serendipitous reflections

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh the things people say

Conversations I've had in the past two days:

Helping Tish's son over the phone try to troubleshoot why the computer won't connect to the server.
Me: "Check and make sure the phone line is plugged in to the back of the modem."
Edwin: "I'm not a computer guy, you're going to have to tell me what it looks like."

And yesterday, talking at work:
Me: "Imagine putting a kid today in front of a computer without a mouse."
Two staff members: "Computers didn't always have a mouse?"


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knoxville church shooting

I wanted to write something about the shooting at the Unitarian church in Knoxville, where a man who disagreed with their liberal ideals stepped into the church during a children's program, pulled a shotgun out of a guitar case, and started shooting, but really, whatever I start to type quickly sounds trivial and distant. It's just truly sad.

Lisa called us on Sunday, when she saw the news report, to make sure that this wasn't the church where Doug's kids go. It wasn't, but they know people who attend that church, one couple who decided to sleep in that morning instead of going to church. It is a very tense moment when you call your brother about a shooting in town where the details are vague and you get voice mail (knowing Doug sleeps with his phone).

But this isn't about me, but the sadness that someone had enough hate for another person's opinion that he felt all he could do is kill. (This is where I keep deleting the "what kind of world..." line because it starts to sound trivial. You know what I mean, because you're thinking it too...)

Going to college in Knoxville, Jeni and I drove past that church all the time. So it's close to home, even though that's not home anymore.

It's just sad -- sadder because there's no reason for it.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dr. Horrible

I'm sorry I missed Dr. Horrible during it's one week run online. I'm tempted to buy this one off iTunes.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Memo to myself

If you set up the sprinkler and go back inside, remember to also go back outside and turn it off.

Last night, we were baking some cookies for one of the ladies at work and I started the sprinkler on the side flower bed that was looking pretty puny, and came back inside to see if Jeni needed any help. Well, almost two hours later I remember that the sprinkler was still going. Needless to say, the mulch was still wet this morning when I came out to go to work, and the plants were looking great!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thank you Zaxby's, but your gift certificate is useless

When Jeni and I were heading to the beach last month we stopped in Bishopville to get something to eat. Bishopville is 51 miles from our house, so let's just say an hour away. We were hungry, needed a little lunch after loading up the car, and decided to stop at the Zaxby's there. Now I understand that Zaxby's is not fast food, and I appreciate Zaxby's for that. But there's also an expectation as to how long you should have to wait. That day, we hit Zaxby's around 1:00, so we were after what should have been the lunch rush. After we placed our order we were standing around and I heard them call someone's number to pick up their order and Jeni looked at me and said, "Was that 30 numbers before us?" I figured maybe there was another register with a different number. No such luck -- 35 frustrating minutes later we were on our way, eating our food in the car. I could have been in and out of Applebee's or Ruby Tuesdays in less than 35 minutes.

So fast forward to this week. I had been sitting on a comment card from the Zaxby's experience, trying to decide if it was even worth calling and commenting about how long it took to get our food. I called late last week, spoke to someone, who was very apologetic. They asked a few questions: how often to I go to Zaxby's (2x/month), how much do I usually spend (about $22), will I return to Zaxby's (most likely, but not to the one in Bishopville). So she says she's going to send out a gift certificate for our trouble ("thanks!"). A little while later the manager from the Bishopville Zaxby's calls and speaks to Jeni, very apologetic, explains how they were short-staffed, and that he's sending out some gift certificates for his store.

[Now, I would say long-story-short, but I'm way beyond that ...]

Yesterday the gift certificates came in the mail. The two from the Bishopville store included a little handwritten note from the manager and were for two free meals at that location, expiring in six months. The one from corporate also came, offering me five, count them, five free chicken fingerz, also at the Bishopville location. I guess the customer service lady missed when I said that we were out of town, on our way to the beach, and that I seriously doubted I'd ever stop at that location again (especially when there is a store about two miles from our house). Oh, and I have one month to use the corporate gift certificate, starting a week ago.

Just to break down the absolute lack of value of these gift certificates ... I'll approximate the two meals and five chicken fingerz at, say, $25. At $4/gallon of gas, getting around 25 miles/gallon, and driving 100 miles, I come out ahead by a whopping $9 (not factoring in the value of my time, and assuming I can use all three gift certificates at once, which I'm sure I can't).

So now I'm debating whether it's worth calling corporate again and asking them if I could redeem my gift certificate locally instead, or if I need to just give these gift certificates away to someone who could use them.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Help Workshop Theatre with your reviews

We saw where we can create donations to Workshop Theatre by writing reviews of local businesses with a maximum of $25 dollars donated (one per review). So Jeni and I set out writing reviews, and you'd be amazed how hard it is to come up with 25 businesses you are willing to write a review about. I guess I only really go to about 10 places regularly.

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High School Musical: The Musical

We went to Workshop Theatre on Sunday to see High School Musical: On Stage, the stage production of the Disney show (really, I think it should have been High School Musical: The Musical, but probably because I like Spaceballs, the Movie). It was actually very fun, but the first act was better than the second.

Lisa and Brian brought Gracie to the show, too, which was a lot of fun. Gracie was very good during the show, less fidgety than many of the other children at the show, and there were a lot of kids there. It was so fun seeing her (and pretty much all the little kids) all dressed up to come to the theatre.

Really, though, the highlight of the show for me was afterward when all the children were waiting in the lobby for the actors to come out and get their autographs. And what a thrill for these local actors, too, to get a true celebrity experience.

I had my camera but forgot it was there. I wish I'd gotten a picture of Gracie because she looked very cute, and her freckles across her nose are out from being at the beach...

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yard waste trash can

I don't mean to fuss about the trash men because they do a job that I know I wouldn't do, but a few weeks ago, after cutting the grass, I put the clippings in our second, yard waster trash can. We are trying to be better about waste and since moving to our house we had been composting our yard waste in the woods behind our neighbor's house. The problem is the husband and wife have separated, and we were friends with the wife, but acquaintances with the husband. (Example interaction with the husband since separation: Their dog got loose and came to our house. ::Ring doorbell:: "Your dog got loose." ::blink blink:: "Oh" ::blink blink:: "OK" ::rubs head in exasperation:: "Thanks" ::sigh::) So now we don't go over as much to cut through and dump our yard waste, and instead have been putting it in the extra trash can that we have. Which leads me (the long way around) to the problem ... a few weeks ago I put the yard waste trash can out by the curb with the big "Herbie Curbie" and when the trash men dumped the yard waste, they THREW AWAY THE LID! Who throws away the lid to a trash can. Don't you think, "Hmm... this looks like it fits here. Maybe they want it." And with all the rain we've been having, I now have a mosquito breeding ground beside the house. Like I said, doing a job I wouldn't do, but come on!


Thursday, July 10, 2008


We really need to order some t-shirts from Cafe Press when we get some fun money. Jeni found these two today:
Too Busy Being Awesome

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Fiction Plane

I don't know what made me think of this the other day, but for some reason I looked up Sting's son's band -- Fiction Plane. I knew Sting's son, Joe Sumner*, was in a band, and he sounded a lot like his dad, but the last time I listened to some of their songs I don't remember them knocking my socks off. But the other day one of the songs (Two Sisters) just stuck in my head, and now it's there, bouncing around over and over again. I imagine that if The Police were new today, this is what they'd probably sound like.

[You can hear Two Sisters on their MySpace page, and a few other songs on Last.fm]

*As for the name Joe, it just boggles my mind that you are "Sting" but you name your son Joe. But I guess since Sting's given name is Gordon that Joe isn't all bad, just vanilla when compared to Apple, Moxy Crimefighter or Kal-el.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Looks like the weather is going to hold out for us to go to the pool today! Hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July. We're looking forward to seeing Nikki and Todd and the kids tomorrow as they come through on their way home from vacation.