Fat ass Tuesday.

I guess it was Fat Tuesday and being neither Catholic nor Christian, I just went to the gym. Afterwards Dave the torturer and I went for dinner at “La Villa” in Portland. They’re a Lebanese and Brazilian restaurant that I’d strongly recommend. The odd combination comes from the cook, a woman who is married to a Lebanese electrician. She, however, is from Brazil.

Until recently the menu was completely Lebanese, but she added a few Brazilian dishes. The shwarma sandwich Dave had was grilled. I had a Brazilian stew-like dish that tasted a little like curry. It was supposed to come with fish, but they ran out and I had it with chicken. She also brought us some pita bread that was sweet and fresh and a taste of the meat for the gyros. It was tender and juicy, unlike some of the fast food gyros I’ve had. I am completely stuffed but my mouth is watering as I think about the food.

And here I am, without my laptop.

Yay for Carolyn at Apple. She got my warranty straightened up. Time to jump through more hoops. I called Applecare but they told me to make an appointment with the local Apple store and take it there. Well, guess what? They want you to use their web site to make an appointment and won’t take appointments over the phone. THE WEB SITE DOESN’T WORK WITH THE BROWSER I HAVE AT WORK. Genius. Fortunately they were a little more understanding at the store after I got through their maze.

Earlier in the day I tried to get some information on my mom’s IRA and, of course, they can’t tell me anything. I distinctly remember asking them to automate my mom’s minimum disbursement, because if she doesn’t withdraw it, the government TAKES IT ALL AS A FINE. Can you believe the government preys on old people like that? Oh, and I called the local B of A and their telephone maze routed me to VIRGINIA. Oy.

I could add a comment on my run-in with IT at Megacorp, but you can guess that didn’t go well.

Online statements are crap.

I am seriously considering cancelling my Amazon VISA card. I used to go online to download my statement into Quicken and then use Quicken, my saved receipts, and the mailed statement to balance the account. Tonight, when I tried to download my statement, Chase Bank tried to get me to cancel my paper statements. I had to make a choice between seeing any information on the web and having a paper statement. I chose the paper statements.

With the credit card companies showing themselves to be only slightly trustworthy and since they can’t seem to keep your private information secure and since they don’t really seem to care about identity theft, shouldn’t I have the ability to double-check my account? Is this really unreasonable? And I can’t be the only one who has checked a web page and found information to change when it shouldn’t, even things like bank account information.

Oh, well.

I just spent half the day watching Celebrity Fit Club. Actually, I had it on in the background while I did my taxes. I can’t believe my refund is half of what it was last year. I guess we have to pay our tribute to King George somehow.

Are Saturdays supposed to be exciting?

Not that I do that much. My buddy Greg decided to go flying instead of going out to breakfast this morning, so that left me time to run odd errands. Took my mom to her acupuncturist appointment, got my hair cut, went to local bakeries to see what bread was available (and found out that Three Lions Bakery had moved into the neighborhood), etc. Nothing exciting. My stomach still isn’t 100% and that kind of threw me off at the gym. That plus Dave was hung over. Well, we made a pair. I know I wasn’t doing that well because my heart rate was so high and because I was dizzy going in and out of the shops this afternoon. Well, the lightheadedness could have been because of the Peets coffee I had, too. That stuff is strong enough to take the enamel off my teeth.

Stomach ache.

My $100 per pill medicine makes my stomach hurt from time to time. I have it pretty well worked out how to keep it from hurting my stomach. Eat a little oatmeal in the morning and wash it down with warm tea or water. I’m not sure why cold water makes my stomach hurt all day long, but it’s not an experiment I try to repeat. Today I found out that eating chocolate covered espresso beans after I first get to work also seems to make my stomach hurt all day long. That’s another experiment I’ll try to avoid repeating.

I did get through to Apple today and got someone on the line who actually had me send a fax to her directly, so it’s not a nameless department I’m working with now. In any case, it looks like my newest Mac is close to being out-of-waranty soon. I wonder if that means I need to buy a new one?

What a funny week.

OK, so I’ve been incredibly tired this whole short week. Work at Megacorp has been odd, since the project lead hasn’t been screaming about things that need fixing “yesterday”. He only has been coming up with minor fire drills that take an hour or two to fix. The only downside is that his fire drills usually start at 5PM and make me late to get home. That leaves a lot of the day to “research” and that’s hard to do when you’re working to keep your eyes open.

Here’s what I found out from Apple. I faxed them a receipt (to confirm when I bought my laptop to prove it’s still under the Applecare warranty) on Monday the 13th of February. I called them back on Thursday because they said processing would take three to five days. They told me to wait some more and it was really five to seven days. I called them on the following Monday and they said their computer was down. I called a day later on Tuesday and they said give it a couple more days because of the Monday holiday. I called today (Thursday), seven business days after the initial fax, and they told me it takes seven to ten days for processing and, by the way, the FAX got chopped off and I had to send them another one. Hell, couldn’t they have told me that on day one?

So funny I forgot to post.

OK, so I don’t know what that was about. I forgot what I was doing last night, except perhaps looking for something to watch on TV. I just can’t stand watching the Olympics because it feels like it’s being shoved down my throat with added advertisement and cheese. I do remember trying to figure out how long I should wait before calling Apple back since they still think I bought my laptop three months before I did. My warranty should be up in April, not in January. They need to fix my latch. Like anything, though, it’s probably going to take a dozen more phone calls before they do anything.

I heart the gym.

Besides getting a good workout, I can also read about how Jessica Simpson was cheating on Nick Lachey. I think I’ve decided why Nick and Jessica (and Brad and Jennifer) didn’t last. It’s because the husband was prettier than the wife! I know I’m going to get my usual accusations of being gay from my sister and Megan (who is undergoing reconstructive surgery on Wednesday! – Good luck Megan) but you have to admit that Jessica is kind of hideous and Jennifer before the makeover was kind of funny looking. Brad and Nick, though? They could have made a couple.

I sure hope I’m getting in better shape. I was able to balance kneeling on top of the Swiss ball and hold a medicine ball out at arms length. Balance was one of the things I wanted to work on, so I’m pretty happy about that.

So where would you take your friend from Manhattan?

The Portland City Grill and then a couple of grocery stores? My friend Sun is actually FROM here (Hazel Dell if you want to get technical about it) and RESIDES in Manhattan, so it’s not like I took her on a tour of grocery stores or anything. Her busy parents are too busy to clean the house to her liking, so we went and bought cleaning supplies.

But first we had lunch at the Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of “Big Pink” where we were NOT met by our friend Terry, who is still too good for us. We spent 2 1/2 hours there talking nonsense as good friends who have known each other for too long should. Sun always says she’s known me her entire adult life, since we met in her freshman year at Portland State and now she’s all growed up and making buckets of money at some financial firm in NYC. Or at least close to NYC in the wrong direction (NJ). OK, now I feel old.

Maybe I’ll finally get some sleep.

My sister and brother-in-law made it back from their 10th Anniversary adventure, and their dogs were alive and the house hadn’t burned down, so I guess things are OK.

My mom still has her backache and it’s going on two weeks now. It’s gotten worse and moved around since she’s seen the acupunturist. I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this now, except I went to the gym earlier and I’m about to fall over.

It was a weird night and oddly crowded. The Chinese-Canadian woman who is the post-doc in molecular biology is still not speaking to me. I was greeting her with, “Ho say guy,” which means good fortune (literally good world) but she was unfamiliar with the phrase and thought I said something else very close which would have been calling her a deadbeat whore (literally, though, a dead chicken). Another woman who usually chats with me has found a new beau and wouldn’t even say hello. Life at the gym is so very much like middle school.

It’s early morning, it’s cold, and I’m not sleeping.

OK, so it’s not that early. It’s 8:18AM, but it’s Sunday and I should be sleeping in my bed. But it’s also the weekend of my sister’s 10th wedding anniversary (how time flies!) and I’m watching their dogs while they go off to some weird pseudo-result. Since they’re dogs, they’re very uncommunicative and so I’m not sure what they want, but I had to get up and let them out so they wouldn’t poo in the house. Now they’re asleep and I think I’m supposed to be walking them. Heck, they’re not real clear about the whole thing.

Two dogs.

My sister left me some very clear instructions written in a stream-of-consciousness sort of style. I bet if I asked her for a numbered list it would go something like:

  1. Feed the dogs the stuff in the pantry.
  2. Before you feed the dogs, remember to mix in pumpkin.
  3. Walk the dogs on the colored leashes.
  4. Remember to mix in the joint medication to the food before you feed them.
  5. Oh, the dogs are walked twice a day. Dede on the black leash (which is actually red) and Barkley (who we now call Berkeley) on the green (which is really blue and green).
  6. Don’t feed the dogs before you walk them.

I think you get the idea.

It’s up to 30 degrees now so I think I should take them out so that I may have the joy of picking up dog poo once again.

Now I’m sure what’s making the noise.

Once again, it’s incredibly windy and cold. Windy enough that trees are toppling into people’s houses or taking down power lines. I decided to go up on the roof and see exactly what was making all the noise. Turns out that it was the flashing on the edge of the roof, and it looked bent, like something had hit it (like maybe a window installer’s ladder.) Like I said before, the noise suspiciously started when the window was replaced.

Getting onto the roof was fairly easy. Our tallest ladder almost reaches the roof and I can hop over the gutter to get up. But the overhang and the gutter made it impossible to find the ladder on the way down. I ended up having to jump into a tree and climb the tree down. It was about 30 degrees and the wind was blowing hard, making it bitterly cold up on the roof and I couldn’t stay up there too much longer. I need to find a better hobby.