Ted the UltraConsumer

Best Buy, once again you suck. Again.

I used to be a big fan of Best Buy. Seriously, I was. Their stores were well-organized, the shelves were full, and the salespeople were both knowledgeable and friendly. I actually paid to be a member of RewardZone in the early days. Now RewardZone points are worth hardly anything – just like Best Buy’s customer service.

Best Buy Hates Christmas

In December 2011, we ordered an Xbox Kinect Combo and three additional games as a family Christmas present. The three games were purchased on a  “Buy Two, Get One Free” promotion. Some of the order was available for in-store pickup, and some had to be shipped. We bought early, so that was no problem.

A day or so later, I get an email from Best Buy saying that one of the video games I ordered for in-store pickup is not actually available in the store. They asked that I call them (okay, I guess I’ll take  400 hours to call a retailer during December) to check availability.



Aly turns 6 & has a puppy party

Aly decided that she wanted to have a birthday party this year (the first time she’s wanted one), so we tossed around ideas for a while before settling on “Adopt a puppy” as our theme for the big event. Keep in mind that our house is pretty small, and we invited 24ish kids, so we had to plan for both indoor and outdoor activities. Thus, we planned the party for Saturday, but had a scheduled rain date for Sunday, and we ended up needing it, because Saturday’s weather was low 40s, rainy, and windy. Sunday ended up as a beautiful day, weather wise.



A day with Leah in the sun

This is how I spent much of my day:



Leah turns one

It’s been a year already

And a quick one at that. January 18, 2011 brought us the early arrival of Leah Kylie, who is now one year old. She’s doing great and is lots of fun, as you’ll see.

Showing off her one year old reading skills


Food, Photography

Some recent pics and vids

My first videos on this here blog

I’ve been taking videos of the kids for several years now, and I’m just starting to experiment with DSLR video (so far, not very good, lol), but I never get around to posting many of them. Here are a couple of short clips of Aly sledding:



Leah or Aly?

Happy 1st Birthday, Leah!

We frequently note how similar the two girls look at comparable ages. Other people, however, tell us that they can easily tell them apart in pictures – though they’re usually wrong if they don’t have obvious environmental clues in the picture. Aly frequently gets it wrong herself – often identifying baby pictures of herself as Leah. She then proceeds to argue with me until I open the picture in iPhoto and show her the date.

I thought it would be fun to create a set of side by side images of the two girls at similar ages, in honor of Leah’s first birthday today. Can you figure out which girl is which in these pictures? (Note: as I’m occasionally known to be sneaky, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that one pair of pictures could be the same girl)

#1: Newborn

#2: One month old


shit my blog says

Check out this Snauxhawk. (snohawk? snow hawk? michigan mullet?)

The joys of winter

One of the great things about Michigan is that we get snow. Okay, I don’t really think that’s a great thing, since I pretty much abhor winter by this point in life. Mostly because of the short days and ever-absent sun, but also because I hate scraping car windows and getting snow off cars.

Wait, there is a good thing

When we get a lot of snow here on the lakeshore, I like letting it build up on my car, and then only cleaning off the windows and the hood, leaving a huge pile of snow on the roof. I alternate between calling this a “Snohawk” (alternate spelling: snauxhawk) and a “Michigan Mullet” (I know it’s not technically a mullet, but the name works, so give me some slack here, people). I think ti really increases the classy factor of my car – people in the South don’t know what they’re missing.

Tell me this isn't a good look for my car. You might say the words, but I won't believe you.


shit my blog says

The Mad Libs of vi@graspam

There is one benefit to spam email

I have to admit, I’m highly entertained by some spam emails. I understand that many of the people perpetrating these crimes are not native English speakers, but their use of words can be utterly hilarious. It’s like they use MadLibs to create their email subject lines and content.

In particular, I’ve gotten some great emails lately pushing the little blue pill that I felt were worth sharing. These are all actual spam emails I’ve received in the last month or so – nothing made up by me in this post.

A word of caution

There is some content here that is not appropriate for children. Or grandparents. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, and remember that I didn’t write these – I’m just an observer in this amusing society of ours.

Also note that I have posted these as images, and not the raw text, because I don’t want my site to be flagged as pharmaspam, lol. This type of spam email must work, or they would stop doing it.

Great subject line of a spam email I got. Shouldn’t every night be a joy?



Leah’s first Christmas

Christmas in downtown Holland

We had a chance to take some pictures downtown after meeting with Santa, even though it was bitterly cold and windy on this day. No coats on our kids, though – that would ruin the pictures, wouldn’t it?

Note the attractive photographer in the reflection



Stranger Anxiety Pictured

Kids go though interesting stages, don’t they? Leah was very outgoing, even with strangers, until maybe October or so. Leah and I were shopping at the grocery store, she strapped into her car seat in the cart I was pushing. Towards the end of the trip, an old guy came up and started talking to her, and you could see her tense right up, but he kept his distance, so she was fairly mellow. Then the old guy’s wife comes out of nowhere (Leah couldn’t see her coming), pops in front of Leah and tickles her foot. It was instant screaming in terror, which of course caused me to have a good laugh. Here’s best part:

The old lady angrily turns to her husband and says, “Look what you did to that baby!”, grabs him by the arm, and drags him away. We’ve even seen the stranger anxiety thing with people who see her every week – it’s an interesting phase.