Friday, November 30, 2012

Introducing Lady Indiana Ekey

Lady Indiana Ekey

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, the esteemed Lady Indiana Ekey.

The Librarian and I adopted her today from the Lee's Summit Animal Shelter. She was a rescue from another city, but has already made herself at home in our home.

She is a 5-month-old Lab/Boxer mix and has been nothing but a ball of energy since coming home.

So far we have done nothing but spoil her with toys, treats and a backyard that she seemed a bit timid in at first, but then opened up into full circling sprints.

Indiana joins our two cats, Hudson and Sawyer. They seem to be... well, slowly introducing themselves.

What curious is that when we met her for the first time in the shelter, the staff said we could not take her until she had been spayed (seemed simple enough). But as we were filling out paperwork and the vet took a look at her, she said Indiana appeared to have already been spayed.

Even more curious is that she has a small scar on her back. We know she had been exposed to people before she went to the shelter, but some of her mannerisms make me think she had a home that was less than ideal to begin with. Still, she has been super quiet and incredibly affectionate.

So let us welcome our newest member of the Ekey household: Lady Indiana Ekey!

Monday, November 26, 2012

HGTV and Popcorn Ceilings

HGTV hates popcorn ceilings

Ever since the Librarian and I moved into our new house, we have been on a steady diet of HGTV's home renovation shows. Of all the home projects and improvement tips they offer, there is one thing I have learned:


Whether it is Property Brothers, Love it or List It, House Hunters or House Hunters International. No one likes that ceiling texture. Did I miss the memo?

Of course, since The Librarian is watching these episodes in marathon fashion, we seem to hear it A LOT.

I mean, they really DO NOT LIKE that shit in any of the houses they remodel or buy.

What gives? I like my popcorn ceilings just fine. We have 20-foot cathedral ceilings in the living that, I think, would look weird with no texture. The bedroom is a 15-foot recessed ceiling that would look strange, too, I think. Maybe I can understand removing it from the flat lower ceilings in the guest rooms, but even then... it does not look bad as it...

Maybe it is because they are all Canadians...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

There is a lot of I am Thankful for this year. Most of all, I am thankful for this wonderful partner that I found. The amazing house we are now in and the many adventures ahead of us in the coming years.

Vegas Wedding

Turkey Up, team.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Aardvark Moving sucks

UPDATE 2: The war of words and email has come to a close. Aardvark Moving made good and sent us a check refunding our move. As part of the settlement agreement, they refunded our move and then paid us an additional $25 (the amount that insurance covered for the Xbox). 

This settlement also leaves open my option of going after the individual guy who stole the Xbox. However, according to the police, if and when this guy is actually arrested or brought before a judge is only speculation. So, who knows how that side of the situation will turn out.

In the end, Aardvark made good on the refund and The Librarian and I can put this to rest for now. 

UPDATE: It seems this blog touched a nerve with the manager at Aardvark Moving. After posting my review of the company and its handling of this whole situation, the owner decided to cancel the check they had sent to me as part of our settlement.

Yes, you read that correctly, Aardvark Moving cancelled the check they sent me to replace the xbox that was stolen by one of their employees. They have now effectively accepted no responsibility for the fact that one of their employees was a thief.


I have waited damn near a month before posting this. I kept thinking (hoping) that Aardvark Moving's manager and I would come to good place after one of his employees stole my X-box. It's a bit of a long story, but worth the read if you have ever done business with this group.

Moving Day

The Librarian and I were moving from our downtown apartment to our new house out in the 'burbs. Everything was set. We had hired Aardvark Moving to move much of our stuff from our one-bedroom into our new house. Things started well, then one of the movers decided to steal my X-Box.

Despite Aardvark Moving showing up late, the move itself seemed to go pretty smoothly. The three guys quickly got everything from the fourth-floor apartment to the truck and out to the new house. In all, it took no more than three hours to move everything.

Then I received a cryptic phone call from one of the movers. He did not identify himself at first and just point-blank asked if I was missing my X-box. I had not even gotten to the boxes we put in our basement and so I had to go down and dig for a bit to find the box. Sure as shit, the box had been opened, the X-box taken and then resealed and stacked with the others in a corner.

By the time I got back to the phone he had hung up. When I called Aardvark Moving's HQ and asked what was going on, one of the managers told me my X-Box had fallen out of the box on its own and broke. He said they were trying to figure out what exactly happened.

The Police Get Involved

The next day I get a call from the Blue Springs Police Department. The officer said she was investigating my "broken" X-Box as a theft. I had to make a statement at both Blue Springs (where Aardvark Moving is based) and Lee's Summit police stations since they were unsure where the crime specifically took place. What they did tell me was that they had video of the thief pulling my X-Box out of the moving truck when he returned to HQ and took it with him to his car.

At the time, the manager was extremely apologetic and seemed truly interested in getting a replacement since it was one of his employees that was involved. I will also give major credit to the one mover who turned his co-worker in when he suspected something was up. The manager and I started looking up what a replacement would cost and found a couple similar (same specs and storage) to my X-Box online for $350. The manager and I talked about it and he said he would get a check in the mail as soon as he finished the paperwork on his end.

Two Weeks Later

The check to cover replacement of my stolen X-Box arrived and it was half what the manager and I had discussed.

This was infuriating for a couple of reasons. First, this was not at all what we had talked about and agreed on. Second, when I called asked (I agree, I was a bit hot when I called. Even the folks here at the office could tell I was pissed). The manager kept pointing out that according to their own policy, he only owned my $10 based on the weight of the X-Box and that I should be "grateful" for the offer he made me. By the end of the phone call he said any additional money to cover the cost of the stolen X-Box would have to be approved by his boss, the owner.

At this point, he starts sending me emails pointing out that I could simply buy a used X-Box online for less than $150 (none of which matched the hardware of mine). Even better, he sends me a link to an Amazon site where he says I could buy my exact model and type of X-Box, only I would have to ignore the giant crack down the side of the casing and missing port covers.

The Bribe

As long as we were emailing back and forth, I kept hoping that the owner or the manager was finally going to come around. However, when the owner decided that Aardvark Moving had done enough, the manager emailed me reminding me that his company was only liable for $10 worth of coverage and, if I wanted to, I could go after the mover himself in court if I wanted to fully cover a replacement.

Through the whole process I had been pretty clear and upfront about my expectations and what I considered a reasonable replacement cost (especially considering I had fully paid for the move and worked with Aardvark Moving for three weeks now). When I told the manager that I would be posting about my experience and sharing my review of the company, he emailed me back offering me an addition $50 "to avoid any bad reviews of the company."

Ov vey.

I told him no, and said I would still be posting about this experience. Now, though, I am torn between a couple of options.

I have the thief's name and address from the police report. So, what do I do with that information? I ran a couple of background checks and did some research online. Not the most pious of individuals. There are no major crimes, but he does have a record.

There is always small claims court, I suppose. Or I could just go knock on the guys door and demand he give me my X-Box back. Of course, I could also do nothing and just wait for the police to pick him up on a traffic violation, then see him in court on the bench warrant.

The whole situation kind of sucks.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Just Vote

I wrote this post back in 2010 (midterms!), but I think it might be good to re-post during each election cycle. Tomorrow is especially exciting, at least to me, because I will be working at my local polling place as a judge.  How cool is that?

Anyway, I don't usually hide my politics. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, I am sure you know where I come down on some of the issues.

But who I support probably does not matter to you. Just get your ass to a voting booth on Tuesday.

Nov. 2012: Vote

Political endorsements are stupid. They are stupid for newspapers to do and they are stupid for blogs to probably do to.

So, instead of an endorsement I am going to implore you to just vote.

Vote smart.

Vote for the person who you think will bolster education initiatives in your community and state.

Vote for the person who sees the department of education at the state and national level as a vital part of what government can do right sometimes.

Vote for the person who will stop cutting away at higher education funding.

Vote for someone who isn't going to use their office as a pulpit to fire professors, discredit instructors or eliminate entire departments because they perceive them to be controversial.

Vote for the person that will fight to ensure that grants, scholarships and loans will still send millions of kids to college across the country.

Vote for someone who supports smart sex education that is based on mentoring and leadership not religious writing that makes you fear your body.

Vote for the person who who is not afraid of science, but embraces its nuances and challenges.

Vote for the person that will realize free and reduced lunches are a big part of a successful education policy AND that those programs should not stop after a student's senior year.

Vote for someone who sees education as a pathway to citizenship.

Other than that, I really don't care who the hell you vote for.