping pace with the lane that remains open. I have the slight respect for this as this does attempt to maintain one merge point which does improve the traffic flow, however, I maintain that this merge point is already clearly defined by the end of the lane and it is only one’s arrogance that decides they have a better point. But in any case that is not what these afflicted gentlemen were doing. The traffic in the far right lane was at a stop and go at about 5 MPH and they continued to move along not stopping when the right lane did. As they did not stay with the traffic in the merge to lane I did not see their intent as improving traffic for all. It was confusing as to why with the left two lanes blocked the cars in the far right were not moving, but being on the decline and behind two mega pickups I could not see what was going on. We soon saw the problem as there was a stalled car in the right lane, the lane everyone had to have since the other two were closing in TWO miles. Seizing my opportunity I swung in front of the stalled car and then back into the middle lane in front of the poor VSP sufferer. This exercise earned me a full frontal view of his no doubt larger body part, but I’ve been flipped off by better before. I cruised along until the lane closed where I easily scooted into an opening of at least two car lengths, earning myself another flip off from the driver behind me. The lanes were only closed while under the overpass and we were back up to three lanes and continued on an uneventful drive.

Friday I had many errors to take care of, the most important being a trip to the dealer in Saginaw for a few car repairs. My front right turn signal stopped working a while ago, and when I had my oil changed I had them fix the bulb. They were not able to do it then because the bulb that was in was not burned out and a new bulb was not the issue. They concluded there was probably a short in the wiring which would need the dealer to correct. Shortly there after my front left turn signal went out, I figured I would have that changed when I did the right. Then my left started working again, leading me to believe that there was also a short in the left wiring. Not long after the knob that changes the direction of the heat/air stopped working. Getting to the dealer moved up on my list of things I needed to do, as I have a fondness for defrosted windows and have grown attached to being able to see what is in front of me. Gordon scheduled an appointment for 1:00 in Saginaw and we did our other errands first. A little history about my ION, I have put more turn signal bulbs in this car than I have in all of my other cars put together, about a year after a bought it and I had already put in 6 turn signals in the front there was a recall for a faulty harness in the front turn signals. I did take it in and had it replaced, but still went through turn signals. I have also been to the dealer for repairs more with this car than I have with all of my other cars put together, if this had been my first Saturn there never would have been a second.

So I get to the dealer at my scheduled time and explain that I believe there is a problem in the wiring for the right turn signal, as it does not work and the bulb is not burned out. The left turn signal works intermittently leading me to believe that there is a problem with that one also. And that the knob controlling the direction of the heat/air does not work. The service director (Koltt) asks if I have extended warranty, I say that I do and that I believe it covers a rental car. (I learned this tidbit at my last trip to the dealer where they checked my warranty on a speaker phone. I have never once been offered a rental car during my extended waits at the dealer) Koltt calls in my VIN and says that I do have the extended warranty but that there is a $40 diagnostic charge if the repair is not covered under my warranty. I know that I have a comprehensive warranty that includes everything so I say go ahead. He then reviews what is wrong with the car, the left front turn signal does not work. No, the left works intermittently it is currently working, it worked when I turned in here, but it has in the past not worked, the right is not working at all. So, the right turn signal works intermittently. No the right does not work at all the left works intermittently. After making sure he has written it down correctly we retire to the waiting area. About twenty minutes later Koltt comes in and tells me that my knob is busted and they will need to take the dash apart to replace it but it is covered under my warranty, also they have replaced the front turn signals and they both work and that I will have to pay the $40 diagnostic since the only problem was a burned out bulb. I stated that this was incorrect since I had replaced the bulb and the light did not work, I asked to see the burned out bulb. Ten minutes later Koltt returns with a burned out bulb and a good bulb, he says that the right turn signal was working when they replaced it but after it was bumped it went out and they have determined that there is problem with the harness wiring that needs to be replaced and that would be covered by my warranty. The left bulb was burned out and is now working since it was replaced and that I would have to pay the $40 diagnostic charge for that one. I stated that the bulb worked just fine when I turned in this afternoon and if it was burned out it had just burned out, (not a big surprise as I have had my turn signals checked when I got my oil changed and had them work just fine only to have one burn out on the way home) the reason I had brought it in was not for a burned out bulb but because it worked intermittently and that a burned out bulb would not work intermittently. He said that he did not know when the bulb burned out, but since I had asked them to check it and that was the problem I would have to pay the charge. I stated that I would pay the charge since I wanted to take my car out of the dealership when it was completed and that I would later take the issue up with Saturn, for him to make sure his name was spelled correctly in big bold letters on my paperwork. I decided to go outside and smoke and walked through the garage I asked Koltt how long it would be until the heater was fixed. He stated that he was working on getting me a rental car. Koltt then returned to the waiting area and stated that they were not going to charge me for the diagnostics but that I would have to pay for the bulbs, I did not like this but said okay. I have had the turn signals replaced many times when I got my oil changed, the most I have ever paid was $5 per bulb, I know I can buy them 2 for $5 at Wal-Mart and do it myself but I hardly ever need two and always lose the second one anyway (I know, but my refrigerator is only so big.) Koltt said my rental should be ready in a few minutes and my car in a few hours. Once the rental was ready we went to Long John Silvers to get something to eat and were on our way into the dollar store when we got the call that our car was ready. We went ahead and did our dollar store shopping and when we returned to Saturn our paperwork was not ready. We waited a few minutes and they brought our paperwork in, a few staples later the cashier said “That will be $34.70” and handed me some papers. I looked through the papers and could see the $34.70 total on the bottom but nothing that could bring me to that total. I told her that I did not understand what the $34.70 was for. She then called for a service director. Someone (not Koltt) then came in and said that I had to pay for the bulbs. I had had a few minutes to look at the paperwork and said ”Okay here’s the bulbs, $11.90 not the best price I’ve seen but not bad for a dealer” I was then told there was a $23 labor charge to replace the bulbs. OMG, “one, a small, deformed, retarded monkey could change the front turn signals, two I could have had said monkey change them if your wiring wasn’t bad. I did not bring my car into the dealer, take a day off work, and drive 60 miles to have bulbs changed. Redo this paperwork so it clearly states what I am paying for and make sure your name is right next to Koltt’s.” The paperwork was redone with a new charge of $11.90 plus tax. We took my car and went to Meijer’s on our way out of the parking lot Gordon turned on the radio, guess he was tired of my ranting. The radio did not work, I was not picking up any stations. The Saturn dealer was almost directly across the street so into their parking lot we went. Koltt saw us pull in and went into the back of the garage, the other service director whose name I did not get came out to the car and said “what’s the problem”, I said that my radio was not working, he asked if it worked before I came in this afternoon. What an asshole, I told him yes, but so did my left turn signal. I also told him that I had this problem previously in my old Saturn and that it was that the antenna had been disconnected, and that maybe when they had put my dash back together they had forgotten to connect it. He had us go to the waiting room and 15 minutes later came back in and said that I was right the antenna was not connected and that they had fixed it. They didn’t even try to charge me for it.

On the ride home Gordon read more thoroughly through the papers. Here are the comments:

Line 1 – customer states the left turn signal works intermittently
Tech Comm – customer states left and right turn signals are in op. Both bulbs have black spots on them. Replaced both bulbs and wire harness needs replacing also.

Line 2 – customer states the right turn signal is inop
Cause – defective part
Tech Comm – c/s right turn signal inop. Verified concern. Right turn signal harness has a loose connection with bulb causing bulb to blow. Replaced right turn signal harness.

Did you catch those words? Here they are again “CAUSING BULB TO BLOW” Not only could I not have said monkey replace the bulb because of their faulty wiring, but their faulty wiring caused the problem to start with. And if I had been born a Gerth I would have paid $75.

I’m thinking Nissan.

* Very Small Penis

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I know it's been a while

It's been a very busy week.

First with Gerri things are not going well. I am very glad not to be the person responsible for making the decisions here. Since my last post they have extubated, intubated, and then put in a permanent (although it will close if it ever gets to the point that she no longer needs it) trach. She has been evicted from Henry Ford Hospital as it is not a long term care hospital (she was there 28 days) and moved to a long term facility in the old Outer Drive Hospital. As a long term facility she can stay there up to 25 days, although their "program" is only 21 days. If the decision is made to continue treating her she will need to be moved to one of the five nursing facilities in the state of Michigan that can handle her needs. I know all too well the pain of losing someone suddenly and the pain of watching someone die slowly, however this crap of making decisions along the way really sucks. Every place in her body that can have a tube coming out of it does, and they have created additional holes for extra tubing. She is awake, alert, and responsive, but unable to talk or write or communicate in any way that is effective. She is noticeably uncomfortable and restrained so that she can not pull any of her many tubes out. Everything is functioning normally except her lungs (and today her digestive system since they had the feeding tube set at Gordon instead of Gerri) and there is no clear cut answer on whether or not her lungs will ever again function at a life sustaining level. As frustrating as it is to visit and see her so miserable and unable to communicate whatever it is that she is so frantically trying to say, I realize it is a thousand time harder for her than it is for me and the alternative to visiting is to leave her there alone. So I will continue to go see her whenever I can 2 or 3 times a week and Gordon will be going back downstate in a couple of weeks when he can get around again (more later on that). Tonia is pretty set on moving Gerri into one of the nursing facilities, in the hopes that her lungs will improve and she will be able to come home but that decision is a couple of weeks away and the way things have been going anything could happen.

Gordon had ankle surgery yesterday afternoon and although it was supposed to be an overnight in the hospital he is still there. Hopefully he will be coming home tomorrow since he does not have a feeding tube and is receiving normal hospital rations. He had the surgery in Bay City and Megan and I stopped on our way up yesterday evening and brought him some snacks to get him through the night. When we found out he was spending another day Bryan and I drove down this afternoon with more snacks and a couple of 7-11 hotdogs. His foot is in a metal contraption that looks very similar to the brace thing that Chris Reeve wore on his head. He will need to wear the brace for 3 months (I think, it might be 6) and use crutches or a walker for a year, on the up side he gets a handicrapper placard for the car.

Megan is home safe and sound. Her flight was delayed and as it was the last flight into DTW for the evening and nobody was in the terminal her flight was naturally delegated to the very last gate in the Metro Detroit Area. All of the ticket counters were closed when I got to the airport and I had no idea of where to go to get the gate pass to pick her up. I finally found someone who could direct me to the Northwest office in baggage claim. Apparently Northwest was suffering from computer issues and they were not able to print me out a gate pass, I said fine just bring her here to baggage claim. But no this was not an option I had to pick her up at the gate, after much ado someone wrote me up a pass to take through security. Security was of course closed since no one was leaving on a flight for several hours. I finally found someone who was able to call security and they opened up for me. As I was disturbing their break time I was given the special treatment that included testing swabs of the inside of my purse and a thorough pat down. I retreated to the ends of the earth with my book to await her plane. I was joined later by a woman in her 60's meeting her sister (also in her 60"s) I'm not quite sure how that qualified for a gate pass but oh well. Megan of course was the last one off the plane with her escort. Of course the computer system was still down and they could not verify that I was actually supposed to pick her up, but alas they gave her to me anyway. One of her suitcases was missing and knowing where the Northwest office came in handy as we put in a claim for the lost luggage. By this point it was after 2:00 am and I was very tired. They had to verify that indeed all of the luggage was off the plane and then one woman kept bringing in bags off the conveyor saying is this it? I thought I handled it all very calmly but my face must have showed my frustration as the other woman behind the counter said "Ma'am we're all tired", I just asked her if she had been at work at 8:30 that morning and if she had to be back there again in a few hours. She finally figured out how to put in Mommy's address as a temporary address in case the luggage was found before Friday and sent us on our merry way. At 11:00 the following night we got a call from the luggage company saying the bag had been located and that they were going to be in our area "this evening" could they drop it off then. I was a little confused as to what time frame "this evening" constitutes at 11:00 pm, but said sure and they showed up a 4:00 am (Megan was still up so she took care of it.)

My computer died earlier this week booting to a screen that just said, there was no options, no place to exit for set ups nothing. I called a computer place in Bay City (near the hospital) and brought it in on my way to see Gordon. I called them while I was with Gordon and they told me it was spyware that had crashed it and that they were deleting the spyware and loading a anti-virus software. On my way out of town I watched it boot at the repair shop and paid them their $60. Got home fed the kids and hooked everything up only to get to the screen. I eliminated plugs one by one and when I unplugged my USB hub the computer booted just fine. I could then plug in the USB hub but the trackball connected to it did not work. So I unplugged the trackball plugged in the old yucky mouse and have not had a problem with it. I hate the mouse and will look for a PS2 port trackball.

I think that's everything and my poker is just about done taping. And if Will makes it into the jury house I will quit watching the show.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What a Smile

For a baby that didn't start out too cute Jonathan is extremely cute now. I'm not sure if he really is that cute or if it's just his huge smile which stays on his face pretty permanently. (Unless of course there is a camera pointed at him.) (I just found out my delete key is not working, that could be a real pain in the butt.) We had Sabrina and Jonathan all day yesterday and they were fun. We have Josh right now and are expecting Bryan and Sean in a few minutes. I have missed these kids something awful, it's been almost a month since I have seen them.

Things are still going along with Gordon's mom, one day good, one day not so good. We had a few really bad days and then the next she was awake, alert, and responsive. It is so hard to tell what is going on and what to expect. She has been on the ventilator for over a week now, but for most of that it has been turned off and the machine was not breathing only giving oxygen support much like the tubes that go under the nose. On Friday we found out that although the vent has been turned off and she had been breathing on her own since Tuesday they had been turning it back on at night so that she could rest. Yesterday it was turned back on full time, this is part of that up and down. Wednesday they talked of taking the vent out on Thursday but by Thursday she had had two good days (Tuesday and Wednesday) in a row and had worked loose her arm restraints, she then attempted full scale extubation on her own starting with the feeding tube in her nose. This caused her anxiety level to soar, and she had to be sedated and given new restraints very similar to boxing gloves. I was there on Friday to speak with the nurse and we found out that it is her anxiety level that is keeping her on the vent and I have no idea how they can fix that. She has a high anxiety level sitting on her own couch, short of keeping her totally sedated (in which case they cannot remove the vent) I don't see her being unanxious while in the hospital. So we will have to see what will happen, they can't leave the vent in much longer as it is too prone to causing infection and if they need to keep her on the machine they will need to consider putting in a permanent tracheotomy. It's a hell of a decision to have to make, trying to define quality of life. It's one thing to be kept alive in a vegetative state and another to be kept alive alert and responsive but unable to do the things you want to do.

On a much happier note I am getting rid of Megan for a couple of weeks. Some suckers in California have agreed to entertain her. I haven't quite worked out how she's getting to the airport but have no fears she will be there.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Okay first the waterfall, yes it is whatever Dad said it was, with c, q, and a bunch of vowels. These falls are in the lower peninsula where the tip of the index finger meets the middle finger. We first visited them while Dad was visiting and returned in honor of his birthday last week. When Dad was here we took 23 up the coast of the Lake Huron and came back down 33 which runs down the middle of the state and right past our high school. This year we took I-75 up to get there quicker and moseyed down 23 for the return trip. Our initial visit was on a whim and we arrived with no bathing suits or towels, this time we were better prepared with suits and water shoes, towels and a disposable grill for hotdogs. Megan brought Jacque along and we had Sabrina. Megan and Jacque dove right in while Sabrina is not much of a swimmer, she likes to walk around the edges and find stuff. She found lots of stuff at the waterfall including over a dozen frogs and a dead mouse. After a while Sabrina and I took a walk up the falls to look for stuff and after a 1/4 mile or so I bemoaned not having Gordon there for a hand to balance on, she said "Wait right here I'll go get him," unfortunately there were way too many bends in the river for me to let her venture on her own so I returned with her. I talked Gordon in to making the trek and drug Megan and Jacque with us as no one would be there to watch them. Megan hated every minute of the walk until we came to another set of falls farther up. Just before the falls the river opened up and was chest deep smack in the middle was a long rock (bench) waist height so we could sit on it and have the water pour over us much like a jacuzzi (only slightly colder, though not nearly as cold as I was expecting). All in all it was a lot of fun and hopefully we will make it back there sooner than it took this time.

Unfortunately we returned to two urgent messages from Gordon's sister Tonia, Gerry had a brain aneurysm and was in Henry Ford hospital (the same hospital his father passed away in earlier in the month). Knowing there was nothing we could do then and I was in no condition to drive another 2 hours we went to bed (those that needed to sleep did those that couldn't sleep didn't) and left to drive down the next morning. Gerry was taken into surgery for a procedure that is called coiling she came through the procedure well and was making good progress. She had a shunt placed in her head for drainage that she did not approve of so they had to keep her restrained so she would not pull it out. She wanted to go home and was very aggressive so they were keeping her relatively sedated. On Wednesday while we were at the fireworks Tonia visited her and said that she was alert and responding. When Tonia talked about going to bingo Gerry began nodding furiously. Thursday when Gordon and Tonia got to the hospital Gerry had developed an infection and was running dangerously high fevers and her breathing had become very labored. They were treating the fevers with Tylenol and had begun giving her antibiotics for the infection but they were not sure what the cause of the infection was. They were also afraid that her labored breathing could cause her to have a stroke or a heart attack before they were able to treat the infection. They needed permission to put Gerry on a ventilator. And although everyone is in agreement that they do not want Gerry (or anyone else) kept alive by artificial means the doctor was able to explain that the ventilator was not a means of life support but of life assistance. Gerry was (is) breathing on her own, the ventilator is to facilitate her breathing not a substitute for it. The doctor's asked for one week on the ventilator to give them time to find out where the infection is coming from and treat it. After a week they will be able to determine if they can be successful at treating the infection and if she will be able to continue without the ventilator. With the ventilator in Gerry is kept under almost complete sedation so that she doesn't fight the assistance from the ventilator. While we were visiting her yesterday she received a breathing treatment (her respiratory nurse is from West Branch) which she did not like at all. This brought her conscious and in a fighting mood, her eyes looked like they did when anyone said anything derogatory about one of her kids and you could see her jerking her still restrained hands to start shaking her finger. They got her sedated again and when the doctor came around she told us that Gerry was progressing well. They still did not know the cause of the infection but were going on the assumption that it is pneumonia, but that the cultures should produce results in the next couple of days.

So Gordon, Megan, and I came home for a few days Gordon is in touch with Tonia and we will be back down tomorrow or sooner if necessary. Gerry is a fighter, she has had to fight most of her life, I don't think she know any other was of doing things. She's 77 years old (I only say that since I know there is no way she is reading a blog - ever, but I will deny it if any one tells her I said that. She insists that she is only 75.) and her only medication is an inhaler for asthma. She has always appeared so weak and unhealthy that I has assumed she was more infirm than she is. Keep up the good thoughts and prayers, although I have never been a big on prayer Gerry is and it's worked for her for a long time.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Say a Prayer

This was supposed to be a long blog about our wonderful day at the waterfall yesterday. Unfortunately, Gordon's mother is in surgery right now for a brain aneurysm and we are again on our way down state. Say a prayer, hell say a lot of prayers, we need every single one right now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What's In A Reputation?

As I type this my Pistons are losing big time, and will probably have lost the series with the Heat by the time I am done. Of course, my Pistons, is a very relative term, I don't really care about basketball and only watch during the playoffs and only if the Pistons are playing. But they are the home town team and like my kids I love 'em win or lose, good or bad. I've encountered a lot of smack at the office this week as the Pistons reputation of "Bad Boys" is not as beloved as it was in the nineties. "They think they are so good" "They lose a game and still act as if it doesn't matter" that's the reputation they have. But then again that is who they are they are so good and since 2003 they have had 14 (including tonight) win or go home playoff games, they've won 11 of them so far (after tonight the number will probably still be 11 - they are down by 17 with 5 minutes left in the game).

So this blog was not to be about the Pistons so here is the true reputation I wanted to talk about. The store where I buy my tobacco is also the outlet for hostess products in this area, so if they ever have any $1 boxes I usually pick up a few (those who know Gordon can come to their own conclusions about the term "few"). Today they did not have any but the girl behind the counter said "Aren't you the guys who buy the HoHos?" "yes" "we got some donuts this morning that didn't sell, I'm just going to throw them out, do you want them? There's over a dozen, but don't feel bad if you can't eat them all." Not eat them all? Maybe other people can never truly know someone based just on their reputation. Pistons are down by 18 with 3 minutes left, funny there are 3 donuts left also.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It's A Date

If things went smoothly while trying to book this Vegas thing then it wouldn't seem like a real vacation. Last night we went on line and changed the dates to accommodate Melody and added high speed internet for Robin and YIKES, the cost went up to $500+ per person. I tried putting back in the same dates that I had used last week and it was still over five hundred per person. The flight had changed too from a Northwest flight to a Spirit flight. There were only two hotel choices and they were not any of the ones on my previous lists. So I went to the Sam's Town website and they don't list internet connectivity, I check out the rates for the room packages and they have a birthday special during the month of your birthday they don't go all the way to October but September is $35 and $75 a night, I then called Sam's Town and asked them about internet connection. They said that they did not have high speed connection in rooms they date data/modem ports. But that there was high speed connection within the hotel. So back to the selection removing high speed internet from my requirements. This accomplished (I had to delete cookies and temp files since I could not get back to the screen where I listed my hotel preferences, I could change my dates but for my convenience they remembered my preferences) the rates were back down to the $350 range. They still had the Spirit flight though and I wanted to get Melody on the same flight to Vegas as us. So I opened a new window and went to Orbitz to check on the flight for her, the cheapest flight was on Spirit and included the same flight to Vegas, I booked it. Went back to the Vegas packages and attempted to book us with the Sam's Town package. The page had timed out and I had to reenter. Good the same flight came up, select Sam's Town (I keep wanting to type Sam's Club), "Sorry our system in unavailable right now please try again later" later, what if I don't get the same flight!? Going back to Orbitz I look for 4 tickets to Vegas for the dates I want and the cost with the birthday rate for the rooms is slightly less than the package deal on the other web site. So I book the flights. So we have tickets but no room. Melody leaves LA on 10/12/06 at noon and arrives in DTW at 7:25pm, we all leave DTW on 10/25/06 at 9:15 and arrive in Las Vegas at 10:35, 4 of us leave Las Vegas on 10/28/06 at 11:05pm arriving back at DTW the next morning at 6:00am. I figure we have a few months to see what room deals are available. I'm getting real excited.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where Was I?

Off to California that is where I was. This will not be a long post as I have a house full of small children. But I figured if I did not post at all some might get upset.

I had a wonderfully productive conference. As it was the first conference in Nar-Anon's 40 year history there was a lot to be done, and we did it. It was an incredible experience, but there is still a of work to be done. I volunteered for the events committee, and applied for and was voted onto the Board of Trustees. This program has done so much for me it is important to me that it continues to be available for those that need it.

It was great seeing everyone out in California again, Caitlyn's pictures do not do her justice at all. She is an truly beautiful baby with a very sweet disposition. She has a beautiful smile and smiles alot. We got together for dinner often, and Melody and I got some shopping time in where I finally found a purse, we didn't even look for brown shoes.

I am back home now and not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Although, as much as I missed these kids I am ready for them to all go back to their parents.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Almost There

Well my bags are packed and I’m ready to go. My flight leaves Detroit at 10:15 and with a short stop and change in Chicago I arrive in LA at 1:42. I have meetings and stuff all weekend, although I have already said that I don’t want the Chicken Teriyaki or the vegetarian platter for Friday’s dinner, and I forget what other wonderfully sounding entrĂ©es I declined for Sunday’s. Monday I am done and on my way to family time.

Not much else is going on. I still do not have a pair of brown shoes, but that has been eclipsed by the impossibility of finding a purse I like. One would think that my simple requirements would not be hard to fulfill. Unfortunately one requirement is that it isn’t extremely ugly.

My divorce from my previous internet provider apparently was not as successful as I thought. About a month ago I received a past due notice from them and sent a detailed letter as to why I did not owe them $150. I received a call this past Saturday with CoreComm willing to accept a settlement of $100 on my account. I explained that I had sent a letter detailing my attempts to cancel my account. The rep said that they had received the letter but the $150 charge was for early cancellation. I said no I paid through my contract end in November, but was told that “you renewed on 11/28/05” “no, no I didn’t CoreCom chose to renew without my consent.” That was why according to the rep they were willing to offer me a settlement of only $100. I offered my own settlement, and wrote another letter. Oh well.

I checked out the Waiter’s Rant blog linked on Tim’s blog, and I think I could definitely do a consumer’s rant. Why do I always get the idiot to deal with, or are there only idiots?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brown Shoes

“Why is it so hard to find a pair of brown shoes?” Who would have ever thought those words overheard in a hallway would cause me to pause and want to join in the conversation? Certainly not me. But I have been having a hard time finding a pair of brown shoes that fit all of my criteria. But to discuss it, at work? To think that I actually considered commenting makes me laugh.

I’ve heard that blogs are supposed to be short and frequent, as opposed to my style - long and rare. But I guess you guys will just take what you can get.

I have tickets, not in my hand so I will not swear to the information, but I arrive at LAX on Thursday, April 27th sometime in the afternoon. I will take either a shuttle or some other transportation arranged locally to the hotel where the conference is being held in San Pedro. The conference ends Monday around noon or so and I have reservations with Za Transport Service to pick me up and bring me to Chez Dad. I depart LA on Thursday around 11:00am or so.

Work is getting boring, I’ve told them that I would like to take on an additional office but I just had a review and I although I only have two offices they are very busy offices and I currently process more timecards than anyone else and almost twice as many timecard lines. I have cleaned up as much of the old stuff that could be cleaned up and the rest will need to be written off when the dust settles and they decide how they want to do it. So where I was constantly busy I am now bored, as can be evidenced by my increased activity in the blogging world.

I am spending a lot of time talking to stupid people for example when trying to collect on an insurance claim that was short paid.
Rep: What type of services do you provide?
Me: Home Health Care
Rep: I see, since the services were provided in Michigan you are out of the Ohio Medical Mutual Network.
Me: The services were not provided in Michigan they were provided in Ohio. Michigan is the billing address.
Rep: What is the address for your facility in Ohio where the services were performed?
Me: I can give you the Ohio office address, but the services were performed in the home.
Rep: The office is located out of a home?
Me: No, the office address is--------, but the services were provided in the client’s home.
Rep: Isn’t that unusual to perform the services in the client’s home?

Then just today I get a voice mail from an employee, she has questions on Medicare and needs to talk to me before she goes to a meeting for Medicare. I was little reluctant to return the call since, well since reading Tim’s blog I know way more about lathes than I do about Medicare, but I figured I could find out her questions and then send them to the right person.
Emp: Yea, I’m a diabetic and I want to get diabetic shoes and there’s a meeting this afternoon but they told me I needed to bring my Medicare number, and I wasn’t sure what my Medicare number was.
Me: Your Medicare number?
Emp: yea, I see here on my check where I’m paying for Medicare each week but I never got a card, so I don’t know my number.

Of course I did not say anything in all caps, but man I do think it.

As the snow melts and I look out at what appears to be a wonderful day I realize we are quickly approaching orange barrel season here and I need to gear up for the frustration. I just don’t understand why most people read “right lane ends in 2 miles” and do not comprehend that this means the lane is available for 2 more miles. Last year there was a lengthy construction on I-75 up at Bay City, took them forever and the left lane was closed while they expanded the freeway with an additional lane. Of course they closed the lane before the construction began and put up signs 2 miles before the lane was going to close slowing everyone down for at least an additional 2 miles. Now mind you the new lane lasts less than 2 miles, and yet there is no sign at the beginning of the lane that says “left lane ends in 2 miles” I just don’t understand. I guess then that it is fortunate that our legislature does as they have made it a ticketable offense to wait until the end of a construction lane closure to merge. Good thing I have my FICA card to pay the fines with.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

4 Things

4 Jobs:

Drug Store Clerk
Data Entry
Administrative Assistant

4 Movies:

4 Homes:

North Hollywood
Dearborn Heights
West Branch

4 TV Shows

Trading Spaces
While You Were Out
American Idol


New Hampshire
New Jersey

4 Wesbsites

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Ohio Employee Health Partnership

4 Foods:


4 Other Places

Any Waterfall
Any Casino

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Not Eggsactly as Planned

Ever made eggs with these? It all started by watching Food Network. There was a show (I think it was Sugar Rush) that showed a guy making a cake to look like a fried egg. He used white fondant for the base and then a cake which he cut out a cone on filled with yellow colored cream stuck the cone back in and covered with yellow fondant. When you cut into the cake the cream poured out like the yolk of an egg. It was very cool and something I knew Megan would like as she loves fried eggs. And with her birthday coming up I started planning. Never having worked with fondant I immediately threw that out of the design, and figured I could start with a jelly roll size cake baked in a cookie sheet as the base, I have a great shaped frying pan (not so great for frying burgers) that I could use for the yolk. As I progressed in my thinking I wanted to go smaller to individual eggs, so I came up with sugar cookies for the egg whites and ice cream scoops for the yolks. The inside of the yolks could be cool whip. All properly dyed to the appropriate colors. So while Megan was taking the ACT's yesterday I baked sugar cookies, I tried pattying them out into different shapes but they all kind of formed into ovals while cooking. I colored the ice cream yellow and put it into mini muffin pans to form into yolks and put into the freezer to refreeze solid. I colored the cool whip yellow and put it into a different bowl in the frig so she would not see it.

I picked her up from her morning of testing and we went down to Saginaw for a day of shopping, we had a great time and each got some new clothes and discounted calendars. You may all see some of the questions from the daily calendars start appearing on her blog. After a late lunch at Long John Silvers we came home and I made her make her own cake.
She decided on brownies instead of cake and I had her make it in 8" round pans so it could be a layer brownie. She also saw some individual silicone mini muffin cups that I had picked up because I could not remember if I had mini muffin pans at home or not. She decided she wanted to make Reese cups in them. We used the extra chocolate to spread between the layers of the brownies and will dust the top with powder sugar using the decorative stencils that Kathy gave me. A picture will probably go in here was I have that part done.

This morning I ran to Wal-Mart to pick up a can of air. One thing I had not fully considered was how to stick the ice cream on the cookie. I thought a blast of cold air should do it. I sent Megan to her room while I prepared the surprise. First mistake was I should have sprayed the muffin pans so the ice cream would come out. Second mistake I should have hollowed out the formed ice cream while it was still soft. Third mistake was not considering that the compressed air would blow the ice cream and cool whip across the room. But all in all I don't think they came out too bad. Now I have to go start dinner.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What's wrong with the lamp

Megan happens to love her lamp.

Okay so it's been a while, Mom just mentioned that even Adam is more current than I. But what can I say my life is totally boring. Work is work, nothing exciting, unless Aged Debt reports turn you on. In which case I'll let you know my Medicaid Aged Debt report is currently 11 pages, it was 40 when I started.

The weather has been incredible for Michigan winter. We are going through a cold spell where the temperatures are actually hovering around normal. I don't recall a single day so far when it was below zero, even for a wind chill. I'm certainly not going to complain about that, although I have met some people who do. When we were having 20 degrees one day and 50 the next some fools were saying, "I wish Mother Nature would make up her mind" I on the other hand knew that when Mother Nature made up her mind it wouldn't be on 50 degree temperatures, so I was willing to take them whenever I could.

I think I have finally manged to actually cancel my voyager (corecomm) account. Getting a divorce was easier (but then again I remarried the same guy so maybe that doesn't count) and I mentioned that (not the remarriage part) to them in the last of many communications with them. It started when I received an email stating that my account was up for renewal and since they had a credit card on file all I had to do was nothing unless I wanted to change something in which case I could call there customer support 24/7. I knew the credit card number they had was no longer valid and I did not want to continue my account since I was getting the DSL, so I called the customer support and told them I wished to cancel my account. I was told that I could only cancel an account M-F 8-5. I explained that those were exactly the same hours I worked (ok so I fudged a little) and that I was not available to call during those hours, I also explained that the credit card number they had was no good and since they couldn't get any money they would just cancel it then. Little did I know. I continued to get email from the voyager account, nothing but spam, but it was still coming so I knew the account was still active. I sent them an email to cancel my account, which I knew they did not do since I had asked this on my first phone call. The reply I received said "we do now accept cancelations by email" I replied with if you do "now" (which I knew to be a typo of "not) then take this as my cancellation. The reply told my to call customer service 24/7. I then received a dunning notice from them that they would turn my account over to collections if I did not call and give them a current credit card. Of course I could call 24/7, and since I received the card on Saturday when I was home to get the mail I called then. Again I was told that I could only cancel on M-F 8-5, again I explained that I was not available then. The kid then told me I could designate someone else to call for me, I asked his name and he replied JR, I then designated him to close my account. He said that he was not authorized to do that, and I explained that I had just authorized him. Not trusting him to do this I did call on Monday, after talking to the first rep I had to hold for someone else, and expain all over again. I then received an email again asking for a current credit card to use. I replied to the email asking what more I could do I called their customer support during their appointed hours. The reply was that I could fax my request so I printed the email and faxed it. This weekend when I pulled in my email there was no voyager spam. I really like the DSL and as I type this at Mommy's I am again reminded of why.

Hopefull there will be pictures this weekend of Megan's birthday cake. I saw the perfect one on the Food TV show Sugar Rush and have been perfecting it in my mind for weeks. It will be so cool if it turns out right, almost better than the lamp. Look down there it is again.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Long Time No Hear From

Here is the gift that caused Megan to go geeky, it is a floor lamp that fits under her bed. It has furry pink shades and wiggles.

Christmas was fun, we had dinner at Tonia's and spending time with Gordon's family is much more enjoyable with Tonia's new husband. They are all doing well and Tonya's grandson (Dawn's son) is adorable. It took a while for him to warm up but there were a lot of new faces in the crowd.

Moving Mommy was made so much better with all of the able bodies that showed up. I've only spent a couple of nights there, but will be going back in the morning and going back to full time at work, yuk.

We had a normal new year's, stayed home and had milkshakes at midnight. It was sad to see how old Dick Clark got all of a sudden. But I guess it is better to be young well into old age than to be old while still in your youth.

That's it for here.