trystinn: (POW/MIA)
I very, very rarely ask for my Flist to help. But I'm asking now, folks. Action and spreading of the word. You don't need to use my name when you do so, this isn't about me. Its about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

As a military wife, I've gotten a bit numb to the civilian folks who seem quite happy to wave the flag in my face but don't seem particularly concerned about actually supporting the troops or their families.

So when I noticed that one of my favorite sites was using the acronym POW to reference Picture of the Week, I wasn't particularly shocked. When I asked them to switch it out to POtW or POTW and they assured me that "wasn't necessary", I was.

Listen, I get it. It seems like a little thing. Except, yanno, it really isn't. We have thousands of POWs/MIAs, proud men and women who were held and died in foreign hells. We have families wondering where their loved ones are who are MIA/POW and that acronym means something to military folks and I don't think it ought to refer to pictures of a chicken.

Yep, this is a chicken site I'm talking about.

And a POW ain't no chicken.

I understand some of you might not care about this. But I'm a Patriot Guard Rider and I know POWs and I know folks with loved ones who are MIAs and this is very personal to me. So this Memorial Day, I'd like to do something. Some little thing. For our POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. I want to reclaim a little respect of the term POW. I want to remember their sacrifice. I want to raise a little awareness this Memorial Day.

If you agree with this, perhaps you'll take a moment to send a polite email to the site owner at rl@ludcon.com with the subject line "A POW ain't no chicken". Tell him a little about Sgt. Bowe Beghdahl. Or about your loved one in the military and how we honor our POWs. Or what the military has meant in your life and how we live in fear of our loved ones going missing, how even a communication blackout raises our deepest fears of them becoming POWs. Or maybe just remind him that we're Americans and we Remember. Whatever you have, share with Ron. Because he doesn't get it. Be polite, be respectful, be honorable.

I understand this may just be a whole lot of mess over an acronym for some folks. I do. But I'm frustrated and I'm angry and I feel hopeless. And I hate feeling hopeless. We've given a lot to this country and we've gotten a lot of self-indulgent prattle in return from folks like Ron. It is necessary to remember our proud military members and their sacrifice. And when we lose sight of this, we become unworthy of them.

If you cannot support this one very little stand on behalf of POW on Memorial Day, and I do understand if you cannot, please do remember Sgt. Bowe Beghdahl in your prayers and his family, too. Pray for his continued safety and his safe return home.

Update: My very politely worded request for support on their forum has been deleted by the moderators and I've been warned not to do it again, as its considered TROLLING. Support for our troops is TROLLING, folks. Ugh. While I've not yet been dinged in their penalty system, its likely a matter of time before they do so. *eye roll*

I'm also building a FB if you could like and let us know about your efforts (or just like) http://www.facebook.com/POWMIAAwareness
trystinn: (Eggs)
The folks I sold 4 chicks to are now having trouble. They are having trouble because they didn't listen to me! *headdesk*

I told them to get an infrared heat lamp. They got the white one. The white ones are for broody hens who need help heating up their bodies, because that's what the white ones do, they raise the temperature of the object the light rests upon. That sounds like what you want, its actually exactly what you DON'T want.

What you want is to raise the ambient temperature of the air around them. You want their environment to be warm. You do not want to overheat the chicks! Overheating them makes it difficult for them to digest food, it dehydrates them. It also makes it very difficult for them to sleep, because to get good rest, their body temperature needs to drop a little. Just like yours. Also, there's that whole DON'T BBQ THE CHICKS!

Now yes, sometimes chicks will be just fine with the wrong lamp. Sometimes, despite all our stupidity and arrogance, chicks do just fine. Except one of theirs aren't. And that's because (chime in with me now) they are doing it wrong!

Yesterday, these idiots insisted that they've done this before and they know what they are doing. So the smallest one is having trouble now. And of course, they are scrambling to get chick booster and hopefully a proper damn infrared heat lamp!

In the interest of fairness, standard-sized chicks may have done fine with that sort of lamp. More body mass and all. Silkies are true bantams. Smaller bodies, not as much resilience. And of course, they are coming from my house where I know how to take care of them exactly as they need it. So now, that little guy is in a foreign environment and his system isn't doing well. *shakes fist*
trystinn: (Bright TOL)
Yes, it is snowing. We're not really used to snow here, at least not to this level of accumulation. And there's topography, too! And no salt on the roads due to ecological concerns. Cabin fever has set in. Very bad cabin fever. And folks are getting frustrated. I understand that, I do. Being from New England/New York, I've been through this a few decades, so I'm not surprised by this, nor particularly frustrated. Nor am I emotionally impacted by it. Its just snow. And I find it pretty.

That said: I AM NOT YOUR EMOTIONAL PUNCHING BAG! And the next damn one of you who attempts to unload your frustrations on me will get bitch slapped. I'm done tolerating your little outbursts, snarling jags and petulant shit fits, you snotty little twits.

Grow up. You are adults. Go outside, build a snow man scene a'la Calvin and Hobbes, make a snow angel go sledding, etc and play out your pent up energy.

You have been warned.
trystinn: (Hebrew)
Our neighbor has been battling with the mother of his child for shared custody and its gotten down right ridiculous. She and her new partner have been trespassing on his property late at night when he's not home, so at his request we've been calling the sheriff when she does so. Given that our driveways face each other and the Bassets alert whenever she trespasses, we know almost immediately when it occurs. This has gone on for years, but we've only just now begun calling the sheriff.

So now she's requesting that the court require pickups and drop offs of their child in town, because his neighbor (me) is "culturally different" from her and that makes her "uncomfortable". This is, she insists "reason enough" for the parenting plan change - that I live across the street. Somehow, I don't think its my Irish-German ethnicity that she has issues with.

Worse yet, she's a Social Studies teacher.
trystinn: (Raphael)
Migraine hit about midnight last night and I'm still in serious post-migraine brain fog. When the phone rang this morning at 7am, I was still half-asleep and hoping it was hubby. Unfortunately, it was our idiot attorney. He wanted me to send the impact letter, I reminded him that he hadn't sent the email I'd requested so I didn't have his email address. He promised to do so immediately and we ended the call.

I staggered out to the living room, shut all the drapes (still photosensitive) and turned on the computer. I'd checked my email via my Blackberry and knew it hadn't arrived, so I went ahead and fixed a cup of coffee. Then sat down to wait. And wait. After a 1/2 hour, I called and reminded him that I was waiting for that email - turns out his secretary comes in and checks her personal email first. I resisted the urge to make a sharp comment about that.

Letter has been sent. I'm still hoping we can solve this at the settlement level. I really don't want this doofus representing us in court.

Curses!

Jun. 13th, 2011 02:38 pm
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Its a gorgeous day here in the Island, the kind that makes you happy to live here. 60F clear, with clouds heading our way. Given the mid to late week forecast is rain, rain and more rain.

I'm now sporting a lovely new trim, it feels like I've lost 10 pounds of hair off my head. Woot-woot! The tire has been fixed, Mike at Les Schwab said it was a simple patch job. I'm scheduled to buy new tires on Thursday when they are delivered and get them aligned, that's going to set me back $$$. Has to be done, though.

While I was waiting for the patch, I walked across the street to buy the poultry & dog feed, shavings and food grade DE. I bought too much DE, but it only comes in 50 pound bags, so whatcha gonna do. Should keep the flies down and deter any creepy crawlies in the area. While I was goofing around, I went ahead and posted the frizzled chickens and ducklings on the board out front of the feedstore. *cross fingers*

I've been calling friends and asking for recommendations for contractors. My mechanic has recommended a landscaper, which I have called and asked them to come by to present a bid. The driveway needs weed whacking, the front gravel spiral walk needs more weeding, salting and I'd like to add a few more small trees and/or plants to the decorative border. Flash's fan, Peggy, has recommended a painter/handyman who hopefully can paint this stupid wall and ceilings.

All in all, its going to be an expensive and stressful week.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Its now almost 10:30 and the painter has still not arrived or called. I'd left a message for him Sunday evening, asking that he call and let me know what time he was going to arrive this morning, as I needed to go into town and have the tire fixed. Haven't heard a word. I waited until 10:30 to call, which of course, went to voicemail after a few rings. I explained that I was very upset with the lack of professionalism and courtesy, and basically told him that if they wanted my business they would have to make this up to me.

I owe the landscaper for a 1/2 of a day's work, so it will be interesting to see if he comes by for his pay. Because basically, I expect neither of them to show or call again. They strike me as the type who would rather not do the work to get back in my good graces.

The whole thing pisses me off. It shouldn't be this difficult to get a few jobs done. I'd been planning to keep them working for the rest of the month and recommend them to friends, who are ready to go with their own projects.

A pox on their house!
trystinn: (Default)
I'm very frustrated by the lack of progress this week on my To Do List.

For example, the painter who was supposed to come over Friday to give me an estimate on the wall painting was a no show. That's his 2nd blow off. Frankly, at this point, I'm pretty much done with him. Looks like I'll have to paint that wall myself. *sigh* I can likely get Noah's brother Joshua to do it, but I'd hoped to keep him working outdoors.

Anyone remember the good ole days when contractors actually showed up?
trystinn: (Hell is Other People!)
Joshua's attorney is driving me bonkers. I wanted a barracuda. Josh hired a gopher. Things the lawyer does that piss me off:

I call, I identify myself as Mrs. Cook. He then asks *twice* if I'm Josh's wife. Why, yes, yes I am. I am his wife. He and I have met. Josh introduced us. *headdesk*

Then he asks twice if I'm sure I have Power of Attorney. Yes, I'm sure I have PoA. I'm a military wife. This is what we do. Finally, I offer to fax him a copy so he can be certain.

He continually interrupts me. I'm not sure if this is a lawyer thing, a man thing or a jackass thing. Either way, I started to make a gentle reprove and he INTERRUPTED ME AGAIN so he heard none of it.

He asks for the name and number on the settlement offer. I spell the man's name - the lawyer interrupts. I recite the phone number - the lawyer interrupts. Then he tells me there's not enough numbers, I repeat it again. He interrupts me, again!

I'm going to fax the settlement letter to him. I have absolutely no idea if he managed to even hear what I was reporting about the letter, given how many times he interrupted me.
trystinn: (Default)
Let it be here known that Dawn Gee-Wessel (aka Dawn Wessel, aka Dawn Gee-Juhl) is not to be trusted with property or truth. She is not a Proper Person and is unlikely to be in this lifetime.

I spoke with the Deputy handling my complaint against my former friend and he suggested I just go ahead and file the lawsuit with small claims. He explained he'd been to the house multiple times, spoken with both she and her husband, and had received multiple vague and contradictory statements. He had absolutely no confidence that they were speaking the truth or were even looking for my books. *sigh*

He also made the comment, "Mrs C., nobody needs friends like these". And, of course, he's right. She's now insisting that she only borrowed 6 books, so I've given her a list of the 6 most important books for me to replace, their ISBN numbers and Amazon replacement value. With my Amazon Prime, I've added up the list of those available, those that are not, added tax and shipping - which equals about $100.

That list was forwarded to a mutual friend, so she can send it to her as I'm fairly sure I'm blocked on all email contacts, etc. I also texted her to alert her that the email was sent, in case she can pry it out of her Inbox.

What a complete bother dishonest people are!
trystinn: (Default)
I never use UPS because frankly, it sucks. The Regional center here is over on the mainland up near the Canadian border, so at least 2 hours away each direction. And, of course, I stuck around as long as I could this morning, but had to work and so left at 11 for work. UPS came at 11:39 according to their website. Gods knows they didn't do anything useful like leave a message on my door or anything.

So I called in to see if I could make other arrangements because I'm working first thing tomorrow morning, so their "we'll try again tomorrow" statement won't work. And of course, the company that sings "We love LOGISTICS" has no way to reach their drivers to re-route to my home this afternoon or tomorrow at the bookstore.

Let's recap. The year is 2010, nearly 2011. The Earth is encircled by literally hundreds of communication satellites and UPS, a global shipping company, reports they have ZERO way to contact a driver. Which, of course, is bullshit.

So now I wait an hour for this multi-billion dollar company to contact their Regional office and beg them to either have the driver drop off my packages at the local UPS Store (Update: I'm informed by UPS that the UPS Store is not affiliated with UPS and therefore, they cannot leave packages there for pickup) in Oak Harbor, come to my house when I'm home or drop off at work tomorrow. You know. Logistics.

Update: They've agreed to deliver to the bookstore tomorrow, free of charge. Mercury may be Retrograde, but this Bitch is DIRECT!
trystinn: (your argument is invalid!)
I've been trying to clean up a few messes from Josh's accident this summer, mostly with billing mistakes. Radia has been the biggest problem because they are so ridiculously understaffed that all you can do is call and wait 2 business days for a response, only to be asked to get yet another piece of information (they won't do any investigation themselves) then call them back, leave the voicemail, then wait another 2 days for them to call back. No emails, no direct phone numbers. And yes, I've already filed a BBB complaint against them.

Spoke with our insurance company who paid one of the bills Radia is attempting to collect on (the lesser one, 4 months after the appointment), but claims to have not received the other. Really, we're at that level of unprofessionalism that Radia never even bothered to confirm that Geico had the bill to pay.

But the real fun this morning was talking to Geico. I'm going off Josh's notes, which are sparse let me assure you. I didn't yet have the claim number and the only contact number and name I had at Geico turned out to be for property damage. He spent half the call asking "but I don't understand how you got my name and number" and I would once more walk him through: trying to clear this up for an active duty service member, so working from his notes. Your name and number were in them. That call went three times as long due to his incessant "now tell me how did you get my number again?" I am not known for my patience, but I am known for my determination.
trystinn: (Hell is Other People!)
We managed to sort out the rental car issue today. The insurance company is going to send us a Quick Claim form to transfer title to them, once that is done, we will get our check. And until we get our check, they will continue to pay for the rental. We have this in writing and a copy has been sent to the rental car company, which in this case is Enterprise!

Update: Once again, our attorney was incorrect. Seems we're going to end up signing the damn thing and getting back the totaled pickup.

Hate AT&T

Apr. 19th, 2010 11:27 am
trystinn: (Lunar)
I hate AT&T! The Internet service has never worked on my phone and they keep giving me excuses. Their new bullshit is to tell me their "systems are down and cannot open my account details". Repeatedly.

Unfortunately Joshua's contract expires 11/06/2010 and mine ends 04/22/2011, though I'm trying to get them to drop us earlier without ETF.
trystinn: (sexy)
I am absolutely convinced that every hairdresser should be forced to take Anatomy. I kid you not. This week I went to have a few inches taken off to bring the BSL up to armpit (pardon the crudity). Not only did I mention that level, I placed a flattened hand there to show her. We even discussed the need to cut long, given my curly hair.

What did I get, you ask? Barely brushing the tops of my shoulders. Almost exactly like this icon, ironically enough.
trystinn: (sexy)
FWIW, my old boss used to call me his Junk Yard Dog and sic me on non-performing departments to get things straightened out. This sort of thing also happens in my marriage, with Josh telling companies "listen, you can deal with me or you can talk to my wife. She's an Irish Jew from Brooklyn" which usually makes them a bit more cooperative. Hey, I grew up with lawyers and some of that has rubbed off - I am very effective.

Looks like I'm going to have to invoke my inner junk yard dog on the dealership where we bought my car (Nov 9th) since we still haven't received the registration. We've already been through this before in late December (I believe) and they (Regan) don't seem to feel it's their responsibility to call me to let me know the temp is expiring and the registration still hasn't arrived. Granted, it's my responsibility to make sure the temp hasn't expired and I certainly do but I'm getting very tired of calling them to find out what's going on and realizing they have no idea that: a) the temp is expiring and b) they still haven't received the paperwork from the bank.

Needless to say, I don't think we're ever going to buy another car from them. Which is a shame - they are the only VW/Mazda dealer on the Island and I really do like their cars.

Update: Regan called me back, explained she would likely have it all taken care of by the beginning of next week and that it was the dealer's fault. Grr.
trystinn: (Default)
Given our local Feedstore doesn't seem interested in catering to poultry folks and won't special order for customers, I've been trying to get information about products online. Much to my chagrin, most of the people answering the emails at these companies seem bound and determined NOT to sell anything. Don't get me started about asking if galvanized zinc feeders and waterers are dishwasher safe. Not only does nobody know, nobody knows which feeders and waterers I'm asking about (i.e. the galvanized zinc ones!)

For example: I finally found a company that sells plastic, plain poultry bands in assorted colors, size 12. Or have I? What follows is one of the oddest email conversations I've ever had with someone.

Me: I would like to order 500 assorted colors poultry plastic leg bands size 12, plain (no numbering), your item #902-914. How much would this cost, including shipping? (My address, etc.)

Her: Our plastic bandettes are already made with black printed numbers on them, you can not get them plain. If you would like the same size, we can offer our plastic spiral bands, size 2112.
If you would like for me to do a quote for the bandettes I can, but they do come numbered, or I could do a quote for the spiral bands. Please let me know which one you would like a quote for.

Me: Is the website incorrect then when it states they are available plain or is your company out of the plain ones? "NUMBERING/STAMPING: Available plain or with painted black numbering 1 to 200. No stamping available." If the latter, when do you think you'd be receiving more plain ones?

Her: I apologize, I was not aware that we had plain plastic bandettes. I can ask our shipping dept tomorrow what we have available. We can also order them plain as well. What colors were you interested in? We do only have the sizes 907, 909, 911, 912 available, and we do not have an expanding tool anymore. (T: Expanding tools are for the two smallest sizes, and wouldn't work for size 12s by any means)

Me: 0___o

I gave up and just called. Turns out they are too pricey, anyway.
trystinn: (sexy)
It was too good to be true, frankly. Anyone could have told you that. A new Steakhouse on Whidbey Island? Not a chance in hell this could work. And it hasn't.

I took Josh to an early dinner last night, I'd heard a few good things about the Red Sky Steak House so I thought we'd give it a try.

First off, the decor is lovely. Updated and modernized.

Secondly, they were out of loin. So we asked to substitute the meat (2 oz smaller, mind you), which the waiter readily agreed to, yet they didn't do it. Instead they brought him the other cut of meat as it occurs in their menu originally. Which is to say, without the bacon wrapping or mushrooms. So not so very tasty after all. My cheeseburger was great, btw.

Thirdly, there was a table two tables over celebrating something. Four couples and an older man. All of which spoke at the top of their voice the entire meal, with the elderly father literally bellowing over them. When our waiter came around to ask how our meal was, we mentioned the issue with the meat substitution (he nodded, sadly) and when we mentioned how loud it was, he replied "there's nothing we can do." Which, honey, ain't true. I've worked in restaurants for ages. Asking a table to keep it down is pretty much a nightly occurrence.

Then, finally, when the folks left this delightful silence ensued and we all breathed a sigh of relief until the waitress turned on an iPod stereo and kept turning it higher and higher to our amazement. Apparently, she wanted some tunes while she cleared the loud guests' table!

All in all, we won't be returning. Nope.

In other worlds, our fridge is dying a slow death. *shakes head* It's always something in home ownership.
trystinn: (basset)
Since I was already in a bad mood, I figured it was time to look at our bills. Here's a copy of the email I sent to Consumerist today:

I have a AAA Plus family membership that covers myself and my husband. We're a military family, my husband often deploys making his "associate membership" somewhat moot since he's out of the country on an aircraft carrier much of the time. While he's deployed, AAA has always allowed us to suspend his membership until he returns - just like many other companies, such as our insurance company. And they've done so gladly, which we've always appreciated. We've also bought multiple memberships for friends of ours for several years now as a holiday presents (which is generally $100 each), which they then upgrade at their own cost. I would consider us pretty loyal to the AAA, though I'm now wondering how loyal they are to us.

Today the auto-renewal notice arrived in our mailbox and curious I checked the website pricing versus the renewal notice. Apparently, being a "Loyal Member" since 2006 means we get to pay $15.50 more to include another member of the household, which is twice that charged of a new member. Which didn't seem right to me, doesn't loyalty count at all? So I called and was told it was a "Promotional Price" to encourage new members - which isn't mentioned on the website. We are paying the same Plus price as any new members, so I'm confused as to why the Associate Member price is the only one promoted with a discount. Especially since there's no language specifying "One Time Only", "Promotional", "New Member Price" or "Introductory Offer" listed at all on the entire page or even the Home Page.

Here's the language: "AAA Associate membership extends AAA services to the primary member's spouse or other household member (limited to one) residing at the same address and any unmarried children, 25 and younger, living at home or away at school. Remember, since we cover the member, not the vehicle, Associate memberships can keep your children, no matter how young, from being stranded if they are traveling with a relative, friend or babysitter who might not have AAA coverage. Add the first associate member for half-price - Save $15.50! Each additional Associate costs just $31 per year in addition to your Primary membership dues. All associate members will receive the same level of coverage as the Primary member, whether the Primary membership is Basic, Plus or PlusRV". (I've saved a copy of the page, if needed)

After repeated attempts to find out why we're being charged twice the website price, she finally said "I don't know how to explain this to you" and offered to transfer me to the Marketing Department. Unfortunately, she connected me to a Dennis Chandler who is out on vacation (according to his voicemail) until July 17th. I called back and after exhaustive conversation with another Associate who finally admitted he couldn't do anything since he couldn't give us an adjustment. He sent us to a supervisor, who after another exhaustive round of "look at the website", finally gave us the "one time only" adjustment and reiterated that I should call Mr. Chandler back when he returns from vacation.

Now, I'm wondering what we'll do for holiday gifts next year and still asking "So what gives AAA? Aren't loyal customers worth $15.50 to you?"

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