09 September 2013



I am a second-generation, lifetime NASCAR fan, and I cannot tell you enough how disappointed I am in the decision to dock every MWR team 50 points, exclude Truex from The Chase, and allow Newman in while you ADMIT that you do not have conclusive evidence that Bowyer's spin was purposeful.  Even if you say that the reason for the penalties is the Vickers pit stop, that still makes no sense.

EVERY week a driver/team does something to "manipulate the outcome of a race."  What do you call it when a driver let's a teammate lead a lap to gain points?  That's actually manipulating the outcome of the SEASON, which would be a much more egregious (in your eyes) violation.  Yet it happens all the time.  When you start penalising THAT, I'll considering coming back as a fan.

When you look at the restart that Keselowski BLATANTLY jumped during Friday's Richmond NNS race and penalise THAT, I'll considering coming back as a fan.  If you want to discuss someone manipulating the outcome of a race this weekend, we should start by discussing that.  And there's incontrovertible proof of THAT rules violation.

Let me be VERY clear: I do NOT like Martin Truex, Jr.  I am by NO means a fan of Brian Vickers (in fact, I was happy when he returned to the sport -- only so I could continue booing him).  And I absolutely CANNOT stand Clint Bowyer.  And as for Ryan Newman -- I could take him or leave him.  So I am would be one of the last people to have an emotional reaction as far as the drivers in this scenario are concerned.  As far as Michael Waltrip goes, I respect his talent as a restrictor-plate racer, but he is far from my favourite.  My point is that I have no bias here.

I have been to MANY races in my lifetime.  In fact, I regularly travel to be able to go to races, which means that I spend a great deal of money on NASCAR and on being able to follow this hobby and passion.  However, tonight's decision has shown me that NASCAR has both a lack of integrity and an inconsistency in enforcing their own rules that I can not support.  And I will not spend my time, energy and (most importantly) my money doing so.

Sadly, I will go from supporting NASCAR nearly four days a week from February to November to not at all.  I will go from travelling 1500 miles to see at least two races a year to seeing none.  NASCAR is losing a great deal of revenue from one fan.

I hope the $300,000 from MWR is worth it.

A former fan

06 September 2013

Oh, by the way...

In 2011, it was my goal to post something to my blog once every day for the entire calendar year.  But at some point, I realised that I was posting for the sake of posting.

In 2012, I realised that I wanted my blog to have a direction.  So I pondered.  And pondered.  And pondered.

Wedding blanket finished this summer
In 2013, I decided that I would just blog when the mood struck.  When I had a book review to share, I would.  When I had an exceptional recipe that I was excited about, I would let you know.  When I finished a knitting/cross-stitch project and I wanted to show it off, by all means...

But I wouldn't feel pressured.  I wanted my blog to be something people WANTED to read -- not something that was a chore to read.  And I decided I'd ease back into blog writing.  We're into September, and I figure an average of one post every four months should give you plenty of time to catch up.

Let's catch up on a few things that have happened this year, shall we?

I had hip surgery where the surgeon went in and cut some extra bone off of the joint.  The rehab is going really well.  In fact, the surgeon says I'm MONTHS ahead of schedule!  For the first time in YEARS, I'm walking without either a cane or crutches!

I got reunited with a friend I'd lost touch with several years ago.  She's local, and we just happened to run into each other on the sidewalk outside of work one day when I was walking to lunch and she was walking to a parking garage to pick up her car.

I got accepted to a doctoral program in my field; it was my second time applying.

I quit my job so I can go back to being a full-time student.

I just joined three fantasy football teams, each with a different format (not that I'm excited about football season or anything).

But that's pretty much all I've had going since the last time I wrote.  

Like I said...  I'll just pop in and write when I have something to say.

See you again in another four months!

24 March 2013

My Target Experience

I know I've been pretty quiet on here for over a year.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want this blog to look like, and in that time I've been SO quiet that I've also had SO much to say that it got to a point where I didn't know where to start.

Well, after yesterday, I figured I'd just dive right in.  Yesterday's experience was so awful, it needs to be discussed.  Earlier today, I emailed this to Target's Guest Relation department.  Of course, I signed my full name.



I just called and spoke to Guest Relations about the case 3-873994826 (incidentally, he gave me the wrong email address for contacting you, and I had to look it up online).

As I told the gentleman I spoke to, I have shopped at Target my entire adult life, but after yesterday's experience, I am not sure when I will be shopping at Target again, if ever.

I went to Target to buy a microwave, which turned into a major ordeal.  The microwave I bought was a Sharp Carousel.  It was over a price label which read "Sharp Microwave 99.99."  My friend and I loaded it into the cart, selected a few other items, and then checked out.  However, the total seemed too high, so I questioned it.  The microwave rang up as $159.99.  The cashier asked someone over, and a woman named Nic called back for someone in small electronics to do a price check on the microwave.  In a short amount of time, she confirmed that the price was $159.99.  We explained that the microwave we bought was over a price tag that read $99.99.  She said that she could have someone walk us back and if they confirmed it, they would honour that price.

Although my friend is visibly pregnant and I am disabled (I use a cane), and I didn't really want to walk all the way back, I agreed to walk back to the microwave aisle.  The woman who walked back with us agreed with us that the only "Sharp microwave" tag read $99.99 and she walked back with us to the front and told Nic the same thing.  Nic then told us that she is only authorised to give a customer $50.00 back, so she would have to escalate this to her manager.

Her manager (Oduda or Odadu) came over and said that she could not do anything for us; the price is $159.99 and that was final.  My friend and I were taken aback because this was a complete reversal of everything we had been told thus far.  My friend asked if we could at least show her what we were talking about.  So, once again, we then had to walk all the way back to the back of the store because of the store's inconsistency.  The manager told us at that point that the store can't be held responsible for a customer taking the microwave from where it belonged and putting it in the wrong place.  I totally understand this.  If a customer takes a product and recovers it improperly, I understand the store not being held responsible for that.  My friend then pointed out that there were NO tags in that aisle that read $159.99.

The manager said that microwaves aren't only in that aisle.  She said it could be on an endcap, it could be on a sale aisle, it could be anywhere.  So we asked her to show us where the microwave was SUPPOSED to be.  She said she would do that.  She looked it up on her handheld device, and then said, "Oh, actually we show that we have negative one in the store."  She then explained to us that meant that a customer had either purchased the microwaved online or at a different store and then returned it to this store.  She then repeated that she can't be held responsible for that customer putting the microwave back in the wrong place.  I pointed out that the customer returning the item wouldn't have put the item back -- an employee would have.  No customer who returns an item to a store puts it back on the aisle.  So the store still would be at fault for placing an item in the aisle above the wrong tag -- one that's $60 less than what it actually is.  This is simply a deceiving practice, and one that consumers shouldn't have to put up with.

The manager then tried to tell us that it was possible a customer selected the microwave and then wasn't sure if they wanted it until a couple of days later, leading my friend to ask, "So you're saying that a customer carried the microwave around for two or three days before they put it back right above this tag that says 'Sharp Microwave 99.99?"

As you can see, the entire exchange was completely frustrating, ludicrous, and fraught with untruths.  She finally said that the bottom line was that there was no way she could discount a product by $60.00.  I asked her what she COULD do, and she said she could give me a discount of 20%, which I accepted because I was in paid by that time.  However, I maintain that the $99.99 price should have honoured as that was the price that was given in the aisle.  It is simply impossible that an employee verified the price in the aisle as Nic told us.  An employee verified that that only "Sharp microwave" price tag in the aisle stated "99.99;" we were told that the price would be honoured once we were walked back with an employee and it was verified together (and it was), and this did not happen; and the manager told us stories that simply could not be true.

All in all, this experience was overwhelmingly the worst customer experience I have ever had in any Target.  It makes me wonder about the pricing integrity of Target and about Target's policies in dealing with customers as there was very little consistency (if any) between the two managers I spoke to.  Since yesterday, I have posted about this experience in various social media platforms, and I hope that I can will be able to post a positive follow-up story after discussing this with Guest Relations.


24 December 2011

Medical Update, Part Floppity Jillion

I thought it was time to stop referring to the "mysterious medical issue," and let y'all in on the secret.  I have a little more information now, although not all of it.  But first (as the ChenBot would say)...

The update on the hip.  It turns out that I DO have a torn hip labrum, but they found out during the latest test they did that I also have a bilateral (both sides of my body) hip deformity.  My doctor is consulting with someone he believes is one of the best in the country as far as joint replacements, joint revisions, etc., for next steps.  My doctor has discussed the possibility of a hip replacement, an osteotomy (they cut the bone and reshape it - doesn't that sound fun?), and more physiotherapy in the meantime that would be different from what I've been doing thus far.  This PT would be less strengthening and more "hands-on and teaching me how to move the bones and muscles."  He also discussed another MRI looking specifically at this area (now that we know which area to focus on) and or a CT scan looking at my left foot/ankle/leg since all of that could potentially have been affected over the years since it's all weight-bearing stemming from the hip.

So, those are all the various possibilities, but until he's able to consult with this guy and possibly get me in to see Mr Awesome Doctor myself, I won't really know anything else.

As for the "mystery issue."  This spring, I started having a lot of symptoms that made me think my thyroid was acting up again.  I called my doctor, we ran the tests, and everything was good.  We checked my Vitamin D levels (since I do take prescription Vitamin D, anyway, for a deficiency), and everything was good there.  Over the summer, things got worse.  But everything my doctor tried diagnostically turned up absolutely nothing.  In fact, my thyroid was doing so well that if she suppressed things any more than they already do, I would become hyPERthyroid (instead of hyPOthyroid), which nobody really wants.

She really had two theories, and all of her tests were trying to prove one of the theories wrong because it was something I really didn't want.  This week, I went for the results of the last test that she knew to send me to, and it wasn't good.  That specialist couldn't find anything wrong with me, either.

So - what's wrong?  Well, I've been having irregular periods (as in absent for MONTHS on end), hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, dry eyes...   in short, all of the symptoms of menopause.  To review, I turn 36 next month, I have no kids, and - yes - I want(ed) kids.

My doctor HAS said that it is an EXTREMELY rare side effect of my birth control pills that they can mimic menopause.  So there is still that hope.  I could just change pills and everything could be fine.  But she doesn't want to do this herself because if I suddenly stop, it could affect my thyroid issues, so she wants me to do this only under the supervision of my endocrinologist, who would be the one to run the definitive hormonal blood tests for menopause anyway.  I see the endo the first week in February.

I have been sad since this possibility was mentioned earlier this year, but when I got the latest news on Monday, I have been...  well, a lot of crying has been done.

I am well aware of adoption, but at this point, I am single, and in quite a lot of debt from law school and a Master's programme.  Adoption isn't cheap, and my health insurance doesn't cover in vitro (yes, I already checked).  So.  That's where things are.

I am very happy to be going home to my mommy today.

18 November 2011

List #35: Quirks I Have

1.  Gum must be eaten in sticks of two
If it's not a STICK of gum, it doesn't have to be two of them.  Like Hubba Bubba are bigger, so that's okay.  And if someone offers me a stick of gum, I'm not going to be rude and demand a second stick just so I can eat it.

2.  The Kleenex (yes, actual Kleenex) boxes in my house must match
I have crashed entire Kleenex displays looking for matching boxes.  I would even rather have the ugly green box than have mismatched boxes.  And I prefer the Kleenex Anti-Viral tissues.  Those lotioned tissue creep me out.

3.  I have to have at least five SEPTA tokens in my pocket when I leave the house
If I know I'm going more than one round trip, I pack more than five tokens.  If I take less than five tokens, I get nervous.  I have no idea what I think will happen that will necessitate these extra three tokens, but I must have five.

4. I can't stand to blow my nose in front of other people
If I'm in a restaurant, for instance, I'll excuse myself to the restroom just to do that.  One time, I was with a friend and had a cold, and I went to the restroom a few times and he finally asked if I was okay.  So I told him I was just blowing my nose.  After that, every time we'd go to lunch and I'd go to the restroom, he'd offer me a tissue.  Ha ha.

5.  French fries should not be eaten solo, but should be eaten with fries of equal length
It doesn't matter how many other fries there are, as long as there isn't only one.  If there are no other fries of equal length, just bend a long one in half.  Or take a long one and a short one, then bite the long one until it's the same length as the short one.  THEN treat them as equal-length fries.

17 November 2011

Recipe: Poor Man's Chili

1 15-oz can black beans, drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained
1 15-oz can corn, drained
1 24-oz jar prepared pasta sauce
1 cup baby tomatoes (optional, they pop after slow cooking!)
1 t cumin
1 t corriander
1 t tumeric
1 cinnamon stick

Drain the beans and corn, and put the can contents into your crock. Top with tomatoes, if using, and the pasta sauce. Stir in spices, and add cinnamon stick. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for about 4. If the tomatoes haven't popped on their own, gently poke them with a wooden spoon to pop before serving.

This is shamelessly stolen from this blog.

I didn't have a cinnamon stick, so I substituted 1/2 t of cinnamon.  Next time, I would use more.  Mom kept cautioning me, "I wouldn't use too much!" but I definitely erred on the wrong side.  This was definitely good, and it made enough for lunch for the week.

16 November 2011


Last night, I worked from 7:00 a.m. (my usual start) to 6:45 p.m. (NOT my usual end time).  I had a webcast that started at 4:30 p.m., and even though I live only about 20 minutes from work, since I usually leave at 3:00 p.m., it would have been one of those "by the time I go home, it'll be time to head back into work," so it was more productive to stay at the office.

My intent was to only stay on the webcast for a little while (for what I considered "the introductory part"), but for reasons I won't go into for work confidentiality reasons, the introductory part went on and on and on and became The Actual Call.

And then I worked my entire shift today.  I had expected to do some work with a co-worker, but that work ended up not being ready (no fault of the co-workers), so I didn't go in late (which I could have done).  And since we had a meeting scheduled until my shift end time, I didn't leave early... and then the meeting ended up being cancelled at the last minute.  Argh.