Isn't modern technology amazing? We're able to take a simple conversation which would take about 2 minutes and extended it out to 2 hours by just using our thumbs!
For Valentine's day, part of my "husbandly duty" was having a box of my wife's favorite chocolate arrive for her at work -- Godiva Chocolatier.
I placed the order on Feb 11th. It was shipped Feb 12th (2nd day air) and was scheduled to arrive at my wife's work on the 14th (along with flowers, a CD and cards from our kids -- all different vendors). UPS screwed up and shipped the Chocolate 90 miles north by accident. They rescheduled delivery for the 15th.
I was ticked off, but I understand mistakes happen. I call up Godiva on 02/14 at 11:25 am to request a refund of the SHIPPING -- I paid for 2nd day air and wanted them to credit me the difference for standard shipping.
I was shocked and surprised when while on the phone, the Godiva rep called a local store and had a box couriered over (which arrived at 2 pm on Feb 14th)! Fantastic customer service. They made me a customer for life (more of a benefit for my wife -- I'm not a huge chocolate fan).
The only problem was billing. I needed to make 3 separate calls to customer service after that to resolve the two items I was billed for. Not the end of the world -- and I was never on the phone more than 10 mins. It was resolved to my satisfaction.
Forget See's Candy -- go with Godiva. It's more expensive, but the quality of the candy AND service is far greater.
I finally broke down and subscribed to Netflix. I've been a "paying" member for about two weeks. That's added to their 2-week trial membership.
So far, I'm very pleased with the service. I'm impressed with their turn-around-time and surprised that the DVDs aren't scratched up beyond use by the time I get them.
- Cheaper than local rental (which is around $4/movie)
- Cheaper than PayPerView (around $4)
- Huge selection
- Haven't come across a movie yet that is "rented out"
- Regular trips to the local MailBox/PostOffice
- Anxiety that a movie will get "lost" in the mail
- Anxiety that when something HAPPENS that requires I speak with 'customer service' that it will be a nightmare
For me, the benefits out-way the hassles.
For the record, We got 8 movies over 1 month. At that rate, the cost is $1.25/movie.
Tonight I was putting all my DVDs (and a few tapes burned to DVD) in order. I don't have a huge collection, but it's full of mostly movies I've enjoyed and thought were worth owning.
What I noticed was quite interesting. I have a facination for court-room themes. Here's a list of courtroom-related movies in my collection:
12 Angry Men 1957
Anatomy of a Murder 1959
Inherit the Wind 1960
Judgement at Nuremberg 1961
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
And Justice for All 1979
From the Hip 1987
A Fish Called Wanda 1988
My Cousin Vinny 1992
A Few Good Men 1992
Primal Fear 1996
Red Corner 1997
Liar Liar 1997
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 1997
Devil's Advocate 1997
Liar Liar 1997
A Civil Action 1998
The Insider 1999
Erin Brockovich 2000
Hart's War 2002
Each one of these movies has a 'courtroom' themes. What I find interesting is that I never realized I was drawn to such movies.
I have often wondered why I see younger and younger folks with cell phones. Is this just parental doting? Or is there a real need?
I'm a parent of two young children (age 5 and 2). My recent experieces have led me to doubt if I ever will dote on my children in such a fashion. I have come to the conclusion that cell phones should NOT be in the hands of children (younger than 21 who do NOT pay for the service).
Why? I have recently taken over many mondane tasks for my sister -- who suffered a stroke a few months back. Including her cellphones/bills. Her two children (16 y/o girl, 14 y/o boy) each have a cell on the plan.
Their usage has been unbelievable. Some 800+ text messages each (at $0.05 each), 100+ hours each on the phone. Staying on the phone until 2am, 3am or even 6am on school nights. It has taken some serious effort to cut them down to what I consider to be 'reasonable'.
The 14 y/o has lost his cell phone all together. Consistent lying and late-night usage on school nights we well as stealing a cell phone out of his grandmothers purse, left me what I consider no alternative. He is unable to use the phone responsibly.
The 16 y/o lost her cell usage for about 2 weeks (I shut it off). She's allowed 1000 minutes per month TOTAL. 300 text messages per month TOTAL. As much as I would like to remove her cell phone completely, she has shown enough self-control -- particularly when I check the usage every day and see how long and how often she has used the phone.
Between these two kids, they have cost me close to $400 on cell phone abuse. The 16 y/o is paying me back her share and I've enslaved my nephew on all saturdays and some sundays to work it off at $5/hour.
Post Script: My niece almost lost her cell phone usage for the remainder of the month. She went over her 1000 minutes by a half-hour. I told her as long as I see NO usage (other than checking voice mail), it'll stay on.
Two weeks ago, my sister had a stroke.
She's 49, mother of 2 children (16 y/o girl, 14 y/o boy), very active and independent.
I was the first to arrive at the hospital -- about 10 minutes after she arrived. This was about 30 minutes after the stroke. She was lucky that it happened in public and it was recognized quickly.
I can never adequately express the fear and anxiety I felt as I received the phone call from my neice. She said that she just got a call that her mother was taken to the hospital and she wasn't talking. I don't know why, but I immediately thought STROKE. When I arrived at the hospital, they were asking me questions about my sister that I knew she could answer. This increased my fears. They told me she was receiving an MRI and an asprin enema. That essentially confirmed it, for me.
Before my sister returned from her MRI, her Dr. approached me and told me that he suspected a stroke, and "a massive one, at that", he said.
They wheeled my sister back in. She looked asleep. I took her hand and spoke to her. She squeezed my hand.
Over the next 30 minutes, my sister regained consciousness. She couldn't talk, she was paralized on her right side and it wasn't clear if she was understanding anything that was said to her. I kept reassuring her that I'll make sure the kids would be fine, the bills would be paid, the pets would be fed, etc -- until she was better.
After the first hour, she was actually lifting her head and looking around. She was able to nod and shake her head in responses to questions -- but not always consistant in her answers.
I'll fast-forward a bit and skip where I passed the news to my mom and my sister's kids...
The first day saw the most dramatic improvement. She was moving her right side (albeit barely) and she was more consistantly nodding and shaking her head. From then on, she has make significant improvement every day.
As of yesterday, she can speak -- but her words are haulting. She's stuck on about 10 phrases. "Yes", "No", "I don't know", "I know", "Maybe", and a few others. She can fully understand everything spoken to her. She can't find the words yet, and she has trouble reading. She KNOWS the words, and can clearly identify their meanings when shown pictures of things and actions -- but when the words are put in sentences, she can't make out the meaning.
Also, she is nearly paralysis free. You can see a SLIGHT droop in her lip when she smiles and she's just a little weak on her right side. That's it. She's able to do EVERYTHING should could before (except drive -- but that's by Dr's order -- she'll need to be evaluated for that in the future).
I've taken care of all her bills and will continue to do so until her disability kicks in. Money will be a little tight for her, but I can supplement it as needed.
She's home now. Last week, she was released as an in-patient at a local rehab clinic and then released for home just yesterday. Her insurance will pay for at-home speech therapy and I'll be working with her on that, too. She's going to get annoyed with me pushing her to read/talk -- but hey. I have a thick skin. I post on slashdot!