Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekly Wednesday #46

Weekly Weekend:
We shipped Kiernan off to my parent's cottage to run around with the cousins and spent two nights at the Gananoque Inn. It was very relaxing, and we even got to visit the casino. Of course, the casino website states that they only offer seven card stud, and I spent a few weeks beforehand brushing up my skills only to discover they don't offer it anymore and it was just limit hold'em... I was at the $2-5 table for over two hours and managed to get stuck $70 (one old man with a double-sided combover-to-the-middle kept getting full houses until he left for the $10-20 table which opened up) but managed to slowly claw my way back... Lara was VERY patient, but having won $15 at the slot machines (and being pregnant with twins) she indicated with a grimace from the rail it was time to leave. As I began to rack my chips to leave the dealer dealt me in anyway. It was free to play the hand, so of course it was Ace-Queen... and of course I flopped the Queen... but I managed to keep the betting to the minimum and the lady to my right rivered a straight. I cashed out only $32 short, which means if I'd folded the Ace-Queen I would have only lost $16...

Weekly Image:
That's him! That's the full-house magnet!

Weekly Kiernan:
Monday was Family Day, so with our day off we decided to start the move to the big boy bed at naptime. After an hour and a half later of storytelling, crying and no sleep, we feared the worst. At bedtime, we had to put a doorknob guard on his old room so he couldn't get in. Then, to our surprise, he went down with no more fuss than usual. And it has continued to be just as easy!

The best part is that there has been a separation in his mind between a crib and a bed. He knows how to get in and out of the bed just fine, grabbing a book to read from the bookshelf and bringing it back to read, but after being put in the bed for sleep, it's like an invisible barrier pops up to keep him in. I walked in on him throwing his toys out of the bed, as he did with the crib, but he was standing in his bed to toss things despite the lower bedrail. Lara and I both have gone in in the morning and had to tell him he could go and get a book himself. Actually, maybe it's best not to remind him of that...

Weekly Video:
Kiernan's potty training has also been going on lately, and lucky for him we don't have this:

Weekly Twins:
We have narrowed boys' names down to two, and both could be used as a middle name to the other... But then there's the interesting initials that could ensue: G.H. Wellman or H.G. Wellman... if only we had a time machine to see which would work out better...

Weekly Workplace:
I got asked if I was available for a 6 month extension on my contract... When I responded immediately I was asked whether I needed time to think about it. Um, no, I think I'm okay with that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

oh my god

This kid looks 8... Baby-faced boy Alfie Patten is father at 13

the video is priceless... "What will you do financially?" "What's financially?"


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tired yet awesome

It's 1:30am and I've been playing poker since nine... I just came in second place in the Ante Up Intercontinental Poker Series (AIPS)... 168 (skilled as hell) competitors... My King-Ten of hearts got stabbed by a rivered 5 which paired the other guy's K5, netting me $130... so basically I've got all the future monthly AIPS events paid for in advance... you know, when the twins are sleeping...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekly Wednesday #45

Weekly Images:
How to make pixel cookies

Weekly Video:
The Chaser's War on Everything grabbed my attention a few weeks ago... In this clip, Chas is challenged to appear in the background of shots on the Australian Television Awards twenty times...

Other funny videos from the series include their attempts to bring a Trojan Horse past security gates and for we Canadians familiar with Rick Mercer's Talking With Americans, The Chasers interview Americans about 9/11 facts (such as the date it happened)

Weekly Kiernan:
On Sunday while shopping, Lara told Kiernan "We're going to home and make nachos for lunch!"
Kiernan replied, "Not-sos? NOT-SOS? Not-so tasty!"

Of course with his eating habits being very green-eggs-and-ham lately, he refused to even try the nachos unless there was nothing at all on the chip.

The next day Lara used the rest of the salsa to make herself more nachos. Kiernan demanded to eat them, declaring it "yummy pizza".

Weekly Workplace:
Today marks the one year anniversary of my walking in on my first day and being told the lady I was replacing for her maternity leave had been put on bedrest the week before and wouldn't be there to show me the ropes for the next six weeks.

Weekly Twins:
As with the first time around, boy names are hard to agree on. Hopefully Kiernan will not think his baby brother is named "The boy baby."

Weekly WTF:
An uncomfortable wife leads to late night reading for her. That's fine, I can usually fall asleep with the light on if I'm tired enough. But if I'm awoken while the light is still on, I have trouble getting back to dreamland. Which leads me to researching book lamps and finding the following helpful suggestion from Amazon:

Hey look, I get a discount if I purchase filament lightbulb replacements for an LED lamp! (apparently 5% of people who bought the light went on to buy the bulbs, but that's frequently enough for Amazon!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blogger vs IKEA 2: The returnening! (conclusion)

A thick instructions manual lay before me, the count of screws, nuts and bolts hiding beneath its cover.

Flipping through, I saw 18 pages isometric illustrations and wordless instructions.

I rubbed my hands together in glee.

Then I noticed that since we were only assembling the bunk bed as a single bed for now there were only three easy steps to do so.

Even a 2 year old could have made that thing...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogger vs IKEA 2: The returnening! (part 2)

Around noon on Tuesday I received the call from the returns supervisor to let me know they had tracked down the receipt, and were able to do the exchange. I could either bring the single bed back to the store for the exchange, receiving a voucher for $40 in gas, or get free delivery to the house, but they'd have to figure out when the delivery could be made.

As I was eager to assemble the big boy bed, (and because of the gas money, whee!) I chose the former option and said I'd be in that night. Then I checked the website to see what the package dimensions of the bunk bed were. When we had purchased the bed two weeks ago, the floorperson looked it up in the system and saw that there were two boxes, and obviously since we had purchased them we were confident that it would have fit into the Mazda 5, but I of course wanted to be paranoid sure.

Yup, the HEMNES bed frame says "2 boxes" alright... clicking to see the measurements of the boxes gets you...

Article number:70045383
Width:110 cm
Height:14 cm
Length:205 cm
Weight:63,0 kg

Okay, that's only one box listed. It's twice the width of the single bed's 1m x 1m box containing headboards, which would make sense since there are four headboards... so why is it 2 metres long? I also found it hard to believe that had I been told there was a 1x2m box that I would have said "Yes, that will fit" when we bought the thing.

So I called a guy at customer service and asked. I was told "That would be the measurement of the biggest box."
"Oh. Well, when we were in the store they looked it up in the system and told us it was two boxes. The web page says it's two boxes. I've bought bigger things from IKEA in the past, and it's hard to believe 130 pounds of pieces would be shoved into a single 2x1 metre box."
"Yes, it's the bigger box. There would be a second box that's just not listed on the web page."

After arranging to borrow my father's truck, then realizing I would have to lug an awkward sized box into the house in the cold, we arranged to switch to home-delivery.

While talking to the customer service guy I should have asked what the measurement of the second smaller box was, because two conveniently car-fitting sized packages have arrived at our door two days after I could have been assembling the thing. Had I asked about this second box, perhaps the customer service guy would have actually looked in the system himself to see that he shouldn't make assumptions lest he make an ass out of U... himself... and... mptions.

IKEA has received an email, praising the help from the returns department, damning the lazy nameless customer service rep, and suggesting that the web page be updated to reflect the actual package sizes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weekly Wednesday #44

Weekly Link:
Japan sewage yields more gold than top mines

Weekly Kiernan:
We find ourselves reverting back to tactics used months ago to get him to eat... Each spoonful is a different animal who wants to be eaten, or each forkfull is alternated with applesauce or fruit... the other night the random animals had to request a taste of each piece of peach which had just been swallowed.

Weekly Twins:
I've finally felt a kick, but don't ask me whose it was.

Weekly Workplace:
Anyone who has worked for a non-profit can probably tell you two things about the computers they had to use: They are slow and they are out-of-date. Whether my contract here is renewed or not, I will be forever remembered as the one who brought speed to the masses due to a mass memory upgrade from an average 256MB to a whopping 1gb of memory. Some people were actually sitting there amazed and giggling at how fast Outlook closed and then re-opened. I apologized for all the thumb-twiddling people would be missing out on in the future.

Of course, there's one lady who works here one or two days a week, and in another location the other days -- when she heard about the upcoming upgrade she was quick to point out that both her computers would need upgrading, so we had to make sure to include the off-location workstation in the inventory.

As I handed over the memory stick and told her if she needed help installing it she should contact IS, she said "I don't understand what this will do, my computer is very old."
She's actually a techie, so really she should know, but I said "This stick was specifically ordered for that computer, and it's going to speed things up. Check out the speed on your computer here and see, there really is a difference."
"Okay, but as I understood it would be a complete upgrade of the computers, not just memory."
"No, it was just memory." She knew this because I have emails of her talking about the memory she needed. "We are waiting on a report of all software versions on all workstations, so we'll be upgrading everyone that way..."
"I just don't understand the point." she muttered as she walked away.

I wonder if she'll understand when it doesn't take 8 minutes for her computer to boot up...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blogger vs IKEA 2: The returnening!

After an arduous weekend, the office emptied, and Kiernan's big boy room is all ready for set-up!

Last night I dragged the IKEA HEMNES bunk bed boxes up to the room and began (carefully) opening the cardboard.

"Lara," I called downstairs, "What colour did we order?"

"Antique - It only comes in antique... why? What did they give us?"


She came up and took a look "Yep, that's black. Count the pieces."

We had wondered how a bunk bed could fit into two boxes when Lara had brought the boxes from her parents' house, but after checking the website in my usual paranoid manner, we saw that yes, the HEMNES comes in two boxes. Technically we got two boxes and a bundle of wooden slats... I just figured so few slats were just further apart.

But alas, it turns out instead of this...

... the warehouse had given us this:

On top of it all, we couldn't locate the receipt. I've got receipts for crushed stone delivered to my driveway three and a half years ago, but not from a bunk bed, paid in cash two weeks ago. We had also purchased a DAVE laptop stand on a separate purchase, and that receipt was also missing, so they're probably hiding somewhere together, fearful of my IKEA wrath.

I lugged the bed across town (what's up with this one IKEA per city rule anyway?) where I received ticket #249 for service. They were serving 236, a lady who was screaming at the supervisor about some silk flowers she wanted to return. The supervisor was almost in tears, so of course my retail-brain kicks in and I start feeling sympathy for the evil IKEA people who gave me the wrong bed.

After the lady stormed past, it became apparent that there was only one customer service rep working alongside the supervisor. The red-eyed supervisor came out and let us know individually that their system was down and they can still process returns, but would we like water or a hot dog or ice cream. Damn your friendly tactics, IKEA staff!

Of course, as she got to me I quickly explained my situation: Wrong bed, no receipt, purchased on the 17th of January at around 2pm. She went "Oh dear." and grabbed a phone off her belt to call the warehouse. She chatted a bit, told me they would definitely fix this, and went to the back room.

I tried to not think of all the customers who she hadn't gotten to yet, glaring at me for depriving them of the free offer of hot dogs and lingonberry juice.

Since the system was down, they had no way of getting to my record at the moment, but the supervisor took my name and number and will be calling me today around lunchtime. She said they WILL get me my bunk bed, and also offered to pay for my gas for wasting my trip. The absolute nerve of IKEA employees softening my anger with your excellent customer service! Gr!

Apologies go out to customers #242 through #248 who were still waiting for service as I lugged the bed back to the car.