Sunday, December 30, 2007

Harry Potter - Volume 8?

Attention all my fellow Harry Potter fans!

J. K. Rowlings has given us a glimmer of hope that we may one day get to renew our friendship with the Hogwarts gang. Read about it here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sears Nightmare Continues

When last I spoke with a Sears representative, I was assured my problem was being addressed and I would have a new oven delivered on Christmas Eve.

Surprise, surprise - the local store has no record of any such delivery order. Calls to delivery central show there are no records whatsoever of a delivery order for me.

Sears lied. Again. Not only was I without an oven for the Christmas holiday, but I will also be without an oven into the New Year.

Locally, the salespeople have gone above and beyond to try to assist me. Under their breath, they whisper my experience is rather typical. I called the credit card line to put a protest on my account and a statement that I would not be paying another red cent until this situation was resolved. THAT customer service rep said, "I wish I could tell you this experience is unusual, but it's not."

I called the local store general manager and supposedly a new stove is to be delivered this coming week. I'll believe it when I see it.

Shop at Sears at your own risk.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors. Not only is he handsome and charming, but he selects roles with meaning. I appreciate his professional body of work, but it was upon learning more about him as a man that his status as one of my favorites became set in stone.

I recently saw him on an episode of Oprah discussing their joint collaboration for the movie, The Great Debaters. As he talked, but more as the young stars talked about him, I was again reminded why I have such as high view of this thespian. The young stars quoted “Denzel-isms” such as, “Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.” Their affection and respect for him came through loud and clear.

This week, I came across an interview with him on that again affirmed my affection for the star. Read it here.

And, since it’s the Christmas season, catch him in The Preacher’s Wife for a fun holiday movie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How The Grinch Stole Christmas - Sears Style

I had originally planned to make this entry a Night Before Christmas spoof, but levity is not the order of the day currently.

In October, I purchased a brand new 2008 Kenmore confection oven. This wonderful thing had three racks! I was so looking forward to my Christmas baking. Then last Sunday morning, I tried to preheat my oven for a breakfast casserole and . . .nothing happened. I pulled out my manual, tried all the troubleshooting tips . . . nothing. The week before Christmas and my brand new 2008 oven had died.

A call to the national Sears helpline brought the news that the soonest a repair person could be out was New Year’s Eve! So much for Christmas Dinner, much less any baking. Undeterred, I called Sears at Fayette Mall where I had purchased my oven and a wonderful gentleman I know only as “Abe” took up my cause. Within an hour, I received a call from Sears’ customer service. From “Mabel”. [Cue Grinch theme.]

Mabel said a repairperson would be out if possible on 12/19/07. I told her that was a concern as well because if the repair was not easily fixable, I'm still looking at being without an oven on Christmas. I reminded her their policy was replacement within 90 days. I was told I would have to pay a 15% restocking fee. I would have to PAY to have their policy enacted. Further, when I expressed concern that this threw a wrench into my Christmas plans, she said, "Ma'am Christmas isn't until next week." I told her I was well aware of when Christmas was and I didn't appreciate the condescension. While Christmas may be next week, Christmas baking occurs this week! To add further insult, when I thanked her and said I was going to pursue it with the local store and hung up, I picked the receiver back up and discovered she hadn't hung up and REFUSED to hang up until she gave me Sears' Make A Wish sales pitch. I said, "Are you kidding me? After all this do you think I'm interested in further participation with Sears?" She said, "I'm not hanging up until I finish." She actually held my phone hostage! It was SURREAL.

Now, more angry than disappointed, I again call the chivalrous Abe who got his department manager, “Scott” involved. Finally a most apologetic man named “Albert” called and said a brand, spanking new oven is to be delivered and installed on Christmas Eve.

Word to the wise, Sears shoppers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Catalog Christmas

I've become a fan of Internet and mail order shopping. While others spend Thanksgiving evening scouring the sales circulars and setting their alarms to hit the road early on "Black Friday", I can kick back and watch football, go to a movie or warm up some turkey and stuffing for an evening snack gleeful in the knowledge that the following week with a few clicks on my trusty mouse, I will have purchased a good portion of my gifts in a matter of minutes on the Monday after Thanksgiving - Cyber Monday.

Starting in September, my mailbox is flooded with mail order catalogs. I have my favorites I carefully peruse (Signals for one). However since magazines sell/share mailing lists, I'll received dozens of others which will quickly be tossed in the garbage. I was all set to toss one of these when the phone rang. As I talked to the caller, I absentmindedly flip through the pages of a doomed NorthStyle catalog.

Then it happened. An item caught my eye. A little more than I wanted to spend on a knick-knack, but I liked it. More than that - I wanted it, perhaps because it reminded me of my beloved Yellowstone. This past weekend, my newest Christmas decoration was delivered:

For some reason, this just makes me giggle with delight!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Golden Compass Bombs

The Golden Compass, a movie based on a series of anti-Christian novels, is bombing at the box office. That's great news! While the movie has been sanitized of the anti-Christian dogma of militant atheist Phillip Pullman’s novels, the concern for many Christian groups is that the movie will inspire kids to want to read the books. Pullman acknowledged to the Sydney Morning News in 2003 his novels were “about killing God.” He wanted his series to become the anti-Narnia, the anti-Lord of the Ring.

In the Golden Compass, the church is the ground zero for evil and the heroine’s parents are the villains. Surprisingly for a movie based on books by an atheist, the film has included a lot of spirituality - of the occult variety. The movie’s web site (and future marketing efforts in toys, etc.) push the occult. Kids can discover their personal daemon (pronounced “demon”), an animal embodiment of their soul outside their body. Mystic accoutrements abound.

The advertisers for Golden Compass were hoping to tap into the Narnia/Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter audience. No such luck and the $200 million dollar Nicole Kidman film is going down in flames. How appropriate!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Grandmothers are Getting Younger

I no longer feel badly about being immediately recognized as "grandmother material" on a recent trip to Hobby Lobby. Seems grandmother material can be under 30 these days. Here's a grandmother at 29!