Sunday, December 14, 2008

Black Friday and Busy Brinlee

Lets start first with Brinlee, a sweet and happy little girl that will soon be walking. She is already taking a few steps away from the couch. I don't know how fast she will be when she gets her wheels under her but she can sure move on her hands and knees. She knows the meaning of the word "NO" but is still stubborn enough to keep trying to get in to whatever she can before we drop the "NO" bomb on her.

Here she is opening the doors to see what is inside. She loves to pull open drawers and cupboard doors and empty whatever is inside to the floor.


I think she was glad just to get out of the car seat and be able to move around at will. After all, shopping any time is hard work but especially on Black Friday, in my opinion.



This was the day after Thanksgiving, the day known as Black Friday. Nancy went with daughter Jamie and her husband Jason, along with Brinlee to do some Christmas shopping. I went once several years ago with Nancy and vowed to never shop again on Black Friday. And to prove my point, here is where son-in-law Jason ended up when he got to our house.


'Nuff said!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Phones and Email, Oh My!

What a stressful week's end.

Monday or Tuesday we began getting calls because emails sent to us were not getting through. I called our internet tech support and was told that my outgoing emails were not affected but that emails being sent to me were. I might receive a couple but the rest were lost in that black space continuum we call the "internet". A couple of days to get that back up and running, "sorry for the inconvenience sir".

So I figured that an email I had sent to a customer to clarify an order, had been received, but if she had replied then that reply was gone to that afore mentioned black space continuum.

It was in the evening when I discovered this but rather then wait until that customer would be in the office, I called and left a message explaining that we weren't receiving any emails.

So I'm sitting at my computer for a day or so, minding my own business, happy as a lark when Nancy comes and gets me because another customer had arrived to pick up a book case that she had me customize in a primitive manner. This customer told Nancy that she had been calling all morning but always got a busy signal, figured if it was busy it meant we were home, so she came on out to pick up the finished piece.

Well that meant another call to QWest this time. They scheduled someone to come out the next day between 9 am and 1 pm. Of course I began to think that this customer I had emailed, then called, was going to wonder why she couldn't get in touch with us.

QWest came out the next day as promised, but he couldn't fix the problem so he arranged for someone else to come out. Two guys in two separate trucks show up a couple of hours later who had the "right equipment" and after a couple of hours came to the door with some wires and connections in their hands that they had replaced. I checked the phone and internet and all seemed to work just fine. Yay!

A couple of hours later, our daughter calls and during her call, the telephone reverted back to what it was doing that necessitated the QWest techs to come out. It alternated between no dial tone, to a recording telling us to hang up and dial again to horrible beeping noises like you get when you leave a phone off the hook.

But I'd already gone through removing all the phones for the two lines and then hooking them up individually to see if it was an in the house problem. It wasn't.

So another call to QWest. The guy on the other end tried to tell me the techs had been out and had fixed the problem. I repeatedly assured him that the problem was still existing and that they needed to come back out. So he told me he had scheduled the tech to be out the next day between 9 am and 1 pm.

The next day, when the time the tech was supposed to be out was almost gone, I called back in and the young lady that I spoke to told me there was no record of a tech to come back out to my house. Of course, only the realization that Santa is watching and would soon be coming to my house kept me from becoming a snarling gnarly grinch!

She agreed to set up another tech call, but of course, this wouldn't be able to be done until the next day. I understand the need to schedule but by now, I'm feeling like, "Houston, we have a problem".

Shortly after we scheduled this next tech, the one that I had been expecting showed up and after a couple of hours told me he couldn't fix the problem but thought it was something to do with our internet dsl. So he arranged for another tech to come out, not the same day, to late, but the next day, today, Sunday.

The tech shows up and puts in a temp line so we can receive and make calls but tomorrow someone else is coming out to dig in a new line to correct the problem.

So our incommunication time lasted about 5 days. How nice to hear the phone ring again and to be able to send and receive emails. Now hopefully the line laying will go well tomorrow and I'll go back to being happy as a lark.

By the way, the customer's email answering my question about her order finally did arrive and we were able to get that taken care of.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Spots of Color in November

We have had very little snow in southern Idaho. With all the mountains around us, to the south and to the north, you'd think that there would be at least some snow. But nowhere near enough. My brother Mike works for Sun Valley Company, on the golf courses in the summer and at the lifts in the winter. He is a "full time employee" yet because they don't have any snow, they have reduced his working time to one day a week until they can get enough snow so they can run the lifts.

Here in Hansen, just south of the Snake River Canyon, we enjoy a fairly mild climate year around. I remember planting bulbs in October and November when we were moving to our home about 25 years ago.

This plant is some type of geranium, but I can't remember what kind. It does have a profusion of purple flowers in the summer and it has a habit of making a nice mounded plant. I usually go through the flower beds and trim almost everything back but these have such a pretty splash of autumn colors, that I leave it so that it adds a nice touch, especially if it snows.


And although all the plants have pretty much quit blooming for the year, I was happy to see this flower come back to life after some rain. Its such a happy fellow and having it greet us as we go in or come out the front door is always a treat.


We've had a little rain here today, hopefully it is translating in to some snow at higher elevations.