Friday, November 28, 2008

How I Wish This Title Said, "The Last Installment of the Gateway Saga"

Raul is a big fat liar.

BIG fat liar.

After spending an hour and a half on the phone with Gateway, I got to talk with James, aka Mr. Grumpy. I guess he was wishing he was out finding some great Black Friday deals out there in the heart of Texas, instead of pretending to 'help' people who's only Christmas wish is to have a working computer.

Mr. Grumpy informed me that no, our shiny new video card had not been shipped last Thursday. How could someone have told me it would be shipped when it was on back order and won't be in......

......for at least a month, or longer.

Mr. Grumpy wasn't interested in feeling sorry for me or anything of that nature. He thought it would be a better idea to basically call me a liar and tell me it was impossible for someone to have told me three weeks ago that the part would be in by the time my old video card arrived.


I give up.

You win Gateway. I've no strength left to fight. I will sit here and get on with life and pretend I don't own one of your computers.

If and when a new video card arrives, I will be pleasantly surprised and make note of the date, sometime in the year of 2009. It will be the day of miracles and our family will gather round the silver piece of metal and wait with baited breath as the Husband fires up the ol' girl from her 3 month slumber. We will sing a song and say a prayer of thanks for having the gift of modern technology and for being given the opportunity of telling an estimated 894 people to never never never never NEVER buy a GATEWAY computer.

Don't think I won't be keeping track of how many people I have told.

In the distant future, when that UPS man arrives at my door, I will tell him too, and then I will tell all of you exactly how many people I have informed.

It's all I can do.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where Art Thou New Video Card?

UPS was supposed to knock on my door yesterday.

Well, that's what Raul told me on Thursday. Raul, how could you? I trusted you. I thought we had a connection (yes, pun intended). I thought I could believe you. Have you turned out to be just like all those other GATEWAY employees? I PRAY it isn't so.

In other news, there's basically nothing.

Hmmm. Oh!

Typed up the annual Christmas letter to send out with the annual....well, that might be pushing it.....let's say 'occasional' Christmas cards we send out. There was lots to report on this little family. Then I got to what I've done all year and after I wrote the usual starting sentence about driving assorted children around, it seemed that there was nothing else to report.

That was kind of deflating. I'm beginning to see myself as unemployable.

Do you think Gateway is hiring? I think I could do that job.

"Send it to Texas. No. New York. HA! I was joking. Heehee. Send it to Canada. NO, wait. Texas, but to to real building this time. SLEEEEEEPPPPPP. Answer phone. No one could have told you anything so moronic. You're lying. Why are you telling me facts I don't want to hear??!! No, send it to Canada. You can pay for it or I'm shredding your file. Well, regardless, I'm erasing everything in your file as soon as you hang up. I'm not going to send you a new video card. Na na na na naaaaa na. No, I don't have a supervisor. We all supervise ourselves. Well, except Raul. The jury is still out on that renegade. We don't talk to Raul. He's bad news."

I've got to get a hobby. The walls are closing in on me today.

That, and I'm avoiding my lengthy to do list.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And So, Like Sand Through the Hour Glass...So Are the Days of Our Lives....

It's been a rough 24 hours. To sum it all up, do me a favour. Go listen to Darius Rucker performing "It Won't Be Like This For Long" ,then come on back.

Yep. That pretty much did me in tonight.

The Eldest has started filling out University application forms.

I spent an hour this evening sitting on the floor of The Baby's room, continually putting her back into her new big girl bed whilst her baby crib lay in pieces in the hallway.

The Boy grew another 1/2 inch this week.

The Princess is receiving jewelry from male suitors. So is The Eldest, who, by the way, turned 17 this week.

It's a few too many milestones for this old gal to experience without shedding a few tears over the swift passage of time.

Maybe one of you could tell me a funny joke or something to cheer me up. The Husband just keeps reminding me how old I'll be when The Baby finally graduates from high school, and let me tell you, that's not much help when you're crying over the fact that the last piece of baby equipment in the house is spewed in bits across the floor.

Maybe an episode of 'The Office' will cheer me up......Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Not So Subliminal Message

I just looked at the UPS notification that was sent to my email.

The video card made it to New York yesterday. Yay for UPS and being a competent company.

UPS even told me who signed for it.

This is what it said:


My tummy hurts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have I Mentioned That Gateway Has Crappy Service? Update

I was out this morning, with my handy dandy cell phone by my side.

When I got home, there was a message on my home phone from......


Hurray. The gentleman (who said he would fix this problem yesterday), left a message informing me he HAS fixed the problem and they will be shipping a new video card off to me. But I just needed to call him back and give him some information. And he left a number for me to call back. In Texas.

Let me get this straight. I need to call him long distance, during business TEXAS?? What part of, "I'm choked at your company and I am not spending one more dime on that dead video card" didn't get across on the phone yesterday? I had given him my cell number as well as my home phone number and told him specifically to please call the cell if I was not at home.

Sigh. The Husband made me call. I wasn't going to on principle. But he made me. Something about eventually being able to use the dang computer again.

So I called. And the Gateway guy wasn't in.

Perhaps he was out mailing me my new video card. By snail mail I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GATEWAY = #*^%@*!

Last post, I wrote about a little problem I was having with GATEWAY aka ACER computer company. Yes....GATEWAY.

No, I didn't swear at any of the GATEWAY employees I spoke with today.

No, our old video card has not yet arrived in New York. UPS phoned this morning to let me know this, and the fact that they couldn't ship it to Ontario from New York. I interrupted the very nice man on the phone to tell him it didn't need to go to Ontario after all. It needed to go back to Texas and that GATEWAY was supposed to have dealt with this issue yesterday.

No, GATEWAY didn't.

I told the lovely UPS man that I would call him back.

Yes, I was on the phone for 2 hours with GATEWAY this morning.

Yes, my migraine is back.

No, there was no record of anything I went through with GATEWAY this past Friday. I went through the whole thing with yet another GATEWAY customer service representative because they couldn't possibly connect me with the person who told me so very rudely to stop questioning her and that my old video card needed to get sent to Texas, not Ontario, even though I had her badge number.

Yes, I did get transferred to someone that the GATEWAY employee assured me could rectify my problem.

No, she couldn't.

She put me on hold after I explained my issue with her. She came back on the line and told me......ok, you probably won't believe any of this story from this point on, but I assure you, I couldn't possibly make this up.

She told me that the video card needed to get sent to Ontario.


No, she wasn't. To which I replied, "Fine. When it gets to New York tomorrow, ship it to Ontario."

To which the GATEWAY employee replied, "It's the customer's responsibility to ship the part."

I have to edit the next part quite a bit because it involves me losing it a wee bit and then apologizing to the GATEWAY employee for getting mad at her, but it basically ends up with me respectfully requesting to speak with her supervisor.

No, GATEWAY didn't have a supervisor I could speak with. No, there was NO GATEWAY employee she could transfer me to. I told her I was not going to pay for the card to be shipped back to Canada, and then pay for it to get shipped from BC to Ontario. She told me then I wouldn't be getting the new video card. I said this was unacceptable. This was not my fault. I've spent how many hours on the phone over this, and I wanted to speak with someone higher up about this.

The GATEWAY employee told me I could write a letter to their office in Texas to request they reimburse me. I took down the address and hung up.

Back on the phone with UPS. The wonderful guy suggested I just go and buy a new video card because by the time I pay for shipping from New York to BC and then from BC to Ontario, I would be spending that much anyways. But here's the clincher. If I put in a part that doesn't come from GATEWAY, the computer warranty is null and void if we have future problems. And let's face it, I'm not letting GATEWAY win this one.

Yes, I got back on the phone with GATEWAY. I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor. And this particular GATEWAY employee seemed fairly horrified with my story (which of course, was not documented anywhere on our service account) and he transferred me to 'level 2'.

I was put on hold and an automated message came on telling me I would have approximately a 5 minute wait. I was on hold for 40 minutes.

Yes, I told the whole story over again. And ended it with, "When the package arrives in New York tomorrow, I want your company to ship it to Ontario."

Yes, the GATEWAY employee put me back on hold. He kept coming back on line every 10 minutes or so saying he was still working on the problem.

25 minutes later, he finally came back on the line and asked if he could call me back once he's figured out a solution to the problem.

So, here I sit. I'm taking bets. When do you think I'll hear back from GATEWAY? Do you think I WILL hear back from GATEWAY? Do you think they'll ship my new video card? Do you think GATEWAY aka ACER sucks? Do you think we will EVER buy another GATEWAY/ACER product? Do you think my migraine will ever leave????

I'm going to go join the 'GATEWAY SUCKS' group on Facebook.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Computer Woes

I realize I'm taking a chance posting this, considering our computer is still not fixed. But sometimes a girl needs to vent, I have this little blog and I think it's highly probable the staff at uhhh......let's call the company Fateway.....don't know how to read, so.....

Today I found out why the computer company Fateway chose their name.

Because they are the, um, fateway to frustration, poor customer service, people with attitude, crappy telephone lines and perhaps even the fateway to hell. I'm not sure about the last one, but considering the crackling phone lines I was on today, I wouldn't be surprised.

The video card in our 11 month old computer failed. It's still under warranty, so no biggy, right?

Uh, huh.

After a long rigmarole that involved me being on hold for over an hour, it was decided I would send the old video card to the company (at MY cost....did I mention the computer is under warranty?) and then they would send us the new video card to install. When they got a new one in stock, that is.

Away the bubble wrapped video card went, off to Texas. As in, Texas of the United States of America. Don't get me started on how much it cost me to send that broken video card via UPS. Did I mention the computer is still under warranty?

UPS called today. They informed me that the address I had sent the package to was incorrect. So I called Fateway, and I found that they had told me the address ended in 66 but it was supposed to be 06. Not a huge deal, it's possible I made the error, although I did repeat the address back to the original person I had spoken with due to a bad connection.

I phoned UPS and gave them the correct address.

An hour later I got a call from UPS. He informed me that the new address wouldn't accept the shipment and said it was supposed to have been shipped to their location in NEW YORK. So UPS was going to be forwarding it to them.

I was concerned that New York was going to receive the dead video card and not know what the heck it was about and not send me a new video card. So I decided to call Fateway.


There was no record of any of my previous calls even though I had a service requisition number. And they had no idea why on earth it should be sent to New York. The lady on the other end of the crackling line told me it shouldn't be going to New York. Was I calling from Canada? I should have sent it to ONTARIO.

A migraine started.

She gave me the address to the place in Mississauga. No, she had no idea why anyone in the company would tell me to send it to Texas. And no, she really couldn't find out why someone would tell me the part wasn't in stock. That was impossible for anyone to know. The lady I spoke to before could NOT have told me that.

Another call to UPS. The guy on the other end was incredibly helpful. I really mean that. He said he knew the package had already gone on the truck headed to New York, but he would try and contact them and see about the possibility of rerouting it to Ontario. He was concerned about it going through customs again at the border and he figured they were going to have to charge me to get it sent there. He would check in to it and call me back.

Back on the phone with Fateway. No record of previous calls. She put me on hold while she went and got the supervisor from hell. And I think she walked because I was on hold for a very long time.

She asked me why on earth I would have sent it to New York OR Canada. It needed to go to Texas.

Blood started dripping out my left ear.

When I told her that's where I had originally sent it, she informed me that the address I sent it to was their old warehouse. They have a new one out there in the big state of Texas. What an idiot I am. What was I thinking?

When I asked her if she was sure, that I was told it was to go to Canada, she kinda flipped on me. Why did I keep repeating to her what other people had said to me? She didn't care what someone else had told me, SHE was telling me it needed to go to Texas. The whole call was through a crackling line and I had to keep asking her to repeat what she said. This did not improve her mood.

I told her I wanted to clarify what we discussed to make sure we were both clear about what was to happen. Then I told her I would phone UPS to ensure the package didn't get sent to the Great White North.

It is at this point in the tale, that I will pause to let you all know that you should never do that.

Apparently, the Fateway keeper is phoning UPS on Monday. I guess I missed that part what with all the crackling and attitude dripping on the phone line.

So here I sit, with assorted people in this house circling me, repeatedly asking me if I've finished yet so they can use the laptop. I'm looking forward to the call from the Fatekeeper telling me where UPS is sending the busted video card next.

There's something horribly wrong with a dead computer part being better travelled than me.

Love Letters

Remember the Princess's broken heart?

I found a note in her backpack this morning.

"To: Noah Form: The Princess
Vislis are bloo roseis are red you and me are frens becus we mid frens. We are willy frens Noah I wot to tell you that I like you as my frend Noah. Dier Noah we are frens now Noah please."


"To Noah, From The Princess

Violets are blue. Roses are red.

You and me are friends

Because we made friends.

We are really friends Noah. I want to tell you that I like you as my friend, Noah. Dear Noah, we are friends now. Noah, please."

At the bottom of the paper, there's a drawing of the Princess and Noah. They are holding hands and are surrounded by flowers and butterflies.

If this wasn't enough, yesterday when we were leaving school, another boy was waiting for her. "OH! There she is!" he told his buddy. And then shyly said "Hi, Princess," and started walking with us. Then he slugged his buddy in the arm and ran away.

Aren't grade one boys suppose to hate girls in any form? I am so not prepared for this.

It is funny to watch the Husband's face when I tell him these little tidbits. And see his shoulders droop. And see him grab the counter so he doesn't go down.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Deal of the Week

This is for all you loyal Canadian readers out there. Which is all of you except for someone in Nebraska.........(and feel free to say hi if I'm wrong).

I just discovered a new deal that Chapters.Indigo has on right now. It's such a sweet deal, I thought I'd share. And I'm not even going to get a dime from the company for the free advertising. I'm just that great of a person.

And I love a good deal.

Right now, if you purchase $50 or more of toys online, they'll give you $10 off (put in coupon code Toy08 - the second '0' is the number 0 ). Plus, any purchase of $39 or more has free shipping. PLUS, they have some of their Webkinz on for 25% off! If you have Webkinz loving children and hate malls at Christmas time, it doesn't get much better than that.

I was quite surprised at the selection of toys they have. I've always thought they just sold books.

And while you're there, I encourage you to check out their book outlet section. Some amazing deals there too. They ship incredibly quickly. I purchased some books last month (taking advantage of their free shipping) and I got all of the books within one week.

So, off with you. Go check it out. I'm off to tackle laundry, Christmas candy wreaths, and a two year old that needs to do some puddle jumping in the rain.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This is my 100th post.

I know. It's very impressive.

When I started this little blog (on a Friday night....a night the Husband has been regretting he ever went out to play poker and left me home alone with the laptop to myself), I had no idea where it would take me. Or that it would cause my family to turn into lawyers and yell, "You are NOT allowed to blog about that!" every time something mildly humorous happens in this joint.

Like just this week, I was told I couldn't blog about the Eldest taking her driver's test, the confusion about the light sockets in our bedroom -- and that's such a good story, even I look like an idiot in that little gem, but, no, it's been nixed -- and I'm not to mention something about the....well, I really can't talk about that one.

This little blog has also changed Sunday dinners over at my parents' place. With two parents, seven siblings and a brother in law, you'd think we would have something to talk about. But most conversations that I start end with someone stopping me and saying, "Ya, I read about it on your blog." Then some blank stares, and I'm forced to ask, "So, how's work?" To which my siblings all answer, "Good," and then I realize it's time for a glass of wine.

Tentative Equinox did a big fancy 100th blog entry, where she listed 100, yes, ONE HUNDRED, things about herself. I thought about doing that...well, I actually started writing a post like that, but when I got to #7 and it was about the fact that my hair started going grey at the age of 15, I got a bit depressed at the thought of what I might need to pull out of my arse to get to 100 and I hit the delete button.

So, I will just leave it with wishing myself a happy 100th blog entry. I had no idea I would be able to write so much about so little.

The Low Down on the List

The Reminder List ?

No one read it the first day.

The Boy refused to read it when it was pointed out to him.

The Eldest took it off the fridge and left it lying on the kitchen counter.

This morning, the Boy pointed out that he doesn't say, "But why??", only, "Why?"

The Princess agreed with him.

At least he had read it.

Step at a time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rules Rules Rules

Posted on our fridge today.


It has come to the attention of management that household rules established in this humble abode have been flung by the wayside, not unlike one of our jack o'lanterns that was splattered on the road this past Halloween.

Due to an increased volume of neglect, looking the other way and plain old disregard for our house policies, management has decided a gentle reminder of all rules is in order.

Let us please remember:

1. Outdoor shoes are for the outdoors, not my, I mean, our, carpets. Take them off inside. If you feel the need to complain about cold feet, management reminds all of you that Christmas is a mere 6 weeks away and Santa delivers. Put some slippers on your list.

2. Outdoor shoes have a home. It's called the closet. They feel scared when they are left sitting directly in front of the door, just waiting to be tripped over by management. They don't like to hear management swearing and they certainly feel abandoned when they are thrown outside in the rain. Give your shoes, who carry your attitude dripping bodies around all day, the respect they deserve.

3. There are animals living in this house. Please feel free to remember this at all times. Management grows weary of being the only human to hear meowing, barking, whining, and pacing that is indicative of a pet needing SOMETHING. We assure you, your ears are working fine.

4. While listening for the above mentioned pets, be assured that your ears are capable of hearing adult voices. Honest. Management would be happy to direct minors who have a contrary belief on this subject to some very strong medical studies that prove otherwise.

5. "But Why???" is considered an inappropriate response to any request made by management. Studies have shown that people over the age of majority do not respond well to minors who emit this phrase. From this point on, when this phrase comes out of any minor's trap, management will immediately add another request onto the first one. Feel free to test us on this one.

6. This establishment owns a dishwasher. The sink is not the dishwasher. The counter is not the dishwasher. The living room coffee table/window seat/floor/couch/mantle is not the dishwasher. Your mother is not the dishwasher. To find the dishwasher (read this carefully, it is quite technical), stand in front of the sink. Look to your right. Look down. There is a white door there with lots of buttons (not to be confused with the pantry door, which is white, but has no buttons). When you push that little lever thingy, the door opens downward towards the floor. There are things called 'racks' in the dishwasher that you pull out towards yourself. Rest assured, you will not injure yourself. They really are quite light. Your dirty dishes are to be gently deposited into the dishwasher. Management respectfully asks all minors to close the door after depositing dirty dishes into the washer. Minors are not allowed to leave the door open to let the dog lick the dishes inside and claim that they have fed the animals.

7. Garbage. Dear god, people. Use the garbage cans. I beg you.

8. Turn around time. Management respectfully asks all minors to think farther ahead than their next breath. If a minor living in this establishment needs baking done, cardboard for a project, a piece of clothing washed, or a ride to a volleyball game, 3 minutes is not enough time for management to fulfill your request. And texting "come now" to your mother is in poor taste.

9. Bedrooms. Management reserves the right to be able to see 80% of the carpet at all times.

10. Bathrooms. Toilet paper roll fairies do not exist. If you use the last of the roll, put a new one on. Even if you have just had your nails done, have a manual dexterity problem or you know management doesn't keep track of who was in the bathroom last. Just do it. Oh, and Boy, please work on your aiming skills.

I'll let you know how this goes down. And how long it takes them to see it. I have more to add but didn't want the list to end up looking like the Princess's Christmas list.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ICBC and Rainy Days

I'm trying to keep things in perspective, but ICBC is acting like Ernie on Sesame Street.....pokepokepokepokepokepoke.....

We have paid thousands of dollars over the years for insurance coverage. Our 3 year old car was in an accident that wasn't our fault. And ICBC claims that they can use used car parts to fix our vehicle. I'm so impressed.

This downpour today has worn me down and I could only fight to make sure they used parts that were no older than our car.

It was a semi-sweet victory with some nuts thrown in.

* Day 22 - No phone call from the bank yesterday. I shouldn't have laughed at Michael. *

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 21 Re-Visited and an Accident

Michael phoned yesterday at 5:46 pm.

They're getting close.

He asked me if there was "a more appropriate time" to reach the Husband.

I shouldn't have giggled. It made for a long pause on his end of the line.

Will today be the day? Oh, the excitement.

On a different note, as I was chatting with Michael about evening schedules, the Husband was getting hit by a car while driving through a green light. The sad part of the story is that it wasn't with the 12 year old purple minivan. Our poor, sweet 3 year old car. I AM grateful the Husband wasn't hurt, and it wasn't his fault. In the big scheme of life, it's just a bump in the road.

Life has a way of putting things into perspective for you. The Husband phoned and asked how my day was. I started ranting about dog pee on the carpet and how I was done with all the animals in this house, rant rant rant, blah blah blah.....then I asked him how his day was.

"Well, I was just in a car accident."


So I'm off to deal with repair centres and rental car agencies. I should be careful about wishing for more variety in my day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 21

I'm feeling kind of left out.

The bank hasn't called since Friday.

No call yesterday.

No call this morning.

Maybe Bonnie activated the 'do not call ever again' button. Have I won? It hardly seems a victory. A tad anticlimactic. I was looking forward to congratulating the person who finally called in the evening and letting them know I was going to talk about them on my blog. It was going to be quite titillating.

Ah, well. I suppose I must go back to the daily grind of ironing pants, folding laundry and driving children to the optometrist. My life is suddenly not as exciting as when I had a daily dose of cheesing off someone over the phone.

I may have to start prank calling the Husband at work.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

300 Christmas Cookies

I need some help.

Every year at Christmas, the girls in this family whip up a few batches of cookies for the Husband to give to all the wonderful employees at his place of work.

This many cookies:

These lovely gingerbread stars were made two Christmases ago. Last year we made whipped shortbread. I have pictures of those, too, but since they're trapped in the recesses of our other computer that is in for repairs, you'll have to imagine those photos. I assure you, they made quite a sight all lined up on the counter. It was the only time I can ever say that I spent $30 on butter in a one week time span.

This year's cookie baking will be a little different. I'm going to bake cookies for the staff at two facilities, not just one. Which means about 300 cookies.

Which is where you guys come in. I'm looking for some suggestions for Christmas cookies.

Do you have a family favourite? Something that's not too fussy and doesn't use fancy, expensive ingredients? I'd love your suggestions. I want to try some new recipes during this month, so I'm all prepared for the Christmas rush.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Little Family Update

The Youngest, who is now almost 2 and a half years old, is a busy child. She figured out how to open the doors with the childproof locks on the handles yesterday.

The Princess, who is 6 and three quarters, was told by yet another boy in her class that he loves her.

The Boy, who is 14, sent me on a wild goose chase on October 31st to find a Halloween mask. I found one. He decided to stay in and play video games last night.

The Eldest, who turns 17 this month, went to a Halloween party last night with her boyfriend. She goes for her driver's test in 10 days. She's starting a new job tonight. She is growing up way too fast.

The Husband, who is way older than me, found his lost wedding ring. In his workout bag. That we had torn apart looking for. It had been missing for 4 months. We had already purchased a new one.

And me, I am wearing the Husband's old wedding ring on a chain and diving into Christmas preparations. But first, I will be cleaning off 6 year old height level lipstick kisses that cover the front hall mirror. And researching girls only boarding schools.