Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 32 - 03/24/2007

Our contractor showed up to do the trim work around 9a and promptly got started. Since it was a grey day, I thought I'd get a start on some work in the basement. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I got sidetracked and worked in the garage instead. Well, at least some chores got done!

Prior to starting on the garage, I took M and N to Toys R Us to return some birthday presents N got that he already had. Telling a white lie, I told the guy we had lost the gift receipts and he told me I was out of luck, he couldn't do a thing about it. We then went down to Target where I told the same story. The customer service rep told me he could give me store credit , but that I couldn't do more than two transactions w/o a receipt in the course of the year. This was completely understandable and was a great example of smart thinking in that they were protecting themselves from fraudulent returns (e.g., from stolen product being returned) while at the same time not penalizing the customers who truly didn't have the gift receipt but are on the up and up and just want to exchange it for something else.

Anyway, off to the toy aisle we went and got N a new Lego set (the firehouse) and both M and N softball/baseball gear. I also explained that we wouldn't be shopping at Toys R Us for a while due to their short-sighted corporate policy. When M asked me what I meant, I explained that they were trying to reduce the amount of illegitimate returns in order to improve the bottom line (in the short term), but that it would cost them in the long run. As an example, I explained that had we been able to return the Lego to Toys R Us, we would've bought the replacement there as well (which was double what the returns totalled), not to mention possibly getting softball/baseball gear. That shortsighted policy cost them about $100 immediately. I guess they didn't think it through.

After the garage was cleaned, I changed and went for a run w/ M and N on their bikes. We went down the path towards Walney Pond (like N and I did last time), but this time turned around at the end of the trail and headed back home. M had asked if we could stop by Shell Valley on the way back so we made that detour. After searching for (and finding) shells, we headed over to Rock Valley and looked for skipping stones, which we promptly attempted to skip. We also found some sedimentary rocks. I used this as a teaching moment and explained what these types of rock were and how they were made. After finishing my lecture, N tells how one time there was a flood in the creek and the sand came up and washed all the litter down into a big pile and that's how the rocks were made. Well, not quite, but I enjoyed it none-the-less. I then showed them how strong I was by breaking rocks with my bare hands. The jig was up, however, when M did the same. Of course, some sedimentary rocks are very easy to break, I just didn't fill them in on that part.

After we got home, M popped the following question: Da, is F-U-C-K a bad word? Uh, um, uh, go into the living room and I'll be right in. D, I need you to answer a question in the living room. After the three of us were in there, I told D what M asked and she did a great job at explaining it. Of course, I had an answer as well, but nowhere near as good as what D provided. We praised M for asking us about it vs. just keeping it to herself and stressed that there was nothing she couldn't ask us. Hopefully she understands this and does ask us when she feels she needs to get questions to sticky situations vs. going with what her friends tell her. She's a smart cookie, yet she also appears to be easily influenced by her peer group.

Bowling rocked...sort of. We were bowling blind, but heard the team we were matched against did pretty well. We bowled about average (overall), so I'm not sure what that will do for our stats. Only time will tell. DJ Tin Pen started Cosmic Bowling off strong with some good tunes and we kept rocking until it was time to leave. Over at Westfields there must've been a swank wedding as the bar was filled with what appeared to be money-laden individuals. And then there was us: a group of post-bowlers in our grubbiest gear coming straight from the lanes and having a ball. Lots of loaded wedding guests, including a few ladies who definitely had a few too many. The Guinness flowed, but the balls wouldn't drop. Burke and I got our assess handed to us by Chris and Brian before I finally gave up the ghost.

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