Friday, December 29, 2006

Damn store warranties.

I am never buying another piece of computer equipment from Office Depot ever again. Never. Never Never.

Last year my dad got me a PDA from Office Depot for Christmas. It was a floor model, so a lot of people had been poking at it before we got it. So, we bought the extended warranty because we figured I would need it.

About two weeks ago, it died on me. (touchscreen quit working) So, I called OD and tried to tell them it was dead and I wanted their warranty dept to either fix it or replace it like they said they would.

OD tells me that it's still under manufacturers warranty and wouldnt deal with me. So, I called the manufacturer ( HP products) and they told me "sorry, manufacturers warranty expired on the 8th". So, I called OD back and told them what HP said. Emailed OD my receipt as proof.

OD claims that it's still under manufacturers warranty because I didnt register the PDA till December 26th. ( was a Xmas present) HP said that because it was bought December 8th that the 1yr warranty has expired. Office Depot is giving me the royal runaround and I get the feeling they dont want to honor their warranty contract.

I just spent a half hour listening to the crappiest hold music to find out that the warranty dept hasnt even bothered looking at my claim yet.

The guy on the phone said that if I know the PDA is unrepairable that I should go ahead and purchase a new PDA while they get things sorted out. Ummm...just how am I supposed to do that? They havent sent me the giftcard they give you when your warrantied item cant be repaired. Plus the fact that they dont even offer HP pda's in their store anymore, so I'm going to have to buy my next pda straight from HP (and I'm pretty sure they wont take an OD giftcard)

I explained that to Emilio, the barely intelligible warranty guy. (I know the warranty dept is in Florida, and there are lots of Spanish speaking people there, but can they at least hire someone who can enunciate clearly? I dont care if English was their 5th language, I just want to be able to understand what the hell the guy is saying to me without making him repeat himself because he cant pronounce the simplest words!!) Emilio told me that sometimes instead of a giftcard they can send a check, but that a check takes FOUR WEEKS to be processed. (what the f...?) It's nearly 3 weeks since my pda died...something that I'm not very happy about. (I used my pda for more than just reading fanfiction and playing solitaire) Now I've got to wait another four weeks??!?

Next time we get anything electronic or computer related, I'm going to Best Buy. They have repair people in the store...and their warranties are much much better...and next time I'll tell my dad not to buy the floor model.

I think I'll go write Office Depot a strongly worded letter about the crappy hold music they had on their phones. I dont think I'm ever getting that stupid song out of my head. I'm probably going to have to go listen to the song that I hate most in this world to get their hold music out of my head. (not telling what song I hate most in this clue's by Toni Basil)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

10 years ago today...

Ten years ago tonight (probably right about now...2am) TinyMonsters was born. Seems like he was just a puppy...

Too bad I cant clone him. (I have some of his hair...maybe someday?)

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Ohmygosh! We (my mom and I) got all our presents wrapped tonight. I actually ran out of my fabric bags (that's never happened before!) and had to resort to wrapping paper for about 4 presents.

While my mom and I were wrapping those, we both commented that my fabric gift bags are so much easier. We were both having problems holding the paper down while trying to wrangle with the tape dispenser.

The tree looks weird without the dog fence around it. (I miss TinyMonsters...his birthday is tomorrow, the 26th. He'd be 10 if he hadnt died in March)

I took some pictures of the tree tonight, but I'm too tired to load the pictures onto my computer to post them here now.

This is the last year for our current tree. It's going to a new home (friend of my dad's is taking it) We bought a new skinnier (not pre-lit) tree on sale at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. ('bout $45 for a 7.5 footer) My pre-lit tree was slowly becoming un-lit. The woman taking our old tree doesnt mind that not all the branches will light up. It's a good decent tree. I'll miss it a little bit, but I wanted a skinnier tree...It'll fit better in the place we're going to be putting it up in every year, and plus the new tree wont take up as much room in our Xmas closet.

I didnt get as excited about christmas this year as I have in other years. Think it was a combination of the weather, my eye being weird and colors not looking normal and maybe my dog dying last March. Just wasnt fun without Tiny trying to steal glass balls off the tree or trying to steal the fabric bags from under the tree. (he'd stick his head over the fence and try to get a mouthful of fabric to steal)

Yesterday and today was about the first time I got excited at all about shopping. Took my mom to Target to get stuff for my dad, went to WM with both my parents to shop for something that dad wanted to get for all of us (WM was out of the item) and then went to Kmart with my dad so that he could get my mom a few more presents because she seemed to have bought more for him than he did for her. I guess he wanted to even things out under the tree and this is probably why we ran out of bags this year. (I even made 5 or 6 new ones too!)

For dinner my dad cooked out on our grill (in 40 degree weather!) We didnt realize it till we started cooking, but we need to add another light to our patio. Dad had to grill by flashlight light. The steaks turned out perfect (dad's was a bit well done) and we had asparagus, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with it. I was going to make biscuits but got sidetracked and forgot about them till we were bringing the steaks in.

My dad got himself an early present a few weeks ago. A digital videocamera. I'm still trying to figure out how to get the video onto my computer...not that I'll upload much video to the internet...dont have my dog to do cute and interesting things...he's about the only thing I'd have been interested in uploading to my blog.

I'm sleepy and worn out tonight...been taking an antibiotic for an infection this weekend and I think that's done a number on me too.

I think I hear the reindeer...better go to bed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Yikes! Xmas is getting closer!

Good thing I wasnt crocheting anything as a gift...I've been neglecting my crochet projects and cheating on them with the knitting needles. (not knitting anything for anyone...just trying to make something for myself)

I may be a little closer in figuring out why my right leg has had numbness in it since April. (it may have something to do with a couple of back injuries I had a few months apart in '99, and a hip injury I got tripping ONTO and OFF of the train at the local zoo the day my hip went numb.)

I went to the doctor on thursday because the numbness changed in intensity and MOVED to another spot on my leg. I was disturbed enough by that and another symptom or two to go to a doctor. So, I had an ever so delightful (not) experience in an MRI machine again today. (MRIs and claustrophobia do not mix very well) Got a nice MRI of my lower back and spine...with a nice little injection of contrast medium (gadolinium). I better not go to the airport for awhile. I might set off their radiation detectors. I look like a junkie because I apparently have small veins. The MRI tech had to poke me repeatedly to find a good vein to put the contrast into.

I hate MRI's, but at least they dont put you all the way in for a lower back MRI, (they do for a brain MRI and they strap you down with all sorts of kinky stuff so you dont move. Eeek! and when they say "open machine"...that's a lie...I dont consider it "open" if I have a giant magnet about 2 inches from the end of my nose) Having to lay completely still (you can move your arms a teeny bit for a spinal MRI) for about 40 minutes is not fun at all. (an hour and a half to two hours for a brain MRI...not fun when you're strapped down!) My back is pissed at me now.

I spent some of the time listening to country music on headphones and thinking up what I want to crochet/and or knit next. Part of the time was taken up with wishing I could scratch the itchy spot on my right knee.

I've been working on some stuff for Christmas. About 5 or 6yrs ago I got my first sewing machine. It was a WalMart special (pretty much a piece of junk) I had it for about 4 or 5 months when my dad bought me a Husquvarna Viking machine. I cheerfully gave up my WM Special (gave it to my cousin) and have totally embraced the Viking. I still cant do much more than straight lines down the fabric, but I do have fun making simple gift bags to use at Christmas.

My dad LOVES the gift bags. He's wrapping paper challenged. Growing up I could always tell which parent wrapped the presents. My mom's were obsessive-compulsively taped down on the ends, paper folded almost perfect and she was fairly thrifty with the amounts of paper she used. And she would put a tag on the present that said who it was for and if it was from the parents or Santa.

My dad on the other hand was just happy that the presents were wrapped so that we couldnt see what was inside. And he would write mine and my sister's first initials on the paper instead of using a tag. Sometimes you couldnt tell where he wrote our initials. He'd have to take a moment or two to search all over the present for the letters "E" and "S". Sometimes he wouldnt be able to find it so he'd guess (wrong).

So my dad was totally thrilled the first time I made a fabric gift bag. So now, every year I pull out the sewing machine and crank out a couple of bags for him to use. We're pretty much almost exclusively using fabric bags for gift wrap now.

I've also got several oversized pieces of fabric that I hemmed the cut edges. We either just drape that fabric over any oversized gifts, or I've even wrapped a present or two with the fabric like you would with paper, using cloth ribbon to tie it closed. It's kind of fun. I reuse the ribbons every year, and last year my mom and I decided to not toss out the gift tags. I'd been using the kind that have a hole punched in the corner and string looped thru the tag. You just slip the tag onto the ribbon before you tie the bag closed and everything's all set. My dad just totally loves this. I think he's going to let me get some fabric (when it goes on clearance after Xmas) to make more bags. He wants me to have more of the larger bags. The largest bags that I've made are about pillow case size. 1yd of fabric, I pin the selvages together, and one end of the bag. And I hem the opening. Very easy to make. Made a few the other day. Took me about 20 or 30 minutes to make 3 bags. (used half yard pieces of fabric.)

I'll take a few pictures of my tree tomorrow with some of the presents under the tree.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yep...I was right....

The fickleness of my optic nerve is starting to get on my nerves. (yes...wasnt that punny?)

I had some improvement over the weekend, and then monday morning I get up and my left optic nerve is screaming (in pain) "Just kidding!!"

And then I went to get my new glasses Rx filled yesterday. That's just made the optic nerve even more angry at me. The new lenses are making dizzy, and my left eye is not liking the change at all...Altho, I am pleased with my vision out of my good eye. Wow...nice, crisp and clear. Very happy with that.

The left eye, with the new glasses, has a bit sharper vision, but the damned fogginess and decreased color perception still sucks. And just so every one knows, new glasses wont improve the fogginess and decreased color perception. That's a nerve problem and the best corrective lenses in the world do nothing for improving that. I have to wait for it to heal, if it does. Which can take up to a year. If it doesnt improve within 2yrs, it's probably going to be permanent.

It's not so much the fuzzy vision that bugs me. I can deal with that. It's the wonky color vision that bothers me. I never realized how much I love color until this happened. Yarn shopping isnt as exciting as it once was. I went clothes shopping and found a nice red skirt (and a black one too) that I liked. Bought them, brought them home, hoping that the red would match a red shirt I have. Put the shirt and skirt together and wasnt sure about the color until I showed them to my parents. (didnt match, but gives me an excuse to go shopping for a matching shirt now)

At least I know my eye is capable of's teasing me enough with the glimpses of good vision. Just wish it would hurry up and make up it's mind.


We got the Xmas tree out of the store room the other day...and it sat on the floor in the family room for several more days. Tonight we took the tree upstairs, put it in the spot where it's going to sit for the next month or so. I went as far as plugging in the lights on the tree (it's pre-lit) to make sure they work. We're buying a new tree this year. Either after Xmas, or before if we find one we like at a good price. I dont think I'll be getting another pre-lit tree. They're nice, but once the lights start to go fubar.

Not that I dont add extra lights to the tree. Since 9-11, I've done a patriotic themed tree. My tree already has clear lights on it, so I just add a string of red and a string of blue...put my patriotic ornaments on it. This year, I'll have to either cover up the dead light spots with the red or blue lights, or pile on the garland.

At least I dont have to put the dog fence up. I miss Tiny, and would gladly corral my tree again to have Tiny back, but it is kind of nice to see the tree without a 3 foot tall metal fence surrounding it. As soon as I get the tree decorated, I'll post some pictures of it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Whoohoo! real improvement!

I was crocheting tonight (gosh, what a surprise? Me? Crocheting...) and I noticed something. My left eye didnt feel like it was pulling towards my nose like it has been...and the lamps in my room werent making me feel like I wanted to rip them out of the wall and toss them into the backyard. And it feels like my eyeballs are finally starting to cooperate with each other again.

So now I think I had some improvement in my visual acuity tonight. Colors still look wonky and slightly washed out, but the fuzzies and blurries are nowhere near as bad as they were yesterday or even this morning. Reds still look weird (kind of an orange-ness quality to them) and greens are a little funky looking. Light doesnt look as dim either.

all I can say is IT'S ABOUT DAMNNED TIME!!!!!!!!!!!

and I'm fully expecting things to look crappy again tomorrow. I've had bits and pieces of improvement for several weeks now, but it hasnt always stuck'll get better and then a little bit later my eye goes "just kidding" and gets wonky again. It's less wonky each time, but this is the best bit of improvement that I've noticed in a long time.

It's also been exactly 15 weeks since my left optic nerve decided to go on it's little vacation. Yep. 15 weeks ago at this very moment, I was curled up on my bed, crying because my head hurt so bad. Worst migraine of my life. Ever. (The second worst migraine was about 3 weeks ago, after walking around in WalMart...those fluorescent lights are just evil)

And may I re-iterate that if you ever have a headache that you would call THE WORST HEADACHE YOU'VE EVER HAD...Go. To. The. Doctor. Immediately!

From what I gathered from the 3 doctors I saw for this problem this was caused by either a virus or a bacterial infection (actually I saw 5 doctors, but one was an ER doc and the other was my regular doctor and they referred me to 3 that helped figure out what was wrong) I had strep throat for about a week before my eye went fubar, and apparently it decided to set up shop in my optic nerve.

Hopefully my vision will stay normal from now on...especially tomorrow. We're taking my mom to see A Christmas Carol for her birthday. Movies havent been a problem for my vision, but I'm not sure about a live play.

As for what I was crocheting tonight...I pulled a couple of projects that I havent worked on for the past 3 months out and did some work on them. Finished a chenille scarf for my aunt Jan. Worked on a star shaped afghan that's half finished, worked on yet another pineapple shawl, I knitted a little bit (learned how to increase AND decrease in knitting! yay!), worked on a shawl I'm making with Joann's Rainbow Boucle', and in a non-yarn moment, I arranged the fabric that I'm going to make gift bags out of later this weekend with my sewing machine (as long as my vision doesnt go out of order again.)

I was quite productive tonight. :)

I even cleaned my closet out last night.

and I picked up my Rx sunglasses from Sam's Club this afternoon. (where were these whenever my eyeball exploded when out in the sun, or near any source of light?!? Now I get them...argh) Now I just need to go to Lenscrafters and get new lenses for my regular glasses. (got a new Rx) At least my Lenscrafters lenses can be made in an hour.

At least now I can see...for the moment.