Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom:

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” —Robert Frost, and he was dead wrong. I’ve already had my fill, but, not of coffee. A hot steaming morning mug of java should jump-start me into the day.

This very moment my thoughts are with Vince. Even as I am penning away he’s pounding the pavement in the Disney Half Marathon at Walt Disney World (actually he might already be done—they do start long before the roosters’ crow). This is all a part of the training lead-up he’s embarked on. The goal is to prepare and be ready for the late summer New York Triathlon, for which he’s already registered.

Cold Turkey – is the way most of us put behind the parties, get-togethers, and gatherings that make up all the hoopla we have begun to collectively refer to as “The Holidays.” Marcia and I stretched it out a bit further with a lovely and quiet birthday dinner for her. Friends Ron and Barb added to the ambiance and conversation (of which I have too much according to Marcia—conversation that is, not ambiance). Thanks to the fine folks at Groupon offering a timely coupon for half off at one of our favorite restaurants we ended up at the Dee Felice Café. Located in Covington Kentucky’s Mainstrasse area the Dee Felice Café has been serving great Cajun fare and live Jazz for about forty years. Let me tell you, the Jambalaya was as good as ever.

Sheer pleasure – is the only way to describe the trip home from our family gift exchange held at Cathy and Jason’s place. We had a great time. We had great food, We delighted in watching the kids “ooh” and “aah” as they tore away the wrapping paper from a stack of boxes. But, it was the trip home.

Vaioleti had worn a little summer hat (her new favorite) to the party. As we left, and as soon as she was strapped in, less than a block away from Cathy and Jason’s home she realized that the little hat was not with her. As you all know kids get fixated on these things, and the whining started.

The ladies sitting next to her tried to distract, to little avail. Mom Adrianne then started a little sing-songy repetitive bit:
“Is Uncle Jason wearing Vai’s hat?”……..”NOooo” answered Vai, slowly and in a low voice.
“Is the Zebra wearing Vai’s hat?”……..”NOooo” answered Vai.
“Is the Teddy Bear wearing Vai’s hat?”………”NOooo” answered Vai again.

Soon all was forgotten. Vai was silent and the ladies started chatting about the great time we’d had.

In the passenger seat I began to take note of a single little quiet voice coming from the kid’s seat immediately behind me. During a lull in conversation between Marcia and Adrianne I was able to distinguish the actual words coming from Vai:
“Is Uncle Jason wearing Vai’s hat?”……..”NOooo”
“Is the Zebra wearing Vai’s hat?”……..”NOooo”
“Is the Teddy Bear wearing…………..”

She was delighting in just saying the little phrases over and over again, giving a slight special emphasis on slowly answering her own question with a low-voiced “NOooo.” How good does it get.

Customer Service as it should be – I am always the first to blast away when a company messes up delivering a product or service—usually with both barrels!

It is only right that great service is acknowledged with the same amount of force. Amazon did it right! From Adrianne and Tevita I was lucky enough to get a Kindle for Christmas. The Kindle has quickly become the preferred way for me to read a book. Only a single problem, the power plug was not included. This meant that all was fine until the power ran out and then I’d be left with several ounces of useless plastic.

Wednesday, around dinner time, I picked up the phone and called Customer Service at Amazon. Immediately I entered what I love to refer to as” phone hell”. The umpteen choices followed by eternal waits. But wait, choice three actually applied to my issue and immediately an electronic voice stated that a real person would be with me in less than a minute!

I gave my email address and the rep brought up all my details, kindle type, shipping address, delivery date, etc. Without any question she said here is how we’ll handle your problem and into my Amazon checkout page she placed a new cord and power plug. I would be billed as if I had placed an order and then immediately extended a credit for that amount. Overnight shipping fees were to be waived.

The next afternoon I returned home. Sitting on the coffee table sat a small box from Amazon. I want to let you know that I am about halfway through reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Without that little plug I could not have lasted much longer.

Closing –Thursday I visited with my former employer and just beat the afternoon traffic rush. Yesterday an inch or so of snow plus plummeting temperatures turned roadways into solid sheets of ice. Between accidents and hills that same route I had just driven caused travel time to go from twenty minutes into several hour-long events. My first New Year thanks is for me no longer commuting! Make it a great week!

Cheers,

Dirk

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