Fancy Hotels

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in some “fancy” hotels like the Four Seasons and the Ritz.  I want to say that they are entirely overrated and over priced.  I think people pay lots of money to stay at these hotels to separate themselves from people who can only afford less expensive hotels.  I’m really not sure what the extra money gets you otherwise. 

One weird coincidence about these “fancy” hotels is that they have a TV channel called “AMOS”.  It is a crazy channel that only plays insane techno music to bizarre video clips. 

On another note, I just love saying, “Starbucks” in a pirate voice…STAARRRGGBUCKS!  You can also say any word that ends in a vowel with a pirate accent, like booty (even though it is a y, it acts like a vowel).  Try saying coffee, latte, venti, grande, etc.  Starbucks is a great place to go if you want to polish up your pirate accent.


Attended a wedding in Bayonne, NJ a couple weekends ago.  Here’s a snippet of conversation:

RKDeem: Who are those poor kids stuck up on the stage behind the minister?
Wife:  Those are alter boys.
RKDeem:  How come they have to be here on a Saturday afternoon for a wedding for people they don’t even know?
Wife:  That’s all part of being an alter boy.
RKDeem:  Holy cow, that stinks for them, do they get paid?
RKDeem:  I still think they should get paid.

Attended Shad Fest with the kids this weekend.  We were watching a row boat row across the river that was dragging a big net in an attempt to net shad that were migrating upstream.  We are on an island on the Delaware River.  Winston declares that he needs to the bathroom.  We are nowhere near a bathroom and he is indicating the situation is urgent.  I ask my sister to watch Dalia and I take Winston deep into the woods to hopefully introduce him to the art of public urination.  We walk about a mile down a trail trying to find a spot that is totally secluded where Winston can relieve himself.  I first encouraged him to go in his diaper, but that is beneath him now that he is potty trained.  We find a spot that has a semblance of privacy and I encourage him to pee.  He can’t pull his pants down.  My plan has totally backfired now, Winston is requiring assistance, and there would be nothing worse than some hiker seeing an older man disrobing a 3 year old in the woods.  Winston is flipping out, he really needs to pee.  I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.  What do I do?  I quickly yank his pants down and tell him to go, pronto!  He immediately starts to pee and gets it all over my feet.  These types of scenarios are exactly why my wife is reluctant to leave the kids with her husband.  I return to Dalia and my sister, dip my feet in the freezing waters of the Delaware River.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield just sent me a check for the $15 for the wire transfer fee.  I am hoping that is the final interaction I have to have with them.  

I don’t want you all to think I am a curmudgeon, so I wanted to pass along that I recently had an incredible customer service experience with T-Mobile.  They were very proactive and took excellent care of me, they have earned my  cell phone business for another 2 years. 

When The Cats Away, The Mice Will Play

Jaclyn is having an all girls getaway this weekend and I’ll be handling the parenting duties!  Can you imagine if I was your Dad and we had to spend a whole weekend together….I know what you’re thinking, greatest time ever!  You’re not too far off my friends, Winston, Dalia, and I have a full agenda this weekend and it all starts off on Saturday morning as we head to the Shad Festival in Lambertville.  I think this will be my 4th consecutive year attending and I can’t wait for the kids to take in all the sites and sounds.  The kids are tired of the stroller and Winston’s getting too big for it, so I made an investment to help one father manage two children, a big Radio Flyer wagon with seats, cup holders, and seat belts.  I assembled the wagon last night around 9PM (the kids insisted on sitting inside it while I put it together, which made installing the wheels much more challenging than it should have been) and I took Winston on a test ride through the crisp Warrington night with nothing but the moon and stars to light our way.  Test ride was a success, the wagon handled cracks in the sidewalk with ease and I was impressed with the turning radius, I love my new wagon.

The weather predictions all week indicated that Sunday was supposed to be a complete rainout.  I wasn’t too disappointed because I sprained my knee and was hoping softball would be canceled so I could recuperate.  Today’s weather report predicted a sunny Sunday, so I’m going to find out a way to play softball and then take the kids and our new wagon to A-Day at Del Val.  

A weekend with Dad.  Which will include, but not be limited to, pizza, forgetting to pack a change of clothes and maybe diapers, sunscreen, dead fish, barnyard animals, live music, staying up late watching movies, and funnel cake.  I really love hanging out with Winston and Dalia, they are so adventurous, curious, boundless, and tireless, perfect partners for adventure. 

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD – Worst Company Ever/Never Use

Hello Blue Cross,

Thank you for sending the refund, I have received and deposited. Unfortunately, I have now been charged an additional $768 as of today! I am really upset at this point, please call me on my cell phone ASAP notifying me that my money is being deposited back into my account immediately. In addition, when you call me, please confirm that you have removed my credit card information from your system.

This is the saddest display of incompetence that I’ve ever encountered. Pat yourselves on the back, really freaking phenomenal, you have mastered the art of customer service.

Timeline of BlueCross Incompetence:

Apply for insurance in January to receive coverage in February, but receive approval for insurance in March = FAIL
Upon receipt of approval, I immediately contact customer service to decline coverage and provide requested documentation to Blue Cross. Despite proof of receipt by BlueCross, I am still charged for a policy I do not want on March 24th = FAIL
I contact customer service to cancel policy and get refund, I am told my policy will be canceled and I will receive a refund in a week. Week goes by without refund. I call again and customer service explains they only canceled the policy and the person I spoke with didn’t have the authority to issue a refund = FAIL
New customer service person explains that my refund will arrive in 25 days = FAIL
I blog about my supreme displeasure and get a response from Blue Cross Social Media Monitor, they work magic and get me my refund quickly. Blogging helps more than several phone calls.
I check my bank balance and today, a whopping $768 is removed from my account. Seriously, nearly $1000 removed from my bank account!!! For what?! I don’t want your coverage, I’ve done everything in my power to work with you, I feel like the only thing that will get through you thick, incompetent skulls is police action. BIG FAIL!
If I do not get my refund by this weekend, I am contacting the police, government, and every media source that accepts tips on unscrupulous business behavior.

My cell number is 267.317.6382


—–Original Message—–
From: Social Media
Sent: Fri, Apr 9, 2010 3:54 pm
Subject: Your Refund

We regularly monitor social media and blogging sites and found your detailed
log about your recent experience with Independence Blue Cross, dated April 5,
010. We processed your refund check and sent it via Federal Express Mail. You
an expect to receive it today, April 9.
We are very concerned about your experience with us and sincerely apologize for
he challenges you dealt with related to your application and enrollment. We
nderstand both your frustration and your unease about the issues in our
rocess- which allowed this confusion to occur and, second, allowed it to go
nremedied for too long.
Just as you stated, a series of mishaps occurred:
There was a delay in the processing of your application.
There was a delay in your refund processed after you took the necessary
teps we asked you to about cancelling your enrollment.
You made several calls to our office to get this straightened out, which
e know consumed valuable time on your end.
You should know, Robert, we realize that our customers need to rely on
ndependence Blue Cross-especially when they need to receive medical coverage.
hen we fall short in this regard as in your case, it is very upsetting to us.
or this reason, we thank you for bringing this to our attention as you did.. We
ave shared the details of your experience with our leadership team, and are
orking to determine the steps needed to prevent this from occurring again.
We would appreciate it if you would email us to confirm that you received the
heck or if you wish to speak with someone directly.
xecutive Inquiries
ndependence Blue Cross

ONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the
ndividual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that
s privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.. If
ou have received this communication in error, please do not distribute and
elete the original message. Please notify the sender by E-Mail at the address
hown. Thank you for your compliance.

Recent Pictures

Easter Morning

Winston and Dalia

Winston and Dalia v2

He does have underwear on under the book

Dalia and the dog – this was not setup, after 30 seconds of silence, Jac ran out of the house to find her daughter and this is what she found

Me at Petridis’ in Bayonne, NJ – they’ve been selling hotdogs for almost 100 years

Odds & Ends

First of all, please take a look at my sister’s blog to see some funny pics of Winston, Dalia, and their cousin Madisyn.

Finally caught up on Lost.  Still sticking by my theory, all the characters are pawns in a game, but have control over their destinies.  The final season has been a bit of a disappointment for me, focusing too much on the drama and love stories, not very much on the anthropology, science, math, time space continuum stuff.  Overall though, the show does drama well and I’m always excited to see a new episode.  I used to think that I’d someday go back and watch all the shows again and see how all the pieces were building to the ultimate conclusion, I’m now realizing a lot of it was just filler and not as important as I thought it was.

Last night stunk.  Both kids ended up in our bed in the middle of the night, Winston started coughing a lot, so Jac gave him a cough drop.  Cough drop made him throw up.  Dalia wakes up and starts screaming.  Puke on floor, screaming baby, disgruntled husband who was up late working and watching Lost, and poor Jac was at the center of it, like the eye of a hurricane, calm with chaos all around. 

This morning we were all scattered, I ended up in Dalia’s room, asleep on a twin bed in there, she was snuggled up next to me.  Winston was sprawled out on Jac and my bed, and Jaclyn was on Winston’s bed in his room.  It is like musical beds.  This will pass and hopefully it is out of their system before they stay at my parent’s house on Saturday.

My blog used to be at and it got close to 500 hits a week, when I changed it over to it went way down to about 30 hits a week because it changed how Google cataloged all my previous entries.  As my entries on this new site pile up, I’m back to over 300 hits a week.  Thanks again to everyone who reads.

Made An Offer That They Could Refuse

Last night Jac and I went to the Weichert office in Doylestown with a $1,000 check in our hands.  You need a check when you’re making an offer to show them you’re serious.  I have been a little apprehensive about the whole idea of home ownership because prices are dropping precipitously and there’s a bunch of stuff on the market.  After doing some research, we’ve concluded that the house in Doylestown that we’re looking at is a wonderful place, but they’re asking too much (in our unprofessional, but research supported opinion). 

So we made an offer that we felt was appropriate and we don’t intend on budging if they counter offer, so we’ll see how the whole thing works out.  The process of making an offer is rather time consuming and the experience just skeeves me out, I’ve come to conclude that I do not like realtors, here’s a list of my least trusted professions:

1.  Mattress Salesman or Saleswomen
2.  Realtors
3.  Car Salesman (I actually trust car saleswomen, but that is based on a small sample size)
4.  Jewelry salesman or saleswomen
5.  Mechanics at chain operations like Midas or Jiffy Lube

Don’t worry too much about the offer being accepted or declined, either way we’re heading towards home ownership in the near future, but we’ll do it in a way where we feel like we are getting excellent value. 

I will provide my Lost conclusions and observations, but apparently I made a DVR mistake and failed to watch the last episode of Lost in its entirety.  I saw the beginning of the episode and the end of the episode, but apparently, I missed a big section with Charlie.  I should get caught up in the next day or two and will report.  I’m still sticking by my conclusion that the final episode will reveal that all the people were just pawns in a giant game of backgammon, the only twist will be that the pieces had a little control over their destiny. 

Off to a wedding this weekend in Bayonne, NJ.  Have to head to Kansas City in early May for a couple of days, I believe my next bar-b-que joint to hit there is Gates.  Thanks again to everyone who reads, love you all!