November 17, 2006

Beause the Flooded Basement Last Week Wasn't Enough...

...an 80-ish foot tall tree fell in our back yard on Wednesday night.

Posted by heather at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

Just Say No to Wells Fargo

We are supposed to close on our house on Friday. Wells Fargo (who apparently has our loan) was supposed to have the documents ready for Bob to bring back from Seattle last Friday. Didn't happen. They promised they would FedEx the documents on Monday, to arrive to us on Tuesday for us to sign and return via FedEx on Wednesday. This is important because we are leaving here in the big moving truck on Wesnesday, scheduled to arrive on our closing date of Friday. Again, didn't happen. Wells Fargo sucks. I swear, bankers lead such boring and uninspiring lives that they feel they MUST create DRAMA for innocent, unsuspecting homeowners to make themselves feel important. I don't need that. Just say NO to ANYTHING Wells Fargo.

On a somewhat related note, have you opened a savings account at ING Direct yet? They are currently paying 3.0% on a no minimun balance savings account. Is your bank doing that? If you haven't yet opened an account, email me and I'll send you an invite. Then, when you do open your account you'll get $25. (Yes, there is something in it for me too-$10, but for those who know me, I wouldn't pitch something I didn't believe in myself.)

Posted by heather at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

Things That SUCK

  1. airport security
  2. Quicken
Airport security continues to amaze me. In a bad way. The little Lemmings at DIA still don't get it. As I was returning to San Diego after a week in Denver, I went through the Concourse A checkpoint. I unloaded my laptop and camera, removed my watch, and prepared to walk through the metal detector. As I was waiting to go though, a Lemming said, "I would suggest you remove your shoes."

"That's okay, " I said. "They're fine." Heck, I'd been through the checkpoints at San Diego many times before, without ever beeping. So I walk through the detector and...voila! I don't beep. The Lemming doesn't seem to care—she directs me to the "special screening" area. After a few minutes of waiting, the Lemming instructs me to sit down and stick my legs out so she can wand my feet. She does. No beep. She then asks me to stand up and hold my arms out so she can continue to wand me. At this point, I ask her the point of wanding me since we all know I didn't beep when I walked through the metal detector. "Because you were recommended to remove your shoes," she replies.

"But if my shoes didn't beep, why in the world are you wanding me? I didn't pick up a bunch of metal on the 3 foot walk over here," I retorted.

Realizing that what I said made perfect sense, she was silent as she continued in vain to get her wand to beep. Finally she replied, "Some explosives don't use metal."

"Well then," I continued, now thoroughly annoyed, "why don't you just x-ray my shoes instead of wasting time wanding me for metal you won't find." (Note: I'm not opposed to x-raying shoes, but I am opposed to walking barefoot or sockfoot across the disgusting floor. Have you SEEN what is on the ground?!?! I am happy to have a seat while they x-ray my shoes separately...if that is really what they need to do.)

At this point, another Lemming walked by and suggested she [unintelligible word] my shoes. Lemming #1 agreed. So Lemming #2 comes over with a giant q-tip-looking thing, swabs my shoes at the laces, puts the q-tip in some machine, then 2 seconds later turns to Lemming #1 and says, "she's clear."

Why don't they just q-tip everyone's "suspicious" shoes as they walk through???

Sucky Thing #2: Quicken. After nearly a year of marriage, Bob & I have decided to combine our separate Quicken accounts into 1 account (I know, I know...we're a little slow). Easier said than done. We have spent all weekend trying to figure out how to do that. At one point, I had over $40K in my checking account. Nice. Not accurate, but nice. Searching for help on this topic has yielded no helpful results. We have tried various ways of importing/creating accounts, to no avail. We are now investigating other options. I find it hard to believe we are the only couple on the planet who has ever attempted this feat before.

Posted by heather at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2004

Our Weekend Project

After the unfortunate incident with the "local kids," we decided it would be best to empty out the garage so we can put Bob's car in it. This is how we are going to be spending our weekend. We have rented a 24' truck and will be aiming to do it all in a day. Wish us luck.
garage

garage

Posted by heather at 10:08 PM | Comments (1)

Just 'Local Kids'

This is what greeted Bob as he went to work on Thursday morning: Bob's car
A passerby (likely a rocket scientist, or maybe a junior detective in training) informed us that is was "probably just some local kids." Gee, like THAT made me feel better. Sure glad it wasn't real professionals. Apparently they used a rock to break the window, then ripped out the stereo and took a good flashlight from the glove compartment (the nerve!). They also tried to get into the trunk, but we don't think they got anything. The window was replaced today, and the stereo will likely get replaced next week. So much for living in the 'safe' part of town.

Posted by heather at 09:59 PM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2004

Grocery Shopping 5 Year Olds

From the Washington Post today:

The world's largest association of psychologists said that studies have shown that young children are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and, as a result, are likely to accept commercials as "truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today's youth obesity epidemic," the APA said in a news release.
I agree with the first sentence, but the second...?! what the...?!?! Where are the parents when these under-8s are grocery shopping?

Posted by heather at 11:16 PM | Comments (2)

February 02, 2004

Down with competition (unless I'm winning)

Some parents in the Nashville public schools have complained that their children's self-esteem is suffering because they consistently fail to make the honor roll. And the Nashville schools have caved in and stopped recognizing the achievements of their "A" students, on the advice of their lawyers.

The parents of the kids formerly on the honor roll are up in arms, defending this tradition, but who knows whether they will regain the lost ground. Our society has so distorted the real meaning of self esteem, and made hurting someone's feelings an actionable offense, that I'm not convinced that our schools can regain their lost sense of perspective.

A little healthy competition, where kids can test their skills, learn ways to improve themselves and enjoy a real sense of achievement for a job well done (or even for giving it a good try) is one of the main avenues to gaining real self-esteem. People respond to recognition! Incentives help some kids to work harder! That's a good thing!

I'm not personally a big fan of public education, but I don't want to see it fail, either. I think if they can't put a lid on this type of oversensitivity, they will only drive more people out of the schools. My sister is homeschooling her children; one of her reasons for doing so is that she can't put up with the bureaucracy that caters to a few malcontents at the expense of everyone else. And I can't blame her for not wanting to subject her kids to this kind of nonsense.

Posted by kathy_o'quigley at 06:05 PM | Comments (3)

January 25, 2004

It MUST be Good

Have you noticed how EVERYTHING is 'clinically proven?'

Posted by heather at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2004

The Season to Give

I used to be the "fun" aunt in my family, and vowed never to give socks or underwear to my nieces and nephews for Christmas. This year, I caved in and gave pj's. They have so many toys already, and I find it kind of dilutes the joy of giving when you see the gift you lovingly selected trampled underfoot soon after it's opened. I'm at the point where I'm ready to give less so they can learn to enjoy it more when they do get something special.

For anyone looking for an alternative to giving "stuff", I read about a unique idea for a registry: whatgoesaround.org

Posted by kathy_o'quigley at 06:20 PM | Comments (2)

December 16, 2003

Apparently I Smoke

So here I am in Denver, checking in for my job. Last time here I stayed at the Sheraton DTC (NOT recommended); this time I tried the Hilton Garden Inn. All was well and good until tonight when I got back from our book club dinner. When I walked in my room, a note was waiting for me just inside the door:


Dear Guest:

Our housekeeping staff has reported that your room smells like smoke. We would like to remind you that you are on a non-smoking floor. If you would like to continue smoking in your room, we would be more than happy to move you to the smoking floor. If you should continue to smoke in your current room, a cleaning fee may be applied to your stay, as it is very difficult to remove the fumes from the room.

Please contact the front desk if you have questions or if you would like to to [sic] change rooms.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Hilton Garden Inn Staff


A number of things struck me about this letter:

  1. I had the privacy card on my door, so housekeeping should not have even been in my room.
  2. If housekeeping had, in fact, not been in my room, how on earth could they smell smoke in my room.
  3. They are accusing me of smoking in my room, without any real evidence.

Wanting to clear up any confusion about this, I called the front desk. Not only was the person who answered the phone unable to tell me who/what/where/when/why someone smelled smoke (and unwilling to find out), he sounded like he assumed I was guilty. When I told him I don't smoke, he said, "Well, then I don't know why you got that letter. Maybe a guest smelled smoke." I suggested that if that were the case, someone should have investigated further before accusing me of such an offense. His response was, "Well, I'll tell people they shouldn't give you that letter without finding out for sure." Brilliant.

I still have problems with this letter though. I wonder how many poor, unsuspecting non-smokers have received such a judgemental, accusatory surprise when they return to their rooms. I understand the hotel (for themselves and the comfort of their guests) wants to keep smokers and non-smokers separate, but I would like to think they would also like to keep their guests happy and coming back; accusing them of things they haven't done is not the way to do this. I suggest they revise their letter to read as follows:


Dear Guest:

Our housekeeping staff has reported that your room smells like smoke. As your room is not on a smoking floor, this causes us concern. If you would like to smoke in your room, please contact the front desk and we would be happy to move you to a smoking floor. If you have not been smoking in your room, please contact our front desk so that we may find the source of the smoke smell. We want to be certain you are not wrongly charged an additional cleaning fee due to smoke fumes that you did not create.

Update: Spoke with the manager the following evening. She apologized for the tone of the letter and thanked me for my feedback. Maybe I really WILL have to smoke the next time I'm there to see if they made any changes...

Posted by heather at 08:16 PM | Comments (2)