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Internet Issues, Barn Owls & Pool Parties

September 20th, 2021 Comments off

Friday (9/17) we woke up and our internet was down. I don’t know if I wrote about it, but a few months ago after our Comcast contract expired, and they wouldn’t give us another deal, we switched our internet service to T-Mobile. It worked pretty well, although not quite as fast, but for $50 per month (no added taxes or fees), we figured it was worth trying out.

When Joe called T-Mobile they really couldn’t do much to help other than offer to send out a new device, aka trashcan (nicknamed as such by the T-Mobile internet community on Reddit). T-Mobile Trash Can

The problem? They estimated it would be a week. Unacceptable! Joe warned them that he’d be cancelling if it took that long and they called his bluff, so he immediately contacted Comcast and sure enough, we were able to get 200 MBS for $50/month for the next 12 months, so we signed up. We have our own router and modem so it was all done online, although Joe did have to chat with someone for them to do something on the account to get it to actually work, but we were up within a half hour.

A manager at T-Mobile called around that time to say they were expediting the device but Joe explained we were cancelling and not to bother. T-Mobile ended up giving us a $25 credit for our trouble anyway, and I guess they couldn’t stop the shipment because UPS is saying we’re getting something from them today. I guess we’ll have two devices to send back to them now.

If only Comcast had given us a better rate months ago, we would have stayed with them.

I feel like T-Mobile needs to do more work on their device/service before it’s a viable alternative to cable internet. Just like with their failed T-Vision streaming cable service, which they never invested in because the user interface sucked, they are rolling stuff out that is inferior to their competitors and consumers are paying the price in frustration. It could just be a coincidence, or Apple TV being particular, but we could never watch Ted Lasso on Fridays (the night new episodes are released) under T-Mobile because halfway through an episode it would lock up and crash the Roku. We tried it Friday on Comcast and had no such issues. I think it’s still partly Apple, since none of the other streaming services ever give us issues, but it’s also T-Mobile for being too slow as well. Perhaps in a few years it will be different. I hope so, since there are a lot of rural customers who would benefit from 5G internet and we personally do not like giving our money to Comcast.

Saturday (9/18) we decided to check out the local plant nursery’s open house. Not before stopping at White Castle for breakfast, however. I got a sausage slider, but also wanted to try the chicken and waffles slider based on the description on their website:

White Castle - Expectation

Imagine my surprise/disappointment when what I got was this:

White Castle - Reality

So of course I had to go online and air my grievance with them. We’ll see whether they reply back.

White Castle Feedback 20210920 - 2

(I contacted Meijer well over a month ago to complain about the quality of their broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken (the broccoli is really hard/sharp recently) and they never bothered to acknowledge it, so hopefully White Castle is more responsive).

Barn Owl (the nursery) wasn’t too crowded when we first arrived, so we ate our breakfast in the car and then took a look around. They had a whole building of just bird houses and bird food! I ended up getting this cute hummingbird palm feeder.

Hummingbird Palm Feeder

I doubt I’ll get any birds to feed directly from my hand this year, but maybe next year when I’m planning on putting everything up in April. As it stands now, we’re already seeing fewer visitors to the feeder as they start their migration south. *sad*

They had live owls on display which was really cool!

Yesterday (9/19) we decided to check out the community garage sale at the nearby park. They also had a car show and craft fair going on at the same time so we figured there would be a lot to see. Not so much. Joe wasn’t very thrilled with the cars, there were hardly any craft booths, and only a few garage sale booths. With the amount of cars parked in the area you would have thought more was going on than there was. Oktoberfest in a tent further back is going on right now too, but that doesn’t open until noon and we were there just after 10 am. Needless to say, we were back at home by 10:30.

At one of the booths the owner trapped me in an impromptu demonstration of her product and forced me to take a business card. I can appreciate people wanting to sell their creations, but I really think they should ask you first. I didn’t want to be rude by walking away, so it was very uncomfortable, not to mention a waste of her time since I wasn’t interested.

A good thing came of our little excursion, though! On our way back to the car we ran into our friend D who was walking over (she lives a few blocks away from the park) to check things out and she invited us to come over for a swim later. I enthusiastically agreed knowing it was due to be very hot that day and I have been wanting to go swimming one more time before it gets too cold to do so. We went home to do some light cleaning, ran to the store to grab some snacks to bring over, and took a shower. After getting everything packed up and ready to go I went to use the bathroom and BAM, the time of the month said “SUPRISE, I’M HERE!” It couldn’t have waited just a few more hours, right?

We still had fun hanging out with our friend, but I was only able to deep my feet into the pool. She made us some cheeseburgers and we lounged on her awesome patio furniture under a big tent away from the blazing sun. It really made a difference since my weather app said it was 85 and felt like 95 yet we were very comfortable.

We interrupt this entry to display pics of our friend’s two dogs who love getting pets, particularly the all brown one.

Dog 1

Dog 2

D’s ex, a guy we used to all go to Bingo with back when they were dating, hit her up later on since he was also at the nearby park, and she invited him to stop by, so we ended our afternoon chatting with him before taking off around 6 pm so we could walk Wookie before sunset.

Speaking of, she was so unbelievably excited when we go home she was literally vibrating and panting a lot. She’s been fine being left alone for hours but this was perhaps just a bit too long for her liking (5 hours). Usually she’ll sleep when we’re gone which is what she did most of the time since I checked in our her once in awhile via the cameras. About an hour before we came home I noticed her pacing around the house, however.

New Computer & Phone Update, Plus Health Stuff

December 11th, 2019 Comments off

So, I do love my new gadgets, although they aren’t getting as much use as they would if I was feeling better. The iPhone 11 camera is pretty good even in low light and surprisingly, I don’t miss the home button at all. I like swiping up to leave an app, which I just found out my iPad does too even though it has a home button. As far as the new computer is concerned, I got an SSD drive which makes bootup soooo much faster than my old computer. Even Chrome loads quickly with my pinned tabs so it takes the frustration out of having to turn on the computer to do certain things which is nice. I just can’t spend time on either the phone or computer because every damn thing aggravates my muscles. It’s like I’m literally falling apart.

I started with a new physical therapist yesterday and she was the first person who hasn’t dismissed the idea that my tinnitus could be aggravated by my tight muscles. She is also a TMJ specialist and showed me how irritated that muscle is in my mouth. OMG I’m in pain today from my exercises and my ears and more aggravating but I’m so hoping this is only temporary. I really need to find a way to get back on track health wise. I cannot live like this indefinitely!

Categories: Health, Tech Tags:

New Computer & iPhone

November 24th, 2019 Comments off

I’m getting a new Dell computer (ordered it today) and iPhone (will order it this week) and I don’t give a shit. Normally I’d be so excited but I feel like total garbage and to me they are just necessities at this point as they are both getting really slow. The computer is nine years old and my iPhone 6 is five years old.

The original plan was to get the latest/greatest iPhone in anticipation of a spring 2020 trip to Disney World since I really really want to experience the Flower & Garden show at EPCOT in person. That’s no longer happening. So instead of getting the iPhone 11 Pro I will probably just get the regular iPhone 11 that’s almost half the price. What the hell can I really photograph when I’m a recluse anyway?

I feel worse and worse each day. I am experiencing more pain throughout my body so either the EBV is real and is attacking me, I have Lyme disease, or I really do have Fibromyalgia and it has decided to kick in now. I tend to get a bit achy overall every winter but NOTHING like THIS. Plus the ear stuff is just ridiculous. The left ear flutters to weird noises and the right one puts a phantom noise on top of any fan/motor related noise. Never in a bazillion years did I think ears could do such crazy and horribly annoying and anxiety-inducing things. I did my best yesterday to ignore the weirdness but today the second I woke up I was incredibly anxious and I don’t even know why (possibly hormones). I pushed myself and went out to a total of FOUR stores but it was really hard because the noise in them was so overwhelming to me. It’s like my central nervous system is completely broken and everything is irritating it. It makes me so sad that I have no control over it.

I am so frustrated and depressed that I can no longer even keep up with housework due to the pain and fatigue. I like keeping a clean and organized house and in my eyes it now looks like hell (even though most people probably wouldn’t think that at all). Joe has been doing almost everything now which is unfair since I’m the one not working. And because of the neck and shoulder pain I have to limit my device time so I really have nothing to do most of the time. So I’m bored and in pain and every day feels way too long. I would sleep more IF I could sleep but then I get the head pain which is getting worse already even though I had trigger point injections less than a week ago. Can’t I catch a break?

I still can’t wrap my head around what is happening to me and how terrible it is living inside this now broken body. I was used to having issues come and go and even have some things last awhile but this is nothing like anything I’ve ever experienced and I really don’t know how I’m supposed to adapt if it doesn’t ever get any better. I haven’t given up the pursuit of answers, of course, but damn if I’m not feeling hopeless after seven months of increasing pain and auditory issues. I can NEVER relax or feel comfortable these days. I miss that so much. I miss my old life and the old me. I am praying for a miracle at this point.

Categories: Health, Tech Tags:

Two Weekends of Movies, Dogs, and Apple Stuff

April 8th, 2019 Comments off

Last Saturday (03/30) we saw Us with both my brothers (and R) and afterwards they came back to the house to hang out for a bit. The movie was… ok. I don’t agree with those who have said it was better than Get Out, but I would like to see it a second time to see what I missed the first time around.

Joe has been traveling for work a lot, so he took a Friday and Monday off so we could have a three day weekend together.

Friday (04/05) we saw Shazam which is hands down the best DC movie I’ve seen yet. I really didn’t care for Wonder Woman or Aquaman (so cheesy and just bad), but Shazam was interesting and humorous. I was shocked to find out, as we sat down in the theater, that it was over two hours long, though. I found the beginning a bit slow, but overall the pacing was good. After the movie we had lunch at Anyways and I got the shrimp avocado tacos again which were delicious just like last time. Joe was going to get the meatloaf but our total wouldn’t have been enough to use our $5 off coupon, so he changed it to beef stew. After the waitress walked away I noticed the coupon was only good Sun-Thu so I told him he should change it to the meatloaf but he decided to give the beef stew a try anyway and ended up really liking it. I got to try some and I agree it was delicious. When we were finished eating the waitress asked about the coupon (I had told her I had one earlier before I realized it wasn’t good) and I told her the issue. She honored it anyway which was nice!

Saturday (04/06) we spent some time hanging out with K and her dog at her house. We ordered Thai food for lunch. I was surprised to learn she likes Pad Se Ew just like me since she’s very much about eating plain food. After lunch we took the dogs for a walk since it was so nice outside. Once we got home from K’s house, Joe cleaned his car and I did a little light cleaning since I skipped it Friday. I like feeling accomplished, and keeping on top of household tasks helps. I also backed up my phone in preparation for an Apple Store visit on Sunday to replace the battery now that Apple supposedly allows this even with third party batteries installed. I couldn’t get a representative online to confirm this, however, so a visit to the store was necessary.

Sunday (04/07) we arrived at the Apple store before they officially opened at 11 am, which was my appointment time, so we walked to the Starbucks nearby for Joe to grab a drink. It was raining out which stinks since temperature-wise it was nice out, and the store is part of an outdoor mall, but we had umbrellas so it wasn’t too bad. The Apple genius confirmed they do now replace third party batteries, but they can’t do it unless the battery is at 50% or lower. Well, thanks for telling me that ahead of time! My battery was at 98% since I had charged it that morning. They offered to take it in the back and replace the battery once it ran down, but I was not having that. Instead, I turned the screen to always on, at maximum brightness, turned on the flashlight, and starting playing Tsum Tsum. We left the store and went to a food court area while I drained the battery. It only took about 45 minutes because the battery sucks. So much so, that once it hit 48% the phone just shut off (it has been doing that for about a month now). So back to the store we went to have them replace the battery. That took another half hour so we spent that time wandering the mall. All total it took two hours of our time because they can’t warn you about this stuff beforehand. Infuriating. Luckily we didn’t have other plans that day at least.

On the way home we stopped at a new to us BBQ place called Fire Water BBQ. I was stoked about their prices, but the food itself left much to be desired. They have five different sauces and I only barely liked one. The brisket was dry and bland and the sweet potato fries were too sweet (they sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar). Won’t be going back there.

At home I did a little shifting of some clothes in the closet and Joe went through some of his t-shirts and jeans. Between the two of us, we had a garbage bag full of clothing to donate.

Today we made a point to get up early (6:15 am) to help get us back on schedule for work tomorrow. We did some grocery shopping before going to Savers. Joe wanted to look at hoodies and I wanted some long t-shirts to go with my leggings and a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. We struck out on all fronts, although I did get too long-sleeved shirts I liked.

We also stopped by the park district to purchase an annual pass for the dog park since it’s finally starting to get warm enough for us to go there again. Haven’t been there since November, but this year I decided not to wait until July to buy the pass at half price since we should get a lot of trips in prior to that.

We decided to grab lunch at Chilis which we both enjoyed. They have some really nice $8 and $9 lunches and it didn’t cost us anything out of pocket thanks to our Discover cash back rewards. I’m surprised we don’t go to Chilis more often since we’ve liked everything we’ve ordered the last two times we’ve eaten there. Speaking of Discover cashback, we used those rewards to get an Old Navy gift card on Sunday because Joe founds some light-weight hoodies there he liked. Gotta love that!

After lunch we came home and I took Wookie for a walk while Joe straightened up his side of the garage a bit. There’s more to be done, and my side needs a decluttering again as well. I plan on getting rid of two aquariums and all the hamster-related stuff I have because if I do get small pets in the future it will be rats, not a stupid hamster. Might as well clear the space all the hamster stuff is currently taking up!

I also worked out on the elliptical which makes three days in a row. I really want to lose some weight before the summer because I feel too lumpy in all the wrong places.

Categories: Friends, Movies, Shopping, Tech Tags:

Halloween Houses & Craft Shows

October 29th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday (10/20) we went to Willowbrook High School for their annual craft fair but left empty-handed unlike last year. I did see a few things I liked, including a little fleece jacket for Wookie that fastened with velcro (which she prefers over wearing something that goes over her head) but the only version in her size was cut a little crooked so I opted not to get it. I took the woman’s card and I might purchase a custom made jacket at some point since her prices were reasonable and she’s local.

Joe had to go to court twice that week (10/22 and 10/25) to get his old child support accounts officially terminated so they stop charging us $36 annually to maintain accounts that aren’t even being used. I really hate the state of Illinois and the hoops they make you jump through. He sat in the courtroom all morning and part of the afternoon that Monday just to get a stamped piece of paper that took less than five minutes to receive. Luckily on his return trip he only had to wait around an hour.

In between that was our wedding anniversary (10/23) so we visited the arboretum and had a nice dinner at Jameson’s Steakhouse.

This past Friday (10/26) we drove around Carol Stream to look at the houses decorated for Halloween.

On Saturday (10/27) after Joe donated some blood we stopped at Sonny Acres for apple cider donuts and a walking taco for yours truly. I swear their prices keep going up. A half dozen of donuts was $9 and my walking taco was $4. That will probably be our last visit since it’s not that much fun anymore as it always seems cold and there’s nothing to do if you don’t have kids. Doesn’t really matter anyway since the property is up for sale and likely won’t be around come this time next year anyway. That night we stopped at Just Kabobs for dinner and then went on the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour in St. Charles. It wasn’t judging night (which was the previous weekend when the weather was super windy) and we started a bit early (before 6 pm) than usual so it wasn’t the same. We didn’t get out of the car and I didn’t bother taking any photos. Traditions are nice but sometimes they start to get stale, you know? Perhaps that’s a hint we should move…

Yesterday (10/28) we went to Oak Brook mall because I had an appointment with the Apple store to have my iPhone 6 battery replaced since they are only offering the discounted $29 replacements until the end of the year. They wouldn’t do it, however, since I had already had the battery replaced by Batteries+ last year. Something about liability and for the protection of their staff which I guess I understand but still sucks. I debated just upgrading my phone now but other than the improved camera, I’m not all that thrilled with the changes that have been made to the latest iPhones and I sure as hell don’t like the price points. I can’t stand Android, though, so eventually I will have to upgrade, but I’m hoping my current battery will hold out another year and I’ll get whatever the latest and greatest Apple has to offer in 2019. I want to have a good camera in my phone for when we return to Disney World in spring 2020.

Today I went to Savers and then met my friend for lunch at Pot Belly. I struck out at Savers even though I did find a sweater I liked. It was The Loft too, for only $6, but was made with wool and rabbit fur which was itchy and made me sneeze so I passed.

Categories: Excursions, Love & Marriage, Pets, Tech Tags: