Thursday, October 22, 2009


I love talking to verizon and ‘communications’ companies in general. Get that, a "Communications" company. ha.
- I talk to the internet people: I made changes to the account, I need to clarify billing. They say, “great we’ll get it done. We’ll make the change, but you need to talk to the phone people before it’s all final.”
- Ok. I talk to the people, they say, “ok, makes sense, but you need to talk to the financial people.”
- Ok. I talk to the financial people. They say, “fine, but you need to talk to the internet people.”
- I say, “I already talked to the internet people.”
- They say, “hmmm, yeah, well you need to talk to the internet people and tell them to talk to the financial people.”
- I say, “you are the financial people.”
- “Yes, but we’re not the internet people, so we can’t make the change until we talk to the internet people.”
- “Yes, but if I talked to the internet people and they told me to talk to the phone people who told me to talk to financial people, then why can’t you just talk to the internet people now, or just make the change final.”
- “Well, we have different software.”
- I can say nothing. So I wait.
- “And it sometimes takes 2 billing cycles to update a change.”
- “But the bill is theoretically due next week.”
- “Well you definitely should follow up.”
- “That’s what I’m doing.”
- “You should just have the internet people finalize everything.”
- “That’s was the goal of my phone call to them. They told me to talk to the phone people who told me to talk to you.”
- “Well, just have them come talk to us.”
- “Ok… so…I guess I need to clarify things: why do I, the customer, have to be the instrument through which the employees talk to each other, especially since a) you can’t do anything based on what I tell you (or you’d make it final right now), and b) it takes me 20 minutes of muzak each time I need to transfer. Why can’t you just talk to them or pass the information along?”
- “Well…how about I call over there with you right now?”
- “Fine.” And then they begin calling over there. I can hear a few rings while we both wait on the line. Then:
- “The number you have reached is not in service… The number you have reached is not in service…The number you have reached is not in service…”
- “Hello? Hello? Financial people? Are you still there?
- Nope. Guess I’ll call back tomorrow.
(As you probably guessed from your own experiences, multiple iterations of this conversation were omitted in my retelling. Each line of the conversation was repeated two or three times before moving to the next hard return.)
- Was this the first rant this blog has seen?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Top Ten of the Summer

Top Ten Things That Can Fit Into Your Hand And That I Ate On The Road Trip Across The Country (in no particular order)

  • Kyle ’s espresso in Jackson, Wyoming

  • Good good beers in Greenlake, Seattle

  • Raw chicken gizzard at Glynwood Center, Hudson River Valley, NY

  • Doughnuts from Sultan Bakery, Hwy 2, Washington

  • Charcuterie at Barb’s (devilled eggs, great cheese, salami, pink wine, etc.)

  • Crab legs from the tanks at Central Market, eaten on the porch

  • Italian plums (which I was picking in my dream last night) from the tree by the pond, Kingston, washington

  • Chamomile ice cream & the best kind of birthday cake a boy could ever want (angel food), at the Lake

  • Wintergreen lifesavers, to keep you alert on the road, on the road

  • Huckleberry milkshake from Victor Emporium, Victor, Idaho

now, what are your top ten of the summer?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

half way there and still going

It is hard to believe we have finished the first week of October!! I can't keep up the pace if October is going to keep me moving at this rate. As you all know, David and I started the month in Spokane for Lisa and Erik's wedding. It was a very nice evening celebrating a couple very well matched and very gracious. I enjoyed visiting with Deb and Vic, Gary's brother and sister-in-law, and Grace, Gary's mother. It was unfortunate that Phloris could not be there because I know she would have loved it. She and Grace are good friends.

On returning to the west side of the mountains, David headed for San Diego and I headed home to start the "cork tile" project. It was now or never! Monday morning I moved furniture around to one side of the house and ran up to the rent-it center to get the 100 pound floor roller. Starting on the bridge by the door, I worked my way forward to the bedroom. Half way through the bridge I realized I really needed to get the tiles rolled before evening, so rather than wait for the return of neighbors I hauled the roller upstairs, doing leg presses at each stair-step. There were a few moments of worry when I thought I might tip head-over-heels and end up flying thought the door at the bottom of the stairs but I made it upstairs. I cut, laid and rolled the rest of the bridge, 2 closets and the middle of the bedroom. I finished by 11:30 pm with every muscle ready to go to bed. After washing tools and myself, I took Duffy outside and ... wait for it...locked myself out of the house!

Do we have and extra key outside? NO! Fortunately it was a full moon and a clear sky so I could see to get the ladder and climb over the upper deck. I threw myself over the deck because of course I am too short to put my leg over. Fortunately I fell onto the deck and not backwards into the rhododendrons. Always an adventure.

Today I rested! Picked Asian pears, dried fruit and looked at bathroom sinks at Loews. I think I am ready to finish the second half tomorrow. Not to worry though. I put a key outside!

Keep accepting new challenges! Where is the fun in doing what you already know?

Love, Mama Llama

Goathead Thorns

Ventured out for my first real ride, out from this city of bikes. Headed out through orchards and fields, toward Lake Berryessa. A beautiful beautiful ride - after 20 miles. The 1st 20 are spend on straight, flat roads, surrounded by row after row of trees or ploughed earth. But at least they're quiet - only the passing truck filled with rancher, pickers, or tomatoes. Here's evidence of a tomato truck that had more than it's share:

The hills - a section of coastal mountains between the central valley and nappa / the bay - are steep, dry, gold and green. And after the flat hour out, it was great to power up to the steep pass. I turned around an decided to head home a slightly different way - a busier road that kept me on the white line. I accidentally shifted of the pavement at one point, was on gravel for about 3/4 of a second, then shifted back up. But heard a click click that meant something was on my wheel and brushing against my frame. I stopped to examine and found at least 8 spiky thorns in my front tire. I pulled one out and heard a hiss.
Got out my patch kit and patched two holes in the front tire. then broke the valve when I was pumping the tire back up. So I put in the new tube I had in my bag. All was well, until I realized that I should check my back tire as well. It was already flat. Thorns removed then 3 holes to patch. The valve broke on this tube as well - need to do a better job with this tricky pump - but it was still taking air. But one of the patches was failing, so I road for a mile or so, out of the saddle, and then started walking. By the time all this patching and changing was done, and I had walked a few miles, Susan was out of class and drove to pick me up, still 10 miles or so out of town. Bear in mind, I have kevlar beaded tires that are not supposed to puncture and with which I have ridden through glass, potholes, and innumerable other undesirable conditions. But there's these thorns out here with 3 small spikes designed, like a tripod, to keep a fourth, giant spike pointing straight up, and into my tire. A few good lessons for the first day out: the mountains are farther away than they appear, stay off any gravel, and bring lots of tubes!
More info I just found: The Goathead Thorn
They really are evil little sons of female jerks!