Month: March 2006

  • I wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of anyone from India, but I really hate it when I call a company.....Delta, for instance....and get connected to a help desk obviously located in that country.

    Truth be told, I've always had a hard time understanding East Indian accents.  Had a hard time when I was in retail, and have a hard time now, especially when it's over the telephone and I'm straining to hear. 

    [plaintively]  It was rough enough when the help desks were located in New Jersey or Boston, for crying out loud.  But India

  • Don getting the new wheels got me to thinking about how the auto industry still has a ways to go to grasp how the driving habits of American has changed.  ISTM extended warranties are an absolute necessity these days, for who only drives 36,000 miles in 36 months? 

    Okay, back when lots of people took busses to work, and people lived fairly close to work, school, stores, etc. I can sort of see it.  Maybe.

    But nowadays it's come to be the norm to live a fair distance from one's place of employment, etc.  We live in Fort Worth but Don works in Dallas.  My sister, Elaine, lives near us and Hal works in Dallas.  My son-in-law lives in Keller but works in Plano.  They'll hit the standard warranty limit real fast.  Heck, I'm zooming up on it yet I don't even work!  Last year Dmitry attended a school 12-13 miles away, so there was 1000 miles in a month right there, never mind the other driving I did.  And the trips to Lubbock and Ruidoso.

    When I was much younger those parameters were achievable and reasonable, but no longer.  Doubtless those extended warranties are a significant profit center for the automobile manufacturers, though, so the chances of their bringing their standard warranties into some sort of line with reality are remote at best.

  •  Just got a call from Don, and after several months of research and test drives, he finally traded in the Silver Bullet II (his Camaro), choosing a 2006 Mercury Mariner:


    Maybe now those myriad phone calls from car salesmen will stop plaguing me on a near-daily basis.  Why do they think he's going to be home at 1:00 in the afternoon, for pity's sake?  e-fingers_ears

  • Finally received a call from Charles this evening!  He says there
    are no pay phones in the barracks, only at the NEX, and when he was
    there yesterday he didn't have a phone card.

    Calling collect didn't occur to him, apparently.  e-rolleyes2

    Anyway, he's sharing a room with one of his best friends from boot
    camp, which is nice.  Thirty of his graduating class came to
    Groton, enough so their class begins next week, meaning no leave until
    perhaps mid-May. 

    On the plus side, his A-school will be in Groton, so he won't be
    transferring elsewhere, and it doesn't take but a few months. 
    Why, he'll be posted somewhere for his first assignment before we know
    where we are.    
    He's determined to do as well as possible in his A-school, for the top
    of the class gets first pick of where they want to go.  His friend
    Joseph's school should be completed in December (apparently learning
    how to shoot missles takes longer), and their plan is for him to get
    posted wherever Charles goes.

    Hmmmm.  We'll see how that works out, won't we?  Best laid plans....! 

    Anyway, he's happy and settled, so that's good.  Didn't know his
    snail mail address, so couldn't give it to me.  Hopefully he'll
    write soon, assuming he wants to receive mail.

  • Turns out the travelin' is not over just yet, as I'm flying to Florida on Saturday so as to be at the memorial service for Kathryn's dear husband, Frank, on Monday afternoon.  Bless the sheriff's department for which he worked, they're pulling out all the stops for their departed comrade-in-arms. 

    It's sad I'm meeting these dear friends in person for the first time due to Frank's being gathered home, but much I'm looking forward to giving big ol' Texas-sized bear hugs to Kathryn and Margaret and their children! 

  • Well, Charles is in Groton.  Yup, he made it there safely.

    Of course, it'd have been nice if I'd heard it from him as opposed to reading it on the blog of his friend, Joseph, who is in Groton and saw him. 

  • One would think a big company such as CNN could pop for editors, wouldn't one?

    Clearly they don't, for if they did there wouldn't be howlers on their site as in this story about tomorrow's total eclipse:   "Night will turn to day in the eclipse's route and a corona will glow
    around the edges of the moon as it comes between the earth and the sun."

    Really?  Night will turn to day?

    I'll bet astronomers are very excited about this eclipse! 

  • Sunday evening Alex discovered a heretofore unsuspected benefit of being in the military.

    He was waiting at his gate at O'Hare for boarding to begin for the flight to Memphis when the person at the counter requested three volunteers to miss that flight, receiving as compensation a $250 voucher toward future travel plus hotel and expenses, seeing as how the next flight to Memphis wasn't until the middle of the next morning.

    Having a muster at 7:30 a.m. so the brass quintet could drive to Nashville for an event, he remained silent.  As did everyone else.

    A little later the same voice came over the PA system, this time calling three names, one of them "Ivy."  Alex groaned as he gathered his stuff and proceeded to the counter, where he was told, along with the other two names' owners, that as they'd been the last to check in, they were being bumped.  Sorry.  (BTW, considering the fact Alex checked in at 6:00 p.m. for a 7:39 p.m. flight, we find that a bit hard to swallow....he was one of the last passengers to check in?  I doubt that.)  In an indifferent voice the woman at the counter tendered the captain's apologies.

    Alex irritably asked if the captain was prepared to tender his apologies and provide an explanation to his superiors in the Navy, as he'd obviously be unable to be at the 7:30 a.m. muster  Upon hearing that, she asked (nothing gets past her, boy!) "You're in the military?"  Alex fished out his military ID, whereupon he was waved away with the explanation, "Legally we can't bump military personnel.  Never mind."

    He said he did feel obliged to mumble an apology to the other two distressed passengers, both of whom pleaded business engagements the next morning in Memphis.  Don't know if they managed to get on the flight or not.

    Still, he said it's nice to know as a member of the military, he's unbumpable. 

  • "Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of His saints".  Psalm 116:15

    If y'all could pray for the peace which passeth all understanding for my friend, Kathryn, who comments here, I'd appreciate it.  Her husband, Frank, who has been ill with cancer, died this afternoon.  Frank and Kathryn have three daughters, 9, 7, and 3.  Frank was a valiant Christian who amazed his co-workers over the past few weeks by his steadfast faith in his Savior, even as his health failed.

    I'm hearing that Kathryn and the girls are holding up well, but of course there are sure to be rough waters ahead for them. 

  • Tell you what's a mind-boggling thought, and that's the fact these graduations occur weekly.  Think about it!  The class which just graduated only boasted 672 new sailors, which is rather small.  Alex's was around 800, IIRC, and it was considered not large.  Apparently they can reach upwards of a thousand at a time.

    Every week. 

    Since the Navy tends to remain the same size, presumably that's roughly the same number of sailors who leave the service each week.

    Gives one pause, doesn't it?