Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Half Year

Evie is now over 6 months old. She is a healthy 19 lbs, 3 oz. and 27.5" long. Her favorite daily activity is bouncing, followed closely by ducky time in the tub.
She is enjoying life for the most part, and we are enjoying it too.

Evie had a couple battle scars after her last appointment. Luckily she's very tough.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I’ve had a few problems with customer service lately. The blue and red words below are the email communications between me and customer service.

Last Christmas I was trying to come up with Christmas present ideas for Erin when I stumbled across a pictures website that sold personalized puzzles. I thought it was a unique and fun idea so I ordered an 18x24 inch, 551 piece puzzle that was a collage of 6 of our favorite 2007 photos. There were other puzzle sizes, but the 551 piece was the best for us.

Then the fun began. They accidentally sent me a 10x14 inch, 150 piece puzzle. It was kind of cool, but way too small to be fun.
Me: I ordered and paid for an 18x24, 551 piece personalized puzzle. I received a10x14puzzle. Please contact me ASAP! Thanks, Randall
Them: Hello Randall, I'm sorry that the wrong puzzle was sent out to you. I have just issued a reprint for the right puzzle and I requested that it be shipped out to you on Friday. Once again sorry for the sending the wrong puzzle. Kevin
A week later I receive the WRONG, 10x14 puzzle for the 2nd time.
Me: I received ANOTHER 10x14 puzzle. I ordered and paid for an 18x24, 551 piece personalized puzzle. Please send me the correct puzzle type. Check and double check before shipping that this one is actually 18x24 as ordered! Please call me if you have any questions at all, (Phone Number).
Them: Hello Randall, I'm so sorry that you did not get the 18 x 24 size prints. I have just sent a note to our facility and I ripped them a new one for not getting the right size puzzle out to you. Once again I'm sorry about the puzzle problem and I will make sure that you get the right size puzzle. Have a good weekend. Kevin
Several weeks go by with nothing.
Me: "Can you check on this issue? It has now been more than 6 weeks since my original order (December 7) of the 18x24" 551 piece puzzle. It has been 4 weeks since you said you'd send out the right one (for the 2nd time). I still have not received it. If you don't plan on shipping it I would like a full refund. Please let me know the status of this order.
Them: I have just issued a manual PayPal refund for you, and have also submitted the correct reprint--it appears there was a bug at work on this item causing this problem to begin with.I am very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. Thanks Hugh
A week later I receive the WRONG, 10x14 puzzle for the 3rd time. This time I wait a month or two to respond because I don’t really care about the puzzle anymore.
Me: Thank you for giving me the refund. You guys are unbelievable. The 3rd attempt at this puzzle was STILL WRONG! I can't believe it! I really don't care anymore because you gave me the refund and this whole thing has just turned comical, but am I the only person to ever order a puzzle this size? What is the matter with you guys? How can you not figure out the size of a puzzle you offer online? That is embarrassing. I now have 3 personalized puzzles sitting at my house that are all the wrong size. All I can say is WOW
Them: Wow is right--this has all been very humbling. I am trying again, though, just so that I can close the chapter on this, and so you can hopefully get what you wanted in the first place. I would seriously be remiss if I were to just let it go. A thousand pardons, Hugh
A week later I receive the WRONG, 10x14 puzzle for the 4th time. At this point I don’t bother telling them and just let it go. 6 months later I stumble across all 4 wrong puzzles while unpacking at our new house.
Me: I just moved and remembered all of these puzzles when I unpacked them. I now have FOUR of the wrong size puzzle. You guys sent me the wrong item all 4 times. I can take pictures to prove it, I just can hardly believe it. If you decide to follow through and send me another one, please please please please make sure it is the right one (18x24 - 551 pieces). For the love...
Them: I refunded the PayPal account since the order has expired in the system and cannot be incorrectly reprinted yet again. Sorry for the trouble. Hugh

So 11 months later I have 4 of the exact same puzzles, all the wrong size, but I was refunded the full price twice. I must have been the only person to ever order a puzzle from them. For their sake I hope so.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Night at Home

It has now been 7 weeks and we are getting close to living in our own home. On Friday night baby and I slept at the house for the first time. Eric also stayed over since I had solicited his help to set up my home network.

Erin's primary request with the TV and computer setup was that we hid all the wires. We made quite a mess, but the finished product will look pretty sharp.
We made some holes in the walls too, but those will be covered.
Jason and Melissa's fall party produced several high quality pumpkins. Mine is the bottom right. From this view, it almost looks like an EV. The sad part is that I had no artistic inspiration at the moment and carved some random doodles. If it looks at all respectable, it was a complete accident.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


And then there were cabinets.
Now we are just a kitchen sink and some countertops away from a house. Unfotunately, I found out the countertops are going to take a couple weeks longer than we thought.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Randy Van No More

After almost exactly 7 years of driving my beloved 1994 Dodge Caravan I finally had to say goodbye. It was a good and dependable van that became somewhat of a Randy trademark.
I vowed to drive it until it died but it is never that simple. My heuristic was to keep driving it until repairs cost me more than $1,000 in a year. I think I waited one repair too long. I'm sad to see it go. The final mileage was 232,529!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Trees in the Bedroom

It was a good weekend with lots of activity. Here are the highlights:

A few weeks ago Erin had the idea to paint a tree on Evie's wall. Saturday she recruited a couple of art majors to help; Jenny and her dad. The three of them painted a very tasteful and cool looking tree.
Our cabinets came in and the kitchen is starting to take shape.
We gave Evie spoon food for the first time on Friday. She was very excited at first, probably because she thought we were allowing her to eat something she shouldn't. After about 5 bites her expression suddenly changed to "oh, this tastes kind of nasty."
Her appetite quickly prevailed and she happily ate as much as we offered. She wasn't even that messy.
"Feel the Zeel" - I suddenly feel like a Zeeland native. This weekend was Zeeland's annual Pumpkinfest with lots of family activities. I ran in "The Great Pumpkin Chase" 5k Saturday morning and the activities culminated in a Pumpkin Parade on Saturday afternoon in downtown Zeeland. We dressed Evie for the occasion and she watched her first parade.
Evie was a grump. She needed a nap and was not happy about being dressed up for our amusement.

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