Summer Sunday Bench And Inspiration For The Day

July 12, 2015 at 10:14 am (Big Benches, Day to Day, Summer, Super Sunday, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , )

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That header is kind of wordy, but oh well. It’s kind of early. I’m gonna stop typing now and let the pictures do their thing.

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“Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week”

July 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm (Big Benches, Big Fish, Day to Day, Fish, Summer, Super Saturday, TV Shows, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , )

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Tracy Morgan.  The shark bench. Enjoy!

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Saturday. Bench Day.

July 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm (Big Benches, Birds, Day to Day, Nature, Summer, Super Saturday, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Megatron VS Optimus Prime. Right? I looked it up on the internet. This one seemed fitting for today. I don’t know why. I’m not going to speculate or reflect. No time. I’m on call for work and I have been up pretty much all night with issues. Bound to the computer, I might as well make the most of my time and try to accomplish something with the occasional break for fun. This bench is deceiving because up close and in person it didn’t look all that great. But after I stepped back and took the pics, it really pops as an outstanding and  artistic design. One of my favorites. Ever. And I have a lot of bench pictures from the years gone by that I never did get around to fully posting. Maybe this is the year! I’ll try and do more throughout the day as I get tired of work work work. I consider this fun. Hopefully you do to! Later.

Oh! One more thing as FYI. Since I was up so early, and outside, I got to see the elusive giant Blue Jay swoop into the yard and try to attack all the other birds away from the feeder! Really exciting stuff for me since I feel neglected by the really big birds of prey lately. No pictures though. He was really blue and big and beautiful. But I’ve become a lazy birdwatcher. Literally. I just sit there and watch the birds. Maybe tomorrow I’ll catch the photo fever. Until then, happy Sat! Toodles.

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Happy Fourth Of July!

July 4, 2015 at 5:56 pm (Big Benches, Day to Day, Family, For Jeff the BF, For Mason, Graduation, Holiday, Summer, Super Saturday) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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From Illinois! Tinley Park Benches 2015! The theme is “Heroes and Villains”.  Me and the BF walked the empty streets this afternoon and came across this one (out of twenty) that I thought would be perfect as a post today and a good way to pick up where I left off. As this site becomes more and more random, I still like to try and make the occasional effort for purpose and meaning.  Remember why we celebrate even if it’s just for a minute or two while waiting for the fireworks to start. My son will soon be out there as part of the bigger picture. This time next year he will be far from here, doing things, and going places he can’t even begin to imagine yet. He’s excited for his life to keep moving forward. I’m excited  for him (and just a little bit nervous because life does keep moving forward). But more about that later. Graduation and going away. Plenty of news to come, and a Really. Big. Party. But for today, just this. Have a safe and happy holiday! Later.

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Argh! Two More Months Of Life Slipped On By

June 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm (Day to Day, Days Off, Family, For Jeff the BF, Jeep, Maxima, Motorcycle News, Road Trip, Summer, Vacation) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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And it’s summer again. Almost. We are still undecided here in the Midwest. But the calendar says June 14. And the temps don’t lie. Well, they do, but we ignore that flaw because we love it so. I don’t want to bog this day down with a lot of past dwelling so let me update fast and we can carry on from this moment. I’m only hitting the highlights, so to speak, and moving on. First, the darkness.

Death has touched ground too much this year and I have had 6 opportunities to say goodbye to some lovely family and friends in the last 6 months. That’s really all I’m going to post about it. No disrespect to anyone, but I can’t trust my wordiness, and I don’t like carrying a heavy heart very far. All were loved, and all will be missed.

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On a lighter note, I have a new vehicle! If you have visited here before you may know that I kind of loved my Maxima.

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In a comfy, stable, but still kind of  fast and sexy, way. Well, 200,000 thousand miles just wasn’t in the cards for the old girl and she decided to give me a random Wednesday off of work when she pooped out in the middle of the road while I was driving her in to the job. Too much to fix this time and we had to let her go. Cursed and blessed. Because I found my dream machine.  Catch me I’m falling,  swooning and flushing, batting my eyelashes, getting all hot and sweaty, because I am in love love love with this mere automobile. Meet my new main squeeze, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Used, but so sweet, and only 18000 miles.

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Isn’t she beautiful? I hesitated at the edge for a split second and then jumped in anyway to the Jeep pool. The dealer said I would love it. He was right right right. I have been driving it for a month and it feels like it has been mine forever. When I walk out of work and see it in the parking lot, my heart skips a little beat, I swear. Typed, that looks, and sounds, sad, I realize, but I don’t care. My heart for a Jeep.

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I still waste entirely too much time playing these stupid stupid phone games that I get absolutely nothing for in the real world except satisfaction of reaching the maximum level possible and the knowledge that I did not spend even ONE cent of my own money to get here. Level 70. Tiny Village. You kill me. But I love you so.  I have a job. I have money to pay my bills. I’m fairly healthy with a birthday coming up that I’m not exactly jumping for joy about, but I’m alive right? I lost 10 pounds since I saw my doc in April! That alone makes me happy. My clothes fit! And my B/P is going down number by number with each little weight loss. My skin still turns into kind of a mess every few weeks but these are the things we live with. Stay out of the sun, don’t drink alcohol, (don’t drink a lot of alcohol), eat as healthy as you can, exercise, get some sleep. That’s pretty much the whole trick of it.

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The kids.  The kids are out of school. Again. I have a Junior and a Sophomore now. 16  and 15. Both driving. Both taller than me. Both beautiful. And both not too shabby in the brains department. Healthy and seemingly happy as of this moment. Also, spending the weekend with their dad. Father’s Day and all that. This is the first time I have been totally alone in this house, for a whole weekend, and overnight, for like, a million years. One. Million. Years. It. Is. Wonderful.

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But Lisa, you say, don’t you have a boyfriend? Where is he? How can you be totally alone?

Well, let me enlighten. I still have a BF. He’s fine. He’s fabulous. He supports my crazy. And there’s no shortage of that around here. I always find the extra level. I’m blaming it on age. He’s younger (that’s right, that’s how we do it) so I have to blaze the trail. It’s hard, to be sure, but it’s less hard now; now that I got that Jeep! Woop. See what I just did? Turned it into a Jeep commercial. Shameless.

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Anyway, the BF just left for another one of his motorcycle trips (hence the alone part) and this time I’m gonna document it. It’s a week long, and I won’t even say where. One, cause I don’t really know exactly, (East towards Pennsylvania and then South to Tennessee/Alabama/etc…I believe), and two, I don’t need to know because he’s going to take pictures every time he stops and I’m going to post them. We are all going on this journey together. Gather round and follow us down. I’ve been up since 5 am so I’m really proud of this day. And it’s only 3:30! I have a shit ton of work to catch up on but I think I can handle it with all this breathing room I have. Even if it is only 48 hours worth. The house is neat and quiet. Most of the laundry is done. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The flowers are blooming. The air is fresh and clean. It’s like a damn country song over here. I even got a flag in the window. And a Jeep in the driveway. And the boy’s GMC out in the front. If I had a lake in the backyard to skip a stone on, I’d really have it all. Well, ain’t that America? I will do my best to share what the BF sends back to me every day. It’ll be a small vacation for all of us. For free. Let’s go!

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Park Forest,  Illinois. 6 am. Packing and getting ready. He’s driving alone today. Meeting the rest of the traveler’s in PA later tonight.

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Plymouth, Indiana. 7:30 am. Gas, water, food stop. Since there is no picture sent with the message I’ll just use this here map to kind of show the way. (Internet Map CREDIT: Map Of The United States by FreyFox. Thank you!) It’s silly, but it’s meant to be. It’s also a good map! Take a look all around, then look to the East. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania.

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Upper Sandusky, Ohio. 11:30 ish. Fun fact: All you can eat KFC! But it’s more than that! It’s a KFC, Long John Silvers, DQ, and a gas station. I’m at home eating leftover noodles with butter. I do like this picture though. It never seems like other states are as crowded as Illinois. Hmm. Pondering time.

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Carrollton, Ohio. 2:30 pm. Not much to see. Let’s flip it around.

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Well, it’s a gas station. I just thought I’d showcase the motorcycle since I was so bad about the last trip. The text received with the pic is: Back to the road…next stop will be destination. 3 more hours. I asked about time zones, but it was too late. You can’t keep these motorcycle people still for long. So that’s it for now. I will update as much as possible this week. Work will interfere but I have a late night ahead, to try and get ahead, and some days off in the near future.  Maybe I will even get in some extra stuff. Birds and flowers and such. I got benches for the last three years. And some found money that I am about to lump into an all-inclusive-3 year total. I could potentially be up all night! Full moon too. You can stay with me if you like. Come and hang if you happen to be up. Leave a comment or just browse around.

And as a side note to the BF: You might not see this today or anytime soon, but be careful! Stay safe. I love you.

Watch for motorcycles! Later!

 

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This Is Really The Last Picture Of The Famed Icicle

February 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm (Day to Day, Heat, Nature, Phone Camera, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Snow, Super Saturday, Weather, Winter) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Mostly because it is totally gone. All of it. The icicle and the snow. We are back down to the sidewalk and rocks. I took this right before I left for work. By the time I got home, winter halftime melted almost everything around this majestic beauty. In Chicago, we get a few days every winter, smack dab in the middle, to remind us why we live here or don’t live here, or why we need to get our pneumonia and flu shots every fall. Temps go up, dumbasses walk around in summer clothes, and then can’t figure out why they are deathly ill the next day when the temp drops back into the teen range. Except that it only stays there for a few hours before going back up into the 50’s and raining like it’s springtime. Not raining like you might have. That’s baby rain. That’s amateur hour outside of the Illinois borders. But raining with thunder and lightning and 50 mph winds that are blowing the half melted icy snow across the road to cause some kind of watersleetsnowicefog mix that causes us all to crash into each other on the expressway. And then at night, just a touch more snow, like the icing on the cake. It’s actually more like vanilla powder on a cake that already has icing, flowers, writing, sprinkles, shavings and maybe some glitter. It’s overkill and we are not impressed.  Only Indiana can rival us with snow weather. They get a lot. Mostly due to our strategic placement of Lake Michigan. Ha. Suckers. But their biggest problem this year, I hear, is something called “expansion joints.” Apparently they keep popping up in the middle of the roadway and causing a bunch of flat tires and accidents. It’s not funny at all. But it kind of is. How about you all do it like we do it in Illinois (and everywhere else) and just make the road in one long piece? Then all you have to worry about are the giant potholes that can swallow an entire Mini Cooper in one bite! Come on Indiana! Step it up and get all those flat tires the good old fashioned way. By driving into, and out of,  a huge hole in the ground!  In Illinois you get a 50/50 chance of coming out of it ok. Whereas in Indiana, I don’t think you have even a slim chance of not getting a flat, or worse, when the whole roadway separates into two, non-connected, pieces. It’s probably because our roads go through our state, not over it. Let’s bring it to the ground I-N.

Anyhoo, let me end here. I don’t want to start any wars. Winter blows all over this middle part of America. Every place around here has their own private hell. Sometimes you win, mostly you lose. So it’s a draw.  I think I have one ugly pic of the front of the icicle and a blurry pic of the road that I drove home on the next day. (More snow. Can you believe it?) I’m not using them. I want to forget. I’ll just post some of the other random pictures from the camera and phone and call it a wrap for this wave of weather. It’s holding steady around 30-35 degrees. For 2 whole days now! A little melt. A little freeze. I don’t know why I stay here. Later.

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Classic Bunny Pose. Right Before We Fed Him To Our New Pet, The Snake.

July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am (Animal Deaths, Babies, Big Animals, Day to Day, Heat, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Snakes, Summer) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Just kidding. However, we do actually have 2 little baby bunnies that seemed to survive the nest we found a few weeks back. Looked like 4 inside, but we only see 2 every day now. Oh? You don’t want to hear about these bunnies? What happened to the snake? Well, I’ll tell ya.

The snake survived fine, overnight, in the pillowcase, the first night into Sunday. We had discussions with family about who to call, what to do, where the snake should go, blah blah blah. We had some nature preserve ideas, natural habitat locations, and I did more research on the internet to find a decent solution we could all live with. We had a pretty good plan in place, but when we woke up Monday morning, it seemed that nature was going to decide for us. The pillowcase was wet, but only in a certain spot, as if something tried to attack it and either the snake was now dead, or it defended itself and released liquids of some defensive sort. I don’t really know enough so I thought, dead. I got gloves, cause, ewww, and when I picked up the bag to untie the cord the snake was rattling and angry. But alive. So we let it out nice and slow like they say to, and it calmed right down. I was able to hold it and inspect it and it looked OK. But, it definitely could not stay in a pillowcase, inside of a plastic tub, in a backyard, for anymore days or nights. Based on more research and a few phone calls, the best course was to let it go in its closest natural habitat. The snake is one of our Illinois snakes, and it is considered mostly passive as far as wild snakes go. And they move around at night in the summer. So, maybe it just got really lost. We have, well, let me say, we had, a wild, wooded area right at the end of our block-set mere weeks ago. But after several episodes of flooding, the town, or county, or whoever, leveled all the trees, bushes, grass, etc., and created a retention/detention pond-type area. It was quite dense and wild. It had coyotes. We saw them over the winter. At any rate, they’re all gone now. The land is flat and I’m sure the animals that didn’t get killed outright, moved themselves out asap. And maybe our little friend finally worked her way over to our backyard looking for shelter. Or she was just passing through and just wasn’t fast enough. OR. She’s been hanging out in our backyard for god knows how long because of all the wood we had piled around and since we moved some of it in our clean-up attempt she had to move too, but we just never saw her until the other day. Eck. We could have been sitting and standing near her for days. Or weeks. Eeesh. Let’s not think about that though. Let’s think about this instead: The nice thing about living in the suburbs is we live very close to, “the end of the suburbs”, which is basically open land and fields and forest preserves. We picked the best one that had everything: Prairie-like land, woods, marshy swamp area, and water. And not visited or populated by many people. Some areas see lots of traffic, the one we picked has very little, in general and by comparison. We drove over there Monday, nice and early. No people. took a walk deep into the back, a nicely wooded and flat area, where the secondary, smaller pond is, and let her go along the tree line. It’s a good spot. Lots of space for a young snake. (We have been thinking juvenile, totally based on color and patches, via the internet again. I could be completely wrong of course. Male. Old. Dying. Who knows.) Anyway this is her new home:

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We let her out of the pillowcase, onto the ground, behind where we took the picture. Thick woods, away from the roads or parking areas, with that view across. She layed for a minute in the grass and the sun. And slowly slid into the trees. Then she was gone.

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Stepping Up Our Wildlife Game

July 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm (Big Animals, Day to Day, For Mason, For Stevie, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Snakes, Summer, Unusual, Weird Shit Around House) (, , , , , , , , , )

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S is for snake! This little lady was laying right in front of our door last night when we got home from shopping at Target. I mention the Target part because we do not live in an area where this type of snake roams free. And truthfully I didn’t even see it. I apparently walked right over it. Stevie too. Mason started yelling from the door, “Are you kidding me?? Did you guys NOT see this giant snake sitting out here on the ground?? Are you kidding me??” I am paraphrasing for time. Add many more swear words and repeat 10 more times. I thought he was kidding. Nope.

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Of course she slithered herself in between the outdoor plastic tub we have and the house. It was near dark when we found her and could not get a good look. She was rattling her tail and beating it against the ground and bricks while trying to move. So we thought rattlesnake. This is my night pic. The only one I could get:

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Looks like a rattlesnake to me. Sounded like one too. So we called the police because we thought they need to know about potentially dangerous animals. They do. BUT. This isn’t really in their scope. They sent an officer who helped us move the tub so we could catch it. We did. Put it in a plastic bin and then into a pillowcase. Left it outside by the garage. Then went to the internet to try and identify. Success! I feel kind of smart too since that is a crappy picture and memory is not as good as you might think when you are terrified that a rattlesnake is going to bite you or try to crawl into your house. Our pretty little snake though, seems to be a Fox Snake. Often mistaken for the rattlesnake in Illinois. Often. Quick FYI’s and possible, relevant, future knowledge, you might need too someday:

Rattlesnake: Similiar colors, but, with a lighter enhancing outline around the dark pattern. And shaped like bow-ties. Thinner in the middle.

Fox Snake: Darker, rectangular pattern with light background. Picture proof obtained.

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Rattlesnake: The rattle on the end.

Fox Snake: No rattle, but tries to mimic the rattle, by vibrating the tail just like a rattlesnake. Yep. True that. It rattled that rattleless tail alot to scare us. But, no rattle. Also confirmed via pictures.

Rattlesnake: Slit eyes with vertical pupils. Vertical. Up and down. Very scary looking.

Fox snake: Round eyes. Round pupil. You can see her pretty eyes in the above pic. And here. We really got in there this morning with the picture taking.

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Rattlesnake: Light bottom. Similar coloring to top.

Fox Snake: Yellow bottom. Or orange. Could not confirm that until today. Yellow.

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Both snakes are available in various lengths, but the Fox Snake is 3-5 feet. Ours is prob 4 feet.

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The head is lighter in color, like the pattern gets blurry or smeared, whereas the rattlesnake head keeps the pattern same as the body.

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And constricting. Bites for defense, but not poison. The internet claims it doesn’t hurt. Hmm. That will remain unconfirmed. Eats mice and rodents. It’s a sub species of rat snake I guess. Not aggressive unless attacked or threatened. Also, most likely female, based on size. We are just going with it. We played with her for quite awhile this morning and she never attacked. She did try and constrict and curl and keep trying to get out of the bin, so I picked her up bare handed and was able to look at her closely and then put her back into the pillowcase without physical harm.

A few phrases come to mind: “Snake charmed.” They do have a mesmerizing magnetic effect that makes you want to keep them and touch them. “If it was a snake it would have bitten me.” I NEVER even saw the damn thing laying straight and flush against the house. Camouflage in action. “Snake wrangling.” We were quite hilarious and ridiculous last night chasing that girl all around the house trying to pick it up with rakes and sticks. Little did we know we could have just grabbed it. But in our defense it was pretty “strikey” last night until we calmed it down.

At any rate, I posted it on Facebook for anyone to have. We can’t keep it, but we won’t kill it or let it loose somewhere. Could be a pet that got free, because it is not really indigenous to our particular location. One more interesting factoid: It is unlawful to catch, keep or kill this snake in Iowa. Endangered I think. Protected maybe. Mason found that info. There are like, 39 different kinds of snakes in Illinois at any one time, (4 are poisonous), and we get an out-of-towner. Seems funny. And don’t worry, I’m not going to just give it to anybody. It’s not food for something else or material for shoes or purses. If no one legitimately can take it and care for it properly, I am calling a private owned pet store we know of–that only deals in fish and reptiles–to see if they want it or can at least take it and fine a home for it. No animals will be harmed in the making of this post.

So, that was our night. We have to go to a grad party now (Yay Jesse!! High School Over!! College Bound!!) and prob won’t be back until dark again. I cannot wait to see what will be hanging outside the back door later on! The lost reptile wildlife of suburban Chicago must know we specialize in taking care of fish and turtles and are hoping to expand the family with snakes. What will it be tonight? I am hoping alligator! Or crocodile! Either way, it’s going to make an awesome photo gallery tomorrow! Last shot because I have one more picture I want to use.

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We Take A Lot Of These Shots Too

July 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm (Day to Day, For Mason, Mason Pics, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Road Trip, Summer) (, , , )

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Driving. Somewhere between here and Kentucky. From the boy. That’s it.

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Super Service!

July 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm (Advertising, Day to Day, Thank You, Underwater) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Seriously. We have had Verizon for a long time. Even back when my phone was the Nokia doorstop:

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Remember? You could throw it across the room, run it over with your car, and drop it into a toilet and it would never break or stop working. But, those days are gone now. We all have smartphones with very breakable parts and glass fronts and malfunctions that can occur if even a splash of water gets near the phone. But we love them so much! So, my daughter has the Apple IPhone. the BF has the HTC DNA and I have the Samsung Galaxy S4. We are very hi-tech over here and not super-brand exclusive, but we bought all these phones at the above Verizon store. 4G and always connected. Basically from the same guy or guys depending on who is working. We like this store. With these people.  Anyhoo, long story short, because I have to go to work and my time is ticking away as it always is, my son just got the Galaxy S4, not from this store, but from a dealer in Kentucky, via his dad and his dad’s account and contract service, and of course, yesterday morning, it decides that he if he tries to make a phone call he will not be able to hear anyone talking and we will not be able to hear him. Microphone-speaker breakdown! We drove on over to the Verizon store above, (Matteson, IL), waited for the man we always talk to, figuring he might know how to press some buttons to make the sound work again. No good. It’s a manufacturing problem. Device fluke or whatever. Phone needs to be replaced. They just swap them out. No problem. But of course there was a problem! Not with the store, but with the location the phone was originally bought at. Verizon replaces all Verizon products. Without really getting into the nitty-gritty details, which are really boring and probably not important in the scheme of things, and more time-wasting to type than I have time to waste (although explaining is also wasting time…), we just had an out-of-state, multiple account, unique-situation problem in getting the new phone. But guess what? The sales guy, our sales guy, (it’s funny how we always claim those special individuals after we see them and they help us over and over, and they are awesome) and his manager, did some computer/phone/e-mail/process magic, and presto! We walked out with the new phone all switched over and fully functioning. I am happy. My son is really happy. And I think we made a cool new friend. So, long long story short: Thank you Michael S. and Phil (the manager–don’t know his last initial–but he was great). I hope it’s OK that I put their names/your names and the store, because they really provided outstanding service and should be recognized. Shout outs from satisfied customers. That has to be a good thing. Now I have to go to work so I can pay for the next upgrade my daughter will prob need soon. Here is a random picture of pool rings underwater (Lifeproof case also recommended by the store and works perfectly. As you can see, worth the money.) I really need to go. Later.

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