Trying a few panoramic photos with the iPhone XS Max while in Hawaii. Click each photo to get a better view.
Not much of a timelapse. I’m impressed by the clouds more than the partial eclipse
The girls and I went to breakfast at the local diner the other day. They find eating at a diner so comforting.
I have been here blogging on and off for since 2001.
Lately, I’ve been in the off mode. Life has been busy the last six years. Raising kids, changing jobs, and dealing with the general curveballs life throws. Times for carefree thought are rare. When an opportunity presents itself, it is almost always limited to what you can do on your iPhone. So posting an Instrgram photo, sharing my status on Facebook, or reblogging on Tumblr is almost only what can be done.
There is an opportunity here.
I have often been depressed looking at this space, where my blog would reside, and see it going unused. I still go to my Tumblr. I go to my Instagram. My Facebook. I use the web of services and tools that pervade my daily life.
This page will now be the launching pad, the hub, the Grand Central Terminal of my interweb life. A small snippet of a post or a photo that leads to other photos will be placed here. To access the main content, simply click the link after the posting.
I took this 90 second video when I picked up Graecyn and Mia at Mama and Papa’s house. Graecyn was in a conversating mood.
Mia having fun during Susana's birthday celebration. We were upstairs just finishing watching Susana opening her presents, when Mia decided to leap from a chair to a few pillows. This was captured with an iPhone 5S. Sure wish I had an iPhone 6, which can do 240fps vs the 120fps a iPhone 5S can do.
Mia and Graecyn at the Palace of Fine Arts. Photo taken by Farrah using the iPhone 5S
The girls are in the City once again. Farrah sent me the above photo from the Palace of Fine Arts. I wish I could be up there with them enjoying the day.
I had a similar conversation with Comcast when I was simply trying to find out how many Filipino stations they offered. DirecTV offers eleven Filipino stations. Comcast only offers five. I simply asked if they would be offering more, but the representative avoided the question and started talking about their other channels and how much better they are then DirecTV.
The one-sided conversation took off from there. The Comcast person started talking about pricing, channels, and other features that I was not interested in. When I pushed back he would ask, “Why?” “Why aren’t you interested in this great deal?” “Why do you need more Filipino channels?” Perhaps because those channels are being watched by someone in my house?!?!?
It took some time with me becoming more agitated to be able to pry myself off the phone. I think I finally hung up on them as I simply said, “You are not listening to what I am wanting and asking about, so this conversation is over.”
I understand the person was trying to make a sale, and I was the one who called Comcast. But to turnaround and try to thrust their services on my was very off-putting.
Listen to the below call. But be warned: you might get a little agitated after listening to it all.
This is a simple story of a bad customer experience turning into a worse one by the day.
My truck battery was on its last legs. I managed to get it charged so I drove it to the closest Sears Auto in Cupertino. I was able to be checked in fairly quickly about 11 am, and told my car would be done a little after noon – or within the hour. This sounded great.
The mall in Cupertino isn’t that great, so I called Farrah who, with the kids, picked me up at Sears. We decided to have lunch at the local park and let the kids play. This provided a couple of hours of fun, more than enough time to get the battery changed in the truck. It was strange, though, no one called from Sears Auto during the time we were at the park. As we started driving back I began to wonder if they even started work on my truck.
It was a little after 1:30 when I got back to Sears Auto. I saw my truck in the same spot which concerned me a little. But then I thought, well all they need to do is pop the hood, disconnect the old battery and put in the new one. They shouldn’t need to move it far. In any event, I stood in line to talk to one of the customer representatives. I stood in line for about 30 minutes, a line only 3 people deep, before I got to talk to what apparently was the one working representative. This was strange because earlier in the day, just a few hours ago, there were at least three representatives working. The representative told me that they hadn’t gotten to my truck just yet but it should be done soon. He would make sure.
I was a bit peeved but was able to occupy my time with Farrah and the kids by going across the street to do some grocery shopping. This ate about an hour of time. I asked Farrah to drop me off and just head home with the kids, thinking the truck would be done. Boy was I wrong.
All I could do vent through Twitter:
Unfortunately, according to Sears I was sending my tweets to the wrong account. Instead of @Sears I should be sending tweets to @SearsAuto. Silly me. I thought that a service with the name Sears would be concerned about the bad customer experience several people were experiencing.
Hoping to get some resolution, I sent tweets to @SearsAuto. They responded the next day:
But they have been silent ever since.
I don’t believe I will be hearing from them. Even if I did I suppose I would only get some half-hearted apology with no rational explanation for the problems experienced by the many people that day.
Thinking back on what could have been done differently by anyone at Sears Auto that day I could only come to this conclusion: they should have set expectations appropriately. If they couldn’t do the work in a timely manner, then they shouldn’t have promised it could be done. They should have stopped taking new work in. Continually building up the workload for a number of workers they had only frustrated the customers.
I am guessing this trend will continue at Sears, uh I mean, Sears Auto. In any event, Sears, as a whole entity has lost me as a customer.
The Santa Claus at Stanford Shopping Center has been our staple Santa over the years. The only other time we saw Santa Claus elsewhere was in Hawaii. This year we waited until the weekend before Christmas to visit Santa. It seemed like a lot of other people had the same idea, given the long line we encountered early that Saturday morning.
But the girls were very patient waiting. And when it was their turn to sit on the jolly old fellow’s lap, the girls were well behaved – for the most part. I think Graecyn is going through a little stranger danger/separation issue right now. But Mia was all in awe of Santa. Mia even spent several moments after the photo session talking to Santa about her gift ideas.
Waiting in line.
Mia tells Santa her wishes for this year.
Graecyn waits for Mia.
It’s always tough getting the girls ready in the morning. Sometimes they place nice, like this morning. This gives mom and dad the opportunity to actually get ready for work and instead of rushing to work.
Trying to calm Graecyn down, who is sitting in the back seat, with the iPhone camera. Of course I’m recording it.