What a weekend!

You gotta love the US Postal Service. Seems they have a problem reading addresses. You’d think a package sent from Center, Texas and addressed to me in Rancho Santa Margarita, California would make it to me in a few days. At the most, I would understand two weeks. BUT when the package, sent August 29th, was not delivered last Friday, September 9th, I e-mailed the armourer who had sent it to let him know it was taking much longer to arrive than first anticipated.

The armourer quickly replied that the package had been sent out on the 29th and that he was VERY surprised that it had not arrived yet, but noted that the receipt number still showed the parcel as “enroute” and should be delivered any day now. He conveniently sent the receipt number for my own records and edification, which I promptly used to input into the USPS tracking tool on their website. This yielded a very interesting result:
Acceptance, August 29, 2005, 1:33 pm, CENTER, TX 75935
Processed and left, September 01, 2005, 10:17 am, BELL, CA 90201
Processed and left, September 10, 2005, 2:49 pm, CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD 20790

Now, what seems to be amiss with the above tracking information? Could it be that my package WAS in California, and then seemingly shipped to Maryland for some entirely unknown reason? Yep, I think that’s it.

So I emailed the armourer, who again kindly replied that he was baffled and equally (if not more) irritated at this “mixup”. I put mix up in quotes here because it wasn’t the phrase used and I felt understating it would bear more weight. Suffice to say the armourer is more than pissed, and had noted he will be going to the post office today to see about getting this all squared up.

As I was writing this, the armourer just replied to me again noting he has spoken with the USPS who indicated that “it must have been put in the wrong batch, and in the wrong mailstream”, as they put it. However, and according to the US Postal service, the package is indeed on its way BACK across the USofA to be delivered to me in California. So, we’ll see… I’m holding my breath 🙂

I will, of course, keep you all updated with the saga that is ensuing. All I really wanted was a nice Spanish collar gorget before war to finish off my border reiver kit. Looks like I may be waiting for a lot longer than anticipated to get it all done.

Which brings me to a small rant about the incompetence of people in the work force. It seems to me that recently (read in the past year or two) the level of employee incompetence has risen drastically and at alarming rates. I personally have had more problems with customer service in the past few months than I have had my entire life up to that point. In discussing this with Meg and Craig when they came over on Saturday, I found that I was not alone in this realization. It seems they have also encountered the same problems with customer service that I have seen. And that scared me. If _I_ was the only one seeing issues, then I could easily dismiss things as having to do with the way _I_ deal with customer service. But Meg, Craig, and Jean all deal with customer service differently, but have all encountered the same problems, and this points to a much larger and insidious problem.

So, while I am at it… Meg and Craig had come up to our place for a nice relaxing afternoon and to join us for dinner at the Melting Pot. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a time out with M&C if _I_ didn’t get into some sort of altercation. This time, it was due to some jackhole cutting me off as we were turning into the restaurant’s parking lot.

I was cutoff by this black Mercedes which was driving 10 feet in front of me on the right portion of the lane, while I was in the left with my signal on (oddly enough) indicating I was turning left into the parking lot. The black Benz suddenly, and without signaling, cuts in front of me, causing me to hard brake so I don’t collide with him. I honk, to indicate that he just cut me off, at which point he stops the car dead in its tracks. I pull around to the right, and continue around to make the left into the parking lot, as the positioning of his car looked as though he was going to make a u-turn. I guess that wasn’t the case, since he nearly rammed me as I was pulling into the lot. He stops again, and I continued on. As I look out of my window, I seem him exit the car and hear him start talking it up, yelling all sorts of things as I drive away towards the valet parking.

When I get out and take the slip from the valet, I also indicate to him that the person who is driving up quickly behind me is a bit irritated and make cause some sort of altercation. The valet looked at me and said, “ok”. At which point Mr. BigDicktm pulls up, exits the car VERY quickly and aggressively, and begins walking towards me as he puffs up. He walks to within 2 feet of me and is again talking all sorts of smack. I reply in kind, as I am just as irritated that this jackhole cut me off and then nearly rammed me. We go back and forth a few times and the valet steps between us in an attempt to de-escalate. Mind you, I am only replying to his advances and not making any of my own. Though at one point I asked if he wanted to throw down, and he advanced then backed off again. Throughout the entire altercation he was calling me a “little bitch” which I just found amusing, as did my wife and especially Meg, who was apparently trying not to laugh out loud at the whole thing. Craig was just waiting for the guy to throw a punch, at which point it would have gotten ugly for this guy taking on both myself and Craig.

At some point, it all fizzled out and Mr. BigDicktm walked back to his car. I completed the exchange of tickets with the valet, and turned to walk towards the restaurant, which just so happened to be right past Mr. BigDick’stm car. I hadn’t taken more than three steps towards the restaurant when Mr. BigDicktm puffs up again at my apparent advances towards him, and begins screaming once more, “what do you think you’re doing?”, to which I reply, ”Going to dinner, asshole”. Which amuses me more and more thinking about it, as he says something like “fine, go to dinner” as I walk by, apparently accepting my explanation for my advances towards him. This guy seriously had something to prove, though his girlfriend by all accounts was LESS than please at the whole thing. Both Jean and Meg told me later that Mr. BigDick’stm girlfriend was getting angrier at him the more he spouted. After being seated, I saw him walk by us to their table, though I didn’t see him after that.

Dinner, after one bottle of wine to calm us all down (my adrenaline was pumping HARD after all this), was fantastic! All told we had four courses of cheese fondue, ceasar salad, main entrée (including steak, lobster, chicken, pork, sea bass, and vegetables) with a bouillon fondue, and chocolate fondue to round out the evening, along with another bottle of wine and a glass of port with dessert. We left the Melting Pot feeling more stuffed than I was last time we sat for a seven course dinner at Commander’s Palace in Vegas. And was it ever worth it. I get to add that dinner to the small, but growing list of favourite meals I have ever had.

After dinner we headed back to our place and just digested dinner while watching “the Ring two”. And that is about as much energy and effort as could have been asked of us. Even watching the movie was a bit too taxing at times and I ended up nodding off once or twice, just as you should do after a dinner of such proportions!

Sunday morning came too quickly and I still felt full from the night before. But, we needed to get down to Dana Point to visit my dad at one of his annual art shows during the Tall Ships festival they put on in the Harbour. Dad, being a maritime watercolour artist always shows there as it is one of the best times to get people who are truly interested in the ships he paints to see his work.

While we were visiting, Dad told us that over the course of the Laguna Arts Festival, there were a number of judges who juried the artists three separate times. Dad had previously been unaware as to why this was occurring, but found out last week when he received a letter from the Laguna Festival of Arts informing him that he had been juried in to next year’s festival and would not have to re-apply for entrance. Kind of an automatic “in” since he showed so well this past year.

And THAT, my friends, is a huge accomplishment for my dad. Now he doesn’t have to worry about jurying in for next year and can focus on painting and adding to his stock of works to sell and show next year. You should have seen how excited he was when we were talking about the festival. He really had the time of his life showing his paintings and talking to all the patrons. I can’t wait to see him show there again next year! And now, it seems, his entrance is a sure thing! One more time, I get to pimp out his site at: http://www.odonnellmarineart.com/

And Lastly, a bit of meme goodness: I’d have to agree that this is pretty darn accurate…

You Are An Oak Tree

You are a person of action, and it’s easy to get what you want.

Sensible and practical, you always keep both feet on the ground.

You are courageous and strong – little scares you.

A bit stubborn, you don’t like change.

You’re an independent type, and people often wonder if you need them.

2 thoughts on “What a weekend!

  1. That’s wonderful news about your dad’s artwork! Especially since I never did get down to the arts festival this year 🙁

    Now I have something to look forward to for next year!

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