lordandrei: (Default)
Somewhere between Odessa and Concordia... we are LIVE on the net. [livejournal.com profile] jnanacandra is at the wheel, and Missouri seems to actually have sufficient AT&T coverage to allow me to put on the mobile net.

YAY

I've been on the phone with utilities all day. I have learned that the local gas company is a pain in the butt and that all the utilities are really cool.

I've also discovered that SNO PUD (Snohomish County Electric) has pretty much reduced it's phone bank to one person. I've been on hold for the better part of 17 minutes in queue. My window is 17-27 minutes; which means someone should be on the line in about 20 minutes.

I have to say it. I don't believe in Iowa. Even after theoretically driving through it. The drive the whole way has been quite marvellous. The area that is alledged to be Iowa was far slower than anything else along the way. Really bad drivers and horrid construction. The 'lowlight' was trying to find a food stop and taking 2 separate exits marked with food and then having to stop at the Harrah's casino because it was the only place we could find food. Iowa slowed us by about 60-90 minutes.

In the mean time... we're almost to St. Louis. And we're planning to pop the truck around noon Friday and keep pulling stuff until it's empty. (Hopefully, not 3 days like loading)

Don't get me wrong.. the load was amazing! The help loading was fantastic. It's just that loading involved boxing, cleaning and TETRIS.. so it was more work than unloading should be.

So, if you'd like to join the unloading fun this weekend... Comment here, or facebook, or twitter.

Granted the other 20% shows up sometime around Wednesday. :-o

More soon. Going to catch up on twitter.

O
lordandrei: (Default)
Happily at this hour I seem to have most of my personality back in tact.

Despite protestations that I am not sick; I am lying. I have picked up the cosmic goo that [livejournal.com profile] jnanacandra had last week. This goo is what's been keeping her coughing for about 3 days. It's all settled into her chest.

Last night I lay in bed schnorgling from my one only mostly clogged nostril.

This has been a very hard month on the Freeple clan. Actually, a hard year.

For the record, as of Tuesday I am now officially unemployed. My last day at MSFT came and went.

[livejournal.com profile] aiden_freeman's last day at the the Mill Creek La Petite Academy was Friday. Today was packing and loading.

First and foremost: unbelievable thanks to [livejournal.com profile] faerievixen2, [livejournal.com profile] glitch25 and those thanks don't begin to measure up to the unmeasurable work and assistance of "[livejournal.com profile] princekermit.

As I mentioned, this has been a hard month; the week has been worse. We got back from house hunting Saturday. We tried packing all week. Until you start trying to load, you have no idea how badly a job you've done at packing.

Friday afternoon the truck was picked up and dropped into our driveway by "D". The packing continued into the evening until everyone fell asleep. [livejournal.com profile] caliban1227 was on hand to help wrangle Aiden Freeman. [livejournal.com profile] larisa_p was also there to help pack as she is our official truck driver for the week.

By saturday morning, I was pretty spent and sick. But I wasn't sick. Because I couldn't afford to be sick. [livejournal.com profile] tzaddi_93 had run for donuts and coffee before 7am. She is a goddess. She also was on hand to make sure that I didn't lose it. (Which was quite a feat)

By noon it was obvious that we were hurting. I tried to push the maids and the carpet cleaner forward a day. I got the carpet cleaner. The maids... they may still show at 7am Sunday. I put a frantic call for help on the interwebs. Things were looking bad.

Around 1 pm we put Aiden into a back bedroom on a cot for a nap. I discovered this made the back bedroom that we are using for non-truck-bound storage.... into quite the successful Zero Room. About this time [livejournal.com profile] damianaswan and (S) came by. With the beds broken down; sleeping arrangements needed to be made. [livejournal.com profile] tzaddi_93 hit hotwire and reserved us an AMAZING and CHEAP hotel room, less than a 1.25 miles from the house.

Then C and B from the MacBU showed up; each bringing one person with them. Oh, the awesomeness.

At about 6pm we broke and went to dinner (leaving the front door wide open)

So, Where are we? Well, the truck has more loading to do; and we don't have enough room for everything on the truck. (YIGH!)... We are ordering in a pod to bring the remainder to us separately.

We assuredly need all hands on site still tomorrow morning. I'll be there about 8ish. The goal is to have the truck packed, the remainder in the garage, and the house emptied of clutter by 3-4 pm.

Do dinner with those that want and head off Sunday evening.

Sadly this leaves the remainder to be packed in the pods on Monday by [livejournal.com profile] tzaddi_93 and [livejournal.com profile] princekermit and (ANYONE ELSE WHO CAN HELP) {less than subtle hint}

So if you have free time tomorrow (Sunday) swing by... we'll feed you if you opt to stay.. and it's our last chance for goodbyes.

Thanks
lordandrei: (Default)
We are trapped in the midst of a lot of boxes and very few hands.

We Need boxing help today and due to the fact that few people showed up, Now tomorrow as well.

We've had to push everything back a day because we are very much behind in packing and loading.

Please, if you have any spare time in the next 48 hours... we could use your help.

Sooner rather than later

Thank you.
lordandrei: (Default)
This morning's schedule

Take the boy to daycare
Call his new daycare
PICK UP A 26 FOOT LONG MOVING TRUCK
Take the car to the shop
PACK PACK PACK

(Attention, this is your final call, places please)

That's right. Today is the beginning of the moving weekend. In 48 hours I MUST have an empty house.

This of course is a call to all, that locals are invited to help us out and share our goodbyes.

We will feed you and be giving away copious amounts of alcohol that is not going with us.

Please contact me via phone or text (you can text me from my profile) if you can drop by. We especially could use assistance on Saturday.

As posted elsewhere.. This is what I woke up with in my head:


Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights
No more rehearsing and nursing a part
We know every part by heart
Overture, curtains, lights
This is it, you'll hit the heights
And oh what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

Tonight what heights we'll hit
On with the show this is it

lordandrei: (Default)
The question was put to me: "What time this week would you like help packing"

My intent this week is to have the truck loaded by Saturday night when I go to sleep.

As a result... I can use extra hands for pakcing, cleaning, trashing, boxing... 24/7 from now until I close the truck.

That's right. Anyone wants to come by, there's work I can put them to. I'll feed you and give you lots of drinks. But We need the hands. More as the week goes on. All hands on deck from Friday evening until we shut the truck on Saturday.

Please consider dropping by... As this will be likely the last time you see us for a while, possibly ever in some cases.

We'd love to see you (and have you work for us ;) )

Email, call, comment, or anything. Drop by :)

Thanks!
lordandrei: (cute)
If you hear any of us making this odd comment over the next few days; I must explain.

We're moving into the final 10 days of packing. As a result I commented yesterday that for the first day or two we'll still be telling people, "No, let's sort... let's arrange"... which of course will be followed by the last 3 days of, "F*@#&K IT, THROW IT IN A BOX"

This of course was followed with me suggesting the following scene..

I tap on a box. I tap on another box. I tap on the third box and a muffled voice says, "Appo Jews?" (tr: Apple Juice)

Ah, that's where the toddler got to.

With this image [livejournal.com profile] jnanacandra and [livejournal.com profile] tzaddi_93 were convulsing.

Note: No toddlers were actually boxed in the proposal of this humourous potential incident.
lordandrei: (Default)
I realise that not only isn't everyone on FaceBook or Twitter; that some actively avoid it. I get it. I don't go near MySpace for example.

That being said; I am utilising FaceBook and Twitter extensively this month for the process of moving.

Item 1: Truck loading day

Last evening I posted my call for Truck loading help.

I will be loading the truck the weekend of the 27th-29th. And I can use ALL hands on deck. I will be feeding and libating all that come by. Granted; if I know in advance... it helps me with getting the food in advance.

If you are on Facebook, head on over to the event page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136178490243 and sign up. Even if you can only come for a short while; any time is beyond appreciated. If you're not sure.. tick the "maybe" on the RSVP.

If you don't like Facebook; drop a comment here.

Item 2: Take it away

THIS WEEEKEND: March 14th and 15th... We are having a massive packing and garage-ish sale, open house. Craft supplies, Books, Tables, TVs, Sofa, Bikes, Knick-Knacks, Chotchkies... And the cost to you is dragging it off. Donations accepted.

Come by, help box, get fed, or just rummage. We have a Lava Lamp ready for a new home!

Come one come all :)
lordandrei: (Default)
Crazy? Naaaaah!

I have put up our public calendar on GCal at http://is.gd/lXTs (Gods, I love is.gd! The full link realllly SUCKS!)

We have solid move dates. We are packing a 26ish foot truck with everything except the piano over the weekend of the 27th-29th. Hopefully we're done late Saturday, Early Sunday. As we must to be doing a huge clean as well.

We pull out Monday and then unpack in St. Louis (at an address we don't even have yet!) the following weekend April 3rd thru 5th. (Yeah.. happy b'day me :-/ )

Please look at our schedule. It'll give you an idea when to drop by to help box, take stuff away (We gots furniture) and of course.. moving day where we need as many folks as we can muster. (We'll be getting rid of a 1/2 tonne of alcohol and food that day and wall to wall snacks.)

For those of you that we barely know on the StL side... We need to muster help too. We'll be unloading everything and will have the remaining 1/2 tonne of alcohol and pizza and other stuph. Any help and suggestions are welcomed. What better way to meet new people than to see them at their worst while you unload their stuff!?!?

Forthcoming will be a web page with the stuff we are getting rid of that people can come and claim. Often for the price of you getting it out of the house.

More coming. Now an hour behind on everything.

JOY!!!

(Both an expression of chaos and a random call out for no reason to one of the people in the universe I hold very dear in my heart)

Off for a box run
lordandrei: (Default)
Posted on LiveJournal FIRST!

Talk about a whirlwind. I am to start work the first Monday in April in St. Louis. So I have quite the adventure ahead.

This week I have 4 separate professional movers coming in to give me (Obscene) estimates. In the mean time I am pricing u-drag-it rentals to see how much we could conceivably do on our own. (Note: If anyone would like to talk to us to spend a week driving a 26' truck cross country for room, board, expenses, and a flight home... drop me a line)

By the end of the week, I intend to have our move dates set.

Many have already asked the wonderful question: HOW CAN I HELP!?!?

First and foremost... we need boxes. We need to have everything packed within 3 weeks. Several of you have participated in this and as always there will be plenty of libations. When will this be going on? Well, we are currently home all day, all evening. Which means... pick a time.. tell me you wanna drop by... And let's box and sort. In most cases... you might not even have to give me any warning.


We are also planning to get rid of a lot of stuff along the next 3 weeks. This ranges from craft making supplies, through old computer hardware and books, passing by toddler supplies, up to furniture. And it's gonna likely be close to if not free.

We're planning our big giveaway party over the weekend of the 14th/15th. But if you help out before that and want to offer poachers rights, "Oh, you're getting rid of this?" We'll probably let it go earlier. All you have to do is drag it's carcass out of here. (And yes.. again.. some of the furniture is part of the offer)

We needs you peoples... more will be posted on a regular basis.

In the mean time.. I'm gonna go back to reeling from my stomach goo.
lordandrei: (Default)
If you follow my twitter/facebook you'll notice I've been quite the past few days.

It is true. I am again to be reemployed in the not too distant future in the far off lands of St. Louis. Well, not too far off if you live there.

A few people got the impression I was definitely going there, when we went out the weekend before last for a weekend of interview, sick toddler, and [livejournal.com profile] s00j surprising. Honestly, it was just an interview and after having been out of work for 14 months; I don't get excited over an on-site interview.

This is a huge move for us. This will be a huge experience for Aiden (that he's likely to soon forget).

And that means... it's moving time again.

We put the call out to all folks in Seattle (and to St. Louis.. of which we know like 4 people informally)... Any help is welcome and will be happily rewarded. Boxing, packing, eating of copious pizza, and other such thanks. Boxes, etc...

We'll also be throwing a huge 'garage sale/take our extra stuff for free party.' - We're getting rid of a tonne of stuff and we'd rather see it go to friends than goodwill or the dump.

If you are interested in helping an ANY way whatsoever.. please comment here, facebook, twitter... And we'll show you the schedule. It's going to be a WIIILLLLD month of March.

More forthcoming.

-Freeple

Edit I was out of work for 14 months the LAST time I was looking for a job. This one seems to have been muuuuuch shorter. I've been cautious from the history as well as the economy.

Sorry ;)
lordandrei: (Gnostics go PING!)
So from about 10:30 until 6:30 we hit the ground and hit it Really hard.

Thanks to Sidhefire clan:[livejournal.com profile] nascar24_48 and[livejournal.com profile] vismaya_viewer (who's LJ's I need to look up) and their SUV
Alligators: [livejournal.com profile] ladyaraia and [livejournal.com profile] quetz with Godzilla!
MSFTies: [livejournal.com profile] sea_gaagii (and the exterra), [livejournal.com profile] philkensebben (and boys), and killer props to [livejournal.com profile] papertygre who's help went beyond amazing including fastening a table to her car and fetching lunch.
ATC kept up a punch with [livejournal.com profile] princekermit and Raphael.. with the amazing silver pickup
And the man who can fall into no definition: [livejournal.com profile] glitch25

And two women who make me incredibly happy: [livejournal.com profile] faerievixen2 and [livejournal.com profile] polanegri.

There is no way that [livejournal.com profile] elocinnuala, [livejournal.com profile] shimmeringjemmy, [livejournal.com profile] aiden_freeman and I could have accomplished what you all did today.

Blessings upon each and every one of you.
lordandrei: (Heed my Will)
This weekend is our big push.

The boxing has been incredibly reduced to friends in Clan Sidhefire (THANK YOU [livejournal.com profile] sidhefire for the truck, and also to [livejournal.com profile] mlerules and [livejournal.com profile] delerium3) as well as some massive help from the ATC (Blessings to [livejournal.com profile] darkzelda98011 and [livejournal.com profile] moon_goat) as well as L (who's LJ I do not know).

We are starting at about 9:30ish Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday we are working until about 6ish. Dinnering and off to D's annual.

Sunday we will have the U-Haul for anything that is left (we're really hoping that we actually won't need it... but better safe than sorry.)

Sunday we're working from 9:30ish... until we're done. (Which I hope will be 7 ish... as there is a celebration in the box laden house planned.

The original post is at:

And the poll can be found there andhere behind the cut )
lordandrei: (WTF?!?!?)
... we've been moving boxes all day.

However, the county has had another major wind storm and the house is currently without power.

Boy I hope they get that back on before the utilities come tomorrow.
lordandrei: (Default)
PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG :)
EDIT: Yes, food other nights too.

Also see and discuss the event on Facebook

Some of this is for my record.. but mostly for getting help online.

Monday: Installed Garage Door Opener, Smoke Detectors, Called Uhaul, (Glass fixed)
Tuesday: Try to do work
Wednesday: Big Packing day
Thursday: Big packing day:

FRIDAY:
Morning: Cherry Picker and Piano Movers extract Piano from 2nd floor.

Afternoon:
  • Piano Installed
  • DirecTV Installed
  • Phone/Fiber Internet Installed
  • Install motion sensor light


Saturday: Need bodies, Need Trucks, Need vehicles. Move what we can until 7pm
Hopefully the beds.

Sunday: Will have a uhaul truck. Need bodies! Move what we can until 7pm. Move As much that is left. Furniture not moved Saturday is the utmost importance.

Sunday night, pizza, beer, poker, football... Burly, Manly, moving celebration.

Well food every night... but celebratory food Sunday.

So... Here's what I need to know:

(If you're not on LJ, please leave information in comment field including who you are. It will be invisible after you write it until I make it visible)

[Poll #1071919]

Additional comments can be added below
lordandrei: (Default)
As you may have read in [livejournal.com profile] shimmeringjemmy's journal. We are moving.

We are actually coming in closer to Redmond.

So we are looking for people who are willing to help us with the move.

The BIG move weekend is targeted for the 20th/21st. (Yes, we're aware that D's Biiiig Halloween shindig is that weekend and we're planning on going)

Pizza, Drinks, and alcoholic variations for later in the day are offered throughout.

Now... we're actually moving thru the entire month. So.. if you're not free that weekend, but have an evening or afternoon available during the week. That works too!!!

Trucks, vans, arms, cars... anything to help us chip away at the mountain. Even if it's just to drop by and box.

Comment here or Email either or both of us for more info... Or to volunteer.

(You can email us at lordandrei or shimmeringjemmy {at} Livejournal {dot} com )


Thank you!
lordandrei: (Default)
EDIT: had posted an image instead of a link. That was annoying. Fixed that. Sorry.

I just got off the phone with my ISP. Last week someone got onto my network and ran a peer-to-peer downloading problem. I discovered the next day that my network had gone to hell. I disabled the ability for such programs to be run on my network. (Without certain firewall precautions).

Well, it turns out the networking issue was unrelated. I called tech support at the ISP. They checked the line and told me it was obviously my hardware. (As always while trying to evaluate my hardware the tech started with, "Go to your start menu" At the mention of the accursed word "Macintosh" he sighed and said, "Oh." Then he advised I call my manufacturer.)

After several internal tests, it was obvious that it wasn't the computer or the ethernet cards. I figured, maybe my 5 port switch had gone to hell. Several tests suggested that it too was fine. Then yesterday I tried to open a video chat to the ever lovely, [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar. Insufficient bandwidth. I scratched my head and checked.

I have a business DSL line. It is provisioned at 5MB/768KB, I am told to expect (due to location), 3MB/768KB. As of yesterday's check I am running 1MB/20KB. That's right. I am pushing out 2.6% of the data I'm paying to deliver. I called my sales representative. I explained that tech support doesn't work on the weekends. (Far be it for an internet business to work on the weekend) and the quality of service I'm receiving. Agog, he promptly credited my account and asked me to keep him posted.

The downside of living in a remote town is that net services are still not an automatic thing. A small town may have _one_ ISP. No choice, no debate... that's it. You get what they maaaay be able to deliver to you. The only way to assure service is to pay for the laying of a T1 line. This usually amounts to about $2000-$3000 for set up and about $500 per month. Unless that is a line item on your business expenses... it's not worth the cost for a startup.

I discussed with the sales rep that the quality of service and lack of weekend support makes me question exactly what I'm really paying for since a residential service can get the same 'provisioned speed' and the same ability to request static IP. He agreed wholeheartedly and said, "he'd pass it along." Those who've worked in any service related business know exactly what I mean.

I suppose the one good thing that came out of it was the fact that at the end of the conversation he said, "I can understand your frustration" (Standard sales kiss-a&$ speak) and then ended with, "I hope the rest of your day is a bit better."

This last comment actually meant something positive to me. I have a huge gripe with service company representatives who have conversations like this:

    Me: So, there's not a thing you can do to help me. You can't fix my problem and I'm pretty much screwed.
    SCR: Yup. There's not a damn thing we can or would do. Is there anything else I can do for you?
    Me: Apparently not.
    SCR: Okay, have a nice day, thanks for being a valued customer.

Now, before anyone goes off on semantics. No. This is not the wording I use on a phone call. I am always professional and polite to a point. When I have been given the run around I will climb through wires and eat people, but in general I am polite, even when I make making thinly veiled threats... That said...

If you as a representative have not made every effort to help me with my issue and this includes passing me up the line to your supervisor. You have NOT assisted me. Asking me if there's anything else you can do, is not only inappropriate, it's downright annoyingly hypocritical.
Hi, I have a problem
Yeah, but I'm not gonna help you with your problem, wanna find another one instead?

But the one that gets me livid. The one that makes my blood boil. Is when an unproductive conversation ends with Have a nice day

I know fully that customer service is the fine art of making the customer blindly happy with as much pablum as possible. That being said... if I have just spent a phone getting more and more agitated because you are not living up to business promises and making less and less attempt to provide service; a sudden smile and vacant wish of happy day really gives me the impression that not only didn't you fix my problem, you absolutely don't care about how I feel about the company anymore.

Sadly, for most of the customer service industry, we have hired in mindless automatons who follow scripts and data paths to solve basic problems and then have the words to perform stupidity when the problem takes effort.

Another side comment, I would not be surprised if there are readers in Customer service who take complete offense at what I say. Well, on one hand you should and on the other, don't. The average person who has a life (someone who is not an NPC for a living) actually tries. The really awesome waitress, the CSR that actually tries, etc. But in all honesty, what happens is that the company burns them out or they become viciously frustrated because they are not receiving support or recognition for the job they are doing.

An example: One nameless company that I know of that is somewhere on the planet Earth, Linked into the internet used to have a huge CSR division. It worked this way, "You are to process as many calls as possible as fast as possible. Get them on, make them happy, get them off. Offer them freebies to make up for problems." One friend of mine in the order worked for them and honestly wanted to help them with their issues. (Go figure). He was constantly chastised by his manager for low productivity. He didn't take enough calls. He spent too much time on the phone. Who cared that he had 95% satisfaction as opposed to the 45% which was the median goal line for the department? Eventually, he left in a huff. When I first went to work for that company he warned me that if I actually cared about the work I did, I would probably wind up leaving in a huff. I explained that I don't do CSR (anymore) and it wasn't likely. On a side note, I don't work for that company anymore and the entire CSR (over half of the company's 5000 employees) were outsourced to India. Having assisted in the scriptwriting of training for Outsourced support, I know exactly what the solution path script looks like.

In general, I look at sales agents and CSR like I do at any other bait or trap you'd get at the local hardware store. They have a job. They do their job. Their job is to give you as little of their company as they can. Their job is to dazzle you and make you feel good about how little they are giving you. And if they can't make you happy, their job is to shrug and go away. It sounds cold, but in all honesty, if you haven't done your homework going in, you really get what you deserve.

It sounds really kinda dark, cynical and jaded. But in all honesty, it's also uplifting in a way. The truth is, the term customer service means that the customer is serviced. Most companies, take the approach of a badly dressed pimp, abusing their chattel of most of the money they earn. If you have to deal with a company, learn as much as you can. Be prepared. And most importantly, learn their game. Nothing throws a game player more than being good at their game or perhaps better. Be professional, know that you can always call for a supervisor, and that they are their to do work for you. They are charging you for a service and if they don't deliver, they may be in breach of contract.

In my (not so humble) opinion. Once the customer learns his or her rights and learns how the system works, the power shift occurs. Then maybe we can live in a world where the standard elevates from caveat emptor to caveat venditor (Let the vendor beware)

93!
lordandrei: (Default)
The movers have just called, they are about 10 minutes away.

The camera is back up... one of them at least

Andrei cam is live again... Heather cam... eventually.

http://www.apolo.net/move/
lordandrei: (Default)
So after 30 minutes and 2 calls to the drivers automatic message I reach him.

He's willing to make the drop today. Starting at 6 and going until 2 am. Personally, I have visions of furniture bashing its way up my steps.

I acquiesce. He is to be here at 8am tomorrow morning. He tells me he can be here at 7am and have me done by noon. Amazing how it's an 8 hr move on my terms and a 5 hour move on his terms.

If I could put into words how I feel, I would have to make this an over 18 journal.
lordandrei: (Default)
So, I just got a call from the truck driver.

"I don't think we're gonna make it, so we're just gonna bring it by tomorrow"
    "Um, tomorrow is July 4. We've already made plans. That's why we said 10-2 today was fine."
"Well, if I bring it today, we're there until 12 or 1. You got alot of stuff."
    "And of course you've been working all day today"
"Yeah, and I got another one in Arlington that's gonna have to push back too."
    "So what are my options?"
"I don't know I'll call the main office."
    "Is anyone going to be there?"
"I don't know."
    "So I should expect a call back in 10-15 minutes"
"Yeah"

We're at 10 minutes and holding.
I've already placed a call to our moving agent
lordandrei: (Default)
And low and behold...no movers. Nope

Still waiting. When I called around 3 he said they had two more items a bookshelp and desk and they were on the way from Seattle.

Any bets when/if they will show up?

Grrr

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