20 December 2006

This is why I drive a gas-guzzling SUV with four-wheel drive - so in weather like this, I can at least get to the store to get baby food, which is the item I forgot to stock up on before the storm hit. The baby fruit, anyway, which Geiger* has come to expect at the end of every meal. Last time we had a storm like this, diaper rash cream was the forgotten item, and Mad Libs* ended up with the worst case of diaper rash I've ever seen.

We're twelve hours into a thirty-hour storm. By tomorrow, I bet we can't get out of the house without snowshoes, which we don't have. They're on my Christmas list, but I don't think anyone took me seriously enough to actually buy them for me. After we took this picture, we had to break out the snow shovel to get the door closed again.

That's my Australian Shepherd, Bella, peering over the snowdrifts that have piled up to our doorknobs. At two o'clock this afternoon, the snow in the front yard was above my knees. When I went out to run the few errands that seemed really urgent, such as picking up baby food and going to the bank, visibility was down to a few car lengths, and there was at least a foot of snow just sitting on the roads.

*Mudbug and Boo have earned the new nicknames of Geiger and Mad Libs. Mudbug has always liked it when I click my tongue, and about a month ago she started doing it herself. I can sit in my office chair and she swims around the room (she doesn't quite crawl yet, but she can swim rather quickly) and all I hear is *click*click*click*click*click*. Boo has started interjecting odd words into his sentences. They're the right part of speech, for instance, ordering his vanilla steamer with no foam and no belly buttons. Thus the Mad Libs moniker.

14 December 2006

Caveat emptor - Dillon Millsap is at it again

A year ago, my husband preordered an Xbox 360 from Alliwire.com, a company that seemed to have a decent reputation - references were listed on the site, there was an active forum that seemed to have customers posting on it, etc. Shortly before the launch date, the owner of the website, Dillon Millsap, announced that his seller for the 360s that he had promised to ship had disappeared with everyone's money. He kept promising to refund everyone's money, and some refunds were issued (including my husband's, after I called the sheriff in Denton County, TX and started inquiring about pressing charges). All the while, he's posting on his forums about various Xbox 360 games that he's playing. During all of this mess, he announced that he was a 17-year-old high school student and that he could just bow out of paying for any of this - a notion I think he was rather quickly disabused of when disgruntled customers started calling his parents and threatening small claims suits against them.

As far as I know, there are still people who have not received a refund - a quick bop around Google shows people posting as recently as September that still are out their cash. The people I feel really sorry for are the people who told this kid that they'd hang in there for their systems, and that they were confident that he would eventually come through. He also was delisted from Ebay at about the same time, although whether the two events were related I don't know.

Alliwire.com has been down for a while. I was doing some research on where to find a PS3 or a Wii, just in case I happened on some poor soul that had one for sale and didn't have the connections to advertise it well enough to run up the price. I came across a post on Cheap Ass Gamers from a year ago that mentioned that alliwire.com was doing PS3 preorders. I started wondering whatever happened to Dillon Millsap - I knew he'd been NARUed from Ebay, and that he'd closed down most of his contact information. A Google search turned up this post from someone posting as Dillon Millsap - with a homepage of entertainextreme.com. The kid's advertising that he has four years experience in selling game consoles. I don't see any mention that one of those four years was spent not delivering $40,000 worth of preorders. He's also relisted on Ebay - although I see that he's sold two items and one of the items never reached the buyer.

Oh, and guess what - on entertainextreme.com he has a section for preorders! Get yer ice-cold ripoff here!

I wonder if his parents are aware that he's back in the Internet fraud business.

11 December 2006

Oh, and

The last eight weeks have been about as stressful as life can get without someone dying. More later. I've got a stack of stuff I've been planning on writing about, but haven't had time to. I even had a post in my head for Thanksgiving mentioning that I was thankful that we had so much paying work that I hadn't had time to think about blogging, but I didn't have time to post it.

Waah freakin waah

I've never been so happy to hear that someone is being driven insane...

Quote: "Using solitary confinement, Supermax is designed to inflict as much misery and pain as is constitutionally permissible."

I'd be disappointed if it wasn't.

12 November 2006

More bodies than morgue space...

...in Baghdad.

And we want to offer a timetable to pull out? Are the Dems f'ing NUTS? We shouldn't be leaving until the only bodies showing up in morgues are the bodies of 'insurgents'.

Silly Parenting Tip #2

If you unbuckle your baby from his/her carseat for comfort while you're waiting someplace, clip your keys to the carseat. That way, you remember to buckle the baby back in before you go driving off somewhere.

Don't ask how I know this one.

07 November 2006

Voting wait times

There's a three hour wait at the Thornton Rec Center, but there is a fifteen minute wait at the firehouse at 140th and Colorado Blvd.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, part 2

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say that John Kerry made his comment about the intelligence and work ethic of our troops, and continues to press the issue, to sabotage all the gay rights bills on the ballots across the nation in this election. Kerry didn't show up for the vote on the Defense of Marriage Act in '04, and his recent remarks are a way of mobilizing the right to show up at the polls, and, as a consequence, sink every gay rights bill. You know, since so many conservatives were saying they were so disgusted with the state of things that they weren't going to even bother showing up to vote.

(h/t: Ace of Spades)

If I were a conspiracy theorist, part 1

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd go out and fill all my cars up today, because gas prices are controlled by Chimpy McHitlerburton and the cost of filling up my gas-guzzling SUV will be going up like my husband jumping on a chair to avoid a spider.

06 November 2006

Waah! My Senseo is dead!

Or at least on its last legs, anyway. Everything breaks down a month after the warranty expires, or if it is still under warranty, it's impossible to actually get it fixed (yes, I'm talking to you, CES Covina).

The Senseo just suddenly stopped forcing water through the pod. Enough water will come through when there's no pod in it, but as soon as I put a pod in, it only fills my mug a third of the way.

I'm thinking about buying a SimpleHuman Pod Brewer, but there's not the instant gratification of having my coffee RIGHT NOW - or even this week, possibly. Thursday seems like about as long as I'd want to wait. But there's no way to tell how long it takes SimpleHuman to ship. UPDATE: Crate and Barrel actually carries it in store!

I guess this solves the problem of my bimonthly coffee delivery from Cool Beans not being here yet. I was grousing about that this morning, as I'm out of my favorite brews from them, Midnight Blend and Sumatra Mandheling. The *really* odd thing about it is, they charged my card on the 31st, but I still haven't received a shipping notice. Not typical of them.

02 November 2006

Silly Parenting Tip #1

When we just had one kid, it was easy to handle medication dosing - one person (usually me, since I'm the stay-at-home parent) was in charge of medication and keeping track of when the last dose was given. With two kids, the lack of time, and the lack of sleep, my husband's reluctant to wake me up to ask just when was the last time I gave Boo a dose of ibuprofen for his ear infection? And what's his dose again? And am I really giving a coherent, accurate answer when I'm not awake?

I bought a dry-erase board that's designed to go on the inside of a locker, so it has magnets on the back. It hangs out on our refrigerator. The dosages for every medicine that the kids could possibly need is written on it, and when we give one of the kids some medicine, we write the date and time on the dry-erase board. The important thing to remember is to write the date and time on the board just before giving the medication, to ensure you're checking the last medication time before dosing.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a link to the dry erase board I bought, and most of the 'magnetic' dry erase boards just seem to accept magnets rather than being magnetic themselves. I would think that magnetic tape could be bought to be stuck to the back of a lightweight dry erase board. The board I bought is really only big enough for two kids worth of medication anyway - if I were this gal, for instance, I'd probably need at least an 11x14 board. (Chris has a fantastic blog, hop on over there if you haven't read it.)

23 October 2006

Another priceless headline

The question is, a hit of what?

22 October 2006

Yep, this is why we want undocumented aliens coming across our borders unchecked.

Chicken with Chicken Gravy

Mudbug tried Gerber Chicken with Chicken Gravy out this morning. The cats liked it much better than she did.

Band on the Run

Boo's interpretation of the Wings classic, Band on the Run.

He calls this the 'owie dance'.

14 October 2006

This is a recipe for some really awesome chicken. We made it last weekend, even though there were no lemons in the store so we had to use bottled lemon juice, and it was still really tasty, tender and flavorful. I've got the real thing with real lemons (although I still didn't get around to brining the chicken) cooking in my oven right now, and my stomach is rumbling and my mouth is watering from the smells coming from my kitchen.

Plus the recipes on this guy's site make me laugh. I just wish he'd get around to posting his Hollandaise recipe, or at least make an email available so I could ask him if really good Hollandaise tastes like the stuff I had at the Delectable Egg or more like the crappy yolkey-tasting stuff that I've had the misfortune to have at a couple of restaurants and created in my own kitchen. He promised he'd post his Hollandaise recipe someday in his Eggs Benedict recipe, and I want it now, dammit!

13 October 2006

Hyperreactive bronchial airways

I was surprised to find that this Google search only has one hit. Am I the only person in the world who develops a persistent cough after any kind of respiratory illness?

06 October 2006

God hates Westboro Baptist Church

As much as I dislike most of the causes the ACLU takes up, I understand their purpose - someone has to take the extreme position. I think they've gone too far this time, though. The ACLU is filing lawsuits on behalf of Westboro Baptist Church in three states to challenge laws designed to keep protesters like the ones affiliated with Westboro away from funerals, and is conducting an inquiry in Illinois as to whether the law to keep hate away from funerals is being properly upheld. Apparently the ACLU doesn't consider phrases like "God hates fags", "God hates your tears", "God hates America", and "Thank God for dead soldiers" fighting words.

Half of the Phelps family are ministers (if they can be called that) in Westboro Baptist Church, the other half are lawyers - does the ACLU really think they can't take care of themselves?

The Phelps family also recently threatened to picket the funerals of the Amish girls murdered in Lancaster, PA, claiming the Amish brought it upon themselves by practicing a false religion, unless someone agreed to give them air time to spew their hatred. In effect, they were holding those little girls hostage again. They picketed the Sago Mine funerals, and Coretta Scott King's funeral. Apparently no one but members of this cult are exempt from hate.

I remember years and years ago when the Phelpses would come down to Oklahoma City to protest at the funerals of people who had died of AIDS-related illnesses. Back then, a lot of people thought it was funny. Is it so funny now?

On a side note, if any of you are thinking about voting Democrat to keep people like Phelps down, please consider that Fred Phelps was a delegate at the '88 Democratic convention, for Al Gore, and has been very active in fundraising for Gore. Plus Gore invited Phelps to both of Clinton's inaugurations. The Republican Party may not be fighting for gay rights, but they're not pretending to be on your side while stabbing you in the back (yes, Clinton, that's directed at you and Don't Ask Don't Tell too).

(h/t: Discarded Lies)

01 October 2006

Udi's and Saxby's

I'm usually wary of sandwiches in plastic boxes, especially sandwiches with mayonnaise - to me they're reminiscent of that nasty egg salad sandwich that's the only sandwich left in the vending machine, that you don't dare eat because it's been there for six months. Plus I'm just not that crazy about mayo. But I skedaddled to a coffee shop* to get some work done today, and I was tired of bagels, so I tried an Udi's Curry Chicken Wrap. This sandwich is *really* good.

Interestingly enough, the Saxby's I frequent isn't listed in the store locations on their website, even though I am certain the storefront picture on the website is this location. It's a shame, because this is a pretty excellent coffee shop for a chain. The coffee's good, they use Monin syrup (which is the only way to go if you like sugar-free syrups), the staff goes the extra mile, and they keep your freebies on their computer so you don't have to carry around yet another coffee card.

UPDATE: My Saxby's quit carrying Udi's. They got me hooked on the Curry Chicken Wrap, and then they yanked it away from me. Waah!

30 September 2006

If it were me, I'd be asking the ad designer for my money back.

14 September 2006

Happy (late) birthday to me!

I think I had one of my best birthdays ever yesterday, even though it wasn't a terribly remarkable day.

We started off by dropping Hubby off at work since we had evening plans. I was planning on taking the kids to breakfast at either the Delectable Egg or Racine's, but I had an abrupt change of plans. Since it was too early to go to lunch, we went to Colorado Mills mall, where we found this little gem in black for Boo. Of course, the best part about it for Boo is that it has a nice, long, soft tag. He has a thing for tags, running them through his fingers constantly, even in his sleep, even to the point of asking me to hold clothes in the dressing room at the mall so he can play with their tags. We also found a pair of light-up shoes since he's just about outgrown his last pair of sneakers.

Then, off to lunch! We had taken Boo to Casa Bonita for birthdays one, two and three, but we were too tired after three hours of bowling to make it there for birthday four. Hubby has never understood my fascination with this place, but we went there for birthdays almost every year when I was growing up, and so even though the food is not great, it still tastes exactly the same as it did thirty years ago, and it tastes like a special occasion to me. The Casa Bonita that was in Oklahoma City has nothing on the Denver Casa Bonita - the Denver Casa Bonita is over 50,000 square feet, complete with a waterfall, cliff divers, a (fake) gorilla, and a mariachi band. It was slower than I've ever seen it yesterday - normally we end up standing in line at least 45 minutes to get our food and be seated, but apparently once school is in session, their crowd drops noticeably.

Boo thought Casa Bonita was the coolest place ever, looking around with his eyes open wide and his mouth agape. He loved the cliff divers, and was thrilled when one came over to talk to him. All he talked about afterwards was that mommy got to see divers and a gorilla and a man with a net (to catch the gorilla) on her birthday. Mudbug had no comment.

After Casa Bonita was Little Gym, where Boo is taking a sports skills class on Wednesdays. They're currently learning soccer, and Boo got to be the goalie!

Then it was off to the Rapids game, where the Rapids handily dispatched the Chicago Fire, 1-0. For once, Joe Cannon just didn't have that much work to do - the ball rarely even approached the goal. Mudbug amused everyone by trying to grab for my Italian Sausage dog, and Boo was his usual charming self.

After the game and putting the kids to bed, I got the coolest birthday present money could buy - a pair of fuzzy zebra skin Chuck Taylors. I mentioned several months ago that I had my eye on these, but had refrained from buying them since I knew Hubby was making notes for birthday presents. Hubby had to hunt all over for them, because they were made in an extremely limited supply and everyone was sold out of my size by the time he got around to shopping for them. He found a shop in
Canada that specializes in out-of-manufacture Chucks, and fortunately, they had a pair in my size.

I also got the best present money can't buy - a day with near perfect behavior from the kids.

12 September 2006

Joe the Spider

My husband is terrified of spiders. It's probably his biggest fear, right up there with flying and water and illness. When I worked in an office, I had a coworker who would bring me spiders, and I'd keep them at the office in a terrarium because there was no way I was going to torment my husband with arachnids.

A few weeks ago, I found a pretty good-sized spider in our house. Wasn't sure what it was, so I scooped it up in a jar and took it out to our flowerbed. In the process, I accidentally lopped off one of his legs.

Last night, when Hubby came home, Boo greeted him at the door with, "Daddy! Watch out for that spider by your head!" Sure enough, there was a pretty good-sized spider on the curtain, mere inches from my husband's noggin. He jumped away, I went to get a jar. I scooped up the spider and asked Boo if he wanted to accompany me to take it outside. He said, "Mommy, we can't take him outside! He's my friend, and his name is Joe!"

So off I went to the pet shop for a terrarium and some crickets. When I had spiders at work, I'd order lunch delivered from the BlackJack Pizza next door to the pet store and have them add a couple dozen small crickets to the order, so I rarely had to go out to pick up crickets. That pizzeria doesn't deliver to my area, and the pet shop closed down anyway. Looks like I'm going to be making a weekly trip.

11 September 2006

I really want to post something profound and wise today, but I just can't find any words.

I listened to the CNN rebroadcast of their 9/11 coverage today. The only bright spot in it was Tom Clancy chastising a reporter for the mainstream media's lack of support for the government and the intelligence community.

I find it interesting that Slashdot, which was one of the few websites that had any news that also had the bandwidth to handle anything five years ago today, was strangely silent today regarding the September 11 attacks. Apparently the attacks are no longer "stuff that matters", at least in the eyes of the Slashdot editors.

I pray that my children will never have to see something like the September 11 attacks, that someday the need for a war on terror will be as remote to them as Pearl Harbor is to us Gen-Xers.

04 September 2006


There's a wonderful tribute to the victims of the September 11th attacks happening at The 2,996 project. Unfortunately, I don't have much spare time over the next week to research a victim - but I'd like to at least help get the word out about the project so that some of the more prolific bloggers can join in.

03 September 2006

A bucket.

This article wins the prize for best picture caption. And I am mighty glad they made the decision to use the picture they did instead of the picture they could have used.

24 August 2006

Pluto not a planet anymore?!

I'm tempted yet again to put WTF?! in the title of my blog entry.

What kind of name is USB313? Why in the world would you call something that kids are going to have to learn in first and second grade a name with a subscript? Given the enormous stress that teachers are already under, why would you force them to also teach kids typesetting and fonts at such an early age?

The new definition of 'planet' says that, in order to be a planet, the thing must have cleared its orbit of other objects. Since Pluto crosses Neptune's orbit, and Neptune hasn't cleared Pluto from Neptune's orbit, does that mean that Neptune isn't a planet either?

This also means that we're never going to have a super-cool planetary collision when Neptune and Pluto's orbits finally bring them into contact with each other. Planetary/dwarf planetary collision just doesn't sound super-cool.

And who's going to pay for all the poor school systems to update their planetary charts? Is the new standard of how current your science textbooks are going to be how many planets are listed? Will this be the subject of news stories discussing how woefully out-of-date a school's textbooks are? And what about all those stores selling orreries? Are they going to have massive fire sales to clear their shops of outdated solar system models? Did the IAU even THINK about the shopkeepers? This is an outrage, I'm telling you!

25 July 2006

Kaiser lies, lies, lies

Here's a list of what the Denver, Colorado Kaiser Permanente's customer service department has lied to me about, so far. Keep in mind, we have been members of Kaiser for less than a month.
  1. In my phone call with Stacy, I was told that the two medications I take, Synthroid and Lactocal-F, were on Kaiser's formulary. They're not. The generic for Synthroid, levothyroxine, is in their formulary, but the brand name is not. Since my previous forays into taking levothyroxine in an effort to save a few bucks backfired badly (my TSH went from 0.01 to 7 in the space of a month and a half), taking the generic is out of the question.
  2. In my phone call with Stacy, I was told that our $15/$40 drug benefit meant that there was a $15 copay for drugs, or $40 for a three months supply. It turns out Kaiser did away with their three month plan last January, and the $15/$40 drug benefit is $15 for generic, and $40 for name brand. When we planned our flex dollars, we budgeted both my medications (which aren't going to be covered at all, let alone at the $15 rate) and any prescriptions for Boo's ear infections at the $15 rate instead of the $40 rate. This is probably going to cost us a couple of hundred dollars.
  3. In my phone call with Stacy, I was told that Kaiser had 24-hour urgent care at the Exempla Good Samaritan hospital. I think having 24-hour urgent care is pretty imperative when you have two small kids, especially when one has a tendency toward ruptured eardrums. There's no 24-hour urgent care at Good Samaritan - their after-hours care is only from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and they triage quite a few of their problems to the ER. How did I learn this? See point #6.
  4. In my phone call with Stacy, I was told there was no charge for meet-and-greet appointments to find a physician. This is the case with pediatricians, but not with family practice doctors. With family practice doctors, you pay the copay - even if the doctor is more interested in her computer than she is in your symptoms, and feigns knowledge of your medical conditions even though it's obvious that she doesn't, for instance, know what a normal TSH level is, or how to help a mother keep breastfeeding when her milk supply is drying up (Dr. Sarah Goldberg).
  5. When I called to set up meet-and-greet appointments for the family, Rich and I decided to find him an internal medicine specialist because of the undiagnosed pain he's had for years. I was told by the customer service rep I spoke with that it would not be a problem for me to set up a visit with an IM in my name, and interview the doctor for my husband if he wasn't able to make it, since he works downtown and the clinic is by our house - a drive of up to an hour from his work in normal traffic. I showed up for the visit, and was first told that Rich needed to sign a HIPAA form before I could see the doctor (Dr. Gauri Aggarwal) for him. After the customer service rep faxed the form to the wrong number, and we finally got it signed and faxed back, the doctor refused to see me.
  6. I called yesterday at 12:32 to set up an appointment for some female pain and fever. Kaiser has a department specifically for female advice, appointments, and concerns. I was told that everyone was out to lunch but that I would be called back when they returned. At 3:30, I still had not received a call back, so I called and was told that there was a four hour window that they considered an acceptable time period for a callback. At 4:35, I received a call back and was told that I couldn't be seen that day, but that my symptoms warranted a visit to Urgent Care. I was told that if I had gone to the Westminster clinic during the day, they have an Urgent Care facility there, but that it closed at 6:00 pm. I asked where the nearest Urgent Care facility that had evening hours was, and was told that it was at Arapahoe and Holly - an hour's drive in the middle of the night, and more like an hour and a half during the hours the facility is open (6 to 10 pm), or I could go to the Rock Creek Good Samaritan hospital, at 200 Exempla Circle (this is directly from my notes), and their ER also triages to after hours care. A person representing herself as a nurse supervisor called back about 15 minutes later and offered to make me an appointment for the next day, but considering how much worse I felt from 12:00 to 4:00 I decided to go on in to urgent care and fork over the extra $25 for an urgent care visit, and the 'nursing supervisor' agreed that I needed to be seen ASAP. I went to Good Samaritan's ER, told the front desk I was there for an urgent care visit, and also told the triage nurse that I was there for an urgent care visit. I didn't find out that I had been triaged as an ER patient until after they were done with the pelvic exam, which means I was stuck with a $200 ER copay instead of a $50 urgent care copay. Apparently Good Samaritan NEVER triages anything requiring a pelvic exam as an urgent care case. After calling Kaiser back today to find out why I was sent to a facility that doesn't treat female issues as urgent care, I found out that the person who I spoke with on the phone at 4:30 wasn't even a nurse, she denies giving me directions to Good Samaritan or to the facility on Arapahoe Road, and she claims that the person I spoke to at 4:45 is not a nursing supervisor. A customer service rep also informed me that there is no daytime urgent care at the Westminster Kaiser clinic. I can't seem to get a supervisor on the phone, and so far I'm not getting calls back. I'd really like someone at Kaiser to listen to any phone recordings of my calls yesterday, but the not-a-nurse who directed me to Good Samaritan claims that, despite their message that all calls are recorded for quality control purposes, there are no recordings to review.
There have been a few bright points in our road trip to Hell with Kaiser - Dr. Susan Merrill seems definitely interested in clearing up Rhys's ear infections and getting him speech therapy if it is deemed necessary. Dr. Michelle Glasgow seems to have a good understanding of hypothyroidism - she even told me something about bone loss and hypothyroid treatment that I was unaware of, she is willing to maintain my TSH at a level where I feel good, and she seems very supportive of our decision to breastfeed WeePeep (Mudbug's current moniker) through next winter to minimize the likelihood of ear infections. I'm not sure a couple of good doctors, surrounded by a morass of incompetency and bad information, is going to be enough to make Kaiser Permanente an insurance plan worth keeping.

27 June 2006

News blackout?

Israel just, for lack of a better word, invaded Gaza, and the TV stations CNN, Fox News, and Headline News are saying NOTHING. WTF?!

18 June 2006

New CD, please

For once in my life, I want AOL or Earthlink to send me a sign-up CD. I need a new coaster for my desk.

02 June 2006

I've had it with these motherf#@&ing snakes on this motherf*$^ing plane!

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Samuel Jackson's new flick,Snakes on a Plane. Even my husband's looking forward to it, and he hates flying. The only way the movie could be more of a nightmare for him would be if it was Spiders on a Plane...over the Ocean. Maybe that will be the premise of SoaP II.

Time had a great interview with Samuel Jackson a couple of months ago, that I've been meaning to blog about but haven't had the time. I'll just say, I'm glad they left the title the way it was, and I admire Samuel Jackson for standing up for his artistic beliefs.

Oh, and if anyone feels gifty, I wouldn't mind having this.

Now...why did I choose now to mention SoaP? Because this poor pilot had it happen - for real. All I can say is, if he "sure like(s) to know where they are", he should have kept Mr. Wiggly instead of setting him free.

(h/t Ace of Spades)

01 June 2006

Another reason why it's bad to give your toddler alcohol (as if toxifying your kid wasn't enough): your kid might like it a little too much.

27 May 2006

A good Hollandaise makes my toes curl

A good Hollandaise sauce does it for me. And I hadn't found one at a restaurant here in the Denver metro area until today.

We had brunch at The Delectable Egg in Westminster this morning. I finally got brave enough to try their Hollandaise sauce - I was starting to think that Denver had a different definition of Hollandaise than the rest of the world, cause everywhere I'd had it it was sour or clumpy or way too runny, so I've been avoiding ordering anything with Hollandaise sauce unless I really trusted the kitchen, and even then it was bad (shame on you, Racine's!). This Hollandaise was divine - every mouthful had me closing my eyes to savor it. I could have eaten two plates of Quiche Lorraine crepes, it was so good.
Is it bad when the only nice thing I can say about my bank is that, since I've had to go in so many times to fix things they've done to our accounts, find out why deposits haven't been credited, why accounts are locked, etc., they know me by name enough to cash a check for me when I can't find my wallet?

26 May 2006

A sign your kid watches too much Food Network

"Welcome to Iron Chef America. Today we're going to make carrot soup and learn about the color black."
I actually got a call back from a Kaiser administrative assistant straight up at 8 am this morning...who unfortunately wasn't able to help me. She said she would have a rep call me back by mid-morning. It's mid-morning, no call back. So I can't run any of the errands I needed to run until they call back, I can't even go out to work on the yard since our cordless phone is on the fritz (one of the errands I needed to run today was to pick up a new one).

Why did I put this off until a few days before I needed to have this taken care of, you ask? Well, the goal was to get this done last week, but I had to go out of town for the funeral of my great-uncle. He was a wonderful man, and he is loved and missed by everyone who knew him. How many men do you know who would take on the full-time care of two great-grandchildren? He brought a smile to the face of everyone he met. He volunteered as transport for the sheriff's office, and took the opportunity to minister to the over 1,000 inmates and juveniles he transported for the county - but he never came across as preachy, at least not to me or anyone else in my family. He co-founded the mounted police for his county, and they were gracious to retire his MP number upon his death. Uncle Bob, you are missed.

Update: after a few more calls, I got a call back from a rep who was actually HELPFUL! And who answered my questions! Thanks, Stacy!

25 May 2006

Kaiser Permanente customer service

We're switching our insurance from Pacificare to Kaiser Permanente since the insurance rate is about to go up to $1115 to insure the four of us. That's $1115 a month, not $1115 a year. Kaiser will still be taking a chunk, at $871, but it's not quite as painful a chunk. Our season tickets to the Colorado Rapids for all four of us, on the center line of the field on the fourth row, so close we can spit on Fernando Clavijo, don't cost as much as one month of health insurance.

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how long it will take me to get someone on the phone at Kaiser to answer questions about coverage so we can plan our flex bux and find a pediatrician? It's been 20 minutes so far. This includes three transfers and a hangup.

This isn't much worse than the service at Pacificare, though - I've spent at least an hour on the phone with Pacificare over the past two days trying to figure out 1) why they just withdrew payment on an urgent care visit last January (they don't have it in their system that they withdrew payment, but the explanation of benefits they sent says they withdrew the payment), and 2) why they haven't paid two claims that have been submitted twice, rejected once, and ignored the second time - which they also say they don't have in their system, including the rejection.

Been on the phone for an hour now, been transferred to nine different people, been hung up on twice, been told I couldn't be heard twice. Left a message in one person's voice mailbox, got transferred to another voice mailbox that hasn't been set up to receive messages yet but said their office closes at 5 (it's 4:55). I've tried just waiting

I'm not much for government interference in much of anything, but right now I'm all for requiring automated phone systems to deliver a caller to an operator when the caller presses 0, at least during their regular business hours.

Hour and twenty minutes. Reached someone in appointments (person number eleven) who said to call appointments tomorrow and have someone transfer me to benefits, because the main customer service line is nothing but a loop. But benefits closed at 5:00 pm. Lovely.

13 May 2006

CNN is so cute

Headline on CNN: Education law leaves children behind.

How cute.

Of course, nothing in the article reflects that the No Child Left Behind Act is what's failing the students. NCLB requires teachers to be certified proficient in what they teach. It holds states accountable to parents and the federal government for the quality of their school systems. And it expects schools to show that they are improving academically. How this law has left children behind is beyond me, but CNN thought they'd be smartasses and make it look like the feds should take the fall.

Several states didn't even make an effort to meet their NCLB requirements. I'm becoming more and more convinced that school districts are trying to fail the NCLB requirements on purpose because the act was put in place by a conservative president, and can be cited as a failure since schools aren't passing it. Never mind that it makes the school districts look like idiots - they can't even bother hiring teachers that know the subjects they're teaching, they don't utilize the federal money available for tutoring, and they whine about standardized testing instead of recognizing that the standardized testing covers the most basic of knowledge. Anyone remember the tests that were required in school during standardized testing days? Some of us took CAT tests, some of us took ITBS, but I think most everyone would agree that they were fairly easy. I remember thinking the tests I took in high school really only covered material that was taught in junior high, and I wasn't in some fancy-schmancy suburban school district. Where do these school districts get off thinking students don't need basic reading and math skills? Where do they get off thinking they're not expected to do their jobs? Where do they get off thinking that our tax dollars don't need to be spent educating our children?

01 May 2006

I thought part of the protest today was to not spend any money, to bring our economy to a screeching halt.

If that's the case, then why were corn and pork rinds being sold at the protests at the Colorado State Capitol?

29 April 2006

Showing me a picture of plumber's butt is not going to do anything to improve my opinion of illegal immigrants.

Update: Hey, they changed the picture. I guess someone told them to cover up the crack. Is it shadowy journalism to change part of your article (i.e. a picture) after it's been published?

16 April 2006

Boo is furious with the Easter Bunny.

This morning, Boo and Rich went out to gather Easter eggs. I thought I had hidden eleven, but only ten came back. Boo wanted to keep looking for the last egg, but we told him that the Easter Bunny probably just needed a snack while he was hiding his Easter eggs. Boo pitched a fit, demanding that he wanted his egg back.

I'm so looking forward to Easter next year. We had a difficult time getting Boo to sit in the Easter Bunny's lap for pictures - he said he'd rather wait until Santa Claus came back. With any luck, next year Boo will kick the bunny in the rubber parts.

Am I sleep deprived?

Last night I woke up to find myself hitting the snooze button to get Mudbug to stop fussing.

15 April 2006

Questions kids ask

When a child walks up to you and asks you out of the blue, "Where did your baby come from?", the correct answer is, "Where did your mother tell you babies come from?"

This correct answer hit me about thirty seconds after being asked.

14 April 2006

More teenage blackmail material.

Since we've all been sick forever, we have a large number of ear thermometer probe covers lying around the house. They look like this:

Boo has observed me pumping breastmilk for Mudbug with my Medela pump, whose breast shield looks like this:

He walked up to me with two probe covers stuck to his chest and announced that he was going to pump milk for Mudbug too. Such an act of love has never been shown by a big brother for a baby sister, I think.
"An Evening with Kevin Smith" is on, and he's discussing Chasing Amywith a lesbian who thinks it was a bad idea for Banky to make his "serious deep dicking" comment, while Smith is arguing that Banky was the movie idiot, and everyone should have recognized where the comment came from.

I bought my mom's partner a copy of Chasing Amy a few years ago, not because she's a lesbian or because I think it's a movie about lesbians, but because she liked Clerksand Mallrats. My mom ended up watching it. She's now convinced that Kevin Smith is quite the homophobe, and specifically mentioned that line when she was yelling at me for bringing that trash into her house. All I could respond was, "It's not a lesbian movie, and anyway, I didn't buy it for you."

And why doesn't the View Askew Store sell hockey jerseys with the number 37 on them?

11 April 2006

TurboTax is lovely.

I was making some last-minute changes to our return, when I noticed that health insurance carried on the self-employed is tax-deductible. I put in the deduction (I am self-employed, I just don't bring in nearly the income I did when I held a desk job, and am carried on my husband's health insurance but we have to pay out the nose for it), then decided I should ask my neighbor, a tax attorney, if it was a legitimate deduction. He said no (since it was paid for with pre-tax dollars), so I went to remove the deduction. Went to deductions, all I could find were pages that said a deduction had been applied but no way to remove it. I sent a support question to TurboTax.

Their answer was to delete my return and start over.

Yay TurboTax! F%$^ing morons. Is this the answer they're going to give to some poor soul at 11:00 PM April 15?

02 April 2006

Colorado Rapids vs. Houston 1836...er...Kansas City?

Why it's a bad idea to change your team name after announcing your moniker with much fanfare:

I guess the reason we...weren't playing at our peak was because we were saving up for the game against Kansas City later in the evening.

01 April 2006

PPD or rose-colored glasses?

I'm not sure what's causing it, but I don't think I'm enjoying this baby (current nickname is Mudbug, thanks to her looking like a crawdaddy propped on Alton Brown's shoulder one day when I was burping her) as much as I did Boo.

It could be rose-colored glasses - I distinctly remember wanting to ship Boo back to wherever he came from about a week after he was born. It could have something to do with my in-laws moving from Colorado Springs to Oakland, so we don't have the immediate help available. It could be that I'm generally down during winter. It could be that I had all these fantastic expectations for a baby girl, but since I wasn't much into dressing up dolls as a child, it's not holding much appeal for me now, despite having gone out to buy $200 of pink clothes as soon as we found out Mudbug's gender. It could have something to do with the fact that, after having been on modified bedrest since October, and on full bedrest since Christmas, I expected to be able to get around better, but I have lost most of the muscle tone I had built up before the pregnancy, and it's a heck of a lot more effort trying to go places with two kids instead of one.

And it could have something to do with the fact that we've all been sick since Christmas with one bug or another - I think we've had a total of about two weeks that one of us hasn't been sick. Today it's me with strep and the flu. We've actually managed to use every dime of our cafeteria plan benefits in the last three months.

12 February 2006

Apparently the Alabama church fires are due to hurricanes and the war in Iraq - at least according to Jim Cavanaugh of the ATF:

"I think there's probably some stressors in their life: Family, relationships, work, the economy. The region's been devastated by a hurricane, there's a war in Iraq, there's a lot of terrible things going on."

How long before the some moonbat at the DU attributes the church fires to President Bush? Oh, wait, it already happened.