2-22-15 Sunday (Chiropractic Flashbacks)

MondayIt’s been a long week even though I didn’t work a full week.  Let’s see, Monday, I had a phone interview with my company for an Underwriter 2 position in the personal lines and loans department.  I’m currently a level one in the Home Equity department.  I’ve mentioned how I’ve been passed up for a promotion previously due to budgets and layoffs.  As a side note, now my department is hiring for positions we laid off in August and October.  I shake my head.  Anyway, the phone interview went so well that he immediately scheduled me for an in-person “panel interview” which means 2 people will interview me.  That’s for this upcoming Monday.  I have a lot of questions.  There’s so many rumors circulating that make this position seem like a bad move.  I’ll find out for myself.

Also on this glorious Monday, Icemagedon 2015 started.  At midday it was snowing, sleeting and raining.  Not just rain but freezing rain.  On my drive home, my windshield was icing up.  It was remarkable.  I’m glad the car was warmed up enough to throw the defroster on.  When I made it home, the car was covered in ice.  It was amazing.  It rained and froze all through the night.  I didn’t take any typical frozen patio furniture photos.

laundryOn Tuesday, I called in to our work’s weather line and the recording said a late start for 10am.  Looking at everything covered in sheets of ice, I thought, no thanks and stayed home.  I’ll get paid 2 hours and take the other 6 in PTO.  It was worth it to me.  Too nasty out there.  Meanwhile, Jim has a work laptop and had to work from home.  I did like 92 loads of laundry to celebrate the day off.  Go me.

Wednesday at work was all about catching up with the work load.  We were behind.  Overtime was opened up and “encouraged” by management. 

Sciatica-and-ChiropracticI’m still having this hamstring/glutes pain issue.  Thursday I went to the Chiropractor.  Not the guy who recommended the expensive machine treatment but rather my previous Chiropractor.  I only stopped going to him because there was a Chiro in my building.  Oh, and not the Chiro who wanted to schedule all 26 insurance approved adjustments right away and then during treatment showed me a nature video that was tragic.  I got measures, examined, adjusted and then therapy and given a treatment plan.  He said I will likely feel an improvement after 3 visits.

Chiropractic visit #2 on Friday for an adjustment and therapy.  I told him I felt slightly worse and got the “it will get worse before it gets better story” and I’m hopeful that he’s going to work his magic.  Although, by Friday night I felt like it was worse.  Getting into bed and trying to move more toward the center of the bed was tragically painful.  I winced, yelped, cried out and had my eyes roll back in my head on several moves.  I hate this shit.  AND while I’m whining, I still have a cough.  Depending on my position at the time of the cough, it hurts my leg like a mother. 

lostUnrelated.  I love Amazon.  I order a lot from there.  I’ve got a Prime Membership (now it’s like a $100 a year).  On a previous post I’ve mentioned that we ordered an auto-propane tank switching valve thingy.  I was alerted via my phone that it had been delivered; it was left at the door.  Not uncommon at all.  Well, it wasn’t there.  I checked all over and even walked to the neighbor’s house on either side of us and didn’t see it there either.  I gave it an extra day to allow time for a neighbor to come forth.  Nope.  So I went on line to file a claim.  I had this “they better ship me another ASAP and not make me wait” attitude as I navigated the site.  Easiest ever.  I pulled up the order, clicked on “where’s my order” and then clicked “replace”.  3 seconds later, bam, an email.

“We've placed a new order for the item(s) and we'll ship it to the same address as soon as possible. There is no charge for this replacement order. We have also upgraded the shipping method at no additional charge.”

I am so impressed.  I wonder if they have an algorithm that compares how long I’ve had an account, that I’m a Prime member, my total purchases, and weigh in the price of the item that’s lost to come up with how they should handle it.  If I just created a new account and ordered 1 item for $200, would I have gotten the same handling situation?  If not, smart of them.

We’ve decided to stay home this weekend.  I’ve had this cough + the hamstring issue + worked late Friday night.  We’ll enjoy hanging around the house and maybe getting some stuff done too.  No promises.

Saturday night we had dinner with friends George and David.  George was once a resident at the Augusta campground.  He eventually moved to Aiken and then later to Charlotte to move in with David.  We went to a Mexican restaurant. The food and the company were great!

Fuddruckers-Sign-bigSunday we went to lunch at Fuddrucker’s  and did some shopping.  Fuddrucker’s was quite tasty.  We’ve been to one years ago and weren’t impressed and then again a year or 2 ago and liked it but we don’t have one all that close to us.  Well, it’s a half hour away.  This particular time I was very impressed; the burger was juicy and not greasy.  Well done.  The patty’s are freshly made and the buns baked in house.  Yeah, I know it’s a chain.  But we like chain burgers like Red Robin and Five Guys.  Back off!

That’s all I got!

2-14-15 Saturday (Cold Wake Ups)

My hamstring issue took a turn for the worse.  It was so good for a several days but then was acting up again.  It’s not as bad, but it still hurts and I’m not sure what the deal is.  Maybe when it feels good I over-do it?  It seems to hurt in the mornings and at the end of the day.  During the day, it’s fine.  So I’m guessing morning pain due to stiffness and evening pain because I stood making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen and other chores?

As I type this, it’s the end of the day Wednesday and I have completed 3 of 5 income training days.  There’s so much that goes into calculating different types of income.  And, it’s not as easy as taking a year’s income and dividing by 12 for a monthly figure. 

In the meantime, today I received my level 1 exception authority.  I passed 10 out of 10 case studies.  It’s more of a status thing for me.  An accomplishment.  An ego booster.  Whatever you want to call it, I’ll take it and brag. There’s not many people with exception authority including many coworkers who have been there way longer than the 2 years I have.  I’m not perfect, I failed it the first time around.

In other news, I reconnected with a friend I haven’t seen in about 10+ years.  He No smile Garretwas a my first boyfriend (1989) and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for him.  Isn’t that how it goes though?  He found me on Facebook.  Through the years, I’ve searched for him online but his name was all too common to get a good hit. I had tons of old photos I had scanned in years ago so I emailed them to him for laughs.  Strange hair colors, late 80’s hair, and the like.  Good memories.  That’s me in the photo. Click to enlargafy.

OK, so now here I am again on Saturday.  I finished my week of income training and passed the assessment so far.  Next will be case studies and then I should get certified.  In a couple of months I’ll go into another income class to learn how to do self employed income, partnerships, C Corps, LLC’s and all that stuff that I’m clueless on. 

Cavagna (52-A-890-0006C) Auto Changeover Regulator KitThis weekend we’re at the RV in Augusta and it’s cold.  Overnight was upper 20’s.  RV’s use propane heat.  We like to sleep cold but sometime in the middle of the night, my feet felt like icicles.  By the end of the night, I remember waking up and it feeling warm.  When I woke up this morning, Jim told me the propane ran out and we had no heat.  At 5am he went outside and had to switch the tanks.  Brrrrrrrrrrr.  This started off some research and purchases.  Our RV holds two larger (larger than grill size but can’t remember how many pounds) propane tanks.  When 1 runs out, nothing happens.  There’s a manual lever to switch the tanks but that doesn’t help at dark-thirty in them morning.  We called a local propane delivery service to find out about one of those jumbo tanks that they’d come and fill like so many of our campground friends have) and for the expense of the initial setup and all we decided to go ahead and buy an automatic propane tank switcher.  We’re only here on weekends and typically only need the heat at night.  The sun pretty much heats this box up during the day.  So we took a tank to be filled, and I ordered an auto-switcher on Amazon.

Saturday evening, well more like old-people early bird time (4:30), 8 of us went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, Ming Yat.  The place has been open since 1981.   We had a great time!  Once we got home, Jim went back to enjoy happy hour at the Capri Lounge but I stayed in.  Aside from hamstring issues, I have a cold with an annoying cough.  I vegged and watched hours of Three’s Company on TV.  That in and of itself was painful enough.

That’s all I’ve got!

2-8-15 Sunday (It’s A Boy!)

This week was painful for me.  I had some sort of pulled hamstring issue going.  It hurt like a bitch standing after being seated, or sitting down after standing.  The pain at it’s peak was a 12 on a 1-10 scale for a split second and just enough to make me wince or yell out.  Getting in/out of the car was painful.  You name it.  Painful.  Once that initial pain was over, the scale would drop and eventually stop at a 2 or so. 

I finally took Jim’s advice and went to the doctor on the next available for Thursday.  The PA prescribed a muscle relaxant to take before bed time and started me on a Prednisone treatment.  Apparently, leg pain as I had was the trigger for a possible blot clot ailment.  He didn’t feel I had one but didn’t want to take the chance so the office gets me over the the hospital for an Ultrasound.  Off I go.

Once at the hospital, I checked in at the reception desk with a woman who was so kind.  She kept using words likely found on their survey by occasionally spatting out things like: “We’re so glad you chose us.”  “I’m so happy to have the opportunity to provide you with excellent care.”  During my 3 minute wait she used the word “excellent” many a time. 

Next up was Patient Registration:

Registration

The woman in here was very nice as well but wasn’t throwing the keywords around which was fine by me. Today was the first time I used any marriage info. 

Marital status?  Married.  Emergency contact?  I provided Jim’s info.  Relationship?  Spouse.  It was a strange yet happy feeling.

I had another small wait for the Ultrasound tech.  I was anticipating a very cold gel but found her machine was equipped with a warmer.  Nice touch.  I never had an Ultrasound so now I can cross that off my list.  The results?  It was a boy!

2015-02-05 005

Well, turns out I just look pregnant.  No kids.  Yay.  The tech said a doctor would typically read the report and meet me in the waiting room with the results but nothing was noted so I was free to go.  She said unofficially she didn’t see anything wrong but the doctor would have to determine that.

The next morning (Friday) hurt but during the course of the day I felt great!  Virtually pain free. 

I’m working on getting my exception authority at work.  It enables me to make file exceptions within a certain range for certain things.  It looks good on a résumé.  I will hopefully get it this time.  The first time I went for it I failed.  It happens.  It’s not particularly easy to achieve and very few have it.  Next week I’ll be in “income training” which is a new skill set for me that will look nice next to exception authority.   This will be class #1 of 3.  I’m looking forward to increasing my skills but they’re rushing through the material.  It’s like we’re being given the shortened version compared to the class that was given for the people who are actually on an income team.  What they’re trying to do is eliminate the income team and have them do my job and us theirs. 

It was an Augusta weekend.  While running errands, we saw a guy and a huge turtle.  He claimed to be accepting donations for a turtle rescue.  Poor turtle.

2015-02-07 001

The rest of the weekend went just great!

Useless babble:

While we were on the cruise, I talked about the blog with Jill and Valerie.  I mentioned how it was funny to look at how people actually arrive on the blog.  Basically, what brought them here.  Here’s the top all time internet searches that brought them here.

image

I still get a kick out of “nude rv” and “pointy nipples”.  I’ve highlighted those below.

 

Blog entry/page views

5-29-11 Sunday (Fish Face) 6293

8-8-09 Saturday (Nude Photos!) 3206 (aka the “nude RVing” entry)

11-4-09 Wednesday (Viva Viagra) 1651

5-9-09 Saturday (Wonder Burger) 1413

3-29-09 Sunday (Pigeons and Other Delights) 812 (aka the “pointy nipples” entry)

7-11-09 Saturday (Drinkin’, Gamblin’, Boobies)  692

11-15-08 Saturday (Mormisney) 421

8-29-13 Thursday (Day 7, Gardens And Castles) 329

10-30-09 Friday (Scrubs) 260

8-30-13 Friday (The End) 241

2-1-15 Sunday (Divorcing Taxation)

ANimated cruise shipIt’s been a week since the cruise and here’s what’s been happening.  Well, you won’t believe the first part, we’ve been shopping for the next cruise.  No really.  We love cruises and they’re such great values that we were thinking of something for May or so.  Then we realized we had companion flight points with US Airways so thought maybe another trip to Alaska.  Expensive.  Hawaii?  Even more.  Europe?  Out the window.  So now we’re looking at a non-cruise trip to Niagara Falls.  Stay tuned.  Anyone ever been before?  Is there other things to do aside from the falls?  Feedback please.

Here’s what we did with the boutonnières Beth gave us plus the tuxedo bottle covers Angie, David and Anne gave us.  We purchased bottles that would compliment our curio theme of gold, red, blue and green and attached the boutonnières to the bottle covers.

2015-02-01 001

I took them out of the case so the photo would be clearer:

2015-02-01 002

the-cable-guy-tbiWe spend so much money on TV.  I’ve researched ditching cable and using antenna but it’s a lot of work.  I made a list of the shows we watch along with the stations they’re on and we’d have to go all over the place to watch them.  Sometimes you can’t watch an episode online until 8 days after it’s shown and then they won’t keep but 5 episodes at a time.  Also, my TiVo records new episodes, how will I know when a new episode of my favorite TV show is on?  I’d have to go to websites and check.  I just don’t think  it’s for me.  So next I looked at DirecTV again.  Pros and cons.  Sure, I can save a lot of money based on a 12 month special but I’m also interested in prices AFTER the introductory rates end.  I made a spread sheet.  We’d save about $30-$35 a month.  I had to research channels, equipment, restrictions, etc.  I didn’t see CW on the channel list so I decided to chat with a DirecTV rep.  It’s a long chat but worth the scan/read through.  Here it goes:

Jessica: Hi, I'm a DIRECTV product specialist. What questions can I answer for you about choosing new services?

You: I don't see CW on the channel line up for 28213, Mecklenberg cty. Am I missing something?

Jessica: May I know Are you an existing customer?

You: No

You: Shopping cable vs satellite.

Jessica: Thank you for considering DIRECTV! It would be my pleasure to help you gather information to make an informative decision about switching.

Jessica: We have several package options to choose from. To recommend the best one for you, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions.

You: I just want my question answered. What package includes CW?

You: I'm perfectly capable of researching my needs on line on my own. I appreciate the help.

Jessica: We offer DVR services, are you interested in these?

You: Yes, does this help get CW network?

Jessica: Sorry about that.

Jessica: You would get CW in all the packages depending on your location.

Jessica: May I have your zip code and county name please to check this for you.

You: I already included that information at the start of this conversation.

Jessica: I am sorry I missed on that, apologies for the same.

Jessica: Today, when you order your DIRECTV package online, you’ll receive FREE professional installation, FREE shipping and handling (a $20.00 value), and there won’t be any equipment to buy!

You: Jessica. You're making me mad. Get me a supervisor.

Jessica: Sorry for the inconvenience.

Jessica: Due to technical issues unable to transfer you chat to a supervisor as of now.

You: I want your employee ID and your location.

Jessica: You can come back as we are here 24*7 ab=nd would be happy to help you.

Jessica: *and

Jessica: We are based in the western part of US.

You: What is your employee ID and and the state in which YOU are located?

Jessica: We are in California.

You: You need to get a manager on the phone then and have them call me even if you can't transfer your chat to them.

You: What is your employee ID?

You: I don't give up easily. I have all day.

Jessica: My Employee id is dvohra.

Jessica: You can keep it for reference.

Jessica: I understand how you could feel that way.

You: I certainly will. And this is why you are useless and why I guess I'll stay with my cable company.

You: I want a manager to call me. I will send this chat log onto corporate or even the news media. Consumer reports loves stuff like this.

Jessica: I apologize for the delay in providing the information.

You: Jessica, here's my phone number. 980-875-9254. Remember, chats are recorded. I want a supervisor to call me.

Jessica: We do not the facility of call back but would still try to get it arranged form the concerned authority if possible.

Jessica: *We do not have the facility

Jessica: Thank you for choosing DIRECTV. Glad I could be of help.

Jessica: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

You: Yes, I want a supervisor.

Jessica: I apologize due to technical issues unable to transfer you chat to a supervisor as of now.

You: I want a supervisor now.

Jessica: I am sorry due to technical issues unable to transfer you chat to a supervisor as of now.

You: I want a supervisor now.

You: Let me know when you've fixed your "technical issue".

Jessica: Request you to please come back after sometime and would be happy to transfer you to a supervisor.

You: Nope. I'm waiting.

Jessica: Not an issue, please wait while I try my best to get a resolution for the same.

Jessica: Let me try to transfer your chat to a supervisor.

Jessica has left the chat

You are being transferred, please hold...

Agent sup_dinesh enters chat

sup_dinesh: Hi This is Dinesh, supervisor on the floor, would you allow me sometime to review your previous conversation with the executive. Your patience is appreciated.

You: Hi supervisor Dinesh. Yes, please do.

sup_dinesh: Thanks you.

sup_dinesh: *Thank

sup_dinesh: Please find below the local channels at your location :-

sup_dinesh: (PBS) HD30
UNCEX (PBS) HD58
WAXN HD64
WBTV (CBS) HD3
WCCB (CW) HD18
WCNC (NBC) HD36
WHKY HD14
WJZY (FOX) HD46
WMYT (MNT) HD55

sup_dinesh: CW is available at your location on channel # 18.

sup_dinesh: May I know are you an existing customer?

You: I am not. I'm shopping to see if I should make the switch from cable to DirecTV.

sup_dinesh: Excellent, we can make sure that you get all the promotional discount today.

sup_dinesh: I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience being caused to you.

sup_dinesh: We have several package options to choose from. To recommend the best one for you, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions.

You: I hope that you will use this chat log as a training tool with your other sales agents. This was a horrible experience with Jessica.

You: If your service is anything like your sales, I'm not interested in DirecTV. I'm not a patient person with poor service.

sup_dinesh: Absolutely, we appreciate your patience and would ensure that we are improving on our customer service.

sup_dinesh: Would request you to please allow me a chance to value esteemed customer like you.

sup_dinesh: Do we give a try to ensure that you do not miss out on any of the promotional discount.

You: Have a great day. DirecTV isn't for me. I've wasted so much time I have no desire to chat. If I change my mind, I will call and hope for a better experience. It sounds like your sales goals are too tight forcing your sales people to stoop to low places to obtain them.

sup_dinesh: How many TVs would you like service on?

sup_dinesh: Not a problem, you can take your time to think.

Meanwhile, Jim starts a chat with Time Warner asking for a lower price and they try to upsell him to a package that costs more.  Really.  He had to ask for a supervisor.  After going round and round for a while he called them.  We now receive $40 a month discount for a year.  That matches us to the DirecTV price so we won’t be switching right now.

Jim just did taxes as married vs. unmarried.  Now that we’re married, we will pay $582 MORE than before!  Nice to have equal rights and equal misery.  Should we divorce?

refund

Sunday night we enjoyed Brazz Carvery and Brazilian Steakhouse.  It’s similar to Chima but being a smaller place, we found the service very personal and the food excellent.  We went on a Groupon.  We had the Rodizio service (aka all you can eat meat buffet).

image

Yum!

1-23-15 Friday (Cruise – Day 6 – Cococay, Bahamas)

Here’s port info if you’d like otherwise scroll down:

CocoCay, BahamasSurrounded by the gentle, translucent waters of the Bahamas chain lies the secluded island of CocoCay®, an eco-certified private destination. Reserved exclusively for cruise ship guests, this 140-acre tropical paradise was awarded a Gold-Level Eco-Certification by Sustainable Travel International™ for its environmentally friendly activities and tours. With its white-sand beaches and spectacular surroundings, CocoCay is a wonderland of adventures. Explore new aquatic facilities, nature trails and a ton of great places to just sit back, relax and enjoy a tropical drink.

So… we didn’t even bother getting off the ship.  We’re not particularly fond of sand, beaches and a hot sun so therefore that makes this undesirable for us. 

We slept in pretty late (in bed at 3am the night before) so totally missed breakfast.  Unfortunately with it being a port day, the main dining room was closed leaving us with buffet options yet again.  After lunch we walked around for a bit.  We ran into a fellow Segway-er from our excursion and talked with her for a while.  We’ve had such a great time talking to people on excursions and meal times.  Later we went to Johnny Rocket’s for a milk shake.  We had a BOGO free deal.  Yummy.  

Next we returned to the room, changed into swim wear and for the first time all cruise, enjoyed the hot tub.  I had an altercation of sorts there.  Several kids without adults were getting into the hot tub.  2 of them had ice cream cones.  I’d say they were 5 or 6 years old?  I said, “you can’t bring ice cream in here.” and they backed away.  What I’m assuming to be their dad, walks up with the 2 kids and tells them to get in but they won’t.  A few minutes later dad and the 2 kids return, all 3 eating ice cream and the dad assures them it’s OK.  Father of the Year.  Jim and I eventually get out and while drying off the father comes out and tells his wife how someone said the kids couldn’t come into the hot tub with the ice cream so he purposely went and got ice cream to go into the hot tub.  Naturally, I had to say something.  “Oh sorry, that was me.  Your kids came into the hot tub with ice cream and no adults.”  He goes on to tell me how he was sorry and that his kids were honoring my request.  Jackass.  Most of what he said is a blur and didn’t really make sense.  Jim and I were baffled.  After the moment passed, I had one of those “wish I would have said” moments.  You see, I never mentioned that I told their kids that because it was against the rules.  I suppose in addition to mentioning that, I could have nicely pointed out that when an adult explains the rules to a child that I can see how it would make sense for their father to say it was OK to break them.  Whatever.

Back to the room for a nap.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

Almost done…  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.  OK we’re up.  Got some pictures of the sunset. 

Sunset

Showered.  Changed into dinner clothes and off we went to the Champagne bar for a glass of Moscato prior to dinner.  The dining room was buzzing with announcements and acknowledgement of some of the wait staff.  When we were seated at an 8 top, there were 2 women looking over the railing with their backs to us watching the announcements + 2 women we’d never met + an older husband/wife that Jim and I have dined with previously (funny to sit with the same people).  After sitting down, the 2 women with their backs to us turned around and it was Jill and Valerie!  So funny.    

2015-01-23 014Above: This is a much better photo of Valerie (L) and Jill (R).

The 4 of us went to the final show and afterwards took a photo with 2 of the crew.

2015-01-23 015Above: Jim, Erky from Turkey (as they called him) the Activities Manager, Jill, Leigh (Cruise Director), Garret, Valerie

Afterwards, the 4 of us went to Johnny Rockets for a shake.  Yeah, second round for Jim and I.  Oink, oink.  We bid our farewells to Jill and Valerie.

Jim and I returned to the cabin, changed, and headed to the hot tub.  It was our final soak.  It was already after midnight and we’d need to get up by about 6:30am to have breakfast and get off the ship.  So sad…

I won’t have a post for tomorrow but funny enough, we ran into Jill and Valerie yet again on the Royal Promenade as we were waiting to be called for disembarkation.  We’re all Facebook friends now! 

The cruise was wonderful.  We had a great honeymoon.  I’m already itchy for another cruise.