The pellet stove saga continues

Since it has been almost two weeks since our stove crapped out on us, Ron got on the phone again today. He started calling people from work around lunch time, and spent almost an hour on the phone here at home before he could finally talk to someone who knew what was going on.

The control board hasn’t even been shipped yet.

Why? They are waiting for a purchase order from the place we bought the stove from. This, despite the fact the item is not on the dealer or service company’s parts list; we have and freely gave out the part number for it in every phone conversation; we were and are willing to pay for the part AND for overnight shipping; Ron was told late on Friday January 25th by someone at the manufacturer’s head office that they would send it to us directly and we should have it the following Friday.

Now, the part number was verified the first time around when Ron initially called the number on the stove manual, only to be told they did not deal directly to consumers. The customer service rep gave him the number of their distributor which Ron immediately called. The distributor promised a return call because he needed to get a price for the board before he could ship one. After an hour and a half Ron called him back to find that he was still waiting on a price. The distributor referred Ron to a dealer and/or company that services the stoves. The third set of conversations went pretty much like the second. Finally, Ron called the franchise of the chain store where we purchased the stove. Having the backing of representing a huge block of consumers the chain’s customer service group was able to prompt the final call described in the previous paragraph.

And now we’re told they are waiting for a purchase order???

To top it off, the guy Ron spoke to today said, when told our stove model number, “It’s only 45000 BTUs, you can’t heat a house with that!” (This despite the fact that we obviously had through the coldest weather of the winter. Although we didn’t run the stove on highest setting, the electricity to create 45000 BTUs 24×7 is in the range of $1000/month. That’s what it would be if we were using electricity to generate that amount of heat.)
This is from the guy who works at a pellet manufacturing plant. Seriously. Way to sell your product.

Is anyone else as dumbfounded as we are???

Update: it’s been verified they were sent the required PO two weeks ago.


I don’t think I can keep a straight face here

Hana Montana boot recal

Seriously. Seriously?!?! OH NOES! Some girls tripped while wearing these boots! QUICK! Get them off the shelves!!!


“If your child has a pair of these boots, you should ignore her pleas to keep them and take them way immediately.”

I’m dyin’ here…

Please, people; USE YOUR BRAINS.

TV gremlins

You know, I pride myself a little on the technology skills I have. It extends past the computer to the audio/video equipment in the hosue, of which there is plenty. My mom even calls on occasion when she wants to watch one channel and tape another.
We moved four tvs with us. That’s right, 4. Oddly enough, for people who are into techy things, they are old, ranging from 20 to 10 years. We figured the oldest would still be able to function with our older game systems. (We’ll get back to you on how THAT is working out…) We also have two VCRs, two DVD players and one portable DVD player that got baptised with juice and will only play mp3 CDs, but i digress.

Last night, I set up one tv and a matching DVD player in our room, partly for Emma to settle down with, and mostly for those rare occasions where Ron and I would like to watch a movie. The both of us harldy ever watch tv. Ron hasn’t seen any yet this evening, and I watched maybe 15 minutes today. (I caught the end of a Laverne & Shirley episode. It was awesome.)

I set up everything for Emma and came back around a half-hour later. She mentioned the volume was too quiet, and she had the DVD remote volume turned all the way up. I tired the volume button on the front of the tv. No dice. I pressed harder.

The channel changed.

I tried the down button. That worked. I tried the up button again and got to surf through fuzzy channels once more. Down button? Okay, now I can’t hear anything.


The tv also has a remote. Somewhere.

I mean, it’s got to be somewhere in all these boxes, right?

I am a girl of simple tastes. I just want to RELAX, with my husband, in my room and watch a FREAKING MOVIE. With SOUND.


Nestle to buy U.S. baby-food giant Gerber

Story here.

ARGH. Must they buy up everything in sight? Makes me glad I rarely bought baby fod.

You don’t need to buy canned jars of pureed food, you know. Making your own baby food is just like cooking dinner. Oh wait, that’s just what we did! And then you take a wee bit of the food you have, mush it up and feed it to the baby, or let them feed themselves.

Or you can Google it. Here’s a great article on when to start solids. It’s later than you think. We started solids with Meaghan when she stole food off her father’s plate and mushed that potato right in her mouth. Same with Emma.

If you didn’t know, our family boycotts Nestle. Why? Because they hand out free tins of formula in third world countries where a large percentage of women do not have access to clean water and they can’t afford to buy the formula anyway. So they thin it with the not-clean water, feed it to their babies because they’ve been told it’s just as good or better than their own breastmilk, or they need it to save their baby’s life, and by the time they’ve used up the tin, their supply has gone down and baby – already in a tenuous position – goes hungrier. That’s why. This has happened in situations of disasters, natural and man-made, as part of rescue efforts. I do actually know someone who has been to Africa and has seen it firsthand.

You can read up on the boycott here: wiki entry and the official site here.

But don’t just take my word for it and the word of people who have been fighting Nestle for twenty years, you can go look up what the big bad company has to say for themselves. Oh wait, I mean what their *lawyers* have them say.

Patterns and sewing and sizing and rants

We went to the fabric store today, the girls and I. “Hey, haven’t seen you guys in ages!” the owner said when the other customers cleared out. Yep, I’m sure it’s been at least 2 or maybe even three years since we’d been in. One, I haven’t much felt like sewing and two, they sell fabric by the pound and also have patterns on clearance for $1 at any given time, that’s why.

So we indulged a bit, because if you were my husband you would say that yes, it’s an indulgence because surely I could make something out of the stacks of fabric and patterns I already have, but we called it a Home Ec class. The girls have been in a sewing mood lately, and I’m running with it.

I don’t normally pay too mcuh attention to sizing on patterns as they usually make it easy for you to pick the right size according to your actual measurements (the whole point of sewing things at home) and if something is the wrong size, I have enough practise I can size the pattern up or down a bit if I have to.

I think they’ve all gone crazy.

Sarah and I have been working on a pattern for a corset-like vest, snagged from the costume section. Yes for a dollar. Actually less because we bought so much she gave us a further discount. After we snipped out all the required pieces, I helped Sarah figure out what size we were going to use on the multi-sized pattern. Unbeknownst to me, she had already gone through the steps herself and was so put off by the answer, was sure she’d done it wrong. According to them, she’s a size 12.

Now, I know it’s just a number, but holy jumpins! Do you think the garment and sewing industry can get together on this one and decide on something close to using resonable body sizes for models and baseline measurements and maybe smaller numbers?? The pattern companies will tell you over and over again to not pick a pattern based on your Ready To Wear size as they are usually “off” or figured out differently. (Everyone uses a different base model as a starting point. Purely a PREFERENCE.) But why is there such a HUGE discrepancy? Sarah can walk into any store and fit into a small or extra small. Size 0 thru 4. Now, I happen to know her measurements and I happen to remember mine at her age, which are the exact same as she is now and back then I was a SEVEN. So yeah, these things also change over time.

So I did the next thing to do: check the finished pattern measurements to see how much ease was allowed. It’s a close-fitting vest. There should be little to none. Back of the envelope, where it normally is printed, tells me to look at the pattern tissue. I have the peices in front of me. For the vest, the finished bust measurements are not on it.

Then I had to go through and unfold and RE fold every single pattern sheet in the envelope. I hate trying to get those back in. Sheesh. You get a gold star if you guessed that they were nowhere to be found. For everything else in the pattern, just not the vest.

Third try. Measure the pattern, which I did. I placed the pieces all on the table with seams lined up and even at the biggest size (12) it is supposedly going to be skin tight. Yeah, I have been there before with patterns. I know when we cut it out it will be huge anyway.

I’ll let you know how it works out. I also be back with more on a related topic, as we changed the line of the vest front. No, I did not measure the pieces with my changes. I measured the original ones. *sigh*

Next step, we will fit the pattern pieces to her, then cut them out of the fabric. Before sewing, we will pin or baste them together and check the fit *again*.

And this is why I will never watch his show again

Tomorrow (Friday) Dr Phill will have a show on about homeschooling. Think he’ll take a fair and balanced, educated look at it?

Think again.

Read this account of an audience member.

The short version is he stacks the audience with high school kids after telling guests they can’t bring their own children, features an UNschooling family as representative of the vast methods out there and present it as something across the board, implies that if it doesn’t look like school then the kids don’t learn and will be wild, and in short pulls one of his famous “bait and switch” techniques. The guests felt they were there to show homschooling as on option, to educate the public, yet he treats them like he’s there to solve a problem. Which they don’t have.

Basically, many of the times I’ve flipped over to watch for a few minutes I’ve seen more and more guests be grilled by him with a “that’s not what you told our producers” and him making them looks like idoits as he spins things however he wants to present it, complete with footage that has been edited to back up his point.

On tomorrow’s show they taken however many HOURS of taping they did at the guests house, and condense it down to 30 seconds, using just the footage of the kids “laying around doing nothing” and telling America that’s how this family homeschools. I also know of many of the more well-known people in the homeschooling movement and seasoned hmeschoolers contacted the show when they were looking for guests, and they were turned down.

You know what Phil? I’m not going to call you doctor any more. And to answer your famous question, “How that’s workin’ for ya?”

It’s working pretty friggin good, thank you very much. Now quit yapping about things you know nothing about, and leave it to those of us who do.