Saturday, October 07, 2006
Cupcakes for supper
C-man is making us come Halloween cupcakes.

Saturday crumbs
We're at Noni's for the big birthday weekend. We were supposed to go to a festival today but it was cold and rainy so more indoor shopping for us. Aunt K and the kids are here today and the daddies are arriving tonight. The big party with the extended family on my side is tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures from last night to tide you over.

Aunt K. gave Emma her bath and styled her hair afterward. First the sweet picture...

And now the one with the Billy Idol attitude!

Thursday, October 05, 2006
My big purchase
A fun mat for Emma to eat her supper on.

The problems with my bright idea presented themselves immediately.

Look what I saw in Walmart yesterday!

The funny thing was when I first saw him he was eating crumbs from the floor.
Knock, knock, Dell calling
My blog posts here and here attracted the attention of someone at Dell. Presumably someone whose job is to monitor Dell's image on the web. I can't say I'm entirely surprised. I knew they had started doing this months ago. I even knew that using the term "dell hell" might attract attention. But I am still mildly amused that my humble little blog warranted an email from them. Brad, a customer advocate at Dell, emailed me at the address provided at the left. He noticed that I had called in to Dell for support and wanted to make sure they handled my issue properly. That's very nice. I guess the simple answer is no, they did not handle the issue properly concerning my mother's "incident."

Mom will assume blame for one thing, she only ordered one year's support on her computer. She may have even run the idea by me and I might have said "you should be all right, Dell is a victim of their own success, their computers rarely break down." Ha! So she would be the one to get a lemon. Because her support had expired she was subject to a fee of $99 just to get them to talk to her about the problem. The $99 would cover as many contacts as it took to resolve the problem. I'm sure she was shocked and appalled to learn this, because you're not exactly warned of this up front.

So the first part of my reply to Dell:


I appreciate your contacting me, though I doubt it will accomplish much. On my blog I spoke of two separate issues with customer service at Dell. Neither one was resolved by Dell.

My mom's issue with her faulty power source was handled by a third party computer technician. He fixed it for around $50.00. At the time I spoke with my mother she was having difficulty speaking through her tears; dramatic, but true. I was very upset. She spent $99.00 and over 90 minutes on the phone and gave up in frustration and called me. I'm very thankful that her computer was fixable. Once it was determined by Dell that the problem was the hardware, they immediately refunded $50 of the fee the collected for her "incident." Eventually she was refunded the entire amount. The problem for Dell is that she was put through a horrible phone experience, she had a computer with a faulty power source that malfunctioned after a year and half, and she doesn't trust your brand any longer. I don't know if she'll ever buy from you again.

I also addressed the work related issue I had with Dell, which I won't detail here because it contains too much information. Suffice it to say that after two hours and twelve people who didn't help me I was also leaking tears of frustration. To this day the problem hasn't been resolved and I'm forced to order by phone, when ordering on the computer would be so much easier for Dell and for me.

The final part of my reply to Brad:

Because of the nature of my work many people come to me for purchasing recommendations. I'm not saying I'll never order another Dell, but I don't speak highly of Dell any longer.

I will be updating my blog with the information concerning your contacting me, and you will also see an apology for calling you names. But when you make my mom cry, well, I was very angry.

So there you have it. Dell reached out, a gesture. Empty or not? Remains to be seen.

As for the apology...Dell, I am sorry I called your people names. Calling you asshats was not very nice, but I was blogging angry. As for phone drones, well, I like that one and I'll be keeping it. I thought I had made that one up, but Google informs me otherwise.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Emma's buddy
It's girls night again. M went shopping this evening. It's been a long time since I've bathed Emma and put her to bed by myself. I took her out for her evening stroll that she usually does with her Daddy. So this time I got to help her find the moon. Because of the position of our house next to the woods we have to walk away from the house to see the moon over the trees. We found him though.

I'm not too worried about Emma needing glasses anytime soon because she can spot a deer a mile away. Half the time I think she's faking me out because I can't see them. Then finally I'll see what she's talking about. At this time of year the whitetail deer's coat turns from a reddish color to gray. This provides better camouflage for them when hunting season starts next month. Emma can still pick them out in the woods.

The deer pictured below was pretty easy to spot. M inherited that with the store. He said it was in the store when his Dad bought it back in the 1950's. There are two trophies like that in the store. M had to stand on top of a cooler to allow Emma to get that close to the dead animal.

Monday, October 02, 2006
Very productive Sunday
I did so much yesterday I'm sore. I didn't plan to clean at all. I just wanted to pull out some of my Fall/Halloween stuff. My favorite display goes in the pool room. But the pool room was completely filled with junk that didn't belong there. Boxes of tools and stuff left over from the laminate floor project, stuff from Christmas, baby stuff, it was a horrid mess. I got that all cleaned out.

My bedroom was also in horrible shape, and had been for nearly a year. I sorted all of my clothes and put a bunch of stuff away, got stuff up off the floors, and even hid away most of my shoes. Unfortunately the shoe overflow can't be completely eliminated. I vacuumed and dusted.

Two whole rooms in my house are now habitable again. I don't feel the burning need to escape my house now. This will help me prepare for having family over for my birthday and Emma's second birthday celebration weekend after next.
Totally irrational
Mary's (the babysitter) surgery is over and she's working on mending now. She has a follow-up with her doctor on Wednesday and begins physical therapy in her home on Thursday. Meanwhile, all of the kids can go back to her, except Emma. I'm agonizing over finding child care for her every day. M's mom has been doing it so far, and I don't think she minds it. But I feel like we're imposing.

Emma can't go back because she's the only one who isn't potty trained yet and Mary can't change her diaper one-handed. So there's a practical reason that she's the only one who can't go back. But somehow it still stings a little. There's a perfectly rational reason for it, Mary needs time to heal, she can't physically do the job. But my stupid feelings just don't understand.

The worst part is that it's open-ended right now. We have no idea when she can go back. It could be weeks. Meanwhile I've got an incredibly stressful and demanding event coming up at work. M has buying runs he needs to make, and his Mom is usually the one who covers for him at the store. With her doing the child care it's nearly impossible for M to get his traveling done.

It's no fair to pressure Mary because she can't make it happen any faster than nature will allow. It's just one of those frustrating situations that no one can do anything about. I hate it.