Friday, April 26, 2013

Rocks And Rings

First and most importantly, Lucie was in the hospital for kidney stone surgery this morning (planned).  She had yet another whopper of a stone causing problems so the doctor came up with a new approach (versus the sonic blaster and pulling it out) - lasering.  He went in with a scope and a laser and like Captain Kirk in the Enterprise, he blasted it to smithereens.  He put a temporary stent in so the tube wouldn't swell shut and the meteorites will wash on out.  Took about 3 hours including prep time and recovery.  She was in good spirits afterwards.  A bit uncomfortable but not necessarily in pain from the procedure.  She goes back next week for them to pull out the stent.  (BTW - I asked the doc why they don't just leave it in and let future stones just pass on through.  Turns out the urine is full of calcium and it would clog up the stent.  I think I just found a new invention - the anti-clogging urethra stent.  Any volunteer test subjects?)

Meanwhile, Elliott is out in Anaheim, CA sightseeing and having a blast - and doing a little DECA competing as well.  He is representing Delaware in the national competition.  He ran into some future Boston College attendees out there and he is having fun.  Ashleigh is doing well on her finals and will be home in a week or two.

Now about the rings...  The top left image is what is left of my original wedding ring from 26 years ago.  It was pretty thin metal and broke so we had it cut and mounted on another band about 25 years ago.  The other day I pulled the sliding glass door shut a bit too hard and it mashed the ring, and the finger in it, pretty good.  The ring took the biggest hit and it squashed into an oblong shape.  I had to get pliers to just get it off but I couldn't get it back into shape.  So I did some digging and found that tungsten is about the strongest metal you can get and it is quite inexpensive.  So I went to a few jewelry stores but wound up finding that one in the lower right at Kohl's.  After using a 30% savings coupon, gift card, and other markdowns, I got it for 74% off!  It is thick and heavy which are terms I can identify with...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hard To Get Good Service

Things have been going pretty well for the Hale Family lately - well, for most of us.  My job just keeps getting better and better and it is going excellent.  Elliott got accepted into Boston College and we are now waiting for his financial aid package to be revealed.  He is heading to Anaheim, CA later this month for his DECA competition and his last report card was straight A's keeping him in the Top 10 at his school.  Ashleigh came home for Easter weekend and is doing fine with her school work.  She spent her spring break in Panama City, FL with Campus Crusade for Christ doing beach witnessing (someone has to do it!).  Lucie is working part-time at Michael's teaching scrap-booking and is going to Phoenix, AZ next week to visit her brother (she had a gift card and got a great deal for the flight).  She will be bringing a little extra baggage with her - kidney stones.  They are back.  She has been managing the pain but it varies day to day, hour to hour.  Waiting to see what treatment plan her doctor recommends.

So customer service at restaurants - seems to be a thing of the past.  A few weeks ago we went to a new local seafood restaurant chain and waited quite a while to be served.  The food was good and they were new so we weren't too concerned.  Went back last week.  Waited 15 minutes just for our drink order to be taken and an entire hour (I timed it) for our meal to come out.  At the 45 minute mark I asked the manager what the problem was and he blamed it on the kitchen.  I made sure to say the waitress was very attentive and not to be blamed.  When the food came out 15 minutes later, the waitress was upset and had been crying.  To make it worse, our bill wasn't right (they should have given us the meal!).  A couple of days ago we grabbed our Hardee's coupons and headed off to the drive-thru for a buy one, get one free burger special.  Very simple - 4 burgers.  No meals or anything extra.  We got to the pick up window and waited, and waited, and waited...  Finally they told us to pull around to the front and someone would bring us our food.  So we did.  And we waited.  After 8 minutes we went back through the drive-thru.  Oh, they were so sorry.  Terribly sorry.  So sorry that they gave us free apple pies.  TWO!  What?!  Clearly there are 4 of us...  On a positive note, our friends took us out to Chili's and we had GREAT service and a good time.  So it's not all bad.  At least I didn't think so till this morning.  I was filling out the online customer review survey for Dunkin Donuts (they give you a code for a free donut when you submit it) and I happened to notice on the bill that without asking, they gave me the senior discount...