Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time Management

There is not enough time in the day. Hard choices have to be made regarding time management.

It is time to stop going to the bathroom. That's right, I've given up peeing.

I made this decision about five minutes ago as I was unloading my dishwasher. I was thinking, man it's been a while since I wrote a blog. Then I realized that I had just been at my computer for 90 minutes reading. Auditing my bank statements, setting up recurring payments to avoid banking charges, reading and deleting email, reading about the Libertarian Party's ideas on current events, reading ways to conserve energy (unplug everything that's not in use,) and responding to Facebook status updates.

How can I do all of that and keep my house clean and poop? I say it can't be done.

So to the forces of nature, I've felt pressure before. Give it all you've got. Because I'm on a crusade to make the most of my time.

Consider the benefits: no more toilet paper. Reduced electric bill because I don't have to run the exhaust fan. Reduced water waste. Reduced pollution. I can even get another 2-300 square feet by knocking down the bathrooms. Oh, that won't work because I still need to shower. Can't cut that out. That would be disgusting.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sports Authority Customer Service Continues...

Just a quick update; this is the email I received in response  to my email.
I will continue to update as news breaks.

Dear Marc,

Thank you for contacting Customer Support at

We are committed to providing superior customer service and want to
ensure your product/service needs are met.

We appreciate your patience as one of our Team Representatives reviews
your request and contacts you within the next 2-3 business days. Your
request number is 3510224.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to
contact us toll free at 1-888-801-9164 or reply to this email. For your
convenience, we are available 24 hours a day to assist you.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you, and
thank you again for contacting Customer Support at


Justin S.
Customer Service Representative
Customer Support at

If you have additional questions, please visit our online Help Desk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Promise Fulfilment

Okay, I guess it's my day to bitch and moan about things.

My receipt from my last visit to Sports Authority had a promotional stub that says, "Sign up and save! Go to and join our mailing list to save $25 off your next purchase of $100 or more."

I logged on and input my information. Upon my submitting my information, the website indicated that my coupon would come in my email. It arrived just a few moments later, but with a shocking addition.


Man was I pissed. Furthermore, the 14-day window started on Feb 1. Well, it's already Feb 4!

I sent an email via the 'contact us' portion of their website. We'll see what happens!

The following is the letter I wrote:

Upon making a purchase at a land-based store, I saw a stub for a
promotion where, upon submitting my email address, I would get $25 off
of my next purchase of $100 or more.

I logged onto the website, read the directions, and submitted the
requested information.

When I received the coupon in my email, I was taken aback by the
expiration date. It gave me a window of less than two weeks to make my
purchase and get the promised discount.

Nowhere on the stub of my receipt nor on the website submission form was
there a detail about the limited window of the promotion. The stub says,
" of your next purchase of $100 or more."

I would like you to send something to me saying that I do not have a
specific window and that you will uphold your initial promise of the
money off of my next purchase of $100 or more, whenever that may be.

A Complaint / Suggestion For Email Service Providers

I want to be able to add a person to my Contacts / Address Book from an email.

Why isn't there a function that says "add sender to contacts"? It bothers me and makes my life that much more difficult.

Thanks for reading my rant.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


For my office documents, I use Open Office. Open Office is free software from Sun Microsystems that includes word processing, spreadsheets, database, and presentation software. It is very good quality and again, free to download from

I have been working on making a schedule for JD and myself. Basically, it's to help me plan my days so that I'm working with him on oral skills as well as giving him time to play. It will also help me know when I have time to do shopping, etc.

With pen and paper in hand, I started making a schedule. Then I realized that I am sitting at a computer and that such a template must exist. It didn't on the Open Office default templates, but there was a link to get more templates online. Point and click.

There, right on the templates home page, with a big, both graphic, was a weekly planner. Exactly what I wanted. It's always nice when the computer reads your mind.

My Rabbi once told me that there is no such thing as a coincidence. I would like to think that God has better things to do than make my template readily available. Then again, what's wrong with a small miracle once in a while?

Monday, February 2, 2009

No Parenting from the Sidelines

I definitely mentioned this in a previous blog, but I'll mention it again.

Parenting is not something done from a distance. Nor does it require 100% of your focus. But when you're doing it - when you're parenting - it has to be up-close-and-personal.

The reason I bring this up now is because I realize that we can't be with our kid 100% of his awake time. There are times we need to read, cook, have a phone conversation, or watch a few minutes of TV. But while we're taking this time out for "ourselves", we can continue to parent effectively. The energy used to get up is less than it takes to yell and then deal with the ensuing stress.

My wife reminded me of that. Despite being 26-months pregnant (as of today), she still gets up from the couch to help JD do puzzles, read books, or play cars after a long day of work. She also gets up when he needs some discipline and redirection.

Do you ever get frustrated when your child doesn't respond to your direction from across the room? Guess what? She gets frustrated that you're across the room directing her! Your yelling only indicates that you've taken notice of her actions. The thought that she'll actually change what she's doing because you are directing or yelling is self-misleading.

If your child is 10, then fine. He should be reasonably be expected to take oral direction. But to a kid still in the early stages of communication, you're kidding yourself. Get up and show him what you want.

But, you say, then they'll know that all they have to do to get us up is to act out. Not that I've noticed with JD. There are times that he will do so. Cooking, for example, is something he hates watching me do. But giving him small snacks and a couple of puzzles will buy me some valuable time. Also, the time you put into reinforcing positive behavior will pay dividends at these times.

When he's playing nicely and quietly? Get up and tell him that he's doing good then, too.

Remember, you've got limited time to affect your child's long-term behavior. Putting in these moments and minutes now will lead to better behavior down the road.