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It’s very annoying that some of my updates get rejected by LJ; no idea why that happens. (This is why yesterday’s update from here just went up over there – if you read an LJ and you didn’t see it, it’s about workouts, migraines, massages and thyroid function and involves some minor kvetching. Nothing too exciting.)

I love where I live in many ways, but I do really miss having lots of restaurants close by. We have lots of great burger places and brewpubs, but it would be nice to have a couple of fancier places. Beaverton (the next town in) has a few, but otherwise they’re all in town, a bit far for weeknights. I do really like BJ’s brewpub, which has a large and varied menu, but I don’t want to go to the same place every week. (I have read plenty of older books in which people eat at the same restaurant every night. These aren’t even always wealthy people – in some cases they’re poor and just don’t have their own kitchen. I would hate that, but if I had to do it I could do worse than BJ’s.)

The upside is that we have a really excellent grocery store (a Fred Meyer), plus nearby Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and New Seasons in case I feel the need to spend more or get lesser-known vegetables or a wider variety of grains. (To be honest, though, I think the meat quality at Freddy’s might beat any of those pricier stores for taste.) So I’ve been doing a lot more cooking than when we were in previous cities.

Normally Ted does his fair share of the cooking. I do more of the planning, at least in broad outline, though he’s come up with some interesting riffs on the main ingredients. For the last few weeks, though, he’s been working 12-15-hour days – lucky if he gets home in time to eat the food, forget about cooking it. He’s been doing some work at home on weekends, too. So it’s been mostly me.

I just got a copy of Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which is also helping for inspiration. She cooks the way I do (not a lot of measuring, quite a lot of butter). I much prefer weekend to weekday cooking – I get the feeling that cooking for her husband, four kids and ranch cowboys pretty much is a full-time job, which may explain why she isn’t in such a hurry on weekdays. I understand that most of the recipes are on her blog, but it is easier to cook from a book, and I’ve gotten enough use from her online recipes that I’m happy to throw some money her way. (Which got me thinking so I just checked – and what do you know, Kenji Lopez-Alt has a cookbook. coming out. If you’re wondering whether to buy his book, just go get a thick steak, a cast-iron frying pan, and follow his directions.)

Last Saturday night was steaks, caprese salad, homemade bread, homemade kruidenboter (herbed butter), and some tapenade from Freddy’s, with a Syrah from Abacela. It was so similar to what I’d have eaten at a Dutch steak restaurant (except that the beef and wine came from Oregon, rather than Argentina and France respectively) that I had to have coffee to top it off. I even dug out some little pieces of mint bark left over from Christmas (we had a couple kinds – the better one is long since eaten!) because Dutch coffee is always served with a cookie or sweet on the side – the koekje bij. Sunday was enchiladas, made to Ree Drummond’s recipe, which are definitely going on our rotation. They’re a bit fiddly, because you have to make the sauce (starts from a can, but mixed with broth and seasoning), brown the beef and onions, fry the tortillas, then dip each tortilla in the sauce and assemble the enchiladas. They’re not horrible for a weekend meal, though – maybe an hour or so. And last night was back to Ree Drummond again, for her recipe for shrimp penne with tomato cream sauce – I made a full batch and have just had some more of it for lunch. Unusually for Drummond, this one actually does work for quick weeknight cooking, and I’d probably be able to make it again without looking at the recipe.

The other thing I’ve been doing to balance all this cooking is just skipping dinner some nights – just having popcorn or soup or a salad or a baked potato. With the more intense workouts I seem to always be starving int he late morning and at lunch, but there are also times when I’m just not to hungry at dinner (probably because of how much I eat earlier in the day!) so I figure it’s better to honor that than to cook food I don’t want. (And if Ted comes home and does want food, well, that’s why we deep-fried an extra turkey at Christmas and froze all the meat. We’ve got that and plenty of other stuff handy for him.)

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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In this case, ripping out. I’ve been making a sweater for Ted (Ravelry link); it’s knitted form the bottom up and I had finished the whole lower body section and most f the back. Unfortunately, since I’d kept the front stitches on the needles, at some point I didn’t quite get to the spot where I was supposed to turn around, and I found out today that for the last six inches, I’d been knitting only part of the back. Add that to the extra stitch I’d added by mistake and the fact that I hadn’t switched to smaller needles after the color work section so the to of the sweater was much looser than the bottom, and it’s three strikes. Time to rip back a long ways. I get to keep about the bottom eight inches of the sweater; the rest goes to the frog pond (“rip-it, rip-it”) and will have to be reknitted.

Too bad because I was being such an overachiever. Nearly half of that sweater done, plus most of the vest I’m making for my mininephew done (about another three inches, then I just need to add the ribbing at arms and neck). In addition, proof reading my galleys has been going quickly; I just got them Wednesday and was worried about getting them done by the 27th when I’m supposed to turn them in, but I’m on page 212 of 248. I think I’ll finish them tonight or tomorrow morning, then use the extra time to go back through looking for things I’ve missed.

That’s especially good in light of a major crimp in our weekend plans. I hadn’t planned to do anything much but proofread (and knit, and erg) this weekend, until I got an email from our neighbor at the lake house. They’d noticed the back garage door was open (the one facing the lake, that we take out boats out of). They’d just come back from travel, so it’s probably been open a while. I gave her instructions to shut it, but we figured we’d better head down and check. Luckily, everything seems to be fine; apparently no one noticed the open door. Our best guess is that it might have been misaligned and when Ted shut it and headed into the house it got most of the way down and re-opened. We’re normally very good about checking everything before we leave, but we don’t seem to have done a stellar job last time. Lucky for us that no one much passes close to the back of the house. From here on out, we will be walking through carrying the checklist, and then doing one more sweep around before leaving!

It’s also annoying because it turns out we could have gone to a party tonight – someone had asked for our email, then missed out on sending us an invitation. That’s gotten straightened out now but we’re not in the right city for it.

And I guess I’ll be knitting in the car on the way home.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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Job:
I was feeling a bit gloomy: at least I have been getting calls from recruiters, but hadn’t gotten further. One of them had me fill in six (!) forms and reformat my resume in order to apply for a state government job, and then told me – only after I queried back – that she could only submit her top three picks and I wasn’t one of them. (I hope at least she read the forms to figure that out, but I doubt it. Another definitely is submitting me for a job that is exciting, challenging, and scary, (and lucrative) a promotion past the level I had been working on but would require a move, which I don’t really want to do. I’ve let her submit it, because the move is not completely outside the bounds of possibility if the opportunity was really amazing, and because interviewing at that level would be great practice.

But! A few minutes ago the phone rang, and I have an interview scheduled for tomorrow, for a position I’m excited about. It’s supposed to be a great company to work for, the location is ideal, and the job in some ways lets me get back to what I like (engineering development processes) while simultaneously giving me an opportunity to learn new stuff (new industry but a supplier to the one I was working in). And while I was writing this I got a call from a different recruiter, who wanted to see my resume even though I hadn’t thought I had all the qualifications she’d asked for.

Book:
The editor got back from his travels a week ago and i haven’t heard from him since – should probably check in. Meanwhile I have another few chapters ready to submit to him whenever we finish this batch.

Rowing:
My last row on the lake kind of sucked, mostly because my brain was being flaky and anxious. However, I had been bad that day and the day before about wearing the reading glasses the eye doctor recommended, so maybe that proves her theory that close-up eyestrain prevents my eyes from relaxing to deal well with distance. And at least I did row both Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I did the very last workout in the 2K training plan I’ve been on, which means there are two dilemma now: the unpleasant one is that I really ought to do a 2K time trial. I hate to; I’ve been feeling unenergetic and my training has been a bit erratic over the past several weeks, so I’m not convinced it would be an improvement, and the only reason really to do one is to see if the training worked (and because it’s a workout in itself). I was considering doing an easy workout today, like bicycling to a nearby farmer’s market this evening and doing the 2K tomorrow, but this interview kills that idea. The other dilemma is what to do next. Of course I could just make up rowing workouts as I go and continue to do the lifting plan I’d begun (from The New Rules of Lifting for Life) but I’m thinking of maybe going back to marathon training. This would let me do an erg marathon in September, when the AZ Outlaws do theirs and even, if I got really dedicated, got my brain under control and did a lot of logistics-wrangling, to row the marathon in Louisiana in November.

ETA 1: Well, I buckled down and did the 2K test piece. 9:15.0, which is 0.2 second than the one I did six weeks or so ago. I probably didn’t push hard enough this time, as 1) there were none of the dry heaves which slowed me down last time, so I should have seen more improvement, and 2) my heartrate only got up to 180, as opposed to 193 last time (the dry heaves probably contributed to that, of course, but it was still 183 the first time I did a 2K test this year).

Cats:
Amusing as always. We took them to the lake house over Memorial Day weekend. We think they like it better than this house, but that they don’t really understand the process of traveling between houses, and think that the cages (cat carriers for them, car for us) are noisy vibrating magic devices that let the house change around us. As usual, the night after we got back, one of them was downstairs meowing – we think she was asking where all the extra rooms were, and could we please bring them back? Then yesterday, Macchiato actually got herself entirely into the carrier, despite all her protests last time we put her in it. Oolong hung around outside and batted at her as if to say “Get out of there! Are you on crack?!?” but this morning I spotted her poking her head in. At the moment, they seem to be doing their morning laps around the house.

ETA 2: Oolong got in the carrier! I think for them this is equivalent to shouting a message. We’ll see what happens next time we actually want them in the carriers. Here’s a picture of Oolong, and a couple bonus shots of Macchiato juming to reach her favorite birdie toy – she’s an amazing acrobat, and we’ve actually seen her do flips in the air.

Oolong_in_carrier

Maka1

Maka3

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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OK, I’m exaggerating. A little.

(This entry is also in the other blog; I’m doing more crossposting than usual, I guess because new home ownership is the sort of thing I want to share in the pubic blog too.)

Anyway, back to the toilet. We went down to Rowell (the lake house) last night with a small moving van (a benefit our realtor provides), came back with a load of boxes, opened the garage door… and saw water dripping from the ceiling. The toilet from the powder room above was leaking, and I mean LEAKING – there were drips down the garage wall on both sides and coming down from the ceiling. It turns out the toilet tank had developed a crack. I guess there must have been a manufacturing defect in it, and after a few flushes it spontaneously ruptured while we were away. Good thing we were only gone for one night this time! The house is under warranty, so we paged the emergency number.

The service guy came up (I felt a little bad – he’d been about to head to a wedding), asked if we had shut off the valve (we had) and sawed holes in the garage and powder room drywall, setting up fans to dry it out. They’ll come by Monday to assess and fix it all. This is going to be a big job – I sure am glad it’s under warranty. They’ll need to replace the toilet, the baseboard and possibly some flooring and patch the drywall upstairs and in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, we now have a another chair, our city bikes, and a lot of boxes we need to unpack. Tomorrow e’ll pick up Ted’s desk, which should at least make it easier to unpack some of it, but we’re still missing one bookshelf and two desks, to be delivered in another few weeks. I foresee boxes sticking around in our short-term future.

On the plus side, Ted came up with a name for the new place: “the ‘Boro”, since it’s our burrow in Hillsboro. Hobbit allusions entirely intentional, on my part at least.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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Oops – I just realized I haven’t posted in most of a week. That’s because the intervening time has been all about moving. We’re not quite done yet; it’s amazing how much stuff there was to move from a furnished flat we only lived in for two months. A lot of it was groceries. Some was clothing, some of which still isn’t moved because we won’t have hangers until we bring them back from the other house this weekend. Some was stuff we’d bought in advance for the new house, like the vast quantities of dishes from Pottery Barn.

On Friday we had our closing, got our keys, and moved the first batch of stuff from our apartment. Here’s me unpacking the dishes:

hip-deep

Saturday was the Great Festival of Delivery: we had five different groups of people bringing in our major appliances (fridge, washer, dryer); most of the furniture (except the sofa, which takes longer, and a few backordered items); Ted’s monster TV; the key to our mailbox; and our mattress. Luckily the mattress came after the bed.

The house is almost done now; we’ve been scurrying around picking up small things, like kitchen canisters for flour and sugar, a spice rack, sheets because the ones we brought from Taiwan are too small, towels, and so on. This weekend we’ll borrow a panel truck and bring up most of the stuff from Lowell. I have no idea what’s still left there that we could possibly need, except our bikes. I know there’s some clothing, another rowing machine, some hangers for our clothes, mixing bowls, and some books, but half of a large room there is full of boxes and I can’t imagine what’s in all of them.

Here are some photos from during the delivery process, and the kitchen as it looks now.

bed

dining_rm

kitchen1

kitchen2

rug

Some of our bedroom furniture has secret identities. The coolest piece is the vanity we bought to use as my desk: here it is looking all mild-mannered, then after a quick trip to a handy phone booth:

vanity_in

vanity_out

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to work on revisions to my manuscript. Progress is being made, but it’s all slower than I’d like. At least I have something to blame it on, other than goofing off. I do have a couple of chapters more or less done(ish), so I really need to start figuring out where to submit it now – apparently for nonfiction you just send an outline and sample chapters. It’s also getting uncomfortably close to the time when I’ll start looking for a job (spit) – I’d planned to begin that around mid-March, that being three months from when I left the old one. I’ve go a trip to visit family in late March, but at least with a US mobile phone now I won’t have to worry about being out of reach in the unlikely event anyone contacts me that soon.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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image

Those are the makings for dinner – shredded chicken for a chicken vegetable pot pie, with cheesecake-stuffed strawberries for dessert. I’ll be doing my first shift as a library volunteer this afternoon, so I figured I’d better do some preparation early. I’ve been doing some work (calling around about getting house utilities set up, and some other stuff) while waiting for the cream cheese to soften. I’ll be making the cheesecake mixture without a mixer, which might get interesting – I guess if necessary two forks can stand in for a whisk.

I’m not sure how I’ll like volunteering; I’ll be sorting books for the Friends of the Library sales. Maybe I’m just reacting to the idea of sitting in an office at a computer again, but some of it is also resentment to anything that pulls me away from the writing work I think I should be doing. This is probably because I find I just can’t focus on the revising the way I can on writing; I do a bit and drift off to check Ravelry, do a bit and drift off to check FB, and so on, and that’s not even including the times I go away entirely to work out, do food shopping, attend my knitting group, or whatever. And now two hours a week at the library. On the other hand, I’d be going to the library every week or two anyway. (Right??) Plus I’m a little afraid that if I don’t push to get out I’ll get a bit too entrenched here and never want to go anywhere.

I suppose I could force myself not to go to any other websites (including updates here) but then I’d probably just go drift off and do non-computer stuff. It would help to focus if I could knit while revising, but I can’t, much – just can’t physically knit and type. At least I can knit while reading books for research.

I think overall I’m just a little less blissfully happy than I had been. This is probably due to a bunch of factors: one is getting used to it, another is revising instead of writing a first draft, and another is having no more exciting house-hunting outings. I expect the week after next will be exciting again, as I get to set everything up in the new house and work at my new desk (actually a vanity – I wanted something small, because I don’t like sitting at a desk for all that long anyway and I use a laptop. There’s a pull-out chair that’s part of it, but it’s too low so I’ll need to use a real desk chair. It’s a cool piece of furniture, and I’ll need to post a picture.) The other thing this week is that I’ve applied for two jobs. One is writing textbook and school test material, which is great because it’s something I can mix in with my own writing to earn some money while I’m a home. The other is at Intel – I wasn’t going to start that stuff for another month, but this one fits well enough that I figured I’d better go ahead. The textbook people have responded already, asked for more info, and are putting me in their database for whenever any job comes up that’s a good fit – I get the impression this is standard for them, though it’s also possible they’re less than thrilled with my lack of previous experience writing for kids. I’ve tried to frame my previous work in terms of explaining things and making concepts clear, which is a very valid view of it, and they do handle materials up through college level.

We are very much looking forward to getting into the new house. No upstairs neighbors pounding over our heads. (Though we need to be a little cautious because we’ll *be* upstairs neighbors – these townhouses are in blocks of six, three back to back, and they are intertwined enough that our main floor is above someone else’s one-story unit. Our den is above a bedroom of theirs, which is a little worrying because we want to put the ergs there, but the insulation is good.) Places to unpack and put away all our stuff. A bed that’s not tiny! (The one here is a queen, but somehow it seems much smaller than the queen beds we’ve been on in the Netherlands and elsewhere, more like our double futon that we slept on while Ted’s family were visiting. It’s still a fairly small house; it’s 1600+ square feet, but it’s three stories so some of that is used up in stairs and the living area is comparable to a significantly smaller space. It doesn’t have as much storage as we’d like, and we’ll be missing all the built-ins we had in Taiwan, but it’s pretty good compared to the other townhouses we looked at. Plus we have the other house to go to on weekends!

And now surely my cream cheese is softened enough and I should go work on that.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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On the food front: today I’m making a pot roast, for the first time since returning to the US. I was never able to make a decent one in the Netherlands; something about the cuts of meat there meant that they always came up tough and dry. This time I’m using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe; I think how well it works will depend on hos marbled the roast is (I didn’t buy it with this in mind) and how well the pot lid seals. We’ll see.

With it I made bowties and kasha. At least that’s something I can do well; it’s a bit of a pain, involving two pots, a frying pan, a colander, and a cutting board, but after making it for years, I have it down to a ballet. Well … or at least an efficient set of motions, if not a graceful one.

This apartment’s kitchen is much better suited to my cooking than the Dutch one was; it has things like a casserole dish, not to mention an oven to put it in. Still, I’m looking forward to being in our own place, set up our own way. It’s not so long now. Yesterday we bought a TV and an ungodly number of dishes. (This would make more sense if I actually knew anyone local to ask to dinner.) Tomorrow we have our walkthrough, to mark cosmetic or functional any issues with the place and to get an orientation on how everything works. Next weekend is a three-day one, so we’re going down to the lake house, and we’ll bring back another load of stuff for this place, which we will then lug up the stairs to this second-floor apartment, then later back down, over to the house, and up the stairs to its kitchen. Then closing is the weekend after, and after that I get to live in a place that’s set up for and by us, not to someone else’s idea of generic tastes.

After six years in furnished apartments, this is very exciting.

Actually, I guess I get to do that at the lake house too, but that’s had the left-behind kitchen stuff, though it does have our best china. (The new place gets the second-best china, because when Ted’s grandparents moved from their old house, they gave us a set. That’s fancy, though; the set we just bought is stoneware for every day that can be dishwashed and microwaved.) It’s better now, because it also gets some of the stuff we brought back. However, next weekend is mostly going to be about unpacking boxes and moving stuff around, not relaxing.

I’m trying to figure out what to call the new place. The lake house is Rowell. I’ve been thinking of it as the wee bit hoosie, or the Town house, but those don’t work well for both of us because Ted isn’t familiar with either Rabbie Burns or Georgette Heyer. (It *is* appropriate for a Town house, with that second floor – first floor UK and Europe – ‘reception room’, though I suppose in that case the dining room and kitchen should have been on the ground floor. (We’re going to regret the fact that it isn’t when we have to drag all those dishes up the stairs, and all our clothing up to the third floor.) Someone suggested naming it in Dutch, which would be the Klein Huisje, but that’s a bit hard for Americans to say. I suppose we could call it Casita (Spanish) or Beit Katan (Hebrew).

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

tired!

Feb. 4th, 2013 05:22 am
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OK, we’re exhausted. On Wednesday night we went down to the lake house (we named it Rowell, not sure if I ever mentioned that here). Thursday morning early the moving truck showed up, with all our stuff from the Netherlands. The truck wasn’t more than half-full; we’ve been living in furnished flats for the last six years. Still, half a 40-foot moving van is a lot of stuff, especially when you’re trying to fit it all into a house that’s already furnished. The load included two rowing singles; the two sets of oars that go with them; two segments of a beautiful old wooden eight that we bought when our club in the Netherlands retired a couple of their boats, three sets of wooden oars (these boats and oars will be used for decoration, not rowing); two nightstands; a lingerie chest; a rocking chair; a matching ottoman; a storage ottoman; two patio chairs; and all of the books, clothes, pots, dishes, glasses, kitchen utensils, sheets, towels, tools, travel souvenirs and art and hobby stuff (beads and yarn) that we took with us or bought along the way.

Ted’s always said that it really bothers him when things in a house don’t have a place they go in; that’s not something that’s ever bothered me before, but now I understand what he means; I felt like I was drowning in a tidal wave of possessions. There was so … much … stuff. We worked from early every morning to late at night getting it sorted; I’m proud to say that now the entire upstairs of that house is cleared out. Books are on shelves, clothes are in closets and drawers, sheets are neatly stored in bins labeled according to which bed they’re for, kitchen stuff is put away. (The house is oddly organized; the main floor is a 3-bedroom two-bath house, with a large fitness room, craft room, garage, large laundry/workroom, and two baths downstairs.) The fitness room has the ergs and weights set up and usable on one side, with stuff meant for the new house on the other side. We brought back one load of stuff that we’ll need in the new house right away, but we kept it to a minimum since everything we brought back now had to be carried up stairs to this apartment and will then have to be brought to the new house and carried up there. (It’s three floors: garage, then living room, dining room, kitchen and den, with bedrooms on top.) The craft/storage room in Rowell is also full, but we can clear that out at our leisure. It was just such a relief to get the stuff all sorted away!

Also, it was great to have all our stuff on one continent. I made shrimp étouffée on Friday night and was able to use the new German knife we bought for that house just before leaving the Netherlands, my good cast iron Dutch oven, a pot from Taiwan (that was in a box the whole time we were in the Netherlands), and that house’s gas stove, all together for the first time. (I do not like Chef Emeril’s recipe, however. There was something wrong with his proportion of flour to butter and I had to correct them by guess.) Ted was happy to finally get to row his single on that lake, and I took my open water boat (it’s a Wintech Explorer 21 rec shell, good for training or open water) out for a shakedown cruise, though the water was like glass, and its extra stability wasn’t needed.

And we even got back in time to see the Superbowl – I’ve seen better years for commercials, but the game itself and the halftime show were some of the better ones I recall.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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The weekend before last, we went to the local-ish Sears to buy a washer, dryer, and refrigerator for the new house. We bought our appliances at a Sears in Eugene for the lake house; we got what we wanted, they were delivered as arranged, everything went amoothly. We both noticed that the salesman smelled of beer, but otherwise everything seemed to be going OK, except that he confusingly explained that he could only arrange delivery on a Thursday, but that we could later call in and postpone the delivery to any day we preferred. (We are closing on Friday, Feb 22, so he set it to the day before, figuring it would be easier to postpone the delivery than move it up. Of course, that also meant I had to call to postpone the delivery, since we cannot take delivery the day before we have the housekeys.

But when I did call in a week later, the local store couldn’t change the delivery date and referred me to the Delivery Center, who couldn’t find the order at all!! I did a bunch more checking around, including having two calls to the Delivery Center dropped. In the process, I found at that their website also sucks – it took me three browsers to even be able to log in to their system. Apparently when I set it up, I logged in through my Google account, and it said I needed to log in the same way – but when I tried with Chrome and Firefox, a popup window showed up, then disappeared, and nothing else happened. I was finally able to log in via Safari, but there were no orders showing. After a few more calles, Andrew, a salesman at the Washington Mall store, was able to figure out that the order had been lost, even though we’d been charged for it – apparently it never got “bridged” from the local system to the central one. He had to completely cancel the order and put in a new one.

So that all took most of an hour on the phone. AT least Andrew was helpful and and competent. There was only one small problem: when we set up our Sears Reward account, we were still living in the Netherlands, so we’d used the in-laws’ phone number. They have an account too, so there were two accounts at the same number; he accidentally put this purchase on their account, so the emailed receipt got sent to them and I guess they’ll get the rewards points (something like $150 worth). Oh, well, those aren’t major problems. Also, apparently there’s a new sale on, so the new purchase was $300 less than the old one – at least I got paid for my time!

Then I spent more time trying to give feedback. The main feedback phone line was closed at 6PM, so I tried to use their website. First issue is, you can only enter one salescheck (transaction) number at a time – but I had four related to this issue: two from the original purchase (why, I don’t know), one from the cancelation, and one from the new order. So I had to go through the whole system twice, ones with the main original number and once with the new order. Then this morning I got an email back. It has a signature, so was pretending not to be a form letter, but it eseentially said “Thank you for shopping at Sears. We’re sorry you had a back experience. For any issue relating to delivery, you can always call our Delivery Center at…” so presumably whoever wrote that didn’t bother enough of my comment to realize that the Delivery Center wasn’t able to help.

This morning, I called the feedback numbers. First I called the number for Sears.com, which has no ability to transfer you to a human if you press ’0′ – I had to pretend I was inquiring about an order to get through to someone. I described my three problems with the website, occurring on top of the last order (that it didn’t work with Chrome or Firefox, that there’s noway to put in multiple sales-check numbers and the ignorant response to my compaplint. The person listened careful, said she was going to transfer me to the technical team … and then the call got dropped. So I called back, and the second person said there was no technical team, just an offline IT group! She took my complaints down, but I have no confidence about them ever getting anywhere.

Finally I called the main CS number to give feedback about the in-store experiment. Luckily, there I was able to speak to another competent person who not only documented my complaint, and checked all the orders to make sure everything is now OK, but set everything up to match with our new address and phone number, so it will be easier to look stuff up in future. I made sure to get him to send a commendation letter to Andrew’s manager, and I asked about putting in a commendation for his own help. The call is recorded, so that’s taken care of.

I think next time I buy appliances I will be going somewhere else, though!
ETA: Just to make it worse, I had responded to the incorrect email and they just emailed back, “I have looked into our delivery system and found that your items are to be delivered on the 22nd of February”. NO – that’s the day of our closing!!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

house!

Jan. 18th, 2013 02:02 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

our counteroffer was accepted yesterday, so I guess we have a house! We won’t close on it until next month, though. We’re still keeping the lake house, Rowell, and plan to go there on weekends, so we wanted something nice but small here. This one is a new townhouse; two bedrooms and a den.

So now we have shopping to do! Our furniture is in the other house, so we need to buy most of the furnishings for this house. There are just a few things we’ll bring up, like a rocking chair or two and some of our extra bookcases. (That’s “extra” in the sense of “they probably won’t all fit in the other place”, not in the sense of “we don’t have enough books to fill them.”) We’ve got all the kitchen gear to augment what was provided in the Dutch flat, like my good knives and Dutch ovens, and all of the dishes, cups, pots, sheets and towels we had to buy the Taiwan flat. So we have duplicates of those things, since what we’d had from before was kept in the US while we were abroad. (Our old sheets and towels are getting ratty and are about due for replacement, though.) Meanwhile, our stuff from the Netherlands just arrived in the US today; it will be delivered to us in a few weeks when it gets through Customs. We plan to just lay out all the kitchenware and linens on the floor and just divide them all up: “this pile to the lake house, that pile to the townhouse, that pile to the dump, this list of things we still need”.

But we need to buy all the big stuff: beds, dressers, sofa, dining room table, and a rug for the living room. Should be fun (I hope).

Meanwhile, yesterday I counted pages as well as words; since starting a week ago Monday I’ve got 37 pages done, so I’m feeling like this book is something I can finish. Whether it ever gets published is another story, of course.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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