Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween


Another Halloween is upon us which can only mean one thing; the Christmas mania starts in full force tomorrow. Aaaaaiiiieeee!

This Halloween was a diversion from the normal routine of going to the Barrett's and trick or treating and celebrating Abby's birthday. I miss the chaos and taking the kids out door to door, frankly. Both of our kids went out with their friends' in other neighborhoods. Donna and I passed out candy to the 5 groups of kids that showed up. Strangely quiet.

When I think about it real hard, this was a sad day. I'm certain it is Sarah's last trick or treat night. That means that my kids are growing up and the days of walking through neighborhoods with them while they beg for treats are over. While there were days that I wanted my kids to grow up and be independent, now that they are doing that, I want them to slow down. The empty nest is actually visible from here, and I'm not sure I like it.

Sure we have several years left, but the days of snuggling with them, taking them to the park, playing in the snow with them are all but over. If this is what getting old is like, it kinda stinks. I want my kids to be a bit like Peter Pan where they stay an age forever. I'm not sure what age I'd like to order, but I don't think it's Teenage. (LOL).

I carved the pumpkins for them today, or at least cleaned them out. Sarah did the detail work, while I did the slime removal. Donna said she thought that I needed to do the pumpkins more for me than the kids actually wanting to do them. In a way she's right. We always have pumpkins, so by golly, I was going to see to it that we did this year too. It's a weird traditionalist thing in me. I'll probably do a pumpkin when I'm 60 because I think it keeps you young, that kind of stuff.

Gorging yourself on Halloween candy is also part of it, and I excel at that. M & M's were my thing this year, and my wrecked mouth is proof of it. Can't help this sweet tooth thing, I guess.

A mellow Sunday around here. We're watching our friends' dog, Bentley. He's a good dog, but it's a bit like having an adopted two year old around the house. You have to school him on respect, boundaries and what he can and can't do. With our brand new carpet, it's been a bit of a vigilant watch for a leaky bladder too. No problems so far. I have to remember to let him out every hour or so though.

Headed up to Madison on Wed. for EWUG (www.ewug.org) and some training for work. I hope to get some writing done in the hotel when I'm alone, but I've said that before, so we'll see. Hopefully I'll fit a post in then.

When I look back on my life lately there are entire portions that I almost never think about anymore that bring great memories back to me. Much of these memories are brought back when a song from the period comes on my Ipod. It is weird how the brain works that way with song and memory and imagery. Amazing stuff, and I thank God for it. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blogging off for now...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plumber's Helper

We had a nice clog in the tub this morning when I woke up. Turns out it was clogged last night when Sarah took her shower, but no on managed to tell me. Of course the cat thinks its just his big water dish (Yuk) and kept trying to drink from it, so I had to steer him away.

I plunged until my arm was like a strawberry twizzler, to no avail. I finally gave up and went to work. I came home at noon to try and snake it out and had no luck. Donna helped me with working the drill operated snake, and it turned into a bit of a marital comedy. She would run the drill, while I fed it down the drain, and at times she would get a bit too zesty with the trigger and the thing would coil up like a friggin' spring. Then she'd run it in reverse to uncoil it and then more of the same, only in reverse.

We managed to put a couple of right angle kinks in the $25 snake to the point where it wasn't going down at all. I extracted it and said we're calling our friend the plumber. I figure that was cheaper than a divorce lawyer. ;-) (Just kidding, we were fine.)

So our plumber friend comes over and takes his pressure power plunge thingy and blasts the clog right out. Donna says he didn't take more than 15 minutes. It cost us a hundred bucks, which I'm guessing is a deal because he's a friend and wouldn't screw us. Still, a little hundred dollar shot to the kidneys in the middle of our week is never a happy day.

It was one of those unpleasant reminders that we live in an OLD house. One day we won't, and I will miss none of this nonsense. New plumbing with new electricity, and new insulation, and new windows, and a new condo mortgage. That's all I ask.

Since the plumbing incident, all I've wanted to do is go to bed, and that's where I'm going.

Blogging off...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Anxious Moments

It is that time of year where I am overcome with a great sense of unease. I'm not sure if it's because of the impending winter, the decreasing light or just some hormonal thing. I can't explain it really. Just restless, I guess. On Sunday's it's the worst. I wander around wondering which task is most important and whether it's what I really want to do. The house and yard beckon, and I tend to some of those as I feel led. I also feel the need to get some last bike rides in before the snow flies, a feeling that only a true cyclist feels.

Lately I feel the pull to write and that just adds to the unrest. If I don't get my time in at the keyboard, that doesn't feel right either.

What I need to remember is that I'm doing fine. I've got a great wife and kids, a good job working with good people, great friends and most importantly, I have my faith. A God who loves me and cares about what I do and how I feel. I mean really, what's to be anxious about? I think when it comes right down to it it really is a fear of the dark, long winter. To remedy it, the only solution is to move to a warmer climate, and I don't see that happening for a few years.

I remember talking to my father in law a few years back. He said that the thing he most hated during his teaching years was Sunday nights. It was the same thing I feel. I love the blessedness and the slow pace of Sundays, but dread the work week that comes with a Monday morning. He said that that kind of goes away with retirement, but retirement isn't happening any time soon either.

So how do I channel my unease? I stuff it, mostly. Is that healthy? No, probably not. I sometimes think that if I keep moving, putzing, cleaning, working out, that will fix it, and it never does. Believe it or not, writing this blog right now is actually helping; almost therapeutic. Sometimes if I talk things through, using my muse or some sort of outlet, it seems to help me work through things. It's a bit like I'm on the couch right now, and you're playing Dr. Phil, so thanks for that.

On a different subject. I wonder how the Landwehr Hunt went this past weekend? Rob was going up for the whole weekend, Paul on Saturday, and Tom for a few hours somewhere in between. I do miss the camaraderie of the hunt, but I really wanted to go musky fishing again this year, so something had to give. I can't say I won't say the same thing next year. I just LOVE to fish. Love it!

As with all weekends, this one went too fast. I spent much of yesterday at the skate park with Ben and two friends. They had a BLAST and to their credit, they were outside the whole time and getting a workout while they were at it.

And so, to quell my own anxiety, I think I need to go for a quick ride. (Call it adult ADD).

Blogging off...have a great week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hunting Memories


I was never much into the hunting thing. Oh, I tried it a handful of times, even had my own shotgun for a number of years. It just never did anything for me. After a total investment of probably $300.oo in guns and shells, my net take was a single pheasant and a grouse. Even the grouse was "disputed" with my buddy who claims it was his shot. (It probably was. I think I let him have it anyway.)


I bring this up because this weekend is the weekend of the annual Landwehr Hunt. This is a longstanding tradition in my family that goes back to the days of my father, one of the original instagators of the event.


It began as "the brothers" hunt back in the 60's sometime on the farm property of a good friend of my dad and his brothers. Typically there were no guns brought to the hunt and it consisted mainly of playing cards and raising cain.


I only made it up to the hunt once, back when it was held in Dent, MN. It was a crazy weekend, but the highlight had to be listening to Uncles Tom, Willie and Jim tell stories about my dad. At this point, the oral tradition is all we have left to go on and these were the guys that lived closest to him. Heard some great stories of him and some of the other brothers. (There were 7 brothers and a sister in dad's family)


The other good memory was getting to know Coe and Don a lot better. These were cousins who I never really knew as a kid, so it was cool to meet them and get to know more about them and their stories.


One of the stranger events up there was called "shotgun bowling". It entailed lining up ten bowling pins about 30 yards away and taking aim with a shotgun. The pickup truck was nearby, blaring Johnny Cash of course, making it a scene right out of Smokey and the Bandit. When things got dull with the shotgun, Coe pulled out his .44 magnum (yes like the Dirty Harry gun) and they took to using that. It was a gun I had to try once, and all I can say is, it was scary powerful. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it.


So they're all up there for the weekend. I would be too, if I hadn't had gone musky fishing last weekend in northern WI. A man only has so much time and money, you know?


Within a one hour span today I went from remorseful, to feeling incredibly blessed when I passed a low-income area of our neighborhood, to extrememly nostalgic about my college past when a song came on my ipod. It is amazing how our brain works to bring those feelings to the surface based on what we see, hear and feel.


I submitted a blog post to http://www.redroom.com/ for a blog contest on the theme "The time I won". I gave them a story about my 8th grade football season. We'll see what comes of it. It is very nice now because I am starting to build up a collection of writings that allows me to pull stuff out when those kinds of things come out and present them. Allwriters has been good for me in that respect.


Well, speaking of which, I'd better get to a bit of editing, before it gets too late.


Blogging off...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Season Finale

Waukesha South's Freshman girls played their last games of the season tonight in the Classic 8 Tournament. Like much of the rest of the season, they got smashed in almost every game. They lost to Mukwonago 2-0 before I arrived. Then, they took on Waukesha West, who they started strong against, and promptly fell apart. That sent them to the consolation round versus Waukesha North.

Understand that Waukesha North is one of the few teams that South has beaten this year on a couple of occasions. Even they proceeded to put the beat down on South in the first two games of a best of five match. Game three was different, though.

The score was 24-22, and South was losing. If South loses, they go home without a win. Who comes up to serve, but Sarah. I'm tense thinking, if she misses the serve, North wins and South goes home. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN, I'm thinking. There is a still small voice in my head saying, wouldn't it be cool if she kept serving enough to win the game? A long shot I know, but hey, a dad can dream, right?

She serves the first one perfectly over the net and North blows it. Score is 24-23. All I can think is at least she didn't miss that point.

Next thing I know she serves again and North muffs it again. 24-24. Sweet! "Nice job, Sarah!" I say. Now I'm starting to think, she can win this game! Serves again, a slight volley, and South gets another point! 24-25, South is now one point from winning.

Now I know exactly what is going through her mind at this time, in part because the same thing is going through my mind. That is, if she makes it and South scores, they win and force a fourth game. Neither of us really wanted that at this point in the night because we just want to go home.

At the same time I'm hoping and praying that they score and she's a heroine. In fact, I'm thinking if she does, I was going to run on the court and embarass her by giving her a hug.

She winds up and serves another good serve that gets volleyed a bit and then North ends up getting the point.

AAARRRGGGHHH!

North then gets the next two points and wins the game 27-25. Oh the humanity!

In any case, I was so stinkin' proud of her that I almost cried. She stuck it out the whole season, and then finished out the year by serving better than she has all year. She's said on several occasions that she's not playing next year, and I can't hold that against her. She did what we asked, didn't like it particularly much, but finished it out. Good for her. I think she's a better person for it.

And so the season ends. The total wins all year can be counted on both hands, but a great ride. I was just happy to be a part of it.

Blogging off...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Musky Fest


Just got back today from what I call Musky Fest. It is really a focused two-day fishing trip up to the Presque Isle, WI area for a stab at boating a musky or two. We had OK success this year in that we landed two musky in our boat and one rogue northern pike. The Musky were small, I got a 26" and Steve managed to get a 36" Tiger Musky that was a nice looking fish. Both were caught and released unharmed, to live another day.

The northern I caught yesterday was a 25" and was more of a nuisance than anything. There was a day when I wouldn't be calling any 25" fish a nuisance, but when you're fishing for Musky, anything less is a pain.

It was a great weekend weather-wise. (Great for standing in, not great for catching fish.) It was about 63 and cloudless on Sat. and the same and cloudy on Fri. A beautiful October so far, that just keeps on going.

Ben's team won their last football game on Saturday, and I heard he did very well. He and another player chased down a runner on a breakaway run and almost made a touchdown saving tackle. It sounded like a good game. They won 14-6. He makes me so proud.

He did tell Donna that he was sad when they were handing in the equipment. He said he'd miss football and all the new friends he'd made. I think that he's finally liking it because he likes it, not because I want him to play. It's good he's built a bit of passion for the game.

Heard some funny and crazy stories while I was up north this weekend. One of the funnier ones was by a shop owner who said every once in a while you see a truck and boat trailer roaring by that has blown out a trailer tire, unbeknownst to the driver and has worn the tire right down to the rim. It'd be driving by and sparks would be flying, driver clueless to it all. Funny stuff.

Otherwise, nothing much is new. Sarah finishes up volleyball tomorrow with a tournament at Arrowhead that should be fun to watch. They're playing three teams and she can't wait until it's over. I have to giver her credit, she finished out the year. Good for her.

Much more catching up to do in other areas at the moment, so I'll be...blogging off.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Bit of a Sports Rant

I had to miss Ben's game today, as I was at the Michael Perry Celebrity Saturday writing workshop at AllWriters. It's probably a good thing I did miss it because I'm told he only played the opening kickoff, and then no more.

So what gives? This is a sixth grade team. Not High School, sixth grade. My problem with it was the fact that many of the boys played the whole game on both sides of the ball. The whole game.

Now I know what is going through these coaches heads. It's a close game (turns out they lost 6-0) and they want to win. I get that. But you know what? I know of at least two other players who did not play a down and a couple more that got a play or two. The "star" player almost passed out because it was hot and he was running a lot. Did I mention it's sixth grade? Oh yeah, sorry.

My son's not a star. I get that. I wasn't either. I had no problem being a second stringer, but in SIXTH grade I got in every game, for significant time. My coaches thought that was important. Back then it was important. Kids were kids, not little stars.

I know playing in 6th grade spurred me to wanting to play 7th, 8th and 9th. I loved the game; lived for the game. Practice was part of it, because I knew I would play some in most games. There's something to be said for instilling a love of the game, team and comraderie at the expense of sitting your star players for a series.

I can't continue on this topic. It makes me so mad, that I want to spit. So onward.

The Michael Perry workshop was outstanding! He is a memoirist after my own heart. He rambled for much of the time with humorous anecdotes dotted with crystalline insights and periodic flashes of wisdom. He is not only an incredible author (and poet) but a great speaker. He said when he found out that he'd landed his first book and they expected him to do readings, he went to several book readings in the Twin Cities to see what he could learn from them. He said some of the great authors he saw, could "be a bit dry" as speakers. He swore he would try and be better, and he does not disappoint.

I'd seen him before at a book signing, so knew he could captivate an audience. When he does it among his peers, (not that I'm claiming to even be close to being a peer) it's even cooler.

He did give me some good advice about self publishing and took much of the doubt out of that for me. I'd heard that some people say that self publishing may blacklist you as an author later on. MP's had four books self published, and said it can be a great way to get started.

It was also quite an eye opener as to the whole writing, publishing and marketing process. He works incredibly hard at his craft. Much harder than I've ever worked on ANY of my writing. It was educational for me as to how I need to step it up a bit.

My beef with all of this though is that I have this thing called life that I have to live too. (I'm not saying he DOESN'T by any means.) I'm just saying that having a job, wife, two kids, dog and two cats keeps me busy. Real busy. Not busy enough so that I can't write, but busy enough so that I can't just immerse myself in my writing, at the expense of my family. I guess I could, but I don't want to be "that guy". I refuse to be a bad father/husband just to do what I want to do. These years with kids at home are numbered. The magic numbers are 3 and 6, and I intend to be available for them. Granted I can still write, but not to the loss of time/experiences with my kids.

The cool thing is that I'm just getting started. I've stumbled upon something that I can do well into my senior years, and when I say senior, I mean post 50. (Sorry to offend anyone.) It's like the best hobby/pasttime that I've ever found, and I'm just getting going with it.

The trick is to keep it fresh for myself and still get an occasional piece published to keep me wanting more. That's the goal at least.

One quick story to finish up. I asked Michael Perry if he had any brought any books to sell/sign. He said he did up in the car in the parking ramp. Turns out I was in the same ramp and walked him out. When we got to his car, he opened the door of his silver VW station wagon which was loaded with books and band equipment, and when he swung the door open, a bag of something fell out.

He said. "Ah, life on the road."

To which I laughed and said, "It's not all it's cracked up to be, is it?"

It showed me the reality of trying to make a living schleppin' books across the country. Part of me would love the opportunity to do it for a summer. Only one summer. That would probably do it for me. God Bless him, man.

I'd better cash this in. Not before I point out that you, the reader, MAY have been the 1000th reader of this blog. If you want to find out, go back to the top of this page and look at the number on my Counter right below my facebook picture.

When I posted this, it was at 984. If you hit 1000, Congratulations! You've won a free copy of my book when it's done. Just remind me, LOL. (It may be a year or two...)

Blogging off...

Friday, October 8, 2010

MS Support Try #3...Oh the Humanity!


Tried again last night to get the whole XBox Live thing worked out. Spent an hour and a half with an American gentleman (thank goodness) and still did not resolve the issue.

I swear, I was five minutes from breaking into tears. I had to hang up, or I would have gone off on the guy. He was in the process of "escalating" me again to someone who had access to more tools than he did. Can you believe that? It took him an hour and a half to realize he didn't have the right tools? I'm glad he wasn't fixing my dryer.

Anyhow, my cell battery was about dead, I was toast myself, and at that point I'd forgotten why I called in the first place. I suspect I'll try again someday when I'm feeling lucky.

I DID manage to fix my own dryer this week, however. A friend had mentioned at Ben's football game last week that fixing a dryer is easier than you would think. So, on Monday, I busted it open and took a look. It seems the belt had jumped its track, and was not allowing the drum to spin. With Donnas help, I was able to get it back on and put the thing together in an hour and a half. We turned it on, crossed our fingers and viola! It worked like it once did.

I attribute the quick fix to a combination of frustration and a cordless screwdriver. Those things make any job easy and quick. I'm no longer afraid of appliances like I once was. I've now made decent repairs on my stove, dishwasher and dryer. Keepin' my day job, but trying to save a few bucks too.

Tomorrow is my Michael Perry Celebrity Saturday workshop at AllWriters workshop http://www.allwriters.org/celebrity_satudays.asp

I'm looking forward to it. It should be a great chance to learn from a memoir master whose style I love. I'm not sure of the format, but was told to bring something to read to the group as well as something to write with/on. Sounds like a good day.

The only drawback to it is I will be missing Ben's football game. They play at noon and this workshop goes from 9-2.

So the Twins are one game from elimination again in the playoffs. Go figure. It must be early October. Just can't seem to get that Yankee monkey off their back.

It has been a week of pristine Indian Summer weather around here. Just Gorgeous. No humidity, low 70's and clear skies. Can't beat it. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My volunteering at Mosaic is going great too. It really is amazing how God puts you where you belong, especially when you're not sure what you're supposed to be doing. I love working with the middle schoolers. Turns out four of them were in my Boys Club group before this, so there's familiar faces. They're more mature (mostly). It's like Boys Club for grownups. I just hope I can have an impact in some way. As a friend, a listening ear, or a positive influence. Time will tell.

It's nice being able to see Ben during the teaching to see his reactions, yet not have him in small group. It gives both of us our space and yet we're experiencing the same teaching etc. Brandon Brown the pastor is incredible at passing the message to this age group with passion and conviction. Truly a gift. He's teaching me things, and I'm not even a teen. LOL.

Well that's all from the engine room. I'll try and post again with how Michael Perry goes later.

Blogging off...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Microsoft Support - Part Two

So my new 25 digit code came in only 24 hours. I guess a day = five to ten days in India or something. Needless to say I was impressed with the speed that they were able to get it to me.

I would have been really impressed if it actually worked.

When I went to plug in the number, I got the familiar message that the account did not have enough information.

Dial 1-800-Not-XBox

I spent 45 minutes with a nice lady, proceeded to give her all my personal information, much like I did with GFI1 and GFI2. This included at least one iteration of my 25 digit code. After trying my now-changed username and password twice, once from the console and once from the computer, she determined that she needed to "escalate" the issue to her support manager.

Enter guy from India #3.

He proceeds to get some of my vital information, blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol and a few other incidentals, including my 25 digit code.

"Bothersome, Tedious, Grating, 2, 3 dash Dumb, Yapping, Joyless, 7, 3, dash Migraine, Stupid, Flawed, Yapper, 4, dash Futile, Rude, Condescending, 6, 1, dash, Bonehead, Idiot, Demeaning, 5, Gomer."

"Thank you Mr. Landwehr, please hold"

There's Mr. Landwehr again. Who invited him?

And guess what the outcome was? I got a message saying there was not enough information for this account.

His answer was the worst, most lame answer I'd ever gotten from a support person at any level.

"Well, perhaps your user name is locked in our server somehow. Perhaps try it later and it may work."

Seriously. That was his answer.

The kicker is I got a survey today asking how my XBox support "experience" was. A bit like a root canal where the drill bit was left in the socket is how it was. Sandpaper on my nose. A lemon juice eye rinse. A cactus jockstrap. Bamboo ear piercing.

None of them were quite bad enough to encapsulate my feelings, so I gave it to them. We'll see where it goes from here.

Stay tuned. Blogging off...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome to Microsoft Support - Part 1

Well, I've had quite a go-around with the fine folks at Microsoft regarding my son's XBOX repair and XBox Live Account over the past week. It has been extremely frustrating and almost comical at times to the point where I said to myself I HAVE to write about this. It will ultimately be therapeutic, so here goes.

Ben's xbox, which he purchased with his own money was giving him a strange problem. When he started it up every time, he would get a grey filminess to the screen. We determined that to fix it on our good TV, he had to unplug and then re-plug in the yellow video plug. This didn't seem right to me, so I sent the unit back to MS for repair a few weeks ago.

Last week, the unit showed up at our house with a free 30 day trial of XBox Live. This came despite my complaints that we should receive a year free for our trouble, but hey, that's better than nothing. The trial is redeemed in the form of a gift card that has a 25 digit redemption code.

So Ben goes on to try and redeem the code. No Joy. It blocks him from redeeming the code because he needs a parental account. I go on and redeem the code for him only to discover that because I was logged in as the parent account, MY gamer tag/avatar was granted the rights to the 30 day trial. No Joy.

This was not a good moment for Father and Son. Knowing that a call to MS Support was in my future, (and we all love MicroSoft support, right?), I gritted my teeth and dialed them up.

Enter "guy from India #1" or GFA1 as I'll refer to him.

"Hello, thank you for calling XBox Support, may I please have your Last Name, First Name, Address, E-Mail, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, XBox Serial Number, Model Number, Software Version, Firmware version, Warranty date, Gamer Tag ID and password, favorite snack food, Visa Card number, License Plate number, and political affiliation."

It wasn't as bad as all that, but sure came close.

"OK, thank you for all of that information Mr. Landwehr, I hope I can assist you with your problem today. What seems to be the problem?" says GFI1

"I seem to have registered the 30 day gold membership to the wrong account, much to my son's dismay" I say, trying to relay the sense of urgency that I have a very upset 12 year old I'm trying to deal with.

Not sensing the urgency, GFI1 then proceeds to reiterate the problem I just described to him and asks, "Is that a fair description of the problem, Mr. Landwehr?"

Yes, it's pretty much how I just described it to you, I'm thinking as I start to get highly annoyed.

"OK Mr. Landwehr what is the 25 digit code you're truing to redeem?"

I start the long litany of numbers and letters.

"Bravo, Tango, George, 2, 3 dash Delta, Yankee, Justice, 7, 3 dash Michael, Sunshine, Football, Yankee, 4, dash Flipper, Robot, Car, 6, 1, dash Bravo, Ice, Dixie, 5, Golfer." I painfully read to him.

GFI1, then reads them back to me using the correct military terms for all of my letters, which takes another minute of my life away forever.

He then informs me that it may be 24-48 hours before this number can be switched over, which is almost unfathomable to me in this day of modern computing.

Before he can carry this transaction out however he needs to "escalate the problem" to his support manager, who I'll call "guy from india #2" or GFI2.

"Before I transfer you Mr. Landwehr, is there anything else I can do for you today?" GFI1 asks.

Yes, frankly there are a couple of things:

1. Stop calling me Mr. Landwehr, like you care, know or respect me. The fact that you're transferring me proves otherwise.

2. You can fix my problem, like I called you to do.

He doesn't do either of these things, but does carry through on transferring me to GFI2, so I'll give him that much. Not before he annoys me on hold for 2 minutes while I listen to a commercial about the great benefits of an XBox Live subscription, including 24/7 support. The blood begins to boil at this point.

GFI2, starts out by saying "Hello Mr. Landwehr, thank you for being so patient. Before I can process this transaction, I need a little information." He then proceeds to ask for:

My Last Name, First Name, Address, E-Mail, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, XBox Serial Number, Model Number, Software Version, Firmware version, Warranty date, Gamer Tag ID and password, favorite snack food, Visa Card number, License Plate number, and political affiliation.

OY!

I ramble painfully through all of it again and he then asks what the 25 digit code was that I was trying to redeem.

I thought I'd given that once already, but I must have been mistaken. It was so long ago, I forget.

This time I'm a bit edgier with my military terms as I read off the 25 digit code:

"Bothersome, Tedious, Grating, 2, 3 dash Dumb, Yapping, Joyless, 7, 3, dash Migraine, Stupid, Flawed, Yapper, 4, dash Futile, Rude, Condescending, 6, 1, dash, Bonehead, Idiot, Demeaning, 5, Gomer."

It wasn't all that bad, but it was certainly what was on my mind.

So he continues to pepper me with questions and calm reassurance that my problem is his biggest concern. He then finishes up with what he called "expectation setting" by telling me that it could take between 5 and 10 days before the transaction could be processed.

"Hey, GFI1 just told me 24 to 48 hours, what's with that?" I thought to myself and politely relayed to GFI2.

"I'm sorry Mr. Landwehr for the mis-information from our previous analyst. It will take 5-10 days for this."

He's calling me Mr. Landwehr again...

"Fine." I answer.

"Before I hang up, is there anything more I can do for you today?" he asks.

No, I'm pretty much fried. I just want a nap.


Check back sometime this week for part 2 to the saga, because reliving this saga has made me so I need a nap.


Blogging off for now...