Thursday, May 10, 2007

Very soon...

We should have internet at home any day now. And then there will be one more post on this blog and the rest on My Adventures in Jordan (and also on My Adventures in Syria, actually).

See ya.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Opportunity of a lifetime

When we lived in American Fork, Jeremy worked briefly for the National Guard in Draper, teaching Arabic. The contract paid just enough money for him to buy an Apple Powerbook. We thought that was the end of the relationship.

This morning, more than three years later, Jeremy got an email from his former boss. He offered Jeremy a job working in Iraq as a linguist. Starting yearly salary? $120,000, tax-free.

It's not every day an offer like that shows up in your inbox.

The weird thing is that part of me thinks that would be so exciting (for Jeremy, and for me vicariously). A friend of ours is in Iraq right now with a similar job. That's him, between General Patreus and the Iraqi PM.


(Does the above picture remind anyone else of this one? Or is that just me?)

Sadly, I think we'll have to turn down the job. But if we change our minds, at least we'll be in the neighborhood. We fly to Jordan tonight!*


My Adventures in Jordan.

*Actually, we fly to New York City tonight. And then we fly to Jordan from there.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Toughen up, mattress cover!

Here are the instructions for the cover of our memory foam mattress:

CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Remove cover (well, duh!).
Hand wash or machine wash on delicate cycle.
Use cold water only.
DO NOT BLEACH.

Air dry on flat surface or machine dry using cold air only.
Thorough drying may take several hours.
Dry cleaning recommended.

Here's how I washed it yesterday, having not noticed the above instructions on the bottom edge of the mattress:

Removed cover.
Washed in regular machine cycle.
With HOT water!
...and I used bleach, too.

Dried in the dryer on the normal hot cycle.
It was dry in about 20 minutes.

And yet, it came out alive and fit back on the mattress just fine.

In closing, let me just say that this is the best mattress I've ever slept on. So next time, I'll be sure to take better care of its precious cover.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Reason #27 why I love Costco


I think my two favorite stores on earth are IKEA and Costco. Today, I'll give you one example of how Costco earns - nay, deserves - my money.

We bought a blender there in November of 2005. It was $75, but had a $20 rebate, and it was a very nice KitchenAid blender. We make smoothies very often and so we decided to splurge on a quality blender. Keep in mind that my only previous blender purchase had a)been made in fact not by me, but by my mom, b)was about 8 years ago, c)probably cost about $20, and d)had recently gone up in smoke during a routine smoothie operation.

We were not disappointed by this blender. It was awesome. Until Sunday night, when it broke mid-smoothie. It somehow derailed itself and then stripped the nubs on the base that engage the pitcher to keep it spinning. A freak accident! Our smoothie may have been ruined, but the important thing is that we survived.

I checked the documentation that came with the blender (I always keep stuff like that) and saw that it had only a 1-year warranty. The blender had been in use for just a little bit over that. I've noticed that about appliances lately - they seem to quit suspiciously soon after their warranty expiration dates (see: our humidifer, Miriam's humidifier, and the baby monitor, which quit one day after the warranty expired).

So I took it back to Costco today to see if they would give me a refund. In my world, when you buy a $75 blender, it had better last a lot longer than one year. The customer service lady took a look at it, listened to my story, and promptly offered to give me a refund on a Costco cash card. Of course, I accepted. As she added the money to the card, I made sure to remind her to subtract the amount of the rebate from the refund total. She just shrugged and said not to worry about it.

But wait, there's more! Not only did they essentially give us $20 for free, when I went to see if they had another one I could buy, I saw they had the same blender but for $20 cheaper than the original price.

Using Jeremy's style of money management, that means we basically made $40 today.

The great thing is that this is far from an exceptional experience at Costco. They have always behaved very generously towards me, their customer. And for that, I thank them.

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