Friday, April 30, 2010

3g Day

I've been waiting, not so patiently, since March 12, for delivery of my 3g iPad.

I dutifully saved my Christmas and birthday money, and figured that along with some money I'd make off tax season I'd have enough to afford the Cadillac 64 GB 3g model. (Color me naive about what tax season brought...) So the first day I could, I ordered it, along with a case and a power adapter.

Apple taunted me. They released the wifi version. They shipped the case to me. They shipped the power adapter. They billed my card for the Apple Care.

I started haunting the message boards on to figure out when it would be shipped. Consensus was that the prize would be in my hands on April 30, and indeed, I got email from Apple saying it had been shipped, and I'd have to be home to sign for it. (Lest you think I'm really nuts, rest assured I was one of many people anxiously awaiting the release. I didn't comment on the boards. Some of the people on there were thisclose to storming Apple headquarters with torches and pitchforks when they thought their shipment might be delayed till May 1.)

I planned the day. Up shortly after 7; showered and ready before 7:30, just in case it came early. And I waited... and waited... and waited. Email said it should be at my house before 3. I tracked it on and discovered it was on a truck headed toward me.

Around 2:30, I started getting nervous about the whole thing, especially given that my friend Cliff had taken delivery of his a couple of hours before. At 3:00, I checked the FedEx site again, to discover the dreaded "Delivery Exception" next to the tracking number.

The explanation was "Customer not home."


Oh hell no.

I fear at that point, I sort of lost my temper. "Sort of" defined like the volcano in Iceland "sort of" spewed ash that stopped air traffic for awhile. I dialed up FedEx and had a chat with the person who answered to explain that I took offense at such a bald-faced lie being used as an excuse for the delivery person not doing his job. You see, this was the second FedEx package within 3 days that hadn't reached my home on time.

They had rescheduled delivery for Monday. This was unacceptable in ways you can only begin to imagine. They said they wouldn't make the delivery guy come back since it wasn't medical equipment. So I'd have to go to their hub.

After another tirade on me getting out in Friday afternoon Atlanta traffic, the person gave me the address. I asked for the phone number for the hub, and the rep said they didn't have one. "Bull" was my response. Every place has a phone number; they just didn't want me to have it. So they patched me through to the hub so they could give me directions.

I asked when I could expect the driver to be back there... the person said "Oh, that's Mark... he should be here about 5:30" -- yeah, like he was supposed to be at my house about 3. I was in mid tirade again about their poor service when the doorbell rang.

It was Mark. With my iPad.

I can only guess that someone from FedEx called him and told him there was one po'ed little woman there and he best get over there with my package.

His explanation was that there were multiple streets in my neighborhood with similar names. Ya think? And that FedEx was supposed to get them GPS units but hadn't. Dude, have ya heard of a map? Why not call me if you couldn't find the house -- you had my phone number? Would have been better than lying about it.

I'm still appalled at the lack of customer service. Needless to say I won't be shipping FedEx anytime soon.

But at least I have my toy.It's soooooo kewl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stitches South, 2010

My name is Jean, and I have a problem.

Oh heck no I don't! I freakin' enjoy myself!! And I had a particularly wonderful time this past weekend at Stitches South. Although I will admit that I didn't think the haul was nearly as big as it turned out to be. Reminded me of the time we were all at Spirit of Cross Stitch, and we asked our DF Cathy what she'd bought, and she replied "Not much" and then proceeded to dump this huge haul onto the bed for us to see. We laughed ourselves silly over the astonished look on her face when she realized exactly how much she'd spent....

DFs Teresa and Jackie came to spend the weekend at my house. This was the first time I'd met Jackie in real life, and she is so delightful! We decided that in oh so many ways we were actually the same person (although she's a bit taller). Along with DFs Heather and Jill, we took a class on Thursday: "Fiendishly Difficult Stitches". Class was ok. I just took it because that's what everyone else was taking, and to be honest, I wasn't paying much attention. I was distracted by the yarn fumes coming from the marketplace that opened right after class was over...

Shopping ensued, both on Thursday night and on Friday morning. People have been asking for pictures of the haul. Take a deep breath...
This is the "accessories" section of the haul. I got a set of Kollage square circulars (a size 8 is missing because it was immediately put to use casting on a tank top with some yarn from last year's Stitches South), Della Q project bags plus an interchangeable needle holder, some portable looms I'd been eyeing, and some Hiya Hiya stitch markers with holder.Sock yarn: The four skeins on the left are from Miss Babs... center is Opal, right two skeins are very sparkly Kraemer with sterling silver woven throughout.

Next up is my visit to the Quiviut booth. No, I'm not that crazy. I bought merino and some very nice hooded cowl patterns...It'll be interesting to see what happens with the cowls. They're lace. And lace and I are currently in a mutual time out. Last time I tried... well... the result was ugly and it resulted in me temporarily losing all my religion.I bought some books and patterns...And some more books and patterns, along with a kewl swift that is the subject of some debate at my house. You can't really see it here... but it's wooden and is flat on the tabletop. Richard says we don't need it; I disagreed.

Finally, more yarn...Some bulky Noro was on closeout at Webs... Got a great deal on the Noro sock, and the Araucania cotton is something insane like 4400 yards, and I'm planning on knitting with it doubled and making some form of garment.

Ordered and to come... some wooden purse handles with a cutout in the shape of a dachshund, and earrings from Sassafras designs made from knitting needles that had to have leverbacks put on.

So, upon review, I probably bought just a teeny bit more than I thought. :)

One of the best parts?? Got our picture made with the folks responsible for Ravelry!That's me in the middle, next to Casey, looking very... short. L to R is Teresa, Jill, Casey, Moi, Jess, Sarah, Jackie, Mary-Heather. (Thanks to Jackie for the picture!)

Other than Stitches South, we made a trip to Perimeter Mall for shopping at the Pandora store and the Clarks shoe store... we ate at the hibachi steak place... Teresa and Jackie shopped at the needlework store that shall not be named for a little bit on Saturday (Richard and I sat in the car) and we headed in before the storms got bad... we did sneak out a bit later so that they could see DF Andy's townhouse and all of her beautiful stitching.

Princess Penny, of course, had a great time nibbling our guests' toes. Teresa's toes, for some reason, are particularly tasty. Jackie got a great picture of her...
All in all, a great but exhausting weekend full of good friends and good times! My bank account has a year to recover, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

On another note... can you help a wiener dog out?? Pam (who created the beautiful February Lady Sweater) has a doxie with a broken leg. To help out with vet bills, she's designed this tres cute baby sweater. If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider making a purchase. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drumroll, please...

Today is April 15. It's a big day for two reasons. First, it's the end of the first wave of tax season. Second, and most importantly, it's a new beginning.

April 15, 2010 is the first day of business for Early & Smith, LLC, an accounting and financial services firm I've created with my new partner, Steve Smith. Steve is an Enrolled Agent (EA) and is becoming licensed to provide investment services to our clients.

I've known Steve for nearly 20 years now, since we both survived worked at Universal Tax Systems in Rome, GA. He's a Northwest Georgia kid like me, and we share a lot of the same values.

Bob is going to ease into retirement after this tax season, and Steve will be working with a lot of his clients. We're hoping to work together to grow the business a lot more.

I'm excited -- I think this is going to be the beginning of a great new partnership!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

States I've Visited So Far...

visited 22 states (44%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

I'm probably going to regret this...

...but I took the weekend off.

I'd had it. Too tired to think about anything, and I considered myself a danger to work on anybody's stuff. The kicker was on Thursday, when I had one of the worst dizzy spells I'd ever had while I was at a client. Ya know... the room reeling, hold on to the chair for dear life, don't dare get up for fear of falling down kind of dizzy spell. I worked through it; it was probably a mistake because I found out Friday some errors I made that I'm going to have to correct. Upon review of the days leading up to it, it was probably also a mistake to subsist almost exclusively on Girl Scout Cookies, apple fritters, and caffeine -- did I mention the caffeine??

So evidently it was time for a personal "ctrl-alt-del" and a reboot and recharge to get through the next couple of weeks. I decided to go through the Easter weekend and spend it with my "pack" of Richard and Penny and not work.

Saturday we got up and decided it was time for a full pack outing. Started off at Starbucks for the first dining outside of the year. Penny delighted us by chasing petals blowing off the Bradford pear trees when the wind blew. She delighted the children stopping by with their mom on the way through Georgia from Wisconsin to Florida. From there, she went to Top Dogs, where she scored some treats, and we put her in her stroller to go to the Bird Watcher store to get her used to being in it in anticipation of a marathon shopping trip to Pigeon Forge with Grandma later this spring.
We'll just say this experiment wasn't a rousing success. Think "toddler tantrum" and screaming dog. We're hoping that if we tire her out a bit more before we put her in it she might be more amenable to being driven around.

From there we traveled to check out a new yarn store that had been opened by a friend of a friend of mine. Lovin' Knit has just started up, and I had met Pat who owns it at the Starbucks (where else do I hang out?) earlier this winter when she was there meeting with some yarn reps. I think I'm known as the yarn-crazed CPA who accosted her while she was trying to do business... At any rate, turns out Pat knows Bruce, who I do business with for Aflac... (insert small world comment here). The store is very cute and Pat has done a great job getting some very yummy yarn in...
(Have I mentioned I have a little problem with yarn?)

After the yarn shop, we went to another dog boutique (more cookies for Princess Chunky Butt!), a jewelry store (more Pandora charms!) and lunch (Penny enjoyed some bites as we ate outdoors with her).

Today we went to church for Easter services (don't fall over... I actually put on a dress!), and after a grocery store run we've been at home for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Richard has wound one of those skeins of yarn for me. I think I'm going to go start a pair of socks. :)

Till tomorrow, when it's time to work on the taxes again....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

Wishing all of you who celebrate a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover. :)

No chocolate bunnies here. Just one black and tan dappled wiener dog who seems to be on constant alert for any bunnies who may be lurking the front yard. Curiously, she completely missed the squirrel who took over the bird feeder off the deck and emptied it of seed.

It's April 2, and I'm tired. Tax returns are still coming in. Will have an exciting announcement (well, exciting to me anyhow) after April 15.

Back to work...