Monday, April 21, 2014

One For The Little Guy

Score one for the little guy.  Last fall I bought a small tablet computer on sale at Wal-Mart.  It wasn't anything fancy or powerful but was nice to have a device to jump onto the internet with that had a bigger screen than my phone.  Sure enough, hours after the warranty expired, it died.  No amount of re-setting or power-cycling would save it.  So I contacted the manufacturer and threw myself at the mercy of their sense of empathy.  They agreed to take it back and repair it - for more than half of what I paid for it.  Unacceptable.  So I thought that since I bought it with my American Express card, I would run the situation by AmEx and see if they could help.  Gave them a call and the nicest person took all of my information and said they would go to battle on my behalf.  They warned me it could take a while but they would see what they could do.  Today in the mail I got a letter from AmEx saying that Wal-Mart was unresponsive to their requests but in a good faith gesture, they were going to refund the cost of the tablet!  Nice, very nice.  I actually feel like someone in big business knows what it's like to have something die on them just out of warranty.  Thanks AmEx!

Friday, April 18, 2014


I was originally going to call this blog post Inconsiderate In NYC but I have found inconsiderate people are not limited to NYC.  On my train trip up to NYC yesterday, the woman in the seat ahead of me, who was of small to average stature (the woman, not the seat), had her seat tipped as far back as possible.  Practically in my lap.  Yes, it was certainly her "right" to tip back to the full extent allowable, but it is also her right to pass wind in an elevator - but both instances are just inconsiderate and rude.  Another train situation is the person who sits on the aisle seat, loads their belongings into the window seat, and then immerses themselves in their Pulitzer or Nobel Prize work on their laptop while seat-finders look longingly at the equipment occupied seat and then must amble onward looking for a truly vacant seat.  Who do these seat-fillers think they are?

I emerged from the bowels of Penn Station and made my way 7 blocks to the office.  On at least 3 occasions, I saw a pedestrian just about get plowed over by a car in the road.  In all 3 cases, the pedestrian disregarded the walk signals because they are obviously the 3 most important people on the planet and the traffic signals don't apply to them.  I noticed that rather than watching the signals, many of the people watch the traffic - regardless of the signal status, if there is a chance to sprint across the road, they do it.  And believe me, these people do not qualify as sprinters.  Things would run so much smoother if everyone just followed the signals.  On the other hand, there is the potential that 4 to 5 seconds of precious time might be wasted standing on the corner - or, as I have also seen, standing about 3 feet in the road...

When I got back to the train station parking garage where I started, I hopped in my car, paid the fee and headed out.  It wasn't until I was down the road a bit that I realized my passenger mirror was folded in.  Sure enough, when I got home I found someone had hit my mirror and knocked it in.  Didn't even bother to pop it back out.  Inconsiderate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pick A Card, Any Card

It's a rainy day and my work email is down - good day to catch up on the blog a little bit.  I think I haven't posted much because it is quicker to throw out a comment here and there on Facebook and get some immediate response; or not.  But as I have said before, I will try and keep up with this blog a little better.

Rather than going back and trying to fill in the last 8 months of things that happened, I will go back about a week and move forward from there.  Those 8 months may some day be referred to as the Apocryphal Blogs causing much debate and concern when my blog anthology is compiled.

Anyway, I got an email last week from a neighbor who found my credit cards and driver's license that were stolen last year.  The wallet turned up somewhere else in the 'hood.  The family who found my credit cards (hidden in a flower pot in their yard!) tracked me down and brought them over.  Very nice family and it was comforting to get them back (even though they were all canceled - good to know they weren't drifting around out there).

My next project is to buy/build some sort of a weather resistant cover for the fire pit.  Right now I have some old plywood over it but that is unsightly.  I thought about buying a plastic kiddie pool and putting it over the pit but that would look too red-necky.  My next idea is to get a piece of faux stone siding and cut it to size and place it on top.  That might work.