Thursday, January 31, 2008

This is All Too Familiar

Ah yes, I am back in Vegas yet again for another camera show: the Photo Marketing Association trade show. While I am here I will look at cameras for a few hours a day and write about 10 single-space pages per day. Yesterday was the first day and my fingers are already going numb. Last night there was a press-only event that showed off products and had a medieval theme.

Scott and Bruce are at home with Grandma Raymond, who came out to spoil Bruce for a week while I'm gone. Scott finished up his clinical rotation but is back in the lab doing research and preparing for a class he will TA soon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Heart Me

No self-esteem issues here.

Random Bruce Update and Recycling Endeavors

Bruce is a very busy man lately. He seems to get every toy out of every bin in the house and set it up in one elaborate playland on our rug. Instead of just the train set now, he gets out his animals and tries to put them on the train. Then he gets out blocks and builds towers over the tracks. Then he gets his cars involved. It's a huge mess but his creativity is blossoming.

His imagination gets him into a little trouble though; he now puts himself into stories. The other day he watched an episode of Super Why! that went through the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. That night, he woke up screaming "I want cloooooooothes!"

In the last picture, Bruce has a plastic carton that held apples we bought from Costco. He watched a recycling video at a friend's house the other day and came home saying "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!" He's grown attached to this piece of plastic, so we are going to reuse it for awhile before sending it to the recycle bin.

Super Bruce

A few nights ago Bruce got a present from Ellen. He put on his new cape - black polyester with a vintage airplane fabric "B" on the back - and instantly transformed into a superhero. He's been flying around ever since.

Thanks Ellen!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Get Thee Hence, Verizon

The end is near. For Verizon, that is. I'm actually fed up enough to switch internet service providers.

We've had them for a few years and never had any complaint at our old apartment, but when we moved the troubles began. They reassigned our phone number without telling us, so instead of transferring our account they closed it. They were supposed to have service up and running a few days after we moved, but it took them two weeks!

We've had service since September in our new place and EVERY month something has been wrong with the bill. I have called every single month and spent countless hours on the phone with either an automated system or some completely clueless person who says "I don't know what's wrong but this will never happen again."

Yesterday I called about my messed up bill again (they charged me for two months of DSL rather than one month) and sat on the phone for a half hour. Talked to an automated system. Finally got a real person - who was clueless. Got transferred to shipping!?? That person was really clueless. Sat on hold while I was being transferred to another galaxy. Someone picked up and their phone system must not have been working (typical of a phone company?). The lady couldn't hear me but I could hear her answer the phone and then start flirting with a coworker. That was the last straw for me.

I called a toll-free number for RCN today. Within 30 seconds, I was talking to a real person. I'm already sold.

UPDATE: The deed is done. I called Verizon this morning and waited only 15 minutes to talk to a real person (perhaps a record?). When I told the operator I wanted to cancel my account, she asked why. I gave her my reasons and she said she saw no billing problems (that's what they all say!). She said I could wait until March to avoid an early termination fee, but I opted to pay the fee so I'd never have to call that number again. I'M DONE WITH THEM! I feel like a free woman after a firestorm of a breakup. And take your router too!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Quietest Book Ever

Here are a few more peeks into Bruce's quiet book.

This Book Changed My Life!

One of the best Christmas gifts I got was a "quiet book." Every year my siblings do a gift exchange - and everything has to be homemade. My sister, Janis, asked me what I wanted for Christmas awhile ago and I told her all I wanted was for Bruce to be quiet in church.

There is a sacrament meeting at church (similar to Mass) that lasts a bit over an hour. It's supposed to be the most spiritual, reverent time when we can listen to talks about the gospel and reflect on Christ's sacrifice by taking the sacrament. Unfortunately while everyone is reflecting, Bruce often gets stir-crazy and starts squirming and yelling.

So my sister made a "quiet book." It has all kinds of activities sewn into a big binder of a book - and it is MAGICAL. It has already kept Bruce quiet for a few Sundays straight. He even pulls it out and plays with it at home (I hope the novelty doesn't wear off!). Thanks Janis!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pimped Out Cars

I ventured into the car audio section of CES for a few minutes. I couldn't handle it for too long: the floor was vibrating and my ears were hurting as each manufacturer pumped up their systems a little louder than the guys next door. It was so loud in there.

CES 2008 Show Floor

On the last day of the show I finally got to walk around the show floor - rather than from the press room to a camera manufacturer booth and back to the press room. Much of the show floor was occupied by old guys playing with video games, remote control cars, etc.

Guitar Hero Must Be Hot

There were several Guitar Hero rock-off competitions at CES.

CES Photos

More pictures of CES. I'm finally uploading all my images from my camera. More giant television displays (there were zillions of them), more breakdancers (previous images were from Samsung dancers but these guys are for Casio), more plush couches in front of TVs, free stuff (all those guys are cheering for free tote bags), and glossy ads the size of elephants.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Breakdancing Sells?

I'm not sure how breakdancing sells cameras and cell phones...

Still Here....

CES is full of old men, entertainment, and - of course - electronics.