Mum Petals In Black & White

It is on the colder, drearier side today as we are well on our way to seeing the end of the nice weather. We do still have a day or to this week that might allow me to open my windows again, but those will most likely be the last.

It will be a good time to be in the garage starting to play. I have some practicing to do, playing with all my new tools so by the time I actually start working on building cabinets, I actually know what the hell I’m doing.

I’m still on the fence about buying a table saw as it is really expensive and I think I can get away with a circular saw that is much less expensive and will most likely be used more after this project is done than a table saw would. There are certain things I need to be able to do that a table saw is apparently the best tool for the job. It can be done using a router (which I have), but it is supposedly a little harder.

I have ordered the router bit I need (could not find it locally) and it should be here today. My goal is to play around with it using some of the wood scraps I have from previous projects to see exactly how difficult that may be to work with to get the desired result.

It’s exciting because it feels like I’m moving forward and making progress even if what I’m doing is just messing around.

Now, if I could just get the bid back from the last guy, I’d actually know what was going to happen and when, or (and I REALLY don’t want to go this route) I start looking into electricians and figuring out how the hell I’m going to frame this damn thing myself.

Late Afternoon Sun

Apparently my cranky pants are still firmly in place today. This happens when roofers begin work at the butt crack of dawn right outside my window.

You’d think I’d be used to this by now. I’ve dealt with construction noises in my neighborhood since we moved in 16 years ago, only ever getting a few months here and there of quiet.

The difference? Almost every single house behind me, new houses that are only about 2 years old, are getting a new roof put on. Have you ever heard a new roof getting put on? It is non-stop banging from the start to the finish of the project. There are a LOT of new houses behind me.

I do feel bad for the homeowners because no one should have to replace the roof on a house that is only a few years old. When we saw the first one getting done, it was confusing, but just chalked it up to a potential random thing. Then a few days later, a couple more houses were getting the same treatment. Then a couple more. The only thing we can come up with is that there had to have been some major recall or defect in the roofing. And DAMN! That has got to suck.

Still, I really wish stuff like this didn’t start so frickin’ early in the morning!

Seriously?! I’m STILL Dealing With This?

Okay, I’m extra cranky today. But I think I have a pretty decent excuse.

A while back I talked about how my Amazon account got hacked. I still don’t know if that came first or if the email I used that was tied to that account got hacked first, but both were apparently targeted.

I was able to fix the Amazon one with somewhat minor headaches. The email one? I’m STILL dealing with the fallout of that one.

For the most part, it wasn’t a huge deal. I had a couple of hiccups in getting accounts changed that used that email, but they mostly worked out well. The one that didn’t? My Dell account.

It really shouldn’t be an issue. Just set up a new account the next time I need to get a computer, right? Well, that is exactly what I did when I got my current laptop.

The problem comes in with the fact that I had purchased my Microsoft subscriptions through Dell. Because it is a subscription, it is automatically renewed, so I keep getting charged even though I can’t access that account. Even though the credit card number associated with that account is no longer valid, the credit card company still pays it because the old card is still tied to our new card number.

I have tried each time this charge has come up to contact Dell so I can either change the information on my account so I can access it, or cancel the subscription through them so I can manage it through Microsoft. I’ve spent hours on the phone with them, but they refuse to do anything because? The warranty for my computer is expired.

Oh, they’d be more than willing to help me out if I paid hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty on a computer I no longer use. Even though the issue isn’t with the computer, but with the online account.

Let that sink in. They won’t provide any support because of an expired warranty on a computer without me renewing that warranty even though the problem is not about the computer, but with accessing their website.

The first time I called them and tried to get this resolved? 2018. I’m still dealing with it.

The last time I called Dell (last year), the conversation admittedly got a little heated because I’d already attempted to jump through all the hoops the previous year to even get connected to the correct department or person that MIGHT be able to help me, to no avail. The person I’d managed to get last time was being incredibly rude and condescending because this wasn’t a current computer (again, NOT a computer issue!!) He eventually hung up on me. And no, I managed to hold off from cussing the guy out, so I was shocked when I suddenly got dead air.

I thought we might have gotten a work around when our credit card company said last year when the charge came through again that they would not process another payment for the subscription unless we explicitly stated we wanted them to. The plan was to just let it not process, let that subscription expire and I could buy a new one through Microsoft (because guess what? I can’t buy a second one as long as the first is active).

We got notified from the credit card company today that we have a pending transaction for this subscription. They are processing another payment. Even though they said they wouldn’t.

I’ve now called the credit card company and we’ve set up a stop payment on all further transactions for this, but for the current charge, I have to wait for it to officially post and then file a dispute.

Did you know that pretty much the ONLY type of help you can get from Dell is for warranty support on a physical product? Feel free to go poke around their website and see what I mean. If you want to do any kind of an online chat for a problem? You have to log into your account. Which I cannot do. See how that might be an issue?

I attempted another call to Dell today, but couldn’t even get a voice prompt that came even close to what kind of help I needed and it refused to direct me to a single agent without choosing one of those completely unrelated prompts. I eventually hung up. I did manage to dig up an email address for some form of customer service, so I’ve attempted that route, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.

It is quite possible that I’m going to have to break down and set up a new Microsoft account just so I can establish a new subscription. Do you have any idea how much of a nightmare that is going to be? There are so many things on a computer now that is directly tied to your Microsoft account if you have the right programs. There are already enough burps and glitches with Microsoft, I dread the complications I’m going to run into or what I might loose with that significant of a change. And attempting to get any kind of help or support from Microsoft is about a convoluted and non-existent as Dell’s support is.

Even that option is only going to happen if I can manage to get to the point where I’m no longer paying for the first one.

It is times like these that I absolutely abhor technology. The support for almost all of it is absolute crap.

Contractor Search: Color Me Surprised

To be completely honest, after the mess this has been from the start and the number of no shows or no call-backs I’ve had, I’m actually really surprised the guy showed up for today’s appointment. And on time.

Even more surprising, especially after that questionable first phone conversation, he seems to be a decent guy. Knowing how I felt about this guy after that call, I really didn’t expect this appointment to go well, but it really did.

I don’t have numbers yet, so I’m not jumping ahead of the game yet, but I liked what this guy had to say today. I like their process. I like the fact he didn’t try to pressure me in any direction and just took what I asked for and got the clarifications he needed and left it at that. It was kind of refreshing, actually.

I also adore the fact that they are only about 3 weeks out on their lead time as opposed to not being able to start until January like the last company is.

It is still going to come down to numbers, but today left me more hopeful than I’ve been about this project after all the bumps and sticker shock so far.

Meandering Path

We went for a walk and a drive around this weekend. The hope was that the trees were in full color and to get some photos. Of course, where I live, we don’t really get a “full color” like you’d see in other areas. We sort of get stages.

One week may be the yellow trees. Another week or two later, after those leaves have already fallen, you might get a red or an orange popping up here and there (though we don’t have a lot of those). It just seems like we can’t manage to get all the colors to line up at the same time, though every once in a great while, the trees will put on an amazing show, but it may only last for a day or two.

Right now, we are still way more green than I expected based on the trees in my neighborhood. There are some yellows that are already quickly turning to brown and the rare splash of orange peeking through, but not much else.

It was still nice to get out. I managed to, of course, get some photos of the kids being the absolute goofballs they are. I’d wanted some nice shots, but I’m just going to be grateful that both of them still want to go and do those things with us.

Today I’ve got Misogyny guy coming out to give me a bid. I honestly don’t know what I’m hoping for at this point. I do really want to get at least one more figure for how much this plan might cost me. I’d kind of love for that whole conversation to have just been an honest mistake and the guy is a decent guy that I’d consider working with. Based on the luck I’ve had so far, I’m not holding my breath for it.

I can dream, though, right?

Glistening Web

I’m a happy camper today. I tripped across another way to still sneak into classic mode on WP instead of being forced to use the block editor! Fingers crossed they don’t remove that backdoor!

That and this is one of the better spider web shots I’ve gotten. I’m mostly pleased with this one. Of course, it was again a windy day (WHY do they only build these when it is windy?) so it still isn’t the best ever, but still very nice.

Halloween Ghosts And Jack O’Lanterns on Redbubble

I have a couple of new designs done for Halloween masks out on my Redbubble shop. The only difference is that I liked these designs for more than just the masks, so there all kinds of fun goodies to choose from.

Like travel mugs and aprons.

As always, I’m game for design or image requests if you are looking for something in particular. Just drop me a note through my contact page!

Contractor Search: First Bid – Sticker Shock

I have gotten my first rough estimate to finish my craft room space and… I’m kind of speechless.

Hubby and I did our research, so we had a kind of broad price range to expect this project to come in around, or at least a close ballpark figure. Remember, I’m supposed to be doing a large portion of the work myself, some of the big expense portions if you consider the cabinet work.

The number I was given today? It was 4 times higher than I’d really kind of hoped, but maybe only about 3 times higher than the top of what I expected. That wasn’t including the VERY high estimate I got from our HVAC people to take care of the ventilation portion of the project (again, wasn’t expecting that cost, though I will note part of their estimate included things I did not ask for, so this number isn’t completely accurate).

I’m so shocked and discouraged right now it isn’t even funny.

I know that a portion of this, the electrical, is going to be kind of a beast because we are going to have to expand our panel to accommodate the new load. I fully expect this piece to be on the bigger end, but… just wow! Not even CLOSE to what I was figuring.

What makes it even harder to swallow is the fact that this bid was from the only company that I have liked so far. Partly because the others haven’t even bothered to return calls. Or show up. What is left in my line up is Misogyny Guy and two other companies that haven’t returned calls to even set up appointments yet. I never heard a word from No Show Guy.

I have no clue what I’m going to do from here. One option is to have an electrician come in and take care of that part, but still do everything else myself. I’ve not done any framing before, but been around projects that have had it done, so I understand some basic (though probably not nearly enough). I’ve helped with drywall in the past, but not done it all by myself. What parts I did, I really disliked and is why I wanted to hire out that part.

I really need at least one other number before I can make any decisions, but there is a very real chance that this project, that I’ve already bought stuff for, may not get done. Or at least, not done in the way I want it. I may have to completely rethink my plans.

Not feeling overly happy today.

Popping Color

Popping Color

This is my only mum that is opening enough to show color yet, but it is just loaded. I’m still on edge hoping we don’t get an early freeze and I get plenty of time to enjoy these this year.

MC is breezing through his first semester at college. For some reason, his history class was a shorter one than a regular class and he is already taking his final for that one next week. It will leave the last half of his semester more open.

It shouldn’t surprise me that he is doing so well because he always has when it comes to school, but I guess I still expected it to be a bit more challenging for him than this has seemed. Maybe it is just these earlier, more basic classes and next semester will be different, but I’m really happy for him that it is going so well.

He has impressed his computer programing teacher enough to get recommended for a work study program even though he isn’t even finished with his first class. He, unfortunately, can’t take it as a paid position because of the rules around family income, but they are looking into the possibility he can still do it on a volunteer/unpaid basis.

I think it was either from the same teacher or a math teacher, but MC was told he should become a tutor, but he can’t do that one until he passes a class he is currently taking with a certain grade (that won’t be an issue at this point). Apparently, he is making a good impression on at least some of his teachers.

While he loves that these are going to be things he gets to do, he is also excited that he has the chance to put these, plus his work with the videos for the eSports teams, on his resume. With his complete lack of any kind of work experience going into college (long story about bad timing and circumstances), he has been worried that he isn’t going to have much of anything to put down when he needs it and this is a relief for him.

I’m just glad that he is finding his space and the things he enjoys. It is exciting to see him get involved and enjoying what he is doing. I was a little worried the first couple of weeks in that he was struggling, but seeing all this makes me feel so much better. I really love that his college choice seems to be the perfect fit for him.

Now, BG is a whole other ball of wax. She is too much like me in not knowing what direction she wants to go when she gets out of high school. MC always knew he wanted to go into programming, but BG is all over the place in interests, so she doesn’t even know where to begin in her college search. I have a feeling her ride is going to be a lot bumpier than MC’s has been, but she is going to have to start making some decisions soon.