Month: January 2006

  • Alex called to tell us Hannah waved bye-bye!  Isn't she a clever girl? 

    More clever than she realized, seeing as how it was Beth leaving the
    apartment, but when Hannah lifted her arm and waggled her fingers at
    Mama, Mama started crying and came back, not leaving after all. 

    Neat trick there, Hannah. 

    Alex also called to ask if I had any suggestions as to where the Brass
    Quintet should go for dinner in St. Louis tomorrow evening. 
    Haven't a clue, so thought I'd ask you. 

    Actually, Don and I both recall a steak house we ate at in St. Louis
    once, many years ago.  Named after a baseball player.  Stan
    Musial, perhaps?   
    What's really unnerving is neither of us can remember exactly when or
    even why we were in that city, unless it was way back when we attended
    a friend's wedding in Jefferson City.

    Forgot the wedding.  Remember the steak.  Oy vey! 

  • Back to show bidness as usual.  The Academy Awards nominations are out, and I've not seen any of the nominees for Best Film.

    Or any others, for that matter. 

    Thinking about it, the only movie I saw in a theatre in 2005 was Mad Hot Ballroom.  Doesn't look like it received a nomination, the stinkers. 

  • When is theft not theft?

    Why, when it's a "serious personal mistake in judgment," of course. 

    A former Wal-Mart vice-president - who'd been mentored by Sam Walton
    himself -  has pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one
    count of filing a false tax return.  Fraudulently obtained gift
    cards used to purchase liquor from a Sam's Club.  Faked invoices
    to get money to pay for hunting leases and just get some cash,

    And all this while pulling down a salary of $1M per year.

    Amazing how people rarely own up to actual sin, instead preferring to admit only to "mistakes."

  • You know, I deny no one a fair profit, but.....

    $36 BILLION dollars in profit at Exxonmobil?  Thirty-six billion???

    They don't think that's maybe just a smidge on the greedy side?  While we're unhappily trying to eke out $2.20+ per gallon gasoline so as to last as long as possible, the stockholders at Exxon are happy as pigs in clover.  When I think about how after Katrina we were shelling out upwards of three bucks a gallon, and how it wrecked the SUV and pick-up truck market last fall (my bro-in-law is sales manager at a Chevy dealership that mostly sells those types of was an ugly autumn), well, I could just spit.  

    Wonder how the CEO would respond to customers who reasonably object to what sure looks like price gouging; perhaps "Look after the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves"?

  • Oopsie-doopsie!  Wouldn't this be embarrassing?  Worse'n the time I upended a paper plate of food at a Junior Women's club luncheon at someone's house (fortunately it was in the kitchen).

    Museum visitor trips, breaks Chinese vases.

    Personally, though, it sounds to me as if the vases were kept in a stupid place. 

  • Okay, I thought this was funny:

  • This afternoon for lunch Dmitry and I went to the "Russia restaurant" in Arlington to meet Laura, Dan, and Zhenya.  Oh, and Lucas!  Mustn't forget Lucas. 

    Okay, color me impressed.  Not content with being the subject of not one, but two, feature stories in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, their story is going to be in either the March or April issue of Good Housekeeping

    Isn't it odd?  To me they're just, well, the Waybourns.  Our friends.  Dmitry's bestest friends.  See 'em at church.  Spend the night.  Have lunch occasionally.  Email some.  That sort of thing.

    Never occurred to me they'd be written up in a major, national magazine like Good Housekeeping.  (When telling me about it, Laura first urged me to guess which magazine it was, saying it'd be the one I'd least expect, based upon the title.  "Planned Parenthood" was my suggestion.  )

    And tonight Dan is testing to qualify for third-grade brown belt in karate.  He's getting on up there!  Do NOT mess with Dan.  ;^)  Zhenya's testing for his green belt, and Joe finally succumbed and began taking karate, and will be trying for his orange.  I ought to go watch and cheer 'em on, but being a lazy cuss, I undoubtedly won't.  Bad Auntie Anne. 

  • Tell you what, I ran into the most frightful "customer service" rep this morning when speaking with Southwestern Bell in an attempt to discover where the money for a couple of Jessica's phone bills got off to.  I don't do it often, but occasionally I'll pay her phone bill via my Bank of America online bill pay account.  Her account's been in there for least four.  Anyway, it turns out that not only the payment made to it last week, but also one back in September, weren't ever credited to her account.

    Turns out that at some point between the time the last occasion I had to pay it and last September, her account number changed, even though her phone  number hadn't.  I didn't know this, so hadn't changed it on the computer. 

    Anyway, it'd caused a big problem, so this morning I called BoA to see what could be done.  I reached a very kind, capable man named Mark in their on-line bill pay department, and as Jessica was over here printing out her resume, she was able to provide the 800 number to the SWB billing department, plus the current account number.  Armed with this info, Mark set up a conference call between him, SWB, and us. 

    The woman inflicted on us by SWB was an Annette, and she was a pest.  You would not believe her attitude!  "Well, this wasn't Southwestern Bell's error.  What do you expect me to do about it?"  "You're just going to have to pay the money again, as it was your mistake, not ours."  "We can't help it if you paid to the wrong account."

    Mark civilly replied that this is not at all an unusual circumstance, and the ordinary method of handling it is that SWB tracks down, via the account number I'd had, where the money went, then reapply it to the correct account.

    Annette was not impressed, merely reiterating it wasn't their problem, and what did we expect her to do about it?

    That's when I asked to speak to her supervisor.  She sounded like she was sucking a pickle, but grumpily agreed to get her manager.  Fortunately, Mrs. Rogers, the manager, was a delight who perfectly understood what happened, and between her and dear Mark the problem was sorted out.  Mark faxed info over to her, and everything should be just fine.

    That Annette creature ought to be fired, though.    Granted, it was not SWB's error, or the bank's....Jessica and I willingly acknowledge this....but it's hardly a weird mistake to make.  Jessica set up ebills through her account at Wells Fargo last summer, and didn't think about the account number on the bill having changed.  Yes, she ought to have notice this, but she didn't.  So shoot her.  No, first sue her, then shoot her.  That seems to be the way Annette would handle it.

    When Jessica was calling SWB yesterday afternoon she said she ran into at least three "Annettes", though finally the LORD provided Andrea, who was a brick. 

    What with the competition from Vonage and other phone companies, SWB would be wise to make sure their customer service department isn't infested with Nasty Annettes. 

  • Well, he made it to Illinois at least!  We just received the 10 second phone call he's permitted to make to the Folks At Home. 

  • Naturally it turned out the swearing-in ceremony was about 10 a.m.    Got there two hours early.  Still, both Don and I were able to be present, so that's a good thing.

    We waited and waited and waited, but finally a voice over the loudspeaker instructed all those recruits shipping out today to come to the front desk to get their contracts.  Wow.  Didn't know Charles could move that fast.    Here he is, preparing to head back to the swearing-in room:

    Then the families got to wait some more, but were ourselves eventually called back.  The recruits were lined up in rows, and of course Charles was at the opposite end.....don't tell me he didn't plan that, the wretch. 

    Here they're taking the oath (political correctness abounds, I regret to say; if the recruit doesn't want to "swear", he may substitute "affirm", and omit "So help me God" entirely.  As the man said, they don't want anyone to be offended):

    To his dismay I was able to snag this photo, too:

    Heading to a room behind the Official Room, where they read over their contracts one more time:

    Here he is, examining his contract.  Isn't this thrilling? 

    But finally the magic must end, and a nice woman offered to take our photo, to which Charles reluctantly consented:

    There were only a couple of other Navy recruits, and their plane is due to leave shortly before 4:00 this afternoon.  More hurrying up and waiting!  What's frightful is it's cold in Chicago and he has no jacket.  He'll be issued a coat upon arriving at the base, however. 

    So.  'Tis done.  Now one-third of our children are in the Navy.